Thursday, 3 July 2008

Gippsland by-election shows that people still need to learn

The Australian has published a good article that shows how Australia's soft population is so unwilling to deal with the real costs of not acting on climate change. Alternatively, we should say that they are unwilling to see the long-term pain that will result from policies that make life for them financially much easier but which constitute ecological suicide beyond even our present course.

My discovery that Family First, set to become the major party of Australia's next generation, did not even run, truly surprised me. The 2007 Family First candidate Tania Walters did run, but without the support of her party gained only 32.3 percent of the Party's 2007 votes.

It is true that some people have argued that local issues and not the reduced cheapness of petrol are the cause of the swing, and it is equally true that formerly party-endorsed candidates have been able in some cases to win more votes as independents. One might hope for this!

Now there is to be a by-election for the safe Liberal Adelaide Hills seat of Mayo. It might be safe for Labour not to contest given they have no chance of winning, especially if Family First - very strong in the mortgage belt of Adelaide - did run this time.

Labor really must have its priorities in the right direction. It should not run in a by-election for even safer Coalition seats like MacKellar (Bronwyn Bishop listed as "possibly retiring" before 2007), O'Connor (Wilson Tuckey ditto), Fairfax, Maranoa, Moore or Pearce (very like Mayo in being located in the hilly urban hinterland of Perth), but should instead aim to focus on trying to inform the public about the horrible costs of allowing petrol prices back into the depths of the basement.

Independent groups really should try to encourage people to voluntarily do without private motorised transport altogether even if this is very, very, very tough - showing them how Australia's climate has drastically changed and why we need to boycott private car usage to do something about it.

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