Monday, November 30, 2009

Our Political views

Ms B and I have historically had polarised political views.

I have traditionally been a Coalition voter (conservative and to the right) , whereas Ms B would always vote for the Australian Labor Party (liberal and to the left).

From what I know the Chinese community in Australia had previously been staunch Coalition voters, but that was back in the day when most Australian Chinese originated from Hong Kong.

Since the influx of mainland Chinese, and in particular in response to the previous Prime Minister's (Bob Hawke) granting of visas in the wake of the Tianemen Square protests, Chinese have been more closely alligned with Labor.

This has been especially so since our current Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, who is from the Australian Labor Party, also speaks very fluent mandarin, and was ambassador to China for some time.

Well, today the political map in Australia had been turned upside down.

The Coalition did the unthinkable and rebelled against legislation for an Emmissions Trading Scheme. In essence, the Coalition dumped their moderate leader Malcolm Turnbull, they have refused to support any legislation to control carbon emmissions (to slow down global warming), and have voted in a new leader who is the most conservative, right-wing and most unpopular leader in living memory.

Now don't get me wrong, I am in fact a climate change sceptic, and I genuinely do not believe that the earth's temperature is rising due to CO2.

But I also realise that if I am wrong that the outcome could be catastrophic, so we do need an insurance policy.

So a scheme to reduce carbon emmissions is common sense.

Now I am faced with a new opposition leader that resembles a right-wing Facist rather than a leader that can unify a nation.

The new leader, Tony Abbott, articulates poorly, he has a very annoying stutter and his views are out-dated and not of this era.

So if we go to an election, I may very well be voting alongside Ms B, for the Australian Labor Party.

I would imagine that this would be the case for the majority of Australians.

Learning to speak Chinese

Yes, Chinese is a remarkably difficult language to learn.

I have not however attempted to formally learn Chinese at any point, but given that Mandarin is the principle language spoken in my home, it was innevitable that I would come to grips with it to some degree.

I am at a point now where I understand many words that I over-hear in conversations, and in some cases I can understand the complete gist of the conversation. I also have many Chinese patients and I even surprise myself sometimes as to the extent of what I understand, when they speak Manadrin in front of me.

But it still a remarkably difficult language, especially given that I don't "hear" many of the nuances of tone that is part and parcel of Chinese.

Just like many Chinese not being able to hear the letter "R", I too am tone deaf when it comes to many pronunciations in Chinese.

Recently I have been speaking more and more often to my son in Mandarin. This has been my playful way of practising my Chinese.

My son always corrects me, and laughs in the process.

Only yesterday he said: "Daddy, your Chinese is so funny.You have an English accent when you speak Chinese."

He would then try and help me to pronounce the word properly. He is such a cute little boy.

What do you like/dislike most about Chinese women?