The election has been called for May 18, 2019, which means we have a solid month of hard-core political campaigning ahead of us.
I’m already exhausted.
Promises will be made – aka, lies will be told. We’ll get sick of seeing headshots of Shorten and Morrison popping up in the news every night, debating this or that as they sledge each other.
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And in amongst all of that, we as voters have to try and get across each party’s policies, so we can decide who to vote for, and who might be in the best position to lead our country.
On the one hand, I am VERY grateful to live in a country where our right to vote is a given. In other parts of the world, people fight for this basic right; in some countries, this fight has cost lives. We are endlessly lucky to be living within a functioning political system where we are handed the ability to vote on a platter.
Beyond this, however, I have to admit I’m disheartened about the state of Australia’s political system right now.
We have the Liberals: a political party so volatile and dysfunctional, it has internally ousted its own leaders twice in recent years.
Then we have Labor, the party that is “for the people”. Amongst other things, they are proposing changes to negative gearing that have the power to completely transform housing and the economy. If they are elected and negative gearing is radically reformed as per their plan, we will see:
• Investors fleeing the property market.
• Therefore, there will be fewer rental homes available, which will push up rents.
• There will be less demand for property, which could see property prices fall further. However, all those first homebuyers who want to see houses become more affordable won’t be able to get their foot on the ladder, because they’ll be struggling to save a deposit while paying their sky-high rent. The millions of homeowners already in the market, will also see their equity and wealth fall.
• The economy will take a massive hit. The property industry employs 1 million Australians, directly and indirectly. If the property market is slaughtered after tinkering with negative gearing, we’ll see property-related small businesses struggle, unemployment figures rise, and household wealth levels drop.
Voting for the Liberals doesn’t feel like a vote for stability of government.
Voting for Labor doesn’t feel like a vote for a stable economy.
When viewed in this light, it doesn’t seem like much of a choice…