I need to begin this by saying this is not a political commentary. It is not a political opinion piece. It is not a political reflection. This is a letter to you, the Australian citizen about the way you are choosing to respond to the events of the past 27 hours.
Yesterday, as I know you're aware, we got a new prime minister. Same party, different face. For some this was a joyous occasion, calling for the champagne to be put on the ice. For others it was a lament to their fearless leaders loss of power. And for some it was just something else taking up their news and newsfeed. But what I want to know is, how are you responding today?
Are you part of the crowd that is happily on social media slamming and shaming our former prime minister? Are you a part of the crowd that is infatuated with our new Prime Minister's charming and charismatic ways, full of hope for the way he's going to change this country? Are you a part of the crowd calling to bring Johnny back? Are you a part of the crowd that wishes this would all go away so their newsfeed would return to normal?
Regardless of where you fall on this scale, I challenge you to remember two things:
1) They're humans, just like you. Did Abbott make mistakes? Yes. Will Turnbull make mistakes? Yes. Did Gillard and Rudd and Howard and Keating and Hawke all make mistakes? Yes. Does shaming, glorifying, slamming or idolising change any of this? No. Is the prime minister the person that calls all the shots anyway? Well, not really. They're the face of the party that we as a nation voted in, and the fact of the matter is having the choice that we do, all parties are going to have policies that we like and dislike. If it's not the Liberal party stopping the boats that upsets you, it's the Labor party and their carbon tax. Either way it's our prime minister's job to represent us, and that's going to include things that the entire nation won't agree on, but before you go slamming or glorifying, remember that they're human, not a faultless God.
2) Rarely do we know the full story. Ever been dobbed on by a sibling, who only told Mum half the story? It is really, really hard to get the full story anywhere in political media. Because sometimes even they don't have the full story. And also, the full story would probably take a really long time to get, and we probably wouldn't find it all that easy to follow. The decisions that come out of our government are deliberated on immensely. That's why they have a big building filled with comfy chairs in Canberra. When the prime minister announces a decision or policy, there has probably been literally thousands of events, letters, voices and consultants considered to make that decision. And for the decision to have been made in a way that you would see fit, someone without the full story, would probably mean an implication somewhere along the line that you then didn't agree with. If we were all fit to be prime minister's we all would be, we need to put some trust in our government and their ability to make decisions, and sometimes that means we won't like or understand it, but trust that the politicians and political advisors are doing their jobs.
I am in no way commenting on whether or not I was for, or against Tony Abbott, or whether I am for or against Malcolm Turnbull. And I'm also not talking about whether or not you personally like or dislike either of these men. What I'm commenting on is our response as Australian's. Because quite frankly today I was a little surprised at the sheer volume of hateful comments, romanticised opinions, and self-proclaimed political experts that I found in my newsfeed.
Come on Australians, let's not forget our humanity.
Tony - thanks for all you did, and Malcolm thanks for all you will do.
A passive self-proclaimed political observer.