Speak out

Although recent public opinion polls have suggested that some people are losing faith in democracy, how many would prefer another style of governance? Very few! Yet our Australian democracy does have one telling defect: usually, we have a chance to vote for a federal government only once every three years. Once we’ve voted, we are then stuck with our choice until the next election.

How many times have you heard people lament this electoral helplessness? How many times have you read in the social media how much some voters would like to oust the federal Coalition government? How many times have you sensed the frustration people feel as they contemplate having to endure it until 2022? How many times have you heard both journalists and ordinary people express disappointment about the poor performance of Scott Morrison? Yet, we are stuck with him, and his cohort of incompetent, even corrupt ministers.

Incompetent? Think about the LNP’s longstanding lack of climate and energy policies. Think about its inability to take meaningful action in pursuit of the worldwide goal of zero net emissions by 2050. Think about its inadequate planning for drought, fire and flood emergencies. Think about how our PM rejected the offer of expert advice about these threats. Think about the LNP’s disjointed recovery plans after the recent fires and floods. Think about a stuttering economy now facing a fading surplus, rising unemployment and underemployment, a shamefully low Newstart allowance, chronic wage stagnation, poor productivity, and lagging R&D investment. Although on the face of it Morrison's response to Covid19 might seem reasonable, the way he is using it an excuse for a weak economy is not..

Corruption? Think about the continuing ‘sports rort’ saga, the ‘you are not allowed to see’ Gaetjens Report that says ‘there’s nothing to see here’ even though it contradicts the detailed Report of the Auditor General, the validity of which has been once more confirmed in Senate Estimates by those who prepared it. If you need more convincing, read this. Think about how 83% of the Coalition's $3 billion, election-era Urban Congestion Fund went to government or marginal seats. Think about the Angus Taylor imbroglio, which seems to have no end. Think about the strife-ridden Nationals tearing themselves apart with self-interest. Think about the hard-core denial by the conservative rump of the LNP of the reality and consequences of climate change, and their ideologically driven advocacy for more coal-fired power stations at a time when the rest of the world is abandoning them. If these are not corrupt behaviours, what on earth are they?

So what can we do? This short piece is a clarion call to Speak out.

This is what this blogsite has been doing since 2008 via 868 posts to date – amounting to some two million words. How much influence The Political Sword has had is impossible to know. Yet we have had sufficient faith in it to continue it uninterruptedly for 12 years. In its earlier years each post might attract as many as 300 comments, but competition from the proliferation of alternative news and political websites has resulted in this falling away.

Aware of the limitations of our political website, this piece appeals to all of you to give us a hand, to let your voices be heard often and loudly. Do speak out!

One option is via online comments on this and other news and political blogsites, and through the social media. Some of you do this every day; we invite all of you to do likewise. You may even like to try your hand at writing a piece for The Political Sword. If this appeals to you, send an email to Ad Astra at 1tpsteam@gmail.com to obtain further information.

Another avenue is via your local newspaper. Many still exist. They carry local news, which is always of interest to locals. Hungry for content, they will welcome your contribution. You may have more difficulty having a ‘Letter to the Editor’ accepted by State or National newspapers, but it’s worth a try. As you know, some do actually get published!

Another option is via your local member of federal parliament. It matters not whether he or she is a member of your preferred party. Local members are there to represent your views in parliament and its committees, even if different from their own. Visit their electoral office and say to the member: “You may not agree with my views, but I insist you take them to your party room and your committees, and express them forcibly; I want your colleagues to know what I think”. The member is obliged to do so, to represent you as an individual voter.

Each of us has but a small voice, but thousands of small voices can make a lot of noise. We know that parliamentarians are very sensitive to letters sent to them by constituents, so long as they are courteous and respectful. While a couple of letters on the same subject might be ignored, more than a few ring alarm bells for them, and evoke a frightened response. We’ve known that for ages. Writing a letter has more potency than sending an email. Parliamentarians receive thousands of emails, which are too easy to delete.

Here is a website that gives advice about how to write to a parliamentarian. This example is particularly useful as it focuses on climate change, a subject you may wish to address with your MP. Here’s another resource.  

Please join hands with us at The Political Sword to facilitate the changes to the governance of our country we all desire and deserve.

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Ad Astra

2/03/2020

Still questioning whether the federal government is incompetent?

Read this: https://www.crikey.com.au/2020/02/28/government-ignoring-economic-reality/ 

Michael Taylor

2/03/2020

TPS has been a solid rock for a long time. I do not comment as much as I should, but please know that TPS is a site that I have respected longer than any other. 

Ad Astra

2/03/2020

What a magnificent compliment you pay TPS Michael. Thank you.

The respect is mutual. AIMN and TPS have been running on parallel tracks for many years, We carry on knowing that there are readers who find our offerings informative and insightful. We have been ‘speaking out’ aware that some are listening, perhaps encouraged, maybe comforted by the possibility of changing the chaotic world of politics, even influencing the occasional politician.. 

2353NM

3/03/2020

Thanks Michael,

Hopefully both TPS & AIMN can continue to be 'noisy Australians' well into the future.

TalkTurkey

5/03/2020

The LNP/IPA is galumphing now, they have known since last May that the Federal Police and the Media are in their pocket and that they are Teflon-coated and bulletproof. They have shown and are demonstrating daily that they are prepared to indulge any form of corruption. And we the People must come to terms with it because since November 11 1975 we have shown that we will treat any outrage from the Right with bovine supine equanimity. The ANZAC legend has been made into bullshit. When the real chips are down we're gutless.

I wish that being loud achieved anything. But look at the results of protest over the years. The Vietnam Moritorium Campaign for years and years, and that conflict was ended only by the election of Gough Whitlam's Labor Government, not the protests.  The protests over Gough's Dismissal. Over Australia's imminent deployment to the Yanks' Permanent War in the ME in 2002-3. Over mining and logging and all the protests every over everything all the time. I've been to more protests than I have digits but the notion of democracy doesn't work if the Government supported by the Media is able simply to ignore protest and the police fail to pursue abuses. The only thing that could work is for Labor to be elected into Government, but the way things are now, that may never happen again.

We have allowed Unions to be progressively vilified and emasculated, and now we have no real power at all. 

But Ad Astra and Michael, you will never know how much I admire you both for your perpetual voices of reason.  

Ad Astra

6/03/2020

Talk Turkey

Your analysis is always sound. Your realism is sobering. Yet the hope that speaking out might have a good affect remains fervent, particularly in these days of global anxiety and tension. Sadly, our federal government is tin deaf. It will not hear anything that it does not want to hear. Scotty from Marketing is practised at reciting, and I mean reciting, his spiel whenever he is near a microphone. He will not, indeed cannot change, so ingrained is his marketing orientation. His malady is incurable.

As your assert, the only chance this nation has of recovering from the Morrison malady is the election of a Labor government,

Thank you for the compliment you pay to Michael and me. With the support of loyal followers such as yourself we shall maintain our resolve to advocate for a government that exhibits the values we cherish, and has the strength and competence to enact them.

What does two plus 1 equal?