A solution is ready and available – right here, right now
By Sean Crawley
Occasionally I get the chance to talk politics with real life humans. Mostly this centres around apathy, disgust and frustration, and almost always a total lack of trust in our parliamentary process and our politicians. There is a sense of fatalism about the two party system that dominates. It is understandable. The individual feels powerless to make any change to the tyranny of the Liberal/Labor pendulum. And frankly the pathetic lack of vision or leadership in recent decades is atrocious. People generally are turning their backs on politics and trying to find a niche somewhere in the world where they can escape the bullshit.
The problem with this is that the system, the one currently not working, is slowly but surely getting away with allowing our society to slide into greater inequality which, as history has shown, will inevitably lead to an ugly revolution. The decline in social cohesion that is a direct consequence of the rise in inequality, accompanied by the current level of political apathy means we are directing our frustrations not at our government but at each other. The increasing tension between groups of people as typified in the realms of gender, race, class and religion is obvious – you can feel it in the air. We have been atomised and squabble among ourselves as the ruling classes continue to prey upon the masses to feed their unquenchable and pathological narcissism. They have us exactly where they want us. The government and the fourth estate have been hijacked by the wealthy pyschopaths and we are being played as fools.
Perhaps the most blatant example of the way we have been manipulated is by the frighteningly pervasive belief that we cannot change the system which has been so successfully screwed up by the recent succession of Liberal and Labor governments. This is a delusion, in the 2013 federal election not one electorate in the nation offered up only a LNP or Labor candidate. Every single seat had a Green candidate and others. What about voting for a Greens or an Independent? What are you scared of? At the next federal election it is absolutely possible that not one Liberal or Labor politician could win a seat. It is absolutely possible that the Greens could win the election and form Government. It is absolutely possible that a minority Government could be formed, a coalition of diverse parties and representatives forced to work together to govern. No more petty adversarial bullshit and hideously narrow debate. Are we so fearful that we must vote for one of the major parties? What do we fear? Why do we fear?
The Greens are consistently painted in a bad light by the media and by both Labor and the LNP. But what legs do the major parties have to stand on to merely dismiss any and every alternative to their cosy duopoly? Have a look at the Greens policy platform, it’s well thought out and comprehensive – hardly the hippy craziness the establishment would have you believe. In Australia we rightly value our unique landscape and our sense of fairness, the Greens stand firm upon both of these ideals in their policies. Do you believe the politicians and the press that brand them as lunatics and radicals? And what about the Independents, sure some of them are looney tunes, but at least they aren’t arrogantly and unconditionally backed by a party machine that supports everything they say and do. Besides, I have to admit that even Jackie Lambie has a good point occasionally.
Don’t be frightened sheep. The next federal election is looming and I wager that not one seat will offer up only Labor and LNP candidates. Give someone else a shot, the current duopoly has proven beyond doubt that it cannot be trusted to act in our best interests. And tell someone else as well. We all have influence on others. Let’s use the system sitting right under our noses to make the radical change that is needed. All you have to do is vote for anyone but the LNP or Labor. Simple eh?
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I’m making a pain of myself. Everywhere I go online, I post “Vote Independent or Greens, put LNP last.” If I sway just one person…
Bill Shorten has just convinced me that I should change my usual Labor vote.
the only problem I have with independents is: are they really independents or party stooges there to take preferences for the LibLabs? there is no way of being able to be sure. I believe that when ICAC finally get going again there is an interesting case coming up concerning an ‘independent’ who wasn’t really and was on the payroll of one of the majors. I am quite possibly wrong on this but I just seem to remember hearing something along those lines.
If we had a proportional representation voting system for the lower houses of parliament such as the Hare-Clark system used for the Tasmanian and ACT elections, where 5 to 7 (7 is best) local members are elected per each of the larger local seats, then the smaller parties and independents could start growing and demonstrate to the electorate that there are better ways of running our poor much abused country.
Our current electoral system is responsible for our inadequate 2 party system that has proven to be easy to corrupt by lobbyists and vested interests. For example both parties still support the development of new coal mines when the climate science tells us that coal use must be phased out now and that most existing mines are stranded assets and will need to close in the short to medium term.
