Victorian State Election 2014

Oct 22, 2014

The Victorian State Election is just six weeks away. In my electorate of Melbourne, four candidates are running representing The Greens, Liberal, Labor, and The Sex Party. I wanted to take a look at their policies.

Liberal

The Liberal Party is the incumbent, and are running on an all-growth all-the-time platform. There are a number of issues I have with this.

First, it reminds of the children’s book A Fish Out Of Water. A boy buys a fish, feeds it too much, then it continually grows until it doesn’t even fit in a swimming pool and emergency measures are needed. Adapting our city to thrive in a world of climate change and environmental exhaustion is a complex problem, and instead of tackling it the Liberals are charging straight-ahead with blinders on.

Second, the “community safety” plan feels populist and draconian. “Jail means jail”, harsher sentencing, CCTV installations, and our own war on drugs, with no policies for addressing underlying drivers of crime. This is a scary trend that threatens to further marginalise non-mainstream society.

Third, their policy covers literally nothing else. Growth and cops, that’s it. I do believe infrastructure is important, but this is a dangerous way to go about it.

Liberal’s vision is not for a society I want to live in.

The Sex Party

At the other end of the spectrum are The Sex Party. With the exception of acknowledging “that both East-West Link and Melbourne Metro Rail are two vitally important infrastructure projects”, they have no economic policies whatsoever. They do have some nice rights-based ideas–sensible drug decriminalisation, stronger statutory privacy protections, voluntary assisted-dying1–but they have some insanely radical ones as well. “Removing all the states and territories” needs a bit more justification, and “Medicare co-payments […] for a range of sex worker services for the disabled and elderly” seems fiscally irresponsible.

Labor

Labor has an impressive spread of policy. It includes everything from large road and rail infrastructure projects to token animal rights policy and an extra sports holiday. (One sports holiday just isn’t enough.) If they added a statement on Climate Change it would actually be pretty good, but without it shares a growth obsession with Liberal.

Greens

The Greens are the only party I can identify with. They have sensible ideas about the environment and rights, balancing it with politically acceptable growth and infrastructure policy. I have been impressed with both Adam Bandt and Senator Ludlum’s representation federally over the last couple of years, and am hoping to see Ellen Sandell do the same at state level.

On November 29th I’m voting Greens first because they have the best policies. Labor second, because they are a better choice than Liberal. The Sex Party third: they’re crazy and I hope it gives the Liberals something to think about that they ranked below them.

  1. The Sex Party also rejects punishing clients of sex workers, which is “currently only supported by some conservative elements within the Liberal Party and the Greens.” I’m pretty sure that’s the only policy those two agree on.