The News is full of stories about our politicians fighting for us, on a local level the Mayor and his Liberal colleagues are ‘fighting’ to keep the intermodal from being approved in Liverpool, Craig Kelly and Melanie Gibbons are equally ‘fighting’ for us, they don’t want the intermodal either. They’re fighting so we don’t get a concrete recycling facility on the river. Barnaby Joyce doesn’t want the mine in the Liverpool Plains. Who are they actually fighting? What no one seems to consider is they are members of the approving party… you know the party of authority, the ones who’ll say YES or NO… if they were genuinely ‘fighting’ for us, they’d put more than words on the line… they’d say to their party, if you won’t support our residents we’ll resign… simple as that, then we’d quickly see how much their parties REALLY value them as representatives of their community. There’s only two problems here that I can see, one the Liberal party really doesn’t care about them as representatives of our communities and two, would any of them would get elected as independents? So will they really put the community first? IMO No of course they won’t resign, so could we please stop playing this stupid game, can we please accept that they (the old parties) think we as a community are stupid, enough to believe them time after time after time. When we’re not willing to change our vote (for real) why would they bother and are they correct?
I, for one am tired of seeing comments in the paper where these representatives sing the praise of their party on one hand, all the while knowing they are insignificant in the scheme of things, that the things important to us don’t compare to the things that big business and the government wants or considers important. Barnaby isn’t going to put the people of Australia before his political ambition, sure he’s going to cry support for the farmers who feed our cities, sure he’s going to blame every man and his dog but it’s his coalition party who is opening all those doors, its his party that is approving things like the TPP which is going to be disastrous for Australia in the long term. Can you believe that they are willing to sign away our future all so they can impact on the big bad unions, opening the doors while leaving loopholes where foreign investors will have all manner of ways to sue our country if things don’t go they way they expect.
What annoys me more is their conscious attempt to change the subject , draw our attention elsewhere, like looky here, Indonesia isn’t going to buy our cattle… in this instance Barnaby’s literally known that for months, since Indonesia’s election actually, where they declared they were working toward self sufficiency but he really needed to take the focus off the Liverpool Plains. Likewise Bronny isn’t going to resign the Liberal party or speakers job imo because her dedication to her future is greater than her passion to serve us, if it weren’t she wouldn’t have tried to get it past the people in the first place. Let’s face it, as I was telling someone recently, if she resigns or retires as Speaker the golden handshake will be waaaaay more than if she steps down for the good of the party and becomes a back bencher where the golden handshake is pretty good, but not AS good.
Does Craig Kelly have a tenuous hold on his seat? Prior to the last federal election he was a virtual unknown, not only to the community but to the party he represents according to papers of the time. Rumours abound that other ambitious personalities are looking to oust him, take his seat, if that is the case he doesn’t even have the support of his local colleagues, to the community is he known enough for his ‘good’ works to be elected as an independent? Do people actually vote for individuals or do they vote for parties?
I know I’m singling out the Libs here but the same goes for Labor. Labor has a long standing respected Member in Chris Hayes, but his own party, when making a submission in relation to redistribution of electorates completely throws him to the wind by suggesting his seat is divided into 5, leaving him (again) without a seat. Twice to the same pollie, remember they turfed him from MacFields so Laurie Ferguson could move in.
Let’s be honest any votes I, or anyone, get at election time are for the party, of course there would be a handful from people who know the candidates activity/passion for the community, as with Labor and Liberals but they’d be few in comparison to those who believe and support the policies of the Greens, or Labor or Liberal.
We need to be realistic, we need to be honest with ourselves and we need to consider the long term ramifications of our votes. Let’s be real neither of the two old parties give a fig about us out here. The only way we will ever get a real voice out here is if we shake up the old two and elect someone else… ok I do believe that the Greens are the option but let’s delve a little closer:
Electing an independent is of course an option but one of the reasons I didn’t stay an independent was who do you bounce ideas off? Your small personal group of confidants and supporters simply isn’t representative enough of the whole community. Most independents have one major issue they know about, the one burning desire, their reason for standing. But communities aren’t all about one issue, sure you’ll find issues that are important, but once elected you cannot run a whole term on how to fight against or for that one issue, you really do have to have a detailed grasp of the issues across the board. The idea of having a party of like minded people behind you means you have the experience, the tools, the wherewithal to really make a difference but if that party is not supporting your community are you getting the results your community deserves?
The two old parties are simply taking turns with your vote, they know that one of them will get a turn at being your local member, here in the south west, for a long while the Libs didn’t even try, it was assumed that we all voted in lockstep with Labor, things have changed along with our demographic and today, its not a given, but they still know that one way or the other we’ll have a Labor or Liberal member sitting in both Federal or State Parliament. Even more concerning, I heard a commentator say recently that we don’t vote in parties, we vote them out… we don’t seek out the party that best represents our values, we simply vote out the ‘crap’ and cross our fingers the new lot won’t be as bad. We as a community have lost respect for politics, we’ve watched time after time as individual snouts are in the trough, we’ve allowed ourselves an out by hoping the next will be better than the last. Do we ever really check out the politician, their policy or their passion? When did we decide that ok was good enough? For me, it’s not, when did we decide that someone who’s never lived in our reality will be able to speak for us? We really do have to start thinking and demanding more.
But what if you didn’t do the expected…what if you really did say enough is enough and voted differently?
Will we ever know, will we ever get the representation we should have, not just people who will say they stand against their party on our behalf all the while knowing they wouldn’t dream of rocking the boat enough that they wouldn’t be endorsed come the next election.
As you can see the whole thing has me a little annoyed, Even the press are compounding the problem, not because they aren’t doing their job, but because they are only doing half of it, they aren’t really providing accurate and detailed information in the belief the community will seek out politicians who will work for them but take quick three word slogans, smiling, handshakes and no substance and again its us that think this is enough.
You can thank the Bronny and the helicopter issue for this post, Barnaby and his false despair and the plethora of local pollies who just think complaining and saying they’re speaking up for us is enough, that and the fact that when something starts affecting the polls pollies start looking for a distraction, to take our attention off the important things. Things like our planet becoming unable to support the population, where more and more people seek refuge from war, climate change and hunger, where a poor lion is shot with a state of the art bow and arrow so some rich person somewhere can say ‘hey look what I did!
I don’t really expect anyone to resign, I would like to think our Politicians felt as strongly about things as I do, but they for the most part do what they can, in the knowledge that if they are lucky they will hold a seat for a few terms. I’ve worked for a Local MP and can honestly say some of them work really hard, while some talk a lot and achieve little. I guess i’m hungering for passion, conviction and dedication and am tired of the rhetoric. I’m luckier than most, I only have to look at the MLC’s and Senators who represent the Greens, I only wish those others would dedicate themselves in the same way.
Of course there will be people reading this who think completely differently, and that’s ok, but speak up, share that view, tell me where you think I’m wrong…. stop sitting by and watching things happen without a real fight, comment or opinion. I won’t bite and complacency is overrated. Its time we said with conviction, I’m going to act and if it’s not right I’m going to do more than wish I’d tried harder. My community and yours deserves more.