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Now is the time

Now is the time for all good men (and women) to come to the aid of the party.

Is this anything more than a typing exercise? Yes, it has to be. Men and women of Australia, we can and must unite to Keep Abbott Out.

Before the election was called yesterday, I read another of those annoying articles, this time by Jack Waterford in the Canberra Times, along ‘the parties are both the same’ line. No, Jack, they are not.

You might think that anyone who says, as Waterford does, that Abbott’s parental leave policy is to the left of the Labor Party’s doesn’t deserve further consideration. But his argument is unfortunately quite common – and very dangerous – so it needs to be addressed.

Even if on every other policy Labor and the LNP were the same, which or course they’re not, they would still be different on climate change – which, incidentally, Waterford doesn’t mention. Kevin Rudd was right when he said this is the great moral challenge of our age – even if he subsequently wimped out on doing anything about it. It is also the great economic challenge of our age; how are we going to ensure some sort of social equity in the face of it?

It’s easy to argue that Labor’s carbon pricing hasn’t gone far enough. But what is the alternative? The party of ‘climate change is crap’. The party of paying polluters from public funds to stop polluting. The party who will force the unemployed to join a green army – where else will it come from? This is rubbish policy. It cannot be allowed to happen. We aren’t going forward fast enough, but we can’t afford to go backwards.

I read a tweet the other day pointing out that the only time the Greens get any publicity is when they attack Labor. Anyone who attacks Labor gets publicity from the mainstream media. This isn’t the Greens’ fault; it is their misfortune. They presumably say lots more – but just don’t get reported. Their proposal for a permanent disaster fund, for example, seems to have sunk without trace. I’ve argued elsewhere – and been attacked for it – that of course the Greens oppose Labor. They want to replace them, not work with them. But for the foreseeable future, this isn’t going to happen. And if Greens supporters care about that future – which I’m sure they do – cooperation is what is needed now to keep Abbott out. Do they really want to play into the hands of the LNP and their cheerleaders in the press? The chances are that the Greens will retain the balance of power in the Senate; they can use that to push a Labor government forward on environmental issues. But good luck trying to do the same if there’s an Abbott majority in the lower house.

And of course this isn’t the only difference. ‘Less tax and less regulation’ was the Liberal promise in response to the Prime Minister’s speech to the Press Club on Wednesday. Less tax, at a time when Federal revenues are falling, is either Magic Pudding economics, or a cynical failure to acknowledge that with less tax goes smaller government. Cuts to the public service are only the beginning. Was Isobel Redmond’s decision to ‘step down’ as Opposition leader in SA forced on her because she told the truth (twice) about Liberal plans to slash public service jobs and, inevitably, public services? Then if Campbell Newman’s slash and burn isn’t evidence enough, we’ve only got to look at the outsourcing movement that is disembowelling welfare provision in the UK to see what is the likely program for the Liberals. Let’s not kid ourselves that Joe Hockey’s ‘end of entitlement’ is about ending middle class welfare. By all means protest the move of some single parents onto Newstart when their youngest child turns 8. And yes, this extended the existing Liberal policy. But Tony Abbott suggesting that the unemployed should have to move to Western Australia and work in the mines isn’t a brain snap; it’s a mindset. If you don’t understand this mindset and the consequences of such a mindset running the country – it’s time you educated yourself. The clock is ticking.

And what are the regulations the LNP want to remove? I’m sure you can guess which ones they call ‘green tape’ – environmental impact statements, for example. A government prepared to regulate the market is essential for any sort of equitable social policy and sustainable environment. Which party do you think offers this?

I could go on about the differences – and probably will over the next months. And I’m not suggesting that Labor deserves carte blanche on its actions. Asylum seeker policy in particular is one area which deserves scrutiny – though again it’s a no win situation for Labor as far as the mainstream media goes. There’s bad publicity for boat arrivals, bad publicity for conditions of detention, bad publicity when asylum seekers drown on their way to Australia and bad publicity for asylum seekers returning home. Whatever Labor does, or does not do, in this area earns them bad publicity. Who wants to be part of that? And which would you prefer? Labor which, however unsuccessfully, is trying for a regional solution, or a party that calls asylum seekers ‘illegals’ and wants to turn back the boats? These are not trivial differences.

