Friday, 12 October 2007

My tax is paying for political campaigning and I'm sick of it

I received a thick booklet from the Prime Minister in the mail today. It's about keeping my internet safe for my family, a few weeks ago there was another publication promoting the government's activities. On the TV I've seen ads in prime time slots demonstrating how the government is apparently making the workplace fairer, improving superannuation, improving health care and making a difference in climate change. They have also just recently spent multi millions of dollars on things like hospitals in marginal seats for the upcoming federal election.

Whenever any of the government is asked about when the next election is, they smile, look at the interviewer and say "some time between now and December" , and every time I feel nauseous.

My tax is being spent on advertising, publications and questionable gifts to electoral regions who are being bought, and it's bloody obvious and infuriating. The advertising is one sided - the government is telling us how good they are. We can't argue - it's just there on the tv screen, in print, and in flash ads on most of the Australian webpages I read. There's no means of discussing these things, we're being dictated to, and people who have debated the responsibility of their advertising are being attacked by the government. They are stifling debate rather than embracing it, and they have the arrogant "I know what's good for you, just sit down and shut up while I do it" attitude.

Telling us that the government is deeply committed to solving climate change issues is just laughable - what about Kyoto? A year ago they said climate change was all baloney, despite an overwhelming mass of scientific data to the contrary. And now they have the hide to say they're leading the world?

It's time we had legislation that prohibits the misuse of government advertising, curiously absent in this country but present in Canada, the US, the UK and New Zealand.

If I see another blatant political ad under the guise of a government educating the people, I'm going to scream.

Again.

9 comments:

brenton said...

I'm right with you on this one... Do we think His Mighty Midgetness is going for blatant vote grabs with his announcement of a referendum to acknowledge aboriginals in the constitution?
Why not just say sorry?

Todd said...

Well sign up for this campaign, and encourage others...

http://www.getup.org.au/campaign/NotWithMyMoney&id=138

Also, check out this ad... and consider putting a link to the associated youtube clip on your site...
https://www.getup.org.au/campaign/ClimateCleverer&id=128

Trevor said...

Brenton: If he started saying sorry now - he'd have SO many things to apologise for he'd not be able to stop before the next election - whenever that is...

Todd: Thanks for the link - I'm signed up! (and have the video up too)

Sue said...

That is horrible! Our government wouldn't dream of advertising on tv. We do have certain news programs that are shills for conservative parties though, but no one is forcing anybody to watch them.

Bush does not support Kyoto, much to my dismay. Does Australia support Kyoto?

Alfred said...

Sue: nope, John Howard is Bush's bitch all and all. Australia has not signed the Kyoto Protocol.

And with the money spent on advertising etc, they can't even tell us a date of the election.

Lau said...

Trevor I agree with you so vehemently it's scary. Yet it is (was) my somewhat soul destroying job to create one of those campaigns. An early one, and I'm not going to say which one, but it was ridiculously well funded and worked brilliantly.

The funding available for these campaigns is obscene. It will be interesting to see if the Rudd Revolution (please let it come) will change that.

In the meantime, I think I need to go back to working for an NGO...

Sue said...

It will be interesting to see what happens once Bush's reign ends. If the USA signs onto Kyoto, will Australia follow???

Trevor said...

There is a meeting in Bali soon which will essentially lead to a 'new Kyoto' - or is expected to. If our current government doesn't come to the party it is expected that at the now announced November election, a new (likely Labor)government WILL step up to the mark and make a difference, regardless of your presidential situation.

Let's hope so anyway.

Denis said...

Gotta agree with you here, Trevor... I'm going crazy and we're now only half way through!