To understand modern politics through the Left/Right divide is to misunderstand the great challenges of our generation.
The battlelines of modern Australian politics are certainly not as clear as those of my parent’s generation. They knew it was finally time to force white man to withdraw his gun from the throats of black citizens throughout the world. They knew that it was finally time for their daughters to be afforded the same justices as their sons, and that their sons should no longer serve as the cannon fodder of international relations. They knew what time they were in because they knew… ‘It was time’.
They won many battles, but certainly not the war. Thatcher and Reagan won the war.
The political battlelines of my generation are deliberately displaced, and distorted by a political establishment that requires an ignorant electorate for its survival. We need new politicians who reject this establishment. It was my aim to oppose the establishment last year within Katter’s Australian Party, and it is my aim to do the same now with The Australian Sex Party – Canberra.
I am proud of the fact that my political debut was one where I had to fight at every turn. It was a lonely journey but one I felt I had to take – perhaps as a personal rite of passage. I took a small political party to its most unlikely place in Australia, and every wink or nod of approval was one that I earned, and every vote, no matter how few, was a great honour.
There are too many young politicians whose conception of politics as an end stage with a script to read and a score playing in the background, but it’s really more like a delicate canvass whereon people’s hopes for a better future need to be painted with as much wisdom, strength and imagination that one can muster.
I don’t have that wisdom yet as I am only thirty years of age, but I will, because I have the conviction to take the road less travelled and in doing so an unyielding hope to make a difference.
When I made national headlines last year by supporting marriage equality, it may surprise many of you that Katter supported me. There were members of the party that tried to remove me, but in the end, I removed them. I remember Katter’s advice verbatim, ‘Steve, just stand up for what you believe in and tell everyone else to go root their boots’.
It may not have been politically expedient to split the party, but politics at its best is not for the politically expedient or the naive and selfish with small attention spans. It is not for those who seek preselection by surrendering to the conformities of the Liberal/Labor/Green machines, for even a dead fish can go with the flow. It is for those who can ‘fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run’; it is for those who can stand with a hard yet humble head when all around them, friend and foe, pull to sit you down; it is for those who understand the real battlelines of modern Australian politics.
The real battle is not between the Right and Left; it is between a corporate agenda and the public realm – and the public realm is failing. As a libertarian I reject media empires, corporate monopolies, corrupt financial systems, and social values imposed by government. As JFK said, ‘conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth’, and that is why I joined The Australian Sex Party.
Steven Bailey is the First Officer and Team Leader of The Australian Sex Party – Canberra. Through theatre, music, education, and politics, Steven believes we can make stronger communities and a better world.