As this election season goes on, I find myself at a bit of a crossroads. Shortly after moving to Australia, I figured I was an Australian Democrat (centrist, although still rather left by American standards).
Then the Liberal Party (centre-right, although centre by American standards) put Malcolm Turnbull in charge. I started out indifferent towards Mal, but despite his Republican (as in turfing the Monarchy, not as in GOP) sensibilities, Scrooge McDuck background, and disinterest in same sex marriage, he actually seemed rather decent and willing to make the Liberal-National coalition more moderate. He also was more charismatic than Rudd.
Through some bizarre twist that oddly mirrored how Rudd fell, Mal got the boot in favour of Tony “Mad Monk” Abbott…by one vote. Poor Mal said that he was going to leave politics, but fortunately stayed. Still, he’s not leading the Coalition at the moment, so the Liberals got struck off my list.
As for Labor, I’ll be honest with you, I did not like Kevin Rudd at all. He seemed too socially conservative and travelled too much as opposed to dealing with domestic concerns. I was happy when Gillard took the reins (although as an American, watching Westminster-style politics in action is very strange…it comes across as almost too secretive and devoid of public input).
Now the AusDems are making a play for disaffected Liberal voters (particularly those who are horrified by the Mad Monk), and by all intents and purposes, I should be quite happy for the party to be gaining strength.
Yet, I now find myself attracted to a party that I used to be horrified by: The Greens.
As left as I am, I just always found the Greens to have their priorities in the wrong place. Call me selfish, but I’m “people over plants.” I care about the environment, but not enough to make it a political ideology.
The Greens must have heard enough people with similar reservations, because they have moderated their message.
Health, infrastructure, and in favour same-sex marriage, I’m sold…for now.
Just keep things sane, Bob. Please.