We need political straight shooting
As the countdown to a Victorian election gathers momentum, we appeal to our political leaders to tell us more about themselves and what they plan to do if they win or maintain power and less about their opponents.
It is a simple enough request and we’re probably kidding ourselves to expect the idea to take hold.
Attacks on political policy and process, while essential in structured parliamentary debate, easily degenerate into grubby and puerile one-upmanship.
Negative-message media campaigns, while effective when done well in the past, are something many of us these days immediately see through as boring name-calling. There is little skill in much of the modern campaign methodology and some of us, as we try to sift through rhetorical language, also hate it with a passion.
Okay, if a political party is perceived to have done something that attracts obvious criticism while in power, or the opposition has taken a stance based on a similar premise, then circumstance or a point of view needs explaining. It is the next part of an argument that reveals degrees of substance.
‘What will you do for us if we vote for you and how will you make it work?’ are the simple follow-on questions Victoria’s swinging-vote Jill and Joe Averages want answered as they ponder over the approaching ballot.
Please politicians, have respect for each other, get rid of petty finger-pointing and smoke and mirrors and make sure you give us something we as voters can legitimately use when we go to the polls on November 24.
We’ve written in the past about why we must try to understand and support scientific research and projects in our part of the world, regardless of how obscure they might seem.
For example, the effort that has gone into researching a tiny population of platypuses in the northern Grampians might, to some, seem extreme. Why are they so important?
Every now and then we are blessed with information that tends to put this type of activity into perspective.
Apart from being a mammalian curiosity, which can also help us gain an idea of waterway health, latest research has also revealed that the platypus might have another major role to play.
A breakthrough by Australian scientists has placed the monotreme front and centre in the global fight against antibiotic resistance.
In 2010 scientists discovered that platypus milk contained unique antibacterial properties. Now a team of CSIRO researchers working with Deakin University have solved a puzzle that helps explain why platypus milk is so potent.
It turns out that it is a special protein in platypus milk, which has evolved through generational exposure to the environmental bacteria based on the animals expressing the liquid through skin instead of teats, that packs the punch.
This might ultimately lead to new drugs that help save human lives and reason enough to study this amazing creature! What else is out there?