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Sunday, November 15, 2009


Pleasing all the people

Perhaps democracy is the best system of government we have but it is certainly not perfect. In Thailand politicians are often accused of buying votes but is it so much different in the West? Perhaps our politicians don't put actual money in the hands of voters but they do often come up with policies that will directly benefit a large number of voters, sometimes to the detriment of the country as a whole.

But it is impossible for a government to get it right and please all the people all of the time. A case in point is the situation that the Australian government is faced with in relation to boat people trying to reach Australia as refugees. At one end of the spectrum are those who say the government should be compassionate and allow asylum seekers in. At the other end are those who say that to do this would be to send a signal to millions of other potential refugees that Australia is easy, just find a boat and push off in that direction. Both sides are right. The answer therefore lies somewhere in the middle. This is the path that the present Australian government is currently taking in relation to asylum seekers who wish to escape the possibility of being victims of genocide in Sri Lanka. Unfortunately in the eyes of most Australians the government has got it wrong. Half the country seems to think Australia should open the doors and welcome all those seeking asylum. The other half thinks we should use all means necessary to keep them out. I'd hate to be a politician. The government's current path appears to me to be the right one but it doesn't seem to be pleasing many Australian voters.

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