Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Decoding the Family First platform

The Australian federal election is only a few days away, and that means that the public is being deluged with television and radio commercials, signs, billboards, and pamphlets in the mailbox. One that caught my eye recently was from the Family First Party - which, like many closet theocratic organizations, chooses to obscure their actual purpose with a meaningless platitude of a name (see also Family Research Council).

Let's decode their platform points:

“Family comes first”
Our starting point is that families come first. Families should be at the centre of our Australian way of life, not government bureaucracies. With the rising cost of living putting more and  more pressure on families they need more income to function properly and make ends meet.
Translation: Cut taxes.
“Who cares for Carers?”
Families care for the elderly, disabled, mentally unwell, unemployed, single parents and others who have fallen on hard times. Finances should be diverted from government bureaucracies to families.
Translation: Cut welfare.
“A home of your own”
We want to make sure you can own your home by the time you retire. Family First is committed to keeping the Great Australian Dream alive.
Translation: Screw the homeless.

“Choice in schooling”
A strong foundational education is critical in helping children achieve their potential and form values that will serve them for the whole of their lives. Parents increasingly choose to send their children to schools that reflect
the values that are important to them.

At Family First we are committed to choice in education. Accordingly, we support the introduction of educational vouchers allowing parents to spend the vouchers at whichever school they see fit.

We believe that both public and private schools must be adequately resourced to enable the delivery of high quality education and to ensure that the right of parents to choose is respected and supported.
Translation: teach creationism.
EMPLOYMENT - “Jobs, jobs, jobs”
People of all ages and abilities should have the opportunity to earn an income. We are committed
to removing the barriers to entry to getting a job or working more hours.
Translation: OK, I'm stumped on this one. Unless they're talking about child labour?

“Small Business”
Small businesses are family businesses. Family First is committed to getting the government off your back and out of your pocket.
Translation: Cut taxes, again.
Marriage is special”
Marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman. Family First is committed to promoting policies that support marriage and hold families together. 
Translation: Doesn't really need one, but obviously: no same-sex marriage.
“Life is precious”
Family First believes life is precious and is committed to healing, caring for and saving lives wherever possible - particularly the dignity and value of older people.
Translation: ban abortion.
"Drugs destroy lives"
Widespread illicit drug use is fuelling a plague of crime, violence and mental illness. Family First is committed to drug education, effective recovery programs and strong measures to punish those who trade in these toxic, life destroying substances.
Translation: Lock up potsmokers and throw away the key.

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