So there I was, watching Barnaby Joyce on Q&A explaining pseudo-patiently for the fifth time that he couldn’t do anything about protecting aquifers from unconventional gas mining because it was under the control of the States. And waving the Holy Book of the Constitution at us.
Spot the obvious error in this sentence, I tweeted. ‘We can’t save our water supply because of the Constitution.’
Vision impaired power games
I hope you can see the mistake here, even if Barnaby chooses not to. To uphold that a piece of paper is more important than the long-term survival of our food bowl is surely mind-blowingly stupid. Yet it seems that instead of Justice being blind in this country, it’s the political system that’s in need of a seeing eye dog.
We keep voting them in, don’t we. We keep voting for politicians who ignore the bleeding obvious because it’s not expedient, or it’s too hard.
You’d think that, in a two party system, we’d at least get a choice of options in policy between the stupid and the logical. But that’s not the way it works. Major change is considered too dangerous; nobody likes change! Staying in power is the game, regardless of how many lies are told, or – more dangerously – how many truths are ignored.
The basic philosophy of our current political system is this: ‘the future’ equals the number of years till the next election, and devil take the human race.
Let’s only present an alternative between two convenient but wrong answers; let’s just keep plunging towards the cliff edge, lemming-like, and spin a convincing enough web of bullshit to get the people to follow!
Cowardice and self-interest
And so we come to cowardice. I believe there is no other way to describe the behaviour of our politicians on both right and left. Taking tender care of one’s own neck and nest egg, watching one’s own back – this is the culture of today’s breed of supposed ‘representatives’.
They are intelligent people. They know, somewhere in the back of their minds, that their policies’ short-sightedness endangers the human race. But the vast majority of ‘representatives’ are too lily-livered to act in our defence. The party machine chews up and spits out anyone who dares challenge the status quo. (Do I dare mention Peter Garrett. The company takes what the company wants*, mate!)
In truth, I feel for some of the individuals in both parties. They are trapped; even if they see the folly of the policies they must spruik, they risk their jobs if they swim against the tide.
Courage is not easy. It never was. If the politicians can not be brave, then the people must.
Courage: it’s up to us
In political terms, courage is voting outside of the two-party paradigm we’ve been force-fed for generations. Courage is saying ENOUGH, and giving your vote to the representative whose policies reflect truth and justice instead of voting for one of the ‘big two’.
You’ve been taught to be afraid of the alternative. You’ve been taught to believe that a vote outside the big two is a vote wasted. That’s manipulation.
Fear will not save us from the greatest threats to our health and prosperity. Only courage can do that – the courage of the people, as a body, to turn away from the self-interest and hypocrisy exhibited by both major parties. Where will Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten be when the aquifers of the driest continent on earth are polluted, when the sea eats away our coastal cities and towns, when technology pushes more and more of us out of work?
Enjoying their pensions in their ivory towers, that’s where.
Bravery: a vote for a better future
You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect a different result. You can’t keep electing this dinosaur or that dinosaur and expect to be led towards a healthy and prosperous future.
We CAN change the future. But we cannot do it without major upheaval of our political system.
It’s time to turn over the status quo. A vote for Australian Progressives is not wasted. Don’t let fear stay your hand from voting for listening to the evidence, for acting upon it, for the good of the human race.
Bravery is not the absence of fear. Bravery is acknowledging your fear but acting regardless. Are YOU brave enough to vote for a better future?
*Lyrics from ‘Blue Sky Mine’ by Midnight Oil