First and foremost, the last few years under the current Labor regime has seen some rather concerning signs of social control reminiscent of Stalinist-like (or Nazi-like) push towards uniformity through educational ‘reform': instead of seeking to encourage and maximise diversity, the Labor Government has, in one scoop, both taken steps to remove State autonomy, as well as taken steps to remove diversity in the educational landscape.
Of greatest concern is the move and push towards a ‘national’ curriculum. In theory it of course all sounds reasonably harmless and good. In practice, however, it either has one of two possible consequences: either the national document is meaningless or unworkable; or, more likely under this government, it becomes an regime of social control and political propaganda. If such a National document had been in place in the past, there would now be no Steiner schools, no International Baccalaureate, no Catholic schools, no Montessori schools, and no community schools nor, possibly, home education (something that, in any case, seems to be ear-marked for progressive eradication!). Education, like Art and other creative endeavours, must not be allowed to be rigidified by the bureaucratic machine at the service of the Federal Government.
ACARA is a body that simply, in a Federation of States such as Australia, should not even exist.
The Labor Government seems intent on progressively removing the independence and differences between States… and for that alone, my vote shall go elsewhere, with Labor far below other major party candidates (and even perhaps at the bottom of the heap!).
People have asked me what I thought of, for example, the manner in which the Labor Party changed its leader from Rudd to Gillard. To be honest, it isn’t, for me at least, a big issue: certainly it would be nice to see where elected representatives stood in terms of their decision, but frankly, one has to assume that each voted according to their conscience and, despite the media calls, we vote not for a PM, but for a local representative, admittedly knowing the party for which he or she stands, and thus the likely PM this entails… but even then only until party-room shuffles alters who heads parliament.
With regards to the economy, I’m astounded as to the existing wastage that this government has managed to dispose off in such a short period of time. Certainly the GFC (so-called global financial crisis) potentially had major ramifications for Australia. What got us through, however, seems far more likely a combination of numerous factors, including the previous government’s surplus. That it was in part ‘wise’ to release some of that surplus into the economy is fair: the wastage that the Labor Government undertook is not – and the absolute waste of ‘targeted’ expenditure such as ‘computers in schools’ (which only served the Chinese economy and the Labor Government’s push for particular directions in education) is, to say the least, shameful.
Talking of computers, the government on the one hand is seeking to implement fast internet access whilst, on the other, and of very high concern, seeks to impose gates (‘filters’) that are reminiscent of third-world countries and totalitarian regimes. On that alone, I would not vote Labor!
I personally had high hopes that the Labor government would free-up the rather unsavoury ‘safety’ set-ups in airports: it has become increasingly insulting to not only travel, but to have to pay for the effective abuse one has to submit to whilst travelling by air. Even though I’ve continually reduced my air travel over the last few years due in main part to this, I still have to fly a few times a year… and each time dread the insult the previous government introduced, and the current one government extended. I suppose I should not have expected a Labor government to have moved towards liberal values… but neither did I expect them to increasingly move towards Bolshevik ones.
On farming, there appeared to be a sense that Labor was perceived to be against GMO farming… or at least to introduce some form of legislation so that consumers (ie, us) would be able to determine and choose whether or not to consume GMO. But on this, it seems to have become rather silent. With regards to the environment, I have always been totally opposed to introducing another new tax, so, contra many people I know, I have been against a so-called ‘carbon trading scheme’. What I would have hoped for, however, is far greater support for those amongst us who wish to add solar panels, water-tanks, double glazing, or (healthy) additional insulation. Instead, the government prematurely stopped rebates for solar panel installations!!!
For these and other reasons, but foremost due to the educational direction taken by the current government and its implicit move against individual and State autonomy, my vote will go elsewhere than to Labor!