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:
- 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…
- 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.
- The believe in increased funding to University and decreases in HECS liability.
- Family First are opposed to the War in Iraq.
- They are committed to ecologically sustainable development.
- 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.
- They believe in shared care arrangements as an ideal in the Family Court system.
- They believe in tax deductibility for Education expenses.
- 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.