Gonski decided it for me. Such a hard-won consensus to end the state-private war and embed a funding system based on need instead. Giving every child the best chance we can to succeed is an economic investment, proof of Australia’s commitment to egalitarianism and insurance against the ‘two nations’ phenomenon threatening revolution in the United Kingdom and the United States.
This election is Australia’s last chance for Gonski. It is Labor’s ambitious attempt to make fair education funding as central to our identity as Medicare, and the struggle to do so over Liberal Party opposition is just as gruelling. If nothing else, Labor’s commitment to Gonski deserves the support of the Australian people.
Climate change policy ballasts my choice. Labor embraces the consequences of its truth while the government remains divided on whether it exists.
Labor’s negative gearing and capital gains tax changes is the full stop for my choice. It is brave and it is right. The huge budget costs of subsidising home owners to buy more homes at the cost of young people trying to buy their first has become obscene. It is a factor in the growing inequality in Australia, a destabilising truth which already threatens the cohesion of other Western democracies.
So my choice is about looking out for young people.
I also believe that choosing Labor over the Liberal-Nationals is a vote for stability, and progress in repairing the budget, for several reasons:-
Conservative commentators are unanimous that unless Turnbull has a comfortable win his leadership is at risk. This is because Turnbull is the voter-acceptable mask of a right wing party which wants to take from workers and keep the perks for the wealthy (see the huge opposition to superannuation reform). If further proof is needed, it has put off incendiary questions about the terms of the marriage equality plebiscite until after the election, including whether to insert exemptions from discrimination laws. Like the Tories in the UK, the party will split during the plebiscite, increasing instability.
A Labor government has a much better chance of implementing its policies and achieving budget reform than the current government, because of the negotiating skills it showed so well in forming government after the 2010 election, and the attractiveness of its agenda in the Senate over that of the government.
Labor has announced a very detailed policy agenda. In contrast, the current government is so small-target that the only major mandate it can claim is about company tax cuts, which seem likely to fail in the Senate for businesses turning over more than $10 million a year. Voting for the government is basically voting for a blank sheet of paper, a recipe for chaos.
Labor’s economic team is superior. In particular, I have faith that Chris Bowen would be a strong treasurer committed to fair budget repair.
I have been deeply disappointed that neither big party has addressed the ever-growing trust deficit of voters. As I’ve argued on Twitter throughout the campaign, the big two are destroying themselves by not committing to honest politics through a federal ICAC (Independent Commission Againt Corruption) and other integrity measures.
For this reason, I will vote Greens in the Senate as the best vote I can make in Queensland to keep political accountability on the table.
If I lived in Indi, New England, Cowper or Dennison I would vote for the independent candidate. My ideal election result would be a hung parliament favouring Labor, and second best a hung parliament favouring the current government. Transferring some power away from the executive and the big lobby groups which largely control it is a victory for democracy and a trigger for genuine negotiation among the peoples’ representatives for the best result. It makes democracy transparent.
I believe the Turnbull Government will retain power. If it does, I hope the many Australians who did not vote for it will support the efforts of Malcolm Turnbull to drag the Liberal Party to the centre. He’ll need all the help he can get.