Voters say both parties lack compassion on asylum seekers

September 03, 2013

Jen Pfitzner

Jen Pfitzner and partner Scotty Harvey are upset with the major parties. Picture: Norm Oorloff Source: HeraldSun

ST Kilda East couple Jen Pfitzner and Scott Harvey have one question for the two men vying to be prime minister: where is your compassion?

The pair say they are disillusioned with both major parties and their leaders because of their stances on asylum seekers.

Jen, 37, who works in the fundraising sector, said she was tired of asylum seekers being used as political footballs.

So much so, the Labor voter, who lives in the seat of Melbourne Ports, will switch her vote to the Greens at the ballot box.

She does not think Kevin Rudd’s PNG Solution is fair, and labelled the Coalition’s pledge to turn boats around as “even more appalling”.

“I loved Kevin 07 when he introduced more compassionate asylum seeker policy, but I don’t love Kevin 13,” she said.

“I know it’s such a difficult issue and I certainly don’t know the answer but I know that I want to see some compassion for people who need help.

“I don’t understand how it’s fair that people arriving by boat who are assessed to be genuine asylum seekers will still not be allowed to settle in Australia. I want to see some real grappling with the difficult questions around this issue.”

Electrical engineer Scott, 30, is undecided about who he will vote for, and says he has lost trust in both leaders.

“It appears as though there has been a huge effort put into scare tactics to turn us all against asylum seekers rather than an effort to address the issues,” he said.

“Unfortunately, there are those who abuse our systems and make life difficult for everyone, but I don’t think this should be grounds for a blanket ‘stop the boats’.

“I think more effort should be put on integrating these people into our communities which may, in turn, help our own communities grow rather than painting them as the enemy.”

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Filed under Public Reaction/Perception Towards Asylum Seekers

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