May 13, 2007

budget time

unless you were hiding somewhere warm and safe this past week, you will have noticed there's been a bit of budget brou-ha-ha going on. it must be said, i love nothing more than a good election campaign, a bit of budget biffo and the promise of an election year - that coupled with a tasty merlot, a comfortable couch and privacy for my rantings is simply hedonism.

i watched peter costello intently on tuesday night, listened earnestly to his words, promises, cash injections and the like, trying to see where the pitch was going. some readers may think budget announcements are dull, to say the least. rg says, the devil is in the detail so WAKE UP!! for half an hour, once a year, a politician that you pay for (and in so many ways) has the nation's entire bank balance in their hot, clammy hands. then they spend it. where do you fit in? how does this change your life, or those in your world? this is the stuff we all should care about; take an interest in. if someone walked into my house, took my credit card, mortgage title, savings details and anything else money-related and said, "rg, take a load off, i've got this covered so just relax," i think i'd (a) attack them, (b) interrogate them as to how they think they can spend my money better than me, and then (c) call the police. perhaps not in that order, apart from (a).

so why the difference with a federal budget? it covers tax rates, national infrastructure, biggies like water and climate protection (in theory), education, inflation, health (sometimes, but not this time) - all the essentials in our lives. how can this be boring? and in an election year, how can it be unimportant?

it's just not good viewing, i understand. at the best of times, there's something about costello that makes me want to slap him, even when he's not smirking. i suspect i'm not alone there. it's a big ask to stare at him as he pretends to be kind and generous and dole out national funds for an entire 30 minutes. but it's necessary. budget week is one of those rare weeks in an election year that if you're not paying attention, you miss a lot of the foundations that are carefully laid by each party as they rev their engines and start the fight on real turf - m-o-n-e-y - and battle for the hearts and minds of the public (i love that phrase!).

if you're the kind of person who's only interested in tax cuts, fair enough; each to their own. BUT is that cost of a pizza each week worth voting for a party who doesn't even mention health in the annual budget? it's worth sitting through the fiscal version of 'he said/she said' budget and opposition reply speeches for some food for thought, if nothing else.

votes are like virginity - something precious that you don't want to throw at the nearest dick asking for it. they have to be earned. the person holding it ought be respected, not lied to, conned or generally screwed over. you've got no idea who's trying to get into your pants if you don't ask questions or get informed.

the flirting is over; foreplay is just beginning.


missv said...

Nice new digs! You're making me feel guilty about my lack of interest in the federal budget - I think (for me) it comes from a combined feeling of powerlessness and cynicism.

Topics? Given your combined interest in politics and parenting, I'd be interested in your thoughts on this article from today's Age about how women are punished for having children.

RG - parental politico said...

excellent suggestion, miss v, thanks for pointing the article out.

i get your feeling of powerlessness and cynicism. but for me, there's a feeling of change in the air; a glimmer of hope, the smell of something that my sensory memory hasn't worked out yet. i'm clinging to it.

i've had this feeling before and it usually results in me bawling on election night and vowing to leave the country. the good news is, i think more people are feeling the winds of change across their faces and are refreshed by the breeze.

you're a voter and you're powerful!