I tend to be a very black and white person who seeks out clarity. Ultimately this led me to pursue science rather than more creative development (I was also accepted for an arts degree, based on my portfolio of creative writing and graphic design, but in the end I chose ecology). I’m not a fan of uncertainty and am drawn to pulling things apart to better understand them. Hence, I am aware of my political ignorance, for much of it just doesn’t make sense.
As such, I in advance ask my readers to excuse the meandering fashion of my writing as I drift through the grey fog of politics. As the Australian election looms, I feel compelled to write about it, but am sure that my particular view is one devoid of much ideological understanding.
It appears to me that this election is one not on choosing the best candidate, but rather the least worse.
Tony Abbott quite clearly demonstrates a lack of historical knowledge and scientific accuracy which no doubt would lead Australia into another three years of inaction and radical right-wing conservatism. We can at least be thankful that Nick Minchin will not be part of his team; a man who has on numerous occasions stood for industrial wealth over human health and environmental stability. However, a man that informs school children that it was warmer when Jesus was alive, in my opinion, is unfit as a political leader. Sure, I will admit that Abbott has the strength required of a leader (something Kevin didn’t really demonstrate too clearly), but his dogmatic logic is appalling, to say the least, in the 21st century. It’s certainly okay for Tony to hold whatever views he wishes to within his private life, but to bring it to the public and to misinform students is unacceptable.
Julia Gillard in a lot of ways is a disappointing replacement to Rudd. What upsets me most is the uncomfortable air in her progression to the top job – it feels a little underhanded at best. Not only did the action rob the Australian community of the opportunity to demonstrate their changing views regarding gender equality by electing their first female PM, but she has since proven to be as weak on action as the PM she replaced.
Gillard has been attacked for her redundant use of the slogan, “moving forward,” and has since defended the use by saying, “I’ve used the term ‘moving forward’ because I believe it captures a spirit about Australia. We are a confident, optimistic, forward-looking people.”
However, her spirit of Australia, her forward-looking people, is a citizen consensus on climate change. A handful of randomly selected Aussies to waste a year thinking about climate change and carbon taxing. This is far from “forward-looking”, but more an open endorsement for extending paralysis for another year. Let’s ignore decades of of research and billions of dollars worth of long-term monitoring and the conclusions drawn by the vast majority of related experts and instead gauge what the Average Joe thinks about climate change.
Simply because of her position of governance, this is even worse than Donna Laframboise’s citizens audit (who quotes on her blog that, “climate skepticism is free will” – it is, as much as type two diabetes skepticism is, but skepticism won’t change the results on an unhealthy lifestyle and family history). Appealing for a citizen consensus demonstrates a lack of real leadership when, by the simple choice of her chosen career path, Gillard should be willing to lead. When you second-rate have writers being applauded for their unscientific and counter-environmental articles, you should rightfully question the awareness of the public and thus their ability to make informed decisions – not get them to make up your mind for you (see this post regarding Andrew Bolt for example).
So, at the heart of it, we’ve got two political leaders appealing for our votes; one that is at best a mixed bag of contradiction and awkwardness and the other is a pre-Enlightenment dogmatic ultra-conservative. We’ve got the options of either sitting on our arses while a bunch of non-scientists make up their minds over climate science and environmental management or we can choose to take a few steps backward, stick our heads in the sand and pretend that our pockets aren’t getting lighter.
Neither one is moving forward and Julia only seems the lesser of two bad options.