An Open Letter to Australian VotersPosted: June 27, 2016
Isn’t democracy fun? I know I’m a rarity in my love for politics but even if you hate politics, I still think elections can be fun. Think of your vote like a shopping trip, but instead of buying new shoes you’re going out to buy your future. What could be more fun than shopping for your future? And you don’t even need your credit card.
Australians usually do a pretty good job of their election shopping. Australia is an awesome place to live. But every so often, like three years ago, we make a really bad choice and choose horrible futures, such as the recent past we’ve had to endure under the Abbott/Turnbull government. We have a chance on Saturday to correct this mistake and I’m just hoping you’re awake Australia, ready to make the smart choice.
Please don’t fall for the great catch-cry of the uninformed who say there is no choice between the two major parties. There is a reason these people are uninformed; because they don’t have the capacity to inform themselves. If we’ve learned nothing else from our UK cousins making the Brexit and now the Regrexit decision, who were madly googling ‘what is the EU’ after they’d already voted to leave, it is that it’s really important to be at least a little bit informed before you make your choice. Here is one plank you can use to bridge the information gap.
You could vote for a Liberal government. You could go to Bunnings, buy a hammer and smash yourself in the face with it. You could pretend that even though you hated everything about Abbott and every idea he ever had, that Turnbull will change everything as soon as he gets the magic word, and then everything will be alright again. Even though deep in your heart you know Turnbull would have changed everything already if he really wanted to and the only reason he hasn’t is because he actually agreed with all of Abbott’s policies when he sat in Abbott’s cabinet, and the only thing they disagreed about was which one of them should be Prime Minister.
I know it’s disappointing that the end of the whole Abbott debacle brought no relief to the horrors of Abbott, and that Turnbull has been so piss-weak, letting Cory Bernardi run the government while he flaffs and waffles and spins and shakes his glasses at you to mansplain why he’s smarter than you are and you should just shut up and stop asking questions about views he previously claimed to have which have disappeared as quickly as a raw onion in Abbott’s lizard-like-grip. Life is disappointing sometimes. Do you know what I find disappointing? People voting for Turnbull, pretending he’s not exactly the same as Abbott and pretending Turnbull’s wish to scrap penalty rates isn’t evidence he would bring back WorkChoices in the blink of the eye if you give him even a sniff of a mandate to destroy wages and conditions.
You could vote Liberal and get a cheque for your footy club facilities whilst ignoring the contradiction of apparent debt-and-deficit disaster and the shower of pork-barrel-bribes during an election.
You could vote Liberal and pretend that you don’t mind the rort of a Direct Action Policy paying polluters tax-payer funds whilst failing to reach emissions targets because you actually don’t mind climate change destroying your future, nor do you mind Australia coming last in the race to build renewable energy industry which could have created a well-paid job for you or your offspring had it not ceased to exist under a Liberal government.
You could vote Liberal and tell yourself the three-word-slogan ‘Jobs and Growth’ is all the evidence you need of an economic plan, and that a $50 billion tax-cut-gift-to-the-rich-just-like-Turnbull-who-use-offshore-tax-havens-and-mostly-don’t-even-live-in-Australia will eventually trickle down to you and make you gloriously rich when deep down you know this will never happen and that it is fantasy to think it will and that really all this tax cut will do is make the mostly offshore rich richer and you’ll end up paying the difference in loss of essential services and increase in your taxes, possibly through an increase in the GST down the track even though Liberals said they wouldn’t do that, since Howard did exactly the same thing when he said he wouldn’t bring in the GST and then did anyway.
Are you an unemployed young person? Vote Liberal and earn $4 an hour doing who-knows-what and don’t you dare complain nor Murdoch’s flying monkeys will come after you.
You could vote Liberal to keep the boats stopped even though the net impact this policy has had on your life is to make you feel a little warmer in your nastiness towards people who don’t look like you, where you enjoy picturing five year old children living indefinitely in squalid conditions to the point where they’re so distraught they want to kill themselves.
You could vote Liberal and rip up Labor’s Gonski funding model, denying perhaps your children, or your friends children, or your grandchildren, or the children you haven’t had yet, and the economy as a whole the chance to be as smart and productive as it has the potential to be.
You could vote Liberal and be charged more to go to the doctor, more to buy medicine, more to have a pathology test, and be happy to rip billions out of presumably what you hope to be high quality care in hospitals when you need it most. These are the types of choices that make the starkest difference between a great country and a mean-spirited-user-pays-and-if-you’re-not-born-rich-that’s-your-problem-just-fuck-off-and-die country.
You could vote Liberal and get a National Broadband Network which leaves us languishing behind our trading partners in internet speed, and keeps you three episodes behind on Games of Thrones thanks to how long the bloody thing takes to download. You could vote Liberal to unleash the bigots on gay couples in a $160 million dollar plebiscite which Turnbull’s team is busily finding loopholes to completely ignore. You could vote Liberal and keep being outbid at auctions by tax-payer-subsidised investors who will knock down your dream home and sub-divide for profit, so they can buy their unborn children three homes each.
Or you could vote Labor and get the opposite of all of the above.
The choice is yours Australia.