My father was a bricklayer, he suffered from back pain and a serious dislike of the Liberal party. In an era of Bob Hawke, Paul Keating and Jeff Kennett – my parents weren’t short on the meaty politics that could quickly whip up dinner party conversations.
I wasn’t quite old enough to vote when Kennett became Premier of Victoria in 1992 but I certainly remember the impassioned arguments. When my best friend’s older sister went against the fold of her migrant, working class family to vote Liberal, we couldn’t quite believe it. She might’ve been making perfect sense, but we grew up believing that you never, ever voted for the Liberal party.
My father once had a letter published in a major newspaper and was convinced someone had been spying on him when he received Liberal party pamphlets in the letterbox shortly afterwards. I love these stories. They remind me of my grandmother’s house and discussions about someone knowing someone who knew Paul Keating’s son. I still take a wide berth from people handing out Liberal party ‘how to vote’ cards at polling booths.
So why do I feel so jaded with the Labor party?
At the core of it, and because I don’t know enough about policies and spin and what garners votes, I’m disenchanted with the idiocy of both major parties. My stomach found voting for either at the last federal election impossible. But it’s the Labor party who have disappointed me the most.
While the ALP and the Coalition are busy appealing to the lowest common denominator, racing each other to the bottom in the asylum seeker debate and marginalising single parents – they are disillusioning a whole new raft of voters. It is only thanks to the Christopher Pynes, the Tony Abbotts and the Scott Morrisons that I’m still here. And I’m hanging by a very very thin thread.