I have often wondered about the value of the Aussie ethnic vote in Australia and whether it has been overvalued to meet personal agendas. I don’t have the empirical evidence to support my point of view other than to go by anecdotal evidence and life experiences since I left the Australian Regular Army some years ago. A copy of the article may be downloaded by clicking on: THE AUSSIE ETHNIC VOTE
What I do know is that all Australian ethnic communities including those with links to the Anglos/Saxon world lobby for funds to meet their operation needs. As such, each community around election time would put their best foot forward, using subtle and subliminal methodologies to entice, attract and capture the imagination if not then, the mind of those seeking political office.
It must be a harrowing experience for those being lobbied and as such, I am sure that the heart strings are being tugged if not the intense ties of loyalties that belong to a bygone era are used to manipulate if not draw the unsuspected “wannabe” politician into the “lobbyist mine field” rather than on a level playing field.
A “wannabe” politician who unfortunately land in this political mine field, will find it difficult to maneuverer or manipulate the situation to their advantage. The reason for this is that they would more often than not, be influenced, nay swayed by illogical arguments, misplaced loyalties, promises of votes, veiled threats, alleged corruptive practices and the lure of that ever elusive and seductive need for power.
I for one, sympathise with the “wannabe” politician, but reserve my derision and hatred for the manipulative lobbyist who may be or not be paid for his or her services. Look around you and you will notice that many who have left office have found themselves in lucrative positions of influence with the power to continue laying the minefields for others. Whilst on the other hand we have lobbyists who curry favour using the previous ethnic background to pull the heartstrings of those seeking political office. Yes we know who they are.
Recently an educational institute was refused funding because of poor practices and governance issues only to find out a few weeks later that the professional if not organisational lobbyists with links the government successfully overturned the decision. Then on the other side of the coin we have religious organisations who use the well and tried method of lobbying their favourite politician based on faith alone and in 99% of the cases will always be successful. It is one smart politician who can use the race vote, the religious vote, the allegiance and loyalty vote and let us not forget the best draw card of all, the alleged ethnic vote.
Let me enlighten the reader and expose the myth of the ethnic vote whatever that may mean. Today it is well known amongst the communities in Australia that there is:
It is one big joke and those in the know are laughing all the way to the bank. They do so because they, the lobbyists have coerced, manipulated and influenced and as mentioned above swayed those seeking political office for a share of the public funds. We the public are being ripped off by those who we elect to serve this nation without fear or favour.
Let me enlighten the reader further by advising them that no matter which political organisation wins government, the promises, pork barrelling and secret deals by politicians made in conjunction with lobbyists will mean absolutely nothing unless those funds are available. The public through the introduction of the internet has become politically savvy and are better informed of the facts than any other generation before them. This is the dilemma faced by all political parties vying to win the hearts and minds of the Australian public.
They, the political campaign heads responsible for making strategic decisions know full well the power of the internet and social media and yet fail to reach out to the man and woman in the street without the use of social media. Far too much emphasis is being placed on electronic media and not enough on the human touch and speaking to the people in the street. Some do, but not many. They believe that the American style of political campaigning is superior to that of the Australian environment.
Come Election Day, let us see how many booths will be manned by volunteers and how many will be paid to stand in the withering rain, windless shelters, cold and uncomfortable locations giving How TO Vote (HTV) material. Given information from reliable sources, the Labor supporters will be paid while the Liberal party volunteers will be out there manning the booths out of loyalty. Having said this, one wonders who we can rust to govern the nation.
In my case, I am known as a right wing conservative and as such hope for a return of a Liberal Government will be the outcome. In this uncertain age of an unknown future it’s better to vote for the “devil” we know than the devil we don’t. That is my motto. I don’t believe that this nation is ready for change, not yet anyway and if such a change did occur will be with an unknown leader who has yet to make his make on the Australian people.
Where does this leave those who classify themselves as Australians of diverse ethnic backgrounds, including the Anglos/Saxon brethren who make up the fabric of this society? My take on this is that there are no longer the threads that once bonded us to the “old country” no matter where that country was in the world, expect for romantic reasons. If this is truly the case, the so called ethnic vote is but a tool to be used and manipulate effectively to gain funds or favours in return for a Aussie ethic vote that does not exist.
They say and don’t quote me, that it would about two to three generations for a new ethnic community to embed itself into the Australian environment. If this is said to be true then my point of view stands firm against all opposite views and should be taken on board by those politicians who are being lobbied on farcical and ill-conceived evidence which has no firm foundation.
Therefore politicians and political strategists should not fall for the so called Australian ethnic vote. Take a good hard look at the leaders of any Australian ethnic community and ask yourself just how effective and influential is that leader with his or her own community. Question whether they have the influence to advise their members to support a particular political party or ideology. What I am exposing is that very few leaders have the influence of that charismatic and Catholic Church leader Archbishop Mannix who could make and break politicians by his presence alone.
I will admit that there are Australian ethic leaders, residing in their ivory towers, who hold little sway with the people they state to represent, using bluff, subliminal mind tricks, coercive methodologies and overblown membership lists that have not changed since Methuselah was a child to convince those seeking power. I wonder, where all the money goes? Is there some form of accountability on the part of government and that of the recipient Australian ethnic community? Does the Committee of Management know of funds being channelled to the organisation? Does the Committee of Management know that they are accountable of the funds go astray. Questions and more questions that need to be answered.
I will state it one last time that there is no longer an Australian Ethic vote. The main reason for this if not clearly understood is that all new communities become integrated within the Australian fabric and as such the old age of bluff is no longer relevant? Mind you, what is being stated here is not against giving funds to Australian ethnic communities but rather not to be taken in by the alleged influence and sway these so called leaders state they have.
For the record, I am blessed to be the current President of the largest Australian Lakonian community with over 4000 members and yet do not and have not sought to sully our good name by lobbying for funds using political means when such funds can be obtained using the normal channels of funding through the three tiers of government. In fact our policy is not to get involved in the politics of the nation and do not attempt to influence our members in which way to vote. I don’t reside in an ivory tower nor do I pretend to represent all Lakonians in this country.
I am but a mere speck in the sand amongst the many who prefer to abide by the laws and the institutions of this nation, living within the parameters of society. Our members include third and fourth generation Australians who have contributed to the Australian way of life without losing the traditions of a bygone era. We remind ourselves that that while we consider ourselves Australians with a touch of ethnic origins; we still call Australia home.
As always, my apologies for the poor grammar, punctuation and savagery of the Aussie English language. All that I can say is that it is great to be alive and one does not give up in the face of adversity. Remember that there is no such thing as an Australian ethnic vote.
Peter Adamis is a Freelance Journalist/Social Media Commentator and writer. He is a retired Australian military serviceman and an Industry organisational & Occupational (OHS) & Training Consultant whose interests are within the parameters of domestic and international political spectrum. He is an avid blogger and contributes to domestic and international community news media outlets as well as to local and Ethnic News. He holds a Bachelor of Adult Learning & Development (Monash), Grad Dip Occupational Health & Safety, (Monash), Dip. Training & Assessment, Dip Public Administration, and Dip Frontline Management. Website: abalinx.com Contact via Email: [email protected] or via Mobile: 0409965538