For those of you who are locals, you may recognise which political party this catchphrase belongs to. Let me be clear right off the bat, I am not publicly endorsing any political party, and I never will.
My personal political views are kept strictly between me and my voting paper – and perhaps the long-suffering Mr Oh Waily. I have many reasons for this and most centre around my desire NOT to live in a bubble of politically similar people. I do not want to drive people out my ‘friends list’ simply because they DO wish to live in their own personal political bubble. I actually like the diversity of opinion, even when I wonder to myself where some folk get their ideas from. I don’t feel like I need to agree with them or have them agree with me. That strikes me as quite arrogant – the “I know best” worldview, better suited to those who want to be an actual politician.
Politics is tribal enough without my help in pushing the ‘us and them’ agenda by arguing the case for my point of view. It’s a well-known fact (yes, a scientifically studied thing) that pushing harder against ingrained views makes those views even more ingrained. And I most certainly wouldn’t indulge in a discussion online about it, with all the missing body language cues and subtlety that can come from a live conversation on a topic.
So what am I doing with a political party’s slogan attached to my blog?
Simple. I agree with it.
In its entirety.
No matter what your political persuasion, viewpoint or whatnot, the key to our society being a vibrant one is to have a voter base that “Cares”, “Thinks” and “Votes”.
The scary thing about this slogan is that it asks you to ‘think’. It’s easy to care and relatively easy to vote.
I care enough to want good things for my family, my friends, my fellow country folk. The hard part is to think through what that looks like in practice and then to assess the plans to get us there that are being ‘sold’ by political parties. Will the policies actually deliver the society that you are envisaging? And make no mistake – they are ‘selling’ you stuff… and often only the pretty side of their stuff, not the dark side. And please don’t imagine there isn’t a dark side to anyone’s stuff – because there is. We do not, and can not, live in a Utopia. Someone somewhere will be negatively affected by most policies offered by all the parties and we shouldn’t forget that when making our decisions. Those people matter too.
There are plenty of observations about the political scene and what seems to drive the voting public that I could make, but for today my message is a simple one… please don’t be a sheep.
It doesn’t matter if you are a blue sheep, red sheep, green sheep, black sheep, yellow sheep, or rainbow sheep… please don’t just stay stuck in your tribal rut because you think it matches your world view or your internal picture of ‘who you are’. Take time to reassess the validity of your tribe’s plans and actually read the other tribes’ plans too… not with the intent to tear them to pieces, but to examine them and think about where they might lead. Mindless voting, by routine tribal identification, is like putting your ladder up against a tall wall without even looking up to see where that’s taking you or our country.
Just because an idea may have worked five years ago, or ten years ago, or twenty years ago doesn’t mean it will work in the next five or ten or twenty years. The world changes. Circumstances change. Society changes. The ways to reach your ‘ideal society’ may need to change now, too. It may even involve some self-sacrifice… a concept that has seemingly gone out of fashion. But that’s another story.
Anyway, please take the time to do the “thinking” part, don’t brush over it.
And then, do the important final step – go Vote !