Day 6: Little Actions Vibrate

Gillard and Abbott both “suspended” election campaign activities on Day 6 in order to attend the funeral of Private Nathan Bewes, the latest Australian soldier to be killed in Afghanistan.

It is to risk accusations of disrespect and poor taste to claim that, in fact, their decision was the only significant election campaign activity yesterday. It was a decision as calculated as any other to maximise the call to “values”. It was a decision which highlighted the almost total lack of debate about Australia’s involvement in the nearly nine-year-old war.

Dare it be said that what these young men who have given their lives in service of government policy deserve is a democracy that takes seriously its commitment to a Parliament of Representatives?

Dare it be said that this was never more so than in the midst of an election campaign?

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I was running late for the GetUp! function organised by Sue Barrett and her German-born husband, Jobst. The meeting room in their company’s premises in South Caulfield contained seven men and nine women, half of them in their 20s, the rest tending middle-aged. [Read more…]