The fallacy is better known as a Red Herring.
I know that I said I would move away from politics (primarily because the topic is career limiting to say the least – good luck democracy!) but how could I avoid the relentless march into absurdity that encapsulates the mob entrusted to make decisions on our behalf?
The straw that broke this camel’s back is the waste of taxpayer funds to advertise a red herring as obvious as dog’s… um…
Our fearless (if myopia can be called that) leader unveiled a mobile billboard yesterday. It reads; “East West Link Scrapped and you’re… Stuck in traffic! Blame Labor.”
Who is he kidding? It will no doubt stir up rage in the average fan of Andrew Bolt, but arguably most Victorian’s get that another toll road is not what the state needs at this point in time.
Actually, it’s not subjective; Victorians knew what they were voting for in the 2014 election; The East West Link (Coalition) or Rail upgrades (Labor). The parties made no secret that this was one of the main contests and the East West Link lost.
Victoria, not just Labor, rejected this toll road.
Building new roads instead of improving public transport is at odds with 21st century urban planning. Our devoting to roads is weird. If we continue to be stuck in traffic, it’s because our Federal government refuses to fund what the people voted for (and again, democracy takes a hit).
To give an example, Eastlink caps a one way trip at $5.84. If you used CityLink to the CBD from the Monash Freeway, one way would cost you $7.20. A return trip would land you $11.68 or $14.40 respectively, with the stop-start pain of peak hour on either the Eastern or Monash Freeways.
By contrast, a full day trip that covers zones 1 & 2 (most regions) will set you back a modest $7.52, without additional fuel, wear-and-tear and the overwhelming threat of being involved in the next accident (too often the result of impatience).
With Melbourne’s population growth projections expecting as much as 7.8 million people by 2051, we can’t expect each person to ride alone in our cars to work. No amount of roads could cope.
The people stuck in traffic are those who don’t have access to good public transport and those who need their cars for work. Reinforce the public transport system and most of the former will convert, leaving the roads for the latter.
And yet, here we are with a PM refusing to part with promise funds to the state. It’s a bitter revenge for rejecting his state counterparts and more toll roads that we don’t need or want.
Instead, he’s loose with cash for a political stunt that flies in the face of Victorian voters. He does so, of course, not to play state politics, but to try to get one state one side in the lead up to next year’s election. It’s negative rhetoric and what he does best.
A better person might acknowledge the will of the people and act accordingly.
We can only hope that this red herring is transparent to Victorian voters. We can hope that they show this PM, just as they did the former Premier, that they will not cave into 20th century thinking.
When you’re stuck in traffic, I hope it gives you enough time to reflect on who is truly to blame.