Everyone is entitled to have policy areas they are passionate about, but a Federal election is not about one or two policies. It’s about who will be in charge of making the decisions across all policy areas, how they see this role, who will benefit from what they do, and who will lose out.

I’m calling on people who vote Green to make sure they know who their enemy really is, and at least make sure they give their second preference to Labor. I’m calling on undecided voters to think about what vision they have for the future, and whether this vision is for themselves alone, or for their whole society. Even if all you worry about is yourself and your family, think very carefully about who best manages the economy. Read what the IMF has got to say about that. And I’m calling on the cynics – the ‘they are just the same’ brigade, to really look hard at what the Opposition is offering – presuming they give you the chance. And if they don’t, you might wonder what they are not telling us.

Every election someone will say that this is the most important election in a generation. Abbott’s already said it, and just this once, I agree with him. A LNP government will not be business as usual. Not only will it seek to destroy any gains that Labor has made towards equity and sustainability, it will also do its best to allow the market freedom to ‘develop’ as it chooses, and to further entrench existing inequalities. We can only stop this if everyone who cares – and there are masses of us – unite. We are concerned individuals, members of unions, members of environmental groups, people who assist refugees, people in disability groups, farmers, small business people, tweeters, bloggers, workers in the renewable energy industry, IT experts, retirees, education providers, scientists, any workers of any kind in fact – we are found everywhere – and we must unite to KEEP ABBOTT OUT.

 

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60 comments

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  1. reb

    Wow. I think you forgot to mention the plagues of locusts, rivers of blood etc etc..

    Meanwhile in “the real world” things aren’t so grim.

    Abbott may well win the next election. Big deal…

  2. LInda

    Fantastic Victoria. keep at it, we need more and more to balance the out our ridiculous mainstream media.

  3. Bob Lloyd

    Well done Victoria. We need more of this.

  4. Miglo

    Abbott may well win the next election. Big deal…

    Reb, have you stopped to consider what the consequences of an Abbott Government might be?

  5. reb

    Migs, I have seen enough of the Gillard govt to think that “any” alternative may better..

    The polls suggest I’m not alone.

  6. John Lord


    “Less informed voters unfortunately outnumber the more politically aware. Therefore, conservatives feed them all the bullshit they need. And the menu generally contains a fair portion of untruths”

  7. Miglo

    Reb your dislike of the Government is on par with my dislike of the Opposition.

  8. reb

    I dislike them both, Migs.

  9. Teddy Sea

    Beautifully said Victoria. I will spread this message as far as I can. The LNP is on an idealistic road that will destroy too much of the civilised society we’ve fought for and built up over the years. We can’t let it slip away without a fight. Perhaps it takes a historical perspective to see the destruction coming.

  10. Tom of Melbourne

    ” think about what vision they have for the future, and whether this vision is for themselves alone

    Is a modicum of integrity a legitimate vision? Or should people ignore duplicity and just base their voting decisions on political and policy outcomes?

  11. Min

    Reb, any specifics about Your Problem…with Gillard that is.

    Victoria, keep writing..don’t let the critics try to intimate you!!!

  12. Allan Richardson

    Quite so, Victoria. An excellent summary of the big picture. Know the real enemy.

  13. Min

    ToM, what is this “duplicity”? Do you have any specifics?

  14. Truth Seeker

    Min, troll of Melbourne has been pedalling the same old, worn out list of, so called lies, for months on TPS. He/she has no interest in truth fact or reason, so it is a complete waste of time even engaging him/her. 👿

    it will be the same list that was previously posted, which includes; the so called Carbon Tax “lie” and the so called letting down of Wilkey on “Promised Pokies reform” etc etc.

