OPINION: Independents Unpersuasive

DEAR News of the Area,

THE more I think about the teal independents who are standing in the Federal election, the more I find the case for them to be unpersuasive.

Establishing an Independent Commission Against Corruption is one of their major goals but if there is a change of government this will happen regardless of independents.

Independents may have a voice in parliament but not a direct voice within the government or the alternative government.

If they have the balance of power, they will have some power but only on the margins.

Where the two major parties are of the same mind, independents will have no power to change anything.

As well, independents can never aspire to a ministerial position where the opportunity to implement real change lies.

The position held by women such as Julia Gillard or Jacinda Adern would be closed and many of these independents are clearly talented women.

The teal independents are critical of the major parties in regard to action on climate, but it needs to be remembered that both of the major parties have had a leader who was seriously burned and lost power directly due to their efforts in regard to the climate issue.

One of the leading parties put into legislation a serious and practical plan of action to reduce carbon in the atmosphere and it ended up costing them the government.

The political reality is that there are some electorates where a strong emphasis on climate policy means you will receive low poll numbers and stand no chance of election.

The electorates where independents do stand a chance of winning, in most cases already have a member of parliament committed to this issue and displacing them hardly seems like a step forward.

The Greens Party are also alarmed to see many supporters flock to independents who mostly lack the Greens’ environmental breadth, knowledge and experience beyond the issue of climate change.

Finally, if all members of parliament were elected as independents it would only be a matter of time before they coalesced into factions and parties.

If a group of independents are elected to this next parliament it is highly likely that they will work together and in effect be a party.

John GRAY,
Coffs Coast


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