Something about the election

Well, I suppose I should probably say something about the Australian federal election.

I’m a Facebook addict and I’ve recently gotten on to Twitter and I’ve noticed that across all of my social media everyone hates the Liberal party. It makes me wonder who votes for them? People not on the internet, I suppose. Certainly no one I know.

I don’t want to spell out my political affiliations, but I’m a gay environmentalist writer. Build your own conclusions.

It’s pretty tense here for a couple of ex-pats in Zagreb. We care about the outcome of the election – but we haven’t faced the daily election shitstorm our Aus-based friends and family have been subjected to. No matter what the outcome, we’re living in Europe for the next couple of years, so I suppose the result doesn’t affect us so much. Still, we care. We care about the environment, about climate change, refugee action, the NBN, good schools and smart infrastructure. I have no desire to have children, but I care about the planet I’m going to leave behind.

We have a very privileged life here as ex-pats in Croatia. Rent and beer (our primary budget items) are cheap. We get food from my aunt and uncle who grow and make everything on their farm – eggs, salami, tomatoes, booze, everything!

But it’s nothing compared to the privileged lives we led in Sydney. As middle-class educated white women, anything and everything was open to us. Australia is a rich, beautiful country with massive resources. It is large enough and clever enough to welcome people from all over the world and ask them to do one thing only: to contribute to our amazing potential. The more potential we receive, the more potential we have!

My mum emigrated to Australia in 1970. She runs a multicultural library, whose aim is to tackle racism at a young age. She works sixty hours a week, running 2 not-for-profit organisations. It disturbs me that her contemporaries, people who also emigrated to Australia, are amongst the most racist xenophobes that I know. I care about migrant & refugee rights because I’m the privileged daughter of a migrant. I care about gay rights, cos I’m a flaming homo. I care about schools, cos I had a fantastic public education. I care about the food I eat, because I care about farmers getting fair prices. I care about a lot of things.

But most of all, I care about Australia becoming embarrassing on the world stage. The rest of the world looks at Australia with envy. We are a great nation. Why would we fuck it up by closing our borders, stopping investment in the public good and failing to tackle climate change?

No matter what the result of the election, Australia will still be a great country. It just might also be a ridiculous one.

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Nat Newman

Nat Newman is an award-winning writer of short stories, content, podcasts, feature articles, drunk text messages and, soon, a novella.


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