Politics

Budget

I know I have been away from blogging for a long time but I will talk more about that in the future, no drama just been flat out busy. 

Last night the Australian Federal Government handed down a budget. I have been reading s lot of articles particularly about us childless taxpayers and that we didn't and never get anything in the budget's. generally most comments are self serving and don't achieve much and there is never going to be a way to make everyone happy. 

For me, I don't expect anything. Yes I come from a double income couple although one of us is trying to get a small business off the ground and we did I guess receive a small tax break. 

However I do understand people's frustrations at the money that gets dished out to families. Not entirely, I am happy that money goes to education, hospitals, research etc. I also understand that it is the children who will keep the country moving into the future. 

There are good and bad in everything. Yes over the years there have been plenty of areas I have disagreed with. I never supported baby bonuses which basically paid people to have children. However I did support a level of paid parental leave to a point. 

I am undecided about subsidised child care and am yet to form an opinion. I do think we sometimes fork out too much money for people to have children but I do want to support their education. Maybe the answer is to cap payments to families not just based on income but also limit government payments to only the first two children. I don't think it's fair for taxpayers to pay for someone who has large numbers of children to be paid welfare. 

I also see that it is now we have huge gaps in the employment market, either from jobs that Australian's don't want to do or we don't have enough qualified people to do them. I would like to see funds put into attracting skilled migrants to this country. That may have people up in arms but I see it as a key area. I see regional towns suffering because for example they have a meatworks but can't get anyone to work them. We have a shortage of doctors and other professionals. So encourage skilled migration through both funding and where possible and safe don't make it so hard to transfer qualifications internationally. 

I think some Australian's do have a sense of entitlement but unfortunately until the government trully makes welfare a safety net and starts to change community perceptions it will not change. We do have an employment system that makes it very easy to just do nothing. Just speak to those who work in the industry and you will hear how easy it is to avoid work and avoid the requirements such as Work for the Dole etc. 

I believe politics plays a large part in this. Our political system makes it very hard for our leaders to do what is right simply because in Australia there is a three years term. So once a party gets into power and they start implementing the policies they campaigned on, you are in your second year and starting to think about the next election. There isn't a lot of time to make hard decisions without the thought of will this cost us the next election in the forefront. 

There are lots of points that I could raise but in the end I think we need political and societal change to really make this country prosper and to be honest I'm not sure it will happen. I would like to think that we can all stop only thinking of ourselves and start to think of the bigger picture. 

The Village is Falling - Mandate

Ok, I'm really starting to get annoyed. Since the Coalition won the election last weekend Tony Abbott has said that it gives them a mandate. And arrogantly Malcolm Turnbull recently responded to a petition of 200,000 people urging the government to rethink it's NBN plan in the direction of the fibre to home model by saying "wasn't there an election recently at which nbn policy was a key issue?". What an arrogant ass. In addition cracks are already starting to form in our relationship with Indonesia. 

It concerns me that a government gets into power and consider that if people didn't want everything they said, they wouldn't have voted for them. This is an arrogant response and any government that gets into power needs to go back and gauge the people's feelings on each of the issues. Maybe the majority of people do believe that the Carbon Tax should go and maybe the majority of people don't want a future proof NBN but I know that the NBN wasn't the biggest issue on the table. Unfortunately for the Coalition they were more than likely voted in not because the Australian people loved them but rather they had lost faith in the Labor party. A wise Coalition would take that information and start to dissect the policies they have and start to look at what the people think. If they listened to people on individual issues rather than taking everything as a mandate they may have a chance at gaining the respect of the nation. 

After all we know that the majority of Australian's actually wanted the NBN. We know the majority of Australian's want Gay Marriage. We know the majority of Australian's don't really believe in the paid parental leave scheme however are happy to take the money lol. It was a blatant vote buying initiative. 

