Climate Change is an issue that requires long-term thinking, planning and execution. Unfortunately for most people in Western democracies, this kind of issue does not fit into either the media cycle or the election cycle.
The media cycle is now just a 24 hour beast, whilst the election cycle is limited to either 3 or 4 years. Increasingly, anything that falls outside these parameters is considered too difficult to implement. Opinion polls have become the arbiters of good policy rather than being advocated and sold by the government of the day. Also increasingly, it seems that the role of the opposition party(ies) is purely to oppose anything proposed by the incumbents, as if this provides an alternative view or policy perspective when in point of fact it is purest laziness.
Gone are the days that governments actually govern – they are now beholden to the mainstream media to such an extent that they are virtually paralysed from making any difficult decisions. Does anyone believe we would have a price on carbon now were it not for the fact of a hung parliament and the intervention of the independents? Whilst not an ideal solution, it is considerably better than no price on carbon at all.
We need to grasp the nettle occasionally to advance this nation. Our leaders need to have vision and the courage of those convictions in order to improve the lot of the nation, and indeed world. Instead we are subject to vagaries of personalities which are increasingly self-absorbed rather than being drawn to politics for the public good. Ego overtakes altruism. Career politicians take over from people who put themselves forward in an act of selflessness and the country is worse off for it. Individuals subsume what they know to be the right thing to do for the party line. All parties seem to be effected by this creeping disease; Labor, Liberals, Nationals & even the Greens. What were once lofty intentions become increasingly diluted in a race to be the most popular.
Important policies fall victim of the too hard basket and bad decisions become a commonplace as they are driven more and more by the polls – as if public opinion were the best judge of good policy! Sometimes the masses need to be dragged, kicking and screaming if need be, to a more equitable system for the betterment of society as a whole.
In Australia, our current hung parliament has afforded the opportunity to actually make some tough decisions – perhaps the best outcome come September would be another hung parliament.