I always thought that the purpose of a democratic political system was to give people choice. Unfortunately, that choice is grossly compromised when the two major parties are, in practise, eerily similar.
Here’s a quick check-list of party characteristics:
- No plans for any significant action in response to climate change
- Supports centralised Internet filtering with a secret blacklist
- Unwilling to pursue meaningful tax reform
- Supports mandatory detention and stricter immigration control
- Supports distortion of the real estate market to produce high housing prices
- Against the introduction of an R18+ rating for videogames
- Against equal marriage rights for all Australians
- Against free tertiary education
- Supports private health insurance
- Supports private primary, secondary, and tertiary education
- Supported invasion of Iraq and military action in Afghanistan
- Supported government funding of school chaplains
- Led by a devout Christian man (interesting, but not substantial)
Here are a few questions worth researching and considering:
- Who privatised: Qantas, the Commonwealth Bank, Telstra, as well as many state electricity, gas, transport, and healthcare providers?
- Who introduced: HECS, Negative Gearing, the Capital Gains Tax exemption for one’s primary residence, the First Home Owners Grant, the First Home Owners Grant Boost?
I find the situation immensely disappointing. Particularly given that there are apparently substantial philosophical differences between the parties. (Why are these rarely reflected in their actions and legislation?)
Maybe things would be different if the parties each had leaders (and politicians) who were more true to their party’s core values, willing to stand their ground, and capable of implementing corresponding initiatives.