The choices have never been more stark than at the forthcoming Federal election, says Denise Allen ― people and progress or putting the country back 50 years and letting the rich run rampant.
Be careful who you vote for
When voting in this year’s Federal election on September 14, it is more crucial than ever that people consider voting for the correct policies before personalities.
Over the past three years, Australian politics has become more about which leader we like and which one we don't.
On both sides, supporters are rabid in their dislike; publicly voicing, with more vitriol than ever before, their hatred of the other side’s leader.
We have seen that in the vile language used to degrade the Prime Minister by Abbott supporters at climates change rallies, in the ugly Facebook page rantings of Larry Pickering; Liberal MP Andrew Laming and the continuous sarcastic and degrading language used by some Liberal MP's and radio shock jocks to abuse her.
Many Labor supporters also choose foul words when talking about Tony Abbott on social media and blogs.
Both side’s supporters use profanities with reckless abandon.
Of course, I must admit that I have also referred to Tony Abbott as a fool, a dill and a moron. And I have knocked the Prime Minister, as well, for her idiosyncrasies.
But light-hearted banter ‒ as silly and unfair as it might be ‒ is far from the ugly, vicious, foul expletives and caustic discourse spewed at Australia’s first female Prime Minister.
It is unnecessary; it is unpleasant; it is completely unwarranted.
It degrades us all.
But talking regularly to people about politics, as I am apt to do, so many say they are voting for Abbott because they hate Gillard; or voting for Gillard because they hate Abbott. Only the true believers on both sides know exactly why they will vote and for which side.
But how stupid is it to vote against a party purely because you "hate" the leader?
The nation’s future is riding on who is best to lead our nation, with the best policies to take us into the 21st century ― and people are voting upon who they hate more?
Fair dinkum, that is just plain dumb.
Have the mainstream media done such a good job of dumbing down our citizenry that we are at the point where they can no longer think for themselves and believe everything written in newspapers owned by an extreme rightwing oligarch and a massive mining magnate ― neither of whom care anything for the people, and everything about where their next billion is coming from?
For centuries, nations have moved forward through extraordinary and inspiring innovation coming from the inventions of brilliant minds. If we didn't, we would still be living in the dark ages, with children down coal mines, the horse and cart, ice chests, telegrams, telephone exchanges and copper wire.
Children would still walk miles to school, Mum would still be in the kitchen, Dad will still be walking or riding his push bike to work, not because he was being health conscious or environmentally friendly, but because he had no other choice.
It's important we move with the times.
Everybody needs to look closely at which sides' policies will not only take us into the future but will allow us, the people, to create the future.
We can only do this with advanced 21st century technology; better and fairer access to high quality education; through encouraging our best and brightest to invent and innovate; and in a society that allows everyone to achieve ― not just the lucky rich few who will be able to afford a higher education.
We can only do it in a society that cares for its disadvantaged, where services are available to everyone. not just those who ‒ again ‒ can afford it; where we care for our Indigenous people and celebrate their ancient culture; and where we give refugees a fair go.
Where we get a fair days pay for a fair days work ― not have our wages reduced to $2 an hour.
We cannot do it in a society where the rich get richer and the poor poorer; where profits are put ahead of childrens health and education; where the aged struggle to pay their heating bills, because it's more important for the shareholders to get a dividend than for the elderly to stay warm in winter; and where racism is used as a political tool.
Do we want a society where it's more important for the rich to make exorbitant profits at the expense of our environment and humanity as a whole? Where a handful of oligarchs dictate to the rest of us not only how we should vote but how we should think, how much we should be paid and where we are obliged to bow and scrape to those who control the almighty dollar?
Where a business or government can throw aside a person’s job, as if it was simply a minor road bump on the way to the next million ― or billion. Where it's easier to slash jobs and deprive a person of the ability to pay their mortgage or feed their family, rather than deprive themselves of the next bottle if Moët or trip to the Ardennes.
Do we want to become slaves to these people?
Because that's the choice you will have to make in September.
To vote for candidates who care for the future of our environment; who want progressive education and advanced technology. Or candidates that care more about people having jobs than whether an oligarch can add another billion or two to their already over stuffed pockets.
Or vote for candidates that are happy for you to be an ignorant slave in a society where the rich rule and run rampant.
If you want to be part of a progressive, healthy, well-educated society ‒ where we live on a healthy planet and not a sick one, where progress is shared by us all and not just a handful of greedy oligarchs ‒ vote for the party that offers you the policies that will not only make that happen in the future but will make the future happen.
It's up to you.
(Denise Allen is an ALP member and a former Victorian State Labor MP.)
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