You know a party is in trouble, when it attacks the country's institutions. Victoria will go to the polls in November this year and Premier John Brumby will try to get a mandate. He did not win office, but inherited the Premier's chair from Steve Bracks, who to everybody’s surprise at 52 retired as Premier of Victoria on 27 July 2007.
Labor's new 176-page draft policy platform contains threats like pushing for Australia to become a republic or trying to rewrite Victoria's constitution. Victoria's constitution, written in 1855 and repeatedly amended since, is now unnecessarily complicated Labor says, and it will seek cross-party support to rewrite the constitution to make it "a readable and accessible document for all Victorians". Well, tell that the US citizens, whose constitution was written in 1787!
Today’s Age published some other key elements of the Victorian ALP’s manifesto:
■ Funding new hospitals and health services to cope with an ageing population (about 1000 Victorians a week turn 65).Would anybody guess that the same party that puts these points into its election platform has been in power for nearly eleven years and is responsible for all the failures it is promising to fix?
■ Boosting early childhood services and building more kindergartens to cater for the population boom (about 200 babies are born every day).
■ "Greening" Victoria through policies designed to tackle climate change and move the state away from its overwhelming reliance on ''dirty'' energies, such as brown coal.
■ Confronting Victoria's booze culture by launching new education campaigns on the dangers of binge drinking.
What about this hypocritical slogan of “greening Victoria and tackling climate change”? In 2008, brown coal fueled 96 percent of the electricity generated in Victoria, making it a huge contributor to our total greenhouse gas emissions. Over the last 10 years, Victoria’s reliance on coal has increased. Hazelwood power station produces 19 million tonnes of greenhouse pollution every year. This is the same amount produced by all of Melbourne’s 1.4 million households. It was due to be decommissioned in 2009 until the state Labor government extended its licence to pollute until 2031. Why would anybody believe that the ALP, so highly dependent on donations from both the unions and the coal industry, could tackle the climate change issue?
And how would a re-elected Labor government be able to “fund new hospitals and health services” after John Brumby agreed to hand over responsibility (and 30 percent of the state’s GST) to Canberra? Put up more speeding cameras to generate income? Or allow even more gambling machines? Mr Packer will certainly put up new casinos should Labor give him more licences (after he donated something to the party's war fund, of course).How will Mr Brumby finance programmes to rehabilitate pocker machine addicts?
Where does this obsession with “binge drinking” come from? “Launching new education campaigns”. Why do schools fail to explain the dangers of legal and illegal drugs? Instead of new “education campaigns” schools should be able to fulfil this task, they can do this at lower costs and in a more comfortable environment for the pupils.
And of course Labor does not go to the heart of the problem. If there are issues in Melbourne’s city centre, then it is to a great part due to the fact that there is no public transport at night worth that term. Come midnight and everybody who is in the centre, will not find a train or tram to return home safely. “Livable Melbourne” is not a 24-hour-city, but a six a.m. to ten p.m. city.
Will we see an ALP policy for the miserable public transport situation in Melbourne? The ever expanding city boundaries make Labor proud, but that these “working families” are left out in the boon docks without a proper train or even a decent bus service. For more than 40 years Melbourne has not seen any expansion of its rail network. When a new 500 metre tram line was inaugurated two years ago, the whole media staff of the minister was over excited and lobbied the servile TV stations dutifully reported on this great achievement of the state government.
And this is how the metropolitan rail network looks like:Should anybody believe, a returned Labor government would be willing and able to start the necessary major work?
Republicanism a vote puller?
But instead of dealing with the necessary basic duties of the state’s administration, Labor gives the impression of living in an ivory tower and preferring to attack our Constitutional Monarchy, the only institution neither Labor nor John Brumby have full control of. The platform says Labor will conduct plebiscites to demonstrate support for an Australian head of state, and will then "initiate an appropriate referendum" on a republic. What a rubbish! Does the ALP intend to hold plebiscites in Victoria? Every voter can see through this cheap stunt.
The Victorian ALP has been renowned for its dirty tricks in election campaign, but the attack on our Monarchy puts the crown on all the previous experiences.
Nothing of this policy platform is promising an honourable policy after the November elections. This government has passed its use-by-date.Victoria was the fist colony to show Queen Victoria on its stamps, the "half lengths" (1850-56) showing the Queen with her sceptre and orb in a half-length portrait.