Politics: It’s All About Perspective

Australia: Still the Lucky Country
Australia: Still the Lucky Country
Australia: Still the Lucky Country

Australia: Still the Lucky Country

Like many Australians, I’m not a huge fan of our latest budget. It attacks the areas that need the most financial support: education, healthcare, the elderly, the homeless, and students trying to get through uni. It’s far from ideal. And while its been a few weeks now since the budget was handed down, my newsfeed is still packed with people who are ready to lynch the PM and treasurer for brutal cost cutting and seemingly stupid investments (24 billion on planes for the RAAF?).

But, as frustrating as the budget is, and it will impact so many people in a harsh way, I’ve had a gut full of the whining. Enough! We can protest, we can wave our ‘injustice’ placards till the cows come home. But at the end of the day, I can’t help but be grateful that I live in a country that allows me that freedom. I can speak my mind, I can worship as I choose without fear of persecution. I am not denied basic rights. I live in a democracy. We have choices in our lives.

My mind goes to Syria, to Nigeria, to Ukraine, to North Korea where the kind of liberties we take for granted aren’t just denied to their citizens. The citizens of these countries are ruled by violence. They don’t have the opportunity to complain about their political rights or lack thereof for fear of being silenced permanently. I am so grateful I live in a country where women aren’t stoned to death or publicly hung for adultery. I’m grateful I live in a country where, as a female, I can apply for the same jobs as men and have the same rights.

Nearly 300 female students are kidnapped in a violent raid and held for a ransom in Nigeria and it barely cracked western news until around 2 weeks after the incident occurred. By the time the media informed us, many of these young girls had already been sold to much older men as child brides and sex slaves.

Imagine that a girl’s boarding school in America, Britain, Europe or Australia was raided and close to 300 students were kidnapped by militant ‘soldiers’ how quickly we would have responded- and how quickly it would have been ‘breaking news’. It wouldn’t have taken weeks for us to find out. Action would have been immediate.

Australian politics may be messy and our leaders may seem more interested in fighting each other than solving the issues that need to be resolved, but we aren’t living in a part of the world where daily car/suicide bombings occur. Where people are maimed and killed en mass and we look the other way. Where people languish in prison for being gay, for protesting, for daring to speak out, for refusing to conform to only one religion.

The budget stinks in so many ways. But I think it’s important to keep things in perspective. It could be so much worse.

How do you feel about the budget? Are you sick of the whining too? 

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  • 26 Years & Counting

    As a writer, how much perspective should be included in articles? When does it get off topic? Do qualifiers water down the message if we include them? Is it too selfish to discuss things that only impact a small portion of the global population? It’s hard to find the right balance between everything.

    • Maree Talidu

      I’m not exactly sure what you mean, could you clarify that? I’m not saying the budget needs to be off the news entirely, but I am saying that politcally, we could be living in much worse conditions.

      • 26 Years & Counting

        Oh absolutely. I guess I mean, for my post that you linked to in this, should I have said something that showed I realise I live in a first world country and appreciate it? From a writing perspective, I don’t know if that would make my article more or less powerful.

        • Maree.Talidu

          Oh I am so sorry, I didn’t link it, T did. I only just realised what you meant. My laptop has been mucking up and I wasn’t aware of the link being there.

          • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

            Yes, I put that in, as an example of the terrible consequences of the budget Maree acknowledges (that’s why the link is on that sentence), not as an example of what Maree’s post is about. Sorry for that misunderstanding!

  • Maryann

    I think it is really important that this problematic budget remain current & in the news. People forget so easily, even when paying more. I don’t see it as people whinging but more about venting anger, which is very natural. After all the majority voted for and trusted Abbott eta al. They were extremely naive and now we have this budget to contend with. But all this doesn’t mean we should ignore world issues, there needs to be a better balance in the news. Yes we are lucky un this country but a lot of people will not be if some of the budget measure get through as planned by Hockey.

    • Maree.Talidu

      I totally agree that venting anger is fine, but for how long? I wonder if third world countries look at us and think “why are they complaining?” I think we need to focus on finding a balance.

  • Bradley

    Well written Maree. Yes, the budget is tough but only because we have allowed ourselves to get used to the handouts that both sides of politics have thrown at us over the past twenty years or so to win our votes. Sorry folks….the day of the free lunch is over. We are more or less paying for our own greed and expectations that someone else will always pick up the tab.
    Yes we certainly have some tough times ahead. But when push comes to shove, I’d prefer to be doing it tough in Australia than in Pakistan, Syria or even the good old USA. Time to be asking what we can do for the country rather than what the country can do for us.