Fighting Hanson is superficial

Vote counting for the Federal election resumes today but we already know that  Pauline Hanson will be returning to our Senate. Hanson’s politics are frequently labelled racist and she certainly provided evidence of this in her book The truth.  Hanson is also a climate change denier. Despite this, my heart sank when I read the headline: Greens vow to fight Pauline Hanson Why am I upset by this promise of opposition to racism and environmental chaos? It’s because I want my party to do more than fight.

I want the Greens to do more that create political huff and puff and bad feelings. I want my party to use principles of nonviolence to communicate with the people and communities that support Hanson and to participate in resolving the issues that these people are facing. I believe we could use this as an opportunity to create some real, powerful and sustained changes in our communities. Most importantly, such changes could be owned and directed by the people we make enemies of when we fight Hanson. Continue reading “Fighting Hanson is superficial”

Stand for something

Yesterday, after a seemingly endless campaign, we had a Federal election. I stood for 10 hours at the gates of Ipswich East Primary School smiling, listening to people, responding and distributing how to vote cards for the Greens. At different times my daughters and a sister joined me, I was so proud of us all.

If you have never done anything like this I would so highly recommend it. Why? Continue reading “Stand for something”

Queensland election fun

This Saturday I took my almost-90 year old Granny to vote at the state elections. Gran votes for the Liberal Party (the right), which is what any sensible Ukrainian refugee from ‘communisms’ does. I vote for the Greens, which is what any sensible person who wants a healthful planet does. We argue about it a bit, but in the end I am really proud of her for caring enough to vote, and she will forgive me my transgressions because she loves me.

After taking Gran to vote and voting myself, I handed out how-to-vote cards at the local polling booths for the first time. I had a blast. I was the only Green at the gate with three Libs and two Labour supporters. Did we argue and insult one another? No, we did not, we mainly chatted and joked together. When the big party members pushed in and gave their cards out first, I slipped mine on top – hahaha! We included the voters in our banter, I hope they shared our sense of fun. There was a hail storm in the afternoon. We all helped each other move our gear into a sheltered position, and one of the Libs gave me her phone so I could call my partner and ask him to put my car in the shed 🙂

At the end of the day we helped each other pack up our signs and said see you at the Federals (like it is a sporting event or something!)

It’s rare that I would say I’m proud to be Australian, but I certainly am now. How fabulous it is to be able to participate in government with a sense of peace and fun! How fabulous to share a day in the company of people who are passionate about Inala (my electorate), and about the country and the people. And how interesting is the prospect of a hung Parliament – wouldn’t it be marvelous if the parties could get together and work it out like their supporters can… bloody marvelous!

Experiencing the full self expression of others

Central station, waiting for the train home. A young man, a total stranger is looking at me intently, like he has something to say. He takes a gulp of air. Fuck yeah I just voted! Ha! you know what I wrote on the ticket? Fuck you Campbell Newman you fuckin arsehole get fucked! And I numbered every square and put LNP L-A-S-T last! He takes another breath and smiles wide, completely lit up. A brief concern flicks over his face. Oh, you don’t like Newman, do you? ‘Hell no,’ I say. His smile returns, he nods. Yeah fuck, I love voting. I told them LNP pricks they were supporting a bunch of areseholes too! ‘The guys handing out the how-to-vote-cards?’ Yeah – arseholes, I told them! Hey – you know you could go and vote right now – you don’t need to wait till Sat’day!

And now we are both laughing. The middle-aged-librarian-lady and the young-worker-bloke. My train comes. I look at him.

Nah, I’m goin’ to Ipswich.

Thinking about this now, I just feel so proud and excited. Go Ipswich! Go young people! You give me hope and inspiration, you really do 🙂

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