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The Scourge of the Swing Voter

mandateHappy Australia Day! Last night I went to the inaugural Adelaide Wonk Drinks. It was, as promised, heaps good. I had my very first offline Twitter argument, which was interesting. This particular argument reminded me why I would prefer to debate a die-hard right-winger than an ‘undecided voter’. At least the right-wingers know what they want and understand immediately what I want, and we can disagree to our hearts’ delight. But an undecided swing voter who seems to be tempted to use his valuable democratic right to deliver an informal vote is, in my opinion a very frustrating person. What would the people of Syria think?

The reasoning that this particular undecided voter gave for his indecision was an assortment of arguments that I think can fairly be filed under the heading of there’s no discernable difference between Labor and the Liberal National Party. I guess it really depends who is doing the discerning. And if you’re just assessing your individual life experience under either party, instead of looking at the way their policies affect society as a whole, then I would argue that you’re evaluating the parties’ differences through a far too narrow, short-term view.

The idea that we’re just as well off or just as badly off under either party is quite a trendy response to politics of late. It’s the same attitude that most of the mainstream media seems to hold – politicians can’t be trusted and the outcomes of their policies are not so different that they’re worth analysing or even discussing – a pox on both your houses. In my view this is a load of bollocks. I can’t help but notice that those who propagate the notion that the parties are no different from each other are also the ones who enjoy patronising the views of anyone who they view to be ‘rusted on’. To support and campaign for a political party these days seems to be akin to being viewed as a ‘fanatic’. Or as my sparring partner said last night ‘a barracker’. I was told that people like me, who obviously support one party passionately over another, are acting as if the Labor party is a football club. I am in fact a one-eyed supporter of a football club and so I find this suggestion particularly irritating. I am very passionate about my football club and my politics, but my support of the Port Adelaide Football Club and my support of the Labor Party are too entirely different beasts.

The choice of which football club I support was made at a young age. Choice is probably the wrong word here. I inherited the club from my father, who inherited it from his father. I was ‘rusted on’ to the club from birth. But choice is the most important word when it comes to supporting a political party. Because that’s what politics is all about – one option versus another. To say that both choices are the same is blatantly untrue. If you’re trying to find similarities between the Labor Party and the Liberal National Party, sure, you’ll find many. You’ll also find times (not so many recently) when decisions are made jointly by the government and the opposition in a bi-partisan approach. But ultimately, the entire reason that there are two major parties in Australia is because one is progressive and one is right-wing. Those who think they are being smug and clever, or winning some award for cynicism by proclaiming that both parties have come so close to the middle that there is no longer daylight between them, need to take a closer look. And they need to consider their own values and ideas in relation to the policy agenda of each party.

As an example, let’s use the policy area of the environment. As a progressive voter and a supporter of action to reduce the catastrophic effects of climate change, I will support the major party which is most likely to implement policies that align with these values. Many will argue that the Greens are a better choice in this policy area, and that may be true. But ultimately, a Greens voter still needs to choose between Labor and the LNP when assigning preferences, even if it is just the decision as to who gets the last number on the ballot paper. Since the last election, the Labor Party has implemented a Carbon Price. There are many voters who think this policy didn’t go far enough, and that’s a valid argument to have. But when choosing between the policy of Labor – action on climate change – and the policy of Abbott’s Liberal National Party – scrapping the Carbon Price – it’s blatantly obvious that the two parties are poles apart and my choice is an easy one to make. My adversary, the undecided voter, was really overreaching on this topic. He said that he wants action on Climate Change too, but whatever Tony Abbott says, as Prime Minister he won’t be able to repeal the Carbon Price, so it ultimately doesn’t matter who you vote for. Really? Is this not like saying ‘I like apples, and I don’t like bananas, but this banana doesn’t really taste like a banana so it doesn’t matter if I eat a banana instead of an apple’. This is nonsensical.

And what about the topic of redistribution of wealth, something else I am very passionate about. When I am assessing the effect Labor’s policies will have on social and economic equality in Australia, versus the LNP’s policies, it’s obvious to me which party is offering the outcome that most closely aligns with my values. For example, the Mining Tax is an important reform designed to share the wealth from the natural resources that we all own. The Labor party introduced this policy, the LNP have vowed to scrap it. It’s probably a good time to also mention that I don’t consider middle class welfare to be a policy of wealth redistribution. Wealth distribution maybe, but not redistribution.

