My Dad once told me many moons ago that there are three things that you do not discuss at a Barbeque.
Religion. Sport. Politics.
If you did, he warned, a fight or definitely an argument would be the outcome, and there would be tears. I have held these words to be true over the years, and have not wavered from his wisdom. Arguments have been few, and fights non-existent.
Well guess what? We are not at a BBQ, and it’s time for tears.
I am up for a fight, because I am pissed off. I want to talk about our future, and unfortunately that means talking about politics. I may even lose a few readers or even friends for what I am about to write. I hope not because I like you all very much.
Let me explain the situation here in Australia. We are just under two weeks away from a general election. The campaign runs for around two months. The current party in power is the Australian Labor Party (ALP), who are probably just left of centre, and the major opposition is a coalition of two parties, the Liberal party and National Party (LNP), whose membership ranges from right of centre to hard right.
I loathe both of these political parties because they lack vision. I hate their bullshit.
They lack vision to see a future where there is no need to trash the environment/Great Barrier Reef/wildlife reserves (you name it basically) to dig up dirty fossil fuels to sell overseas. They also have no humane solution for asylum seekers nor care. There is also no vision as to what we need in the way of solutions for an energy descent. The LNP has promised to axe the price on carbon and use tax payers money to give to business to lower their emissions. This party has also promised to suspend marine parks. That is just plain stupid. There are many reasons that I disagree with their policies but these are the main ones.
So, I am going to call it out. I am not going to vote for either of these old political parties.
As far as I see it, there is only one political party in this country that care about all of these issues that are dear to my heart. One party that actually have viable policies that have been fully costed, that will actually make this country a better place, and put it in good stead for the future.
That one party is the Australian Greens. That is who I am going to vote for on 7th September 2013. I am not telling you who to vote for, just stating that I have made a conscious choice about which political party I want to make policy for our great nation.
If you don’t agree, that is fine. We can still be friends. I wholeheartedly believe that we all need to think for ourselves. It is your vote and you cast it how you like.
You may like them or loathe them, but they have a heart. If you want to see how their environmental policies stack up against the other major parties have a look at the infographic below from the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. You can check out their other policies (they are not all about the environment) here at this link.
Gandhi once famously said; “a nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members”. I agree, everyone needs a fair go, even those that have nothing. Unfortunately the old parties are stuck in the same mould. There is not much between them as far as policies go, and not much of a fair go.
However I believe that the Greens policies are along the same lines as I think. They may not be perfect, but they at least have a plan for the sorts of issues that are facing humanity. The things I talk about on this blog.
So, if you are undecided for this election, and can’t pick between either Labor or LNP, then remember that there is a viable third choice. A choice that cares about future generations and not short term greed.
Like I said, I am not telling you who to vote for. It’s your vote. But remember this, your vote is precious and you only get to use it once every three years. Time is running out.
So please, use it wisely.
Pavel Bentham says
I too was brought up thinking that religion and politics were no goes. I then questioned that proposition? Why, when they have such a tangible impact on our lives? Just look at how _religion_ informs Tony Abbott’s _political_ position.
I will be voting Greens in the senate but ALP in the house – I can’t let my “main” vote aid Abbott becoming PM.
Kathy P. says
Just goes to show that willful ignorance knows no boundaries. I envy you your blessedly short campaign season of only two months. Here in the US, the pandering opportunists start jockeying for position a good 18 months before the election, and the “real” campaign starts the January before November voting. So we’re subjected to a minimum of 11 months of lies, distortions, half-truths and mud-slinging. It’s only gotten worse since the Supreme Court decided that corporations are people and money is speech…so we now have virtually unlimited corporate funding of candidates. It’s tailor-made corruption. In the last Presidential race alone, $2.6 billion (with a ‘b’) was spent; another $3.7 billion was spent on Congressional races. It’s easy for the rich and the powerful who want to maintain the status-quo to now see to it that the climate-change “hoax” candidates are well funded.
Good luck Gavin. Elizabeth May is my MP here in Canada, the only Green MP in our country, and leader of the national Greens. I most definitely voted for her. Even her one voice is making a difference in Parliament. I know that next time we vote federally, the Greens will be able to add to their seats in the House because of Elizabeth’s demonstration that Greens are not flaky hippies, but pragmatic, solution oriented leaders who are looking at the big picture for our country. I know they can do the same in Australia, and I hope that there are many many voices like yours encouraging people to make their choice green.
