9 Sep 2013

Get Your Toe Off The Party Line

By Adam Marsters
Photo by Adam Marsters
Photo by Adam Marsters

We've had a change of government. Now Adam Marsters would like to see his Gen Y peers give up the pack mentality and lead a revived political debate about the future

On Four Corners last week we met Young Liberal Alessia Maruca on the campaign trail with the Liberal member for Brisbane, Teresa Gambaro.

When quizzed about her personal views on gay marriage, Maruca told ABC journalist Janine Cohen that while she supported gay marriage, she knew that the Coalition, by way of Tony Abbott's refusal of a conscience vote, did not share her view. Maruca continued, saying that a "lot of my gay friends, especially those in the Party, believe that they're a Liberal first and a gay person second. So to us, especially in the younger wings of the Party, it's not really an issue."

But the exact reason why this isn't an issue is the real issue at hand.

More often than not, I encounter people in the 18-30 demographic, who are members of a political party and who will blindly follow whatever their party tells them is right or wrong. I've seen people involved in student politics who are too afraid to stray from the party message because they are so wrapped up in the spectacle of politics. This is as true in the Labor party as it is in the Coalition, or any other party.

I hope that in the future we see a generation of leaders who don't idly sit by and follow a pack mentality.

Real change only happens with a proper debate between informed members both within and outside party ranks. Real leaders should not just be plucked from political science classes, but from all walks of life and experiences.

Australia runs the real risk of handing over tough political debate to a generation afflicted by the herd mentality,  too afraid to debate big issues within their own party. We run the risk of breeding a generation of politicians whose only real experience is that found within the machinery of political parties. In June, Labor Senator Doug Cameron asked the ABC, "what's wrong with a bit of colour and movement, what's wrong with people actually saying what they think, what's wrong with different views in the Labor party?"

Doug Cameron also referred to the increasing rhetoric that people my age, both knowingly and unknowingly, seem to only strengthen in today's political landscape. Nodding to the notorious “talking points” scandal which plagued the dying days of the Gillard leadership, Cameron asked: "Why should I just take a view that some kid in the media department of some minister or the PMO [Prime Minister's Office] is telling me what I should say? This is nonsense."

I hope that after the election we can see a revived political debate within the country. An honest, open and truthful political debate is what this nation needs. The people best placed to lead that charge are my generation, the 18-30 year olds. These are the people responsible for ensuring the survival of difference of opinion. Three word slogans, daggy catch phrases, factional thuggery and colour coordinated t-shirts are not the standard that decades of political debate should equate to in this country.

7 September was a day of change — but that change needs to continue in the political culture of all the parties. It starts with Gen Y.

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jackal012
Posted Monday, September 9, 2013 - 19:32

YeaH! Good Luck with that!

 

We have killed each other for 120K years and we have gone from throwing rocks to dropping Nukes. Our Young are the most violent in history, so, keep dreaming. 

 

We are a Rum Rebelion Democracy! Me Me ME, Pork barreling Nation.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. DrGideonPolya
Posted Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 10:51

If we take GenY to mean people born between about 1980 and about 2000 we are talking about teenagers to early 30s.

With some notable exceptions (e.g. activists such as  those  working with the Greens, the Socialist Alliance and other pro-environment organizations such as the Climate Action Groups (CAGs) and the Australian Youth Climate Coalition : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Youth_Climate_Coalition  ) the Gen Ys are going with the flow, BAU, hedonism and allowing the disgusting, greedy, morally incompetent older generations destroy their future as summarized below:

1. If the 18 and over Gen Ys were intellectually and morally competent we wouldn't have just had a Coalition victory  in an election fight between pro-war, pro-Zionist, pro-coal,  pro-gas, anti-environment, human rights-abusing, US lackey , war criminal and climate criminal Libs and Labs (Liberals and Laborals, Coalition and Labor).

2. Accoring to the Australian Climate Commission and its German equivalent the WBGU, the world has a terminal greenhosue gas (GHG) polution budget of 600Gt (billion tonnes) CO2 that must noit bee exceeded if we are to have a 75% chance of avoiding a 2C temperature rise. At poresent rates of polution this will be exceeded in 16 years (Ausatralian Climaet Commisison) and possibly within 5 years (see Australian Climate Commission, “The critical decade 2013: a summary of climate change science, risks and responses”, 2013, p7: http://climatecommission.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/The-Critical-Decade-2013-Summary_lowres.pdf ; Gideon Polya,  " Doha climate change inaction. Only 5 years left to act", MWC News, 9 December 2012: http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/23373-gideonpolya-climate-change.html ; "Are we doomed": https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/are-we-doomed  ).

3. Just before the 7 September  2013 Federal Election the Coalition produced a policy document dated September 2013 and entitled “The Coalition’s Policy for Resources and Energy” (see: http://www.nationals.org.au/Portals/0/00_Election_00/Coalition%202013%20Election%20Policy%20%E2%80%93%20Energy%20and%20Resources%20%E2%80%93%20Final.pdf ) . This document is extraordinary for making absolutely no mention of “climate change” that derives heavily from fossil fuel burning.

