Why aren’t you voting for your best interests?

What alarms me most about the current political situation is the extent to which voters have been persuaded that they only have two options.The puny power we have is diluted by this false choice. It is time we stop voting for parties and start voting for people who are actually to represent us.

Right now we have the LNP in Government with ALP considered the opposition, and every issue is presented as though we only have the choice between their positions – despite the fact they are both awful. They both breach human rights, promote division in the community and blame the poor for their economic policy failure. The only thing you can say about Labor is that they are slightly less awful: they have women in prominent positions, the got us through the GFC and they want to invest in education (although they were happy to rob Peter (Higher Ed) to pay Paul (Secondary ed)).

However, the ALP are also happy to lock men, women and children up in stinking prison camps where they are being mentally tortured at great expense to you and me. They treat single mothers as though they are scroungers instead of people struggling to do the most important job we have on their own. The Australian Labor Party are not the party of the people. They are just less dangerous than the Liberal Party, who will sell this nation wholesale given the chance and then blame you when you suffer

But 90% of the conversation at election time is about the ‘choice’ between the LNP and the ALP. During the last election Christine Milne and other party leaders were not allowed to be part of the “leaders’ debate” on the ABC. Why let two voices dominate? If we could hear more about other parties and other positions perhaps those parties would gain public support.

Why are the National Party even still supporting the Liberal Party in a coalition? Farmers are suffering. What is the point of being ‘in power’ if your core electorate is not being served by that? If you are a farmer and you still vote National, why are you voting against your best interests?

If you aren’t wealthy with an independent income so you are not reliant on work, why are you voting Liberal? Gambling on the chance that you might one day be part of the few? It’s rigged in favour of the house, sucker. When you get up in arms at the idea of millionaires paying more tax, how does that help you? Have any millionaires come up to you and given you a wad of cash in thanks for your support? Offered to look after your sick kid or pay off your mortgage?

And to be honest, if you’re not well off, you should think hard about voting Labor too. The Fair Work Act is undeniably an important protection for the workers but Labor are still too much beholden the big corporates. Dealing with corporate tax avoidance, ending mining subsidies, pursuing living wage or citizen’s income: these should be on the ALP agenda and they are not. The moral issue of their stance in refugees is a deal breaker for me, too.

If you’re not white Australian (and by that I mean, Skip) or a white immigrant, you’re mad to vote for either major party. They will shit on your people to protect the conservative vote every time.

What are we supposed to be afraid of when we are told to fear a minority government? That our representatives will have to debate an issue and form some consensus rather than MPs blindly following the party line as instructed by poll watchers and party hacks with one eye on the donor list?

We have other choices. Sure, backing independents and minority parties will be unpredictable but surely that’s preferable to predictably awful? Your vote comes with money attached: by spreading the love around we can have new voices emerge. Diversity is likely to encourage innovation: it works everywhere else. There are more than two solutions to pretty much every issue. but while we allow this false dichotomy to govern our lives that’s all we hear. Let’s explore some real alternatives. Yes, we will probably have to endure gauche, sometimes embarrassing behaviour from newcomers with no political background but right now the head of our nation is renowned internationally for his embarrassing gaffes and even more embarrassing policy positions. What have we got to lose?

At the moment, the major parties’ success depends on their ability to keep their MPs in line. Internal debate is considered a sign of trouble so debate is stifled. This empowers a few people at the top of the party heirarchy (usually conservative older men) at the expense of the minority voices. By electing a minority government we make space for debate, and for us to have our voices heard by our representatives. I guarantee you no one at the major parties is listening to you right now. I’ve been writing to Labor and LNP members at state and federal level and have barely had any replies. The few I do get are either form letters or, the case of my federal member in Redland Bay, downright condescending and rude.

Politicians are paid – generously, with extravagant perks – to listen to us, yet they ignore us and treat us with contempt. How else can you describe the way they lie to us, and treat us as though we’re stupid? They behave like spoiled children in parliament while debating issues that affect our lives, yet they believe they have moral standing to judge our lives. They treat us as though we don’t count. And like masochists, we keep voting to continue the system.

Check out “You can’t waste your vote” from Patrick Alexander at Chicken Nation

3 thoughts on “Why aren’t you voting for your best interests?

  1. To be honest, I think quite a few wealthy people with independent incomes AREN’T voting conservative – there are Warren Buffetts amongst the Murdochs et al. Anecdotally, I hear a lot of people on middle to low incomes spruiking the LNP BS … when you don’t have time for anything but soundbites, you can buy the “Labor got into this mess” scaremongering lies and feel that ‘strong choices’ are needed. It seems that being misinformed is a key factor in the political climate. And with it being ever more challenging to access objective news and information, there’s little hope that that will change. Those with any morals who have the chance to find out the facts behind the bias can’t be thinking that either of the two ‘major’ parties are any kind of option. So, as with many things, education could be the answer. (What a pity so few people seem to be asking the questions.)
    Great post, as always!


  2. Too many punters have the attitude “Oh an Independent can’t do anything” and it frustrates the hell out of me. Some of the Independents we have both Federally & in Queensland have been pillars of Integrity, who have well & truly represented their constituents well and more than that, have been able to actually compromise with other MP’s of all sides of politics in a realistic manner. We need more people like that, who put their electorate first (as our Constitutions direct them to) not some executives in a political party which put’s itself first before us.


  3. The only strategy for the floating voter is to limit the damage the red and blue team do which means keeping them both to just one term at a time. First terms are slow as they get used to working a bit but the real damage is in the subsequent terms when the god complex kicks in. Belgium ran for 18 months without a government, and while the politicians bickered over who should lead a hung parliament, Belgians carried on, working, generating wealth and getting things done. In fact Belgium had it’s best economic period in decades without leaders. May be it is time to redesign democracy – I do not wish, or need to be led by the donkeys on offer.


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