Penny Pincher says
I think that it is important to talk about politics because if we don’t nothing will change. Sometimes I think that in Australia politics is treated like football: A contest between the Libs and the ALP and people barrack for one team or the other. The “2 team system’ hinders scrutiny, debate and stops other voices being heard. As you say it is time to speak up and make a stance. What bugs me though about the Greens is how they preference their votes. I always check that they are not giving my vote to the Libs. I had a brilliant idea recently. My idea was that elections should always be held in the high heat of summer when the east coast is being battered by wind and rain, most of the country is in drought and bush fires are raging. The environment would not be forgotten then!
Good on you for telling it like it is Gav, I’ve always voted for the Greens, and that’s unlikely to change. I hope the other parties are in for a major shock! I had one of those automated polling surveys call my house last night (run by the ALP), and I was proud to punch in the numbers about how I’ll be voting. I normally hangup on cold callers, but I just answered and waited for a (delayed!) response this time, glad I did.
Linda Woodrow says
Penny Pincher, there is a great site to see where preferences are going if you vote above the line for the Senate at http://preferences.theglobalmail.org/.
And Pavel, how they count votes for the House of Reps: All the votes are divided into piles according to the first preference. Whichever party gets your first preference gets the election funding of $2.48 per vote. The smallest pile is eliminated and those votes shifted into the pile of the second preference, at full value. And so on until there are only 2 piles (that’s what they mean by “two party preferred”). So if you vote 1 Greens, 2 ALP, (and put a number in every box), the Greens will get the funding, and if they don’t win the seat, the ALP will get your vote (all of it, and a message).
Penny Pincher says
Thank you Linda for the web site address for those of us who vote above the line for Senate.
Trace Willans says
Thankfully I get to postal vote so my tick for the Greens is already done and dusted. Trace
Okay to make Greens your first preference. Certainly need to make sure neither of the two main parties have total control of the Senate. My main issue is who to direct my preferences to if the Greens candidate doesn’t get in. Can’t be the Liberals, so leaves only one choice really. (For the overseas readers, here in Australia we have preferential voting so have to number every box.) To avoid your preference going to a party you don’t what it to go to, you have to put a number in every box.
Nice one, Gav. My sentiments exactly.
Gavin,I totally agree with you …We also vote for the Greens …its the only way to go …They are the only ones with vision ..I want people who are protecting our environment so its a great place for our children and their children and so on …Green Power…
Some good thought processes in there!
Dinner of Herbs says
I totally agree with your frustration Gavin! I feel it too. Unfortunately, I don’t feel comfortable voting for the Greens due to their stance on abortion and euthanasia (as your Gandhi quote said “a nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members”). So I’m even more frustrated with this election, since every party is lacking on one or more issues that I’m passionate about.
That being said, I think you’re right in talking about politics- discussion is one of the best ways to form opinions! And I think people can definitely still be friends, even if they vote differently!
+1, I’m with you Gavin.
The Greens found themselves ina MAJOR position of power last election. THEY got to choose the next prime minister. I am hoping there are voters out there who remember that and therefore remember the Greens. I too will cast a vote for the Greens and I too will be voting to make sure Tony Abbott has no chance in hell in becoming Prime Minister. I mean seriously, aside from his blindness to climate change, can you just imagine that man on the world political stage?! *cringe*
I cringe at the thought too…
Fiona from Arbordale Farm says
Great post Gavin and I feel that we should talk about it more. I will be voting greens too.
Interesting, Gavin, how you feel about even mentioning politics because here in Cygnet, Tasmania, is where Bob Brown lives. He shops where I shop, he has bought stuff from my market stall and is generally just another bloke in the street, as is The Gourmet Farmer. Everyone I know here votes and supports the Greens. We just had a Curry Night in the school hall to raise money for the local Greens campaign. Everyone has a Greens sticker on their car…. whether it be a beat-up old ute or a new volvo.
The Greens are not perfect and I don’t agree with all their policies. But the future of the earth as we know it is way more important than any other issue and they are the only party who sees that as a priority.
Count me in!!
Gavin Webber says
Kate, I wish every town was like Cygnet. Alas, they’re not. So I had to word the post like I did, and will probably have to do so until the mainstream catches up.