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Photographer's Note

Australians are about to vote for a new government and many of us are disillusioned by both major parties. I got up this morning with a sense of disappointment and indifference towards the leaders of both parties and remembered this photo I took in Kuching in the company of Alfred and Bill.I remembered clearly the expression of the vendor- an expression most suitable on how I feel about the election since I might have to choose between Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum(b).

I enclose part of today's editorial from one of our reputable papers. I have included the email address if you want to read the article in its entirety.

http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/editorial/australia-needs-a-government-with-a-vision-for-the-future

Australia needs a government with a vision for the future
August 20, 2010

The Age election editorial

Neither of the major parties should be proud of this campaign.
FEW election campaigns have produced such a dispirited response from voters as the one that is concluding today. In the five weeks since Prime Minister Julia Gillard asked the Governor-General to dissolve Australia's 42nd Parliament and issue writs for an election of the House of Representatives and half the Senate, neither Labor nor the Coalition has managed to inspire those who must choose between them tomorrow. How different is the national mood now from what it was three years ago, in November 2007, when Kevin Rudd led Labor into office, ending nearly 12 years of conservative rule under John Howard. Then, the future seemed bright with possibility as the new government embraced policies that changed the nation: signing the Kyoto protocol on global warming, apologising to the stolen generations, ending the so-called Pacific solution to boat arrivals. The opposition, too, seemed to embrace the new mood, at first tentatively under Brendan Nelson, then more assuredly under Malcolm Turnbull - though the discontents that would see Tony Abbott replace him as Opposition Leader last December quickly became apparent.
What ended this sense that the nation was focused on the future? The global financial crisis cannot be blamed, for Australia emerged from it earlier, and stronger, than almost any other developed economy. Nor should the failure of the Copenhagen conference on climate change be made a culprit. The notion that Australia should respond to other nations' unwillingness to tackle what Mr Rudd called the greatest moral challenge of our time by doing nothing itself was a counsel of despair; politicians embraced it out of timidity or exhaustion, not necessity. Finally, the reappearance on the horizon of boats carrying asylum seekers was accepted by both parties, in deference to xenophobes in marginal seats, as a problem, even though boat arrivals have always been a tiny fraction of total immigrant numbers. The debates on asylum seekers and population have been allowed to blur, distorting both.
On all these areas of national policy, the Labor government seemed unable or unwilling to contest mistaken assumptions and prejudices, while the Coalition, especially after Mr Abbott replaced Mr Turnbull, seized every opportunity to fan them. And, after Labor walked away from the greatest moral challenge of our time by shelving its legislation for a carbon emissions trading system, Mr Rudd's popularity, and the government's, waned, leading to his replacement by Ms Gillard.
This election campaign has been conducted in an intensification of that mood of disillusionment…

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: Klaudio Branko Dadich (daddo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3040 W: 103 N: 5281] (23633)
  • Genre: People
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2009-05-15
  • Categories: Food
  • Exposure: f/7.1, 1/250 seconds
  • More Photo Info: view
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2010-08-19 16:45
Viewed: 1504
Points: 26
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