Another policy area that is important to me is education. Access for all to quality education is vital for social equity. The Gonski policy proposals more closely align with my ideals in the area of education policy than anything I’ve ever heard the Liberals say on the topic. But does this really surprise anyone? The very definition of being right-wing means that you prefer ‘small government’ over ‘big government’, and small government invariably means cuts to government funding for education, health and welfare.

The attitude ‘there is no difference between them’ has resulted in a lot of angry Queensland and Victorian voters. It’s a bit late now to remind them that a protest vote against the Labor party will help deliver a conservative alternative. A lot of Queenslanders and Victorians who voted for their right wing party now appear shocked that these right wing governments are executing a right wing agenda. Cuts to education funding, cuts to public service jobs in the area of health; slash and burn, and Newman’s version of austerity, not stimulus. But can you really blame Newman and Baillieu for doing what they were given a mandate to do? If the voters were too uninformed to understand the policy agenda of conservative governments, they’ve got no one to blame but themselves. This is a really tough way to learn that the two parties are not the same, and that the outcomes of their policies are completely different.

It might sound trendy and intellectual to deny the very simple concept of choice between two opposing sets of political principles. It might seem simplistic for me to say that my choice between Labor and Liberal National is an easy one based on which platform best aligns to my vision for the country. But I really do find the choice incredibly simple. This does not mean that I barrack for the Labor Party. It does not mean that I think that everything the party does is perfect (as many things the party does are clearly far from perfect). It doesn’t mean that I agree with every single policy that the party develops, nor does it mean that I blindly support everything that Labor members say. I’m not a mouthpiece for the Labor Party. I have not been brainwashed to adopt their ideas and policies from some propaganda machine. But I make a considered choice between two different options. The Labor Party is just a vessel for me to get the Australia I want, not the other way around. Going back to the football club example – I was a Port Supporter before I ever watched a game of football. But I was a progressive before I chose a political party to support.

By Victoria Rollison

81 comments

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  1. Catching up

    You have reminded me why I stick with Labor. Not because I am rusted on, as they say.

    I have not voted the same all my life. I began much further to the right.

    I have ended up supporting Labor, because it is the nearest to my values and ideology, I have formulated during my life.

  2. Sandra Searle (@SandraSearle)

    Same here CU, don’t think I’ll be changing anytime soon either.

  3. Miglo

    Victoria, you’re a lady after my own heart. Labor and Port Adelaide. 🙂

  4. johnlord2013

    Enjoyed this piece. Wonderfully expressed .

  5. reb

    I’m surprised that one can actually refer to the Labor party as “progressive” or “left-wing” when you view their policies on marriage equality and asylum seekers.

    Labor abandoned its left-wing credentials some time ago.

    Heck Gillard’s even referring to the Greens as “extremists” these days even though they have more progressive policies on human rights than Labor.

    “Those who think they are being smug and clever, or winning some award for cynicism by proclaiming that both parties have come so close to the middle that there is no longer daylight between them, need to take a closer look.”

    “smug” and “clever?” That’s a bit arrogant and condescending isn’t it?

    In fact it smacks of leftie elitism.

    Just sayin’…

  6. reb

    You are of course, perfectly entitled to your opinion….. 🙂

  7. reb

    “an undecided swing voter who seems to be tempted to use his valuable democratic right to deliver an informal vote is, in my opinion a very frustrating person”

    Interesting.

  8. rkg31557

    In my opinion the “informal vote” should be used for the placement of protest votes, if you`re not able to make a choice between the parties. Then don`t, its as simple as that. Chosing to protest by voting for one side or the other is not a protest, it is a choice. If all those who voted as a protest against Labor in Queensland had voted informal, what would Queensland look like now. If the informal vote was 20% the major parties just might take notice and change. Ever the optomist.

  9. Pragmatist

    This piece sets up a disturbingly common false dichotomy, although one that is understandable from a Labor supporter.

