Election szn is here and major party leaders Scott Morrison, Anthony Albanese and Adam Bandt are making grand claims and sweeping statements left, right and centre. So how can you know what they actually care about? Look at their track records.
Each party and party leader will make many lovely announcements over the next month about oooh “jobs” creation and ahhh “saving the environment”. But don’t believe what they say, look at what they do. And what politicians “do” is vote on laws in parliament.
Let’s take a look back at the party leaders’ voting histories.
Based on bills he’s voted consistently for and against in the last 10 years, what do we know about Prime Minister Scott Morrison? What does he stand for?
Scott Morrison is anti-students and education sector
It’s safe to say Morrison is not into making university more accessible and affordable.
He has a track record of voting for deregulating and increasing student fees and decreasing public funding to universities.
Morrison and all other Liberal and National MPs voted in October 2020 to pass the Higher Education Support Amendment as part of the government’s Job Ready Graduates Package.
This was the one that decreased government subsidies on student fees for degrees in humanities, engineering, science and environmental studies. The money taken from those areas was put into higher subsidies for health and medical degrees as well as education and maths fields. It pretty much exclusively hurt young people and made degrees across the board an average of 4 per cent more expensive for students.
It also lowered the earning threshold for repaying HECS and HELP debts by $12,000. At the moment it’s $47,014.
Morrison also voted to cut TAFE funding in 2014 and again in 2019; he voted to increase research fees for postgrad students in 2014 and he supported a bill that would allow the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency to take money from unis to cover government costs in 2021, despite universities struggling under funding cuts and shrinking student numbers due to the pandemic.
Scott Morrison is anti-refugees and asylum seekers
Despite releasing all the refugees in onshore immigration detention earlier this month, there is no denying Morrison does not want to help these people, some of whom were locked up for nine years by the Australian government.
He’s voted against closing detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island, against saving children from immigration detention and against doctor’s having final say on whether offshore detainees need to come to Australia for medical treatment.
He sees his cruel and harsh stance on refugees and asylum seekers as his crowning glory too. Yes he really has a little boat trophy in his office that says “I Stopped These”.
Scott Morrison is pro-fossil fuels
Surprise surprise, the man who infamously brandished a lump of coal in parliament loves fossil fuels and wants to see this continent pillaged for all its worth.
Over the years he has, again and again, voted against a carbon tax, a tax on profits generated from mining in Australia and against ending environment-damaging practices like illegal logging.
No matter what the man says this election campaign, he will be probably be putting his buddies in the fossil fuel industries ahead of the climate or the environment.
Scott Morrison is anti-LGBTQIA+ rights
He voted against same sex marriage, against extending legal rights to same sex couples and for the Religious Discrimination Bill that allows workplaces and schools to discriminate against queer and trans people because their religion allows it. ‘Nuff said.
Scott Morrison is pro-poverty
Morrison and the Coalition voted their little tushies off to try to keep both wages and welfare payments low while not addressing the increasing cost of living.
He voted to scrap Sunday and public holiday penalty rates for workers in 2017 because, as always, it’s the poor starved employers who need the most help *wipes away tear*.
He also has a long track record of voting to make welfare less and less accessible and liveable.
Labor introduced a bill in 2020 to permanently increase jobseeker payments which was shutdown by the government.
In 2019 Morrison also voted to establish a drug testing trial of 5,000 new recipients of Newstart Allowance and Youth Allowance in order to withhold the payments from more people.
And while the cost of living skyrocketed the Libs voted consistently to freeze rebates on childcare and medicare. This means the government’s contributions to your doctor’s bill or childcare fees have stayed the same for *years* yet the fees have gone up and up with inflation so your out-of-pocket costs have grown.
Scott Morrison is anti-political integrity
Historically Morrison has voted against restricting donations to political parties and increasing political transparency and it seems his views haven’t shifted since.
Morrison pledged before the 2019 election to introduce a federal anti-corruption watchdog, like the states have, before the end of his first term. But he has broken that promise because, well, he never did it. I guess after ICAC took down his golden girlboss Gladys Berejiklian subjecting himself to the same scrutiny wasn’t looking like the hottest idea.
He later rescinded the commitment and denied it was a broken promise but, ya know.
Read more about Scooter’s voting track record here.
Read Albanese’s track record here.
And Bandt’s here.