I did a little exercise with my Year 9 English class, looking at 10 random things they know to be true (and then they’d work it into poetry). I’ll skip the poetry today, but I figured it was a neat way to express my thoughts about Saturday’s election.
Maybe this won’t change your mind, maybe nobody will read it, but maybe it will change one mind. And that’s a start.
So…ten things I know to be true:
Labor is about people
And not just in some lame ‘all politics cares about people’ way, the Labor party is driven by the needs of people. All people, no matter your background or belief. The whole point of the party is to improve the living conditions of people. That’s the basic mission, that’s why I joined.
Labor is about learning
And so do I, and I care so much about education and I’m pretty sure everybody else in this country does too. And the BER was not a failure, it was a success. It put libraries into schools on the Central Coast that had never had one before. Teachers taught in the first new classrooms they’d taught in for their whole career. And that improved the lives of kids, and families, and communities – and that investment is going to continue with the plan for school improvement.
Labor is about the Environment
Big time. And not just the big story – putting a price on carbon pollution, even though that’s the biggest story there is – doing our bit to save the atmosphere of our only home planet. Labor protected vast tracts of marine life, the Murray-Darling basin, and started moving our economy to clean energy. That is all absolutely amazing stuff, and it’s already started to work.
Labor is about people with disabilities
That’s why the party legislated the NDIS and created DisabilityCare. That’s the equivalent of creating Medicare – something we now take for granted – and it’s not just for ‘those’ people, it’s for all of us. And it provides liberty and dignity to some of the most marginalised members of our community. Any party that looks out for ‘the forgotten people’ gets my vote.
Labor is about gay people
And not just on the marriage equality thing. That’s the superficial stuff. Labor went into the nuts and bolts of our legal system and removed over 86 separate pieces of discrimination against gay and lesbian people. Already done! Not to mention Labor’s long history of campaigning for gay rights.
Labor is about creating economic opportunities
The National Broadband Network is not just for getting True Blood faster (though I will be glad for that). It opens up whole new fields for business, employment, creativity and communications. There are possibilities attached to the NBN that we can’t even imagine today.
Labor is about health
Dental For Kids, Medicare Locals, GP Superclinics, these are all massive changes to the way people access medical treatment and they make life easier and healthier for everyone. Not only that, on the Central Coast Labor has opened a cancer treatment centre at Gosford Hospital – meaning people don’t have to travel to Sydney or Newcastle for treatment, they can do it here with their family.
Labor is about those who need the most help
Each year around 8000 people go homeless on the Central Coast, and the only real support we have for them is Coast Shelter. I got to see the amazing work that Coast Shelter does for people, and I’m proud that the Labor government managed to find nearly a million dollars to contribute to Coast Shelter. As a community we are at our best when we look after people who are at their worst and who need support to get back on their feet, and that’s something Labor believes.
Labor is about what makes us feel good
By that I mean art and culture, and music, and sport and fun. The Cultural Policy launched earlier this year was the largest investment in our culture and arts in a few decades. And Labor started Australia’s first Office of Live Music. Because it’s not enough to just live and work – to be fully alive we need to play and to appreciate the beauty of the world around us.
Labor is about you
It’s kind of hard to put into a small document like this everything that Labor has achieved for Australia. I have raved on Facebook for a month now about policy, but ultimately it all boils down to taking care of each and every person in the country. That’s what Labor believes in, that’s how Labor manages the economy so well. It’s not about waging war on any one group, or separating and dividing. It’s about uniting us all together, so that we can work together as a community to keep building our diverse and incredible society and preserving our beautiful and unique planet. And when you really think about it, that’s taking care of you.
So there you go. That’s why I joined Labor, that’s why I’m proud to say I’m voting Labor this election. It’s not some super-intelligent political decision, it’s just common-sense compassion, and a belief that we can all live in a better world.
Think about it 🙂