A warning to start this post with – I am getting a bit political here so if it’s not your thing feel free to ignore this one.
I have been eagerly watching the ABC and especially ABC 24 to follow the happenings in parliament this week. Question time on Wednesday was one of the best I’ve watched in ages. I’m a bit of a question time buff and I’ve watched it regularly with Miss Two and now Baby Good. Miss Two can pick out Julia Gillard (or as she calls her ‘Poor Julia’, hmmm wonder where she got that from?) at ten paces and gets especially excited to see her on the news each night. I was awaiting the introduction of the Carbon Tax bill to parliament this week and was so pleased to see it get passed – perhaps not so excited that I’d kiss Kevin Rudd, but pretty pleased with the whole thing.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the Carbon Tax is going to be a silver bullet for tackling climate change – or our part in this global problem – but I do agree that we should be charged for polluting and I think this is a step in the right direction. Actually even this policy isn’t all it could be, but thank God we finally have a government willing to take action and not just talk…. and talk and talk about the environment and climate change. So that was the first win, well done Julia!
The second win, Julia may not agree was a win and that is a shift to onshore processing of asylum seekers. I was always ashamed of how this country dealt with the so-called ‘boat people’ particularly given our long history of migration and the great contribution many migrants have made to our society. I was equally disappointed when the Gillard government proposed their Malaysian solutions – though I did like the acceptance of 4000 refugees as part of the package. I have often wondered who on earth is giving Julia advice on certain things and immigration policy is one of those. I was also gobsmacked when I heard she was going to present the bill to the lower house just 24 hours after the carbon tax bill and would probably lose the vote. Why, given her current situation, wouldn’t you want more than a day to bask in some parliamentary glory. Thankfully she back tracked on this and switched to an onshore processing policy this afternoon. Isn’t it ironic that the Coalition refused to back a bill that would allow them to follow the policy path of their choosing, talk about cutting off your nose to spite you face. But whatever the reason behind the change in policy, I consider this a second win for Australia – though going by the opinion polls I’m in the minority on both fronts.
Since harping on about my own concerns here I decided for once I should do more than talk and actually do something about my worries, so I’ve been on a letter writing (well emailing) blitz. So far I’ve hit the PM and climate change minister (Greg Combet), the opposition leader and opposition climate action, environment and heritage minster (Greg Hunt), and my local member (I’m in a safe labour seat). I plan to tackle some state ministers was well and perhaps even the local government. I’ve noticed two things about the opposition in this process: 1) the language they use for their minister speaks volumes about their views, it’s climate action, not climate change as they are not willing to admit that climate change is even real; 2) Tony Abbott is so pervasive in the media that his shadow ministers are completely unknown – I had never heard of or seen Greg Hunt, how is that possible considering how dominating the carbon tax bill has been in political news. The newspapers are also on my list, though I’m not sure if my points of view will be what they’re interested in. Having done quite a bit of reading and research in the last week, I think the more effective way to get your voice heard in these times is social media, not something I’m really up with. I’m not sure if I’ll go down this path or not, but will definitely try to get my head around the whole Twitter thing. Do you tweet, would you recommend it? For the record I’ve received responses from the offices of both Tony Abbott and Greg Combet, both were very short, but at least the one from Greg Combet indicated that they had actually read my letter. Tony Abbott’s staff clearly had not read a single word of my message. Oh and I included a link to my blog in some of them, I’m fairly confident the Prime Minister is now an avid reader – I’m sure she has time to be reading random blogs!
So by now you’ve probably noticed that I’m not a real fan of the Liberal Party, and that’s true. I’m not particularly a Labour supporter either, but I do generally agree more with their policies than with the conservative alternative. Generally speaking, however I find whoever is in power not all that much different to the opposition in many way, but as a woman and mother to daughters it scares me to think that after the next election we will very likely have Tony Abbott as the leader of our nation. I find his views quite patriarchal and outdated, with particular emphasis on his views towards women and issues that impact women’s lives. While it looks quite inevitable that the Coalition will form the next Federal government, I am hopeful that something changes either in opinion polls or with the leadership of the current opposition – this may be wishful thinking on my part.
Okay that’s my political rant for now. I’ll keep plugging away at it, but probably won’t write about it too often on here – I just couldn’t resist this one given the week in parliament we’ve had – it’s not what my blog was designed for. Back to the kitchen and garden – I have a mystery I need help solving, but more on that later.