Don’t Blame Me — I Voted for Kodos

This whole “both sides paid people-smugglers” thing is definitely a new low, but surely no-one is really that surprised. Both major parties are objectively terrible. How is this still news? I’d love to jump on the bandwagon and say that Tony, Joe and co. are the worst thing to happen to Australia since unsliced bread but the truth is I don’t think Labor would be any better (and may even be worse).

Sure, the Liberal Party is beholden to the vested interests of “the big end of town” who are hostile to all sorts of necessary reform (carbon pricing, super-annuation, negative gearing etc.) but the Labor Party is even more explicitly controlled by the Unions who do much the same thing from the other side (subsidies for manufacturing industries, workplace relations etc.) It seems pretty clear that things aren’t going to get better any time soon in either of the major parties so what can anyone do?

The answer is simple common sense. We need a viable third party that sits between the two major parties rather than sitting out on the fringes as the Greens and Palmer do at the moment.

If any random person created a party just called the Common Sense Party, they would get at least 5% of the vote purely based on the name. If it was Malcolm Turnbull, Tanya Plibersek and Nick Xenophon running the show then it would have to be closer to 20% right?

Just like NAB made a killing by “breaking up with the banks” maybe Malcolm and co. could do the same. I’d vote for them.

Suggested Common Sense Policies

  1. Set a carbon reduction target in line with international peers and legislate for it by introducing an emissions trading scheme
  2. Increase the GST to 12.5% and include food and (private) education
  3. Remove capital gains tax exemptions and negative gearing
  4. Take meaningful action to fix low-profile but high-importance issues like childhood obesity and domestic violence
  5. Keep health and education funding basically as it is
  6. Include the family home in the pension means-test and put a cap on super-annuation tax exemptions
  7. Phase out subsidies to manufacturing industries and spend the money saved re-training workers. Build the submarines in Japan
  8. Cut petrol subsidies to the miners and re-index the petrol tax
  9. Scrap middle-class welfare initiatives like the back-to-school bonus etc.
  10. Workplace reform in line with productivity commission recommendations
  11. Build the NBN
  12. Legalise gay marriage

There is quite deliberately no “border security” policy listed above. For one, I have no idea what the right thing to do is other than a pretty clear sense that what we are doing at the moment is wrong. Secondly, and more importantly, in the grand scheme of things 5–10 thousand people arriving here by boat and claiming refugee status has almost no practical impact on anyone’s day-to-day life. Promising “stronger borders” is nothing more than dog-whistling to ignorant racists.

Let me know what you think.

Jez