The Cost of Tomorrow

So, tomorrow is the big day kids. Election day. Now you know for yours truly this is like Christmas, complete with the stress of all the parties, shopping, preparations and potential for emotional carnage. But boy, this is so much more important than Christmas. And that’s what I want to talk about today. 

The cost of this election is tomorrow. It is about the sort of country we want tomorrow, and in the years ahead for all of us including the Australians who haven’t yet been born. 

This election, while you may not feel you have a choice, you do. I know it ain’t flash. The next PM will be Bill or ScoMo (insert your emoji of choice here). And that’s a shame because neither man is the leader our nation needs to take us to tomorrow in a way that is sustainable for all Australians. Neither party has given us a roadmap I can heartily get behind. To say I feel despondent is an understatement. 

This election has been dominated by an asinine debate about costings. Both major parties will tell you the other side hasn’t done the costings. It’s true for some and false for others and for my money the split is pretty even though I’d back the Libs costings since they’re in Government (and Labor been a bit loose with some I reckon). I’ve written about the bullshit surplus figures both sides are talking about which are just made up given both China and the US are forecasting significantly economic slowdowns and our “leaders” seem to be residing in a different global economy talking about GDP growth. It is a nonsense. There’s a slowdown coming and no amount of sunny forecasting will change the looming storm front rising. 

The true cost of this election is how we want our nation to take shape tomorrow. And in the days, weeks and years to come. There is no costing that can account for the importance of genuinely tackling climate change because the earth will end if we don’t do a lot more right now. Universal, high quality public health care and education must be available to all Australians at world class levels. We must do so much better implementing world class best practise on mental health, domestic violence, aged and disability care, housing affordability, cost of living, infrastructure and congestion and on and on. The cost of not having a Government that will raise us up and give everyone equality of opportunity is the only cost I care about. 

Your vote tomorrow matters so very much. In the House of Reps, vote local. If there’s a good independent who cares about climate change or whatever matters most to you, vote for them. How you vote and your preferences matter. 

The Senate is where the most impact happens if you live in a safe Liberal or Labor seat. If you want to vote for a minor party or independent, or a particular major party candidate in the Senate you must vote 1 for them. 

If you’re rolling with a major party in the Senate you don’t have to follow the major party instructions and I certainly never do. For example, the ALP is running an absolute cracker of a candidate Jason Yat-sen Li third on their senate ticket (why he isn’t first is a mystery only the trade unions can answer) so if you vote for him first, that would ignore the ALP ‘How to Vote” instructions and give him a better shot. Liberals have their best candidate first in Hollie Hughes, a terrific woman who does amazing work with autism and rural issues. 

I’m voting with my conscience tomorrow. Not with my hip pocket. I’m voting for the people I think will be best able to take Australia into the best possible future for the most people. 

Last night Australia lost Bob Hawke. He was the first Prime Minister I remember and as a young girl he sparked my interest in politics with his marvellous larrikin style. Today I salute him as the last great reformer. I’ll leave you with the opening lines of his 1983 election speech. Words that resonate today. 

“And the first pledge I now make, a commitment which embraces every other undertaking, is that everything we do as a Government will have the one great goal – to reunite this great community of ours, to bring out the best we are truly capable of, together, as a nation, and bring Australia together to win our way through the crisis into which the policies of the past and the men of the past have plunged our country”. Vale Hawkie.