It has finally, finally been announced.
John Howard finally got the balls up to call the election, on November 24.
I guess this has a few key issues to consider, but the more important one is, who will we be calling our Prime Minister?
John Howard – Liberal
Kevin Rudd – Labor
Both are capable leaders of our nation.
Both have differing views to my own.
I’ve been thinking considerably about what each might put out as reasons to vote for them.
I consider a few factors points that will sway my decision, below, not in order of anything really.
These are important to some extent, because employment depends on it. Jobs need to exist, and the employment pay is a driving motivator for having a job (or not).
Small business also depends on IR Laws, just as big business will.
Voting Howard: We see support for WorkChoices, which does indeed appear good, and from what I know it’s certainly sound, however, we are hearing reports that the uneducated, etc are being unfairly fixed into agreements.
Voting Rudd: No WorkChoices. This will see no change to the environment many are employed under now anyway.
My thoughts: Sure, if unemployment is low, the advantage of an agreement between employer and employee could work in the employee’s favour, but on the other hand, if competition heats up with unemployment, wages / hours could be negatively impacted. I think I support Rudd here and having no change to the system, sure it sucks to not be able to negotiate hours and pay, but then, it means that wages aren’t cut or hours are longer.
Teachers get paid a fortune for what they do. So they should, doing a good job earns them good pay. Training our youngsters is essentially dictating our future.
We don’t need teachers who are not capable of teaching children to be the best they can be, and helping them realise their potential.
My thoughts: I left out the comparison between Howard and Rudd on this one, mainly because I’m not fully aware of their policies. However, I do support the theory teachers should be commission paid. So, the students are tested on a national administered test on certain topics they should know and have a very familiar understanding. We use the results and find the average.
Teachers who perform excessively higher above the average are paid more. Teachers who underperform are given an idea of how they did perform and are then encouraged to perform better (meet the average marker).
This way, we bring all our nations learning into a set of areas that encourage teachers to encourage students. Teachers who are encouraged to help students will obviously be rewarded for the work they do.
The downside to this method is we might end up targetting regions, where we see some areas, where the population in general is not as capable as other highlight areas, and this could affect things for those who are really below average.
But then, everyone has the potential to be the best they can be, so the averaging would basically account for this.
Broadband / Communications
This topic has been a big highlight of the last year (and then some), it was promoted to the status of election issue after Telstra and G9 got down at each others throats and politics paid attention for once. Telstra’s whinging did a fair bit of that promotion, and now we might end up with an overall better outcome.
Voting Howard: The policy seen from them in this matter is already underway, they plan to have an Expert Taskforce review the matter, and basically determine themselves what works best for the nation as a whole, meeting several guidelines, of which users contributed to, and were acknowledged and encouraged into the final guidelines.
They plan to review proposals, and give whoever wins the rights to build the network at their own cost (no cost to taxpayers, will only service metro areas generally). Regional and Rural areas are considered with a few things, such as the OPEL ADSL2+ / WiMAX rollout, and the investment funds from the $2 billion communications fund investment. Good policy for now and into the future.
I still consider in my choice previous choices, such as selling Telstra with network assets.
Voting Rudd: The policy from Rudd’s party (and the silly Conroy) is to take $4 billion from the future fund and invest in a national public, private partnership for building FTTN with whoever has the best proposal to take the services to the people.
My thoughts: This idea works well to a good level, we see government investment into a public network, and the result for me, the end user is a connection that is built in a partnership.
The network would be open access, and considering it involved government funds, we see them basically maintaining an open network for all to access on fair terms.
The government gains a conflict of interest being the regulator and the investor here, again, but they rule each other out if they also have the pricing decisions in their control.
This leaves me to vote Labor, because the policy decisions Howard make are sound, very sound, however, we are far behind now, and we need to catch up. This requires some taxpayer bucks, unfortunately.
Global warming (or cooling) has been a hot topic for the last few years, mainly due to proof that the ice caps are melting as a result of the warm gases being pushed out from many of the planets countries.
The issue I am considering here is, who has the better plan to fight this nations global warming, and do little to contribute to any other nations warming of the planet.
Keep in mind also that Australia is not Chernobyl, and I don’t favour nuclear at all really.
Accidents do happen, incompetence happens, and we can’t have that, it’s too risky for us as a nation, without any adequate research, proving it is safe for us as a nation.
Voting Howard: The policy of Howard so far seems to be look at nuclear at all costs, determine its viability, and if it is safe for the nation and also viable, we can imagine they would invest in it.
Voting Rudd: Strict no nuclear policy. Which is just as acceptable, but what do you plan to do to remove coal burning down the ice caps?
My thoughts: This is a middle ground issue. Nuclear should be investigated and very thoroughly, no one should be able to do anything at all with nuclear power until they are proven completely capable and proficient in all aspects of nuclear power.
