With an election some time in the next ten months, the end of this government is in sight. It has been an ugly ride that has seen Australian politics sink to new depths.
Howard may have started the rot but Abbott embraced it, using the attack dog approach with relish – go after the person, lie about the real state of affairs whether it be debt or climate change, promise anything, promote fear and division – whatever it takes to win and if that includes destroying people’s lives, so be it.
The sigh of relief when Turnbull replaced Abbott was short-lived. It is gobsmacking to hear Turnbull trying to outdo Abbott in appealing to the far right of both his party and the electorate. African gangs? Seriously? He has not only abandoned any pretence of honesty and integrity, he has abandoned every principle he ever espoused and is now being led by the dumbest bullies with the loudest voices.
There is no hope of principled governance from the current crop of Coalition politicians so we must work on the alternative government.
Labor have already announced many good policies. They are certainly worthy of discussion but today I would like to ask what more would you like to hear from them?
I would like to hear climate change brought loudly back into the conversation. Labor talk a lot about their renewable energy target and higher emissions reduction which is good but rarely do the politicians reinforce the real danger we are facing, the urgency of taking action now, and the economic and social cost of not. We talk a lot about power prices and very little about the cost of damage from more intense weather events and the health and environmental cost of pollution and global warming.
Subsidies for fossil fuels should be stopped. That money could be spent so much more productively. Give subsidies to developers to include solar panels on new constructions and to include building efficiency in their designs to reduce the need for heating, cooling and lighting.
As was discussed at length on another thread, Labor should commit to increasing Newstart. Any homework on how it will be done (a flat increase, different indexation or whatever) should be done now. This is a crucial and obvious measure that must be taken to help lift people out of abject poverty.
Labor should be working with Indigenous representatives to immediately form the First Nations Voice to advise on how to empower the traditional custodians of the land to take their rightful place in their own country.
The refugees incarcerated on Manus and Nauru must be freed. Labor have policies that will make it easier for people to get here via official channels but these people can no longer be held hostage. If agreeable third party countries cannot be found to take them, we must bring them here. Perhaps this is one that cannot be said before the election but they must have a plan for the immediate rescue of these people.
The rollout of FttN NBN should be halted. It is a giant waste of time and money which has caused no end of aggravation and frustration and is already inadequate for today’s needs let alone tomorrow’s.
Electric cars are coming so we have to build the infrastructure and industries to support them. Labor should get ahead on that one.
Education has always been a Labor strength but they have become embroiled in the notion that any changes in funding should leave no school worse off. It is utterly ridiculous that wealthy private schools receive enormous government subsidies. It is also questionable that a secular government should be funding religious schools. At least they could can the school chaplains program.
I would like to hear more about scholarships for tertiary education in areas where there are skills shortages.
It would also be good if every candidate was prepared with ideas about local job creation opportunities. The NDIS is one that covers every area for starters and involves all manner of different skills.
Labor should also make clear their intentions about a federal corruption and integrity body. The idea that we don’t need one has been well and truly shattered. Some tightening up of politicians’ expense claims would also be welcome.
Political donations and election spending are two areas that need reform but no-one seems to be the one who wants to blink first on that.
Labor should win this election based purely on the fact that they aren’t the Coalition but they haven’t been sitting back relying on that. They have announced courageous policies well ahead of time so the electorate can properly understand the implications of what is being proposed.
Before I get hammered by irate Labor supporters, don’t look on this as criticism. Look on it as suggestions for consideration and discussion.