Why I voted the way I did.

A friend posted on my Facebook page today that he is a ‘Proud Australian’. Therefore, he says, Fawad Ahmed should be kicked off the Australian Cricket team because he is Muslim and not wearing the beer sponsor’s logo due to religious sensitivity. 

See background here: http://ow.ly/22kEsx
Never mind that the Australian Cricket Board initiated the removal of the beer logo, not Ahmed. Never mind that the sponsor had no objection. Never mind that his team mates had no objection. 

So I pointed out to my ‘friend’ the Ahmed had done nothing wrong. The friend, let’s call him Peter (because it is his real name) proceeded to rant about ‘thought police’ and then ‘unfriended’ me. 

Well, I’m a proud Aussie who thinks the Australian Cricket Board showed great leadership. I’m a proud Aussie who thinks the sponsor took a great stand. I’m a proud Aussie who thinks the team mates did the right thing. 

And I’m a proud Aussie who thinks it is sad that an ageing old man well over 60 still can’t support a decision the Australian Cricket Board, Victoria Bitter and the Australian Cricket team all support and instead spits views that would not have been out of place in the pre 1960’s white Australia days.

In my recent post ‘Why I Quit the Labor Party’ (see here: http://futureoz.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/why-i-quit-labor-party.html) I wrote: 

Even though my family had a strong Labor background, my joining was not automatic. I took the time and made my own decision on which party to join. The choice came after deep thought.

In the end I summed up my reasoning thus: One can not look at the moderates of either political party for guidance on which to join, for they are too similar. One has to look at the radicals of the parties and decide which is least disconcerting.”

Peter inadvertently reminded me of this and helped me decide which way I should vote.

I may hold my nose at some of Labor’s internal ructions. I may disagree strongly with some of their policies, especially on asylum. I may remain a non member of the party. There may be many of the policies of the Liberal Party I prefer. Even the ABC’s election compass puts me smack in the middle of the two.

But Peter has reminded me of the views that some of the radical elements of Australia’s political system hold. He has reminded me of my own test. Do not look to the bits you like, look to the bits you are most uncomfortable with.

Never mind that Fawad Ahmed is an Australian citizen. Never mind that he is in the national team. Never mind that Cricket Australia, the team and the sponsors have no problem. No, according to Peter, Ahmed should be kicked off the team only because Cricket Australia offered him a sympathetic ear to a religious belief he holds firmly.

While I am sure the mainstream politicians would not support Peter, I know that some of the more radical of their supporters do. 

I have struggled in this election to decide which way to vote. I have ‘ahm’d and err’d’ of pros and cons of both sides. But with Peter’s comment I am now reminded which side of politics I am more uncomfortable with and which I am least uncomfortable with.

Thanks Peter for reminding me how some on the extremes think and thanks for making my voting decision clear.

More discussion like this is in: : 


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