There is a deeply concerning perception problem in Australian politics, and this has been the case for some time. Many seem to think that the Labor and Liberal parties are essentially the same. In policy; personnel; propensity to knife a sitting Prime Minister; thousands, if not millions, of Australians believe that they could not be more similar.
Only, they’re not.
While some parallels exist, there are, in fact, a number of obvious and important differences. For instance:
- The word Liberal has 7 letters in it. Labor only has 5 letters.
A bit of fun, but see? Couldn’t be more different; except for the fact that they both start with ‘L’ but that’s not really a thing, outside of conspiracy circles. Next:
- The Liberal/National Coalition are in favour of the wholesale destruction of life on this planet through coal mining.
Labor seem to believe that the science of climate change is real? And they maybe should do something? But kind of won’t?
So, a fairly clear difference there. The Libs are basically taking the Trump approach to the great moral challenge of our generation, the ALP is more like the centre-right wing Democrats in that they say the science is settled, but refuse to formulate a serious policy and still back fossil fuels at every turn; fracking, etc.
- Labor support imprisoning children and turn a blind eye to abuses committed by those working in the prisons and offshore tropical rape camps. So do the Liberals.
Oops, sorry, that’s another of their similarities. As horrific and cruel this is, you’d better forget that last one (plus, they don’t much like it when we mention the fact that they lock up children for having the audacity to want to avoid being murdered in their homelands, or, y’know, being black).
- The management of the Murray Darling basin has been wholly corrupted by the Liberal and National Parties, and Labor.
Oh. Dammit. I completely forgot about water and that whole issue with huge
bribes payments made to major irrigators for water that didn’t exist. But I have no doubt it will be their last point of agreement, and there’s definitely no need for a Royal Commission into the last decade of water “buybacks”. Probably.
One thing is very clear though:
- The Liberal party has been in government for the last 6 years. Labor has not.
An easy point to make, but important nonetheless, as we are seeing how bad Australia would be if the Liberals won another term. Under Scott Morrison and the Liberal/National Parties, it only gets worse from here.
With Labor, it could get better? Maybe?
- Labor Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen describes himself as a Keynesian economist, and while the ALP policies are decidedly neoliberal, there’s wiggle room for progress if the Labor left are capable of resurgence.
The Coalition swing between neoliberalism and the neoconservatism that was so popular under Howard and Bush.
Josh Frydenberg is a strange choice for Treasurer, but, like, Joe Hockey was Joe Hockey. Both parties support tax cuts for no reason other than “tax cuts”, but the scope of the cuts seems to differ. Now:
- The “Bill” in “Bill Shorten is a two-faced liar, only interested in helping himself” stands for “William”.
On the other hand, “Scott Morrison” in “The Liberal Party” doesn’t stand for anything.
Neither leader is capable of cracking a 50% approval rating, not with Morrison’s Coalition party room and Shorten’s personality, charisma, leadership, speaking style, and personal role in the knifing of two sitting PMs.
Speaking of which:
- Morrison was smart enough to disguise his leadership challenge as support for the Malcolm Turnbull. Shorten went on TV to boast about his duplicity.
The manner in which each became the leader of his party is one of bartering, backstabbing, and bullshit. Neither deserves to be there and neither is the best the party could have had. But they serve as stark reminders of the central flaw of the last decade in Australian politics.
- Bill Shorten is a year older than Scott Morrison.
Because fuck it. They’re basically the same; even in their differences there are parallels: some innocuous, some less so, and some truly disturbing.
There are at least four genuine points of difference in the two parties, and even some policies that have the potential to be a point of difference.
What a time to be alive.
Being aware of this should help shape how voters preference their votes in this election, because, let’s be real for a minute: the major parties are not listening to Australians and it is only at the ballot box that we get the chance to be heard.
Voters are angry because they know a lying pack of bastards when they see one, and witnessing the last 12 years of politicking has pushed the electorate to breaking point.
Fortunately, there is a solution:
- Do your research this election, vote for the parties and independents who stand for something or rely on the will of their electorates to stay in Parliament.
Minority coalition governments are the future of this country, and the only way to moderate an increasingly desperate right-wing.