    The choice is not either/or between ALP and Liberal. Instead, we have a two-house parliament with a range of parties and independent candidates seeking to represent voters in the different electorates. To claim that “a protest vote against the Labor party will help deliver a conservative alternative” presumes that only ALP or Liberal are capable of forming government in Australia. In the last federal election, much of the ALP protest vote went to the Greens, forcing a slightly more progressive policy mix that the ALP leadership appeared to want. For those who want even more progressive policies, there are plenty of options out there.

    If ALP wants to maintain a long-term role as a major party in Australia, it will need to develop a range of policies that people actually want rather than simply painting itself as “less bad” than the Liberal party.

  10. Catching up

    I think this article is aimed at the swinging voter, who bases there vote on being against the one that is not in power, and nothing else. At people who see no different between the two mahout parties.

    I would love to see the situation come about, where it was not between the two major parties.

    Out parliamentary system would be much healthier if there were more independents and even minor parties.

    Funny when people talk about rusted on, they seem to be talking about Labor voters. Those who vote liberal, do not seem to draw the same name calling.

    I believe they mean, those who vote Labor, have not the brains to realise how stupid they are to believe in Labor, That they only vote this way, because their parents did.

  11. reb

    Hear hear Pragmatist…!

  12. reb

    The title says it all really – “The Scourge of the Swing Voter”

    I mean are swing voters really “a scourge…?”

    I would’ve thought that “swing” or “undecided” voters are actually “a good thing” because they actually consider the policies and consequences of each party before choosing which party they will vote for, as opposed to the rusted on voters who simply vote for a particular party because they always have..

  13. reb

    “I think this article is aimed at the swinging voter, who bases there vote on being against the one that is not in power, and nothing else.”

    Well that’s hardly the definition of a swinging (ie UNDECIDED) voter then is it…..

    Honestly… 🙄

  14. Miglo

    Pragmatist, the policies regarding asylum arrivals comes to mind. I’d rather see the Government honour the will of most Labor voters and consider on-shore processing. For a start.

    As far as swinging voters being a scourge, I think there are many amongst them who are quite happy to be swayed by the opinions pushed by the media’s agenda.

    Take, for example, the full page headline on the Adelaide Advertiser the morning of the 2001 election. It screamed “BOAT PEOPLE POLL”. Guess what they wanted people to vote on?

  15. Catching up

    “Honestly… ”

    Why not. Are you saying the only voters capable of thinking are the swinging voters.

    Are you saying all swinging voters think.

    Are you saying, only the vote of swinging voters have any value.

  16. Min

    Cu, I agree..the rise of the Independents in this current parliament is good for democracy as it will hopefully encourage more indies to stand, plus and VIP have their views recognised minus the need to pull stunts just to get themselves noticed.

    I see a swinging voters as those weighing up the pros and cons of the two major parties and then voting accordingly. An unfortunate element is that the vast majority receive their “facts” via the talking heads/entertainment hosts pretending to be investigative journalists. Which is the whole point about the leftie blogs..where else would you find an opinion different to that of the MSM.

  17. Catching up

    Reb why, why, why, Time to grow up. It is yourself, that you are belittling.

  18. Catching up

    Why not answer the question I asked.

  19. Catching up

    reb, believe it or not, that is OK. It is your opinion, which I must respect.

    Maybe someone else has an opinion on why so much virtue is placed in swinging voters.

  20. Catching up

    reb, I suspect they are just like other voters. Cast their votes for many different reasons,

    Some may put great thought into what they are doing. Suspect some just like to be contrarian.

    Some because of a single issue or policy, they believe should have been delivered.

    Some just cast a donkey vote.

  21. Catching up

    I believe one is terribly mistaken if they believe there is no difference between Labor and Liberal.

    The only similarity I can see, is that they are all politicians, as one would expect.

    That is a cop out in my opinion, for being lazy and not thinking.

  22. reb

    Oh for the love of god….. 🙄

    Taken yer meds today darl…?

  23. reb

    “As far as swinging voters being a scourge, I think there are many amongst them who are quite happy to be swayed by the opinions pushed by the media’s agenda.”

    Perhaps, although as evidenced by the polls, many people are not impressed by Tony Abbott despite the relatively “free run” he gets in the msm.

    Which would seem to suggest that many people aren’t as easily swayed by the msm as some might think.

    Which kind of reflects the research from a year or so ago that confirmed that the likes of Alan Jones or rags like The Telegraph or The Australian don’t really have much influence outside of their established audiences.

