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HomeOpinion‘Diversity in Australian politics is almost non-existent’

‘Diversity in Australian politics is almost non-existent’

I am going to be completely straight up. I believe in the concept of progressive politics, where activism and passion cross paths. If you truly believe in an ethical cause there is no point to just stand around and nag the next person in the queue.

But, with a strategic and planned approach you should advocate, pressure and act against the oppressors. Although, this is not a gig for everyone, it is an acquired taste.

Personally, I have been involved in many political campaigns in Australia and overseas, and I have seen the knight and shining armour side, as well as the bleak, dark side, where change is considered as a taboo.

It is this change which many in Australia refuse to embrace or even accept. Being politically involved, I have seen the misgivings and the prejudice displayed by our  major political parties. There appears to be no room for diversity in the candidates they select, as well as those appointed to public positions when in government.

Most of the time, the stereotype prevails where they may stick a token Australian who has an “ethnic” minority background into a position to keep up with appearances, but it is still the Australian Caucasian personalities who are always selected above others.

I must admit, I myself, have dreamt for a long time to be a politician, and have been encouraged by many people to pursue this career path. However, when I bring this up with some notable personalities in a position of power and influence, I am told that I should wait for another five to ten years, and this has been said to me repeatedly for the past five to ten years. I know I am not the only one in this situation.

I have met so many personalities who have the ambition and are so much more qualified than the actual selected candidate, who is usually Caucasian who have been told the same thing. It is really a tactic to sweep the stemming issue under the rug.

In the last Federal election we had a few Australian candidates who were from a different “ethnic” background selected to run, however they were all put in marginal or unwinnable seats. Many of these qualified candidates were also discriminated by our media outlets and by voters as they did not want an “Asian” or a “Middle Eastern” or an “Aboriginal” to represent their area. As a campaigner, I was also discriminated by members of the public being told to go back to Asia and that there was no place for the candidate I was campaigning for.

And, within the major political parties themselves, the party machineries, love gathering votes from Australian “ethnic” communities, but will not fight to run a candidate in a winnable seat where a large majority of their community are the voters. They still opt to select a Caucasian to stand for election in those seats.

I am not saying that our major political parties are completely racist, because there are a handful of notable exceptions to my titled equation. I can think of them and count them on my fingertips. But what I wanted to highlight is that asides for asking for votes, Australia is still completely closed up to diversity in political representation.

Our current state of affairs shows that our notable exceptions who have been appointed to political and public positions, still does not reflect the growth of ethnic diversity in Australia. Really, we have only scratched the surface to the root of the problem.

It may take another ten years to see some change, and like many other Australians out there, I will continue to fight this cause, until Australia and our major political parties are willing to accept that major change is needed in this area.



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