Lyn Dickinson, Pottsville
The lesson to be learned from the events of the last week (and the last six years) is that ultimately people judge politicians on their integrity not their performance.
Based on their achievements, the Gillard government should have been riding on a popularity high and expecting significant success at the next election. But the actions of removing an elected prime minister in an undignified and demeaning manner, and the division over preferred leadership within the Labor Party, have overshadowed any of these achievements.
Politicians need to re-gain the respect of the people they represent. This means to be value-driven, not poll-driven, and to have a set of values which reflect the best interests of the planet and the human, animal and plant life it supports. And most importantly, that there is a long-term vision for a stable and sustainable future, not short-term goals which ensure votes at the next election.
The Greens are an ethical party, which adheres strictly to a set of values which embrace the best interests for all, not a privileged few. They do not do deals behind closed doors – all decisions on policies and representatives are made at a grassroots level through their local branches. This is democracy at its best. Leaders are nurtured and respected, not toppled when the going gets tough.
We are at the crossroads – the next election will determine whether we go back to the way things have always been done, or whether we choose a new direction which addresses the real challenges of our future. No matter which major party is elected, strong Greens representation is essential in order to drive the reforms necessary to abate dangerous climate change, which is the biggest threat to life as we know it. This means forgetting about popularity contests – hard decisions will need to be made for the common good, not for vested self-interest.