I have always wondered whether or not you could change someones personal political preferences. I am Progressive/Liberal/Left Wing Nut and have been for a while. Before that, I was probably too young to do anything but echo my parents thoughts.
Political views seem to come naturally, for some reason you naturally feel them. Sometimes it comes down to how much compassion you have, how realistic you are, whether or not you feel we need make a difference as a collective or just how much you care about politics at all.
There are of course stereotypes, Conservatives are anti-taxes, anti-gay, anti-minorities. Liberals are gay abortion loving fiends who want to open our borders to anyone who would want to enter.
Neither are usually true, there are extremes on either side, but usually most people fall somewhere in between. Admittedly I don’t. I am closer to the extreme than I am to the center, but I understand most people are fairly ambivalent about politics. Usually to do with the tiresome partisan back and forth which seems to dominate.
“All politicians are crooks, they all lie, they are all disingenuous and will say anything to get elected and then turn their back on their principles as soon as they are elected to stay in power.” Is the prevailing wisdom.
Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd has been accused of that recently, when it comes to Asylum Seekers.
The left see him as John Howard 2.0. Who had a colourful track record of not being a friend of Asylum Seekers or even International Laws relating to them.
Now Rudd, who often spoke critically of Howard is following closely in his footsteps. His party denies this of course, but he is towing the line of ‘getting the balance right’ and wanting to be tough on the borders while being ‘humane’ to Asylum seekers.
That of course still means locking them up in what are called ‘detention centres’ but they closely mirror prisons more than a camp of any kind I have ever been to.
Now I am not saying we should open the borders and let anyone enter, I am supportive of making sure we do check those who come here, and if that means securing them to do so then it’s probably a good idea, but locking them up in a prison style camp is not my idea of ‘humane’. Especially to people who have suffered to escape from wars and the possibility of having themselves and their family killed.
Rudd can’t say he wants to be humane to Asylum seekers then send them to Christmas Island. Or send a boat load of people to Indonesia to experience far worse conditions, even if they were in Indonesian waters but were seeking refuge in Australia. That is disingenuous.
It seems Rudd is unable to pick a side. Howard could at least do that. You knew where he stood, while Rudd, well he has one foot on each side of the fence and before he knows it, he will be doing some very painful splits and will ultimately end up pleasing no one.