Australian politics, as I see it, is like pandering to a child-emperor. Regardless of the flawed policies and childish name-calling, ultimately you must somewhat submit to this ridiculous system solely because it’s where the governance belongs. You may never see great leadership or even radical changes to alter and improve society, however, by voting and by making some noise, you can at least assist in keeping avoid radical swings into fundamentalism. As I’ve said previously, this upcoming election is more or less a non-event, with Labour only marginally more appealing simply because they’re less appalling. As far as I’m concerned, the acceptance of tobacco profit donations is a mark of irresponsibility and demonstrates little more than apathy for the people; just one of the marks against the increasingly conservation Liberal and Nation parties.
However, we’re all entitled to our own opinion.
The Libs “start” their campaign
Luckily for me, my partner finished work at 5:30 pm, but can leave anywhere between 5:30 and 6pm. This generally means that I am near dozing for a good 30mins and/or listening to what is fast becoming one of my favourite radio programs; Triple J’s Hack. Monday, the 9th of August, Hack’s reporter, Kaitlyn Sawrey, covered the official beginning of the Liberal campaign (to listen to the report, click here; it’s roughly the first 10mins of the podcast).
Is it just me, or are the Liberal pollies and many of their supporters popping a whole heap of silly-pills?
Let’s begin with Julia Bishop’s statement, “I’ve travelled to nearly 40 electorates across Australia, since the 10th of July, and it is an issue of concern to people. I know and they know it’s not the numbers, so much as a symbolism of a government that’s lost control and the people smugglers are now determining who comes to Australia.”
About the only reasonable response came from one supporter who obviously didn’t indulge in the Two Minutes of Hate, “The asylum seekers policy, or the debate about that is, it’s all a bit much. I think it’s a non-issue… not a non-issue, but a lot smaller issue than it’s being made in this election campaign.”
Tim Bennett, from Electron Soup, created this interesting image.
If we look at Australia’s Parliamentary Library, under the question, Is Australia being ‘swamped with asylum claims’? we find that in 2009:
“Australia received 6170 asylum applications, just 1.6 per cent of the 377 160 applications received across 44 industrialised nations … Of the 44 nations; Australia was ranked 16th overall and was 21st on a per capita basis.”
Arguably Ms. Bishop is aware of this when she states, “…it’s not the numbers, so much as a symbolism…”
I personally feel, Ms. Bishop, that these people are worried because people like yourself led them to think this is an issue. It’s an absurd loop to first tell the public that they should be worried about a subject and then when counter evidence is supplied, you disregard it because the public is now concerned. “…people smugglers are now determining who comes to Australia.” This is nothing but fear-mongering and does nothing but blame the victim. The problem won’t be fixed by just “stopping the boats”.
Kaitlyn then went on to interview another supporter, Roderick Schneider, former QLD YLNP President who said, “Stopping the waste is the biggest thing to me. I don’t think people understand that it’s their money that’s getting thrown away. I don’t think people understand when they see in the papers that 3 million dollars got spent on a school hall, that that was their money. The government takes money off them all the time to waste it on those sort of things and that, that is the single biggest thing, I think, that draws me to the Liberal party and makes me want to get behind Tony Abbott.”
Kaitlyn then asked, “Australia was the only developed nation to avoid recession during the financial crisis and both Labour and the Coalition say the budget will be in surplus by 2012-2013. Is there that much difference, economically, between the two parties?”
Roderick replied, “There is a stark difference and this is actually the biggest contrast between the two. Over 12 years of the Howard government, they put in some fantastic reforms which essentially insulated our economy from the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). We’re talking about things like the introduction of APRA, the Prudential Regulation Authority, which meant that our banking system was stable. And Labour have the hide to come in and say that, because they spent a heap of money on school halls and a few insulation batts, that that’s what saved us from the economy. Well, you know, if that, if it was really that true then wouldn’t have Greece done it? Wouldn’t have America done it? Wouldn’t they have just spent their way out of it? The truth is, that’s not the case. We had a very stable system set up by Howard and Costello and that’s what got us through and anything else is crap.”
I couldn’t help but laugh at this rambling response. Sure, I think any reasonable person would have to agree that much of the available money would have to be the result of a government recently in power for a decade – it’s just ludicrous to say otherwise. However, I thought that the Australian economy avoided the worst of the GFC, not because Labour paid for some buildings to be built and batts to be installed, but because they encouraged consumers to continue consuming and not stunt economy by hoarding their pennies in the fear of a looming recession.
As I become more involved in the political arena of climate change, I’m also becoming increasingly aware of this amazing ability of conservative individuals to make radical leaps of faith from minor points to fundamental conclusions. Before any tight-collared reader jumps to the bottom of this page to reply to this indignant assertion; I know the far-out lefty isn’t any better. Neither of you are correct.
The worst of the bad
All of this stuffy ideological jargon was, on it’s own, enough to be nauseating. However, Tony wouldn’t be Tony if he couldn’t take it just a few steps further.
The most terrifying would have to be the appeal to the Christian vote. The music of his advertisement must’ve been written by some folks that write for Televangelists when they’re pleading for your donations just before dawn. Is it a tune that Tony hums to himself as he strolls into the office first thing in the morning?
(I might add here that both parties plan to be out of debt in roughly the same time, so again, he demonstrates a non-issue… also, have the Liberals even supplied their budget plan for assessment yet? Last I’d heard they hadn’t. Also note the red arrows that leads the viewer to feel the “swamp” of “boat people”)
It strikes me as a clear indicator of how backward and anti-progressive this Liberal party actually is. In a time of change, when we need innovative minds and fresh policies, Mr. Abbott is making a clear note for yesteryear and head-in-the-sand ignorance.
Another point made by Kaitlyn was that the media were restricted from accessing the demonstrators, “It just felt a lot more locked down than the Labour launch in 2007.”
Is this what we want for a leader? A heavily devout man with outdated vision who limits journalistic investigation? How can such practices be condoned in modern Australia and why should the Liberals feel it necessary? There are plenty of writers who will lovingly write Tony’s gospel and criticise scientific investigation – even if sea water rises and short-circuits their system.
In every possible way Abbott demonstrates the wrong view for Australia’s future. However, what will Julia Gillard bring to the table? Stay tuned!