I am in a dilemma gentle readers.
For the last decade or so I have voted federally and state for The Greens but I have always made sure my preference ended up with the Labor Party.
I am a proud member of a union, I believe in caring for the environment, I believe in social justice, I believe in equal rights for gays and while I don't particularly care for gay marriage, I support those who see it as obtaining equal status. I strongly believe in good publicly funded education for children, I believe in publicly funded health care, I believe in looking after disabled people, I believe in a womens' right to choose, I believe in fair taxation to benefit the greater good, I believe in public transport... I could go on.
Aren't these all matters that the Labor Party are supposed to support. Aren't they the ideals of the Party? I used to think so.
The alternative, voting for the party who supports large businesses and rampant capitalism, excessive private profits, cares little for workers, cares little for the less fortunate in society, would have the richest people paying the least tax (as a percentage they do already), would ruin our public transport system and build freeways to every corner of the country, right through suburbs with flyovers everywhere, cares not for the environment any more than when when problems affect profits, would shut down public health care except for only the poorest of poor, would privatise every public asset, would demolish important historic buildings purely for private profit...no, my conscience would not allow me to vote for them. (If you doubt what I am saying, take a read of the book Weevils in the Flour and note just what the unfettered excesses of capitalism can do in a so called decent society)
But the Labor Party has lost its focus on its ideals. It still talks the talk, but has become a moderated shadow of the Liberal Party. I don't think I can support the Labor Party anymore.
I am not sure how I can vote to prevent my preferences going to the Labor Party without my vote going to the Liberal Party. I may just vote for The Greens, but vote informally. My vote won't count, but my displeasure will be noted.
There is not too much governments can do or not do that can't be undone or fixed by a following government. There are two that come to my mind though. Turning public land into private land is one, and the destruction of historic buildings and streetscapes is another. It is the latter that I feel most strongly about. I don't know if Planning Minister Justin Madden has been worse than his Labor or Liberal predecessors, but it certainly seems like it.
Martin Foley, my local Labor Party member, will not get my vote and while it is for many reasons, none would possibly tip me more than the State Government's Ministry of Planning and Planning Minsiter Madden's destructive actions. I hope the inner Melbourne Labor politicians who lose their seats in the forthcoming state election know where to firmly point their collective fingers. And Madden just thought Lonsdale House was an bothersome old building and the fuss would quickly die down. For some, seeing Lonsdale House destroyed in the name of pure profit was a life changing experience.