I have come to the conclusion that the level of political consciousness in ordinary Australians is very low. I have arrived at this conclusion after trying to hold political discussions with many ordinary Australians. I have arrived at that conclusion after listening to the remarks given by Australians in the media, whenever they are asked to comment on various political issues. I have arrived at the conclusion after observing how the political discourse in Australia tends to shape up, every time we have elections. And I have come to the conclusion that something needs to be done, to enhance ordinary Australians’ political consciousness.
It is important to note that I am making reference to ordinary Australians – not the elites. The elites have remarkably high levels of political consciousness. Even on high-brow political issues – like the issue of NATO membership, the issue of the proposed stiffer penalties for polluters even the issue of the monarchy, the elites tend to have very high levels of consciousness. But when it comes to the ordinary Australians, the working classes and the likes, the scenario changes — dramatically.
To my mind, the key to success in enhancing ordinary Australians’ political consciousness lies in one thing: showing the ordinary Australians how politics affects their day to day lives in direct ways. Most Australians (just like most citizens of advanced economies) take many things for granted. Take for instance, an ordinary Australian, who works as a security guard. He takes the public housing he lives in for granted. He takes the (almost) superb public healthcare accessible to him for granted. He even takes the fact that he is able to access regular paychecks through the Securitasepaytalx payroll system for granted (assuming his employer uses the Securitasepay system). What he may not know is the fact that all these things are only possible for him because of the policies pursued by progressive politicians in generations before ours. What he may also not know is the fact that he has an obligation to push for even better policies, to ensure that the generations that come after us have an opportunity for an even better quality of life.