Thursday, November 22, 2007

Election Time

And I’m a bit annoyed about it too. Dikkii beat me to it with an excellent round up, so if you’re interested in Australian politics, part1 is here and part 2 is here and they’re well worth the read. But I’m gonna have my say anyway, despite that he’s done it better already! There’s one thing he didn’t mention for the international visitors though and that is our major parties orientations. In this country, “Liberal” means “Conservative” while “Labor” means “Socialist (almost…)”. So our Liberal party is the equivalent of the Tories or Republicans while Labor is the Labour or Democrat equivalent.

So, we are about to have an election in this country and if there’s one thing that really annoys me, it’s politicians blathering on about how good they are. Seriously guys, your professional lives are on the public record, we know it isn’t true!

But the hustings are a marvellous place. On any given day throughout the election proceedings you will be regaled with tails of woe and tails of joy. Generally though, it’s tails of woe which revolve around one of two things depending on who you are; the damage the current incumbent has done over the past umpteen years or the damage the opposition will do, should they gain a majority. I’m sure that anyone reading this, anywhere in the democratic world, is familiar with the story.

So for the past six weeks or so we’ve had to endure the likes of Howard, Rudd, Brown, Costello, Gillard, Abbot, Swan, etc, telling us all about how good they are and how bad their respective counterparts are. It’s a game of “tit-for-tat”; “We’ve done this (good) and they’ll do that (bad)” or “They’ve done this (bad) but we’ll do that (good)”. More often than not, it’s reminiscent of the school yard. Sometimes I wonder why we don’t just have a farting competition and decide it that way. I reckon the result would probably be the same. Oh yeah I forgot, methane’s a green house gas...

So what are the issues? Well it doesn’t really matter where I live. I’m in the seat of Lalor (pronounced Lawler, for all you philistines out there) which is Labor heartland and Julia Gillard (bless her little cotton socks) will probably be returned with an even bigger margin than last time, if that’s possible, and I’ll be helping to make that happen. I also harbour a secret hope that she’ll become our first woman Prime Minister, but I think I’ll have to wait a little while now that Rudd’s got a strangle hold on the party, we’ll see. That said however, there are a couple of things I’ll touch on and “Workchoices” gets top billing.

Workchoices is an insipid policy that must be relegated to the dustbin in all possible haste. I’ve met many a worker at my local that has lost penalty rates and/or overtime and is now finding it difficult. Some have even stopped attending the local in favour of making the mortgage payment and some have lost their homes. Of course, the statistic those guys fall under is the “interest rate rise” statistic but make no mistake, in at least two cases I know of, interest rates meant nothing compared to the night shift penalties. As an example, my current penalty is 30% (I do 12 hour shifts, 24x365 which means I don’t get public holidays and I work 2 out of 5 weekends) but I could lose that at any moment should my employer decide to risk the fairness test, which they can’t afford to do so I’m pretty safe. But that’s a whole one third of my wage and if I lose that, I lose my house.

Education. Why the hell we don’t have a national standard is beyond me. I had a little email confrontation with Ms. Bishop (who has been very quiet during this campaign) not so long ago and she didn’t want to go there. That seriously disappointed me seeing as how she’d just waded into the debate with about $110million worth of funding. 25% of that funding went to the private sector too, which I happen to think is an absolute disgrace. Organisations run for profit should not be entitled to my tax dollars, especially when so much work is needed in the public sector.

But come Saturday evening, I think there’s going to be a major reallocation of seating arrangements in both houses (see Dikkii’s post for an excellent explanation of our parliamentary system). Hopefully the senate will end up with a Labor majority by preference of the Greens and the odd independent. The Labor party doesn’t allow it’s members to cross the floor and expels those that do but we need that ability, especially in the senate. I’m hoping that Family First and the Christian Democratic Party get what they deserve which is nothing, and I also hope to see the end of Pauline as a politician. She makes a much better celebrity I think and besides, she dances pretty well for an old tart.


Dikkii said...

Excellent post, Plonka.

One little quibble:

Workchoices is an insipid policy...

"Insipid" is a bit mild, don't you think?

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

I agree with dikkii
perhaps diabolical would be better ;)

Plonka said...

Yeah ok. I stand corrected...:)

Dikkii said...

By the way, this week's been so mad that I didn't get a chance to thank you for the praise in the opening paragraph.

Thanks for that.

Now that Labor's in power, I have to get to work on researching a new government to bag.

All good stuff.

Plonka said...

No worries Dikkii, it was well deserved.

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