    Trust me, this troll is only interested in disrupting fair and honest debate and pushing the LNP’s spin and lies 🙄 Truly pathetic 🙁

    Cheers

  15. Lee

    Reb: I defy you to identify one, single, factually incorrect statement in this article – as far as I can see there are none. If you really think Abbott couldn’t possibly be worse than Gillard, then you are wilfully ignorant.

    Anyway, an excellent article Victoria – if only people like Reb would open their mind and take what you say seriously, or they will learn you were right the hard way.

  16. Miglo

    TS, ToM has behaved himself here and displayed a level of sensibility which I admit is uncharacteristic. I’m pleased (and surprised) that he is willing to provide some logical debate.

    He is free to behave how he likes on other sites, and I admit I don’t like his performance at all times, but he hasn’t really stepped out of line here.

    I think he is impressed by the diversity of our commenters.

    What’s your opinion, btw?

  17. Reality Hurts

    And in believing the polls, suggest Reb and others like them cannot think for themselves?

  18. Tom of Melbourne

    Min, of course I have specifics, and I’m sure we have discussed some of them in the past.

    However I’m simply posing the question – are voting decisions only about policy/political outcomes? Or is there a place for basing voting intention on political/personal integrity or lack of it?

    As I’ve said in the past, I think the greatest legacy of a leader is increased public confidence in the institutions they lead.

    Do you think there is a place for this kind of notion?
    ===============
    Truth Seeker, you seem intent on spoiling the intelligent exchanges that are occurring here, with your regular juvenile interjections.

    This site appears to encourage diversity of opinion.

    Sites that seek to shun diversity and prefer bland reinforcement of a narrow and unsophisticated political orientation – get some pointed comments from me. You appear to be particularly well suited sticking to those types of blogs.

  19. Tom of Melbourne

    Min, of course I have specifics, and I’m sure you’ve discussed some of them in the past.

    However I’m simply posing the question – are voting decisions only about policy/political outcomes? Or is there a place for basing voting intention on political/personal integrity or lack of it?

    As I’ve said in the past, I think the greatest legacy of a leader is increased public confidence in the institutions they lead.

    Do you think there is a place for this kind of notion?
    ===============
    Truth Seeker, you seem intent on spoiling the intelligent exchanges that are occurring here, with your regular juvenile interjections.

    This site appears to encourage diversity of opinion.

    Sites that seek to shun diversity and prefer bland reinforcement of a narrow and unsophisticated political orientation – get some pointed comments from me. You appear to be particularly well suited sticking to those types of blogs.

  20. Teddy Sea

    Tom your comment, unfortunately, makes me think of the unwelcome Christopher Pyne.

  21. reb

    “Reb, any specifics about Your Problem…with Gillard that is”

    I think I have listed a number of specifics already – gay marriage, asylum seekers, pokie reform etc..

    Interesting how you phrase it as “my problem with Gillard”…

    Attacking the messenger now are we?

    I thought you were always about “discussing the issues” not attacking the individual..

  22. Teddy Sea

    Anyway. Enough distractions and red herrings.

    Victoria I enjoyed your article, your writing style and the easy word flow. You’ve written a great article and you are dead right. We know who the enemy is and it’s time to spread the word to all. I’m hoping to read more from you soon.
    Regards

  23. Miglo

    Thanks Teddy. Victoria will be thrilled with that.

  24. Teddy Sea

    Reb I’m not sure if you’re arguing for the sake of arguing now. If you don’t see the Labor Parties recent and distant history as reasons to vote for them .. don’t.

    You may be one of the few who will benefit from LNP policies. If so .. so be it.
    There is one clear message here. Every negative message adds to Labor’s already considerable challenge. If you are a true believer then our challenge is to encourage people to see the many, many positive achievements of this government.

  25. Truth Seeker

    Migs, my opinion on Victorias many articles, is usually very positive, including this one.

    My opinion on the likes of troll of Melbourne is that a leopard doesn’t change its spots, and the trolls response including the usual right wing projection, re-emphasises my point.

