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News

Readers Reflect on the State of Australian Politics

todayFebruary 11, 2022 1

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The Australia Letter is a weekly newsletter from our Australia bureau.

In last week’s Australia Letter, Besha Rodell wrote about her frustrations with the current state of Australia’s politics. She invited readers to send in their own feelings on the matter. Here are some excerpts from the many responses we got:

How frequently have I lamented the lack of educated and experienced statesmen and stateswomen in this country with the knowledge, experience, and pragmatic sense of how to govern. I listen to and watch the U.S. news where elected officials get into policy, doctrine, matters of deep concern for the population, but there is none of that here in Oz. Where are the statespeople with law degrees? Where are the conversations on equality, racial justice, climate change and plans for the future. At the same time, Australians themselves, myself included, are so complacent, anyone putting his/her hat in the ring to govern can usually get elected since it means we are happy that we don’t have to worry ourselves about any of it. Let someone else do it. She’ll be right, no? — David Roche

I’m sure that if Australia were in such a mess as the U.S., politically and socially, the political debate here might be a bit more sober. Obviously, the conservatives here are happy enough with the status quo and certainly don’t want serious debate about the major issues for which they either deny or have no answers. But yes, why aren’t the opposition’s and independents’ views being hammered loudly, every day? Perhaps it has to do with the lack of extreme polarization in Australian society. Isn’t much of the debate in the US just noise, sniping, propaganda and the echoes of inflated egos? So, let’s have more serious debate about the important issues without all the extraneous song and dance of the American sideshows. — Barry Long

We do live in one of the best countries on the planet, mainly due to the resilience and efforts of its population. It is hindered by the existing government and can be even greater when they are assigned to the dustbin of history. We do need to act collectively; the responses to bush fires, floods, drought and pandemics has reinforced this. We need less partisan and more cooperative governments capable of progressive and decisive action. — Greg Clydesdale

Both major parties are paralyzed by the contradictions in their policies on resource extraction and trading, and climate change. As a result, they can’t speak clearly about the major issue of our time, which turns everything else they say into shadow play. This state of affairs was brought about by the right-wing parties and their resource extraction friends killing off the hope of a sensible carbon pricing policy back in 2014. The Labor Party found itself sitting on a very sharp fence because of the resource extraction unions siding with their owners. Things just ain’t been the same since, I’m afraid, and frankly, they’re not going to improve in a hurry. — Tom Mangan

Original story from https://www.nytimes.com

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