Reasons to vote out a Government



Neoliberalism is bollocks. It’s had decades in play and proved itself to be a miserable failure. The only thing that trickles down is failure and poverty. Tax cuts to the rich do nothing to help the poor. It’s been a big con and all we ever got out of it was the Global Financial Crisis. The fact that Hockey and Morrison have been so wedded to this rusty piece of ideology is evidence that neither of them are fit for the job. They are not economists, they do not have the intellect or capability to handle the role.


It was deemed illegal by the PNG courts. It’s immoral by any reasonable perspective. People have died in our care. Being locked up without knowledge of when their incarceration will end is by any standards cruel. We have a duty of care for refugees, and instead our govt treats them as though they are criminals. Most refugees arriving ‘by boat’ are found to be genuine. Even those who cannot prove their case typically lack paperwork, not because they were found to be ineligible. We are treating innocent people worse than our own criminals. Dutton should be sacked for failing to get these people to safety.


Our govt is paying the people of Nauru to deal with our refugee problem. Just like Manus Island, the refugees here suffer from appalling conditions, no access to support groups and are subject to rape and violence. The people of Nauru profit from the misery of these refugees, who have already suffered enough to flee their homes. Access by journalists is restricted in the most draconian of ways, a sure sign that the treatment of refugees is inhumane. Dutton denied a pregnant rape victim access to medical assistance out of fear she might try to stay in Australia, and lied about the incident. Dutton should be in jail.


Death by a thousand cuts. Not brave enough to directly pull it pieces, we have seen this govt slowly hack away at the core value that Medicare brings to Australians. Essential screenings are removed from the program, benefits removed and funding withdrawn. Every year we see a new wave of attacks on the health care safety net. The LNP has done it’s best to undermine Medicare. The subsidies for private health insurance emphasise their lack of commitment to making Medicare work. The private health care market refuses to tackle the really big health issues, cannot address preventative care and relies on the public system to pick up the slack. Turnbull’s rant of election night was a disgrace.


At a time when climate change is literally pulling apart our country, we have a govt that wants to open up the largest coal mine in the world and bypass all environmental safeguards in the process. And offer $1bn worth of funding to help get it out of the ground. Adani has a record of illegal bribes, environmental vandalism and has even used fake twitter campaigns to try and deflect the bad press. These are not good corporate citizens. The profits will go to a shelf company in the Caymans, and the cleanup bill will be dumped on Australian taxpayers. If it smells corrupt, then it probably is. Turnbull has decided to quash native title to make the project go ahead. There is no upside to this terrible project, it simply funnels money out of Australia and leaves us with a giant hole in the ground. Or worse.


The LNP launched a basics card for welfare recipients, a system known to cause immense problems for the recipients who cannot use it for all essentials, or even their rent. Aside from being a socially damaging system, it turns out the basics card project is outsourced to a private company that is owned by LNP members. The company receives roughly $5000 for each card issues. Maybe that money could be better spent on the welfare recipients?


The NBN rollout was hijacked by Turnbull and a world class design was crippled in favour of something that will cost at least as much, if not more, due to poor selection of technology, making the project u-turn in midstream, and buying back a worthless copper network and all it’s liabilities.


The Liberal Party spends taxpayers dollars to pay this company for software, and then the company donates over $500,000 to the Liberal Party. How’s that for a scam. There are irregularities in the amounts being paid to Parakeelia, and how the company is staffed.


The folks in parliament who decide whether or not negative gearing is harming or helping the country are all up to their necks in the financial benefits offered by the system. LNP members are the biggest winners from negative gearing. And that’s assuming they have declared all of their properties, which seems to be a problem for some of the current ministers.


Coral bleaching is destroying our reef. The alarm bells have been going off for years. Our govt ignores the problem, choosing to stick to it’s stance of rejecting the warnings about climate change.


Cutting funding to women’s shelters. Cutting access to legal aid. Spending billions on “terror” while in fact the clear and present danger to women in Australia are their violent partners. Around 70 women every year die at the hands of their partners in Australia. How many are killed by terrorists? But there are more votes to be won by spouting fear than actually stopping it.


Proven to have mislead parliament over the Justin Gleeson affair, Brandis should have been sacked. In the years preceding he had already proven himself inept and deceitful. Instead Turnbull wants to give him a plumb diplomatic posting. Brandis has spent his life being rewarded for incompetence. It is the ultimate form of entitlement.


