Election 2010: What Matters To You?

Politicians and the media love dictating the issues to us. But in a democracy, it should be the people who decide what’s important and where the debate should be.
Kevin Rudd was big on that, hosting the Australia 2020 Summit to decide how the country should be run. But only 1,002 out of more than 22 million people got a chance to attend, so it’s likely you weren’t there. Julia Gillard also seems to like the idea, promising a “Citizens Assembly” of 150 people if she’s elected, that will determine her climate change policy. Elections, of course, give us a chance to have a general say on many issues.

Triple J’s brilliant current affairs program Hack has opened it’s “Straw Poll” where you can vote which issues matter most to you. Last week Mia Freedman asked her staff and readers what matters to them. Part of the ABC’s fantastic election sentiment site, Campaign Pulse, gives you the choice to rank ten issues (the results of which so far put everything except defense above immigration).

If I had to break my priorities down to a list of 10, here’s what matters most to me:

  1. Climate Change
  2. Foreign Aid
  3. Health
  4. Same Sex Marriage
  5. LGBT Rights (adoption, etc)
  6. Internet Filter
  7. National Broadband Network
  8. Education
  9. Economy
  10. Population, immigration, on-shore processing.

Some of those were extremely hard to rank in order, but it’s a rough approximation. How about you? What issues will decide who you vote for this election? What’s your Top Five (or ten, or twenty)?

2 thoughts on “Election 2010: What Matters To You?

  1. I’d probably cheat and roll same sex marriage in with LGBT rights, I think marriage is part of a broader rights/discrimination issue. (and well done to the government for the work done so far. More to do, bit it’s a start). In all honestly it’s also such an easy fix. All they parties have to do is change the wording of some laws here and there and ba-da-boom official discrimination ends. Discrimination in the community is more difficult, but at least the government can fix the government side of things….But having just consolidated one of your categories, I was sorely tempted to break up health into a few separate ones: Health and Hospitals, Mental Health and Preventative Health. But I’d put them in a block on the list anyway, but I think each requires special attention, especially mental health. Counselling and psychological services should be covered by Medicare, period. No one’s offering that though…And I’d also put indigenous issues up there – it’s always the elephant in the room of Australian politics that’s wheeled out every so often, but it’s really not made any waves at all this campaign. I also don’t know how much differentiation there’s likely to be between the major parties… And, as usual, it’s not an election issue in the papers, which is part of the problem.So here’s the list:1. Environment/Climate Change (I think we forget that climate change is part of a broader swag of environmental issues sometimes).2. Health (see above)3. Indigenous issues (esp. Closing the Gap – 17 years lower life expectancy if you’re Aboriginal or Torres Straight Islander is still a national disgrace) 4. Poverty/Welfare reform5. NBN/national infrastructure6. Ageing population (I can hear the tumble-weeds on this issue….) My mum is single, not wealthy and in her mid 50s. I imagine she’s pretty common, and I do worry about how it’s going to be for her in 10 or 15 years time…7. Humane treatment of asylum seekers8. Education (it’s gotten better recently, but still more to do!).9. Economy10. Housing affordability (as one who does not own a house yet…)

  2. Here's my top 6, basically in order1. Planning for our Ageing Population2. Population sustainability (Water/ infrastracture)3. Health care – Expand nurses 'acting as doctors' for generic conditions4. Economy – keeping it keeping on5. Education – more placements with better lecturers6. Transport – Some how fix it

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