Features

Elections, Canberra Style!

Justin Simpson’s ‘Letter from Australia’

THERE ARE ALWAYS elections not far away in Oz and the federal one to determine who governs the country for the next three years is just a few days hence . . .This is either extremely interesting or worse than watching paint dry, depending on your view of politics: just as that lady in Bristol once said about an upcoming vote: “You’re joking! Not another one?!”

Here, where there is no class system and everyone is equal, the Tories (aka the Liberals) support the top end of town, ie the CBD (central business district) plus the miners and plutocrats; whereas the ALP (aka Labor) support the working class; and there are the usual minor parties of extreme right wingers (for Arlene read Pauline; for Nige, Clive!) who want tiny government, few taxes and fewer foreigners plus unlimited fossil fuel mining. Then, there are the Greens who have just one MP as with Lady Lucas in the UK, but who have the best wishes of everyone under 30 years of age who care about our planet’s future.

The Liberals have been misruling for six years, but look like they might finally fall to the widely-loathed Labor leader, Bill Shorten, an ex-union boss who is, of course, the bogey man of the aspirational middle class who treasure their still expensive properties and tax-free superannuation funds more than they detest the climate-change-denying-fossil-fools on the right wing: better to have loadsamoney on a dead planet than be merely comfortable on a living one!

Never mind about the springoffs and their progeny: as with the EU referendum, they can obviously fend for themselves in some parallel future where no-one needs a property to live in or a decent well-paid job to afford it. And let’s not get into our destructive dietary habits with meat n dairy combining for 85% of deforestation and our plastic waste now evident on even the remotest islands in the Pacific.

So, back to our election. What’s the choice when neither major party really cares about our ecological sustainability unless Greta Thunberg is screaming green murder? Clearly, economic growth is all that matters, and never mind that perpetual growth is only possible on a finite planet if you are either a dismal scientist or a fool. The Greens obviously, but people clearly can’t bring themselves to tick that box out of economic self-interest or stupidity (as one potential voter ranted last night, “Why waste your vote on them?”). So, we’ll get the government we deserve: a bunch of noble-talking halfwits or charlatans as we head down our slippery slope at ever increasing speed.

Still, the sun is shining brightly in deep blue sky . . .

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