    He/she is a spoiler, and is probably towing the line to get established on this site, as he/she is pretty much ignored on, or banned from most others. 🙁

    Just sayin’ 😀

    Cheers 😀

  26. reb

    ‘I’ve argued elsewhere – and been attacked for it – that of course the Greens oppose Labor. They want to replace them, not work with them. ‘

    Remarkable. From where I stand, whenever the Greens criticise Labor it’s for entirely legitimate reasons; Labor’s handling of asylum seekers being a prime example.

    As far as “replacing Labor” I think that the Greens have gained support at Labor’s expense fro traditional Labor voters because Labor has disappointed so many on traditional left-wing issues.

    It’s interesting that you conclude the Greens aren’t interested in working with Labor, when that fact that we have a minority govt suggests otherwise.

    Additionally it is Gillard that has been at pains to distance herself from the Greens lashing out at them as “extremists.” I haven’t seen any such vitriole emanating from the Greens in return.

  27. reb

    “If you are a true believer…”

    I prefer to look at political parties objectively rather than falling into line with one particular party and then simply barracking for them whatever they say and regardless of their shortcomings.

    For this I get called on this forum as “wilfully ignorant”. I’d suggest the converse is true.

  28. reb

    “if only people like Reb would open their mind and take what you say seriously, or they will learn you were right the hard way.”

    Oooooohh… a not-so-veiled threat…

    Now I’m really scared…..

  29. Miglo

    Actually, on a serious note, there’s lots to be scared about.

    Here’s a question: do you think Bernardi will push to have Howard’s gun laws repealed?

  30. Teddy Sea

    Tom of Melbourne’s question looks like the tactics you see used by LNP pollies and many trolls on the Drum. ‘If you don’t like the message use distraction and diversion and get people onto your own discussion’.
    It may not be.
    What it definitely is .. is a distraction from the fact that Victoria is reminding us to ‘ … really look hard at what the Opposition is offering – presuming they give you the chance.”
    And ‘ … think very carefully about who best manages the economy’.
    Good advice.

    Here’s the economy figures that matter – http://www.thefinnigans.blogspot.com.au/

  31. reb

    “the so called letting down of Wilkey on “Promised Pokies reform”

    Oh look, a fact:

    Labor’s very own ACT pokies dens delivered a record $1m-plus to the party in 2011-12…

    http://periodicdisclosures.aec.gov.au/Returns/49/PPZW2.pdf

    No wonder Gillard shafted Wilkie for Slipper.

  32. reb

    I enjoyed the article too! Even though I disagree with some of it, it’s great to have this forum as an alternative to the shallow stuff we read in the msm.

  33. Tom of Melbourne

    Why is it that so many committed voters wish to attack the person, rather than simply debate the point?

    There has been very little personal attack here, which is refreshing. The exceptions appear to be above, and that’s entirely unsurprising in one case.

    Gillard has proven to be lacking in integrity, the breach of her written commitment to Wilkie is clear evidence of that, and Min (for example) is entirely aware of my rationale in this regard.

    In the current context where there is little to distinguish between progressive policies such as asylum seekers and discrimination against gays, is there a problem with posing the question – is integrity a reason to determine a voting preference?

  34. Truth Seeker

    Teddy, well said 😀

    Cheers 😀

  35. reb

    I always find it amusing when people ask for “specifics” and then when provided they just overlook the examples you have provided only to repeat their entrenched mantra ad nauseum.

  36. Tom R

    Why is it that so many committed voters wish to attack the person, rather than simply debate the point?

    …………………

    Gillard has proven to be lacking in integrity,

    ROFL

    The point is, Labors policies are streaks ahead of the Liberals, or the Greens for that matter. But lets stick to calling people liars

    ROFL

  37. Crash Skeptic

    Tom R, I believe Tom of Melbourne he is referring to attacking other posters personally, not about attacking politicians.

    “But lets stick to calling people liars.”

    But Gillard is a liar. And she is the PM. Her integrity or lack thereof is a valid avenue of criticism.

    And no matter how much the True Believers “run interference” for her, I doubt it’s going to work.

