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Not leader’s credentials but policies they support which are of paramount importance

If you were a teenager and you were asked “Should you or your parents decide what time you should go to bed on school nights?”, and you had only two possible answers between which to select, my bet is that you would answer “Me”.

Some two decades or more ago I studied for a Masters by thesis, for which I developed a comprehensive questionnaire. This brought me face to face with asking questions which did not automatically predict the answer, not overlook other possibilities.

Listening, the other evening, to an interview with Scott Morrison by Leigh Sales, and, later, to the Q&A with Bill Shorten, Tony Jones and a fairly large audience, I was left with two very clear impressions.

The final question to Scott Morrison enquired who would have the upper hand in determining policy if he won government and the answer was a firm “I will!”

Bill Shorten, however, is clearly backed up by a unified team and his whole approach to decision-making is equally clearly based on a collegiate approach. He also, instead of concentrating on the sterile theme of a good economy, made it very clear that equal opportunity for people was the force driving his and his party’s policy agenda.

To ask “Who do you believe would make the better Prime Minister?” without first exploring some of the clear – and nuanced – policy stances of the two candidates is – IMHO – facile.

Look back over years of polling and ask yourself – “How often has the aspirant to the position been preferred over the incumbent?” The devil you know is almost invariably preferred to the one you do not know – and if the latter carries baggage which is public knowledge – that is even more true.

I wonder how many people are aware of the history of the current PM and the less than savoury path that has led him to his position? Please do the research yourself and then have another think about the relative acceptability of the two leaders.

But smut – or lack of – should not be the decider, nor should charisma or lack of.

It is not the leader’s credentials which are of paramount importance. It is the policies which (s)he and her/his party are supporting.

Before starting to write this article, I was alerted to this report Nature loss: Report to show scale of ‘silent crisis'”, which makes alarming reading.

Mankind is the most dangerous predator on this planet and our greed, and lack of concern for anything which does not benefit us, is as damaging an event as is global warming – and that, in itself, is bad enough.

Over-population, raping and pillaging the earth for profit (remember, a sustainable economy would have food produced to eat, not to make money or go to waste because its appearance is unaesthetic) and destroying biodiversity – you could conclude we do not deserve to survive!

Greta Thunberg and the growing legions who are taking up her campaign are on the right path but we have to support them or young people will have no future.

Use of pesticides – guaranteeing reliable crop production – is killing bees, without which many plant species will not survive. In addition, chemicals like DDT, PCBs and hexachlorobenzene are already in the food chain and are toxic to animal life – and remember – human beings are animals!

We have increasing incidences of allergies and growing sufferers from, for example, asthma, yet we are not yet sure whether this is chance, or a consequence of our use of chemicals for financial gain.

We have to stop for long enough to seriously consider whether we really think destroying our planet is a viable option.

Yes – EVERY country needs to do this.

Yes – we cannot make sure that they will do.

But if we just sit back and wait until we think we are no longer alone, then it will certainly be too late to start.

When voting in the current Australian election, there is, I firmly believe, only one criterion to help us decide.

Ask yourself: “If I support this party, can I guarantee that they will immediately take effective action to slow, stop and reverse global warming, or will making profits and massaging the economy take priority over maintaining planet Earth as a viable place to live?”

Think deeply – and vote sensibly. Self-interest is no guarantee of survival.

Human beings are social animals. Like elephants – who also are capable of moral behaviour!


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  1. RosemaryJ36

    Looking back on what Bill Shorten said, he actually promised to continue the community Q and A sessions he has been conducting the last few years. He is a listener he says.

  2. New England Cocky


    1) “I wonder how many people are aware of the history of the current PM and the less than savoury path that has led him to his position?”

    This is an unsubstantiated slur on Shorten as usually seen on Liarbral or Notional$ websites.

    To keep your argument balanced perhaps you might have mentioned some of the deficiencies displayed in the COALition; Barnyard Joke Adultery et al, or Michaeli Cash building her residential property empire.

    2) “Please do the research yourself and then have another think about the relative acceptability of the two leaders.”

    OK, I look at Bill Shorten managing the Beaconsfield Mine Disaster where he displayed impeccable leadership skills clearly demonstrating a potential political career after union service.

    I look at the Nat$ Adulterer-in-Chief and his salacious money-grabbing affair with a conniving female journalist prepared to use her feminine wiles while seeking a comfortable life style at any cost to others.

    I look at Scat Morriscum and see a vacant space between the ears, a self-professed “Christian” ignoring all the Christian values that I know, enacting his inhumane jailing policies for legal refugees, his callous disregard for the aged, sick, unemployed and underemployed persons while he happily sucks on the teat of the Parliamentary Allowances Scheme.

    I look at a Liarbral National$ misgovernment that is taking Australian voters down the path to the worst third world economy in the OECD for the benefit of foreign owned multinational corporations, a misgovernment willing to destroy Australian agriculture enterprises for the benefit of political patrons prepared to fund the unelected political hacks who control pre-election and government policies for the benefit of those political donors.

    Australian egalitarianism requires that Australian voters remove this present IPA misgovernment to give their kids and grandkids a country and a world that is fit to live in.

  3. Kaye Lee


    Shorten should have his answer to the zombie question about his popularity down pat by now.

    This is not a popularity contest between me and Mr Morrison. This is about who has the best policies to lead the country into the future and the best team to enact them. Compare our Ministers. Who is best to lead us on education – Tanya Plibersek or Dan Tehan? Environment – Tony Burke or Melissa Price? Infrastructure – Anthony Albanese or Michael Whatsisname? Health – Catherine King or Greg Hunt? Assistant Treasurer – Andrew Leigh or Stuart Robert? Finance – Jim Chalmers or Matthias Cormann? Climate change – Mark Butler or…???

    I could go on…..

  4. Kaye Lee

    Love the poem Alcibiades.

  5. Pappinbarra Fox

    Kaye Lee if Bill isn’t taking your advice he should be. It is gold.

  6. Rosemary J36

    NEC: Who is our current PM?
    It he whose history is unsavoury yet he remains popular!Please read more carefully!

  7. RomeoCharlie29

    Sometimes we are too quick to post, both authors and commenters, when a contribution could benefit from a re-reading, or another person’s edit. During my journalism Cadetship, many many years ago, I was required to read and correct galley proofs, and it has made me sensitive to errors throughout my reading life, often to the point of spoiling a read. Sadly it does not preclude me from occasionally (ok, incredibly rarely) making a typo, or getting some other point wrong in my own writing. As my wife, and best editor points out, none of us are (is) immune from mistakes. We are entitled, as you did RJ36, to correct a misinterpretation of something we have written, but am I entitled ( or is it indeed polite) to offer a correction — as I have done several times — to a logical inconsistency, or a simple factual error? Or am I just a pompous and opinionated git?

  8. Rosemary J36

    RC29 – You are spot on. I was well aware of all the scuttlebutt about Bill Shorten which has been in the public eye for a long time – and Kaye Lee’s advice is also perfect. I was conscious that the background of Scott Morrison is far from splendid but suspected that it was less well known. I would prefer others to do their own research rather than repeat the material I have gleaned.

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