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Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Torn between a donkey and an ass

I have never voted against Labor, whether in England or in Australia.  I was all for Latham as the new leader of the ALP.  I saw him talk on "The Third Way" while he was on the backbenches.  I never thought I would say this, but I am considering a donkey vote at the upcoming election.  Why?  Because the income splitting measure in Labor's tax package is plain wrong for equality in the workplace.  Taking all things into consideration, there just isn't enough in the rest of their policies so far to outweigh it.  Howard is an evil git make no mistake, but Labor are at their best when they can provide a cohesive social vision, something the right can rarely do.  So far all they have come up with tweaking coalition policies and not inventing their own.  Labor have inevitably drifted towards the right and so have lost the vision, the reason why they exist.  My thinking at the moment is that in the next few years there will be an almighty correction when the coalition's mismanagement comes home to roost, and just maybe it will be enough to allow a party such as the ALP to get back to "the left".  Maybe it is for the best that we have another three years of evilness.

I hope something happens to change my mind on this I really do.  Why did you have do go and do a dumb Howardesque move like that Mark?  Once its in it will never be gone, and it will just get worse and worse.  Today just the tax free threshold, tomorrow complete income splitting.  Sophie must be jumping for joy.  Such a shame as the rest of the policy doesn't look too shabby.

I think you should check the actual policy and spell this out. While I understand the general objections to income splitting (favours those who can afford to have one partner not working , ie. the rich), I'd like to see the issue tested against the actual detail in the ALP package.

Consider it done.
I commented three times on the other thread paul - but nothing seems to have happenned - and have now died from commenting exhaustion.

Your post does rather point to the problem with a 2 party system in Oz. What happens when you hate both parties? It's probably why the Greens are polling so well in spite of the attacks from all quarters.

Could be worse, you could be looking for a conservative alternative to the coalition.. CDP? One Nation used to fit that bill to funnel preferences from the RWDB end of the spectrum, but we did away with them.

Although I kinda disagree on the Labor/Lib comparison between the tax (welfare) approaches. I'd say income splitting is psychologically (if not economically) less of a disincentive to work than the stay-at-home check that is FTA-B.

My advice? It's a long campaign, and there are a lot of batters yet to come.

I agree, FTA-B was evil incarnate. But income splitting is not good either. If Latham would have brought in some decent childcare measures I could have forgiven him, but he didn't.
The two party system is not good when they have no differentiators. Thankfully we have the good old STV which is a bit like an each way bet. I can quite happily put Greens 1, ALP 2, and know my vote doesn't get killed off straight away.

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