Glass houses

Sunday 25 October 2009 2:19 AM

The Rudd government is under heavy fire from it's own constituency on many fronts, most prominently asylum seekers and climate change. Ultimately the two are united by the question of lifestyle. How thinly can a finite pool of resources be spread before the general populace considers itself deprived and cries foul? And as day follows night, any such discontent will surely find its fullest voice on election day.

And there's the rub, not just for the government but for all Australians. It's easy to label the PM as "Howard lite" and charge Government and Opposition alike with gross moral relativism, driven by electoral self-interest. "Vote buying!" cry some. "In bed with the coal industry!" say others.

But at least some of the righteous protesters might well live in glass condominiums. Compassionate largesse and serious community action to slow climate change must eventually cost us all in lifestyle, reducing all our options at home, at work, and in leisure.

Our politicians may be vote-driven. But with 3-year terms and a very comfortable electorate, who'd be surprised?