Elephants in the Polling Booth: Short Election Essays 2016

Elephants in the Polling BoothIt’s on! Australians will head to the polling booths to elect a national government on 2 July 2016. Let’s make sure we know what we’re voting for. Here, in one-page essays, we expose key issues our political representatives steadfastly ignore or inadequately address – our ‘elephants in the polling booth’.

From climate change, refugees, how Australia enters war, to our position as innovators, or not, on the global scene – these are just some of the ‘elephants’ we must discuss. Failure to take them seriously will affect the future of our children, our grandchildren and Australia.

Read the essays, share them with your friends and colleagues, discuss the issues, ask your MPs about them. Most of all, let’s insist our political leaders tell us where they stand, so to speak, on these elephants!

The views expressed here are those of the authors, all of whom are Directors of Australia21.

The Elephant Essays are provided free of charge,
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  • Nuclear Weapons
    Posted: July 7, 2016 - Anne Quinn

    Like climate change, this is not an issue to put off until it seems politically easier. Australian support for the banning of nuclear weapons is long overdue. A statement from Australia that we reject any use of nuclear weapons, including in our own ‘defence’, would have a huge impact in demolishing the perceived legitimacy of these horrific devices.

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  • NDIS
    Posted: July 7, 2016 - Anne Quinn

    Without a resurgence of the mining boom or dollars suddenly floating down from the sky, both parties have a huge hole to fill for funding the full roll-out of the NDIS.

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  • Our Economic Future
    Posted: July 7, 2016 - Anne Quinn

    Major threats to Australia’s economic prosperity demand a new agenda that addresses critical issues of equity and our productive capability, free from sectional interests abetted by money politics.

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  • Climate Change
    Posted: May 1, 2016 - Anne Quinn

    If we wish to avoid catastrophic outcomes we must take emergency action now to halt new fossil-fuel investment, and rapidly wean ourselves off established fossil-fuel use.

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  • Research
    Posted: May 5, 2016 - Anne Quinn

    So let us abandon the notion that curiosity driven research lacks ‘relevance’, and fund the research efforts of our universities and our national science agencies accordingly. Some research will take us nowhere, some will lead us to ‘the next big thing’.

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  • Inequality
    Posted: May 5, 2016 - Anne Quinn

    Education from pre-school all the way through to university and beyond – lifetime education – is a powerful way to reduce inequality. The Gonski reforms need to be fully implemented.

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  • Refugees
    Posted: May 5, 2016 - Anne Quinn

    Inflicting further misery on desperate people has uncertain deterrent effects and is morally unacceptable.

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  • Illicit Drugs
    Posted: May 5, 2016 - Anne Quinn

    The first step to achieve better outcomes is to redefine drugs as primarily a health and social problem.

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  • Managing the Environment
    Posted: May 5, 2016 - Anne Quinn

    Let’s stop tinkering with old approaches to managing the environment in isolation from other portfolios and get on with shaping the future rather than reacting as problems arise.

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  • War
    Posted: May 5, 2016 - Anne Quinn

    There must be no more ‘captain’s picks’ about going to war.

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  • Ecological Footprint
    Posted: May 5, 2016 - Anne Quinn

    An ever-growing human population with an ever-growing appetite for resources continues to exploit an ever-declining supply of biologically active land and water.

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  • Say ‘Yes’ to Compassion
    Posted: May 5, 2016 - Anne Quinn

    But the change has to start with you and with me – a renewing of our hearts and minds so that we can see with freedom rather than fear.

    Read more

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2 comments on "Elephants in the Polling Booth: Short Election Essays 2016"

  • z6chasgen
    LIKE THE REST OF THE POLITICOS YOU CHOSE TO OMIT THE BIGGEST ELEPHANT IN THE POLLING BOOTH. WHEN IS SOMEBODY ELSE, BESIDES DICK SMITH GOING TO START TALKING ABOUT TACKLING AUSTRALIA’s POPULATION PONZI SCHEME. LIBS, LABOR, GREENS -THEY ALL HAVE THEIR HEADS IN THE SAND ABOUT A STABLE POPULATION POLICY.
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  • Ian D
    z6chasgen You are quite right on population. It is implied in the Climate Change and Ecological Footprint essays, but it should be more specifically discussed. Trouble is that the moment you do that, virtually everyone in authority runs for cover. It is hard enough getting any attention paid to climate and ecology, but to the extent they bring attention to population obliquely it is progress. Both issues are already acting to reduce population growth rates, as is evident in the Middle East and North Africa. Absolute population reduction in impacted areas is probably not far off.
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