The election

Way too busy to write much about the election. But for my own sake, I thought I’d record some thoughts. Firstly, months ago, I thought the best outcome for an election would be Greens balance of power. This looks to be not only achievable, but pundits even consider it likely. This is an excellent prospect, and would make election day something to cheer.

Secondly, many months ago I thought it was good that Abbott was leader of the opposition. I thought it would make any deal on climate change between Libs and Lab impossible. The result (in my naive mind) would be Labor would continue its commitment on climate change, given its rhetoric, but would have to strike a compromise with the Greens. I no longer believe there’s anything likely or pre-ordained about that. If anything like that can or will happen, it will only happen as the result of public pressure that is unlikely to happen. Most recently, the annual march agaisnt warming took place. 10 000 people took part. I believe that’s the Sydney figure. It shows the terrible state of activism in Australia on climate change. I think the problems are this: firstly, much of the most radical activism is devoted to organising events of direct action. I do not oppose direct action at all, and wrote in support of a climate camp last year. But this is obviously only going to engage small groups of activists – not the broader public, and nor will it draw on the larger sympathising groups. I think much otherwise about the Climate Camp group was fantastic. It was well organised, run in a strictly decentralised manner, totally grassroots, federalised across many likeminded groups and so on. This contrasts in almost every way with the AYCC, Power Shift etc type crowd. Centralised beyond the dreams of the most fanatical Leninist, overflowing with corporate sponsors – often not even green corporate sponsors – it is the worst imaginable model of activism. Their leaders – and yes, it has leaders, its run like the corporations that support it – appear on corporate media because they’re completely unthreatening (one column was devoted to criticising Tony Abbott, at a time when it was transparently Labor failing on policy, which just happened to be in Government but nevermind). We have to look at why so many activists feel disempowered and don’t get organised. I think AYCC is a major part of it. The AYCC calls itself a coalition – but is more like the Climate Change coalitions for the Senate last election which refused to merge with groups like Greens which actually do have strong climate change policies. The AYCC does not actually adopt the programs of the activists, who are mainly radicals. It simply has formed coalitions with the corporate sponsors who know how to get a good reputation and know how to make friends who won’t rock the boat.

What is the result of all this? We have a long way to go on climate change in Australia, and the prospects are grim. The election will not solve this problem at all.

Who should I prefer to see win the election? Labor. I can’t bear the thought of Abbott winning. Yet I can’t think of a single policy reason to vote for Labor. On every major issue they’re indistinguishable.

I had lots more to say, but got sidetracked with the ravings of a very right wing Zionist. Anyway. I think it’s also important to note the expansion of compulsory income management. This is a Labor policy, introduced by Macklin, supported by Labor AND Libs. Libs initially opposed it, but have come around. The results will be to institutionalise racism and discrimination across Australia. And if Abbott wins, it could mean institutionalising a much less fair Australia, though it may not be racially based. There is lots to say about compulsory income management, but I’m too tired.I am not looking forward to the election tomorrow, but I hope the Greens win lots of Senate seats.

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