Oh come on, I’m too busy for an election, especially one that I should be paying more attention to because it’s Federal and will end with us bound to a PM for a term (or until their party gets sick of them and orchestrates a ‘chuck ‘em out, here have this one’ coup).
I should have written this ages ago but it’s so BORING, not helped one bit by the beige personalities we are dealing with. Thank goodness for colourful additions such as Clive Palmer, Bob Katter and Pauline Pantsdown. If only we could take one of them seriously. (How much does Bob Katter look like he just smelt a terrible fart? Imagine if someone did fart on him – his face would turn inside out.)
Anyway, boring. Read on if you need help getting to sleep (last night I listened to the whole Rooty Hill debate and was near sleep on numerous occasions. For the record though, I thought Rudd won the day – better responses, more on the ball and vowed to pay more attention to the supermarket duopoly).
I think I’ve also been putting off taking a stance that will see me marching confidently into the polling booth because I’m still miffed about Julia Gillard being condemned to bootie hill, knitting her way to retirement without being given a chance to show the world her welly. And because we’ve have smarm-meister Krudd thrust upon us in his grumpy nerdy glory for a second time, pitted against creepy Tony who I don’t think can manage a term as PM without either spectacularly losing his shit or having to step down due to an obscure medical condition.
I know, we’re voting for a party and their policies not just one person but I’ve always been big on trusting my gut. It’s intangible but much more trustworthy than the pledges of politicians (yep the election promises sound lovely, but will they deliver?). This time my gut is displaying strong symptoms of intolerance (in much the same way as it struggles with wheat but without the bloat).
There are candidate signs everywhere. Every time I see one I think, “Get out of my face, I’ll make my own decision not based on how warm and smiley you look”. But actually I was slightly drawn to one candidate because she was wearing a very nice pink jacket. Don’t know her party though. Time to take some grown up responsibility, look at the issues that and decide which way I am going to vote on Sept 7. Join me…
What are the big election issues?
I’m just going to list them and you can pick which ones might be game changers for you:
- Asylum seekers, child care, broadband, climate change, defence, economy (of course), education, food security, health, indigenous affairs, manufacturing, mining, disability support, transport, workplace relations.
What are some of the main party policies? (well the ones I feel strongly about anyway)
ALP‘s Kruddy and callous, “you’ll never settle here” response to increased boat people and deaths at sea is to me thoughtless and mortifying. It was like a, “look how efficient I am people, I’ll sort the asylum seeker problem, show my muscle and condemn helpless, persecuted people to misery in just a coupla days”. But I do support the ALP’s policy to increase refugee intake from 13,750 per year to 20,000, with at least 12,000 places reserved for people in overseas refugee camps.
The coalition, while not blacklisting boat people from ever settling in Australia only has vague ideas to use the Navy to escort boats back to Indonesia in another off shore processing solution. They say they will keep the 13,750 places and give most of them to people in refugee camps. (Please note that the term ‘coalition’ refers to the centre-right parties including Liberals, National Party and Country Party).
The Greens have a very lovely pie in the sky plan for asylum seekers involving a 30,000 quota and $70m per year for fast tracking processing, community based processing and increased asylum seeker rights. Fantastic – but how do we afford all that when the budget hasn’t been in surplus since 1989? Should money matter when it comes to human life? Sigh, tough call.
With limited child care options in my community in part due to the January bushfires, I have a sense of how vital good child care is to healthy communities.
Tony Abbott has just wheeled out his paid parental leave (PPL) scheme in which women will get up to 6 months fully paid maternity leave, capped at $75,000 and paid for via corporate tax. This has copped criticism for being unaffordable and unfair because the big earners could receive the full $75,000 when they are already earning huge incomes. The Coalition says they will axe the schoolkid payment to help fund the PPL.
This is a bit of a step up from Labor’s 18 week maternity leave scheme, valued at a maximum of $11,200 to recipients. But Labor will keep the schoolkid bonus (a nice little surprise in the mail). Rudd also claimes that Abbott’s PPL scheme will cost more that building a high speed rail between Melbourne and Brisbane.
The Greens support Abbott’s 26 week PPL and also call for Government support of childcare centre expansion. Under their watch, $2.29 billion would be poured into child care over 4 years, with lower income families having as much as 90% of their child care fees paid by the Government.
