In January of this year I wrote a piece outlining my list of “political priorities for 2013.”I blogged it prior to the Prime Ministers announcement of a September election. I also invited people to add their particular priorities. Some corresponded with mine and others were completely different.
With the budget, having been delivered this is my report card to date. Originally, I placed then in random order and did not prioritise one over another. However, the election is getting closer so I have put them is some sort of personal preeminence.
1.That the electorate might awake from its malaise and see that this is a very important election for the future of Australia and that politics in some way or another affects their very being.
There are no signs of this so far and it can be attributed to a number of factors. Firstly, that Australians in general are so disillusioned by the body politic (and reasonably so) that it has completely divorced itself from the process. Two, the right-wing mainstream media has destroyed the public with their avalanche of support for Neo conservative politics. So much so, that media no longer reports to the electorate. It indoctrinats it. Thirdly, Mr. Abbots style of negative opposition based on three word slogans has worked to the point that combined with MSM influence the public is bombarded with right-wing neo conservative crap trap. Moreover, in the absence of credible alternative reporting they believe it. What else is there to do other than think for yourself?
2. That the election will be a contest of policies and ideas and the means to implement them. Can we afford them?
Thus far, the Labor Party is the only one putting forward policies that are far-reaching reforms. When I presented my list, Gonski and the NDIS were but policies in their embryonic stages. No states had signed on and the big doubt was how they would be costed. All that has changed. A recent survey said that 62% of people were in favor of education reform and 18% against. Similar percentages supported the NDIS with 72% for and 12% against. As with the NBN 54% were for Labor’s plan and 23% for Mr. Abbott’s These reforms have widespread public support. The fascination with these survey results is that the same people said that they would be voting for a conservative government. Rather proves the indoctrination theory I think. So the possibility arises that Tony Abbott might be elected to implement Labor Party policy.
Last night the Treasurer spelt out the means by which both policies would be funded. It is now incumbent on the opposition to say what program’s they will cut in order to fund these schemes or alternately if indeed they will proceed with them.
Now that the budget is delivered and open to scrutiny and the coalition has, it all laid out in front of them. The opposition has no excuse not to start revealing their policies. They agree with the implementation of Disability Australia well lets see how they will fund it. If they have, an alternative to Gonski tell us and declare the funding. Tell us how the direct action plan will be funded. Labor has declared where it will cut. So should the opposition.
3. That the asylum debate might become a humane one and not remain the political football that it is.
This has not happened and if anything, the problem is getting worse. Mr. Abbott has gone back on all his tough talk of the past two and a half years and has now admitted that he will not be able to “Stop the Boats” but will endeavor to bring them back to John Howard levels. For all this time he could have been part of the solution but for reasons of political advantage chose to be part of the problem. The mainstream media have not in any way rebuked him.
See my piece on this subject. http://theaimn.com/2013/05/08/man-overboard-tonys-boats-backflip/
4.That the question of equality of marriage might again come before parliament and Mr. Abbott might give his party members the right to think for themselves.
With 54% of Australians in favor of gay marriage and 33% against one has to wonder if politicians do really govern for themselves or for the people. The Prime Minister may say she is against it (which I very much doubt) but in all fairness allows her party a conscience vote. On the other hand, Mr. Abbott (after dangling a carrot of hope) allows his own religious beliefs to override public opinion. He should be overwhelmingly condemned for his stand on this issue but a passive media conditioned to his every need will not do so.
5. That the truth comes out in the Ashby/Slipper case and that our democracy would be placed ahead of conspiratorial party politics.
We are awaiting the judge’s findings on the Leave to Appeal and the concurrent Appeal cases and we can only hope that democracy will be truly served. However, the true test will be in how the media reports it. Will they just bury it the back pages like the original findings or will integrity, truth and justice prevail.
See my summary at http://theaimn.com/2013/05/05/may-day-may-day-ashby-appeal-update/
6.That as in the USA elections some FACT FINDER sites might emerge during our election year and expose any lies and misinformation.
Its happened http://www.politifact.com.au/ was launched in May.
7. That the forth estate as the custodians of the publics right to know might act responsibly and report fact and not just express biased opinion.
There is little or no hope of this happening. The strange thing is that main stream media never opens itself to self-examination. Instead, it just self-righteously assumes that it can continue on its merry way with all the crap their dirty little minds can create and expect to suck us in. One day they might conclude that facts and truth do actually matter. In fact, it is a pity that fact in journalism cannot be made compulsory and decency legislated.
We would be a much better society if we took the risk of thinking for ourselves unhindered by the unadulterated crap served up by the media and self-interest groups. Perhaps in time they might grasp that free speech does not mean it should be free from ethics. Like truth for example.
We are being conned with bullshit. http://theaimn.com/2013/03/23/being-conned-with-bullshit/
8.That Mr. Abbott would stop walking out of press conferences when he is asked serious questions.
This continues to happen with impunity and the compliant journalists bow their heads and walk the other way with the same impunity from their masters.
9. The media might start questioning the opposition about its policies without using the excuse that they have none. They have a policy for climate action for example ask them about the cost and how it will work. In addition, if it doesn’t, what is plan B.?
There has been some questioning of the Opposition leaders unaffordable Parental Leave Scheme and his direct act plan for reducing carbon emissions. Even from within his own party. Could we say it is persistent strenuous enquiry that is determined to expose genuine flaws in his policies? To use a one word quote from Mr. Abbott. NO. Is there robust journalistic investigation? NO. Is there face to face hard-nosed concentrated questioning of MR. Abbott? NO.
Perhaps we should just rely on Malcolm Turnbulls opinion of the direct action plan. He has described it as a ”farce” and ”bullshit”.
Having said that cracks are starting to appear. See
10. That the issue of an Australian Republic might find its way back onto the agenda.
It seems that with the help of Turnbull this issue so dear to my heart might re invent itself and my dream of Australia taking its true place in the world might eventuate. Isn’t it odd that two prominent members of the same party can be so diagonally opposed on major policy and issues of cultural sensitivity?
How ridiculous is it that our constitution allows a head of state of another country to circumvent the passing of legislation.
There are of course many other issues that people have an interest in. For example infrastructure, overseas aid, the economy and Northern development are but a few. Expand my list and discuss them if you so desire.