Friday, August 6, 2010

Politics. It's always an interesting topic for discussion. It often seems to be a love-hate relationship between the public and politicians. With the upcoming election, politics is a topic that I could hardly let slip by. The 2010 election is set to be one of the most interesting elections that I have been able to vote in. While the televised great debate between the two candidates was less than interesting, there have been other snippets which have attracted my attention. The debate on morning television, a few days ago, between the Australian Sex Party and Family First was possibly the most entertaining tidbit so far.

I have been doing my research on the policy content of all of the major parties in order to choose who best to allocate my vote. While my mind has already been made up for some time now, I am still interested to hear other views. Today whilst I was on my morning walk, I spoke to a man who was advocating in the local mall for his political party. It was a party I had never heard of. A minority party. I was hoping for some kind of intelligent discussion on the policy views of this particular party, but I was sadly disenchanted when given a handful of brochures (which I kindly gave back and asked them to be recycled) and given some hollow information about trains and farming practices with absolutely no substance or any reasoning to back up the opinions. I tried to prompt him on some more prominent policy that the majority would be interested in, such as health policy, and received a response that both scared and appalled me. I was further shocked when this guy became very defensive when asked about preferential voting. The response: Why should that even matter?

Well why indeed? When I first was given the chance to vote I was uninterested in voting at all and questioned the point of wasting a Saturday to stand in line for half a day in order to cast a vote for someone or something I could care less about. However over the years I have come to understand the importance of voting. While not all areas of policy have a direct impact on me personally, some policies can and do impact on me both directly or indirectly. If I can make an informed choice about who to vote for then I can choose what I feel is right. If I decide to vote for a political party other than the two major parties, I want to know how and why my vote will count. What will a minority party do to help inform the major parties when it comes to policy and decision making? I want to make sure that the party that I choose to vote for, adequately reflects my own values and beliefs so that when policy is legislated, all angles of the argument are accounted for. The "Two-party preferential system" can be difficult to understand, however it is better to know how the system works so that a vote is not blindly cast for a minority party without the knowledge of where that vote will end up.

I am glad that I have the opportunity to vote so that even in some small way my voice might be heard. I know that voting will determine the fate of the country for better or worse, however, may the best candidate win.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Isn't it funny how things change. Today, as I was soaking up the winter sun, I began to think about how quickly things change. The time. The seasons. People. Technology. It was this last point, technology, that got me thinking.

I began to think about how technology has changed and improved in my lifetime. How technology has evolved to become such a large part of our day to day living. We have become slaves to the SMS. I remember the time when life was so much simpler. We had a rotary phone and a black and white TV which was only capable of tuning in to two channels. I remember the excitement of getting an aerial installed on our roof so that we could pick up the "Sydney" channels with much more ease, instead of being restricted to ABC and one other local station.

The next big change in technology was the video recorder. We thought we were cool because we had a remote control. The remote control attached to the video recorder with a wire, which didn't even reach the couch in our small lounge room. But nevertheless it was exciting because we could tape programs off TV and watch them after school the next day.

Bit by bit, technology has crept into my life. Computers, CD players, mobile phones. The notable change in portable music devices - my radio was swapped for a walkman, then a discman, now an ipod - with each new device becoming noticeably smaller in size.

Technology has changed the way we interact with friends, community, society and the world. We no longer take the time to call our friends, instead we send them an email, or "talk" using a variety of instant messaging programs. We keep up to date with facebook, twitter, blogs and Vlogs. We no longer share our thoughts privately with one friend, we share our thoughts globally, with many acquaintances, some we know well enough to call friends, others we know only by association. We no longer need to step foot inside the local bank or the supermarket when most of our needs can be met through online services.

I often wonder, if postmen deliver less mail these days. I used to get so excited over the prospect of a letter in the mail, now I am satisfied with a funny email from friends. Gone are the days when we had pen pals. Letter writing, always seemed so much more than just writing a letter. It was an art form. A platform for expression. Nowadays many people don't know how to write a letter appropriately, let alone recognise the intricacy of the art and power a letter can possess.

I wonder where change will lead us next?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Love yourself. It's a pretty simple message really. It's a message that somehow keeps appearing to me in many different forms recently, from it being the words written on a dear friends tattoo to many an obvious sign from the universe that this simple key phrase seems to be lacking in my life.

After a recent stint in hospital for Crohn's disease, I have realised that many of the things I have undertaken in my life have been at a hurtling pace with little regard of the physical consequences, ie my health. I am at the tail end of a postgraduate degree which in my Taurean haste to finish, has left me positively drained of energy and passion for my subject which has lead to a lot of stress and last minute throwing together of assignments. Time to care for myself has been an illusion just a smidgeon away from my grasp, as I attempt to rush through all of my other allocated tasks with the notion I'll do something nice for myself later "when I have time".

The time has come. I have taken the time to listen to my body, to consider what it needs to be healthy. I have listened to my inner dialogues and conflicts in order to ascertain what I need to do. I have reassessed my priorities and thought about my future. I have been in total panic when I realised I have accidentally skipped a core subject and felt the relief of knowing that extending my course is for the best. It is necessary. To slow down.

Slowing down is not an act of failure, it is an act of love for myself, knowing that I will reach the inevitable end of my degree in due time, without further damaging my health, without stress, but with the knowledge that I have achieved my dream in my own time with a newly found sense of love, strength and passion.