All 3 parties support the recognition of Aboriginal people in the Australian Constitution. The coalition has said they will have a draft amendment out within a year.
The Greens support compensation to the stolen generation along with a raft of other reforms which are great but seem to lack real strategy.
Labor will continue with their NT Intervention (Emergency response to child sexual abuse in regional communities) and Gilllard’s Strong Futures scheme which focuses on welfare, health, education, policing, alcohol issues and community safety.
The coalition pledges strong community consultation and a new level of engagement with Indigenous communities (personal and regular visits from Tony Abbott – I’d like to see how long he stays, where he stays and who he talks to). He has pledged $45 to his Generation One scheme, aimed at training and employing Indigenous Australians.
All parties agree on a renewable energy target of 20% by 2020.
The Greens are aiming for an emissions reduction of 25 to 40% by 2020 and to achieve zero emissions by 2050. They support a price on carbon (their condition on supporting the Gillard Government in 2010).
The Coalition and Labor pledge an emissions reduction of at least 5% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. Labor has formalised this commitment by ratifying the second stage of the Kyoto Protocol (2020 reduction goals). The Coalition’s reduction plans – in particular the soil carbon projects – have come under fire as wobbly to say the least.
Labor will stand by their carbon tax and their biodiversity fund, the Coalition will abolish both and introduce a carbon buyback via an Emissions Reduction Fund.
* If Australia were the Marshall Islands, where rising sea levels look like causing a humanitarian crisis, crunch time would be now and there’ll be no squabbling over taxes and funds – we’d be scrambling for the nearest ‘self sufficiency how to grow veggies on our balcony’ book and weaning off petroleum. Do we have to wait for panic stricken crunch time? I’m turning green over this one. Rant over.
As school performance declines in comparison to international standards, all 3 parties have backed the Gonski reforms (now known as Better Schools Plan), which includes $15b in funding over 6 years. The coalition have committed to it for only 4 years. So far, New South Wales, the ACT, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria have signed up to the Better Schools Plan. The money could be spent on new teaching methods, more teachers, aides or support staff such as literacy and numeracy tutors or librarians.
Our school burnt down in January. We have a pretty amazing temporary school but the year has been disjointed. I for one support the plan and am glad Tassie signed up.
Yep pretty important if Australia wants to stay globally competitive in business and for individuals and small business to keep innovating.
Labor plans to spend vast amounts of money on a very expensive ($44.1bn) network with very fast downloads, to be completed by 2021.
Coalition policy is for a less expensive ($29.5bn) network that delivers slower downloads and a completion date for 2019.
Green support Labor but would like to see it rolled out sooner. Again, pie in the sky but where do we get the $$?
I’m the wife and daughter of farmers and farming is my livelihood (it pays for my ugg boots and my ice cream, both of which I can’t do without) and so this is a biggie for me. And it should be a biggie for everyone, what with food security coming to the table in the face of population explosions and changed climate.
Labor is cautiously supportive of foreigners buying up our rural land – in favour of Australian sovereignty but accepting of regulated foreign ownership. It will pay ‘hardship assistance’ with emphasis on drought preparedness, debt assistance and carbon credits. THey are comitted to the live export trade
The Coalition encourages foreign investment, live exports and carbon farming.
The Greens are wary of foreign investment, support sustainability assistance for farmers and carbon credit schemes. They want a ban on live export for slaughter and clear country of origin food labeling.
ALP pledges $16b hospital funding between 2014 and 2020, a $4b dental care package for children and low income earners, $2.2b for mental health, more GP super-clinics, $20m for active aging initiatives (nutrition, exercise, recreation, independent living for older Australians) and $50 million for community stroke care co-ordinators.
The Coalition promises $35m to help find a cure for type 1 diabetes, to scrap the private health insurance rebate means test and to improve dentist care ‘as soon as it responsibly can’ (and a few other equally vague pledges).
The Greens desires include: scrapping the private health insurance rebate altogether, providing publicly funded dental care, greater access to community health centres, a ban on junk food ads, restrictions on marketing of pharmaceuticals to health professionals, improved healthcare access for rural and remote communities and improved food labeling.
Oh I don’t know, where are the centralist parties? Bring back the democrats. Maybe I’ll start some sort of megoracle party. When I’ve done all the washing, finished my film, built a house and learnt a bit about economics. At least I know that Islam isn’t a country.