Over the past few days I had it in the back of my mind to write a post to counter what I wrote last week about engaging with elections in stable countries.
Had I written that post I probably would have said something about how, even though elections are full of guff and silliness and we’re choosing between two relatively similar parties (Coke and Pepsi as one woman on the telly put it), it’s still important to engage in the process. I think I wanted to write that because I was feeling guilty about my compulsion to ignore the whole thing.
I must confess that I didn’t engage all that much this year. I listened to the news and watched the funny shows but I didn’t really engage. I decided to see the election as something happening around me. Instead of investing in the outcome, I would just sit back and see what happened. I vote in the very safe seat of Murray* so my lower house vote didn’t matter all that much either way but I voted above the line for the upper house, which is unprecedented political disengagement for me.
Now it looks like we’ll have a hung parliament which, if nothing else, slaps us in the face with a reminder of the dynamism of elections and party politics. In a funny twist, as my friends lament on twitter and facebook, discussing the best place to relocate when they abandon an Australia run by Tony Abbott, I’ve never been more keen to stay in Australia for a while. All of a sudden, it just got interesting.
Crazy stuff is happening, some good and some bad (and some things just so glorious that it makes all the craziness seem worth it). I’m keen to hang around, take a look, and maybe (with a very strong emphasis on maybe) get a bit more involved.