I am giving serious consideration to doing something which has never before, in my 54 years, come to the forefront of my consciousness.
I’m very close to joining a political party. Specifically, the Australian Labor Party. Why?
Well, as some of us do, I spend a deal of time on social media (Twitter) discussing the ebb & flow of Australian politics with like-minded folk. During a discussion last weekend, I happened to make the following observations about the current media hype re: leadership spills, the state of politics in this country and Main Stream Media’s role in it all. To be succinct, I’ll simply list the tweet URLs in order:
https://twitter.com/#!/hyperdermik/status/165589887536480256 in relation to the hype about Kevin Rudd making a comeback
https://twitter.com/#!/hyperdermik/status/165590406262829056 in relation to my abject disappointment in what Labor has become
https://twitter.com/#!/hyperdermik/status/165596646065963009 says what it means & means what it says
https://twitter.com/#!/hyperdermik/status/165591465970507776 ditto with this one
https://twitter.com/#!/hyperdermik/status/165591947602440194 the lynchpin in my thought processes, which was followed by Mike Kelly, the member for Eden-Monaro replying https://twitter.com/#!/MikeKellyMP/status/165659419139522561.
Mike is one of a scant few elected representatives who genuinely appear to understand the power of social media. He is a prolific tweeter, always on-song and always willing to engage with constituents and non-constituents alike. I asked him to look into Bowman for me, perhaps give me some feedback on the local branch structure. He did so, getting back to me a day later. The process of seeking membership of the ALP is simple. Fill out a form which can be found on the ALP website, pay $50.00 and be given the choices of local branches within your residential area, an intro and contact details for the branch secretary. Of course then, you trundle along & find out what being a part of the membership of a political party is all about.
So, am I likely to be of any use to the ALP as a paid-up member? Sure, the money never goes astray, does it, but will my voice count for anything? Indeed, SHOULD my voice count for anything as a newbie member, albeit, lifetime supporter? More pointedly, what is making me actually WANT to have a voice in a party which appears to be actively ignoring it’s rank-and-file membership and electoral base? Perhaps this is desperation stakes for me. MY party, MY beliefs which I have held so very dear all of my adult life, seems to be slipping away to the right-hand side of the ideological divide. I don’t feel it’s the party of the worker anymore, nor do I feel the ‘egalitarianism’ so often espoused by the Parliamentary party, is MY egalitarianism. It’s not what I was taught, it’s not what my father instilled in me. The greatest good for the greatest number. I find my thoughts on this subject jumbled. I WANT to have a say, I WANT to be recognised as someone who is losing his treasured philosophical and political benchmark as personified by those I chose to democratically elect. I cannot, in any way, shape or form, cast my vote away on conservatism, nor do I find the Green flavour alluring. I’m left wondering, how many other rusted on Labor voters are feeling as I do today?