In January this year I got an email from Michael (site owner for those who don’t know) saying:
“We had 1.95 million visitors in our first year and I reckon we’ll easily get 3 million this year.”
A quick look at the stats shows that, 4 months after that email, we look like going over 4 million views sometime this week, or even today if Victoria writes another blockbuster. Her last story has had well over 400,000 views in two days. That is over 2% of the adult population of Australia (and yes I realise some were repeat views but still, that’s a lot of people considering we only need to change 30,000 votes in marginal seats, or get young people to enrol, to change the government).
The wonderful thing about this site is the contribution made by the commenters. I have learned so much from their insights, their knowledge and experience, and the many links they share.
People disagree at times but, in the main, it is done in a respectful, constructive way, unlike some of the pure vitriole I see poured out on Facebook. Sometimes people are critical of literary style, sometimes of opinion or subject matter, and any errors are quickly pointed out. This is a good thing as it improves what we do, though I would ask for a little leeway on typos as we do not have staff to help us and when proofreading your own stuff your eyes see what your mind meant. Point out necessary corrections but do so with some empathy for we imperfect scribes.
This is not just a safe haven where “communist pot-smoking lesbians” can congregate in comfort or “tree-hugging atheist leftards” can spit venom about Tony Abbott. This is an information exchange, an exchange of ideas, a place where the truth matters to us, as do tolerance and respect.
It would be fair to say that we generally share a progressive’s desire for social justice and that our regular readers tend towards the left but it would be wrong to think it is just a round of back-slapping Labor/Green devotees who think all things Labor/Green are good and all things Coalition are bad. Those parties attract as much scrutiny and criticism as does the Coalition, at times even more so as we plead with them to offer a strong alternative message. It’s more about the ideas and policies than the parties.
Great suggestions are made every day by people who genuinely want our country to be a better place for ALL Australians. The occasional accusation of envy and class warfare does not hold water. I have not seen anyone ever suggest that Communism would be a better alternative (though a philosophical debate can be mounted – shame about human greed and corruption), or that we should nationalise all industry.
If we could just stop this being a game played by two teams and started pooling our resources, think just how productive we could be in finding solutions to the nation’s problems both in the short and long term. Think how much money would be saved if the political parties didn’t have to promote themselves and how much more constructively time could be spent.
For those Labor voters who want us to sit back and watch Tony implode so we can win next time, we cannot afford to let him wreak three years of havoc while we refuse to point out a better way. We must force him to change his mind by offering alternatives that produce better results, informing the public, and making our voice heard loud and clear.
We were largely ignored when we marched in March – a disorganised rabble with no clear message and no official backing. How wrong they were. These were not professional protesters, they were not militant unionists, they had nothing in common at all except a growing unease about the direction this government was headed – and that was BEFORE the budget! The grandparents got the ball rolling, the students picked it up and hit the line running. The scientists are being as loud as scientists get, the teachers are campaigning, the medical fraternity is pleading to be given some say in health policies, the welfare and environmental groups are doing interviews and running court cases and protests and banding together to lobby the government. Bloggers are typing their fingers to the bone while they drink endless cups of coffee as they surf the net to find and pass on the truth.
“Unfortunately, large swathes of the population are lazy and take no interest in politics at all because it requires thinking. Easier to blithely accept the repeated lies and cast your vote for the one who seems to espouse your values rather than look deeper and doing the research into their policies and their actions.
In many respects, it is the populace who is also complicit in this situation. In refusing to engage with politics, in not wanting to expend the time and effort to look deeper than the superficial messages delivered by a compliant media, to analyse the policies and extrapolate the outcomes, we allow these kinds of sociapaths free rein to implement their evil plans.
We need a way to make people engage, to realise they are not powerless, to see there are other choices available, other parties, better candidates and outcomes that could better serve us all, rather than allowing a select few to run riot and dictate their terms and impose their ideologies onto us. It should be we who dictate our wishes to the government.”
A tsunami is small when it first starts. We don’t need a tidal wave, just an invigorating incoming tide buoyed by the support of the people of Australia.
I salute you all and your contribution is appreciated and applauded. This is a smart country, we just have to get Tony to listen. Keep learning, sharing ideas, and spreading the word. The picture at the beginning of this article may seem optimistic but the more I see the more I believe…..the tide has turned.
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