(Image: Private Media)

Well that’s a definite yes! Looks like the “Voices of” candidates — and independent MPs in the Parliament and the Senate — have seriously impressed Crikey readers. Also: no more explaining away bad behaviour, thanks.

On the independents are coming

Eileen Sholl writes: If there was a “Voices of” candidate in my electorate he or she would definitely have my vote. Our federal government appears to be led by a man who doesn’t believe that government should do anything much — and he is succeeding doing that in style. Ever since Tony Abbott tried to take us back to the 1950s, our leading parliamentarians seem largely to come from a privileged background with little understanding of life in the world most of us live in. 

Any woman looking for Liberal preselection would do well to bypass that and stand as an independent. I’m sure large numbers of us would prefer that to the party line we have come to expect from Liberal representatives.

George O’Farrell writes: At the very core of the cesspit that is Australian politics in 2021 are the two major political parties. They remain in lockstep in their opposition to minority government because the Parliament will have a real capacity to hold them accountable — and is quite likely to do so.

Do not fall for the nonsensical argument that Parliament will be unstable. There are two votes that undo a government: a vote of no confidence and a failure to pass the supply bill (the budget). The rest doesn’t matter. If governments have to negotiate and compromise and develop rational positions for acting, will we really be worse off?

Let’s hope for a triumph of enough of the “Voices of” candidates and other independents to make sure that never again does either the LNP or the ALP hold government in a majority.

Eric Dettman writes: If this country is to replace political self-interest with leadership the time is now. The standard of leadership common in the two major parties falls far short of the standard required to change the direction in which we are heading. This is not a rehearsal for a possible disaster; we are in a climate change disaster. The world cannot ignore climate change. Technology exists now to dramatically reduce our emissions and we need to have a clear plan immediately after the election based on known science.

I see only one result from the election that can deliver the future our children and their children should expect and are entitled to, and that is a minority government to replace an elected dictatorship controlled by vested interest groups and fossil fuel lobbyists. The independent MPs and “Voices of” candidates show a level of integrity and a work ethic not shown by party hacks. We do not have the luxury of time as the boys’ club continues to stumble towards a disaster to satisfy a small number of enemies of climate change.

Beverley Dyer writes: As a progressive voter in Goldstein for more than 20 years, I was resigned to never influencing the election or legislative outcomes. 

I have written to my local member, Tim Wilson, a number of times on various issues but never received a response until my last email asking him to support stronger action on climate change ahead of COP26. Imagine my surprise when I received an email beginning: “Like you, Tim believes that Australia needs a firm plan which addresses climate change, reduces Australia’s emissions and creates the jobs of the future.” I nearly choked on my Weetbix! 

I will almost certainly be preferencing Zoe Daniel ahead of the Liberals. With a 14% Greens vote in Goldstein in 2019, I think she has a great chance of success.

Trevor Foster writes: When voting independent, do your research to ensure the candidate is truly independent and not accepting assistance from a major party. My electorate is strong Labor, and although my upbringing is “working class” I am voting Greens in the Senate because I believe both major parties need some oversight of the legislation.

On excuses, excuses

Eva Bet writes: Yes, I too am sick of excuses. Since when is it sufficient to forgive oneself to avoid the law? It seems to me there are two systems of law: one for people like you and me and another for the federal Liberal and state governments.

How can Christian Porter still be a member of Parliament? If I took money from my “work contacts” to pay my legal fees I also would be in jail. Gladys Berejiklian cries victim but has still not been criminally prosecuted. If I use work money to pay for my boyfriend’s “mistakes” I would not only be sacked but prosecuted and made to return the money.

Yes a working majority is important in politics but behaving within the law is more important!

Aminta Hennessy writes: Heartily sick of excuses. Am 80 and have been very successful career-wise and have largely ignored the sexist remarks on the way up in a male-dominated workplace. I thumped anyone who tried it on. But last week I lost the plot and for the first time in my life I swore at a bloke because he said the car is crooked in the parking lines so it must be a woman driver. There were about six people around and he said to them: “She’s in a bad mood today.” So I gave it to him again and said: “Get lost mate before I really get mad.” Somehow, after years of ignoring, I lost it.

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