  38. reb

    “Her integrity or lack thereof is a valid avenue of criticism.”

    Exactly. But many here don’t like it when “their Julia” is subjected to criticism.

    Their response is to call Gillard’s critics “trolls” etc, which is not just lame, it’s intellectually lazy.

  39. Teddy Sea

    Truth Seeker you are absolutely on the money. I don’t think you need to say any more. 😉

  40. Crash Skeptic

    “Stating an opinion is fine, stating half truths and lies over and over again in an attempt to sidetrack intelligent debate is not.”

    I think this too…. everytime I hear someone pretend JG did not actually break her “no carbon tax” promise, and that 20 million people just imagined it.

  41. Truth Seeker

    reb, I think it’s incredibly intellectually lazy to label PMJG a liar while completely ignoring the elephant in the room which is LOTO who lies and misleads with every utterance.
    And just because you agree with the trolls lame and puerile arguments doesn’t mean he/she is any less a troll!
    And again you are wrong to assume that we never criticise JG, as she has made her fair share of mistakes, but compared to the alternative, she is Mother Teresa.

    Defending the indefensible seems to be the stock in trade for those of the right persuasion. 🙁

    And to state that anything would be better than the present government shows a distinct level of blind bias, ignoring the state of our economy and the regard with which we are held due to this governments handling of that inconvenient truth… the GFC.

    You cite such lame examples of duplicitousness as Pokie reform, when no PM can guarantee any vote other than those of their own party, and the last time I looked we have a compromise that Wilkey signed off on.

    Stating an opinion is fine, stating half truths and lies over and over again in an attempt to sidetrack intelligent debate is not.

    Cheers

  42. Teddy Sea

    I accept what you say Truth Seeker. I’ll just leave the quote here anyway and feel that I’ve done my best for those who have been misled and really are confused about it.

    “If elected as prime minister I will re-prosecute the case for a carbon price at home and abroad. I will do that as global economic conditions improve and our economy continues to strengthen.”
    — Ms Gillard, again in her first press conference

  43. Tom of Melbourne

    Interesting that Miglo, and others, establish a good quality blog, which allows and encourages intelligent debate on political issues. He clearly establishes expectations for exchanges, but the usual suspect is unable to keep up with actual discourse and reverts to type – name calling. Pathetic.

    When people continually resort to “troll” it’s evidence that they’ve run out of logical points.

    …and the evidence of the muddled thinking abounds –
    • “no PM can guarantee any vote other than those of their own party” – then perhaps she should not have signed a commitment to this effect. But the statement is wrong to start with – Gillard didn’t even deliver her own party!
    • Wilkie “signed off” – hilarious! He was knifed and presented with a fait accompli, no option, no further negotiation. He had to cop this outcome despite giving Gillard the vote that made her PM!

  44. Truth Seeker

    Teddy, sadly it will be like water off a ducks back, as I have seen many attempts to explain the truth to Troll of Melbourne, to no avail, and I suspect the same here. 🙁

    Cheers 😀

    Crash and burn skeptic, did you even bother to read the full transcript? 😉

    If you didn’t, then do, you might just learn the truth, but probably not 🙁

    If you have already read it, then you show yourself up as one sadly lacking in english comprehension, or not interested in the truth. 😯 🙁

  45. Teddy Sea

    There’s a wise saying I heard again recently. And it’s hard to do. And this may be my year to master it.
    It says ‘Don’t argue with idiots because they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.’ —Greg King

  46. Truth Seeker

    Teddy, wise words indeed, and I will now revert to what I have been doing for months, ignore and scroll the troll 😀

    Cheers 🙂 😀 😆

  47. Teddy Sea

    Don’t forget to remind me of that saying next time you see me heading down that track Truth Seeker.
    regards 😉

  48. Miglo

    Regardless, I’m glad he sided with Gillard rather than Abbott.

  49. Truth Seeker

    And we can believe everything you say Troll. 😯

    I’ve been scrolling your comments for way too long to not know what you are about!

    say what you like, but I have your measure, and you don’t amount to much. 🙁

  50. Tom of Melbourne

    Personally, I think it is very good of several contributors here to put their acrimony in the past. It shows good will.

