I want to vote Labor – give me a reason!

My grandfather "Chum", bit of a dapper bloke in his day :)

My grandfather “Chum”, bit of a dapper bloke in his day :)

By Noely Neate
March 25, 2013

Every  man and his dog has given up Labor as a dead loss for the election in September.  I am not so sure.

John Howard was pretty much in that position at one stage. and it was only the intervention of  Tampa and Twin Towers Towers that saved his butt.  The fact is that when people are scared they stay with the ‘devil they know’.  Now, I don’t wish the likes of a Twin Towers to save the Labor Party, though a bit more focus on Tony Abbott’s policies may help level the playing field so that people could get past personalities to actually look at what each side will do for this country.

Having said that, I don’t hold out much hope for the ALP unless they can get back to grass roots.  Basically we have a two horse race. There’s the Liberal/National coalition, which equals Money.  Now everyone can relate to money, everyone has aspirations, so that is a no brainer for them to attract people. Labor has traditionally been Labor, equals unions.

For people like me – I am 45 in a few weeks – I understand that we owe the unions a lot.  Without unions there would be no minimum wage and no safety requirements in the workplace and kids would be working working for two bucks an hour.  Unfortunately, with so much small business now and the fact that the unions did such a bloody good job that the Government has taken over in some respects when it comes to fair pay and conditions, younger generations don’t ‘get’ or appreciate unions.

But they do see the news and unions scare them, Unions stopped them getting on that flight with Qantas to go to the mates 21st, Union ‘stuff’ meant they could not get that part-time job on the work site (that they were not qualified for but we won’t worry about that…). Unions have a bad rap.

Unfortunately for the unions they are not a large percentage of our population anymore. Also, like our politicians, too many union leaders are career managers, not actually from the site or factory floor, so it is even hard for old time blue collar workers to support them.

Worse, the Labor Party being so closely aligned with unions and the massive voting block they have that is not proportionate with the population actually makes the Liberals case for them.  If you are not in an area that has a big union presence, like mine, unions mean nothing to you.

The funny thing is that Labor was not always like that. They had more members and more support, and it was not just because we had more blue collar jobs in this country.  It was also because often the Labor party, just like the Lions or Rotary, were part of the community.

I grew up with my grandparents living with us. My grandfather, working on the Railways, was of course a Labor man.  Back in the day, he would take me with him to the Labor meetings, normally held at the pub. Not only would they discuss the politics of the day, they would talk about various members or neighbours that needed a helping a hand.  Even when talking politics, it was about what affected us in our backyard. it was not mantra’s like it often is now, it was often about plans to get rid of Joh Bjelke-Petersen, I think I knew what the word gerrymander meant before I knew the word ‘politics’!

They also participated in the community. They were at  school fetes and they helped man the drinks and sausage at the wake of the local family who had lost their Dad and needed to raise funds to help them carry on (who was not a card carrying ALP man either mind you). Hell, when I went overseas as an exchange student the local member hears (I don’t know how as Granddad had died by then) hands me a Queensland flag to give to my school in Hong Kong.

Back in the day it seemed the Liberal Party were blokes in the local Chamber of Commerce and Labor Party were union guys AND people who cared about more than just money and had a social conscience.

The ALP have not treated my area kindly.  We had the Cate Molloy fiasco where she backed her electorate in not wanting the Traveston Dam and got sacked for it (90% of us didn’t want it). Since then both State and federally they have not bothered to even promote who they put up in the area. Worse,  last state election Labor tossed in some youngster from Brisbane because the local branch was almost decimated.

They are pissing up against a brick wall if they expect any sort of support from areas like mine with that sort of behaviour.  If Labor want to become relevant in people’s lives again they have to become part of the community again.  I know it sounds unfair as no-one has that expectation from Liberals, but we do from Labor.  They need to stop putting Unions above people.  I am not saying ditch unions, I am just saying make their vote just as important as the local branches vote.  They need to be part of the community again, get back to the old retired unionists turning sausages at fundraisers and helping with community youth programmes and baking cakes for fetes to keep the community hospice open.

A contest between Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott is a poor way to try to win Government, and when Labor has the likes of the big media, big business and big money lined up against them, will be hard to get any message out.  Only when Labor again becomes those ‘good guys’ in the community and part of the community, will they cut through the spin and get community support.

I don’t think my grandfather would even recognise the Labor Party today.  I am not saying they don’t need professionals in the ALP, but d0n’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. Remembering why they want to be in Government would be a good start to get support.

But hey, what do I know, I am just a punter who is maybe getting too old and reminiscing about the old days when there was a political party that cared about the have-nots.

Yes you may not win this election, but you will start to get members, you will start to get communities, you will matter again. All over the country branches will build and community members will want to support you, because they feel you care about them. That will stand you in good stead into the future, and a future is what we all want :)

Cheers
Noely @YaThinkN

Disclaimer:  I am not a member of the Labor Party, and I am glad my granddad was not around to see me join the Democrats as a young adult.  Since Meg Lees screwed over the Dems I have not aligned myself with any party at all, being fond of Independents.  I now find myself in a situation where to be pragmatic, the Labor Party needs to be supported as what Tony Abbott plans for this country, which you would not hear about on the news, does not bear thinking about, I wrote about this in Are Liberals just for the self-interested & wealthy or am I missing something?  :(

Comments


  1. How about this as a reason. Here is a very fine example of connecting with the community of Australia that you say is necessary for the ALP to reconnect with the people.

    http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/forced-adoptions-apology-was-pm-at-her-finest-20130321-2giu5.html

    Here is the video of the speech. It is rivetting and compelling:

    I am angry that this fine moment in our history was overshadowed by the ridiculous shenanigans of a pack of treacherous rabble.


