Found this photo taken by my friend Mia back in Norway. Ironically, if you know the candidates, this sort of fits.
Today, we elect the federal president in Austria. As I’m waiting for my sister to get home, so we can go to the polling station together, I feel like sharing my thoughts on this day. Blogging, for me, has sofar been about photos and “lifestyle” and random late-night thought sharing. Politics has not been a part of that. Didn’t seem to fit.
Here’s the thing, though. Politics is a big part of my life. Many thoughts a day are spent on that topic. Particularly lately. And as we’ve gotten the results of Brexit and the US presidential election, I’ve seen many people on the internet share their reaction. I think that is wonderful. Because politics actually is a part of our “lifestyle”. Politics is the reason why we get to arrange flowers or foods for photos, share our travels to whereever, because we have the freedom to lead a life that can be whatever we want it to be. And if our biggest worry is how much attention a photo on Instagram gets, how lucky are we?
Anyway, let me get to the important part. Austria, as many other Western countries, is experiencing the success of populism. Right-wing populism, that is. What is populism? Picking up on the dissatisfation of large groups of the population and offering easy solutions. Obviously a good strategy. And on the one hand, I’m thinking that’s the way it has to be. Let those politician rise and let them fail (because of course those kind of promises are bound to fail). But there’s another part of me that says what if … what if even the failure is not enough for people to realise that the kind of solutions these politicians are offering are not making their life better, but actually taking away from our liberties. What if history has to repeat itself?
I really don’t want to watch it get to that point. So here’s my appeal. Inform yourself. Question everything. Talk about it, always. Start discussions. Educate (and if it’s just one person you can convince, that, no, a foreigner isn’t taking their job, that’s brilliant!). And when you have the opportunity to do so, go vote. Seriously, GO VOTE!! Please and thank you.