Tag Archives: election

TTK Election Edition Part Three

15 Aug

This edition will just be something of a brief wrap-up and really represents the beginning of my actual decision of where my vote is going, particularly in the Senate.

The Australian Labor Party: It particularly annoys me that I find the ALP website so bloody annoying.  On top of that, Julia is on Before The Game promising her commitment to the people of Australia.  I’m sorry – is this an election or are you a Big Brother evictee?  On top of that, I’m quite put off by the number of women I have heard say they are going to vote Labor for the sole reason that the party is lead by a woman.

Labor want to move Australian forward (rather, I suppose than slightly-to-the-right…).  I think it goes without saying that they want to make health care and education better, as well as increase minimum superannuation to 12% and they want to reward companies who move early on reducing their carbon footprint.  And, of course the National Broadband Network.

The Liberal Party of Australia: Honestly, I think I would have to direct-inject bleach into my brain to come up with any reason why I think Tony Abbot should be the Prime Minister.  As the now-familiar saying goes ‘Friends Don’t Let Friends Vote For Tony Abbot‘ – but elections aren’t really about voting for a leader, they’re about voting for local candidates and voting for party policies.

I’m completely uninterested in their policies because I feel like every time I hear any Liberal candidate speak they are simultaneously telling me how shitty Labor is/has been/will be and treating me like an idiot.  However – unlike the ALP they at least have a clearly marked section of their website that says ‘POLICIES.’

I’m pretty sick of hearing about their ‘Action Contract’ but the benefit of it is that I know the main things they stand for.  They want to stop Labor’s waste and reinstate proper consultation methods before mass roll-outs of money (like ‘Pink Batts’ and the school-halls thing).  They want to stop the boats (but, as yet I’m unsure how they actually want to go about doing this…).  They want to support small business and reverse taxes (like the Mining Industry Tax) that they believe are going to increase the cost of living.  They are planning on rewarding good teachers (which I think is good, but the whole system they have proposed – which is based on nomination of teachers by school principles – is well open for corruption…)

The Australian Greens:  The Greens definitely have the easiest website to navigate, but that’s not really a good enough reason to give them your vote.  Obviously they have the clearest and harshest program for cutting carbon emissions – 40% by 2020 (of 1990 levels); much better than the useless 5% that the Liberals are talking about!)  They believe in increasing funding for education (including providing free tertiary education both in universities and in TAFEs).  They want to (effectively) get rid of GMOs though tough restrictions and labeling laws.  They want increased funding for renewable energies.  They believe in marriage being about love, not gender.  They want refugees to be treated like people.

In fact, I suspect that if you really went though their extensive policy section you would be hard-pressed disagreeing with a huge amount of their policies.

My main problem with The Greens is this: Things Cost Money.  I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask anyone asking for my vote how they are planning to pay for the things they are fighting for.  I agree with increased funding for hospitals, public housing, education, arts and the environment – but where is the money coming from?

It’s unrealistic, but I would like The Greens to start acting like they are a credible third option – not just going for the power balance in the Senate.

Family First: Steve Fielding.  Need I say more?  Family First believe in putting families first – but, that really only extends to what they think families are.  Not what your family is.

Socialist Equality Party: Their election statement is confusing, in that it doesn’t really say what they stand for but just bags out on Labor, Liberal and the Greens.  They want a public works program to provide employment for everyone, free tertiary education, decent living conditions, free universal public health and ‘a comprehensive program to meet the needs of young people.’  And, they kind of suggest that everything should belong to and be run by the government.

Democratic Labor Party of Australia: First, they very strongly disagree with gay marriage.  And civil unions, and any other kind of recognition of gay people in relationships.  To be perfectly honest, I kind of stopped reading after that.  The sanctity of my marriage has nothing to do with any other partnership – I know a number of wonderful gay people who live in loving, caring homes that provide well for their kids (in the cases where kids are involved).  I also know straight people who are married and make me feel dirty to have sworn the same vows as them.  Enough said.

Australian Democrats: Yep, the Democrats are back!  There are the core beliefs of the Australian Democrats: ‘1. We should all be free to live our lives how we want to.  2. Every Australian should have equal rights and opportunities. 3.  We should care for the world around us to sustain our resources, our economy and the well-being of future generations. 4.  Our representatives should put the interests of people first, weighing all perspectives to develop fair, inclusive and lasing solutions.  5. We must take responsibility, individually and collectively, for our nation and its people.’  They want to halt the live export of animals, and to introduce a food labeling system that includes clear indication of ingredients from animal sources.  They support non-animal alternatives to scientific testing.  They want to get the carbon tax right and they want it to be tough.  They want to keep church and state separate.  They want alternative energy sources, and no new coal power stations.  They want to protect the coastline and our oceans.  They want direct democracy.  It is well worth checking out all the other things they stand for at their policy page.