    In other words, they are already preaching to the converted.

  24. reb

    In fact, have you noticed lately that the Fairfax and News limited web sites hardly have any political coverage at all these days?

    I think they “let go” of a lot of local political journalists over the last 12 months ago.

    It all seems to be about Beyonce’s latest hairdo these days or some celebrity chef show.. etc..

  25. Miglo

    Reb, that wasn’t called for.

  26. reb

    Ok I retract that and apologise.

  27. reb

    “Why not answer the question I asked.”

    Well you asked three questions and I think the questions themselves are stupid and not worth responding to.

  28. 730reportland

    Oh Dear!
    The `swing` voter is a `scourge`, really Vicky?
    =
    Un-rusted`s are a very frustrating person. To Rusted-ons.
    There is no real difference between Labor and the Liberal National Party that act as a Duopoly on multiple topics.
    =
    Let us count the ways. *gay-marriage, *off-shore-boatpeople, *voluntary-euthanasia, *yank-boot-licking, *acl-boot-licking,

  29. Catching up

    Migs. I believe I am, saying, there is nothing special; about a swinging voter.

    I know many that are swinging voters would not agree with me..

    At the end of the day, we are individuals, that do things for many reasons.

    I heard of one person when asked why she voted for Rudd. Vey simple reason, she liked his smile.

    If you talk to people that are not that interested in politics, some say, Abbott will get in because of the deficit and the enormous debt. It is not hard to point out to these people, that the deficit is of little concern.

    In fact, Abbott cannot afford to encourage the voter to think. He will work hard to get those swinging votes.

    Yers, swinging voters are open to being conned, along with the rest of us.

  30. Miglo

    Thanks reb. I appreciate that. 🙂

  31. Miglo

    reb, believe it or not, that is OK. It is your opinion, which I must respect.

    I like that too.

  32. reb

    “Maybe someone else has an opinion on why so much virtue is placed in swinging voters.”

    Maybe someone can explain why they’re a scourge….??

  33. 730reportland

    How is both so-called Leaders groveling to the acl-nuts good?
    =
    Mr-Rabbits has a history of religion. (acl fits)
    =
    Joolya is an atheist. Groveling to acl diminishes her.

  34. 730reportland

    The retaining your faculties and free-will is a `scourge` thing is quaint.
    =
    lt`s much better to hand over your free-will to a party/church.

  35. Miglo

    Cu, I understand that many first-time voters have no idea what they’re doing once they find themselves in the unfamiliar territory of a polling booth. I’ve heard many say that they just ticked the first box.

  36. 730reportland

    As far as l can tell this swing voter `scourge` thing is rusted-on bullshit, which are more of a failure of the rusted-on`s themselves.
    =
    Blaming swing voters is bullshit. Any rusted-on worth their salt would stop acting as an apologist for their `mob` and demand some brand differentiation from their party and leaders.

  37. Tom of Melbourne

    Min, the fact is that both parties went to the last election committed to oppose reform on this issue. Great example of a reform agenda.

    It’s hardly a credit to the ALP that they allowed this to occur in the first place. The Liberals simply imposed their pre-election commitment.

    Meanwhile the ALP seeks to pander to religious conservatives and rednecks.

    Is this issue the best example of the progressive gulf between the major parties?

  38. Catching up

    reb, the only argument you seem to have, is that we are all rusted on, whatever that means. No matter what, this is where every debate ends up.

    People are entitled to their personal beliefs and opinions. The PM. along with many others have come a long way to your point of view. You refuse to give them any credit for this. It is all or nothing with you.

    If Mr. Abbott came to the party with a conscious vote, it would be up to those who want change, to convince individual pollies of the value of voting in your favour.

    Yes, it is an important matter, especially too those involved. reb, there are also many other just as important issues that need to be addressed.

    What I believe is a fact, that what you want will eventuate. It is only a natter of time.

    It will be much longer if Abbott winds the next election.

    That is something I cannot understand, with your attack on the PM.

    Abbott will pull a similar stunt that Howard did with the country becoming an Republican, pushing any change far into the distant future.

    Some seem to be cutting off their nose, to spite their face..

    I suspect, if the PM was not a female, much of what we are reading would not be on.

