Saturday, March 30, 2013

Popularity or policy?

In international news Australians are already a laughing stock. The state of our economy is the number one reason for the giggles they are having at our expense. Apparently we are the envy of the world and we are too stupid to realise it. Some commentators are wondering how we could possibly be considering voting for a man and a Party which will, for the first time in history, repeal every major legislative change made by the current Government.

What that means in real terms is that it will seem as if the years since Howard did not happen at all. It will cost substantial amounts of tax payer funds to repeal these numerous bills. Strangely, people have embraced the idea, without having any inkling whatsoever as to what the alternative will be. That a Party can put itself in a winnable position without announcing policy and only announce what will be stripped away, is intriguing and at odds with reason.

Ask people what they think about the potential to lose their School Kids Bonus. "Yes, it's going to be disappointing to lose that. But there's not much we can do about it is there." Umm.......yes there is. Don't vote LNP!

Ask them about Gonski. "It's going to cost money though and it's not really worth it anyway." Who said that? Did the Government? No......the LNP did, and they believe them.

What about the NBN? "My internet works ok. Do we really need to compete with other countries? I think we should concentrate on ourselves first before we worry about everyone else." No mention of the benefits for rural Australia or the burgeoning IT industry or the health sector. Why? Because the LNP never mentions them.

An interesting situation where it is not so much a battle for Labor to get the message out as it is seemingly impossible.

Today Abbott trotted out his two daughters to remind us all he is human and not an unfeeling robot (something that Gillard is accused of regularly). They mentioned his skills as a parent and his support of them as they pursue careers and lives as independent women. Fantastic stuff! Brilliant human aspect of a man who will presumably be our PM. No obvious stunt there at all!

As with all news items on politics, I took some time to read the comments below both news source's articles. There were the usual "Really? This is news?" and "FAIL" comments from those who have better things to worry about than the parenting skills of a politician. Then there were these......

"Bravo girls. Finally the truth is out there. Abbott is a fine upstanding citizen who will be a great leader of our country. Much better than the childless, atheist ranga currently lying her way through the job."

"How lovely to see a picture of a man who has raised two beautiful women rather than the barren witch who is so out of touch."

"The love that Abbott's family show for him is a marked contrast to the inept so called partner of the PM and her cheating past."

And on it went........comment after comment on the differences between the PM's family and Abbott's. The perception that his makes him relatable and more 'in touch with ordinary Australians' is an interesting observation.

It begs the question....Have we really evolved our ideas past traditional values and into the modern era?........It appears not.

The fact that Gillard was an immigrant with a loving supportive family who encouraged her to educate herself and become all she could be, despite adversity, appears lost on people. The fact that Abbott was born into a middle class family with opportunities presented to him which Gillard could only have dreamed of is also escaping peoples notice.

She may have no children and no 'husband' but she knows what it is like to struggle. She knows how it feels to fight for a good education. She knows how to dream big and work hard to make it happen. She is frankly inspirational.

Not many politicians can claim working class backgrounds. It's a fact. Most were born relatively privileged. Somehow, Abbott having children and a wife in the traditional family way, has given him claim to that which is patently untrue.......the ability to relate to ordinary Australians. I've no idea how an ordinary Australian is defined. I'm certainly not one, how boring. The term is thrown around by both major parties on a regular basis though so it must be important.

People (those ordinary Australians) are constantly lamenting the fact that politics has become a circus based on a popularity contest and the policy of the Party is what they should be judged on. It is said by the media, by the population and by other politicians. And it's a LIE.

If it were in fact the case, no one would care if the PM was childless. No one would care what Abbott's daughters thought of him. Most importantly though.......people would be concerned at the lack of policy produced by the LNP.

They couldn't care less actually. As long as their electricity bill goes down (which it won't because the Carbon Tax has only grown it by 3%. The rest is out of the hands of political interference and is here to stay, and continue rising, regardless of PM), the boats are turned back and a surplus is reached they'll be happy.

Education of our kids, caring for the disabled, mitigating climate damage, protecting the reef, increasing pensions, subsidies for child care workers......blah, blah, blah...... Irrelevant waffle. Not important and largely misunderstood.

A man who has gorgeous daughters though.......now that's worth voting for. God help them if either one decides to be PM one day.....

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