The Australian Shooters and Fishers Party: They want guns and they want a small Australia.  They don’t want marine-sanctuaries.  They just want to kills stuff.

The Australian Sex Party They ‘stand for policies that represent a modern Australia, like same-sex marriage, free expression and working against censorship.’  Their slogan is ‘Where You Come First.’

The Climate Sceptics:  I think it’s pretty obvious.  They’re sceptical about the science of climate change.

The Socialist Alliance: Really, I thought The Socialist Alliance were just about annoying me while I’m trying to get into the library at uni.  Apparently not.  They’re anti-capitalism, and seem to be pretty much pro-everything else.

Citizen Electoral Council of Australia: They’re pro-republic, pro-state owned banks and want to repeal all the recent ‘fascist’ laws which have been passed and denounce Australian civil liberties.  They also want to get rid of the GST and create a moratorium on foreclosures of family homes.

The Building Australia Party: Are a single-ish issue party, that are frustrated with the building industry.  They want more affordable housing, a decrease in red-tape and council rules to be the rules regarding building planning.

One Nation: Hands down they have the worst website.  It looks like it was made using geocities.  One Nation want to kick out legal immigrants, stop an Australian-China trade relationship and do nothing about global warming as it’s ‘the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the world’s population.’

The Christian Democratic Party: They’re ‘Pro-Christian, Pro-Family, Pro-Child, Pro-Life’  Let me just send this message to their fearless leader, Fred Nile: Religion does not belong in Australian politics.

The Secular Party of Australia: They want church and state to be separated – everywhere in the world.  They want to defend freedom of speech and expression, human rights, individual liberties and support rational policy making.

Carers Alliance: They say: ‘Some people mistakenly think a political party for carers is a one issue party. Nothing could be further from the truth. We have the same needs and interests in the way government uses our taxes as every Australian family. Carers Alliance has the additional interest to ensure that transport, infrastructure, schools, health care, housing and a myriad of other services are provided in an inclusive manner and in such a way as to benefit all Australians both now and into the future.’

Liberal Democratic Party:  They say ‘no’ to the nanny state.  Apart from this, they think I pay too much tax.  They describe themselves as classical libertarian, and support some traditionally left-wing ideas (decriminalisation of drugs) and some right-wing ideas (free-trade).

The Parties are listed above in no particular order.  Generally, information has been accessed about Victoria – as that is what is pertinent for me. I have (obviously) not included any information about independent candidates.  Please do your own research as my own natural bias will come out whether I mean it to or not because I did this research primarily for myself.  That’s why I provided the links to every party – in doing so you are making your vote informed.

TTK Election Edition Part Two

11 Aug

I should probably have stated at the beginning of my previous post how these ‘TTK Election Editions’ are going to work.  I’m not in the business of telling people who to vote for, in fact I’m still trying to make up my own mind about who to vote for.  I also understand that animal rights and environment policies should not be the sole factor in making a choice about who is going to run this country for the next three years.  I should say that I do condone and encourage people to make informed choices and to vote below the line (the link in my previous post can help you with this).  While I believe strongly in animal rights and in the welfare of the environment, I also believe strongly in:

  • increasing education standards (and, maybe, in free tertiary education for some or all of the community – I am a little undecided on the logistics of this occurring…), and increasing support for education and for students (though, that doesn’t necessarily mean monetary support, in some cases it obviously will though)
  • maintaining and increasing infrastructure (particularly as I believe the problem most people have with an ‘increased population’ is due to insufficient infrastructure, rather than too many people heading here on boats)
  • human rights – including the rights of refugees.  The way I figure it the vast majority of people would not ever consider leaving family members and the majority of things they own, paying someone their life savings to get on a boat which would never meet any kind of safety check to possibly die in order to start a new life.  It just doesn’t happen that way.  I have nothing against punishing the people who are actually doing something wrong, but I don’t believe that wanting a better life for your family is wrong.  I know it’s a highly contentious issue.  And, on this subject – I would like to stop hearing about how the boats have increased since the ALP has come into power.  Like civil war in Sri Lanka had nothing to do with an increase in asylum claims (and, therefore with people who are desperate enough to risk their lives…)
  • health-care and, particularly, more focus on preventative medicine (or, probably more accurately preventative health)

But – the point of these posts is not those things.  The point is to look at the attitude expressed by the three ‘major’ parties on animal rights (which was the last edition) and tackling climate change (which is this edition).  These issues are not being readily discussed – in fact, I’m quite surprised in how little attention is being given to climate change and the environment in this election, considering it has been such a buzz-topic in the last few years – and the point of these editions was for me to find out what the policies were, firstly to help inform my own vote and, secondly, to pass on to anyone who wanted to read the information I collated.

