Of Pride, Politics and Portliness

SITTING in a quit bowls club yesterday I was happily watching the Australian Open with a mate.

We were both half watching the man on the table next to us, his periodic grumbles catching our attention.

It was the ads you see.


Palmer United, the LNP, Labor – every add break at the tennis brought with it a new form of entertainment for us, as this random middle aged man would grumble (to no one in particular) about what this party or that had or hadn’t done.

It is that time after all.

That time of the political cycle when the Gold Coast – indeed all of Queensland – must choose the men and women who they think best represent their interests, or the interests of the state as a whole.

Being interested in politics (and having imbibed some of the amber nectar), I could not help but turn around and have a chat to this portly, bearded gentleman.

“Sounds like you will be in for a busy two weeks, trying to find out which party you hate least to vote for,” I said.

I don’t exactly know what I expected from a man drinking Resches and wearing crocs, but his response really annoyed me.

“I’m not voting at all, they are all cheats and liars.”

Perhaps it would not have got on my nerves so much if he had have acted a jaded, beaten voter fed up with being lied to and cheated on.

But the emotion he was expressing was pride.

Pride at his self-diagnosed cleverness that was in fact the height of ignorance.

I couldn’t help myself.

“But you can’t do that,” I said, fresh from watching a re-run of The Newsroom’s Don Quixote episode and choc full of altruism.

“It is not just your right, it is your responsibility to be informed and vote for who you think is the best.”

His response, to his credit, was more succinct and honest that many politicians have been of late.

“F**k ‘em,” he said, declaring he needed to go to the toilet.

Needless to say it was there that our hearty political discourse ended, but it got my thinking, how many Gold Coasters, how many Queenslanders, are out there right now feeling exactly what he felt?

How many couldn’t be bothered, or could be but are so jaded they simply don’t bother?

Don’t be that person who proclaims proudly that you are going to vote for someone based on your complete lack of knowledge of the issues.

Be responsible for your vote – take fifteen minutes out of one day jump online and read about the people in your electorate, what they stand for and what they promise to do for you and for the Gold Coast.

That would be something to be proud of.

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