    Most of us out here support what you want. Please do not turn us off.

  39. Pragmatist

    Hear, Hear Tom of Melbourne.

    While there are differences between ALP and the Libs, these are relatively minor except in the eyes of the media and devout supporters. If you take a broader view, the two majors agree upon (and refuse to even discuss) a lot more of the really big issues than they disagree upon. This particularly includes discussions on the structure of the system itself and how good governance can be assured.

    To add to Tom’s list:
    – monetary policy (fractional reserve banking)
    – tax law (most of the Henry review was ignored)
    – population policy
    – privatisation of public assets
    – education policy
    – health system
    – mining

    Some would argue that the differences are mostly cosmetic and just enough to give the voters something to argue about while maintaining the illusion of choice on election day. This is not cynical, it’s just looking at the world with a broader view than the preordained “acceptable” areas where difference of opinion is permitted by the vested interested in this country.

  40. Tom of Melbourne

    The ALP is no longer a political force for progressive policies. There is no discernable difference between them and the Liberals in a range of policies that would normally be regarded as indicators of a progressive platform-
    • HECS
    • Asylum seekers
    • Marriage equality
    • Foreign affairs
    • Industry policy
    • Budgetary surplus

    Before he last election there was little difference between the parties on carbon reduction and industrial relations.

    It seems to me that the ardent supporters of either major party are the scourge.

  41. Min

    Tom, I would disagree on marriage equality as the current PM allows a conscience vote on the issue whereas the current LOTO does not.

  42. Catching up

    Yes Reb, I see you remember. I do not speak on behalf of others. They can do that themselves.

    Reb, if you are honest, due to circumstances, I had to dump most of the beliefs I grew up with. Even you are not going to say, that is was what the majority thought.

    We have come on side.

    You are living in a fools paradise, if you really believe you can discard what the likes of me believe.

    Reb, you need us.

    That might hurt, I know.

    I support what you want, even though, I have no belief or faith in any marriage.

    I do not believe that marriage is necessary in any human relationship.

    It matters not what or why we support you. All that matters is that we do. Sorry, we cannot give you more than that.

    What you deny, is that most of the barriers that existed before this government came to power have been removed. The only one left, is the right to marry,

    Why waste time and effort, fighting the likes of me.

    I sometimes sense, your hatred of the PM is stronger than your desire to have the right to marry your partner.

  43. reb

    “As far as l can tell this swing voter `scourge` thing is rusted-on bullshit, which are more of a failure of the rusted-on`s themselves.”

    Exactly.

  44. Catching up

    ” I’m really pissed off at her decimation of the Public Service, again bending to the media’s demand for a surplus.”

    What pisses me off the most about that, is that the MSM and the opposition still portray this government of letting the PS grow and unrestrained spending.

    Both are lies..

    I do not know, how I can get through to Reb, that people like me are not the enemy

    Some seemed to believe that Labor has thrown out their ideals., They want Labor to return to the middle of the last century.

    What they seem to ignore, the battles we now face have changed. Many of those battles have been won. Society has changed. There are new battles to fight.

    We need a Labor Party that deals with today problems. We now have a much more educated workforce.

  45. 730reportland

    Joolyas groveling to religion is a big disappointment across several issues, and its rusted-on`s that are happy with this, not `swing` voters.
    =
    Joolya`s rusted-on`s seem happy to be apologists and and delude selves on the differences.
    =
    Mr-Rabbit`s rusted-on`s are laughing at how little the difference and how timid Joolya`s lot are when it come to not having their own identity/brand too different to the teabags

  46. Pragmatist

    Education is a perfect example of the deep similarities and cosmetic differences between the major parties. Both parties:

    – have progressively moved funding from public to private schools (primary and secondary)
    – have progressively defunded support for students with special needs (mostly by pushing them from special schools into mainstream schooling without the required level of support
    – close down and “consolidate” primary and secondary schools despite population increases
    – publicly degrade teachers in primary and secondary schools
    – decrease the number of full-time teaching positions in public schools to force more teaching staff onto short-term contracts (to the detriment of student outcomes)
    – have decreased living allowance support for students, forcing them to devote more time to earning money and less time to their studies. This has forced universities to decrease the amount of content in their courses.
    – support standardised testing in the form of NAPLAN
    – support the use of the tertiary sector as a front to the immigration system
    – use the education system as a way of masking high unemployment.
    – continue to fund universities to train more people than can reasonably be employed in most professions.

