My name is Catherine, and I want you to vote intelligently.
That’s all, really. I mean, I’m also a left-wing, feminist, greenie, unionist, inner-city, social justice type, so it does make me happy when people vote for parties that express these values, but honestly, I mostly want people to vote consciously and thoughtfully and knowing what they are voting for. Even if they are voting for a party I really hate. About my only comfort in the Howard era was that I was a scrutineer in several of those elections, and therefore knew that, yes indeed, this really was what the public had voted for. (Though I couldn’t really understand why.)
The political posts on this blog therefore fall into two general categories.
First, there are the posts and letters about specific issues. They are full of opinions which you are entirely at liberty to disagree with or not even read. I’m fine with that. I mean, I’ll quietly think you are wrong, but that’s OK, because you also get to quietly think I’m wrong, and we can all be happy in mutual feelings of superiority. Everyone wins.
Second, there are the posts about specific political parties and politicians. This is the part where, before each election that I’m eligible to vote in (Australian ones in general, and Victorian ones in particular), I go to every website belonging to every party or individual on the Senate ticket for my state, read every single one of their policies, and report back on them. Where possible, I also report on who is preferencing whom in the Senate. These are the posts I want you to read even if you personally hate my side of politics, because while these posts are opinionated, they are also as honest as I can make them. I always link back to the website and the policies I’m discussing, if such a website exists, and I make it as clear as I can which parts of these posts are direct reporting and which are commentary, even when my blood pressure is rising steadily. I do think these posts can be useful to people on all sides of politics, so long as they are interested in what the political parties in questions are saying about themselves. I don’t, on the whole, delve into the goings-on in Parliament, or into matters of political strategy because I can’t and don’t claim any true expertise in politics. What I do know how to do is read a set of policies, summarise them, and comment on their contents. You could probably do that too, and I encourage you to do so. It’s time-consuming, but worthwhile.
Then there are the non-political posts. These are mainly silly poetry, though just occasionally, I write something worth reading. You can ignore those, too. I mostly wanted to have them somewhere I could find them later.
Addendum: You have probably noticed that this blog is very sporadic. This is because I work for a living in a job which is completely unrelated to politics, but which is all-consuming at times. A lot of political issues simply pass this blog by because they fall at a season when I am working ridiculous hours running events or writing grants, and I just don’t have time to think about anything else. It doesn’t mean I don’t care about these issues, or, alas, that I don’t feel guilty about the things I don’t find time to write about. But there is only one of me, and occasionally, I have to sleep.