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Australia's moral compass missing at sea

Jan 18, 2014

I'm not happy with Australia's moral compass at the moment.

A moral compass is that inner sense that something is right or wrong. Of course, each individual's moral compass is influenced by their environment, upbringing, education, faith etc. and the use of the moral compass may wax and wane depending upon the tasks at hand. Not every decision is a moral one.

I think Australia's national moral compass is out-of-alignment with that of its population on the matter of asylum seekers. I think the Government have acted in such a way as to use their authority and responsibility to realign the nations moral compass away from its citizens and, perhaps, it has happened so gradually the citizens haven't noticed.

Consider current asylum seeker policy and actions. I am struggling to understand how any Australian, in good faith, can argue the merits of Australia's treatment of asylum seekers. Not the "stop the boats" pithy meaningless catch-all. I mean how can an Australian in good faith argue any policy objective to 'stop the boats' justifies locking people up on remote islands in unsafe and inhumane conditions, with harmful healthcare standards, while spending almost two billion dollars of taxpayers money to do it. I've tried to have this discussion with people who support the 'stop the boats' actions and not one person can justify the treatment handed out to asylum seekers.

I don't think the Australian Government should be solely responsible for Australia's moral compass. My reasoning is simple:

I think these two simply statistics demonstrates why Australian government should not be solely responsible for Australia's moral compass, it's demographic doesn't match our population. I think Australia's moral compass is out-of-whack and it's time for citizens to start to correct it. While fixing it will take time, letting your house of representative member know you're not happy is a start.


[1] Australia is made up of millions of people and lots of communities. We're a multi-cultural nation and have a large range of different and, at times, conflicting moral compasses. I think Australia uses democracy to harness this difference and navigate through the issues. The challenge is, of course, is the Legislature we elect, and the government which is formed, may not actually represent the people.

[2] Labor, when you succumbed to the dog-whistles from 'the right' to implement the offshore processing policy which is the bedrock of the now Operation Sovereign Borders: was it to "save lives", or to try and ensure a few members of parliament didn't lose their seats. Were your actions about protection of your own jobs rather than protecting lives?

[3] Liberals, why are there so few in your ranks who are willing to uphold a core component of your party which is to speak out and cross the floor? Are you, in fact, as a party no different to the Labor party, except rather than being linked to unions you're linked to company boards.

[4] The image is "Stanley compass" by Jaypee licence CC SA 3.0

Category: Politics

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