Federal election coming up in two weeks, and in case I'm tempted
between now and then by the extraordinary $6.5b in pork-barreling
promised in John Howard's campaign launch speech, I've made a note of
some of the reasons why I shouldn't (and you shouldn't) vote Liberal on
- Sending SAS commandos to board and turn-back the Tampa, a container ship packed to the gunwhales with refugees rescued from a sinking boat, then parcelling them out as hostages to poor Pacific nations with the promise of massive aid assistance, so that it costs our taxpayers an average of $400,000 a month to keep each refugee there while the Dept of Immigration delays the processing of their applications for refugee status for as long as possible. Eventually, almost all the refugees are accepted into our country as potential new citizens, despite government ministers having accused them of throwing their children overboard to gain asylum, of being potential terrorists and carriers of disease at election time.
- Committing us to supporting the illegal US invasion of Iraq, allowing the US to detain our citizens in Iraq and Afghanistan without trial, and giving us no indication of when and under what circumstances our commitment to Iraq might end.
- Closing Australia's embassies in countries where political refugees might actually be able to apply for a visa, making it effectively impossible for refugees to legally come to Australia.
- Cutting funds to Medicare, public secondary education and tertiary education for ten years, and then promising to pump a few billion back into it two weeks before the election in the hope it might win you votes.
- The anti-terrorism fridge magnet.
- Spending more on assistance to private secondary education than is spent on the entire Australian university system.
- Riding roughshod over various laws to protect the commercial interests of the Prime Minister's brother-in-law in the Manildra ethanol affair.
- Making us the laughing-stock of the world by making our overseas representative someone as pompous, moronic and manic as Alexander Downer.
- Encouraging a public service culture that effectively isolates and persecutes whistle-blowers in the public service.
- Playing to the weaknesses in the national character; the greed, xenophobia, and selfishness of the Australian people again and again and again and again, just in order to get four more years in power.
- Spending the budget surplus for the next four years before we've even collected it, just to fund election pork-barreling.
- For not saying sorry to the Stolen Generations.
- For actually raising more taxes than any government in Australian history and doing almost nothing to reform our tax system, after promising to do it.
- For all those "non-core" promises from last elections that never got delivered on.
- For spending $120 million of taxpayer's money in this election campaign alone on political advertising masquerading as information, completely ignoring the Auditor General's recommendations in the report commissioned by this same government when it took office.
- For not implementing a ministerial code of conduct until forced to do so. For not enforcing it on ministers until forced to do so. For then watering it down to protect the remaining ministers in the government and their ongoing conflicts of interest. For fostering a culture of carpetbagging that thinks its OK for an MP to take their lover on a taxpayer-funded overseas holiday and lets her get away with it without even a slap on the wrist.