The tight polls indicate that a number of Australians are afraid of what a change of Government will bring. However, the thought of remaining with the Liberal Government makes me very afraid.
I still recall that day in early high school so vividly. I was yelled at, embarrassed to the point of tears and pulled out of class. I was ordered to sit on the verandah, because my parents could not afford the proper text book and the teacher decided I was not ‘ready to learn’. That experience, really drove home that the battlers could sit alone and cry red-faced in shame and be on the outside looking in, or they could use their voices to speak up.
I knew that public education in the early 1980s was considered free for all students and that I was entitled to an education. (My Mother had told me time and time again “you don’t need money to be clean, honest, intelligent, kind, well mannered, etc., etc.,)
That day, I furiously marched to the Principal’s office at lunchtime and I made a formal complaint. I stood up straight, looked him in the eye and asked him loud and clear, if I was allowed to be excluded from class because I could not afford the text book.
For a reason I cannot remember now, (possibly being thirteen and misunderstanding the political framework!) I threatened to report the school to the Governor General and guaranteed that he could stand me in front of class and ask me questions. I argued that it would be revealed that I knew more than most of the students who had text books. I was angry and offended that the school had drawn a line between my intelligence, my willingness to learn and the amount of money my parents had to buy a stupid text book!
After some scornful lecture reminding me that it was somehow a thirteen year old’s responsibility to ensure I had the right books for school and I was ‘ready to learn’, I was given a ‘loan’ of a second hand book. I had to promise I would protect this book with my dear life until the end of the year and I was curtly reminded that ‘forgetting to return the book would be considered stealing from the school.’ That was also a stark reminder of how a low socio-economic background was an immediate negative judgement of one’s morals.
Two things were important that day: A rule existed to prevent unfairness and I had the courage to speak up.
Rules and Societal Norms shape who we are
Legal rules and also societal norms shape who we are. They shape our nation. The democratic system of parliament is the system which enables the rules by which we live. If the school had a rule implemented that stated I could be excluded because I did not have the correct book, I could have sat on the verandah for the rest of the year. Not learning and not participating. Some kids would not have complained, as I did.
An important point is that not everyone has the same levels of self-efficacy to use a complaints system, or to even question if they are a victim of unfairness. The rules should be there to protect people so they do not need to have an inherent self-confidence to right any wrongs.
This is the reason I take politics and voting so seriously. The Liberals, time and time again implement ‘rules’ or laws, that not only make life hard for the disadvantaged, but also make it hard to complain and achieve fairness. We see this in Education, in Health, in Welfare and in unemployment programs to name a few.
This is the future under the Liberal Government I see and what we have seen for the past three years and in previous Liberal Governments state and federal. A system of rules, that makes life harder for battlers. A system of rules that makes it harder for battlers to have a voice. A system of rules that is the antecedent to unfairness and a divided society.
The Liberals seek to make that verandah I sat on, even wider between the thirteen year old me and inclusion in that classroom.
The Liberals seek to make rules, that would have the Principal tell the thirteen year old me, ‘that it was my fault, I can do better, get richer parents, shut up, sit down and do as you are told, or we may arrest you.’
The tight polls indicate that a number of Australians are afraid of what a change of Government will bring. However, the thought of remaining with the Liberal Government makes me very afraid:
I don’t want to live in a world where a Liberal Government works hard for a greater divide between the rich and the poor.
Where the practices and policies of the Liberals ensure the working class have no rights and can be replaced by foreign workers in the dead of night.
Where the practices and policies of the Liberals make the disadvantaged choose between seeing a doctor or buying food.
Where the ideology of the Liberals does not see marriage equality as a right for all citizens.
Where the Liberals favouritism of austerity is implemented in times of severe, global economic uncertainty.
Where a narrative which harms and stigmatises people is encouraged and supported and sometimes led by members of the Liberal party.
Where Liberal/Conservative/austerity-laden budgets are designed to give the wealthy money and see the poor grasping for the trickling down of the scraps.
Where the spending decisions of a Liberal Government produces a health system so underfunded that death of Australians is realistic consequence.
I don’t want to live in a country where a Liberal Government makes rules to make life harder for the battler or makes it harder to protest against unfairness.
Another term of The Liberals. That is what makes me very afraid.
If you are NOT voting 1 Labor, what are you afraid of?
- Does ensuring Medicare is in the safe hands of the Labor party – the party that invented Medicare and the party that has fought against cuts to Medicare by the Liberals for years and years, make you afraid?
- Does ensuring that all children have the funding they need for more individual attention to excel in school, make you afraid?
- Does a party who fights for the rights of the worker, make you afraid?
- Does ensuring that our health system is properly funded, so Doctors and Nurses can do their jobs properly, make you afraid?
- Does ensuring transparency, KPIs for processing, independent overseer, child guardian, refugee tribunal and funding UNHCR camps to eradicate the need for boat journeys, make you afraid?
- Does ensuring that the party that got us through the GFC unscathed, managing the economy in a transitional environment or global instability, make you afraid?
- Does a history of delivering major reforms that have progressed this nation forward such as: NDIS, Enterprise Bargaining, Medicare, Superannuation and Gonski, make you afraid?
- Does the underpinning ideology of a fair go, make you afraid?
- Does ensuring that we have a fibre-laden, first rate technology National Broadband System, make you afraid?
- Does every citizen having the equal right to marry, make you afraid?
- Does the idea a party can have 100 positive policies, presented and costed before an election, make you afraid?
Vote Labor to put people first on July 2. Don’t be afraid.
Originally published on Polyfeministix