So, I’m having this ultrasound… (warning: involves politics)

… and chatting away to the tech, as you do.  I mean, she’s already manhandled (that soooo doesn’t sound right for the next noun) my breasts through 4 different films for the mammography portion of today’s delights, it’s not like I can lie there and pretend she’s invisible.

So we discuss health care costs (she’s worked in the UK for a year previously and relates that the NHS is so overstrained that patients there were waiting ridiculous times for things – 9 weeks for an MRI, 2 weeks for mammogram results, where patients at the practice where she now works have a tantrum if they have to wait two hours) and travel.

She seems nice, if young.

And then: the bombshell.  She tells me her choice for preferred Prime Minister.  It’s not either of the two in (serious) contention this coming Saturday; rather, someone I find quite terrifying for his lack of compassion, a senior figure in the Liberal party.

(For my overseas readers, you need to know that

  1. the “Liberal Party” represents values that are anything but, just as “The Labor Party” seems to have actively distanced itself from its Trade Union roots and ethics, and
  2. although Australia does NOT vote presidential style directly for a Prime Minister, that’s the way most people seem to think of what’s happening.  We actually vote for local representation (in the Lower House) and State Representation (in the Senate) and the parties choose the PM.  It’s a little more complicated than that, but you can google it if you’re really all that interested, which I suspect you’re not.)
  3. Oh, and BTW, voting is compulsory in Australia.  Provided you’re over 18 and not serving a long jail term, you have to vote.

Such a nice, professional, obviously smart young woman – I find myself shocked that she could possibly think that (Her Preferred PM)  would be good for the country!  I keep the conversation away from politics after that and we’re done, anyway – I can spend the next 10 minutes trying to wipe the ultrasound goo off myself with completely inadequate non-absorbent paper towels and get dressed.

I keep thinking about her choice as I’m having coffee at the mall, later.  I’m still shocked that she believes that bloke would be better at running the country than the parties’ current leaders.  He does TV very well – and I think that’s what her decision is mainly based on.  And then I think – hang on – how many other people have based their decisions on the fact that (whichever leader/member of parliament/Senator) gives a good sound bite?  Do people really care about drilling down into policies, past the quick dot points, and seeing what such and such a change really means for them?

I don’t know that they do.

I despair.