This might seem like a dull question, but it's more important than you'd expect. All too often we see people blindly following a party without paying close attention to their political standings and policies.
Without taking a regular moment to pause and compare the parties, you could be left following a party which no longer aligns to your political standing. A long running trend we've seen is all of the major federal parties slowly shifting to the right. The Australian Liberal Party has traditionally sat on the mid-right side of the political spectrum, with the Australian Labor Party traditionally sitting to the mid-left. That left the Australian Greens sitting on the far left.
At present, we can see how far they have moved! The Liberal party still arguably sits on the mid-right, but so does the Labor party! Albeit still more to the left. The Greens on the other hand have moved from quite an extreme left party to one sitting comfortably on the left, although we would not go as far as saying they are mid-left (yet).
The interesting challenge for voters in the 2016 Federal Election, was differentiating between the standing and policies of Labor and Liberal (which is exactly why we created Political Australia!).
So, do you read up on the party you're supporting regularly?
Put on your voting hat, only two sleeps to go until the 2013 federal election! Today the Liberal party announces the policy costings, releases and retracts an internet filtering policy, and all the while Labor just waits for the final polls!
Coalition Costings Announced
Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey today announced final policy costings and budget cuts which will result in significant cuts to foreign aid spending. Hockey claims the cuts are necessary to "grow" Australia's economy.
"We can only be a more generous nation to the rest of the world if we have a strong Australian economy," he said. "And so we are reducing the growth in foreign aid by $4.5 billion over the forward estimates to fund essential infrastructure here in Australia."
Liberal intends to spend savings primarily on infrastructure projects, including $1.5 billion on Melbourne's East West Link, $1.5 billion on Sydney's WestConnex and another $1 billion on an upgrade to Brisbane's Gateway Motorway.
The Liberal Party says this along with other smaller custs bring the total amount of budget savings to approximately $40 billion.
Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has slammed the figures as a "farce". "They've been hiding their costings and we know why. There's some shockers in this document."
The Liberal Party expects to earn $93 million through a "stopping the boats dividend". This will be balanced by $75 million worth of costs this year by keeping the fringe benefit tax exemption on company cars, which will amount to $1.9 billion over the next four years.
The party says its 1.5 per cent paid parental leave levy on big business will earn $300 million in each of the first two years of operation. It is tipped to increase to $3.8 billion in 2016-17, though it is unclear what is behind this increase.
Liberal Internet Filter
Early Thursday, the Liberal party released a document on enhancing child safety online forcing mobile phone operators and internet providers to install filtering services to block adult content.
This policy was quickly retracted a few hours later leading to much confusion within the Liberal Party. In particular, this lead to the Liberal's communication spokesman Malcolm Turnbull promoting the policy on Triple J's Hack, before quickly retracting it. Awkward!
Labor? Just sitting quiet!
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has used his last set-piece address to the nation before Saturday's election to attack the Coalition as "cynical" and defend Labor's time in office.
In the mean time Mr Rudd is spending his time campaigning in western Sydney where a number of Labor Party held electorates are in threat of swinging to Liberal. It seems their strategy is to lay low and keep quiet in the lead up to the election!
So how does Liberal's costing impact you? Is the cut in foreign aid an un-just move or does it give Australia room to grow and improve aid in the future? Add a comment to our Home Page!
With only two weeks to go until the 2013 election, the Australian Labor and Liberal Parties are neck and neck in media polls; and the leader of each party knows it! Things are starting to get heated, so here's a snapshot of the week's happenings in Australian Politics:
What were the key events relevant to you this week? Add a comment to our Home Page!
Our friends over at http://www.chickennation.com/ have come up with this really clever illustraiton about the preferential voting system. In this comic, Dennis the Election Koala gives Ken the Voting Dingo an important (but simple) lesson about how the preferential voting system works and explains why his vote counts, not matter which party he votes for.
Here's a brief comment and analysis piece pulled together by The Guardian covering Sunday nights leader's debate.
According to a vote conducted by the ABC, the general feel of the audience was that Abbott won the debate, however in a sign of disillusionment, 24% of respondents felt there was no clear winner. For more, read the ABC's article Vote Compass: Tony Abbott won leaders' debate.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says he would willingly debate Kevin Rudd in parliament or in an election campaign and calls on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to name an election date as he also discusses his policy aims.
In his first in-depth interview since returning as Prime Minister and before visiting Indonesia, Kevin Rudd outlines his views on asylum policy while also challenging Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to debate policy in the lead up to the federal election.
Julia Gillard says she congratulates Kevin Rudd who won the leadership ballot 57 votes to 45. In this video, Gillard looks back at her legacy, including reforming education funding and disability care, and making life easier for the next woman to be prime minister.
The Federal Government, through a $40m investment, has backed the formation of a powerful new partnership between the University of South Australia and SA Pathology to accommodate and support the growth of the Centre for Cancer Biology (CCB).
The Centre has a specific focus on fundamental research that is relevant to many types of cancer, as well as the research of blood-related cancers, such as leukaemia and lymphoma, which account for nearly 20 per cent of cancer mortalities in Australia and more than one third of cancers in children.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has left Perth after a two day visit where she's made expensive promises in all three of Labor's seats. One of the key offerings is new school funding to Western Australia as part of the Gonski plan.
Hello and welcome!
Political Australia is here to provide a current and simplified view of the Australian Federal Political system, and create a platform for you to share your opinion on the state of Australian Politics. Here, you’ll find:
Political Australia is all about what matters to you, which is why if you have any feedback we would love to hear from you. Simply contact us!
Kevin Rudd says Labor has a strong chance to build its case for re-election and makes the case, and also highlights the importance of the coming China/US summit.