When Scott Morrison looked the camera in the eye and told us that “If you vote Labor, you get Bill Shorten. If you vote Coalition, you get me”, Tanya Plibersek rightly asked “Is that supposed to be a selling point?”
It’s little wonder that Morrison has taken this campaigning approach. When you have no policies, you have to find something to say. It has perhaps escaped his attention that nobody wields supreme power in Australia – well no-one in politics anyway.
So what would we get if a Morrison government was elected?
According to him, we would have $387 billion less to spend on health, education, infrastructure, action on climate change, skills training, research, aged care, child care, welfare, and paying down the debt.
On top of that huge hit to revenue, he is committed to spending $400 billion over 20 years on strike force armaments that will likely be obsolete before they arrive. Modern warfare is not going to involve manned submarines and jet fighters.
We will get new coal-fired power stations, underwritten or subsidised by the government as no financial institution or investor is interested, at the same time as we spend millions on feasibility studies for large hydro projects whose business case says they are not viable until coal is phased out.
Emissions will continue to rise. Billions more will be spent on the failed Direct Action plan which has been rebranded as the Climate Solutions fund. Reductions will continue to be claimed for projects that have not been delivered as rapacious land-clearing continues apace.
Water (mis)management will remain in the hands of the Nationals as unscrupulous farmers steal water for irrigation and fraudulently trap and sell floodwater back to the government.
Instead of an electric vehicle industry, we will become an arms exporter.
Wealth inequality will continue its inexorable rise as tax concessions and tax cuts for the wealthy are prioritised.
Wages will remain stagnant and workplace entitlements will continue to be eroded.
The “temporary freeze” on the Superannuation Guarantee will remain.
Foreign Aid will remain at record lows with money only spent to outbid China for influence in the Pacific.
Discrimination will be entrenched under the guise of freedom of religion and freedom of speech.
There will be no Indigenous Voice to Parliament.
There will be no increase to Newstart.
Foreign policy will be dictated by Trump.
The British monarch will remain our Head of State.
Migrants will be blamed for everything – traffic congestion, hospital waiting times, insecure employment, unaffordable housing, crowded schools, crime, diluting our culture and values – you name it, it’s their fault.
Live animals will continue to die in horrific conditions as they are shipped north during summer months.
Privatisation and outsourcing will continue as the government sells off assets and profitable enterprises and slashes public service jobs in favour of much more expensive consultants whose message they can control.
The ABC will continue to have its funding cut while the Murdoch media will get unexplained handouts and rule changes that allow them to increase their stranglehold on Australian media.
The CSIRO and university research will miss out on funding as money is given to private groups like the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.
The bullying tactics of the hard right, where they threaten and intimidate their colleagues in order to get their own way, will continue.
And we would have another three years of blaming Labor and attacks on Bill Shorten and unions. It seems no matter how long this lot are in office, they will never take any actual responsibility. Things happen to this government, not because of them.
Come on Australia, we can do better than this.
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