Saturday, 18 April 2009

The Trouble with Australian Politics

I find myself in a position where I'm just amazed at how frustrated I am with the state of Australian politics. So frustrated I thought I'd summarize what I think of it in a post.
When narrowing things down, I think there are three problems we need to talk about. Here goes:

Problem #1: The Labor Party
The Labor party, now in power both at the federal level and in the State of Victoria, simply fails to live up to its own ideologies.
At the federal level, they are doing hardly anything to address global warming; in fact, I argue they are taking us backwards with badly crafted emissions trading schemes that failed to work anywhere else in the world where they were implemented and only serve to create income to some power traders. On the internet front, we have a Communications Minister who seems to be on a crusade (literally) to censor the internet and maim it in the process. And these are just two examples.
At the state level, it is obvious that the whiff of corruption coming from the federal government's handling of global warming is turned into full stench when one looks at the way the Victorian State Government has been handling its water, transport and construction policies. Essentially, anything that could lead to some powerful private company making lots of money is sacred, and anything else is not even considered. Decisions are made privately and are essentially whim based, and afterwards weak justifications are made to silence the public while actual facts are hidden behind a curtain of "commercial in confidence" (that is, "we're not allowed to say anything because the info would hurt the companies involved with the project").

Problem #2: The Liberal Party
The problem with the Liberals can be summarized in short by saying they suffer from all of the previously mentioned problems inflicting Labor, only that on top of that they suffer from a twisted ideology.
As more than ten years of John Howard have indicated, they are just as corrupt as Labor if not more (check out the reasons for waging war in Iraq and the AWB scandal). But then there's their ongoing drive to ensure those with the money make an even further killing at the expense of the rest of us: check out their private school funding policies, their wholesale of Telstra, their pushing forward of private health at the expense of public health, and their Work Choices policy that seemed like a policy aimed at reinstating slavery. Lest we forget the handling of the refugees they tagged as "illegal" despite international legislation saying otherwise.
In my opinion, the Liberals are a cruel bunch of people. It is very sad most Australians consider them the only alternative to Labor.

Problem #3: The Aussie voter
Which brings me to what I consider to be the biggest problem of the lot: The Australian voter. Why the voter thinks of an election as a contest between Labor and the Liberals alone is beyond me, especially when so many people will not fail to hide their dissatisfaction with both parties and when history clearly shows both parties have often failed their voters.

The question is, what can I do about my frustration? How can I vent it, and what can I do to help improve things?
Thus far I managed to come up with two actions worth taking. The first is to blog about it, in the hope that readers may take a minute to think of their voting habits.
The second is to join The Greens, the party that is by far closest to my own opinions and the only party that seems to have some sort of a pulse and a little bit of a conscious.

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