Sunday, 7 November 2010

What do they stand for?

Victoria's elections are coming up in four weeks time, yet despite all my political awareness I have neglected to discuss them. Why? Because both major parties don't seem to stand for anything but power. The whole purpose of the elections therefore deteriorates into making sure the Greens acquire the balance of power so they could keep the bastards honest.

The best example I could give for the impotence of the big parties had to do with water policies. At the last elections, four years ago, the Liberals ran with a water desalination plant at the core of their agenda whereas Labor mocked them and said desalination will never happen. Then Labor got reelected, and guess what? Shortly afterwards we had ourselves the beginnings of what is going to be one of Victoria's worst environmental abuses, by far Victoria's most redundant private/public partnership (PPP) enterprise, and a tool for doubling or even quadrupling our water bills for no particular reason other than Labor's will to kiss business ass.
With their inability or lack of will to actively put the Labor government on the stand, the Liberals are now saying they are opposed to the desal plant but will still honor the Labor government's contract to build one (here). The citizens of Victoria could not have asked for a less capable opposition.

Today we have received two further examples regarding the incompetence of our politicians on both sides, this time to do with education.
It started off (here) with Labor's Education Minister Bronwyn Pike rejecting a proposal to allow humanism to be taught in primary schools during time allocated for religious education in order to secure votes from extreme Christians represented by the ACL (Australian Christian Lobby). Who cares what the majority think or that Australia is supposedly a secular country, Labor would still make sure our schools are used to indoctrinate kids with Christianity while also making sure the kids whose parents demand to be exempt from such abuse are punished.
Religious education is one thing. If you look at education as a whole, what it means to society and what society gets out of it, then our politicians fail on a much larger scale through their ongoing extensions of financial support to private schools at the neglect of the state school system (as pointed out through a superb article from Leslie Cannold here). If the education our children receive ends up being mirrored in society as a whole when they grow up, what can we expect when our children learn "survival of the fittest" values at school?

Times are tough for Victoria: it's hard to get excited over the upcoming elections when there is practically no one to choose from. Other than the Greens, that is; yet an elections with only one party running feels more suitable to third world dictatorships than to a modern day democracy such as Australia claims to be.
The time has come for the widely indifferent Australian public to start demanding more from the people claiming to represent them.

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