The announcement of the election later this year has caused something of a kerfuffle. Many are frustrated that as the Australian public we will be exposed to 8 months of political rhetoric, listening to politicians make empty promises that they will not keep, and that in the end we will have to choose between two parties that seem more interested in casting aspersions on one another than in governing our nation.
I hear you. It’s frustrating that the Government and the Opposition don’t seem to be on the same page, that they only want to label and accuse one another instead of working together for the best outcome for Australia, that the Opposition doesn’t appear to offer a viable alternate Government but are only interested in criticising Government decisions, that no one seems to have a vision for the future of our nation, and that the major concern of both parties is being re-elected at the next election. I hear you.
But I read a blog post yesterday about the opportunities that a long election campaign offers. Michael Jensen helpfully reminds us that we can call on our politicians to engage with us about issues that concern us. Not only the hot button issues but also decisions and choices that affect our communities and our families. What a wonderful opportunity we have to make our voices heard and to force the Government and Opposition to think more broadly than we (and they) are used to.
Now is the time to get educated. Think about what kind of change you’d like to see in your community, learn who is your local member and write to them. The Government is there as our chosen representatives. We put them there. Their position stands or falls on whether or not individuals vote for them. So get to know them and get to know whether you think they are someone who can adequately represent you in Parliament.
You’ve got 8 months. What are you waiting for?