Letter in The Illawarra Mercury:
This is an open letter to the politicians of Australia from an ordinary voter.
The 21st century is already a decade old. The challenges of our time are significant and urgent. Global financial security, tolerance, equality, famine, health, education, communication and climate change.
To address these issues we need leaders that possess conviction, vision and education. We need societies that embrace freedom of expression, worship, movement and information.
Any person seeking to become prime minister of Australia in 2010 must demonstrate that they grasp these issues and have policies to address them.
To every policy they propose, they should expect the electorate to ask two questions – why, and how?
If party leaders do not understand modern issues they are not fit to rule on our behalf.
Both major parties treated the electorate with contempt.
Please do not insult our intelligence. We understand both parties run internal machinery to fund and control candidates – and we find it wanting.
We understand that marginal seats attract promises and commitments – and we find it corrupt.
We understand your slogans are designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator – and we find them unpersuasive.
We read reports finding fault in ambitious programs – and dismiss them, aware of media agendas and vested interests.
Politicians of all parties are reminded to trust their voters above their polls and focus groups. When our elected prime minister was removed so swiftly, and without testing our mandate, we were offended. We were denied an opportunity to hear the arguments. We might have punished the prime minister for postponing climate change action and the MSPT, we might not.
We would have weighed up the other outcomes, the apology, Kyoto, financial stimulus measures, BER and NBN – and we may have been forgiving. Had real arguments been made, we would have expressed our verdict at the ballot box.
The campaigns from both sides offered no arguments, no solutions, no continuation of reform, no vision for Australia’s place in the world.
With nothing to choose between, we removed the mandate from both parties.
We do not want compromises and bribes to form the basis of three years of government. We need real action on urgent issues now. Review your policies and represent their merits. Call a second election and argue your case. Whatever the result, Australia wins.
Except I really don’t want another election!
This week we will know who gets to be the government.
If Tony Abbott loses, which is looking very possible, he can blame hyperbole. That Gillard + The Greens + one Tasmanian Independent = “the most left wing government in Australian history” is total bollocks which only a pollie or an amnesiac could come up with.
Remember Gough, comrades? And they used to say “comrades” in those days… Or what about Curtin or Chifley? Remember trying to nationalise the banks?
He can also blame promising a billion to rebuild Hobart Hospital without explaining where the money would come from. That stuck in the craw of the intended bribee, the Tasmanian Independent, who preferred the more fiscally responsible offer made by Gillard and company and rejected the old Tone.
And perhaps he can blame calling on mates instead of Treasury to cost his promises.
Mind you, I’m still not risking a bet on the final outcome.