This article belongs to Australia - Land of the Free? column.
When we vote for someone to represent us in Parliament, what are we saying to that person?
Okay, I've listened to your policies and heard how you are as a person; I am going to give you my vote. For that vote I expect:
- You to ensure that conditions prevail that will allow me to prosper as a person,
- Your electorate to be your prime concern as you represent our interests to decision-makers,
- That our state is considered in every representation you make,
- Our country is also to be uppermost in every thing you do,
- The environment to be protected at all costs and you vigorously pursue a solution to Global Warming,
- Our prosperity to be considered and where possible to be increased and maintained,
- Where a conflict occurs between any of the points that you do nothing to adversely affect the environment,
- That party politics not interfere with any of the above,
- Being re-elected to not be your primary motivation,
- You not support taking our country to war unless absolutely necessary,
- To gain monetary advantage with a powerful country to not be considered a sufficient reason to take us to war,
- My desires and wants to be considered equal with anyone being they rich or poor, business or pensioner,
- You do not have an agenda to suit one religion over another,
- You support any measure that will motivate good people to enter parliament whether they be in your party or not,
- I will tolerate minor indiscretions, but would expect your personal behaviour to be beyond reproach.
Global Warming will need visionaries to stop the procrastinating that we see with leaders today. They point out the dilemma is if we are to solve the problem we will have to wreck worldwide economies and throw everyone into a terrible recession. If we did that we would never be re-elected.
They see the problem as either we continue polluting the Earth and transfer the problem to our children to solve, wait for science to find a way to cut pollution while continuing with our lifestyle, or carry out policies that would see them thrown out of office, with those that replace them to continue polluting to remain in government.
That is the drivel we are being fed in political statements in the media as if the only solution is to wreck our life-style, as we know it. In Australia, the Rudd Government has just announced a carbon-trading scheme. Although the Government has been honest and stated it is going to cost us more I haven't heard one statement against it.
That counters the argument that we electors are too dumb or too self-centred to accept extra costs as necessary to tackle Global Warming. No the answer is to encourage alternatives to polluting industries, while also tackling the problem of convincing politicians to co-operate for the greater good to find an answer to a problem that is seated in decisions made over a hundred years during the Industrial revolution.