Their opponents are the conservative party.
And that conservative party - somewhat deceptively titled the Liberal Party - believes in all of the above, only more so, plus a wide range of environmentally destructive measures (cutting that pesky "green tape"), Trickle-Down Reaganomics, vilification of the gay population, demonising of indigenous Australians, the victimising of any unemployed seeking state assistance, workplace "flexibility" facilitating the poor treatment & easy disposal of unwanted employees and a massive prioritising of road projects over public transport. Oh, and they've got an itchy trigger-finger for public broadcasting. In short it represents rule by business for business. Really old school, short-sighted, two-fisted, big dirty business.
The presence of a host of smaller parties on the political scene seems mostly not to register with the electorate. This may be a product of the coverage given to them by our media. There isn't any. Meanwhile, the years of spin over substance in election campaigning have spilled into day-to-day politics - scant detail, a mantra of simple slogans or generalisations and high-visibility photo ops are the order of every day. Voter disengagement is widespread, and the barely distinguishable large parties now focus their concentration intensely on a handful of marginal electorates, obeying the "wisdom" of daily opinion polls and focus groups in reshaping policy, regardless of how far from their original ideals this process wrenches them. Whatever it takes to please the mighty marginals.
So if you do stick with the big boys it's become a choice between centre-right and far-right. At the moment the omnipresent polls are frowning on the Labor Party's grey, bureaucratic Kevin Rudd, and predicting a win for Liberal leader Tony Abbott, a conservative Catholic monarchist pugelist with a dubious reputation for his treatment of women and taste in swimwear.
It's a depressing prospect. Even attempting to follow the detail can be grinding. So it was nice to get a smile yesterday, even a wry one, from discovering this piece of street art in the city, which summed up my feelings perfectly.
|Finger lickin quality from artist Sitt Sitlakone.|