Put the focus back on the big election issues

Opinion: Put the focus back on the big election issues


Federal Election National News
For the average man and woman on the land it can be hard to gauge the policies of major and minor party candidates.

For the average man and woman on the land it can be hard to gauge the policies of major and minor party candidates.

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This election campaign has been driven by emotions. Perhaps the biggest one being fear.

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"I dread the power of the ill-informed and uncaring voter."

When scrolling through the results of Agricultural Publishing's election survey, these words from a Queensland Country Life reader leaped off the spreadsheet at me.

They go on to say, "the country would be more steadily driven if the driving hand was calloused by work instead of the latte and the remote". A statement bound to get a few chuckles and nods of support.

"And if those people experienced more of life firsthand, whether regarding farmers, abuse in the missions, or drought and floods in our mercurial world, they would be less vulnerable to the political silver-tongues dividing us, feel less need to signal their virtue and care more about the nation and be proud to."

This election campaign has been driven by emotions. Perhaps the biggest one being fear.

Minor party candidates have used their polarising views to appeal the extreme left or right on issues like regional migration and animal rights activist protests.

Meanwhile, when it comes to who might be our next Prime Minister, mainstream media coverage has been dominated with stories about the importance of their mothers and family.

For the average man and woman on the land it can be hard to gauge the policies (and the likelihood of them being carried out) of major and minor party candidates.

The message from our survey was simple; infrastructure, water and health are your top three issues.

It's not surprising really, considering rhetoric about agriculture over the past 12 months has been about the goal farmers have been tasked with, to lift production to $100 billion by 2030.

But lofty goals like this don't happen overnight, they take significant investment in road and rail infrastructure, water storage and research. You could even go so far as to say they take strong leadership.

I could tell you that no election is more important than this one and that independent and minor party preferences will be a big factor in the outcome of knife-edge seats. But we said those words three years ago and I suspect the same words will be used again in three years' time.

So when you vote this week, don't be blindsided by full page ads in newspapers or slick video campaigns on Facebook and Youtube.

Focus on what the big issues are to you, hop online and find out how your candidates feel about those issues, take a deep breath, and cast your vote.

Not because you are fearful, not because it is compulsory, but because the big issues matter and this is your chance to shape what the next three years look like.

The story Put the focus back on the big election issues first appeared on Queensland Country Life.

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