Sunday, September 1, 2013

It's Election Time in Australia

Where does the time go?

I haven't blogged since March! That's not entirely true, I blog at my personal work related blog and I also blog for work! The past few months have been eventful, my partner and I are looking to buy an apartment, we found a really nice one on the south side of Sydney about three stops from the airport. It's still under construction and we can't move in until the first quarter of 2015. While that feels like forever away, it's not really.

I changed jobs in June, I'm now working for an Oracle reseller - we sell and implement Eloqua a marketing automation platform. I'm loving it, I'm consulting with clients and building our own digital marketing campaigns. I geek out when ever I get to look at the campaign stats, it's fun.

Election Time

Australia heads to the polls this time next week. The battle is essentially between the conservative Liberal Party (Republicans) and the more left leaning Labour Party (Democrats). However compared to both US parties, the Australian parties are both left leaning.

The marriage equality debate has come up and there are groups doing their best to ensure it stays on the agenda, but I don't see it playing a big issue in this election. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has come out saying he's supportive of marriage equality, the first sitting Prime Minister to take that position.

How Will I Vote?

While I might say I'm really not sure, I think I've made my mind up. I should confess I've voted Liberal most of my life, however that's changed over the past few years. About five years ago I lived in Dayton, OH for six months. While living there I would catch up with the VP of sales of the company I was consulting to.

We had great conversations, always about the things you should never discuss - religion, politics and sport. The VP was Jewish, a great guy and very open minded, so the conversations were excellent.

The night of our last dinner/catch up he told me that while I may have presented myself as a Republican (in US terms), he felt that I was more so a fiscally conservative social democrat. I liked that, it made sense. I could wear that badge.

So in Australia, that would translate to me voting Labour. Although some may disagree with the dots I've joined to reach that conclusion. The main issue for me is that the Australian Liberal Party's social polices are so draconian and offensive, it leaves me no choice but to vote Labour.

Let's See What Happens

I'm reasonably certain the Liberal Party will win this election, current polling suggests as much. Will this throw Australian back 20 years from a social policy point of view? Perhaps. There is a glimpse of hope that in the marriage equality area the Liberal Party will allow a conscious vote, however to date they've said they will not.

Tony Abbott's (possibly new Prime Minister next week) sister is gay, Christine Forster. Forster was reported* as saying:

"Tony Abbott's sister has revealed that the Opposition Leader felt "conflicted" about voting in Parliament against marriage equality last year. 
Speaking on the ABC's , Christine Forster, who is gay, said her brother's view that marriage is only between a man and a woman is slowly "shifting". 
"There's been a significant shift in how he approaches this whole question," she said."

So, we'll see what happens.

*SOURCE: Yahoo7 News

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