Raising the BARR – Week ending 28 October

Raising the Barr


Across the globe there is some pretty whacky stuff going on in politics. Some of it really questions and tests our broader understanding of democracy.

In the United Kingdom a new Prime Minister has been voted in by her party and pushed out by her party, all within the space of 44 days. At the root of the problems faced by Ms Truss was a fairly extreme position on financial matters of the country.

In the United States of America, a former President who was overwhelmingly voted out 2 years ago, has simply refused to accept the vote and is rallying people around him to turn democracy upside down in that country.  His next step is to take control of all of the voting/democracy parts of that country and to simply decide, before a vote has been cast, that the vote will be a victory for his side, no matter what.  He too has some fairly extreme views on things and a very long list of times that he has struggled with seemingly obvious truths.

This increasing trend towards having an extreme view about issue A, B or C is not serving our belief in a fair and just democracy very well.

It has been my experience in Parliament, since 2011, that there is a whole range of issues that all sides of politics can agree on.  And then there are a further series of issues that most sides of politics can agree on.  And then there are some issues, quite small in number, that different sides of politics might never agree on.

In our democracy here in Australia we essentially have the 2 major parties on either side of that small number of issues, but we also have the 2 major parties on the same side (or close to the same side) of the great bulk of issues.

I genuinely believe that working our way along something that you might call the common-sense centre is a pretty safe and sustainable path forward for our community our state and our nation.

I also believe that at times, we as a people might need to wrestle with issues that might be at the far left or the far right of our collective beliefs.  During these times we have to work hard to have conversations with each other, build up the facts and details as we see them, explain the consequences to everyone and generally take people with us.

In the coming months voters in NSW will be asked to vote in the State Election (March 2023).  There is much that the 2 major parties have agreed on over the past 12 years and also a number of things that we have disagreed on.  Voters can have trust that the sensible common ground in the centre will be looked after, going forward, by either side.  What voters will have to weigh up is the list of smaller issues, important to all of us in different ways, and decide whether they want more of the same, or a change of approach.

For enquiries regarding the State Government or its departments, or to put you in contact with someone who can help, please contact my office.  My office can be contacted by phoning 4991-1466, by email to cessnock@parliament.nsw.gov.au or call into 118 Vincent Street (PO Box 242), Cessnock 2325