This week we focus on the upcoming election. An election which seems to be characterised by some uncomfortable choices to say the least.
Exempting ghostly appearances by Mark Latham and John Howard, we’ve moved on from 2004. And we’ve got some new vacuous personalities and superficial hairstyles to critique. But election time is when most of us start talking a bit more seriously about politics, so what policies are being discussed and what are the choices on offer for us?
We said that we’ve moved on from 2004, and the Howard years (which seem quite similar to the Rudd/Gillard years, really). Indeed, this election does feature some bad ol’ politics from the past. The ban on same-sex marriage came in just before the 2004 election, and is supported by both Liberal and Labor. It is six years since the ban, and though grassroots campaigning has changed the opinion of the majority of Australians to be supportive of same-sex marriage rights, we still have two parties that are supporting this homophobia. Our PM cops stick for not being in a ‘traditional’ relationship, for being an atheist, yet despite all of this, Gillard does not support equality.
Refugee scapegoating has been an issue in Australia for many years, but reached a climax with the ‘Tampa election’ of 2001. This is another area where Labor and Liberal have very similar policies: both atrociously inhumane. Labor says ‘stop the boats’. Liberal says ‘turn the boats back’.
Similarly, Tony Abbott is a disturbing option, a throwback to Howard-conservatism. He is upfront about some of his views about queers and women. But we know that Abbott has a dark past: denying women the right to choose when it comes to reproduction, and supporting the ban of homosexuality. Tony Abbott is a clever politician, and we know that what you see is not what you get.
From Gillard and Abbott, we also get the same views of a whole range of other issues. Both support the war in Afghanistan. Both support attacks on workers’ rights. Both want to cut taxes for the rich. Both will do nothing about climate change. Both will continue the genocidal policies against Indigenous people.
Join us on the show this week for a discussion about the election.We also encourage everyone to support the two rallies which will be coming up this weekend:
Friday, 13 August 2010, 5.30pm, State Library of Victoria
Saturday, 14 August 2010, 1pm, State Library of Victoria
And tune in for ‘Guy’s Gay Music History Corner’ with Guy Blackman. This week we play ‘Lesbian Nation’ by the band Lavender Blues from the album Wake Up Sister. They are an Australian act and the song is from 1978. We don’t know anything more about us. Please help us out!