I haven’t said much about this election to date; in fact I haven’t said much lately at all. Today is election day here in Australia, the one opportunity that arrives every three years (aside from the very occasional referendum) where we as Australians have a chance to take part in our quasi-democratic process.
There are two major contenders for Government and Prime Minister respectively; John Howard and the Coalition (Liberal Party + National Party); or Kevin Rudd and the Labor Party. Personally I’m voting Greens, whose preferences in turn will go to the Labor Party of Kevin Rudd. The reason I’m voting Greens is because they are the only party with a clear moral compass.
The greens really want to tackle climate change. They want a fair foreign policy which would promote global harmony and would work towards decreasing tensions internationally as opposed to the inflammatory policies of the past. They want better rights for indigenous Australians and refugees. They support sustainable development.
They may not appear to be “economic conservatives” as is the catch-phrase of today, but what does it matter? They don’t have to be economically conservative because they realise they are not going to get in power because the vast majority of Australians are only concerned with what they can see is effecting their own worlds right now. Typically we believe ourselves a “lucky country” immune to all of the struggles which face other nations around the globe such as poverty, starvation, disease, malnutrition and war.
Perhaps we are a lucky country. Perhaps we have not experienced real war in Australia (aside from the British invasion) and it seems a far off issue meant only for backwards nations in far-off lands. Perhaps we do have a strong economy due to the Mining & Resources industry which comes from the rich earth beneath our feat.
But how does all of this give us the right to ignorance and exploitation of our lands and Indigenous people? How does this give us the right to exploit other lands and their people? How does this justify supporting the US political scheme for world dominion? How does this justify our rigid support for the oppression of the Palestinian people who are stuck under the thumb of Israeli extremists ?
What has happened to you Australia? What has happened to the country with world-leading dedication to humanitarian issues and whose pride was in it’s open attitude towards refugees and asylum seekers? Why must you guard your borders like a war-zone and send refugees back to almost certain suffering? Why must you help occupy a country like Iraq and yet refuse to take your share of the large number of refugees created by that conflict? Why must you buy into the politics of fear and worry more about “national security” than about the suffering it causes to others?
The greens have got my vote because they care about these issues; and if you gave two shits’ about them you’d vote greens too. The only problem with that is there’s not enough of us who give a shit to actually elect the greens to power.