Two weeks out from a federal election and the range and depth and vision on the two major parties - the LibLabs is woefully simplistic and shortsighted.
Both Lib Lab economic rationalist factions are selfishly limited to an 'ends justifies the means' approach purely to get elected. Both are indulging in election-term economics, lobbying marginal seats, pork barreling the swinging voter and trying to differentiate themselves from each other. Neither are relevant to the future governance of Australia.
They are not about the many departmental portfolios they take responsibility for. They are simplistically about two personalities - Tony and Julia.
Tony thinks it is simply about 'ending the waste, repaying the debt, stopping the big new taxes and stopping the boats'. [Tony Abbott website, 28th July 2010].
Julia thinks it is simply about 'moving Australia forward', and motherhood statements like 'securing our future with responsible economic management', 'delivering fairness for working families', an education revolution, and 'tackling climate change' (somehow). [Labor Platform].
It's dumbing down the issues as if the Australian electorate is a crowd watching a football match.
Have a read:
These policies are on the fly, tokenistic pork-barrelling for media sound grabs. They lack robust research and are reactionary. They are outputs of overpaid consultants advising the major parties to focus only on the key 'push-button' re-election issues. They are only about getting re-elected and getting the pollsters to push them a few percentage points ahead of the other.
The offerings are hollow. The LibLabs are short-sighted simpletons. They reveal the lack of ideological vision once characteristic an inspiring of politics over 30 years ago. One has to return to the Whitlam era to recall ideological vision in Australian politics. These days the LibLabs have created a political vacuum in Australia.
No wonder many Australians just tune out. We've heard it all before. We've seen the promises become conveniently forgotten and dishonoured. We've seen successive LibLabs grow on the nose four years down the track.
Where are the long term strategic visions, direction and investment plans for this great nation?
Where's the badly needed long term investment into the big picture issues?
Here are some of Australia's big picture issues that demand longterm political vision:
* TRANSPORT: Public transport infrastructure - a national fast rail network for both freight and passengers;
* ENERGY: Transition strategy into clean and renewable energy;
* POLLUTION: Carrot and stick strategies to reduce pollution particularly in industry and private transport. (climate change and greenhouse gas emissions pare just fancy words or 'pollution');
* DOMESTIC INDUSTRY: Strengthen Australia's domestic industries to restore international competitiveness, stem the flow of industrial entrepreneurship and investment offshore and to curb the unfair market controls by big business over small business;
* EDUCATION: Vocational education (TAFE) aligned to industry needs for the next 20 years, where industry is made to financial contribute and play a key role, to realign the local skills shortage epidemic;
* Public schools to bring the educational standards up to private school standards so as to address the Dickensian class inequity across Australian schools;
* University funding so Australian universities are not beholded to international student fees for their financial survival;
* HEALTH: New major hospitals to fill the chronic bed shortages in all capital cities, and nationalise health with training and infrastructure to stay one step ahead of demand, and to address the inequity of rural health.
* INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS: Fair financial compensation for the stolen generations and the stolen wages to redress the 20th Century government treatment of Aborigines as slaves;
* Strategies and resources to address the indigenous inequity of access to essential public services and to address the shortcomings in life expectancy and living standards
* Constitutional recognition of the prior occupation and sovereignty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their rights and obligations as owners and custodians
and to self determination, political representation and equity in developing and implementing public policies, programs and services that affect them. (Refer The Greens policy)
* SUSTAINABLE AND ACCOUNTABLE IMMIGRATION: Not a population policy, but a sustainable immigration policy - one that is accountable to the full social costs (costs of living, public infrastructure supply, homelessness and unemployment), one that is aligned to our Australian value system, one that is accountable to the full environmental costs, and one that is accountable to the complete immigration lifecycle - where new arrivals become self-sufficient and integrated into the broader community;
* ENVIRONMENT: Strategies for sustainable crop selection, sustainable agricultural practices (irrigation, fertilizer, land clearing, salinity, runoff), Murray-Darling irrigation buy back and local community transition support, new national parks, sustainable forestry that makes the AFS certification a national minimal standard, sustainable fishing initiatives.
* THE ARTS: Arts and culture policy to provide opportunities and encouragement of Australian home-grown talent
* DEFENCE: A defence policy that is wholly about defence of Australia aligned to the interests of our immediate regional security and peace in the Oceania region, not the current offence policy that is wrongly aligned to the militarist interests of the United States - Vietnam, Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan.
* EMERGENCY SERVICES: Overhaul underfunded volunteer emergency services national-wide (ambulance, fire and those dealing with bushfire emergencies, storm emergencies, and other natural disaster emergencies) to give Australians a 21st Century chance of survival and recovery
* POVERTY: Addressing the causes of Australia's growing underclass - homelessness, unemployment, record incarceration and recidivism, those affected by mental health issues and substance abuse, family breakdown and domestic violence;
* ELECTORAL CONTRACT: An electoral contract to make electoral promises accountable to the people
I am sure there are others.
At least the Greens offer alternatives, but they have many shortcomings with their policies too, such as where is the economic case to show that The Greens could run the economy?
This uncertainty is why the Greens don't get a leg in.
A vote for any other party offers the hope of change.
A vote for Lib or Lab, promises more of the same crap.