With all this talk of ‘spills’ and intrigue taking over the news cycle, Rosie Waterland found herself uncharacteristically interested in politics this week.
I am not interested in politics. I wish I could say that I was. I know it would earn me more respect among my peers and infinitely widen my conversation ability at parties, but it’s just not me.
So when the nation’s political climate turns in such a way that even I’m interested, I need a little help understanding what’s going on. That’s why today, I went to my boss (and former political staffer/current political obsessive) Jamila Rizvi, and asked her to explain all this damn crazy politics business.
I feel like this is a thing that I should understand, and Jamila never (openly) laughs at me for asking even the most inane political questions. When Jamila explains things to me that I don’t get, I really force her to get down to the absolute basics.
That’s what she did when she taught me how banks work (an epic conversation that you can read here), and that’s what she did today when teaching me all things ‘spill’. So now I am helpfully sharing my questions and her answers with you in the pursuit of knowledge and laughs respectively. Enjoy.
Here’s how our chat went down:
Rosie (R): In the last 24 hours, politics has for once piqued my interest. But I don’t understand anything about what’s happening, so could you please just give me a run down of why everyone is saying Tony Abbott is going to get kicked out of his chair?
Jamila (J): His chair?
R: I assume there is a big chair that he sits on. Like in Game of Thrones.
J (already slightly concerned): Alright, let’s start with the basis. Abbott is the Prime Minister, you know this, yes?
R: I know this. Continue.
J: Okay. Well, yes, to use your imagery – he could potentially be getting kicked out of his… chair.
R: But why is that allowed to happen? It seems like such a colossal stuff-around. The people voted for him. He’s not who I voted for, but he won. So isn’t it better to just let him have a proper go at it?
J: The Prime Minister in Australia isn’t elected directly by the people. Nobody, other than those who live in Tony Abbott’s electorate in the northern suburbs of Sydney got to vote for Tony Abbott specifically.
The public votes at elections for members of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Whichever political party can reach a majority of members in the House of Representatives, is then able to form a government. The leader of that party becomes the Prime Minister – but it is the parliamentary members of the political party who choose who that leader is, not the voters.