This week both the Australian Labor Party leader Bill Shorten and the Liberal National Party Malcolm Turnbull claimed electoral victory.
In fact, we all lost.
Climate Change our greatest challenge was ignored. The result will be more of the same, both parties support opening new coal mines and continue to ignore the climate crisis.
During the election campaign, scientists attending the International Coral Reef Symposium in Hawaii sent a letter to Australian officials calling for action to save the world's reefs, which are being rapidly damaged.
The letter was sent to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull imploring his government to do more to conserve the nation's reefs and curb fossil fuel consumption.
The letter, signed by past and present presidents of the International Society for Reef Studies on behalf of the 2,000 attendees of the International Coral Reef Symposium that was held in Honolulu, urged the Australian government to prioritize its Great Barrier Reef. See link http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/06/26/scientists-send-coral-reef-plea-aus
The Great Barrier Reef is doomed.
Our Generation has ignored the warnings and now a large part of the reef is dead.
During the election campaign the climate crisis was barely mentioned. The politicians (with the exception of the Greens) basically ignored the scientists calling for action. Ignored the potential loss of coral and the 70,000 jobs at risk in the tourism industry. All we heard was the mantra “Jobs and Growth” While in reality more jobs were at risk that would be created.
Labor and the Liberal coalition have similar policy on the off shore processing of refugees. Condemning innocent men, women and children, guilty of nothing more than trying to seek safety from violence and starvation to live in Australian concentration camps in indefinite detention.
A team from the UNHCR said in May 2016 "There is no doubt that the current policy of offshore processing and prolonged detention is immensely harmful,"
"There are approximately 2,000 very vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru [and] despite efforts by the governments of Papua New Guinea and Nauru, arrangements in both countries have proved completely untenable."
The court ordered PNG and Australia immediately take steps to end the detention of asylum seekers in PNG.
Neoliberalism is dead
Both Labor and liberal parties still support Neoliberalism and austerity. Ignoring a recent paper from the IMF
The paper — written by IMF Deputy Director Jonathan Ostry, Division Chief Prakash Loungani, and economist Davide Furceri — proposes that neoliberal economic policies have resulted in increased inequality and stunted economic growth. See Link http://fortune.com/2016/06/03/imf-neoliberalism-failing/
Australia’s democracy at risk
More than a million Australian voters voted Green, demanding climate action, a more humane policy on refugees and the end to Neoliberalism. The result was one Green member in the House of Representatives, while just over 500,000 voters voted National and elected 10 National members to the House of Representatives. How could this by any stretch of the imagination be called democratic?
The two major parties have the advantage of a compliant media and incumbency making it virtually impossible for change to be won at the ballot box. Unless we get proportional representation progressive parties with new ideas and solutions to the challenges of the 21st Century will be unable to win an election and Australia will be condemned to mediocrity.