  2. Right on Noely . . Labor have followed the Libs (and the electorate unfortunatly) too far to the right over the past 20 + years . Yes elections have been won from this far back but they have big media , business and money lined up against them as you point out . In this democracy are people simply about to get what they deserve ?.


  3. People must vote for Labour simply because they have two choices,a vote for Abbott is a vote to take us back to the Howard years,Abbotts mentor,history will remember Howard as the most treacherous,lying,conniving,manipulative dividing PM this country has ever had to suffer and sooner or later,probably later,posthumously be convicted as a war criminal.People must never forget,weapons of mass destruction and the destruction of Iraq LIES,at the same time selling wheat and paying bribes to the same country we are supposed to be at war with,children overboard lies,Tampa vote catching scam,education and health cuts,forcing education institutes to abandon student unions and fly the union jack,or face funding cuts,the list goes on.Like I said,Abbott mentor.
    Or you can vote for the present PM,the person who after the last election was the choice also of near all the Independents,it was the demands of the latter the we have a carbon tax as is,rather than Abbotts scheme.This woman has had to put up with the most unjustified personal abuse and attacks from the worse no policy opposition I have ever witnessed,the way she maintains composure is a sign of a true level headed leader.
    Obviously when one tries to implement changes in society of monumental proportion there will be snags and set backs,but when changes are designed for the betterment of all in the long term,snags and set backs mean bugger all. Eg from when the Comm.Bank was set up it took ten years before it became a functioning reality.
    Labour stands for change for the better.We know the only true way out of poverty and generational welfare is education,with education you get self-esteem,for every dollar spent on education you get thirteen back,Labours policy is for all who want to learn gets the opportunity.
    The NDIS is also a huge step,but it is the right thing to do.The previous government did nothing but depend on charities and community groups to carry their load.
    After all the Liberal rhetoric negativity regarding the carbon tax it now seems many more nations including China are going to copy our system,and the USA has adopted our medi-care style health system.
    The reality is Abbott does not believe in climate change and if ever elected will ignore it as an issue,let alone instigate policy to begin counter measures.
    Finally,this fiscal brilliance the Libs.continue to claim is another hoax,Howard/Costello team spent more in relation to GDP than any Gov.in our history,the reason our coffers were in the black was entirely due to the resource boom at the time,with massive prices for coal and iron ore,and the fact China was growing at 13% year after year,spending their money here.The reason you save money is for a rainy day,guess what,that rainy day was the GFC,and thanks to the brilliant management of this Labour party,while the rest of the world is floundering we get a AAAcredit rating,5% unemployment,3.5%interest rate,3,5%inflation and 3.5%Gov.debt to GDP.Hardly a reason to change government.
    For eleven long years I use to hate waking up to the Howard terrorists and was embarrassed to call myself Australian,please let us never go back down that road again.


  4. There are many reasons why someone should vote for Labor, rather than for the Coaltion, that is if you care about ‘family values’.
    If the Coalition attain power, they will take away many of the workers rights this government has had to fight hard to reinstate, like penalty rates – which helps compensate workers for having to work during, what most people would consider – ‘family time’.
    Labor will always look after the disadvantaged, the family and its workers better than the Coalition, because they don’t see governing as being in ‘business’, where making a ‘profit’ or ‘surplus’ is the ultimate aim and indeed the main indicator of being a successful, responsible government.
    Only Labor attempts to level the playing field, trying to give everyone a possible advantage in the workforce, through higher education and job opportunities, achieved through improvements in both community services and infrastructure.
    People most concerned with their hip pockets, exploitative business opportunities (especially those done at huge expense to the environment) and who have little or no regard for the plight of those less fortunate than themselves, or who have a problem with an empowered female, will all vote for the Coalition.
    Whether those types mentioned above are the majority of Australians, only the election will reveal the answer.


  5. I want to vote Labor – give me a reason! http://t.co/49O9xlLyXI
    #NoFibsArchive


  6. I will definitely vote Labour, have voted Labour and will continue to vote Labour. Having said that I have nothing but contempt for the lying and cheating ministers of the NSW government and I hope that the ministers that have spoilt the reputation of Labour Party in NSW have the full weight of the law brought down on them for their corrupt actions. Those bastards need to be shot. And their wealth distributed to the state revenue, recouped from the state revenue losses.

    As for the September 7 elections I pray and hope that once again Kevin Rudd reigns victorious over the liberal national coalition. The Liberals don’t deserve to win. No one wants to pay higher internet charges for inferior infrastructure as proposed by Turnbull and party. The idea itself is rancid. People need to realise that having NBN infrastructure in place opens up loads of opportunities in future. It is better to have NBN go ahead than having a `fast’ internet on existing pathways. We should realise that future upgrades(under the Turnbull proposition) will translate to consumers footing the bill for all little changes. And to have him nicknamed Mr internet is just plain nauseating.

    So people wake up and vote LABOUR.

    Best of Luck.


  7. Hi Stacey,

    Thanks for reading the site. Feel free to link to AFHP all you like. If you want to quote any of our material, again that’s fine.

    Good luck with your blog.

    Cheers,

    Nick

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