There are issues that we face, whether as individuals or as a society, that have common sense solutions. The refugees requiring medical care (i.e. all of them) should have been brought here five years ago. Same sex marriage could have been passed in a day with a vote in Parliament. Climate change is one of two existential threats we as a species face that requires immediate action to combat. All of these things, however, are politicised almost beyond recognition, both by the divisive media and bought out politicians. The hot topic at the moment? Abortion.
Scott Morrison has accused Labor of politicising the abortion issue, saying such things should not be used as a means to win the upcoming election. +1 to the number of blatantly hypocritical statements spurted by our soon-to-be ousted Prime Minister. His party has churned out numerous sensationalist campaigns about how our borders have been weakened due to the medivac bill passing, despite the fact the bill only applied to the current cohort of refugees (not new arrivals), and that they’ve (rather wretchedly) decided to just shove them from one offshore detention centre to another. Rather than dealing with a humanitarian issue, they have made it a political one with human costs.
His party is the one that has drilled the message of a “strong economy” into the minds of the voters while simultaneously drilling out economy into the ground. With no substantial evidence to back their claims, they brand Labor as the masters of economic mismanagement. To the contrary, the evidence is against them – Rudd, with Wayne Swan as Treasurer, brought us through the Global Financial Crisis in 2008 as the 3rd best economy in the world. The deficit they created due to increased government spending saved us from facing the worst of the GFC. When the Coalition ran a (successful) smear campaign against them over this, they proceeded to launch the debt to over double what Labor had. Yes, they recently ‘got rid of the deficit’ and have paraded a ‘surplus’ just in time for the election, but they did this by blasting government spending on essential public services. Cuts to Medicare, education, CSIRO, the ABC – that is where the ‘surplus’ came from. It’s also where they got the money to give massive tax cuts to multinational companies, corporate welfare. Rather than handling the economy properly, they focus on petty politics by talking down the opposition.
The Liberal Party has politicised drugs in Australia. Rather than treating it as a health issue, like the Greens have been fighting for, they continue to demonise and criminalise people who take drugs. In New South Wales, coverage of music festivals essentially boils down to the Liberal Party tutting at the masses, saying ‘just don’t do them’. Sure, I don’t disagree with the message, but those dense morons repeat the same slogans over and over in the face of evidence that proves decriminalisation, regulation, and proper health and education services saves lives. Rather than rethinking their approach to drugs as a health concern, they run in circles with their heads in the sand and wash their hands of the matter, all while showcasing their ‘tough on crime’ stance. Would be nice if that same attitude applied to tax evading companies…
With Morrison’s hypocrisy yet again highlighted, the question now swings back to Labor. Are they politicising abortion? Well, not really. One could argue that the timing of it certainly does match conveniently with the election, but then pretty much everything does. But what Labor has proposed – that hospitals will be required to provide abortion services – is not political. Abortion is a women’s rights and health issue, something the state should have no say over, and Labor’s policy is to expand on that right.
For Scott Morrison to lash out at this by saying “I don’t find that debate one that tends to unite Australians and I certainly am not going to engage in the political elements of that discussion, because frankly I don’t think it is good for our country” is laughable. Coalition MPs will literally shout abuse in Parliament over refugees weakening borders, over school kids striking for the survival of their planet, over increasing surveillance on citizens because of “terrorism”. But when it comes to the rights of women to choose what they can and cannot do with their bodies, suddenly debate is not “good”, it isn’t something worth engaging in.
There are many things that do not qualify as “political issues”. Refugees are a humanitarian venture, drugs are a health issue, the economy is, obviously, an economic consideration. Abortion is a women’s health issue. Petty politics have no place in these discussions, and any policy that reaches to achieve common sense or, simply, human solutions should be championed by its merit, not it’s “political” association.
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