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EDITORIAL: Absorbing politics

Welcome to the club if you are sick to death of talking about the COVID-19 pandemic.

But it would be lax of us to ignore just how much the experience has taught us about ourselves, our day-to-day lives and society as a whole.

Its impact has touched and influenced us in so many ways and has constantly challenged our sensibilities on what is the true ‘normal’.

It has asked us to consider aspects of modern western democratic life that we might have in the recent past taken for granted or brushed over and demanded us all to take individual action.

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As we’ve attempted to fight our way out of this global disaster, subjects such as community health and wellbeing, education and the socio-economic state of affairs surrounding our workforce have continually gone through the ringer, seemingly squeezing out every conceivable issue. 

Underpinning it all and attracting particular scrutiny has been our processes of governance and the ability of our state and federal leaders and their parties to work with the community to get through the pandemic.

Impressions are different for everyone, but some of us have come to acknowledge that regardless of how severe a collective circumstance, the world of politics and politicking never ends. 

Through this great saga we’ve seen it all –  moments of impressive individual steadfast and stoic leadership but also weaknesses in political argument, process and accountability.

We’ve seen declarations of support as well as condemning criticism and all the while tried to wade through ever-changing and what have occasionally seemed ambiguous directives, especially when understanding the differences between metropolitan and regional Victoria.

People have had an opportunity to see broad political party governance, policy direction and philosophy and all the reaction it can generate in its rawest form.

During the process, some have appealed for a united political front. Others have demanded the scrutinization and accountability demands of political process to remain firm. There has been much for us all to absorb.

Our concentrated efforts at the moment are to do the best we can to maintain a sense of normality, endure restrictions and maintain a vigilance in suppressing this virus.

But there will soon come times, as part of the democratic process, that Australians and Victorians will mark political report cards. 

For Victorians it will come at the next State Election, scheduled for November 26, 2022. For Australia, the next Federal Election will be before or during 2022.

Will voting reflect sentiment based on all that’s happened this year and what might still happen, or will people have removed themselves from the past and moved on?

Much remains to be seen.

The entire October 14, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!