    Yet the media continues to play up the relatively minor differences between the parties.

  47. Catching up

    “Catching Up takes offence about being labeled a “rusted on” yet chastises others who disagree with JG’s stance on marriage equality’

    When did I do this. Your hatred of me.,is putting words in my mouth, that I have not uttered. It is a worry. All I said is that the PM and many others have come a long way. That does not seem to be to your liki9ng.

    No, I do not take as offence being labelled as rusted on., I just believe it is a stupid statement, that you and many others. seem to believe have some ,meaning.

    I am not that interested in whether you want to marry or not. That is your business. I was stupid enough to make the assumption. that is what you were about. I am sorry to hear you do not want to marry.

    What is really your gripe. I cannot see what I believe, harms you in anyway.

    The PM and I, seem to share your hatred equally.

  48. 730reportland

    the term rusted-on, in my comments means that `any` party and followers could run with the suggestion/take their own responsibility

  49. Catching up

    I am not asking you to show any gratitude to the PM. I am just asking you to acknowledge how far she has come, along with many others put in the community. It is a long way.

    Whether you like it or mot, I am saying once again, you need these people onside.

  50. 730reportland

    on *gay-marriage tom and min debate the fascinating `micro-details` for each side of the duopoly, oblivious to the fact the results are the same, *boat-people ditto

  51. Catching up

    Reb, I believe you protest too much. Why, I have no idea why. It is the :Liberals you have to bring to the party.

    I am NOT saying praise the PM.

    I am saying to change your attack to where you might get some results. If you can get a conscience vote from Tony, the legislation will be quickly before the house, with I believe, sdome chance of success.

    .

  52. reb

    “The PM. along with many others have come a long way to your point of view. You refuse to give them any credit for this. It is all or nothing with you.”

    You know, there are just so many things wrong with your last post but the comment above takes the cake.

    For one thing, “it’s” not (just) “my point of view” ..

    (I presume you are referring to marriage equality – an issue that many people now regard as a human rights issue).

    Why should I give Julia Gillard “any credit” for steadfastly remaining opposed to marriage equality, any additionally abusing her position of power to inflict her personal bigoted views on a nation of Australians who are overwhelmingly in favour of marriage equality.

    Rather than ask me why I’m unable to “give any credit” to your precious Julia Gillard you might be better served to ask yourself why you’re so steadfastly supportive of her.

    “Most of us out here support what you want. Please do not turn us off.”

    Who is this “most of us” that you speak of…??

    This is not the first time that you profess to speak on behalf of some collective…

  53. Miglo

    Education! Are you kidding?

  54. Miglo

    Reb, people have the same right to support Julia Gillard as much as you have the right not to.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a PM that I’m completely satisfied with. I have some issues with JG too would you believe.

    I don’t agree with her personal stand on same-sex marriage or her bending to the redneck vote on asylum seekers. I’m really pissed off at her decimation of the Public Service, again bending to the media’s demand for a surplus.

    But on the economic front I reckon the Government is doing a good job.

    I live in hope that a future government legalise gay marriage and come up with a humane asylum policy. Can’t see it on the horizon, sadly. Can’t see it while JG is PM and would never see it if Abbott was PM. Maybe a Turnbull Government? Maybe an alternative ALP PM?

  55. Catching up

    Reb I am being serious when I say I do not understand where you are coming from.

    As a young woman, pregnant . being on ones own, and bv myself, it was the homosexual male friends that stood by me. In 1965, that was a big thing. I sis not come across any that seem to have woman.

    Now the same is not true for the lesbians I came across, then or later. They have been a more negative experience.

    Saying that, I have had to do a lot of deep thinking. One has to, when ones eldest after marriage and three children go down that track.

    Reb, do you really expect people, who have had no first hand experience, to change their views overnight.

    In my own defence, I can honestly say, I never rejected my child or grandson. I just rethought the matter through. Somehow, you see something wrong in that.,

    Yes, reb, I do believe I represent a big majority of the community. It was the norm, unless I am mistaken. Reb, you are doing harm to your cause, attacking me and the PM

    This is the last comment, I am making on the subject.

