I haven’t talked or heard people talking about politics in a while. I really don’t need that stress. Every time I watch a tiny bit of a portuguese TV news broadcast, chances are I’m changing channels in less than 5 minutes.
That’s why we basically watch CNN here.
I hate the situation that Portugal is in. I hate how it seems to be so simple to a lot of people to just say this government is corrupt and that we need change. I hate how it seems so simple to convince the people that we need a revolution.
I have to explain something before continuing my post. Back in 2007, when I first started working as an Early Intervention Therapist, one of the people that believed in me and my work, and help me a lot, was our current Prime minister’s wife. When he was elected, and I voted for him, we were all needing a change. But I knew I would always have that unconscious connection of him as a human being (most people see the politicians as robots or not humans or something else).
I really liked the first months of his government, and the changes they seemed to bring. And then, it started getting worse and now it’s almost unbearable. I really believe we’ve reached the point of no return.
Last week, Pedro Passos Coelho (the Prime Minister), held a news conference, where he introduced some more changes. Difficult compromises, as he said. We heard it on the radio, on our way to Fundão. Then, around midnight the next day, he wrote a message on his Facebook page, that I read on Sunday night. I agreed with some things, and completely disagreed with others. But then, I read the very first comment – he now has more than 10000 I believe – and it reminded me why I wasn’t reading or watching anything politics-related. The first comment was from someone that I can’t even call a human, and he said something like this: “To watch you suffer as much as I am, it wouldn’t be enough to kill you. I would kill your wife and kids and watch you suffer for the rest of your life.”. This makes me sad. It seriously makes me sad. Have we come to this? Are you really that ignorant that you would even think something like this, let along write it? It is unbelievable that his family is receiving threats.
Do I think they Prime Minister and the rest of the government is right? No. Something has to change. But you need to keep some limits people!
Yes, I believe that everyone that is part of the government and parliament should also be affected by the downsizing of salaries and rising of taxes. They shouldn’t earn that much and have so many benefits. But I also believe that the news anchors, reporters, presenters and everyone working for the national channel RTP shouldn’t earn more than the President of Portugal! And some of them even earn 4 or 5 times what our highest representative of state earns! This is inadmissible!
Yes, I believe that cutting 20% of all public jobs is a lot. They want to make the current public employees work more and better and they chose that path. But I also know that there is A LOT of people working in public offices and institutions that don’t give a crap and do nothing all day long. And these are not the ones that will be out of work next year.
Yes, we need a lot of change in what comes to tax evasion. The Government announced some more measures and more taxes to try to end tax evasion. But it is still part of the Portuguese mind to not pay taxes because they’re high. It is still part of our tradition almost to pay for a service without asking for a receipt, so it will be cheaper. This is what we need to change. Our minds. Our traditions.
Yes, I believe in the power of saying what we believe in. But we should all think for ourselves before talking. There are some political parties that LOVE to say some cliche words and phrases. They’ve done that since 1974, since our historical revolution. Because they know that specially when a population is under stress and without any confidence, they will believe and repeat anything they say – if it’s something they want to hear. Who doesn’t want better jobs, better health care, better salaries, better politicians? But we need to be realistic.
When the government changed last year – on my birthday – they started changing some things with them. We were just starting to receive the IMF money and people were optimistic. About a month after they started working, there was a huge manifestation in Lisbon, right in front of the Ministry of Economy, where people shouted things like “We want a raise in our salaries!”. That was the main objective of the whole thing. Really? We don’t have money, we have a HUGE debt, we are using money that other countries lent us at ridiculously high interest rates, but no, that’s what we need to do, increase the national base salary.
I won’t even begin to talk about what’s happening in education right now. I work in schools and… well, I won’t. That will be subject to a post later on.
What I’m trying to say with this is that I have never been so pessimistic about our current situation. Never. Just because I can’t see anyone out there good enough to lead us to the right path once again. There are so many things that need to be completely changed that I don’t think anyone can do it at the time. I agree with NO political party right now and what some of them stand for, even make me afraid of the future. We don’t need a revolution, we need someone with big balls. We need someone that is not afraid to get to the richest. We need someone that is not afraid to help the poorer without making them feel they can only live if they have help from the government. We need someone that is not afraid to end with things like the financial help to minorities just because they’re minorities. We need someone that is not afraid to ask the correct amount of responsibility to each and every one of us. We need someone that is balanced and won’t do things just because that’s what his/her political party says. We need someone that thinks and will genuinely work to better our situation.
And we need A LOT of people to grow up. Stop. Think. And then talk.