The news came in around 6pm tonight. Liberal victory, Tony Abbot as Prime Minister. Good job, idiots, this is why we can’t have nice things.
Nice things like marriage equality. Some of my closest friends must continue to be treated like second-class citizens. Things like the National Broadband Network. Labour ploy for votes? Maybe, but now we’ll not know. Australia has an internet infrastructure that is surpassed by third-world countries in South-East Asia. The Liberals plan is expensive and inadequate. This country is being, and will continue to be left behind in terms of science and technology, once fields we led the way in. Teachers and hospital staff, all facing the shaft. You know, only things you need. Education and medicine should never be on the chopping block.
In the United States, back in the 1920s, I believe, there was going to be an addition made to the constitution: If the United States would enter a war, the people would have to take a vote, country-wide. Anyone who voted “yes” would get drafted into the armed forces under this scheme. What a brilliant idea! What if people who voted, say, for some xenophobe who threatened the livelihoods of teachers and doctors, weren’t allowed to enter into the public health system, or public school system? A bit brutal. But fair, in the real sense of the word ‘fair’.
I’m not going to go on a spiel about how Australians are stupid and forgot that the global economy took a pummelling and that under a Labour government we actually did fairly well to avoid a recession, because the gods forbid that Australians have the obvious pointed out to them. No, things are bad and it’s the government’s fault. Obviously. And the people on boats! What about the Plane People? What about honest refugees whose lives were measured in days, their children sold into slavery? Are we that cruel to deny people aid? Sure, if they immigrate and act up, load them back onto a plane and get rid of them; at their expense.
But enough of that. I’m going to tell you what will happen. The Liberals will do as they will, and yeah, the common people will get the shaft while rich people get it easy. Public health and school systems will take a beating. But the boat people will… probably still be coming and very little done about it. There’ll be the occasional protest against more draconian policies, such as the resurgent Internet Filter. There’ll be petitions for a better broadband plan and there’ll be gay pride parades and protests and petitions about gay marriage equality. Sometimes.
But Australia will sit back and take the shaft because we’re a country filled with apathetic racists who tolerate whatever is done to them. I’ve known people to have to work on their wedding day. To not have any paid leave after their child is born. To work, day in, day out, thirteen out of fourteen days in a fortnight to be able to live comfortably. Let alone the people who work seven days a week just to get by. And Australians will put up with it. Because that’s how it is. We live in a culture that trains people in ignorance, to attack individuality and to lack initiative. Because why go out of your way and actually do a job that serves the community, and struggle to get by, when you can swing a hammer and dig holes for double the pay?
That’s the country we live in. And the Australian people will deal with it, on the whole. Some special interest groups will rally and do what they can, but they won’t get the support they desperately need, because of the average Australian, who is basically the worst part about this country. Strap in, lube up and enjoy the ride, folks. Things aren’t likely to get any better for any of us, and the only people we have to blame are ourselves for taking this shit.
So what can you do, oh Australian resident or citizen who doesn’t like what’s going on? You can get in touch with your local representatives. You can write to newspapers. You can join and support special interest groups and make this country a country worth living in! The type of socially progressive country our children deserve. But what will you do? Nothing. You’ll drink your beer, watch your television and whine about things that were completely within your power to prevent, but were blinded by ignorance and racism.
My response to this election? Mostly one of rage. Not to the politicians but to the people who voted for them. And when the country goes to shit, I’ll laugh, and say I told you so. But if they do well, I’ll laugh and apologize for doubting the Liberal government.