Friday, March 09, 2007

NSW Elections: Decisions, decisions! Mummy Party, Daddy Party, or "The Kids"?

DH reckons that we should call things by the name that most accurately defines them.

"Labor" is a name that comes straight out of the 19th and early 20th century, and is no longer terribly relevant. What Labor now stands for, or should stand for, is social justice and compassion, nurturing and looking after people, being indulgent and forgiving of all it' wayward children, traditional "Mummy" values.

The Liberal party no longer stands for laissez-faire values, being more concerned with surveillance, control, and punishment. Its strict, prudent, punitive attitudes, are all traditional "Daddy values". Vote for them if enjoy being sternly disciplined from time to time. Just watch out for an outbreak of "Deadbeat Dad" values when the Daddy State tries to do a runner on his Welfare Mummy bride, abandon the kids and refuse to pay maintenance so they can get an education, get their teeth fixed let alone buy new shoes.

Being a mummy herself, DH makes no secret of being a card-carrying member of the Mummy Party, and reckons that in the Inner West, you can't beat the excellent trifecta of Tanya Plibersek, Verity Firth and Alice Murphy. Although how Joe Tripodi, the Leb Maronites from Fairfield, Michael Costa's shining pate, Leo McLeay's son and heir, shonky "builders", and assorted alleged wife-beaters and pedophiles, to name just a few, got their ugly mugs into this cosy picture of domestic bliss and harmony is anyone's guess.

Having once been a Kid herself, before she had to learn to balance budgets and get totally real, DH still has a soft spot for the Greens. The kids are the future and light the way forward, but DH isnt ready for generational change just yet

But wearing her Houso hat, she reckons Sylvia Hale should be up there in the Senate where she does a brilliant j0b keeping housing issues on the agenda.

DH feels a bit guilty for having a go at Morris Iemma simply because he looks so dorky - after all she is no beauty queen herself, so should not be endorsing Looksism. And Morris may yet turn out to be like the contender in Aesop's fable - Tortoise and the Hare - slow and steady wins the race.

Though heaven knows Debnam is no Hare. This is definitely the Race of the Killer Tortoises.

However, DH doesnt really fully understand why Debnam is so unpopular. Before she became a houso, she hung on precariously in a Bondi redbrick walkup, and was a School Councillor at one of the local public schools. Peter Debnam used to come in to advise the committee from time to time, and she found herself liking him despite an ingrained aversion to all things Liberal - she found him modest, earnest practical and helpful...

DH heard Cherie Burton speak at a public meeting in Glebe recently, and for the first time, she sounded like she was more across her portfolio, and generally more reasonable and even caring as far as mental health issues were concerned. The Labor party certainly seems to be moving to invest more in public housing, and clearly some of the old stock has to be rebuilt. However they badly and insensitively mishandled the way they notified Lilyfield residents of the imminent redevelopment, and have only themselves to blame if such behaviour costs them votes among their traditional bases.

DH's housing activist friends argue that the Govt is deliberately allowing housing stock to be run down in order to sell it off. They see the devil lurking in every detail. While DH loves to indulge herself in a good rant, personally she is more optimistic and doesn't believe everything is black and white, or that politicians are pure evil, or that community housing is a trap, or that a formula can never be found that would make public private partnerships work in the public interest. She is opting to work within an imperfect system as best she can - politics as the art of the possible. Or has she simply been co-opted by party membership in an era in which poll driven parties all espouse the same values, so that it becomes harder to take sides, and you end up being driven by tribal allegiances - barracking for one team against the other, when they both play by the same rules anyway, simply because you chose them for the colour of their shorts...

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