Well it’s upon us. September 7 the day of reckoning we indulge in every 3 years or so is upon us. It is an important day. It is a day of reckoning, a day we ask ourselves who do we want to lead our nation. Who do we want to represent us on the world stage. They are big questions that we should all ask ourselves with seriousness and rigour and not with complacency and a devil may care attitude.
It will come as little surprise to those that know me that I will not be voting for the Conservative’s tomorrow. The Liberal/National coalition will not be getting my vote.
I have been an ardent sharer of political comment in the last several weeks and months. It has heightened in the past weeks. I make no apology that I seek people to be informed and make an informed judgement tomorrow. If it has invaded your news feed well I am unrepentant. I believe that our democracy is an exceedingly important thing that we must never lose sight of and take for granted.
There is no question that the current government have had internal struggles which have played out across the pages of the media. The mainstream media has lapped it up and run with it so much and neglected to report on the real issues.
We have seen national broadcasters more interested in whether or not Kevin Rudd was eating earwax than about the state of play in parliament.
The mainstream media has heralded Mr Tony Abbott as the most successful opposition leader in history. I must strongly dissent from this view. A successful opposition pursues an agenda of presenting an alternative view. Presenting an alternative way of doing things. This is not what we have seen from Mr Abbot’s opposition.
What we have seen is and particularly over the last three years has been a campaign of negativity and opposition ant all costs. An unwillingness to accept they had not won the election last time around has resulted in the propagation of false statement and denigration of our Government, personal attacks on our Prime Minister and the undermining of a strong economy.
Mr Abbott has repeated the slogan again and again of scrap the tax. He has failed at all levels to produce a credible alternative.
He has claimed the Government is overspending and wasting yet this government spends at a lower rate than the government of which he was a minister.
This campaign has been fought along personal lines, about who you can trust. Yet it is policy that counts. We have seen nation building policies presented by the government simply opposed for opposition sake.
Mr Abbot has proposed the cutting of company tax. This in itself is an intriguing move when he opposed this when it was introduced to parliament by the government.
Mr Abbot proposes a paid parental leave scheme which is very generous, to be paid for by the taxpayer yet argues it is a workplace right.
Mr Abbot on the other hand is removing the school kids bonus, superannuation assistance to lower income earners. Tax efficiency for self funded retirees.
I believe a vote for Mr Abbott is a vote to go backwards. He has still not released credible costings he has released a seven page document which does not include any costings on the major policy areas of Climate Change, Asylum Seekers and Broadband.
So I am voting Labor again this time.
Well it’s all about policy. Three big policy areas are what keeps me in the Labor fold.
Firstly, NBN. It’s just simple really. Do we want a system that works and will be upgradeable. Do we want a system that allows technological advancement. As it stands most of us operate on ADSL and dependent on our location we get laughable speeds. Personally I work from home and rely on a good internet connection. I simply cannot get this at the moment.
This is about nation building. Much has been made of the cost. The coalition have claimed a huge cost and Labor a much lower cost. But is it about cost? No! Even if the Coalition estimates turn out to be right then it is still not the issue. This is about providing an essential service that will not be obsolete as soon as it is rolled out. Imagine if we had decided it was too expensive to build the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Yes we went into debt for it, but if not would we still be queueing up for a punt. Would we have the thriving North Sydney business district.
When it comes to the NBN it just isn’t rocket science.
Secondly is the NDIS. The coalition have claimed to support this policy and say they are effectively on a unity ticket. If this is the case great. Yet it was the coalition governments in Victoria that nearly put paid to the whole thing. Much has been said and much will be said, but as it stands the details of the final system are not yet. I simply can not trust an Abbott government to work towards the greater good in rolling this plan out.
I am concerned that if it does the definition of disability will be very narrow and many will miss out on support and will be in a worse state than they are now. As the national system rolls out and people are discluded, the current safety nets will be removed and these people will be missed and fall through the cracks. I feel this is a prime concern for mental health areas and in particular Autism Spectrum conditions.
I can only trust the Labor government and their wonderful history of reform of social service to deliver this much needed plan to fruition. We must remember that we are only in a trial at this stage.
Thirdly is climate change. The introduction of the carbon price was a first step. The setting up of the clean energy finance commission another. Labor is committed to action yet the Coalition has shown it does not believe. Mr Abbott has refused to commit to meeting targets. He is a known sceptic indeed labelling it as crap.
The coalition have form in this regard. This is the party that refused to ratify Kyoto remember.
There is still much work to be done to continue the beginning baby steps that have been made. Labor can do this. Yet the coalition would have us step backwards from the start.
Those three policy areas are the core of why I will vote Labor tomorrow. There is much that stands that I do not like. I do not like the Asylum Seeker policy and I find it repugnant. But I must admit it appears to be showing signs of success.
There are reasons I simply could not sink to vote for the coalition. I simply can’t vote for a party that seeks to do so much damage to the weak and the struggling. The main things that I find repugnant are.
1. Foreign Aid reduction
2. Removal of rights of appeal
3. Cutting of the public sector.
4. Unfair paid parental leave.
5. Removal of the school kids bonus.
6. Lack of transparency and and levelling with the people on costings.
7. Removal of the carbon pricing.
8. Tax breaks for business and tax increases for workers.
9. Removal of the superannuation break for low income earners.
10. Fraudband. I can’t call it anything else when if you are more than 400 metres from a node you will have lower speeds than now.
So that’s my top ten but it’s not in order and it’s not in anyway exhaustive.
Other issues for me include the complicity of the mainstream media, the lies of the terrible economic budget emergency that we don’t have and the unwillingness to accept it when they are called out.
The way ahead is not clear. The way ahead is tricky but that’s what journey’s are all about.
I hope to goodness that my friends will be able to look past the personality contest, the infractions of infighting and look to the policies that have been delivered and will continue to be delivered under a progressive Labor government.
Let us keep on keeping on. For the greater good of all not just the few.
Australia has always been the land of the fair go. Let’s keep it that way.