Tuesday, September 10, 2013


What follows is my own opinion.  I know it is not everyone's and I am truly glad to live in a country where I am free to vote for whomever I wish.  I am grateful to have a vote when so many women are denied this right.  ...and I also appreciate the freedom to express my opinions here.

Well, we've had a bit of a change over here in the past week..... there is a new Federal government and a new Prime Minister.

...and the emotions of the day, both in the queue at the polling booth (a really rude, racist man yelled at an elderly Asian lady, I just gave him my best teacher stare which seemed to shut him up .... and then later he followed the kids and I back to our car in order to hurl abuse at us) and the certainty that we were headed towards a new political era  ....  left me unable to calm down at the end of the day.

I was in tears as I watched the tally unfold. I was pacing the room and shouting at the television.   Really mature.  But really worried about the future of my country.

To add insult to injury, out voting system in the senate has a loophole which seems to have allocated seats to minor, single-issue, ridiculous parties that have an miniscule percentage if the primary vote, but preference deals have seen them somehow gain seats in the upper house. Motoring Enthusiasts Party anyone?  What about the Sporting Party?  Both of these single-issue groups have been handed seats in the upper house. 

It all makes me feel sad and worried about the future of my country.  It seems to me that we are taking a giant leap back 50 years.

...and I had no Greg to commiserate with me. Nobody to remind me that we survived years of this party in government before.  To tell me that things might not actually be as bad as I think they will be (he was ever the optimist but I can't help but focus on the climate-skeptic, right-wing, compassionless characteristics that seem to underpin their policies).  

I know I will pull myself out of this downwards dip and I know that I need to distract myself from thinking too hard about it all.

But for the time being, I shall mope around and kick things 'cause sometimes, that is just what I need to do.

I just hope Greg lets me know he is commiserating with me before I break a toe.....



  1. WOW, I've been enjoying this site for over a year since my husband passed. I'm shocked and saddened by this post as it has been so nice to be somewhere where all widows can share devoid of politics. Your comment of right-wing compassionless is very offensive!

    1. Sorry you feel that way.
      When I was asked to write for Widows Voice, I was asked to write about "my now". As I said at the start of this post, these are my opinions about my country's politics. I know others have different opinions, but for me, this change in government has been extremely traumatic, so I wrote about that. Yes- I do find Australia's right-wing party to not show compassion, but maybe you have read their policies and don't see what I see. Each to their own.

    2. Amanda did not say that people who voted for those in power lacked compassion - but that the policies exhibited characteristics that seemed to be lacking in compassion (though to be fair,compassion seems to be lacking from more than one of the major political parties).

      From your other comment it appears that you are from the US, so it seems likely that you wouldn't be aware of the policies that Amanda is referring to.

      There are many people who have found this election process disheartening, myself included.

      I am embarrassed that the country is now represented by a person who is appearing in international media with embarrassing quotes and presented as a joke - regardless of their left or right leanings.

      I am truly frightened for MY future as the government just elected have policies regarding education cuts, changes to taxation which will effect low income earners, the plan to roll back improvements to childcare - all things which as widowed mother working part time will effect me greatly.

      All this on top of having to vote in a federal election for the first time without knowing my husband is waiting (not quite patiently) outside as I laboriously number the senate paper 'below the line' (I couldn't - had to stick a 1 'above the line' and get out). This on top of not having my husband around to show me things he'd read or clarify where the votes would fall with the preferences or explain the finer points of just about anything I wasn't sure about - it was all too much.

      And I think that's what this post was about - it's not really about politics.

      I find there are many posts where I don't 'agree' with what some of the writers say as my beliefs differ vastly from theirs - but it does not mean that I don't read the posts and take the important bits away that help me navigate my way through this difficult world. I certainly don't get offended by others beliefs.

      Politics are a very big part of some people's life - if Amanda had written about something else this week she wouldn't have been 'true' to herself or to us.

      Thanks Amanda.

  2. So Amanda has the freedom of speech to have her blog posted from Australia, but I don't have that same freedom of speech to have my comment from earlier today posted from the United States?

  3. Dear Anonymous, Please forgive my delay in posting comments today. I have been in meetings, so your comment not being posted didn't have to do with freedom of speech, but rather a lack of ability to post. I am sorry you are offended by Amanda's blog, and then further my the late posting of your comment. I do hope you are still able to find support from the various points of view here on Widow's Voice.

  4. Michelle, I am sorry for accusing Widow's Voice of not posting my comment. I believe it is important for all of us to stay informed about political issues, to debate, and to vote. There are many websites to do those things. I don't see this website as one of those and I will continue to share and find support here which has been invaluable to me and so many others. I appreciate all of the time and energy that you all devote to helping us cope with life without our loved ones. I am 16 months out from losing the love of my life.

  5. WOW - how be we step back and take a breath... To me, it was not about the politics at all, it was about missing that special person with you/beside you to discuss the politics of the day or the events of the day, seeing it though someone else's lenses, from different angles, etc. My partner and I never argued (his mother couldn't understand that), we had lots of discussions (daily) and made comments in our own "safe environment" free from outside criticism or judgements. We would play cribbage and it wasn't about the game (who won or lost) it was about the ongoing discussion as though the cribbage board was our path of life - sometimes one was ahead of the other, but we were always there in the game "counting on each other". Seventeen months out and how I miss that - haven't played cribbage since his sudden passing....nor had those "heart to heart" conversations/discussion that only 2 people deeply, totally and unconditionally in love can have... Yes, I occasionally mutter and curse at my partner because he is gone and I don't have him here to discuss these "worldly issues" - and sometimes very minor issues - with...but immediately I am angry at myself for being angry at him as it is misplaced anger, frustration, etc. at the "unjustness" of his loss to me (I know, that's selfish, but that's the way it is!).

  6. Dear Amanda,

    Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry that I've been away on a business trip and unable to comment until reading this tonight. FWIW, I completely agree with the sentiments expressed by anonymous directly above.

    I feel so terrible that the prior anonymous commenter has so misunderstood your post. It's so tough going through difficult situations without our husbands -- political and otherwise -- and to think that this traumatic experience was made worse for you by one insensitive and ill-informed person is so unfortunate. My guess is that this person knows absolutely nothing about Australian politics and just likes to be mean; her snotty comments to Michele provide evidence for this view.

    Amanda, I can imagine that you may be thinking that you've had it, that you no longer want to post and leave yourself vulnerable to attacks. PLEASE don't feel this way. The vast majority of us adore you and, even if we do ever disagree with your view points, always appreciate your efforts to reach out to us and make us feel less alone.

    My husband was also killed in a horrifying car accident, so I guess I feel especially close to you, and protective of you. I cannot possibly describe how much you've helped me in the past 13 months.

    Please, everyone reading Widows Voice -- these bloggers selflessly give their time and energy to us and ask nothing in return. Can we all please give them the benefit of the doubt even when we might not see eye-to-eye? Can we restrain ourselves from being unkind?

    With love to Amanda and all of us who are struggling to make it through the day.

    Julia S.

    1. Julia - you made a real difference to me today. Thank you.

    2. Amanda, please accept my apology for making a comment that upset you. I made a mistake by verbalizing something without thinking through the consequences. My husband and I also shared everything political and I miss our long intense talks about the state and future of our country. Sometimes I want to kick things too because he isn't here to help me process the politics of the day. That's what I should have shared with you, the fact that we are both widows who hurt because our best friends are not here to talk to about current events. Hugs to you Amanda.

    3. and to you.
      That's what I miss too - talking things through with someone who shares my ideals but who could see different aspects.
      Hugs to you too.