Julia Gillard will not be getting my vote when the next federal election comes calling. Nor will her local federal candidate in my electorate. The who I’ll vote for instead is easy – the Greens – but I want to justify the why.
In regards to the way she got the top job, and the toppling of Kevin Rudd, I really don’t care. In the end those shenanigans have just become bog standard politics in Australia; I’d suggest that while it’s the first time a sitting prime minister has been taken out by his/her own party in the first term, it won’t be the last. Democracy may be suffering the consequence of too much information. Or pandering to bogans. Or both.
But there are two key reasons why I won’t be voting for Julia or any of her cronies in the next election, and they’re outlined below.
Senator Conroy still has a voice
Senator Conroy, Australia’s (mis)communications minister who seems to understand about as much about the internet as Ted Stevens, remains the communications minister after the cabinet reshuffle. This odiously divisive politician, when he’s not jumping up and down telling the world that people who are against internet censorship are pro child pornography, gets away with such ridiculously inept statements such as:
There’s a staggering number of Australians being in having their computers infected at the moment, up to 20,000… uh… can regularly be getting infected by these spams or scams, that come through the portal.
Conroy (and for that matter, the federal Labor government overall) has routinely insisted that the mandatory, secretive filtering of the internet is vital for the protection of our children, while routinely ignoring other more likely protection techniques, such as those I outlined here.
With Conroy left in place, Julia has sent a clear “fuck you” message to the electorate when it comes to increasingly vocal concerns about the proposed filtering plans. In fact, with Conroy still in charge of communications given his ability to shoot down legitimate amendment proposals with statements like:
I’m not into opting into child porn
It’s clear in fact that Julia’s “fuck you” to the electorate ends with “…and the horse you rode in on”.
A lot of people seem to think that Conroy stupidly believes in the child-porn argument. Me? I’ve long since stopped following Hanlon’s Razor where this is concerned. I.e., it’s clear the government knows very well that child pornography is a tiny part of what they’re intending to use the internet filter for, but that’s the part they want to talk about all the time because it’s the most politically acceptable. After all, compare and contrast the following two statements – the first being what the government is saying, and the second being what the government is actually meaning. First, what they’re saying:
We want to block child pornography
Sounds admirable, huh? Hell, if that’s what the filter was specifically and only designed for, I’d be the first to sing its praises. But it’s not. The meaning behind what the government is saying is far more disingenuous:
We want to block anything we want to block, whether it’s currently illegal or not, without you having access to a list of what we block, or any independent voices involved in the blocking.
A lot less people, even a lot less bogans, will vote for the meaning rather than the lie.
They’re also (supposedly) failing Internet #101, talking of the internet as communications media, rather than a communications medium. As media, it would fall at least fall into the realm of conventional censorship (just like a regular video would); as a medium though, it’s entirely different. Where, for instance, are the postal filters?
In an interview in her first week of PM, Julia Gillard declared:
“We believe the marriage act is appropriate in its current form, that is recognising that marriage is between a man and a woman, but we have as a government taken steps to equalise treatment for gay couples”
(SMH, June 30, Gillard against gay marriage.)
Here’s a thought Julia. Arrange (with consent) to secretly film a collection of gay and lesbian couples and have them do exactly what heterosexual couples do – walk around in public holding hands, or putting their arms around each other, or even occasionally giving each other a peck on the cheek. That’s right, film them in supermarkets and in country town main streets, and schools and police stations and military installations, and all the other places that heterosexual couples do exactly the same thing.
Then when people stare at them, or snigger, or look at them with hate, or say hateful things, I dare you to have the guts to refute the argument that until the unions are named the same the treatment will never be the same. People get away with hateful acts and continue to think bogan bigoted thoughts because they’re allowed to continue to think that gays and lesbians don’t really get married, they just promiscuously fuck.
Bigoted people are obsessed in their little heads about what gays and lesbians get up to in the bedroom. (OK, the bogan bigots think there’s no harm in a cuddle for the lesbians, but you get my drift.) Why is that? Because “partner” and “union” and “defacto” have none of the hundreds of years of meaning that “marriage” does. I’m not talking religious meaning, I’m talking acceptance meaning. Unless they’re some celebrity of politician, 99.9% of the population doesn’t give a second thought to what married people do in the bedroom. But if they see a same sex couple, the alarm bells go off like it’s Defcon 2.
Julia’s statement, by the way, came only a day or two after also talking about religion, saying:
Former prime minister Kevin Rudd was a regular at Canberra church services and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is known as a devout Catholic.
In contrast, Ms Gillard says that while she greatly respects other people’s religious views, she does not believe in God.
Ms Gillard has been quizzed on personal topics including her attitude to religion and her relationship with her partner during interviews this morning.
She says does not go through religious rituals for the sake of appearance.
“I am not going to pretend a faith I don’t feel,” she said.
“I am what I am and people will judge that.
“For people of faith, I think the greatest compliment I could pay to them is to respect their genuinely held beliefs and not to engage in some pretence about mine.”
(ABC news, Tuesday 29 June, Gillard won’t play religion card.)
So if Julia won’t pander to religion, then her “marriage is between a man and a woman” seems to be more about bigotry – or at best hypocrisy – than anything else, since previously the federal governments (both liberal and labor) have described marriage effectively as a historically religious term.
As someone so recently remarked, we talk about human rights, not heterosexual rights. And last time I checked, I was still human. (Well, except in the eyes of the whacko Westboro Baptist church, the Texas GOP, and other suitably ‘charming’ people – where ‘charming’ is a negative value.)
Will labor win?
The big question is whether my vote will make a difference. I think there’s a strong chance that labor, with a fresh infusion of blood at the top, will win the next election. That doesn’t for a moment negate my need to very clearly state with my ballot paper how unhappy I am with them at the moment.
And it won’t stop me agitating.