Daylight Savings - Democracy v Elitism?

So the daylight savings debate begins again in Queensland and WA. Once again it's the urban south v the countryside. I for one have been very disturbed by the nature of this current debate.

What worries me is the spin that the supporters (Perth and Brisbane majority) has put on this debate-basically by calling their opponents dumb country hicks. The usual arguments come up; that these people are scared their curtains will fade, that they fear their cows will get confused etc...Their perceived superior intelligentsia only comes up as arrogant, and rightly so. More worrying is in WA, where 3 referenda in 31 years has seen daylight savings defeated, so now the vote will go to parliament on a 3 year trial. Yes, the country hicks don't want it, so let's ignore them and get on with it anyway. In Queensland it was defeated once, so perhaps another referendum is overdue.

The argument put forward in Queensland in favour of daylight savings is simple; it'll allow for better trade with the business centres of Sydney and Melbourne, and that Brisbanites can enjoy the twilight better. Both are debatable and easily refutable IMO. First, different time zones have not managed to halt the march of globalisation. The world has not adopted the same time zone as NY city. Second, Queensland has yet to declare bankruptcy upon the dearth of business dealings due to daylight savings in the southern states for half the year. WA (3 hours behind half the year) is yet to turn into a banana republic. Also, the twilight in Brisbane is a myth-what twilight? It's also too hot and humid most of the time for us to enjoy it. We'll stay indoors an hour longer and use more electricity.

Of course, a simple solution can be found, in that the Greater Perth region and SE Queensland can adopt it without forcing the other regions to go along. British Columbia in Canada has it, and that province has yet to turn into a banana republic either. But to do so would destroy one of the arguments of the 'inteligentsia,' that of possible trade dislocation. Now Cairns and Townsville will suffer as Brisbane moves its clock forward an hour, and after all shouldn't Brisbane be beholden to the rest of the state as the capital city rather than to Sydney and Melbourne as trading centres?

It's the arrogance of the city that causes country folk to back extremists like Hanson and Katter. We need to learn to treat them with respect. Also, I don't want to watch my English football an hour later!! I'm too old to handle that these days...

No comments:

Post a Comment