I haven't been shy about criticising the Coalition for the way they have been failing us, but I won't give the ALP a free pass just because they are in opposition. I said in a recent post that the lesser of two evils is often way better than the alternative, but on some policy areas it really isn't much better at all.
Considering how quickly they are simultaneously trashing our economy, our climate and our international reputation, I can’t wait to see the back of this government. And it would be great if our political landscape was simple enough that I could say (whilst I actually vote independent) I preference Labor ahead of Liberal because I agree with Labor’s policies. But like many things, the truth is more complicated than that.
Sadly a lot of ALP policies are just slightly less appalling version of the Coalition. This is a sad reflection (or indictment) on the perceived views of the Australian public and the (thankfully waning) power of the Murdoch press to protect its Coalition puppets by attacking Labor policies that stray too far towards fairness.
In QLD, the Palaszczuk government’s fawning courtship of Adani is a case in point. I had hoped that a state Labor government might look past the kickbacks of the coal industry, but I couldn’t have been further from the truth. It isn’t accurate to describe the Palaszczuk government as prostituting itself to Adani because prostitutes get paid. Both federal and state governments have been giving it away like a divorcee at a wedding, promising interest free loans, free water and concessions around royalty payments for the privilege of letting a shady billionaire vandalise a large section of our country and plunder a resource that will be increasingly redundant as renewable energy technology continues to replace it (sorry Mr Abbott, it is going to happen- you are once again on the wrong side of history, but I guess you are used to that).
And I get it. As much as I just simplified it, policy is complicated and usually influenced by self-preservation. The Adani project may bring jobs to North Queensland (much less than its proponents make out and at the cost of far more if we can’t protect the Great Barrier Reef from its direct environmental impact and the ongoing threat of global warming), but it is still fundamentally bad policy for so many reasons that have been spelt out clearly in the public dialogue around this project.
At the federal level, and to his credit, Shorten’s Labor Party has shown a willingness to ideologically distance itself further from the Coalition than during the Rudd/Gillard years, but don’t make the mistake of thinking Shorten has much in common with Jeremy Corbyn.
I still have serious issues with a number of ALP policy platforms (usually the ones that they share with the Coalition), but- as national debt crosses half a trillion dollars for the first time ever and all the second term Coalition government can say is, “it’s Labor’s fault,”- they are still a vastly superior choice to our current government. So I will unhesitatingly preference the ALp ahead of the Coalition, but that doesn't mean I support all of what they stand for.