Election Interpreter 2013
Over the coming days, we kick off our election coverage with short posts from our experts on what they regard as the most important international policy issue of this campaign.
I will be happy if international issues get a proper airing of any kind during the campaign. That is rarely the case. Federal election campaigns are generally very insular affairs – to the country's detriment.
Australia is not a small, isolated country and we should not conduct our election campaigns as though we are. We are a nation with global interests. We have the 13th largest economy in the world. We have a long record of contributing to regional and global security, including through our alliance with the US.
Australia has now joined the world's two most important economic and political forums, the G20 and the UN Security Council. This gives us a new prominence in global affairs and new opportunities to realise our prosperity and security. But membership of these institutions is testing us as a country. Our leaders need to engage on a much broader range of global issues, at a higher level and at a faster pace, than they ever have before. Above all, to justify our place at the big table, Australia will need big ideas.
Hopefully, some of these ideas will emerge during the next five weeks.