The 2 big parties focus so narrowly on winning the vote of the swinging voter that policies such as the inhuman treatment of asylum seekers, the falsely perceived requirement for a small government deficit or even a surplus and demonisation of the unemployed, those on welfare support and Muslims have been tailored to win over this small group to the detriment of the nation as a whole.
Greek voters recently abandoned their traditional parties that repeatedly mislead and defrauded them and elected for the first time a radical leftist party Syriza. It is time for Australia to do the same and look to the Australian Greens and other ethical small parties such as the Australian Progressives and the similarly named Australian Progressive Party, the DLP as well as independents like Andrew Wilkie and Nick Xenophon.
Agreeing with Roscoe. If you manage to get an Independent in, they have no power except by what they bargain for. Anyone remember Senator Harradine who assisted the sale of Telstra in a compromise that saw the ending of Foreign Aid for Family Planning.
I’m not ecstatic about the stances of people who stand for ‘family values’, despite having a large family. They usually end up to be from the far right / fundamental religious nuts area of the spectrum and care nothing for the day-to-day problems of average families.
It’s all compromise. Personally, I’d rather vote for a party member from the party that is closest to my overall views. That means that I might not be agreeing with them on nuclear energy or treatment of refugees, but their attitudes on other matters may be OK and I choose them over the others who might be good on tax relief and defense matters but shocking on the environment
cast your vote is appropriately headed by a mars bar motif. The greens leader is of the ‘exact’ ilk as the rabbutt, little bille, pynenut, albo, joyce, bullock, even public school rhodes scholar turnbull is a convert and many other religious indoctrinated clones.
Labor had powerful women but sadly, those few left in caucus are mute in public and avoid the morning shows like their leader( possibly at his behest so as not to embarrass him) and no longer up to the token woman in cabinet.
Any cynic cannot look at the greens without seeing loony and if one finds one in real life the ‘loony’ is confirmed.
As a croweater I remember playmander and stott and formed a disrespect for independents which lasted through harradine and xenophon until Windsor and Oakeschott showed me the power of independents.
Since then, I have made a point of meeting the candidates and listening to them.
This tactic has brought home the modern weakness of the westminister system.
In his mind, the rabbutt felt gillard was ‘selected’ not ‘elected’ but he was mistaken only the independents are not selected?
The natural inclination for the lowest workers is to think christians and graduates make better politicians than workers and the natural inclination for politicians is to think christians and graduates make better politicians than workers.. Are they right???
@babyjewels10 – Never mind being a pain: you’re speaking for me, I promise.
I’m going to be voting Green from now on, because they’re not the dinosaurs.
Now if the Greens were smart they could study the background of how the Snowy Mountains Scheme came about and present to the electorate a positive and exciting vision for Australia, similar to how former Labor Prime Minister Ben Chifley did so well for the Snowy Mountains Scheme; to develop Australia’s renewable energy potential and to transition the Australian economy to a sustainable future with full employment, free education and a comprehensive and cost effective health and social welfare sector.
Well with you Galley Boy! This BS of falling in to line with Abbott, that Shorten is so fond of has the ALP as a mini me of the LNP! Bill says only Labor will bring in an ET scheme and save the environment! Wrong! The Greens plans are way more comprehensive and besides Bill you want our votes on this point alone? Dr Shorten “Well I’m certain I can save your little toe even though it has gangrene, but I’m afraid the leg will have to go!” Labor has well and truly lost it’s way. Green is the only viable alternative!
Eli Nes please elaborate on how the Greens Senators qualify as “loony”?
the only problem is that Independents like Tony Windsor are few and far between. Most of them can be persuaded to support a major party if one of the platforms they stand on gets promised. It’s too hard for them to be on their own. And the Greens – whom I love and have voted for over many years – have occasionally caved for spurious reasons. The election of their new leader was not a shining moment.
I would love nothing more than a parliament of men and women who were all working for the betterment of the country – not for a party, or an ideology, but for the people and the society. What chance ? Too many vested interests will prevent that from ever happening.
“It is absolutely possible that a minority Government could be formed, a coalition of diverse parties and representatives forced to work together to govern. No more petty adversarial bullshit and hideously narrow debate. Are we so fearful that we must vote for one of the major parties? What do we fear? Why do we fear?”
I would love to see a coalition government made up of small parties. I think that would enable a true reflection and representation of Australia.
