Kerrod Trott, founding Editor and Publisher of the Westender.
I’ve been a Labour supporter man and boy for forty years. I’ve been a financial member of the local branch, and have manned the polling booths for the ALP on many occasions.
Now I just can’t bring myself to vote for them anymore. The ALP have moved so far away from the egalitarian, social democratic values in which I believe, I’ve come to the conclusion that they don’t deserve my vote any more.
The latest ‘race to the bottom’ on the issue of refugees was, for me, the straw that broke the camel’s back. While I certainly don’t believe in an open door policy, and feel that the refugees should be considered as part of our overall migration policy, the spectacle of Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbot trying to outdo each other in being tough on asylum seekers left me with a sour taste in my mouth.
What’s wrong with being ‘soft’ on refugees? As Queensland celebrates ‘Multiculturalism Week’, have you ever asked yourself how many of the new Australians who have contributed so much to our society actually arrived here as refugees? The Greeks were fleeing the tyranny of the military junta in the 50’s. Over 100,000 Vietnamese fled here in small boats to escape Communist oppression in the 70’s. Balts, Yugoslavs, Somalians …. the list goes on.
Another major concern is the growing emphasis on American style Presidential politics in some sections of the ALP. Executive power is too important – and potentially dangerous – to be concentrated in one person’s hands, as in the US model. To me, it reeks of an attempt by the global oligarchs to install a candidate of their choosing at the pinnacle of power in Australia.
The concept of a democratically elected Prime Minister is a nonsense. Australia inherited a Parliamentary Democracy from the UK, and it has served us well. The Prime Minister should be answerable to the Parliament, and to the caucus of elected representatives from his party that put him in the job. That’s the way our system works
I’m a secular humanist with a deep commitment to social justice. I support the Trade Union movement, and cherish Unionism’s long history of looking after the rights and conditions of workers. I’ve never been able to bring myself to vote for the Tories.
Sadly, however, there doesn’t seem to be a place for people like me in the ALP of today, which is why you’ll see me handing out How To Vote cards for the Greens on polling day.