Now that the dust has settled and a new government has been swept into power its time to think about the process we just went through. Politics in Australia has degenerated, like in many other countries, to a battle for the middle ground. Safe politics were you don't have to stand for anything, therefore your platform is an amorphous blob as well as a 'small target'.
I demand more from the people I want running my country, I want them to stand for something, I want them to make a difference. Instead my cynicism is in full blown attack mode as another centre party takes the stage. This election campaign has been BEIGE and I'm sick of beige politics.
It's clear in my mind that right and left have no meaning in discussions of political ideology anymore. I find the terms limiting and blinkered, and lead to 'turf' wars that avoid solutions and focus on terminology. We should be encouraging our politicians to try and be forces for change, and innovation, not sound bites that have to stay 'on message'.
There are some obvious problems facing Australia's future, and they don't have anything to do with interest rates, unemployment, and the economy. Indigenous Australians and the environment are two challenges for the future. Our new PM has promised to apologise to Aborigines and sign Kyoto. I hope his plans go deeper than that, both these issues are complex and need leadership to start the process for improving the situation, and for too long they have been ignored by major politicians and deserve more than symbolic actions to set them right.
As you have probably guessed I haven't voted for a major party since I voted for Paul Keating. (He was never beige).
So, keep watching your elected reps. closely and make sure they are striving to make this country better.