    The exchanges here between most of those who have previously fallen out have been polite, and intelligent. Even if a little guarded.

    Truth Seeker on the other hand only seems to contribute with the intention of providing fact free name-calling.

    He has decided to remain ignorant about the content of the written agreement Gillard personally signed with Wilkie. Perhaps if he provided the detail of the agreement that Gillard implemented? Probably not, because that requires some reading, followed by logic.

    But please continue to scroll past as many comments as you wish because you add nothing that can’t be found here, but without all the saccharine- http://www.rhymezone.com/

  51. Teddy Sea

    Hey Truth Seeker … 😉

  52. reb

    “And we can believe everything you say Troll.”

    Is that it?

    Is that all you’ve got….??

    name-calling?

  53. Truth Seeker

    Hey Teddy 😀

    reb, I am disappointed, I did respond to your comment without name-calling, but obviously ya got nothin’ except once more defending the indefensible.

    Maybe I overestimated you?

    Cheers 😀

  54. Truth Seeker

    BTW, I see that someone is on at least their third gravatar, the same thing that happened on TPS does that mean there are at least three people(?) using the same name?

    Mmmmmmmm?

    Just askin’

    Cheers 😀

  55. reb

    “obviously ya got nothin’ except once more defending the indefensible”

    I don’t think I’ve been defending anyone actually. Which you would probably discover for yourself if you actually read what I said rather than what you “think” I said.

  56. Truth Seeker

    reb, considering the only comment you responded to was one directed to the troll, I think it was only fair to assume that you were defending …. the indefensible!

    And maybe you can explain why someone would end up with at least three gravatars, two in the same thread only a few comments apart if they are the same person?

    Question…. How many people/staffers does it take to make one troll?

    Just curious! 😀

  57. Tom of Melbourne

    Another example of ‘one handed blogging’ – the other hand is busy.

    But how flattering- that my contributions can’t be the work of a single person.

    …has Truth Seeker actually made a comment on politics yet? So far he appears intent on disrupting orderly political discussion with name calling.

  58. Ken Brown

    Great article Victoria…………….pity more Australians aren’t more politically aware!

  59. Tom of Melbourne

    The lead to this thread contains a range of half-truths, such as – “Kevin Rudd … wimped out on doing anything about it.”

    On this point VR neglects to mention that Rudd “wimped out” at the urging of Gillard and others.

    When Gillard knifed Rudd (at the behest of hacks external to the caucus, such as Paul Howes – who announced the challenge to the world on Lateline), she said the ALP had “lost its way”, and nominated 3 policies-
    1. MRRT
    2. Carbon policy
    3. Asylum seekers

    1. Arguably, she has resolved the MRRT by implementing a tax that raised $00. Is this counted as a success?

    2. She went to the election on carbon emissions – committing to-
    • No carbon tax
    • A big committee
    • Community consensus
    • Nothing to be implemented until just on the next election, ie no change before 30 June 2013.

    Which of her commitments did she meet?

    3. I’ve lost count of the range of policy u-turns Gillard has announced on this issue, each progressively more punitive than the last. The current policy is far more inhumane than anything ever proposed by the Howard Government.

    It’s a disgrace and an appeal to rednecks and racists.

    Why would anyone vociferously provide support to a government that appeals to that demographic?
    ————-
    This is a Prime Minister who gave her word to another MP to win her residence in the Lodge, she then unceremoniously broke her word. Gillard has overseen a malaise of public confidence in public institutions.

    She doesn’t deserve the job, and I’ll continue to vote informal. So should anyone who believes in political integrity over political duplicity.

  60. sulphurcrested

    Great article Victoria.
    I vote Green and put Labor second, have done so for years. Decided some time back that in the next Fed election I’m going to reverse that order.
    JG is an outstanding PM and Labor is doing its best under horrendous assaults from the media and a scheming, worthless, morally bankrupt LNP.

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