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An open letter to Nige Edwards and Mark Latham - Mark, you canít win with my vote

By Kay Millican - posted Friday, 22 October 2004


Dear Nige and Mark,

I read your letter, Nige (On Line Opinion, October 19). And I have to state the even more bleeding obvious - Mark, you can’t win WITH my vote.

Yep, I’m one of the 38 out of a 100 you’d meet in the street who did vote for Mark Latham and Labor. Not that it matters.

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While Nige bleats on about his blue collar, family and mortgage, he only reminds me of the reason why people voted Liberal in 2004 - pure fear and self-interest.

I voted for Mark, not because I think he and Labor are a bunch of legends, but because I have a vision of what I want my country to be like for all of us, and John Howard’s vision is the complete opposite of this. If I thought the Greens would get up as a government, I’d have voted for them as an inspirational voice in the wilderness.

The problem why even my vote won’t help you, Mark, is that Labor has been hugely successful in failing to inspire anyone in our beautiful country with a new, fresh and hopeful future for our country - you merely promised in this campaign to “ease the squeeze” - not very inspirational stuff if you ask me, and not terribly different to the line Howard runs.

Face it, unless people get sufficiently fed up with Mr Howard and his party, they will not vote for a watered down version of the same thing. They don’t care if he lies, misleads or otherwise hides the truth, as long as their mortgage rate is safe.

Mark, you and Labor, let me and the whole country down by ignoring the need to inspire, uplift and shake people out of this complacent, self-interested malaise that John and his mates have led us into. Mark and Nige, you both need to understand that what Australia needs is to be lifted out of the doldrums by a LEADER with passion, vision and inspiration, not to produce more of the same capitalist, globalised, self-interested rubbish that we have heard for the last nine years from the Liberals.

We have a leader of our country who refuses to say sorry to indigenous people or about misleading the public, who denies basic rights to gays, lesbians, refugees and anyone else who is not popular at the time, and whose policies have led to record levels of debt and fear. This sort of leader only sends us further into our comfort zone and safety margins. Why wouldn’t people vote for him if they are scared of their own shadows - or worse still, a one-point rise in interest rates.

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In three years time, I hope you’ve learned a lesson Mark, as I hope my fellow citizens learn one too - that caring only about yourself only works in the good times: Who will be there when things are not so good? Certainly not the Liberals.

Our country needs someone to focus its citizens on the best that life, our country and our leaders have to offer, which includes compassion, tolerance, diversity and lightness of being. We used to be proud of being a multicultural melting pot - now we are scared stupid: Witness Channel Seven’s latest offering, “Border Security”.

As Arundhati Roy said, “Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing”.

Mark, I hope you usher her in. But if you can’t rise to the challenge, you won’t win WITH my vote, and most likely I will give it to the one who shows her respect and leads the way for the beautiful world I want to be part of and to create for my children.

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About the Author

Kay Millican lives and works in Canberra.

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