Climate Change

The Australian Greens

Basically, The Greens want 1990 emission levels dropped 40% by 2020 and have a zero target for 2050.  They want Australia to take the lead in ‘solving’ climate change, and have a reward-the-good, punish-the-polluters stance.  Their whole climate change policy and overview can be accessed here.

The Australian Labor Party

I couldn’t find the term ‘Climate Change’ anywhere on Labor’s website.  In fact, where both The Greens and The Liberals have a nice and handy link that says ‘Policies’ Labor has nothing so obvious.  I took the next best bet with ‘Agenda’ which does have a tab called ‘Connecting Renewables‘ which says this:

‘The Connecting Renewables initiative will transform our energy grids by bringing more renewable energy into Australian households and businesses sooner.

This initiative will develop secure, sustainable and affordable energy for the future, supporting the enhanced Renewable Energy Target and helping deliver the Government’s commitment to 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity supply coming from renewable sources by 2020.

Federal Labor will also invest $100 million over four years in a new Renewable Energy Venture Capital Fund.

These new initiatives build on Federal Labor’s record investments in solar power and other renewables to help transition Australia to a low pollution economy.’

I tried searching for ‘climate change’ and all I got was a bunch of articles about how Tony Abbot is against the environment.

The Liberal Party of Australia

They say this: ‘A Coalition Government will take direct action to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by five percent by 2020. This can be achieved without Kevin Rudd’s great big tax on everything that will increase the costs of living for Australian families, penalise Australian businesses and destroy jobs.’

Beyond that, I can’t really get anything from the Liberal website; it’s divided into two columns which are labeled ‘Latest News’ and ‘Labor’s Failures’ and actually has not very much to do with their opinion or standpoint at all.  In fact, there is nothing underneath the banner of ‘Climate Change’ (the above is from ‘Emission Trading Scheme’).  You can check it all out here.

TTK Election Edition Part One

10 Aug

This very brief Part-One of The Thoughtful Kitchen Election Edition(s) is about animal welfare and the three major parties – The Greens, Labor and the Liberals.  There will be a bigger edition about general environmental issues and why these issues are important.

To begin with Below The Line is a website that helps you create a how-to-vote card based on your own personal preferences, rather than blindly trusting your vote to the preferences of the party you vote for above the line on Senate ballots.

The Australian Greens: yes, it’s true that they are responsible for that terrible ad where everyone is walking backwards except the smug-looking guy.  But, here is what they say about animals, taken from here which expands on these Principles with Goals and Measures.

‘The Australian Greens believe that:

  1. animals have intrinsic value, separate from the needs of humans who have a responsibility to ensure   that animals’ rights are respected.
  2. we have a duty of care to minimise cruelty to animals resulting from human activity.
  3. native animals and their habitats must be protected.’

The Australian Labor Party: are responsible for putting the economy in the hands of Wayne Swan – who kind of looks like a monkey.  This is what they say about animals in Chapter 7, Point 188 of their National Platform.

‘Labor believes that all animals should be treated humanely and will work to achieve better animal welfare through harmonisation of relevant State, Territory and Commonwealth laws and codes to ensure consistent application and enforcement of animal protection statutes.’

The Liberal Party of Australia: yes, they may well be responsible for the ‘Action Contract.’  What does that mean, Tony?  And, surprise, surprise they say very little about the environment and absolutely nothing about animals or animal welfare.

What needs to happen? I am not in the business of telling anyone who they should vote for.  But, I think that people need to think first about global welfare rather than their own small-businesses (because, in the very least, if the world implodes with disaster then they won’t be too worried about their small-businesses then…)

Animals Australia include this list of concerns in their stock-letter about making animal welfare an election issue:

•    Does your party support a ban on live animal exports for slaughter?
•    Does your party support a phase out of factory farming of pigs, egg-laying hens, and chickens for meat?
•    Does your party support a ban on animal testing for industrial and cosmetic products?
•    Does your party support a ban on the commercial killing of kangaroos and wildlife for export?
•    Does your party support an enforceable national labeling standard for method of production for food (eg. organic, free-range)?