Comments like those of Abbott and Turnbull are just proof that they have learned nothing. There is too much ego and it's obvious by these actions that these so called leaders really don't care about anything other than themselves. If they really cared about this country they would realise that the people matter and it's not always about the next photo opportunity or press conference. No voter agrees with everything you say and it wasn't your policies that won you the election it was just that people were pissed off at the other player in the game. Wake up and realise you have a once in a lifetime opportunity to change what people think about politics and make a difference.  

Election Day

Well Election Day is upon us and by all indications the result will be a new Coalition Government. I see a lot of stories about why this is and they are truly disturbing. It appears that those in the know are saying that the reason people will be voting for a LNP Government is simply they are sick of the upheaval that has taken place within the ALP over the past few years. 

I find this disturbing because I wanted to believe that the Australian people had more intelligence and depth than that. However it appears not. When talking with people about the election I have had no one actually tell me they want Tony Abbott to be running this country, rather it seems the majority of people respond with an I just don't care response. This is so disheartening and a good example of why party politics is just not working in Australia. 

If I was going to be selfish and just look at who I was going to vote for purely based on the current situation and my own wants, I would vote Labor simply because they have the more realistic policies including Marriage Equality and NBN which I believe are very important to the future of this country. This doesn't mean I believe Labor have made all the right decisions. I believe Labor's removal of Fringe Benefits on vehicles is actually going to cause a nationwide disaster but overall Labor have better policies. The LNP on the other hand are sitting back making promises like full pay maternity leave which will only hurt this country and increase discrimination against women. They are not going to follow through with the NBN, they are cowards when it comes to a conscience vote on marriage equality and to top it off Tony Abbott left announcing how he's going to fund it all until two days before the election when there is a media blackout in place. Such a coward. 

The reality of the situation is that contrary to what people have been brainwashed to believe, factually the current government has not done a bad job. The Australian economy is actually envied by the world and if you actually look at the stats the cost of living has risen less under Labor than the previous LNP. There is this historical view that runs wild in this country that you have to vote for one of the two major parties because if you vote for a minor party it doesn't mean anything. This is far from the truth. In fact voting for a minor party may or may not lead to the minor party gaining a seat, however don't think the major parties don't look at these figures. If the minor party don't succeed in gaining a seat it still sends a message that you are not satisfied with the two major parties and it does put pressure on the major parties to shape up. 

Please when you head to the polls take the time to vote according to what you believe is best for this country. Make sure before you go to the polls you do a little homework and look at the policies of each party. Don't donkey vote and remember your vote really does count. 

On a side rant, consider whether you really believe that the current government has done a bad job. Remember things such as the cost of living will never go backwards so consider whether the rate at which this has happened is acceptable when you also look at the same in other countries. Remember also that the current government has had a noose around it's neck working within a hung parliament so there has been a lot of obstacles along the way. You have to consider all the facts when deciding who should run this country and I ask that you take an hour or so to do your own research and make an informed decision when voting.  

Here we go

I have finally returned from a break. In fact it was a just what I needed to recharge. The break included about 2.500km of driving. From Brisbane to Narranderra on the Newell Highway. Then back to Brisbane through Tamworth and Tenterfield. It was good to be off the grid for a while and even though it was only a couple of weeks it was well worth it. 

This is only my second day back at work and as you would expect it's like I was never gone lol. So here I am with a million things to do but procrastinating because I want to get back to my blog. 

But as any Australian will know we are in the middle of an election campaign and for me I am finding this election truly frightening. It's one of the most perplexing situations I have ever seen in this country. I can't fathom what is going through peoples heads. 

Let me explain, but I won't go on for too long about this. We are in a position where there are only two major parties in this country and both have problems. At this point in time it looks like the Coalition will win the election but looking at why people are swinging this way perplexes me. My guess is that people don't really want either of the major parties to win however people are too scared to vote for the minor parties who actually have better policies. 

