The Australian gneral election is this saturday May 18 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_Australian_federal_election
Didn’t you just have an election?
That was the New South Wales state election. This is the Federal election.
You could have just done both at the same time.
That’s a statement not a question.
[sigh] Ok. WHY didn’t you just have both elections at the same time?
It would have been too confusing. For example state constituencies and federal constituencies are very similar but not quite the same. For example these two maps show the constituency centred on the town of Penrith in Western Sydney (a key battleground electorally) Lindsay (Federal) versus Penrith (State).
And the parties are different?
No, that’s pretty much the same but the reputation of the state v federal versions of the major political parties can be different. For example NSW Labor is still a bit shambolic after several years of corruption scandals whereas Federal Labor has a better reputation. On the other other hand NSW Liberals are more centrist than Federal Liberals.
And the Liberals are conservatives, right?
Yes and “Labor” is spelt the American way even though Australian’s spell “labour” the British way.
So what are the big issues?
Taxes, Wages, Super and Climate Change. Housing in general is an issue but it is fairly vague.
Super? The government will be cracking down on costumed vigilantes? About time too, that Spider-Man is a menace!
Superannuation. If you work you pay into money for your retirement. There are mandatory aspects to this for employers. People can manage their own superannuation, or join a for-profit superfund or join a not-for-profit industry superfund. Some self-employed people invest their super into shares and there is a special kind of tax-refund that helps that. Labor want to abolish that refund on share dividends and some people are upset by that.
Ah, yes, this would be the franking credit/dividend imputation credits policy. Can you explain for us all what a franking credit is?
No, I haven’t a clue.
That was the only proper question I had.
You could ask about climate change.
[sigh] What about climate change?
Well it is a bad thing for Australia. Australia isn’t the easiest place to farm and Australian farmers are feeling the impact of less predictable weather and long term shifts in climate. Bush fires, droughts and floods all impact rural communities.
However, right leaning parties are also beholden to powerful mining interest in Australia and the coal lobby is very powerful. Pricing carbon emissions has been an issue that has toppled a series of party leaders and Prime Ministers over the past few years.
The Liberal Party officially recognises that climate change is occurring and that action needs to be taken but has a powerful climate change denialist faction within it. Labor is keen to not lose votes to The Greens by being too soft on Climate Change but is painfully aware that they will get attacked by the right wing press over any specific policy. Overall, voters are keen on action around climate change but are wary when it comes to specific policies.
You’ll be eating sausages?