Religion and politics… hold on to your hats folks

So the election that we had to have has finally been called. Seriously, as if what we’ve endured for the last six months hasn’t been electioneering. Pffff.
24 November can’t come soon enough, and not just because it means there’s only 5 days to my beautiful friend K’s b’day.
Dear LORD I hate election time.
As if we don’t see and hear enough of John Muppet Howard and Kevin Fraggle Rudd every effing day as it is. If this means I have to see even more of that Peter Costello smirk or Joe Hockey mass I may manifest an eating disorder without even trying.
That filibustering aside I am – in all seriousness – conflicted come this election.
Has John Howard and Team Howard delivered economic prosperity? Most definitely.
Has that same team, in doing so, irreparably altered the Australian psyche and cultural landscape and not in a good way? Absolutely.
We’re meaner, sneakier, less tolerant (and I’m not just talking about race or religion), more selfish and less compassionate.

We’ve moved from “no one gets left behind” to “what’s in it for me” and I just don’t think that is a good thing.

There is finally a Labor team that will give Howard a good fight to the finish line, but despite being a Labor girl through and through they’re not exactly lighting my fire.

And I wonder if I’m alone in this. That I’m taking keen interest in the creation of a Carer’s Party and the heightened role of the Greens in recent State elections. Is this a time the single interest parties will come into their own? Where the differences between the Liberals and Labor are so few and the lines so blurred people decide to go a completely different tack?

I’d love to know the stats on this – you know the drill, that 80 per cent or some such will always vote Liberal or Labor irrespective of what else is on the table – or is that 90 percent or 70 or what?

But throw into this mix something that is now patently clear in the US political landscape and only really starting to gain momentum and therefore power here – the rise of the conservative religious power brokers within our political parties, pulling strings the general public doesn’t see until policy decisions and funding arrangements have been made and its all too late. Until they are setting the agenda.

It sounds ridiculous but there’s been this discussion swimming around about the role of Hillsong (the biggest evangelical church in Australia I believe) in getting contestants up and in to Australian Idol. To be perfectly honest, I really don’t care and think it’s quite ingenious if they did.Producing cleanskined little popstars seems relatively harmless to me compared to getting into the halls of power and dictating the debate on abortion, womens rights and what constitutes a marriage or even a relationship. I have my own gut opinions about the rise of the evangelical movement and its power in filling a void in people’s lives that in the past have been filled by the ‘normal’ church, a sense of community, interest groups and family but that is nothing new to anyone.

All I can say is roll on 24 November and let’s be done with it. I have reached a point in my life where I can see that history does repeat itself and that time is indeed a process during which things can be said, done, re-examined and even healed. The next six weeks will be painful. I’m going to do my best to avoid commercial television at all costs.

Evenmoreso on hearing the plans for an Australian version of So you think you can dance. It is one thing to watch Americans shakin’ their booty as entertainment. I can only imagine how many Taylahs, Trents, Brittneys, Tai/Kai/Jesses and Madysons are already vaselining the teeth, teasing the fringe and attaching feathers to luridly pink lycra in anticipation.

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