There is a saying that a country gets the politicians it deserves but I am not sure that this is true. There are so many countries currently subject to violent acts by their own people and by the military and police, even where their leaders have been elected by the people, that there must be a flaw in this statement. Here in Australia we don’t have the violence but there are still protests against the government, currently targeting its asylum seeker policy, and a former member of Parliament has recently been found guilty of inappropriately using his work credit card in a former job and faces possibly a prison term, that there seems to be a flaw in this reasoning.
We’ve just hosted a meeting of world financial leaders who have agreed to boost world economic growth but personally I feel somewhat sceptical that they will. The future of the world, and its prosperity, never seems to be very high on anyone’s priority list. I really hope that in this case I am proved wrong. If I am then hopefully this will be the beginning of everyone regarding themselves as custodians of our planet and its destiny, instead of so many people viewing their lives in terms of what they can grab for themselves and their own private use.
Asylum seekers are a world problem and should be tackled on a world basis. Some of them are refugees and deserve our support but many are merely seeking a better life for themselves and their children and instead of coming in as a result of a proper procedure they try to jump the queue. Currently the attempted solution here is in the hands of the government of the day and depends on its humanitarian or otherwise disposition.
It makes sense that if large enough groups of people in a country feel strongly against a particular policy then we will have protest marches but at what point, and why, do these turn to violence? There have been times in Australia’s history when protests have turned violent but not in living memory. Do we know why protests in some countries have to become violent before the protesters’ voices are listened to whereas in other countries disagreements are settled more peacefully? What factors are involved? Does the level of literacy affect the situation? What about the difference in income between the richest 10% of a country and the poorest 10%? Some argue that as the gap broadens violence is more likely as the poorer people feel powerless. Does the status of women in a country make a difference and if so how? Is a country more likely to be peaceful if women’s voices can be heard? Currently in the Australian Parliament there is only 1 woman in the cabinet and as foreign minister she is out of the country for a lot of the time. How do situations like this affect the way the country is governed?
There are so many unanswered important questions yet most of the world’s talents seem to be directed towards getting us off this planet! Is this because of a desire to mess up another one or because we just want to get away from the mess on this one?