4. Climate change inaction is threatening massive intergenerational inequity and intergenerational injustice Despoilation of the environment due to greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution and resultant climate change are the legacies to future generations of current climate criminal, carbon pollution profligacy and climate change inaction. However a huge violation of intergenerational equity and intergenerational justice (and hence intergenerational inequity and intergenerational injustice)  is the immense cost of reversing 2 centuries of fossil fuel burning by biochar-based return of the  atmospheric CO2 concentration to the pre-industrial 300 ppm  from the current 400 ppm, this being variously estimated below at $13 trillion to $53 trillion (US dollars)  or 15-62% of the current world annual GDP of $85 trillion (see Gideon Polya, “Gigantic Cost Of Requisite Climate Change Action Threatens  Massive Intergenerational Inequity And Intergenerational Injustice”, Countercurrents, 1 August 2013: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya010813.htm ).

5. All education can and should be free and Educational Apartheid should end (see "Accredited Remote Learnning” : http://accreditedremotelearning.blogspot.com.au/ and “Educational Apartheid”: https://sites.google.com/site/educationalapartheid/ ).

6. Eminent US climate scientist  Dr James Hansen (former head, NASA's  GISS and adjunct professor at 98-Nobel-Laureate Columbia University) in addressing the question "Is there any real chance of averting the climate crisis?" (2009): "Absolutely. It is possible – if we give politicians a cold, hard slap in the face. The fraudulence of the Copenhagen approach – "goals" for emission reductions, "offsets" that render ironclad goals almost meaningless, the ineffectual "cap-and-trade" mechanism – must be exposed. We must rebel against such politics as usual.Science reveals that climate is close to tipping points. It is a dead certainty that continued high emissions will create a chaotic dynamic situation for young people, with deteriorating climate conditions out of their control... Are we going to stand up and give global politicians a hard slap in the face, to make them face the truth? It will take a lot of us – probably in the streets. Or are we going to let them continue to kid themselves and us and cheat our children and grandchildren? Intergenerational inequity is a moral issue" (see James Hansen, “Copenhagen summit: Is there any real chance of averting the climate crisis?” Observer/UK Guardian, , Sunday 29 November 2009, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/nov/29/copenhagen-summit-climate-change ).

 GenYs should follow Dr Hansen's advice, get off their bums, take to the streets and declare that they  are never going to leave home or tidy their bedrooms as long as their miserable parents keep supporting the destruction of the future by the pro-war, pro-Zionist, pro-coal,  pro-gas, anti-environment, human rights-abusing, US lackey , war criminal and climate criminal neoliberals.

EarnestLee
Posted Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 11:54

Adam,

Get these lost souls to form a new Party.

"Australians for a Direct Democracy"

Once elected they can reject the pack and vote in the privacy of their own bedrooms.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. Bill Laing
Posted Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 15:01

Good on you Adam! Your honesty and obvious commitment to reality, not spin and conformity, are an absolute breath of fresh air.

As a father of 2 Gen Y kids (now 26 and 31) who are a mixture of (mostly) healthy self-belief and (some) negative self-centred GenY attributes, I see in GenY a mixture of tremendous energy but a decreasing understanding of cause and effect - the old question "Where does the milk come from?". My babyboomer generation and GenX bequeathed GenY the facile 15 second media grab and all its accompanyiing irrationality (= inability to logically and scientifically analyse a situation), and we are all paying for it. My schoolteacher wife challenges her kids to "Make good choices" but how can they vote for a "good choice" in last Saturday's election, if they can't logically analyse important stuff like global warming? As a geologist and a scientist I can assure you it's a one-way street to the annihilation of our species. 

Adam you can do us all a huge favour and (1) stay true to yourself as a human, and (2) do true journalism. Ask the right questions, and keep asking them when your subject fails to answer, until you get an answer, or show the world that your subject in fact has no answer. Keep asking the fundamental question, very rarely asked by MSM journos: "Who has the vested interest in this situation?".

You could do worse than go to reputable sources and publish rational information like those of Gideon Polya above.

Understand that we do not have a free press. This First World furphy is the main reason why Western society is letting itself be dumbed down by the MSM with Rupert at the head; Rupert has a huge stake in selling his media to a dumb society who doesn't question things.

A newspaper which sells advertising is not free. When major television advertiser Macdonalds is being threatened by a small town called Tecoma, what is the only way that Murdoch's Channel 7 can handle it and satisfy owner Rupert and his shareholders - by censoring and stopping news coverage of the issue! It's bleeding obvious, and it's implication is not rocket science: you as a new journo have a huge responsibility to not only follow your manifest path of integrity, but to expose this "free press" furphy with all your might.  

A newspaper which owns things is not free. How can a media company which owns online gambling companies and football teams, freely and fairly cover the controversy which erupted recently over Tom Waterhouse's in-your-face gambling? Does a snake wriggle?

The free press disappeared about a hundred years ago, when newspapers started to accept advertising!

How can a press which is "free", despatch and install Prime Ministers, then gloat publicly that this is what they do - as Rupert has gloated?

The biggest gift GenY can give us all is to bypass, traduce, and destroy the mainstream media. Geny offers us a real substitute: the social media. This double edged sword, created by GenY, might just save us. One edge comprises a lowest-common-denominator benchmark for personal relationships, but the other edge comprises a vehicle for sidelining mainstream media and its spin, getting real information to the real world about the real world, and thereby facilitating good choices for our future world. 

Adam are you up to it? I think you might be!