Former special forces resign from politics over bad discourse

Former special forces operative Heston Russell resigns as leader of the Australian Values ​​Party, citing the country’s political discourse as oversimplified.

The Australian Values ​​Party has fielded candidates (many with military backgrounds) in the May 2022 federal elections and the recent Victorian state elections in which the party failed to win a seat.

At the time the party was founded, a large number of alternative new political groups (on both the left and right wing spectrum) were established, largely due to dissatisfaction with the current political situation.

Left-wing parties such as Australia’s Green Party and ‘Teal’ independents have taken promising action on climate change, while the right-wing ‘Liberty Party’ has won votes from the main liberal centre-right parties. While sucking it up, it made a minor foray.

Media is exploiting voters, says Russell

Russell’s immediate reflection on politics was that he “preferred to polarize” people on any issue rather than realistically plan and work together.

“Most of the discussions and decisions seem to be focused on party interests and getting political points, rather than helping people,” he said. statement on twitter.

Epoch Times photo
Profile photo of Heston Russell, leader of the Australian Values ​​Party, veteran issues advocate and former Special Forces operative. (attached)

A former Australian Defense Force operative also said the press was a major source of these problems.

“There seems to be a preference for exploiting voters’ ignorance and perpetuating a competitive team-versus-team mentality,” he said, noting that Australia’s forced voting system has allowed many individuals to “trust policy.” He pointed out that it meant that the vote was based on the “marketing message of the campaign” rather than “promise.”

Most recently, the current Liberal Prime Minister of New South Wales, Dominic Perrotet, received full media coverage when a photo emerged of him wearing a Nazi uniform at his 21st birthday party. The prime minister is now 40 years old.

Perrottet was forced to apologize to the media on January 12 for the incident, calling it “very embarrassing.” State elections are due for him in 2023, and New South Wales is one of the few Australian states not governed by the centre-left Labor Party.

Epoch Times photo
Screenshot of a Google search result on January 13, 2023. A news story about New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrotet wearing a Nazi uniform to a costume party some 20 years ago. (Google search/Epoch Times)

Despite the media focus on the issue, New South Wales residents and businesses face pressing problems such as inflation, rising energy costs, labor shortages and skyrocketing rents due to an influx of new immigrants. I’m here.

lackluster democracy

Meanwhile, Russell also said more Australians need to be encouraged to get involved in politics rather than remain apolitical.

“I believe the current tendency for many to simply save it until Election Day puts us in a position to reap the diminishing returns of this lackluster approach to democracy in Australia. I have.”

Former liberal Senator Eric Abets sees value in a mandatory voting system, but he sees value in a voluntary preferential voting system.

“Imagine a party calling itself ‘a party to teach Joe Biden a lesson,’ which also suggests assigning preferences to Democratic candidates,” he wrote in the Epoch Times. .

Abets also said that compulsory voting “allows voters to effectively ignore voters because they have to vote, even if they have no motive, even if they don’t believe any party is worthy of their support.” He pointed out that it created a dynamic that

Daniel Y. Teng

Daniel Y. Teng is based in Sydney. His focus is on national politics such as federal politics, the COVID-19 response and Australia-China relations. Any tips? Please contact [email protected]