What a wait, let's hope it will be worth it! It may be true that the Gillard government will struggle to claim a 'mandate' for much but the clear message from the Australian people is that we want principled and consultative leadership from the new government.
Listening to the decision yesterday afternoon and the decision making process of the Independents, I was reminded of the Uniting Church’s inaugural statement to the nation back in 1977. It clearly outlines what we will be seeking from this new government. It encapsulates our social values and indicates what informs our wide range of community services and underpins our advocacy. Amongst other things:
“We affirm our eagerness to uphold basic Christian values and principles, such as the importance of every human being, the need for integrity in public life, the proclamation of truth and justice, the rights for each citizen to participate in decision-making in the community, religious liberty and personal dignity, and a concern for the welfare of the whole human race.
“We pledge ourselves to seek the correction of injustices wherever they occur. We will work for the eradication of poverty and racism within our society and beyond. We affirm the rights of all people to equal educational opportunities, adequate health care, freedom of speech, employment or dignity in unemployment if work is not available. We will oppose all forms of discrimination which infringe basic rights and freedoms.”
That for me sums up our approach. I will be writing to the newly formed government to advise them of our eagerness to work with them on these crucial indicators of health, justice and well-being in the Australian community.