Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called Australians to the polls, with Lions and Rotary barbecues around the country firing up and serving democracy sausages for all on 18 May.
There are many markers—from yarns over a coffee to well-funded surveys—that tell us we are experiencing an increased level of anxiety and cynicism about our political system. Australians want a government who will govern in the long-term interests of this country. Many can’t see it happening at present.
The media, through which we encounter our political leaders, have a role too. In many instances the lens through which our political leaders are portrayed is skewed towards creating conflict and drama, which doesn’t assist the Australian public who often struggle to differentiate the truth from political spin.
As we look to the long-term, some of the key issues for government to consider include the development of a sustainable economy that is moving into a post-fossil fuel era. The creation of an environment that fosters entrepreneurial risk and the generation of wealth. There is concern around taxation and fairness with many asking if everyone is pulling their weight in supporting our country.
Christian faith would also bring to these issues the question of how we are caring for the most vulnerable; enabling all to have equality of opportunity for a meaningful life. How are we being a good global citizen?
Out in the drought-affected west of our state where people are truly struggling to make ends meet on a daily basis, recent events including protests at abattoirs have furthered their heartache. Many people in rural and regional Australia are feeling like they are being taken for granted. Australian primary producers feed over 70 million people every year. Primary producers are proud of their environmental and animal husbandry ethics, yet they are being questioned and treated with suspicion, put up on trial in a public media.
My hope for the next six weeks is that those who are vying for public office would speak honestly, clearly and directly with the Australian people. That they’d even have enough faith in us to tell us what we need to hear, not what they think we want to hear.