Ever the Acitivist

I don’t really have much of a position on politics. I know I probably should but at this moment in time, I don’t know very much about what’s going on in Australian politics, so I don’t have a particular alignment. Because of this, I took the quiz provided by my lecturer, and it recommends that I most agree with ALP policies (65%) compared to the Greens (61%) and the LNPs (55%). I feel that at this moment in time that is probably true, although there was a time when I was more Liberal-inclined.

The lecturer seems to be playing around with us this week with a series of cheeky tasks he’s asked us to complete. Here I go (I’m going to do something a little different this week and list the tasks:

1) Sign an e-petition

To do this, I search e-petitions (through Google, of course) and went to a Government website with a list of current e-petitions. I chose the very first one (at least when I viewed the site) which asks for drought assistance in Mt Isa. Due to the drought, citizens there must pay excessive rates for access to water. I’ve lived on tank water for many years of my life, and because of this I feel I am probably more aware of the drought than a lot people. Not having access to water is very serious, and it’s a bill that citizens there have to pay, because water is a necessity. Because of this, I strongly believe the government should support them, and I wanted to offer my assistance.

2) Respond to a professional blogger at a major news site.

I chose to comment on a news site recommended in my tutorial, Crikey.com. I chose to comment on a book review because it also had a lot of political stuff to say. I commented here.

3) What is Barak Obama up to today? Can you send him a message about the importance
of freedom on the internet?

Barack Obama’s schedule unfortunately wasn’t public today, and I don’t have a twitter to look it up. I have to offer you, instead, his official White House schedule for yesterday. Note that he did not wake up at 4 am, the poor guy, there is a time stamp in the column with his activities noting the local time.

4:40 AM
The President and Prime Minister Cameron visit a school
Local Event Time:

9:40AM BST

Newport, Wales
Travel Pool Coverage
6:00 AM
The President joins a meeting on Ukraine
Local Event Time:

11:00AM BST

Celtic Manor, Newport, Wales
Pool Spray at the Top
7:25 AM
The President is greeted by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Prime Minister Cameron
Local Event Time:

12:25PM BST

Celtic Manor, Newport, Wales
Open to pre-credentialed media
7:30 AM
The President takes an official family photo
Local Event Time:

12:30PM BST

Celtic Manor, Newport, Wales
Open to pre-credentialed media
8:00 AM
The President joins NATO leaders for a meeting on Afghanistan
Local Event Time:

1:00PM BST

Celtic Manor, Newport, Wales
Pool Spray at the Top
11:45 AM
The President joins NATO leaders for a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission
Local Event Time:

4:45PM BST

Celtic Manor, Newport, Wales
Pool Spray at the Top
3:15 PM
The President arrives Cardiff Castle
Local Event Time:

8:15PM BST

Cardiff, Wales
Pooled Press
3:30 PM
The President takes an official family photo
Local Event Time:

8:30PM BST

Cardiff Castle – Cardiff, Wales
Pooled Press
3:40 PM
The President participates in a leaders’ working dinner
Local Event Time:

8:40PM BST

Cardiff Castle – Cardiff, Wales
Closed Press

I hate to disappoint me lecturer but I don’t believe I can send Barack Obama a message. I don’t know, maybe that’s just me creating the metaphorical blocks when in reality I could post him something and he’s be able to read it, but I’m quite sure that I couldn’t easily send him a text or an email. If i had twitter, maybe I’d have a chance.

If I wanted to tweet him something maybe it would be this:

“Hey Barack (or maybe I’d call him Barry), just wanted to let you know I think freedom on the internet is super important, because stopping this would block our rights to express ourselves, and I really don’t want to live in a distopic society.”

4) What are/were the Australian Government’s plans to censor the internet (the so-called “Clean Feed”)?

Why is it when I look up clean feed I get clean energy? Here’s a quick run-down of what the clean feed is. The clean feed is basically a system to block certain information being allowed to computers at an ISP level. So instead of Griffith saying, “no you can’t go on that site,” the government is. So you can’t just go home and look it up (unless you home is overseas, I guess). From what I can find (that hasn’t been churned past – see what I did there 😉 ) the Australian Government is currently testing the clean feed software, with plans to install it at a mandatory level in the future. I really don’t like the idea of this, because it’s one of those things where they can say “if you’ve got nothing to hide, you won’t mind” even though they’re taking your choices away. Hello aforementioned dystopic society!

5) What are the benefits of the NBN? What potential form(s) will the NBN take when it is finally rolled out?

The NBN can provide faster, more reliable internet on a large scale. When its finally rolled out, it can take to forms: fibres can go to nodes on streets, that will then have wires to houses. Alternatively, fibres could go straight to houses. The latter is more effective as the data is being projected right along the high-performance cables, and not processesd by a middle man (the nodes). The nodes, however, are cheaper for the government, and are currently what they plan on going ahead with.

6) Find out who your local, state and federal representatives are. Send one a message

My federal representative is Graham Perrett.

My state representative is Mark Stewart.

I couldn’t find my local representative, but I only just moved to this suburb (two weeks ago) so I guess I ave a valid excuse for not knowing.

Mark Stewart seems to be all over his public relations so I choose to email him:

Hello, my name is Emily and I’ve just moved to your electorate. I’d like to know more about what’s going on in this electorate right now, and how you’re contributing to it?

Thank you, 

Emily.

It’s simple, but I like it.

7) Look up the Queensland or Australian Hansard to find the last time your local member spoke in parliament

I chose Mark Stewart again for this. His last address was one the 6th of August. It seems to me to be quite a while ago, maybe he’ll do another one soon.

8) Let your local member know what you think about their last speech

That awkward moment when you read this after you’ve sent the first email. This is my follow up email.

Hi again,

I read the address you gave on the 6th. I was glad to see you asking questions about how the budget was put to use because sometimes it’s hard to truly know. I would like to know more about what the Finance and Administration committee does, if you wouldn’t mind?

Thanks again,

Emily.

I didn’t want to write to much because I’ve never spoken to him before, so I’d rather see how he replies before I ask anything further.

That’s it for now everyone. Hope you’ve all enjoyed my blogs thus far,

Emily

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