I have expressed many times in my previous blog posts, on Facebook and Twitter that i am (at least one half of the fb and twitter identity) more Labor oriented than Coalition. However, i am nothing if not changeable
when it comes to the minor parties and independents. My votes usually go there way first and then the major parties. According to Vote Compass I am on the left side of centre and am proud of it. I believe that the Australian Labor Party stands more for working people and a better standard for all whereas the Coalition stands up more for big business and user pays.
I have had many arguments with certain friends and even my loving partner on political issues. This is the beauty of democracy, i feel i can have my say without being gunned down in the
street. Hmm.. this maybe the result of Australias gun laws? See my post titled 'Gun Culture'. And yes, i am aware that these were instituted by the previous LNP
government lead by John Howard.
Last weekend (7th September 2013) Australians went
to the polls to vote for a new federal government in the House of Representatives and for one-half of the Senate. It is compulsory for all Australians over the age of 18 to vote and we have a system called 'optional preferential voting'. The election result
this time was a win for the Coalition (Liberal-National Party). Tony Abbott MHR is our new Prime Minister.
My belief is
that this result was more about the in-fighting in the Australian Labor Party and the events of 2010. That is, the ousting of a popularly-elected first term PM (Kevin Rudd) by the 'faceless' men
of the Union Movement. He was replaced by his then Deputy (Julia Gillard), she became Australias first female PM. The way it was handled and the long drawn out aftermath was part of handing
victory to the Opposition. The fact that months out from this election, with speculation building, they (the ALP) returned Kevin Rudd to the top job in order to 'save the furniture' as they put it did nothing to fix the image in the minds of voters. Given
that the Gillard led govt went to the 2010 election and ended up in minority government doing deals with independents and the Greens was another blow.
Minority governments are notoriously
hard to deal with but they did put up and advance some rather major policy pieces such as the Carbon Tax, Mining Resources Rent Tax, National Disability Insurance Scheme and the National Broadband Network. The Carbon Tax and Mining Resources Rent Tax are not taxes on individuals, they are taxes on the big corporations, the ones that are digging up our natural resources
and industrially polluting the air we breathe. Of course, the passing on of these impositions was blamed for the rising prices of electricity in this country. Taking away these taxes does nothing to the cost of living in Australia, that was rising way before
these taxes were introduced. See my last post on Australia being a rip-off country.
The Tony Abbott led LNP in opposition was more disciplined in some respects and certainly carried the role of Opposition to the n'th degree. The leaders of the two major parties were very different in their styles. Tony Abbott seen as a fighter with
not much style and Kevin Rudd seen as style over substance. One could not talk much in public especially in debates whereas the other could talk and talk and talk. Both sides got closer during the campaign on issues that shouldnt even be politicised and yet
tried to tell everyone they were different.
I'm talking about border security, climate change etc... Neither side offered a real clear choice just 3 to 4 word slogans e.g 'Stop the
Boats', 'Rollback the Carbon Tax' and 'A new way'. The constant media speculation did nothing to dampen the flame of protest votes when it came to polling day and this is why we will have a senate makeup that looks farcical. I suppose, one positive is that
it will have representation from a wider demographic than most before it. I sure hope the new PM is ready to deal with this motley crew.
I'm sure that Clive Palmer will be relatively
easy to deal with by the Coalition given that he use to be one of their biggest supporters. This mining magnate has already been mentioned in my post 'Mining..more
than the ground' Since we now live in the Nations Capital, i think it will be funny to see the Palmer United Party in parliament. Some of the others are unknown and
they may hold the 'balance of power'. A recent addition was the Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party.. what will they do to our National Parks? Where do they stand on the Carbon
Tax.. we dont know.
The media speculation during all this was motivated, in large proportion, by the Murdoch
press. They put out constant headlines during the election campaign damning the Labor govt and it became very obvious that Murdoch wanted 'regime change'. One wonders how an American citizen can have such an impact on Australias political system. Why do we
read these things and listen to blatantly biased opinions? Just look at this ... this came from Twitter and i thought it was clever.
With all this going on, what are they going to do about ending the Live Export trade? See my post
re this.... What are they going to do about Job security, cost of living, losing our manufacturing industry and cleaning up the environment. This is the 'great southern land' is it not?? Are we the 'lucky country' or a rip-off place to live. This country is
a beautiful place with a lot of natural wonder, only trouble is the people it is run by. Why are we paying ever higher taxes and ever increasing prices with lesser services and less real choice?? Is it the 'tyranny of distance' or is it something else like
a conspiracy between the powerful media players, the mining companies and our own elected representatives? Is the new LNP federal government going to be like its Queensland counterpart and slash n burn jobs and services simply to square up the budget?
Good luck to those looking for public service jobs or good wages and conditions. Remember Tony Abbott was a member of the Howard Government, one that was roundly criticised for its workplace
relations policies such as 'Work Choices'. With all these questions in my mind, is it any wonder that I am looking at travelling abroad again, perhaps escaping this next period of cut cut
cut.. In a case of 'fight or flight' I take flight, however I guess I could run for a Senate seat, i hear they're paying $190 thousand per annum at this time, that's pretty good coin.
well, travelling broadens the mind, much like Philosophy and i have done my fair share of it over the years. This is what i intend to promote in
my next blog posts, i will start with a post on travelling domestically i.e. around Australia and then in the second part i will talk about overseas travel. Of course, i have already talked about travelling in the Philippines so there will be less on that
and more about other destinations. Stay tuned...