We live in incredible times, but still, it has been extraordinarily disappointing to witness how political ideology has guided reactions to a health crisis. Hypocrisy is rife. Take for instance, the federal coalition government, who closed the national borders, lambasting the Labor state governments (but not the Liberal ones) for closing theirs. Consider too, the about face of those were most opposed to Victoria’s voluntary assisted dying laws, when introduced. Back then, every life was sacred, no matter how old or sick the person. This meant people facing an imminent and agonising death should not be allowed to bring it forward, and end their own lives, painlessly, at a time of their choosing. Now, these same types demand various governments abandon restrictions and lockdowns because after all, only the old or the sick will die, and they were on their way out anyway. Suddenly, every life is not so sacred, after all. For months now, there has been vociferous criticism of governments, in particular, of Victoria’s, but the data is in. Across the world, voters expect their leaders to keep them safe, specifically, to prioritise human life over a balance sheet. Perhaps this is because we have all seen economies recover, but none of us have seen a person raised from the dead. The Pew Research Center recently asked citizens of various countries whether their country has done a good or bad job handling COVID-19. The countries that marked their governments with the highest “good” score were Denmark at 95 per cent, Australia at 94 per cent, Canada and Germany at 88 per cent, Netherlands at 87 per cent and South Korea at 86 per cent. The highest “bad” scores came from Britain, at 54 per cent and the US at 52 per cent. Closer to home, the results of a Newspoll for The Australian showed that despite the terrible mistakes made with hotel quarantine, and the cruelty of lockdowns, 62 per cent of Victorian voters are satisfied with how their Premier is doing his job, and 61 per cent think the current lockdown restrictions are “about right”. This data rises above the chorus of remarks by federal coalition politicians, and hyperbolic and often inaccurate criticism from the angry tub-thumpers on SAD (Sky after Dark). On SAD, our Premier is called “Chairman Dan” or “Dictator Dan” and Victoria is referred to as a “socialist republic” and a “failed state”. These insults demean every Victorian, regardless of how they vote. [from The Weekend Australian, 26/9/2020]

Katrina G. Kelly

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