Scott Morrison put out a short, happy video about how his Coalition party will be moving forward in 2019 with record spending and a budget surplus. Those two terms seem like an oxymoron when put together, as any true analysis of Morrison’s corrupt economic plan will immediately reveal it for what it is – absolute shit. Smells like an election!
I could talk about how Elizabeth Warren just announced that she will be running for POTUS, making her the first of what will probably be a mountain of candidates tackling each other to take down Trump. But there is no urgency, because they’ll be raving until November about it so there’s plenty of time. Here in Australia, with our slightly less disruptive political campaigns, we’ll be heading to vote in May and it’ll be important to understand just what we will be voting for. In the lead up to the election itself I’ll post more about specific issues, but a more general discussion can be had about what we can expect from our leaders in the coming months.
Issues that should be considered priority are things like: healthcare; education; foreign policy; digital privacy concerns; a plethora of others; but most importantly CLIMATE CHANGE. Who can you expect to talk about this? Probably just the Greens, with some Labor input.
Issues that are likely to be shouted about for no apparent reason other than to spark division and anger are: ‘religious freedoms’ (as long as you are of the right religion); that surplus that you shouldn’t look into in any detail at all; immigrants stealing your jobs and taking welfare while also plotting to tear down Western civilisation; how crap the other side is at their job. Who will be leading these debates? The Coalition and other conservative parties like One Nation, with Labor jumping on the bandwagon to call them out for it, and the Greens up in arms about how stupid the whole debacle is.
So, the number one thing to do in the lead up to the election is to not pay attention to whatever someone said about something, but to actually review each party’s policies as they are to see whether they align with your views. On a number of issues, like education or healthcare, people are actually quite agreeable and tend to be on what is called the ‘progressive’ side. This unison on important issues collapses when the debate swings into murky territory with propaganda and vile rhetoric intended to distract and divide people.
Everyone can agree that homelessness is not acceptable and something needs to be done to remedy it. What causes homelessness though? Well, the Coalition would blame immigrants and refugees, people coming in and pushing the ‘hard working Aussies out’. That would also be the same party that failed to invest in the infrastructure that is required for a growing population, regardless of how many people came to Australia. The same party that panders to developers and property investors that bring housing prices up, leaving housing unaffordable and in some cases empty (one of the original causes of the Global Financial Crisis, seems no one learned). The same party that cuts funding to services like Centrelink or healthcare – specifically mental health and disabilities, as a number of homeless people fall into that bracket.
Another topic is religion. Morrison has made quite the spectacle of fomenting his devout Christian image, a hero for religious rights. But this is the same man that downplays the Royal Commission’s investigation into abuse highlighting churches as a major area of concern – indeed, such findings are popping up worldwide. It is also the same man who vilifies the Muslim population – quite a tiny percentage of the total population, actually, unlike what they’d have you perceive – over rare instances of terror attacks that are almost always lone wolf. Unlike the Catholic Church though, Muslim leaders have vowed to take action and do what they can to minimise radicalisation.
You get the picture – basically, don’t listen to anything the Coalition government has to say. That is not to say, then, that you should accept anything Labor or the Greens say to be any better. On a broad, general scale, yes, Labor is certainly preferable than the LNP, and the Greens more so, but they too should be questioned and pushed to prove their positions are worthwhile. Labor helped push the encryption bill over the line in the final hours of Parliament last year, and also support keeping the TPP11 in place without at least fighting the more disagreeable parts of the deal. They also don’t appear to have much of a position on Adani, instead stepping back to avoid criticism on one side, only to get it on the other. Labor needs to be held accountable for this.
So keep in mind that it isn’t words but actions and policy that define a party, and that there are certain issues that should lend much more weight to where you place your vote than others. Can’t protest for religious rights if you’re too busy fleeing rising sea levels.
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