There are so many problems in the world today, including the current crisis in Europe involving thousands of refugees and economic migrants, that it is important that we elect the right leaders to take us through them.

At a national level we need leaders who will govern to enable a fair go for everyone. It concerns me that in Australia the gap between rich and poor seems to increase every year. Wealth is created when one person, or a group of people, collect money from others. It is usually done legitimately, otherwise it may be chased up by our law enforcers, but does this make it right? It has recently occurred to me that in terms of the effect on climate change of the lifestyles of these people, their wealth, and the way most of them use it, certainly makes it wrong. With their large houses (often multiple ones) and their petrol guzzling means of transport, such as large cars, private planes and even helicopters, their attitudes towards climate change and their role in combatting it, are selfish at least. It is the effect of their selfish collection of riches, and the associated increasing poverty of the poor, that worries me. Does such a lifestyle make them good leaders? I think not at a government or international level. Leadership should involve governing for all and aiming to reduce any poverty gaps. Poverty inevitably means that the talents and abilities of an increasing number of the population are not being used.

At the international level the situation doesn’t change much. The motive behind the huge movement of so-called refugees in Europe is a combination of need for those who face prosecution, usually because of race or religion, and the rest who see an opportunity to improve themselves, and utilise their talents, in another country.

The solution to this problem lies in the hands of national leaders and their ability to lead collectively for the good of the planet and those who share it. We are currently seeing little of this.

Choosing leaders in these terms makes this process even more important. Unfortunately those who put themselves up for elected positions often do so for selfish reasons. Both their own personal prosperity and wealth often are motivators but those who have achieved these are also motivated by a need for personal power. It is interesting to note that those who do achieve genuine respect and whose lives change the world, such as Nelson Mandela, are motivated by very different standards. Their desire is to make the world a better place for all.

Those who seek power and influence need to be aware that wanting both of these is often what prevents them from achieving them.