Here we have a situation where we will be voting for not who will lead this country into the future but rather which party is likely to do the least damage. It's a sad state of affairs and either was we will lose. Recently the Coalition announced two things that I am embarrassed to repeat but its true. Firstly is a paid parental scheme which will actually give someone up to $75K to have a baby. That is equivalent to 6 months salary for someone on $150K. It does seem wrong to me to pay someone to have children. And to pay that kind of money to encourage someone to have a kid when we have those on Pensions and other necessary benefits on a small fraction of that. I'm not saying it's not financially a struggle to have children but to actually take my tax dollars to pay someone to have a kid is simply wrong. It's buying votes with money this country could better spend. Seriously in my opinion having children is a choice and although tough financially I don't believe that we should be paying people to do it. We don't have a population problem and even if we did I would much rather encourage skilled people from other countries to settle in Australia than to pay people to have kids. 

The second vote buying scheme the Coalition has announced is that for every couple thinking of getting married they will give a $200 voucher towards marriage classes etc. I think in theory if this was open to everyone I wouldn't have a problem with it but in light of Tony Abbott's anti gay stance I find it rather petty and unnecessary. This is also a man who intends to downgrade our National Broadband Network which would have seen this country actually prepared for the future of data. 

Don't misunderstand, there are actually some good policies that the Coalition has but overall I am perplexed as to why the Australian people are willing to vote for someone who will take us back decades instead of forward. This is a man who is too afraid to allow his party members a conscience vote on marriage equality. Even within the Coalition there appears to be a movement to allow a conscience vote but Abbott won't budge. Another example I guess of the arrogance of Australian politicians. 

I don't want to go on about this just now but I will share with you in the next couple of days an article that I would highly recommend everyone read. For now I will get back to other things. I know the election may not interest many and I will have other things to write about, but I guess this is a hot issue at the moment. I will return soon.  

Australia set to Vote

Here we are again about to head to the polls in about a month. September 7 has been set as the day we get to decide who will run our country. I for one am a little disillusioned at the choice this time between parties. Over the years it has become more difficult to tell the difference between the parties. It's obvious to some degree that the Coalition is the Conservative party however not all their ideas are bad. Same goes for the Labor Party. Either way we have to make a choice. This is why I am writing this post. 


Over the past few days I have heard a lot of remarks from younger people wondering why they should vote because they don't like anyone. Now I understand that the state of both major parties and most of the minor parties is shameful. However there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly we live in a country where voting is compulsory. This is a good thing because it means that you get the best chance at achieving a result that at the very least is the decision of the majority, right or wrong. If it wasn't compulsory like in the US, not only would politicians be wasting valuable time trying to convince people to vote but you would also never be sure if the outcome was really a majority decision but rather just about who did the best job of getting people to vote. We may not always agree with the state of politics or the system in this country but voting is part of living in a community, a country that you chose to live in. If you don't like it then leave, otherwise remember this country is a community and participation is essential. 


We have to remember that it's also important to look at the policies of each party and vote on facts not propaganda or which party leader you like the most. After all this isn't a Presidential election but a Party election. I actually live in the current PM's electorate and it is very easy to forget that it's not him we are voting for but the policies of the party. But we have to. I don't like this situation as I really don't believe either side of politics but it is my duty as a citizen of this country to choose. If nothing else voting will stop the possibility of some of the dangerous parties getting some power such as Fred Nile's Christian Democratic Party. 


This is going to be a tough election and it will be a shame either way to see a minority government but the reality is we are Australians and have the ability to influence the leadership of the country. Now obviously my current first preference and I emphasise current would be Labor as it's the one party that will work to legalise marriage equality but if it is a minority government then we will be back where we are currently and that is with the Coalition blocking the issue. I know there has been some loose statements that Tony Abbott may allow a conscience vote post election but he's not exactly reliable so on this issue I will support Labor. I believe this will be an election issue because the campaigning to make it so will be apparent but we are still 32 days out from the election and anything can happen. 


Ultimately though I encourage everyone to vote. If you are hesitant than find an issue that effects someone in your family or friends and support them by voting. Whether that be on Marriage Equality, Boat People, Health Care, Education or whatever. Don't not vote because you are disillusioned. If not for yourself support someone you care about.