November 11th, 2007


Social Policy

What influences the way you vote?

Some D&M Research polling quoted by Crikey asked voters why they were planning to vote against a particular party:

Voters were concerned about returning the Coalition because of:

  • The "it's time" factor (18%)
  • Distrust (14%)
  • Peter Costello (14%)
  • WorkChoices (14%)
  • Social policy (12%)

In contrast, voters hesitated supporting Labor because of:

  • The economy (21%)
  • Lack of experience (17%)
  • Distrust (16%)
  • Unions (14%)
  • "All the same" (6%)

It's a rather random collection of answers, so feel free to make up your own.

Put me down for 12% and 6%. I think all my voting decisions are related to social policy. Either party can manage the economy. Both have some good politicians and some lousy ones. WorkChoices, taxes, election promises - they're of vague interest, but I'm not going to base my voting decisions on them.

On the other hand, some things piss me off.

Take the NT intervention for example. Let's put aside the cynicism about its timing and the Government's hopes that it would become an election issue. It's the execution that matters. It's a well meaning initiative with a corrupt execution. Scraping the permit system doesn't lower crime or abuse. By contrast, it can open up Aboriginal areas to further problems. Scraping CDEP doesn't help. If you want to scrap it to save money, do it as a separate initiative; don't bundle it in with a half-arsed response to the Children Are Sacred report. What's wrong with restricting the intervention to the good bits? Or even... giving communities the resources to deal with problems so that you don't have to send in defence forces and teams of doctors to do partial screening of children?

I understand that they want to get into power and don't want to rock the boat, but Labor have done a disservice to rural communities by not calling out the problems with the intervention.

Then I have gripes with foreign policy, imported copyright laws, etc. Oh, and bad legislation in the name of national security. More on that one another time...