Friday, 6 September 2013

2013 - The Year of the Conscience Vote; The Age recommends Labor; the spirit of Cronulla comes to Canberra; liberty, justice, equity, compassion, openness.

Just wanting to make sure that people did not miss out on seeing this 
from The Age in Melbourne.  
Clearly, the Fairfax Press remains independent considering 
when he spoke, it seemed, directly from
the Liberal politicians' sheet of talking points.

I'm a great believer in natural justice and I believe that we reap what we sow.  Australia is on a tipping point in my view.  We can choose compassion and inclusion or we can demonstrate that we are truly insular and xenophobic and worse.    I believe that leaders of a nation are duty-bound to bring out the best in their people - not to pander and grandstand to bigotry, racism, sexism and greed. To-morrow as individuals we can choose to coalesce around national ideals of decency and a fair go, of honesty and unselfishness.  I know that many who read this will agree with just about everything I have said in this paragraph.  I know there will be some for whom, like me, decisions at this election are fraught.

In case Networkers had not figured it out yet -  I am died-in-the-wool Labor.  I was a member of the ALP for about three decades.  I believe in trade unions - and even in retirement I am still a union member.  My history goes back to the 1970s when I was an activist against the Vietnam War and Apartheid in South Africa. I was the first woman appointed to be an AWU organiser in Northern Australia and only the second woman appointed in AWU history.  I am not a member of the ALP any more and have not been for more than a decade.  I am no longer a member of any political party.  I resigned my ALP membership in the early 2000s because of certain circumstances in my life at the time.  However, if I had not left when I did, I would have soon after because of Kim Beazley and Tampa. In short, I belong to a small - and perhaps invisible - faction: Rusted on Labor that Sometimes Votes Green.

There is no way in the world that I could reward Labor with my No. 1 vote in 2013.  I want to see others mark Labor down for its lack of compassion and its destruction of many Labor values.  I want the ALP to note that there are things that "up with these we shall not put"!!!  So last Friday when I voted early because I will be out of my electorate this week-end, I chose to give my No. 1 to The Greens and my No. 2 to Labor.  (Apologies to Catherine King, Member for Ballarat and Minister for Minister for Regional Australia, Local Government and Territories. Catherine is an excellent local member.) 

As perhaps never before - or at least for a long time - this needs to be The Year of the Conscience Vote.  The LibNats have brought our national conversation into disrepute.  The spirit of Cronulla has come to Canberra - not only in the person of Scott Morrison (what a contrast from Bruce Baird) but in bringing the racism, antagonism, bigotry and xenophobia displayed in the Cronulla riots to our national capital and our national conversation.  Since when did it behove Australia's national leaders to stir up such sentiments - and I haven't even mentioned sexism and misogyny?  Perhaps we'd have to go back to Billy Hughes for that.  

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