No need to hanker after your childhood, or having missed out on kindergarten. You can experience the same thing by visiting a pre-polling booth this week. The major parties will wipe your nose for you, reassure you that they will deal with your worries, and then you can run along and play outside.
Labor and Liberal Upper House How-To-Vote material treats Victorian voters like dull kindergarten kiddies, and is an insult to our intelligence.

“Simply place number 1 in the Liberal box ABOVE THE LINE” coo the Liberals. “There is no need to number any other box”. It’s OK, darling, you’ll learn to count next year. No names anywhere to be seen -just a simple nose-wipe.

The ALP takes a more artistic approach. Eight diagrams, with the name of each region above a BIG BLACK LINE and rows of boxes (even pre-schoolers know up/down and the bright ones will know above/below). Put Number 1 in the correct box above the line says the ALP; below, however, the boxes are nearly obliterated by the reassuring message “NO NEED TO MARK THIS SECTION”.

What? Isn’t this an ELECTION? Isn’t this OUR four-yearly chance to choose the people who are going to represent us? We can bring our own hankies, tissues and brain power.

Why are the major parties so keen to keep us in a comforting fog of ignorance? Why are they are actively discouraging us to think about who would be the best individuals to make a vibrant Upper House? They don’t even show the courtesy of naming those valiant souls - their own loyal members - who have agreed to put their names forward as numbers 2, 3, 4 etc. on the ballot paper - at least the Greens and the Democrats have been polite enough to their candidates and us voters to name their also rans just in case we might want to make up our own minds” says Jenny Warfe Blue Wedges spokesperson.

So, what else don’t the major parties want us to think about? Daily we are force fed what they WILL do – but what about those matters on which they are conveniently keeping silent? NO GO issues include:

  • The controversial and unarguably environmentally risky Channel Deepening in Port Phillip Bay – conveniently shelved until after the election
  • The Port of Melbourne Corporation development plan, which aims to cater for 4 times the volume of container and truck traffic through the Port and nearby suburbs by 2035
  • The proposed toxic waste dump in the Bay off Brighton
  • The real economic costs to Victoria of this project 
  • The Port of Hastings strategic plan, which aims to cater for a further 3.7 million containers per annum by 2035 (twice the current volume of Melbourne), with 3,410 truck trips and 16 trains per day through the surrounding regions, whilst Port of Melbourne also quadruples
  • The steady loss of Victorian manufacturing jobs whilst imports continue to grow exponentially

Port development and threats to the livelihoods of the thousands who rely on our healthy Bays is only one of many such crucial matters which should be on the table, but which are instead behind the curtain. So Mr. Bracks and Mr. Baillieu – wake up! Your children are no longer in kinder. They have graduated. We can think for ourselves too. Pull back the curtain and cut out the paternalistic insults.

(Authorised by J Warfe Foord L Dromana)


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