  56. 730reportland

    Wrong. Atheist Joolya groveling to acl is pathetic.

  57. reb

    “Reb, people have the same right to support Julia Gillard as much as you have the right not to.”

    Of course Migs. I completely agree.

    What I find extraordinary though is that CU, on a number of occasions now has berated me for not supporting JG.. As if I’m some naught recalcitrant child.

    You need only scroll up to read her comment about me not being sufficiently grateful enough to the PM because she has “come so far” to supporting “my cause.”

    Catching Up takes offence about being labeled a “rusted on” yet chastises others who disagree with JG’s stance on marriage equality.

    Perhaps I should respond by chastising CU for not adhering to Adam Bandt’s personal opinion on marriage equality, if we want to apply the same logic to CU’s thinking.

    But that would just be entering the realms of loopy fantasyland and personally I’d prefer to let CU occupy that space without me.

  58. reb

    “Reb, you need us.”

    Oh FFS… Now you’ve confirmed that you’ve completely lost it… 🙄

    “I sometimes sense, your hatred of the PM is stronger than your desire to have the right to marry your partner.

    I “hate” discrimination not the PM.

    When did I ever say that I wanted to marry my partner…..?

  59. reb

    You see CU, marriage equality will eventually happen not because of Julia Gillard, but despite her.

    So I fail to see why you think I should be expressing any sort of gratitude to Julia Gillard.

  60. Catching up

    Reb,I know I said I was not going to say any more. What I think and my experiences do matter.

    There are may out there that share similar experiences. That is why ir matters.

    Reb, please open those eyes, and start attacking those that are against you. As misplaced as we might be, we are not against you.

    The PM has not slammed the door against you. No one is asking you to like herm but be fair, for your own sake.

  61. Catching up

    PS. Do some deep thinking, as we have been forced to do so.

  62. reb

    Yes, I’m so very, very grateful that the PM has come such a very, very long way to resolutely stand against, and prevent, marriage equality.*

    *sarcasm alert

  63. 730reportland

    Joolyas delivered nothing and is following Mr-Rabbit
    3. voluntary euthanasia
    4. womens welfare payments took a hit too

  64. 730reportland

    “_acknowledge how far she has come,_” this really sounds like bullshit too, didn`t Kevin07 get that done before he was knifed? (the-equality-stuff)

  65. Miglo

    Reb, next time I see her I’ll put in a good word about you. 😉

    Gosh, where do I start? :mrgreen:

  66. reb

    CU, why can’t you just accept that I (along with 70% of other Australians) believe that JG is wrong on the issue of marriage equality, and furthermore that she is abusing her position of power to effectively perpetuate discrimination against an already marginalised minority.

    Labor is no longer the “progressive” party that once championed the rights of the marginalised and discriminated against.

    It’s not just gays, it’s also asylum seekers.

    Julia Gillard also felt it necessary to assure Jim Wallace that religious groups would continue to have the right to perpetuate discrimination against people.

    Why you continue to think the sun shines out of Julia Gillard’s arse is beyond me.

    I’m far more in sync with the views of Doug Cameron however unfortunately he isn’t the Prime Minister.

    You may not agree with my opinions but please stop trying to convince me that Julia Gillard is not the person she is.

    It’s becoming tiresome frankly. And it just makes you look a bit unhinged..

  67. reb

    “I am NOT saying praise the PM.”

    YES YOU ARE!!

    You’re saying that I should acknowledge “how far she has come” on the issue of gay marriage..

    As far as I can see, she’s come as far to the point of being steadfastly opposed to it.

    What’s there to acknowledge…??

    I mean seriously…

  68. Miglo

    I think what Cu meant when she said “you need us” referred to those people who have the same views as you, reb, and want to shout those views. They do need to be heard. I’m reading between the lines on that one. I could be wrong.

    Anyway, the comments here are drifting away from the topic and those who have commented are capable of some good debate. I’m sure we’d all rather see that.

  69. reb

    CU, with the greatest of respect, your personal background, much of which I empathise with, has sweet FA to do with Julia Gillard’s stance on gay marriage.

