Ziggi Browning, Mullumbimby
The feeling of optimism so many of us felt on Saturday has been shattered. The pollsters, press, and politicians of all persuasions were primed for an inevitable change, but the people delivered a twist that Game of Thrones would be proud of.
In the past I thought of Australian politics as a kind of pendulum. When the government became dysfunctional or went too far we would give them the boot and the other mob would get a go. But we just re-elected the most shambolic government ever. Where are the swings and roundabouts, Australia! That theory’s out the window.
Clearly the Australian electorate is not capable of rational decision making. We should collectively own this; it’s not the politicians’ fault this time, it’s the people’s. We made a poor choice.
We just had a professional, well-prepared, stable opposition articulate a reasonable agenda and lose to a rabble offering only fear and loathing. The better options on the senate ticket as always hardly got a look in and the crossbench has gone to dog-whistling populists.
Was the Labor policy agenda too grand? Was Bill’s dorky-coach approach so unappealing to the common folk? Did ScoMo’s self-righteous shoutyness trigger some kind of herd-like fall-in-line mentality?
Optimism and compassion have been trumped by greed and fear. Australia must be so enamoured of the trinkets of consumerism and spoilt by the privileges of late capitalism that it is blind to the increasingly divided society and climate catastrophe unfolding around us.
Those of us who want to hold on to hope, and continue to work towards a future that includes a biosphere and a society that believes in fairness, are clearly unable to rely on the political system to achieve this. We need to embrace necessary change. We need to be the change, and to show those around us that the way to a better future is one of compassion, not one of fear.
In the face of the continuation of terrible government we must look to grassroots people power. It’s time for an Extinction Rebellion.