The perfect race to the bottom.

8 09 2013

The below is straight out of the Stable Population Party’s Facebook page…….  I voted for the SPP ahead of the Greens in the Senate this time around.  We need more visionary politicians like this.  Instead, our system has delivered in both Victoria and Western Australia, micro parties that most people have never heard of, and are on track to be elected – Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party (with 0.52% of the vote) in Victoria and the Australian Sports Party (with 0.22%) in WA.  The reason for the election of these micro parties is the preference deals that the 20 or 30 small parties did with each other – and the fact that when people vote ‘above-the-line’ they don’t control their own preferences. 

The perfect race to the bottom.

Matt Moran
Matt Moran

Matt Moran

This has been my first foray on the other side of the fence insofar as elections go – from voter to candidate. It’s been a steep learning curve and a rather humbling experience

I suppose one of the things we are trying to do, is to reorient the political discussion from an obsession with growth championed by the rich and political elite (the rich for the most part govern for themselves) to a system where we are living within our ecological budget and the general philosophy is about quality of life.

“Growthism” argues that it’s a system where anyone can make it rich but what it doesn’t say is it makes the majority poorer and it requires an endlessly growing number of consumers and cheaper labour. That it’s obviously and inherently destructive should be obvious, but it’s sold through clever advertising campaigns and it is really only once the middle class is largely hollowed out that the majority realise that we’ve been conned. And I don’t mean conned in a mean way as most of us just want to live our lives and I suppose for many generations have held faith in our political system as giving the best chance of a healthy society.

As such, where we orient ourselves as a party is to balance our moral responsibility for the people and wildlife here, the people who desire to come and how we can best focus our efforts globally to stem and reverse that forces people from homes.

But in order to do this, we need to elevate the political discussion to a more progressive and long-term view. Not easy when much of politics is little more than thuggery with some party supporters going as far as to sabotage signage of other parties as happened to us and other independents I know.

What is clear is that to continue the way we are is lose-lose. We cannot protect our quality of life if we ignore the worsening conditions for other countries and we cannot sell policies which do not promise the improvement of conditions. What we understand and what we are trying to promote is that the only way of doing this is to stop allowing the growthists to continue to use population growth as their tool. There are a few schools of thought in this regard which range from problems with the system to moving more into localised community economies and there are some truly progressive and very good ideas on how to do this. The problem from our perspective is that while we might do this and be successful, the pro-growth lobby continue to orient policy to ultimately undermine these efforts. This manifests in various ways such as the increasingly growing privatisation of common assets – water, land, air etc. While these are obviously illegitimate activities, the legal system is oriented to protect these activities and this largely manifests in a legal obligation to protect shareholders. If on the other hand the conversation changes to improving the quality of life for men and women here and globally with a view to family friendly communities where ecological awareness is promoted, then we find that the mechanism that supports and drives the destructive aspect of growth dissipates. I should point out, that some growth is healthy. It’s the obsession with growth as a must have goal that is destructive.

Insofar as how we are trying to change the political discussion here, please have a listen to our convenor William Bourke interviewed on RN Drive: