For my non-Aussie readers, here's some context: Our government announced its budget plans about a week ago and nearly everyone I know has been flipping tables ever since.
And a context update on my perspective on politics.
Me, I'm a big bucket of unease over the whole thing.
See, I prefer to think my way through things slowly and methodically, and I prefer to read the source text of a document rather than image macros vitriolically thrown about on the internet.
But I haven't yet read the budget. I have had little time for the reading of complex documents, but I intend to read it, and then form an opinion, and then write some letters to people about it.
And in the meantime I'm just working off what other people are saying, which is kind of hinting that a lot of things are going to be removed from the social security side of things. I'm a bucket of unease about this, specifically, because while I have a job, it's not enough for me to get by without the assistance of the social security.
I don't like the situation. I don't like being in this part of the system - if you handed me a full-time job tomorrow, jumping off the welfare would be the first thing I'd do.
But the situation I'm in is particularly difficult for a stack of reasons. And the fact that everyone expects you to not be poor once you're out of uni makes it more of a challenge. (Like, 'you're not studying, so therefore you're working, and you're working full time, in a job that pays enough'. This is not the case for me.)
I'm not entirely sure, but I suspect that I'm poorer now than I was when I was a student. I can get by, but it's also taken me three months to save for car registration, and if you're in this kind of situation and someone walks up to you and says you have to cut down on 'luxurious spending', it's going to cop a raised eyebrow.
This is not a fun situation.
The prospect of having the only thing ensuring I don't starve removed has me uneasy.
The prospect of having my debt from study turned into a small mortgage has me uneasy.
The prospect of my siblings being in a worse place than I in terms of both these things has me really uneasy.
Despite all this, I have not yet read the budget. But I plan to. I plan to read the source text, draw some conclusions, and then write a courteous but direct letter to my local MPs, the head of the Opposition, and possibly the Prime Minister as well. Once I'm informed.
I disagree with a lot of what I am hearing, but I don't want this to turn into a poo-throwing fight. I don't plan on slandering people, and I don't plan on having that backfire.
I do plan on having an opinion, but it's possible to have one without smearing everyone and everything else.
This can't be about the people, it's about the policies. We're still a democracy. I want to treat it like it is one.
And as challenging as it is to think through, we're told as Christians to respect those we have put in power over us. I believe that it's possible to respect and still disagree, or to ask some important questions about things and do it in a mature and well thought-out way, and I want to work with this for as long as I can. I still plan on having an opinion, but I'm gonna do it respectfully, not through a load of internet-hate.
I'm trying really, really hard to be grown up about this.
Expect an update once I've read the budget. And finished my job search for the week. We'll see how long the logic stays in place for.