This is a phrase that I thought up at the start of the year, and now it's three days out from the Federal Election in Australia.
I thought now might be the best time to talk about it.
But, I kind of want to preface this blog post with something that my international readers probably need to know:
1. Australians don't often talk about politics
2. Australians are pretty good at slagging off at each other (badmouthing, talking down, slandering etc)
3. Did I mention that we don't talk about politics? At least, not in a coherent or polite way to people of the opposition. <sarcasm> No friendly discussions here! </sarcasm>
I have a few problems with politics in general, which is at least in part because one half of my family is staunch supporters for one political party, and the other half supports the other major party.
A couple years back, we had everyone at out house for Christmas lunch. The talk swung to politics for about 30 seconds before Dad vetoed it. Nice Christmas lunch doesn't need people arguing or getting sour about stuff.
I guess one of my problems is basically to do with Australian culture. We're pretty good at mouthing off to people, and we don't have a lot of respect for authority. I'm not necessarily talking about toeing the line there. I'm talking about actually respecting the political members responsible for looking after the country.
|Yes, let's keep up to date on the election by playing a smartphone app that allows us to hit our politicians. Smooth.|
Case in point.
And that kind of has its own type of reasoning: Australians live in a place that famously spends a lot of time trying to kill its visitors, or makes little sense. We don't trust a lot of promises made by the higher-ups because they frequently fall through.
But that's not the point of my argument. That's just giving us some context to work off, and therefore makes sense why the parodied Australia in Terry Pratchett's Diskworld series elects their Prime Minister and then immediately throws him in gaol.
My problem stemmed from heated discussion between the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader a while back, but it can very easily apply to a lot of things.
This is, that nobody wins a poo-throwing fight.
You can throw as much poo as you like, but the fact of the matter is that in order to throw it, you've still got to touch it.
So, dear political parties, when you want to pitch your spiel to me, don't start by telling me how much the other guy sucks.
In a group environment, anyone can suggest an idea. And then everyone else can contribute to that idea. Any third-rate can say that every idea sucks. If you want to move forward with the idea though, you have to have feedback. Constructive stuff is better.
The opposing sides of Parliament are designed to keep the other in check, but they could make each other better. At the moment everyone's looking like complete noobs.
And see? There's me, one of the mudders, with no interest in respecting anybody in power.
But I digress.
If you have an idea, or a political party has an idea, it should be able to stand on its own two feet without having to slag off the opposition. Otherwise it's like kicking in everyone else's sandcastle so yours looks the best. In that case, there is no longer a 'best sandcastle'. There is just a lot of kicked-in ones and a kicker-of-sandcastles.
Or a thrower-of-poo.
Slander on others does in fact reflect back on the type of person that the giver-of-slander is. And with all of the campaigns at the moment dissing everyone else, it's making me feel like I'm going to have to pick the least worst to vote for, as opposed to the best.
And I really wish I didn't have to do that.
But anyway. Please keep it in mind. Group projects, planning for the weekend with friends, having a fight, whatever. The moment someone sinks to slander, they might have successfully scored a hit on the opposition, but they've also sunk down to do that.
Rise above, my friends.
Rise above, my political leaders.
Because at the end of the poo-fight, someone has to clean up.
And it's not going to be me.