This story, after I stopped laughing at the irony of it all, prompted me to visit the Family First website and check out their policies. I ploughed through their policy documents, and was actually surprised more than once about how they will use their balance of power. Whilst there are many issues I disagree with, I have to say that I am now less worried about a Coalition “majority” in the Senate than I initially was. Here’s a few examples:
1. The government may not have as much success in selling Telstra as they initially thought, because Family First acknowledge monopolies as a contributor to market failure. Given Telstra’s natural monopoly, they may put provisions in that split it up…
2. Family First believe in a fair industrial relations system and acknowledge the growing disadvantage caused by increased casualisation and so-called “flexibility” in the current system.
3. The believe in increased funding to University and decreases in HECS liability.
4. Family First are opposed to the War in Iraq.
5. They are committed to ecologically sustainable development.
6. Whilst they are pro-mother-at-home (as expected), they also support work-family balance for those mothers that do work, as well as quality childcare in closer proximity to the workplace.
7. They believe in shared care arrangements as an ideal in the Family Court system.
8. They believe in tax deductibility for Education expenses.
9. They are pro-Medicare, pro accessible dental care, and pro-help for Carers. They reject harm minimisation, but hey… like Howard will ever introduce that one!
So, there you have it. Whilst I would never back down from my original ideas about church and state, I think we have a little less to worry about now that I have looked at the policy documents. I have to say that I am more than mildly amused at the Liberals’ assumption that Family First would come on board… seems it might be a little more difficult than originally thought.