Politics has been making me sick over the past week, physically. I have had diarrhoea and asthma, so you could say that the current election campaign is giving me the shits while leaving me breathless.
I believe in keeping informed, so I have been reading about the campaign in The AGE and listening/watching it on the ABC. And I am very concerned for the welfare of the poor and desperate if Tony Abbott gets in. I wonder if people who are unemployed and under 30 have heard about his plans to take away their dole payments if they don't move to where there supposedly is work, even though their might be no accommodation for them to move into, like in mining towns in WA and agricultural towns like Griffith. If they don't have a vehicle, how will they get around?
I wonder if people who are upset about electricity price rises realise that by doing nothing about climate change electricity prices will continue to rise as electrical generators continue to put off new investment in infrastructure and become more reliant on using expensive gas turbines to generate power. Gas turbines were originally built for peak period production of power, but are now being used to supply more of the base load, because of this, the energy generators are saying that electricity power prices will continue to rise. In Labour's rejected ETS package those on welfare and the poor were due to receive subsidies of 120% of increased costs due to the ETS's implementation.
Those who are so against refugees arriving by boat because of the failing infrastructure in Sydney, and vote for Abbott's reintroduction of failed boat people policies, will also be voting for an increase in boat people. This is because Abbott will do a nothing about climate change because he doesn't believe in the science, and rising sea levels, lack of water and the resultant wars will lead to tens of thousands of refugees flowing over our borders. They wont have to travel half way around the world to get here because the will be coming from nearby pacific islands.
I wonder if Nauru is prepared to house tens of thousands of refugees for years. In their desperation for money to boost a failed economy, they probably have not thought that far ahead.
I fear that the housing currently being built for Aborigines will be slashed. Labour had 300 houses built or being built last time I heard.
I also fear that when Abbott gets in he will say, as the conservative government in England said when recently elected and as John Howard said when elected in 1996, that the deficit was bigger than expected, so we have to cut cut cut. Currently in England they are trying to cut government expenditure by 40%. They want the poor to turn to charities. In New Zealand, upon election, the new conservative government put the GST up. So what and by how much will Abbott cut welfare, health, education when he gets in?
Interest rates will only go down under Abbott if all the cuts he makes to expenditure decrease Australia's growth, ie, if unemployment rises, so there will be more poor having to cope with less welfare and increased costs.
Because of the mining boom inflating our exchange rate, farmers will continue to find it hard to compete in overseas markets. Less tourists and students will come into Australia. What happens when the minerals run out? What happens when the rest of the world puts a carbon tariff on Australia's minerals and produce?
But at least the current political climate is good fodder for writers. If you are writing a novel set in the near future you have plenty of conflict to choose from.
In amongst coughing fits and trips to the thunder box I did a bit more writing of my novella this week. Parts of it are set in a future Australia, so it takes into account what a globally warmed world's collapsing civilisation might be like.