Sunday, September 14, 2008

What the World Needs Now

A few months ago, I took an Australian political test to see where I'd fit if I was Australian.   And as I don't fit neatly into one of America's main political parties, I also don't fit into Australia's two main political parties.   My test results put me in with the Greens.

Are most people like this?   Or does this just show that people like me are weird?  I don't mean "weird" in a negative connotation.   I just mean I don't fit in with the majority viewpoints.

Peter Singer ran for the Senate for the Green Party in 1995.   I like Singer, so this is further proof to me that if I was Australian, I'd be in the Green Party.   Although really what would be the point?    I liked Kucinich for American President.   What's the point of that?

Maybe it's just nice to know that there are hoards of other people out there who have similar beliefs and values as you do--even if there's not enough people to gain true political power.

Anyway.....

I've been looking at The Greens website where they have a nice list of their policies.

Here's some of their goals that I especially like:

1. a treaty that recognises the prior occupation and sovereignty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to be enshrined in the constitution.


2. culturally appropriate services and resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people based on local language, cultural aspects and community priorities.

3. items of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage to be returned to their rightful owners and custodians.   (I believe STRONGLY in this.  I don't know why I feel so strongly about it, but I do.)

4. the most humane and effective means available to be used in the control of introduced and pest species, including humane population management methods.  (And I do think that sometimes death is the most humane way to go about it)

5.  an end to cruel and unnecessary animal experimentation.   (Amen to that!)

6. increased community understanding of the impacts of consumer choices on animal welfare and on the environment.  No, most farms are not like the ones you read about in Charlotte's Web.   I wish more people understood this.

7. the support and promotion of arts and culture that reflect the cultural and linguistic diversity of the Australian population.

8. protection, restoration and extension of the habitats of Australia’s native animals including marine and riverine species

9. an immediate increase in the pay rate for childcare workers, and the phasing in of much larger increases to reflect the skill level required in, and importance of, childcare work  (As a mom and  former childcare worker, I strongly agree with this!)

10. improved national standards of childcare based on the best available evidence from early childhood research.

11. increased access to publicly funded childcare for parents on low to middle incomes who are working or undertaking training or education.

12. Australia to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 30% below 1990 levels by 2020 and to 80% below by 2050, ensuring that emissions are reduced across the energy, transport, industrial, waste and land management sectors.

13. a business environment that encourages businesses and governments to fulfill their corporate, social and environmental responsibilities.

14. guaranteed decent incomes, support and services for people with disability and their carers.

15.  reduced consumption of illegal and legal drugs where this leads to a decrease in problems associated with harmful drug use.   I like how they include legal drugs here.   

16.  an economy that meets human needs without unnecessarily damaging the natural environment.

17. smaller class sizes.    

18. funding mechanisms that do not attempt to impose narrow ideologically based outcomes on schools by the threat of withholding federal monies.

19. no corporate influence on education policy and curriculum material, no use of sponsors' material in classrooms and no display of corporate logos on school property or school publications.

20. a fairer sharing of paid work through mandated shorter standard working hours and a reversal of current trends towards increased unpaid overtime.  (Yes!  Thank you.  I don't want Australia to become all workaholic like America.  Please!)

21. a global economic system that promotes environmental sustainability, human rights and a decent standard of living for all.  (Except for the people I don't like.....I'm joking!!!)

22. Australians who are unable to provide their own housing to be given housing assistance by the government.

23.  planning for climate change refugees with a particular focus on the Asia-Pacific region.  (I think this is very important--a reality we all need to face)

24.   a reduction in fishery by-catch and habitat damage from both commercial and recreational fishing and other marine activities, and the conservation of key target species.

25.  affordable and reliable high speed internet connections available for all Australians. (I hope this includes hotels where American tourists are staying!!!!)

26.  a high quality aged care system characterised by high quality support, nursing and personal care, with safe and comfortable surroundings for older people whether in residential, home or hospital care.

27.  appropriate support services, including home modification, for older people who choose to remain in their own homes, the home of family or friends, and within their own neighbourhood.

28. the elimination of weapons of mass destruction.  (I think the only weapons allowed should be those cool marshmallow guns.  Although marshmallows aren't vegetarian.  Maybe marshmallow guns....but use Kosher Marshmallows.  Yeah, that's good)

29.  the legalisation of marriage between two consenting adults regardless of sexuality or gender identity.

30. access, regardless of sexuality and gender identity, to adoption, fostering, artificial insemination and in vitro fertilisation procedures.

31. the education system to provide age-appropriate information about the diversity of sexuality.  (I think this is EXTREMELY important)

32. a system of Extended Producer Responsibility that obliges manufacturers, distributors and importers to take responsibility for the life cycle of the products and packaging they create.  (Oh!  Amen to this.   Do you guys have ridiculous amounts of  packaging for products, or is that just an American thing????)

33.  family-friendly workplaces and public spaces.  (although this kind of statement often cracks me up.   I sometimes read that places are "Gay friendly".   What does that mean?  If you're gay, they'll wave at you?  Wink?   Offer you a cookie?)

34. a new visa that allows people to become Australian just by being obsessed enough about it.
(All right.  MAYBE I made that one up)