I voted for Kevin 07. First time I have ever voted Labour in my life. It wasn’t long before the rot set in and I felt shame for having enabled the disaster, and anger at myself for being fooled by the floppy fringed one.
However, I was disgusted by the night of the long knives and it took a long time before I saw Julia as anything other than a backstabbing bitch after all the ‘stand by your man’ speeches in the weeks prior to the coup. Nonethless I was horrified by the ‘ditch the witch’ hunt and the misogyny both spouted and enabled by Abbott and others. It seemed that the fear and loathing of strong women, which is inherent in the Aussie culture of ‘mateship’, had finally bubbled up into the public arena in all its ugliness. Our politics became a hotbed of abuse, bullying, sexism and the ever present racism against the poor unfortunates who feel their only hope of freedom is to risk their lives in rickety boats to try and reach this lucky land (I don’t understand why Australians feel so threatened by these unfortunates).
I learned to respect Julia for her vision, staunch steadfastness in the face of unprecedented abuse (would that I could keep as calm under pressure!) and the respect and affection with which she was clearly held by her colleagues, staff and the Independents.
Then Kevin had his karmic moment and got his job back after years of the most malicious white anting and undermining and now he is enjoying a renaissance as a viable backlash against Abbott, who is a bit like Bush junior – one is always enthralled to see what he might say next, and then appalled at the imbecility. No wonder so many voters are prepared to spoil their votes rather than choose between either of the angry men who seem to be so intent on their own political careers and the allure of the Lodge that they have forgotten that they are there to serve . . . us, the people, of this great land, who care about the great moral choices and dilemmas of our time – climate change, refugees, renewables, and restoring our economy so that we may lead the world at last and stop trailing behind it.
We have a fortnight more posturing from Rudd and prevarication from Abbott (surely he has to come up with some solid policies at some stage?) and the inevitable erasing of the Julia years. Do they really think we, the voters, can be bamboozled and blinded by the tomfoolery, and forget so easily? I hope not! I hope we are more intelligent, thoughtful, measured and reasoned than they believe we are.
Hopefully the women of Australia won’t forget how much these men despise, deride and damn us when we dare to cross the portals of power. Hopefully we, who birth and raise the next generations, who count the cost in the shops and when the bills come in, who make the conscious decisions about the food to feed our families and what to clothe them in, will lead the groundswell away from these monoliths of the male dominated hierarchy we have been subjected to for so long.
I’m voting Green this time round and for ever more. They may not be perfect, and we won’t get a woman in the top job for a long time to come, but at least they have heart and soul and care about the big issues – the future that our children will inherit, and are unlikely to be funded by Gina and her ilk or big tobacco. They are a moral compass who embrace and encourage women. With enough votes like mine, we will at least have another hung Parliament and hold the men in suits to account.
And to my mind, that is the best we can hope for. A majority for no-one and the emphasis on consensus – working together for the betterment of the whole. An end to this divisive ‘us and them’ mentality which we are so heartily sick of, and a cohesive and concerted effort to combine all that is best in our society for the greater good.