Thursday, 16 July 2015

How to Skin a Political Cat

Federal Election Day 2010

One of the classic phenomena with social media is that, over time, we tend to construct a circle of like minded people around us. My Twitter experience is definitely a case in point: I might be constantly accumulating and sharpening the list of people I follow, but if I was to sit back and look at the overarching theme I would see a long list of likeminded lefty progressive people. By now I’ve had enough of a sample of real life interactions with people I know through Twitter to know this observation to be true, with the exception that those people tend to be much better looking than I am.
Yet with all this like-mindedness, there are disagreements in the camp. One of those core disagreements revolves around the question of which political party one should support if one considers oneself to belong to the ranks of the progressive minded Australians. If we exclude the options with low probability to earn a seat (even though the Motorist Party proved that assumption wrong), us progressives have two options to pick from:
  1. The Greens, a party known to stand for progressive causes despite the occasional quirk of a political compromise and even though it lacks the ability to make much of an impact on its own, or
  2. Labor, a party with much power. Basically, it's one of the two big parties that periodically take ownership of Australia every second round of elections or so. However, that can also explain it constantly sliding closer and closer to the Liberals, under the influence of big money/power and in its attempt to steal drifting "central" marginal voters.
With the two camps being the way they are, the real question at hand is – where does progressive you think salvation would come through first? Is it by putting one’s money behind The Greens and hoping there’s enough such “money” for The Greens to influence decision making, or is it by putting one’s money to support the progressives of the Labor party in order to render them influential enough so as to be able to affect the party’s overall decision making and thus Australia as a whole?
Personally, I tend to err towards the first option, the green one. However, who am I to claim the ability to know better? What I am trying to say here is that for the progressive Aussie, the exact political party alignment one carries the banner for does not matter; what matters, really, is that we stand together as progressives to put our money where it has the biggest impact.

Image by Drew Douglas, Creative Commons (CC BY-NC 2.0) licence

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