Political Apathy

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Political Apathy

Photo courtesy of Mike Sansone

Recently I have been following a discussion on-line and one of the commentators stated “they didn’t care” who won the election because both the “Australian Labour Party and Liberal Party didn’t give a f#@! about anything other than the $$$”….


I’m not sure about you, but I get taken aback when apathetic people talk like this. Instead of delving in and understanding each party’s policies on key areas such as taxes, education and health and aligning themselves with a party that has similar beliefs and values as theirs, they lump all political parties in the same basket, write them off as a bunch of greedy scumbags and assume that life will remain the same or get worse.

And if this is the attitude of one person in a discussion involving twenty people, could you imagine the percentages if you broadened this to the wider population?

It’s sad that there are so many people who appear to have given up on the idea of real change and real human progress because they have been disappointed in the past. But I guess I am a glass-half-full kind of girl as opposed to a glass-half-empty. I believe that change and progress (and not of the material destructive kind) is possible when you elect the right person and you force them to be accountable to their promises. Take for example the Work Choices policy. The Australian people disliked Work Choices so much it voted the Liberal/Coalition out after four terms in government and brought in the Labour Party. So yes, when people come together to take a stand, it’s hard for a government to ignore.


And being the glass-half-full kind of girl I am, I choose to believe that not all politicians are in their role to gain external power. Some of the current politicians are where they are because they want to make a difference. Take for example, Bob Brown, the ex-leader of The Australian Greens Party. I find it hard to believe that someone who started off studying medicine and wanting to be a doctor would then move into politics just for a change in scenery. Sometimes it’s about wanting to make a positive difference in the lives around us.

I encourage people to put aside their apathy and start educating themselves about what the politicians are saying and doing, get involved in their communities and start standing up for what they believe in. If you need any more inspiration to move away from apathy, than just remember individuals such as Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King.

Imagine if they were indifferent to social change – India would not have it’s own identity; apartheid would still be the norm; and having an African American United States President would be out of the question.

So tell me, are you still apathetic?

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