Monday, August 23, 2010

Do I really need to blog about Politics?

This could be the worst blog subject in the world. True, there are many better blogs solely occupied with politics somewhere in the world, so with Australia being such a politically and culturally benign country, there's never very much to report. But the 2010 Australian Election Result does, dare I say, deserve some mention...because there was no result. In our constitutional monarchy, this is known as a 'hung parliament'.

Irrespective of whoever governs, it stands true to say that this election describes the Australian public as either:

  • hotly torn between being comrade lefties or conservative beige cardigan wearers; or 
  • the two parties are so similar in their politics, it takes little for a voter to step across the line and swing their preference 'to the other side'. 
Whatever the reason, we've not seen this situation in this country since 1940. Back then, the country was at war, and the public must have similarly felt that no party could offer a solution to the turmoil and angst felt in the electorate. No one engendered confidence to swing a resounding win. And today as well, neither party really has a mandate to govern with confidence.

We've seen some amazing 'firsts' this election. At 20 years of age, Wyatt Roy is the youngest ever member elected to the House of Representatives. We welcome Australia's first indigenous member to the House of Reps (we've seen others in the Senate previously) and finally, a greenie has coveted a seat downstairs as well, remarkably from an urban electorate. 

This election of 2010 is crazy, disappointing, inspiring, remarkable and typically Australian all at the same time. In other countries (some in our region), elections are commonly marred by militia, bombings, standovers, and killings. In our country, parents push babies in their prams to school based polling booths, while volunteers cook-up sausage sizzles in the playground and the ladies auxiliary serve at the cake stall. 

We're reminded of why this is so by 35 year old 
Grant Kirby and 21 year old Tomas Dale, the two Aussie soldiers who lost their lives in Afghanistan on polling day. It's because of such sacrifices made by them and those before them, that irrespective of the result, the sun always seems to shine on election day in Australia.