Affairs of the Foreign kind

MEDIA RELEASE: Election 2010: Tuesday, 17th August 2010

Affairs of the Foreign kind

Apart from the scapegoating of refugees and asylum seekers, issues relating to Foreign Affairs have gone missing in this election, say the Australian Democrats.

Democrats’ Senate candidate for the ACT, Darren Churchill says there are crucial questions that are not being asked of the big parties or debated by the community at large.

“Why is there no debate about a defence budget which takes up 2% of the total GDP, when Australia is barely scraping in at 0.5% of GDP for foreign aid?

“Should Australia be involved in distant conflicts such as the war in Afghanistan rather than peace-keeping activities in countries in our own region?

“With more than 23,000 nuclear weapons poised ready to strike around the world, why isn’t there debate about nuclear disarmament in this election?

“When it comes to the so-called boat people, rather than trying to blame the victim, might it not be better to increase our foreign aid in the countries they are fleeing so that the inequalities and instabilities are reduced in the first instance?

“Might we be better served by creating a Peace and Non-Violence Commission to provide non-military solutions to conflict and security issues?

“Australia could credibly take the lead at the UN in pressing for negotiated solutions to longstanding conflicts such as Israel/Palestine and Afghanistan.

“Seventy years ago we played a leading role in the world in negotiating the UN Human Rights Charter. The Australian Democrats say that this is where we should be and can be again.

“Right now voters are being poorly served by the major parties and the media’s willingness to keep on dishing up ‘colour stories’ to the masses – they really do deserve better,” said Mr Churchill.

Further comment:

Darren Churchill

Australian Democrats Senate candidate for the ACT

darren.churchill@democrats.org.au

Tel: 0412 196 473

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