Former treasurer Wayne Swan speaking at the Hervey Bay Library.
Former treasurer Wayne Swan speaking at the Hervey Bay Library. Alistair Brightman

EDITORIAL: Politics is a little like being in kindy again

EDITORIAL: Australian politics is becoming increasingly childish and you need look no further than former federal treasurer Wayne Swan's visit to the Fraser Coast at the weekend to know that.

During a discussion about his new book, Mr Swan appeared to refer to the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, as a freak because he doesn't agree with his stance on climate change.

READ MORE: Wayne Swan slams 'that freak from Canada' in book talk

Sometimes Australian politics is a little like being in kindergarten again.

Instead of making a well-informed, well-researched statement when it comes to one's beliefs, it's a little too easy for some to resort to petty name-calling.

Climate change is one of the most polarising issues on the planet. It inspires heated debate and we saw just how contentious the issue was at the G20 Summit, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott doing his best to keep it off the agenda, while American President Barack Obama did his best to bring it to the fore.

Neither Mr Swan's nor Mr Abbott's behaviour on the issue is doing Australia any favours.

The two men are clearly on different sides of politics and have different positions on climate change, but their behaviour is weirdly similar.

Burying one's head in the sand isn't the answer. Neither is undignified name-calling.

The effects of climate change may still be being debated but surely we can agree on two things: the actions that need to be taken to stop the pollution and degradation of our planet need to be done with or without the reality of climate change.

And two: it would be nice if our politicians could act like adults instead of children.


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