But even better would be a government of representatives…no parties, just people representing their region. That would mean that every bit of legislation would be debated and majority wins. Maybe it would be slow…but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be a government working for what is best for Australia.
If you have an independent who has integrity, put her/him first
Follow with similar
Greens should come before the major parties with Labour just ahead of LNP as we DO NOT want Abbott and co back, EVER!
If some independents were to join together to form a Social Justice Party then they would be top of my list.
It saddens me that, even in this forum, that fear of anything outside of the duopoly still lingers:
“the only problem I have with independents is: are they really independents or party stooges there to take preferences for the LibLabs? there is no way of being able to be sure.” – is that the fear of uncertainty I smell?
“Our current electoral system is responsible for our inadequate 2 party system” – is that fear of the ‘system’ I smell? (Note: in the 2013 federal election not one electorate in the nation offered up only a LNP or Labor candidate)
“If you manage to get an Independent in, they have no power” – is that defeatist fear I smell? – and “I’d rather vote for a party member from the party that is closest to my overall views” – how’s that working for you at the moment?
“Any cynic cannot look at the greens without seeing loony” – underneath are cynics the most fearful of all us?
“the only problem is that Independents like Tony Windsor are few and far between” – don’t we only have a few anyway? I smell fear.
PS – Andreas Bimba I like the talk about proportional representation, but I fear that we need to oust the duopoly under the current system before that could ever happen.
Oops, did I say “I fear” !!
Great article – you’ve said what a lot of people are thinking. After Shorten’s announcement this morning my thought of voting Green has been confirmed.
No matter where you sit in society, surely it can be seen that backing a self-serving, corporate driven government is not going to prove beneficial for ‘the people’. What practical thinking person would not opt for a government who are forward thinking and actually care about the issues facing our society and environment?
I read this morning that the TPP will be signed off on 31 July (not sure how factual that is) and from what I’ve read about the TPP any government in power will be screwed trying to manage that one. How would the Greens be able to deliver their policies with the TPP in place? Maybe it’s been derived specifically to protect corporations from more progressive governments coming into power?
One question on preferences is Vote 1 Green, Vote 2 Green, Vote 3 Green, Vote 4 Green allowed?
It is fear that is holding us back from true representation/democracy.
Maybe now Labor has claimed that it will ‘save lives’ by adopting ‘turn back boats’, it will need the cloak of ‘operational matters’ to conceal the fate of the people who were turned back. They way beyond time return to an actual plan for climate change – too late, not enough – does not counter inhumane treatment of people.
I have been voting Independents/Greens for many years now… all the while hoping, hoping, Labor would remember its heart. Not going to happen.
Good people such as Tanya Plibersek, Penny Wong and other more reasonable Labor politicians can add to pool of thinking Independents, please.
Each day that goes by, I think, it cannot get any worse, and then it effing does.
Simples no argument Green or interdependent then use preferences to kill the L-NP.
Shorten will not get my vote neither will the labor neo-con right until they have a moral spine.
Where are the left wing media jocks and why aren’t the unions funding an alternative focused media.
Labor needs complete restructuring and progressives must learn to make the media not use the useless lot that are already there.
@Lizzie Our Federal Government can abrogate the TPP and any other international agreement such as our FTA’s and is only constrained by our constitution. Other countries can respond with diplomatic pressure and sanctions but a determined government with the support of the electorate behind them can prevail. Most countries of the world aggressively persue their national self interest and Australia should not be afraid to do the same.
@wakeupandsmellthehumans Yes the duopoly will fight the introduction of proportional representation so it will be a huge battle to defeat both of them. Shorten is so close to Abbott that an eventual Liberal, National and Labor coalition is a distinct possibility. The Hare-Clark voting system in Tasmania was changed from 7 members per seat to 5 by the duopoly to force out the Greens but it didn’t work as by this stage the Greens were too popular.
An unholy trinity such as you have mentioned would really give the game away, at present Abbott, Shorten & friends can still pretend Australia has a democracy.
I prefer the Greens madness (?) to the sanity of the ‘ adults’ or the timidity of the rump of the once great labor party. The Greens look forward , humanly and environmentally , and I see bad times ahead unless we listen to them.
@stephentardrew your comment should be in flashing lights.
“Where are the left wing media jocks and why aren’t the unions funding an alternative focused media.”
A balanced and informative commercial free to air television station would be good to. How much for Channel 10?