Dear C and M,
We have just completed another election. A moment in time that allows us to choose who we would like to manage our government. Aren’t we lucky to live in a place we can make our own choices and share in the care of our Country?
I am repeatedly surprised by our fellow residents inability to think for themselves. The Australian voting system is pretty amazing – not only does it give us a chance to nominate who we’d like to govern, but we can say who we’d like to have a go, if our first preference is unsuccessful. How cool is that? The problem is, many people who voted recently don’t seem to care a whole lot. You saw on election day, the folks outside the polling booth handing out how-to-vote cards. Those cards list how each of the political parties would like you to vote. Most voters in Australia simply grab a how-to-vote card from their preferred party and follow along. The political parties know most folks do this, and use it to their advantage. They spend a lot of time and money making deals with other political parties to have their preferred voting order listed on each other’s how-to-vote card.
This deal making might be ok, but if we take this year’s federal election as an example, the system can get hijacked. Why do we find it so hard to think for ourselves and make our own decisions? I guess you could spend a lot of time considering an answer to that question.
My hope is that you do learn to think for yourself and make your own decisions. It is easy for me to say, but it’s an incredibly hard thing to do every time. There are so many competing things that seem to get in the way. How will my family be affected by my decision? Maybe I can’t afford to do what I’d prefer to do, or what I think is right. Maybe my friends all want to do something different, and I feel like I should follow them – even though I don’t think it’s right. Maybe the shop doesn’t sell the milk I want, but I can’t be bothered going all the way to the next shop. So many things getting in the way.
Sometimes, I might ask someone I respect, or I feel knows more than me, what they think I should do. In the past, I would simply do what they said. These days, I still ask, but I make my decision based on lots of different information, from different sources. There are times I really feel like I just want to make a snap decision, a random choice, rather than researching everything for days and days. And that’s ok too. But some things are really worth asking the questions for.
You both have such a wonderful curiosity. You are really good at asking why, at lifting up the rock and looking at what is underneath. It takes persistence and energy to do that. It can be exhausting.
Keep looking and asking.
Lots of love,