The core principle of the Gonski report was to change funding for schools so that those with the most need are the ones who get the most money. This has proved antithetical to the LNP. They have sought to justify stripping Gonski funding at every turn, the latest approach being to come up with a new equation of federal funding that would replace the 2018/19 ramp up that is central to the Gonski program.


This has been a great slogan and a massive lie. There is no evidence that the govt has any interest in growing the job market, indeed it seems that most of their donors would really prefer a job market where people are desperate for work instead of having the freedom to shop around. The govt’s own submission to the FWC on penalty rates cuts is pure neoliberalism, that somehow allowing businesses to pay lower wages will create more jobs. I read the FWC report and one thing is striking — nobody produced a single piece of evidence that reducing wages has *ever* increased employment anywhere in the world. Comments by Barnaby Joyce that people should just get off their arse and look harder for a job are as insulting as they are ignorant. There are 5 unemployed for every available job at the moment. If the govt fails to create jobs, then the those who suffer the most are our most vulnerable. Just like those who just lost a chunk of their penalty rates. The changes simply mean more hours worked for the same money, a bonus to employers and less money in the bottom end of the economy. All pain and no gain.


The entire ‘controversy’ over the Safe Schools program was generated by Lyle Shelton and the ACL. It was an anti-bullying program that put alternative lifestyles onto our awareness, and sought to promote acceptance and tolerance… across the full spectrum of diversity in our schools. It was a mature and reasoned approach to helping children learn better skills to deal with the emotional chaos, and reduce the incidence of self-harm in our communities.

But for some ‘Christians’ the idea of accepting a life style different to their own was simply too threatening. The ‘alarm’ was raised by Lyle Shelton and quickly amplified by the worst of the Turnbull government. Thuggery from Canberra would now be visited upon the children in the schoolyard. Turnbull dropped federal funding for the Safe Schools program and made it a public debate on such a scale that would ensure the worst kind of attention is visited upon the most threatened children.


In many ways this was the biggest failure of our government, and should have been enough to see them ditched in the 2016 DD election. But that’s another story. #CensusFail was not merely a failed website, it was years of failed government that began with PM Tony Abbott having kittens over who to appoint to run the ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics). The former head of ABS, Brian Pink, resigned after the funding situation for the bureau became intolerable. Abbott didn’t like the next candidate for politcal reasons, and 12 months passed before David Kalisch was given the job. It all goes downhill from there.

The ABS was never going to deliver on the challenge of an August 2016 online census. They didn’t have the tools, money or preparation to make that happen. Instead they dug deeper and turned what was always going to be a bad situation into something much worse. The incompetence of the project itself was legendary, but the new focus on trying to track individuals longitudinally raised a massive privacy issue that rightly shocked any sane Australian. Giving personal data to the ABS that would be stored and used to follow you through life is a huge risk, and one that had not been properly explained or sold to the people.

But things just got worse. Census night arrived, the website fell over like everybody said it would, the government went into panic mode and started blaming foreign hackers, and any notion of an accurate census was thrown out the window. Some people opted out of the system, many people couldn’t access the system. By threatening Australians who don’t comply with staggering penalties they escalated the problems with poor data quality and unresolved privacy concerns. They made it a personal attack on citizens instead of seeking cooperation.

What #CensusFail managed to achieve in 2016 was to undermine one of the least political and most trusted organisations in the entire public service. And indeed, destroy trust in ANY form of government as a consequence.


That Turnbull went ahead and appointed a “wind farm ombudsman” tells you everything you need to know about the dedication of our govt to clean energy. They didn’t appoint someone to overlook the health issues of any other energy source, just wind farms. They dismantled an effective and viable carbon tax, and then watched carbon emissions climb in the wake of their new policy. They danced in Canberra when the carbon tax was removed, one of the most puerile and idiotic outcomes of our generation.

In 2014 we saw data that showed a real impact on carbon emissions attributed to the carbon tax. A year after the carbon price was axed the emissions jumped. The government’s idea of “direct action”, to pay the polluters to clean up a little, has been an expensive failure. Not only has the carbon problem been ignored, but the price of electricity in Australia has gone through the roof. We’d all be better off funding science that helps to put renewable energy solutions ONTO the roof.

Have no doubt, for the time being the fossils are in charge.

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