“At the core of a robust democracy is the integrity and transparency of its institutions.

Elections do not a democracy make, but they are a fundamental institution that we disrespect at our peril. It is incumbent upon us to demand policies which face up to reality, and to demand a coherent vision for our future.” Catherine Livingstone – president of the Business Council of Australia.

Catherine Livingstone’s words here, coming at the end of an election campaign where rapid-fire, partisan rhetoric has often sounded like gobblydegook rather than a sincere attempt to communicate with voters about our future, express for me how we are ALL failing to address contemporary problems and our kids’ and grandkids’ future.

Tellingly Catherine also says:

“We need only look to many European economies to observe what happens when governments — and the electorate — do not embrace the need for determined, broad based reform; when the community’s denial of the reality of inexorable change, and its desire to maintain the practices of the past, outweigh the urgency of adapting to the global economy.

In some countries, town after town is being hollowed out — with the buying power of the local community falling, as a consequence of the loss of employment in larger enterprises and the flow- on effect of the closure of small businesses. The downward spiral is starkly evident.”

WHEN will our major parties put aside partisan rhetoric and narrow-cast pork barrelling and have the courage to honestly and transparently address the big picture issues such as climate change and the growing gap between rich and poor, with a realistic, coherent vision for our future?

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