Wednesday, March 19, 2014

When people feel powerless they protest.

On Monday I introduced my baby boy to Australian democracy.



We attended the Canberra March in March rally at Parliament House.


It was the third and final day of a nation wide protest culminating in a march up to Parliament House to deliver a vote of no confidence in the Abbott Government.



For the first time in a long time I finally felt that I could voice my frustration at the deceptive, bullying and gob smackingly stupid behaviour of the current government. For the first time in a long time I felt hope that the tide had started to turn against a Government that I feel is not acting in our nation's best interests.


There were a VAST array of issues that spurred me to speak out.


The appallingly inhumane treatment of asylum seekers which is bringing international scorn and makes me ashamed to be Australian.



Lifting protections on our heritage listed environment to profit big corporations. (Tassie old growth forests, Great Barrier Reef).



Undermining the need for unbiased and accurate journalism by attacking our national broadcaster for "taking everyone's side but Australia's" and placing an already underfunded ABC under review.



Going backwards on Climate Change, demolishing the Carbon tax , Cimate Commission and the independent Climate Change Authority while rewarding big polluters with tax breaks. Not having a science minister and cutting funding to the CSIRO.




Backflipping on an election promise to deliver on Gonski education funding.




Repealing the consumer protection laws in the financial services industry and repealing section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act.




Sending us back to the dark ages with a "cheaper" but vastly inferior version of the NBN.




Marriage Equality, PPLs and Childcare....and so it goes on.



For me it wasn't about Liberals vs Labour.


I have just as much trouble condoning some of the policies the previous Govt implemented during their time in Office (namely Offshore Detention and Home Insulation debacle) and think that they've well and truly lost their way. All of the good policy work they achieved was overshadowed by their infighting and back flipping and they now make for a spineless Opposition.


For me, the message of this protest applies to both sides of the political divide...we demand a higher standard of behaviour from our politicians.

It's also a message to a large portion of the voting public to pay attention, really pay attention to what is going on in our political landscape. Don't rely on three word slogans and heavily biased sound bites to inform your opinion. Seek facts, read up on policies, question the catch phrases.

Democracy isn't just ticking a ballot paper every three years.


March in March was organised through social was grassroots democracy that drew more than one hundred thousand people out onto the streets, all of us calling for decency, transparency and accountability in our Government. The main stream media was incredibly slow in reporting it and the Prime Minister in typical form could only comment that there was a St Patrick's day parade going on. But that doesn't bother me. I joined with like minded Australians and raised my voice in the belief that we deserve a higher quality of governance in this country.




It felt so good, it felt like the beginning of something better.

xx Em


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