No + no + no = yes to the no.

Plebiscite or no plebiscite gets a little no + no = yes. So is no+no+no=no?


Princess Highway was heavy this morning and required more than my concentration when Tony Abbot came on the radio with his 3 Nos.

“If you don’t like same-sex marriage vote ‘no’, if you’re worried about religious freedom and freedom of speech vote no, if you don’t like political correctness vote ‘no”

There’s a few nos, I thought, but put my thought aside. My 7 y.o queried, “Is he saying don’t vote yes?” I wasn’t prepared for this. “Er…., kinda,” was the only thing came to my rescue. “Ok,” she sounded satisfied and continued sucking her right middle and pointy fingers. Don’t tell me she’ll ask me what plebiscite is and what it is for, my head started to hope, quietly. What’s all this racket about anyway.  My mind wondered a bit. Stop wondering. We have driving to do. My youngest daughter’s flue vaccine waiting at the clinic and I’ve only got 15 mins before we get there. With this traffic I’ll be lucky to get there in 25 mins. Focus, mum, focus. Political correctness can be grey and risky. Right now, safety first.

Politics has never been my strength. I only listen to politicians because they can be funnier than comedians and some of their acts are better than actors’ and actresses’ who win at BAFTA and Oscar. I don’t even know if the word is singular or plural and thanks to Google, I was told that it depends on the context of the sentence. Precisely, on the money. Politics and its (their?) context brings me to my daughter’s enquiry. No + no + no = Yes to the no, right? It depends, I heard my head reasons. I’m terrible at Logics. That’s why I’m not a philosopher. I’m a mum, for goodness’ sakes! If it’s safe for the kids, that must be the right option. Safety always comes next. When it comes to Plebiscite or no plebiscite, leave it to the comedians. Politicians, I mean. Right now, let me focus on the traffic. Safety first.

Leaping to the evening. After dinner and all the cleaning and scrubbing that always accompanies it, I quickly grabbed my laptop. My 11 yo son came out of the shower and enquired, “What are you writing about?” as he leaned forward to catch a few words on my screen, I turned and responded. “Nothing.” Yeah, right.

He caught a glimpse of my title.  “No plus no plus no equals yes to no.”

Before I could say anything he prompted ,’Oh, it’s like what Nana says, ‘two wrongs don’t make it right’. “Right?” “Er,… kinda.” I responded slowly. “minus plus minus equals plus in maths, right?” I continued, hopelessly. “So, no plus no plus no equals yes to no.” I continued, trying to convince myself that I was doing alright with this maths and politics. “Or, is it no to yes.” My head started to make no sense.

My eyes locked in his. His squeaky clean skin glimmered. The lavender shower gel scent lingered, his untidy shovelled hair told me it was time for a haircut. I don’t think Tony Abbot needs a haircut like my son but he needs to use less Nos. Not on the radio where my daughter could catch his No phrases and now I have to explain what it all means.

Back to my equation. “Now that could mean negative.” I explained further. My brain started to hurt. Why on earth did I bring maths into the equation, my teaching instinct should give a better kick.

“I get it,” he said and walked away towards his room dragging the ginormous towel behind. Where to go, mum. Politics and maths equals brain-ache.

“What is plebiscite?” He continued the query from his room. I started to regret the maths bit and I am not a polie and my philosophical horizon goes only as far as Aristotle was Greek but many of his texts were in Latin. I explained as best as I could. Not making sense. Clearly, I am not a good polie. That’s why it took me a while to explain. Not sure if I got it right, he seemed happy enough with my google type of answer.

Another happy costumer, I thought.

“But why do we need to vote?” , his voice came clear from his bedroom.

My Lord! I thought it’s the end of the line of enquiry!

“Well, the politicians often cant make up their mind so the plebiscite arguments have to go further”. My attempt to end this conversation is getting closer to a frustration. “People then have to vote on a referendum.” My voice sounded less convincing.  I thought that was enough of an answer.

“But, what if I don’t want to vote?” He hasn’t given up yet. I should’ve referred him to google search.

“Well, you can decide that but because we live in a democratic country you need to vote otherwise you may get fined.”

Ooops ! I realised that I had just opened a can of worms.

“You can’t force me to vote, surely.” He started another inquiry.

“It’s getting late.” Time for bed. School tomorrow. Time to call it quit, son. Call it a day. For today. Politics is not safe and not my strength. Night, night.


Author: mary zuchrah Idris

Books, gardens, journal writing, libraries, science, history, tech and my kids keep my brain ticking, my toes wriggling and my heart drumming. You'll discover why when you visit my site. I passed through lots of hurdles. I fall, I cringe, maybe cry a bit, then I get up, wipe my knees (my tears included!) then keep on walking . Going forward is the only option, until the Tardis catches up with me.

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