Recently I watched two incredible Australian dramas focused on politics, and to be honest it’s rocked my conscience. Both Secret City and Total Control have opened my eyes to the importance of the political sphere.
It has driven me to confess that for the past 29 years of my life, I have not given one thought to how our country is run.
It bored me. The thought of reading legislation made me physically tired, and the way politicians spoke gave me anxiety. How can one person say so many words, yet say absolutely nothing at all? Who can understand legislation that is purposefully written to be confusing?
Whilst I am embarrassed to admit it, I have done some very silly things with my political voice, that women died to ensure I had.
When I was younger, I made many a donkey vote. Unphased by my input, I had a strong, stubborn, taurean view that one voice meant nothing in a sea of lies and deceit.
But I was wrong, oh so wrong.
Governments still hold the power
At university I learnt that multinational corporations had more power than our government. That they had been overruled by the power of money and business, and this was where you could make the biggest change. By creating a transnational corporation you would be able to impact political decisions from a position of power and money.
Now, whilst this may be true to some extent, creating a multinational corporation is much harder now than it was back then, as the power is now heavily concentrated in those few that already exist. Sub brands hide the large corporations behind them, and as I expand my knowledge into the realm of finance and economics I am beginning to see things in a different light.
Yes, politicians can be bought, and yes, even those who enter Parliament with high hopes and strong convictions to do right by the people can be swayed. However, legislation is still law. Politicians still govern, and this democracy we live in still controls how we live.
We have a responsibility to care
We have to care. We have to give a shit. We have to continue to pry and investigate and learn to be aware of what is going on with the regulation of our country. If we do not understand this, how can we change it?
I remember thinking that no one “fun” ever entered politics and that it was a boring game that only the dull would play. Yet things are changing.
We, as the younger generation, have a responsibility to our fellow people, to our planet, to our native wildlife to have our voices heard. Australian politics is still a very old game, yet just yesterday I learnt that in Finland a 34 year old woman was voted in to become their Prime Minister.
In the past year we have seen young voices make huge impact. Greta Thunberg is just 16 yet has encouraged global populations to stand up for their beliefs and fight for the only planet we have to exist on.
This shift in political control is yet to occur in Australia.
Why we can no longer take a back seat
If we sit back and watch as our country burns are we no better than those in power ignoring the warnings of climate scientists? If we continue to mindlessly scroll through social media as native wildlife cry in agony are we no better than the media moguls who deny and promote the denial of our changing climate?
Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to how our country is run, but if journalists are continually stifled by defamation laws, living in fear of retribution for sharing the truth, how will we know the truth?
We will know by investigating. We will know by getting involved with politics. We will know by joining with others who are sick of sitting back and watching the have nots die and suffer and the haves take hold.
There is no better time than now to open our eyes to the political sphere and pay attention to the inner workings of Canberra.
It’s time to share our political knowledge with others, rather than just sharing memes. To embrace others with kindness rather than judging them for what they wear, the car they drive or who they voted for. For too long we have willingly swallowed the propaganda and discourse that has been so cleverly shoved down our throats by the press without us even realising.
It is not time for the 99% to fight over gender and race, placing our fellow peers as the “other” as the enemy. It is time for all “others” to join together and fight against the 1% that benefit from the downfall of the 99%.
It’s time to give a shit about politics.