“Who do you trust?” is the question the leaders of the two major political parties asked us on Sunday afternoon, once the election was called for Saturday September 7th.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says we should trust him and the Coalition to deliver certainty, stable government and “infrastructure of the future”; and to stop the carbon tax and “turn back the boats”.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says we should trust him to steer us through the end of the mining boom and set up a future for Australia’s children built on education reform, the national disability scheme and the national broadband network.
Mr Abbott says Mr Rudd and the Labor Party can’t be trusted with the economy because they embark upon “spendathons”.
Mr Rudd says Mr Abbott and the Coalition can’t be trusted with the economy because they’re got a $70 billion funding ‘black hole’.
It's hardly a surprise that the Greens Leader, Christine Milne, says that we shouldn’t trust either of them. Ms Milne said the Greens have “big things to deliver” in the next three years including making the big banks and miners pay more tax, support for renewable energy, a better deal for the unemployed and refugees and marriage equality.
While an election date is time to consider what we want as a nation, what we want as individuals or as a family unit is no less relevant. Every day, mums and families grapple with questions and juggle priorities from pregnancy right through to adult kids. For example:
- How can I afford to have a baby?
- How long can I have off work?
- Can I afford child care?
- Can I find child care?
- Will my work let me vary my hours?
- What if my child is sick and I need to leave early?
- How can I make sure my child gets the best possible education so she can be the best she can be?
- How can I afford the meat, fruit and veggies I should be buying?
- What can I do to reduce my costs on electricity, gas, the car, transport?
- How can my child play sport after school?
- How can I possibly afford to become a home buyer?
- Why is health insurance so expensive?
- What if I get sick?
- What if my child gets sick?
- What can I do to make sure my family doesn’t get sick?
- How can I possibly find some ‘me’ time when there’s so much to do?
- What about when dad’s dementia gets worse?
- What am I going to do when mum can’t look after herself or dad anymore?
These myriad personal issues form the broader issues that many people think are irrelevant to them, but they’re not. They go to the heart of health, childcare, education, workplace relations, cost of living, income support and aged care - and who pays what, that is, the balance between private and government contribution.
They are framed by big picture issues, on which there is not always a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer, despite how either side may paint it. For example:
- An issue such as what to do with asylum seekers is much more complex than simply stopping the boats or finding an island to accommodate people; it is also about our population and immigration policy and about how we see ourselves as a nation.
- The environment and a price on carbon is not as simple as what that price is; it’s also about whether we think Australia should become an active participant in future energy technologies and industries.
- An issue such as the levy on savings banks deposits isn’t a ‘double dip revenue grab’ by government as some commentators suggested; it’s about having appropriate insurance in place for our savings in case one of the banks go belly-up. It was recommended by the International Monetary Fund.
- And the national broadband network is not really concerned with how fast and how many movies your teenager wants to download at home, but about how being connected will revolutionise how we work, how we learn and the availability of health care.
We’re not going to tell you who to trust. And we’re not going to bombard you with election material either – there’s plenty of other mainstream mass media to do that.
But what we will do is continue to present facts and evidence, and give people an opportunity to voice an opinion, on the issues that are important to women and mums. These are the issues we present here at Motherpedia 365/7 because they affect our lives every day, not just at election time.
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If you want to make a contribution during the election campaign and it meets our editorial guidelines, we’d love to hear from you. Just email the editor at email@example.com