Tuesday, November 27, 2007

It has been a busy fortnight

Before I knew it, almost two weeks have gone past since my last blog entry.

I got involved with GetUp's pre-election campaign and went to meetings, delivered information material to over 300 letterboxes in our village and spent some time at our local polling booth in an effort to "cut through the spin" and provide undecided voters with information on where the different parties stand in relation to particular policy areas such as climate change, education, broadband access for rural Australia, Iraq and Aboriginal affairs. Needless to say, I am thrilled with the election result and I am pleased that maybe, together with the many, many other volunteers around the country, I had a small part in bringing about change for our country.

I also spent a lot of time preparing and planting in the garden, and I have been to permaculture workshops and organic farming field days which provided me with lots of new ideas and insights, but unfortunately I was not able to sit down and write them up for my blog. Hopefully, over the next week or so, I will be able to find the time to share some of those thoughts and ideas with you.

Like many other Australians (in fact, there are now over 230,000 members), I had signed up to GetUp online at www.getup.org.au. GetUp is a grassroots movement similar to the American organisation MoveOn. The organisation does not support any particular party but instead focusses on raising awareness on issues that are important for this country and that had for too long been swept under the carpet by the former Coalition government's spin and scare campaigns.

One of the highly successful GetUp campaigns was the organisation's climate change ad which challenged the Coalition governments' climate change policy whitewash. (I featured this ad in a previous blog entry .) Nevertheless, I had only been a passive online member until the day when I suddenly got a phone call from Dave, our local GetUp co-ordinator. Dave invited me to a meeting the next day. I went along and it all took off from there.

GetUp is not planning to wrap up only because the election is over. The organisation hopes to continue its valuable work of campaigning on political issues in this country and revitalise our democracy by giving ordinary citizens an avenue to voice their opinions and get actively involved in the political process. I was impressed with the professionalism of the organisation and I think this is also a great way of making new friends. I certainly got to know a range of interesting people who live in my area and I hope to continue my involvement with the group.

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