• Kristin Perissinotto

Ignorance is bliss, apathy is cruel

It's election season, which means the heated political conversations over strained family dinners will soon be reaching a peak. News feeds will be chock-a-block with propaganda from every candidate and hopeful incumbent. Every chance to vote is important, but this year, the stakes feel incredibly high. Scott Morrison has made himself an enemy of many groups of Australians - possibly every group except one (you can guess which), and he an his friends and foes in the Coalition are side by side on the 'least trusted politicians' list.

Scott and his government are about to get a lot of heat from the progressive left. And we at Cheek are included in that. You will be hearing a LOT from us in the lead up to the election, which is likely to be May 14 or 21. But I want to turn attention, at least temporarily, to the people who enable the Scott Morrisons and Peter Duttons of this country. Their voters. I often say the worst thing about the government is that if reflects society. And this government is a reflection, at least one from 2019, of voters.

Ignorance certainly is blissful. There are days I've read a piece of news so disheartening that I wish I could turn back the previous five minutes of my day and watch a Hamish and Andy bit from 2005 instead of consuming the story that will now be engrained in my mind for the next three business days. And there are people, voters, out there who I am sure are just blissfully unaware. Sheltered. Ignorant of many atrocities going on under this government. But they are the lesser evil.

Yes, people ignorant to the issues should make the effort to educate themselves, become aware of the issues happening right under their noses and in their wider communities. And ignorance doesn't mitigate harm. But there is so much power in an apathetic voter. A voter who perhaps describes themselves as 'socially progressive but economically conservative,' a phrase I believe can be translated to "I know about social issues, but they aren't more important than my tax breaks, and I don't want people to think I'm problematic."

Apathetic voting is selfish in the purest meaning of the word. It has a focus on oneself, one's own interests entirely, or at least to a higher importance. Apathetic voting is saying 'I know how refugees are treated in this country, I know the toxic culture of Morrison's government, I know how many social issues that have been made worse or ignored under this government, I know wages and working conditions have declined for the middle and working classes... But I'll vote in my own interests anyway.' Because these facts are true. There is ample proof. Statistics and facts, not 'Labor's lies' as we will be told by conservative media. Love Labor or hate them, it's not about any other party or candidate. Conditions for the average Australian (not the billionaires) have declined under this government.

Voting in a party with Morrison at the helm is disregarding the many provable lies he has told us. His voters. Even the most dedicated Liberal voter cannot deny this. And no, in this country we don't vote for the Prime Minister, rather for the party, but lets not forget where Morrison has come from. It is his party, however divided they might be, who enables him. Who gives him power. Who chose him to lead. And that's not a party to trust. This party said that Scott was the best leader in the pack. A man who lies, who blames his wife for monumental fuck ups, who disappears, and who cannot get through a simple apology without a 'but'.

I don't like the Liberal Party on any level or at any time, but I am a strong believer in democracy, the right to vote and say your piece, and make up your own mind at the polling booth. But this government is in shambles. Compare this lot to the Liberals in other state governments and even previous federal governments. They aren't even true to their own party's values. Values I don't align with, but can to some extent comprehend. It's not about the Liberal brand this election. It's about THIS government. And anyone whose been paying any attention, anyone who is not completely apathetic to to extreme harm this government is doing, will vote them out.