Simple Truths

For those of you far removed from the media and the election frenzy of the lucky country,  tis election day here today.  Think endless media coverage,  promise after promise and glossy letters in the mail. Miss A has been a keen deckchair observer – like I said before, we take democracy very seriously around here.

She tags along with me to the polling booth after repeated warnings that votes are secret and one should not have a compelling need to announce these inclinations to the kindly old ladies that smile at you and ask you if you are helping Mum with voting. Close on the heels of this warning comes the second one, people will vote either Liberal or Labor. We will walk back to the car politely without disdain of either party or without staring at hapless people angrily and following it up with a “Do you think they voted Labor Mum? Do they not like the Liberals? Why do they not like Tony?”

She keeps her promise on both counts. The dear old lady next to me, I am fairly sure of this, does not know who I voted for this time. Also Julia’s supporters were not heckled by a certain 3 feet high person with bright pink hair ties. A win-win if you ask me.

The minute we are back inside the car comes the question she has contained all along.

“Why did you not vote for Julia? I was watching you. You didn’t put a tick next to her name.”

“Umm, yeah. I don’t like her policies.”

“Why? What policies?”

“Policies as in her thoughts on things”

“What things? Like whether you should vote Labor or Liberal? Because she cannot tell you that. That is your vote”

“Yes. No. I mean it is my vote. And no, she is not telling me who to vote for. But not those policies”

“What then?”

“Things like migration. And refugees. And economics. And religion”

“I have views on these policies”, she tells me after a minute or two. Some irrational part of my brain decides I need to get her to elaborate.

“Yeah, what are your views on migration?”

“Like birds?”

“No, not like birds. What about people from other countries coming to Australia?”

“I would let them all in. As long as they didnt cause trouble. If they do, they go right back. Booooooooom. Not birds though!”

“Of course! What about refugees?”

“What are refugees?”

“People who have lost their home and are in search of a better land”

“I would let them in. But again, they cause trouble and ummm park on the wrong side of the road or something and they are out”

“Where would they go?”

“Anywhere. Not here. They need to follow the rules. They can stay if they do”

“What about religion?”

“What about it?”

“Well, would you pick one religion over another?”

“No. I wouldn’t change mine. And I would never, ever, ever ask someone else to change. Because we don’t have to be exactly like each other, right?” Good point that. Point taken.

“What about defence?”

“What about it?”

“What are you going to do, A, if you have to send our soldiers into war?”

“Our soldiers are already in the war. You said that this morning”

“Yeah, so would you get them back?”

“War is not easy”, she starts, “I don’t have the answer. I guess I would ask some wise people. And see what they say. ”

“Ah ha”

“But the decision is mine okay. Because I would be the Prime Minister, not Julia. You did not vote for Julia anyways”

I am about to ask more questions when she I realize that she has gone silent. She is staring outside the window in deep contemplation.

“You can never really tell whether war is good or bad. Like you can think it is good.  But sometimes it kills good people. But you still need to have a war against those that do bad things, yes?”

“Yes. But no one really wins in a war. Sometimes you have no choice, A”

She is quiet for a minute.  Uncomfortable truths take up a lot of place.

“But we can vote. We have that choice. I am too young to vote. But I could be Prime Minister, you know!”, she tells me.


“Did you know that these people who want votes talk of helping the community?”

“Umm, yeah?”

“Well we are the community. It is all us. We are the ones that can do all this stuff. Really, truly”

I am inclined to agree. The most difficult questions in the world have the most straightforward answers.  Sometimes it as simple as knowing when to accept that you do not know the answers. At other times it is as simple as accepting the answers.

We are but the solutions we seek. And sometimes we rise magnificently higher than everything that holds us down. We are the ones that can do all this stuff. Really. Truly.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Captain Nemo
    Aug 21, 2010 @ 18:56:19

    Simply, true.


  2. Rajavel
    Aug 21, 2010 @ 19:13:14

    This is too much! Just tooooooo much.

    My vote, if i immigrate, is to Ms.A


  3. scarlettletters
    Aug 23, 2010 @ 15:28:09

    Thanks Captain, Rajavel. We currently have a hung parliament – Miss A is most annoyed.


  4. Aria
    Oct 14, 2010 @ 22:05:59

    Interesting conversation .. : )


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