  70. reb

    “I think what Cu meant when she said “you need us” referred to those people who have the same views as you,”

    I understand that Migs, but the difference is that CU is of the view that I should simply “forgive” Julia Gillard for her staunch opposition to gay marriage and just acknowledge some sort of feel good “vibe” that apparently “we’re all in favour of it anyway.”

    I’m sorry but that’s just bullshit.

    Anyway I agree that it’s time to move back to the topic at hand…

  71. 730reportland

    reb should be grateful …
    like boat-people should be ….
    and reb need`s us … rusted-on`s offering no real choice ….
    *
    pigs arse, Joolyas delivered nothing and is following Mr-Rabbit

  72. Miglo

    Yes, let’s keep it on topic.

    Gosh we had a huge storm in Canberra last night. All my outdoor furniture was soaked. None more than the setting that required 24 hours of frustration and 19 nervous breakdowns to assemble.

  73. reb

    “Joolyas delivered nothing and is following Mr-Rabbit”

    On the issues of:

    1. gay marriage, and;

    2. asylum seekers.

    I completely agree.

    But apparently according to some, we’re meant to “acknowledge how far she has come….”

    🙄

  74. reb

    ‘Reb, please open those eyes, and start attacking those that are against you. As misplaced as we might be, we are not against you.”

    Julia Gillard is “against” me. Hence my comments…

  75. reb

    It’s hard to know where to start Migs….

    I mean even her hair colour is a lie.

    Perhaps we could start there and work our way down ?

  76. Catching up

    Mark, you say much that makes sense.

    We do have much to lose.

  77. Mark Hyde

    Being realistic for a second, a majority of voters will see elections as very much a Coalition versus Labor tussle because that’s how the media wants to sell their version of how they perceive Australian politics actually works. And that’s media’s ‘in’ for validating voter behaviour.

    I think the really telling aspect of the impact of this is that the Greens have now changed some of their policy wordings to reflect a more ‘mainstream’ political message and to garner more support Why? Because being painted as extreme just wasn’t working for them, whether justified, valid or not. They obviously see an opportunity to politically take an advantage of disaffected Labor voters.
    I agree with the view that the ALP lost it’s truly progressive policy credentials years ago but is that what is going to be voted on in 2013?? I don’t think so.

    As sad as the prospect is I think again this election year will be dominated by Aussie print and TV media selling a presidential style campaign all over again that won’t be about policy or principle but what get’s voters putting 1’s( and preferencing) accordingly on ballot papers the quickest only. The true horror will be seen AFTER polling day.

    The media has a degree of responsibility here that the ‘blame Labor’ crew really aren’t taking into account fully. The Greens would never have had a seat at the governing table if it weren’t for the debacle that was the 2010 election, at Labor’s expense. (That and having a good campaign compared to the others.)

    To me those who say it’s never been a two horse race then turn around and try and say that both parties are to blame for it ALL, just aren’t looking squarely at why and where voters delivered the verdict they did in 2010. To me it wasn’t policy they were judging then, but the whole political process itself……parties, leaders, elections and all the rest. 2013 will no doubt be a similar type of election because that’s what the media want it that way.

    Reforms borne out of making the parliament work in SPITE of how the election went are likely to be lost in this scenario. I agree there’s a lot to be critical of with Julia Gillard and Labor….but realistically if the Greens lost a degree of voter support, where would the Senate be in that case? It’s crucial the fight not just be about what is NOT there but what could be LOST if things change as well. I fro one certainly don’t want to go back to an Australia with these reforms passed being torn away.

  78. Tom of Melbourne

    ”the prospect is I think again this election year will be dominated by Aussie print and TV media selling a presidential style campaign

    RE you serious? The parties unfailing seek to appeal with the most simplified message, delivered earnestly by their leader.

    2013 will no doubt be a similar type of election because that’s what the media want it that way.

    Are you serious? Political parties spend millions on market research and focus groups, advertising, just to get use the media to best advantage… but you think it’s the media running the election?

  79. Mark Hyde

    Tom of Melbourne….yes, I am deadly serious. It’s time they STOPPED pandering to the media and addressed us as voters directly.

  80. expatwestie

    Reblogged this on Expat-Westie and commented:
    Victoria Rollinson expresses her sentiments in this piece much better than I do in mine, well worth a read.

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