I suspect stronger training and strong auditing of the people working the nuclear operation, should one go ahead, be required. I suspect something like a strong training certification program, which requires them to identify how nuclear works, and what the big nos are in nuclear are indeed some of the key aspects.
Besides, there’s no point touching nuclear power if all we end up doing is basically the same level or higher damage that coal is doing to the planet now.
So, my voting decision isn’t influenced too much here, but indeed, I would be ok to see nuclear placed, so long as it is a safe medium, and one which is properly, and thoroughly reviewed, and no other options seem to stack up against it.
We have a sun to get power from, we have wind to get power from, and we have oceans we can probably find ways to get power from.. Nuclear isn’t looking necessary, and also, we shouldn’t become the planets dumping ground for nuclear waste..
How do you safely transport green goo across the ocean? How do you contain any damage that might occur ?
I don’t see Australia sparking much of a reason for a terrorism attack, that is, so long as we don’t give much reason to terrorists to want to attack us, or for any other country to invade us.
We should indeed be as neutrel as we can with as many other nations as we can, we should be a peaceful nation, but of course, we should also be able to assist other nations in their times of need.
Voting Howard: We can see from previous policy that they take a strong stance to supporting the war on terrorism, which is in a middle ground for me.
Voting Rudd: No real difference here.
My thoughts: I see reason to stop terrorism on a global scale, it affects people heavily.
I see reason to not get involved in terrorism related activities so that we aren’t seen as a country of interest to other nations that might decide to calculate plans of attack.
We should not be feared by all, but certainly not attractive to other nations as a viable attack.
So with all that in mind, I don’t get influenced by the security aspects just yet.
It is important that the nation as a whole recognises the need for people to maintain a healthy lifestyle and maintain their health as best as possible with the isolation and cure of the sick of the nation.
Voting Howard: Will we see more instances of health issues such as the issue recently exposed, the building of a mental health facility in NSW, yet, no staff. Will we see staff in all hospitals prepared to take on big health issues? Will dentist visits be free and easy to obtain, or should we instead, let the market decide with dentists opening their own shops and charging their own rates?
Private Health Cover works for many? Should this be enhanced in a manner that makes it acceptable to many more people?
Voting Rudd: See the same for Howard. Rudd has no experience here, how will he intervene on hot topics like many of the health issues exposed?
My thoughts: As long as we can get treatment for the sick and injured, and the level of treatment is of a good quality, there’s little to be swayed in a voting decision.
I recall that someone thinks dentists visits should be free (covered by medicare), I feel this is a double edged sword, with the nation paying for people’s fillings, extractions and cavity repair. User pays seems to work here, so long as the disadvantaged also get access to treatment, there’s little of concern.
The hot topic. How much will our taxes rise by under a Rudd government? Will Howard continue ridding the nation of debt, and continue with brilliant ideas, like the Future Fund to remove large expenses such as the public superannuation bill?
Voting Howard: Key economic decisions here all seem sound and doing well for our nation, he has seen us through with the GST being a invention of good measure to see prices drop across many industries. He has also seen us foster a relatively stable import / export, and has unfortunately seen the property issues we have today in NSW.
What do Howard’s people plan to do, to solve this issue of overpriced housing? People need walls, people can’t really afford to pay excessively high for those walls like many stupid people are doing now in NSW!
Voting Rudd: No clear policy on this.
My thoughts: I’m not aware of who has my interests here, and these will likely be exposed more clearly over the campaigns in the next six weeks.
We need some solution to the property issues, because we all want to own property, but there’s too many people getting too much for property. Market demands exceed supply. Sydney siders can’t all sell and move, so I think we know what is needed here.
We need more land zoned and more residential development done to allow for the market to level out.
We need business investing in the regional areas so that the demand is spread away from the heart of Sydney and placed in more areas across the nation.
I’m sure many businesses in Sydney could easily do business outside of Sydney instead..
Besides, with the residential boom, why has there been little boom in the business market? They didn’t just stack those businesses on top of each other to save zoning more land?
Oh wait, they did.
So we see now the issue. Business has little incentive to move out away from the city centre.
Residents can’t (and probably don’t want to) live on top of each other.
What could happen to solve this is zoning more land, or, many people selling up, scrapping the building and building multi levels on top of each other, than encouraging further take up.
If businesses are built on top of each other, the same will eventually apply to residential, otherwise, well, people end up travelling more than it is worth to simply get to work.
A tricky situation, I am unaware of any party policy on this issue, so this will be a influence on my decision.
That’s not all that will influence me either, so I am certainly keeping a keen eye out for who has my interests.
By the polls done online though, it looks like the inexperienced promotionalist, Kevin Rudd, seems to be winning.
I’ve generally been a Liberal supporter, but only because I find myself agreeing with the decisions and policy announced by Howard’s government now, such as the Future Fund, OPEL and the Communications Fund.
Be interesting to see who echos my thoughts in their campaigns (if anyone), but not just echo my thoughts, end up living up to those thoughts after elected.