So the Australian federal election is going to be held on 2 July 2016. Surprise surprise…disability issues haven’t featured. This is despite their effect on 20% of the population and the fact that the NDIS, for example, is one of the biggest reforms in Australia since medicare. I’ve done a LITTLE research to help those of us who make disabilities a priority to vote:
First things first. Here is the AEC information about accessible voting so we can all have a say.
Secondly, I am a bit of a fan of those voting quiz sites, where you answer some questions about your views and they plot you on a political spectrum. This year they only take about five minutes. There are two available this year: the abc’s “votecompass” (I recommend using Chrome as your browser), and the Sydney Morning Herald’s “Your vote” You can complain these sites are biased, and they don’t ask all the questions that matter to you, and they are simplistic. All these things are probably true, but so is voting based on your gut feeling or one or two news stories that stuck in your mind. Here is where they tell you where each of the parties stands on questions I thought were disability related. Click on them to blow them up (I had to answer the questions to get to this page, but I didn’t necessarily give the answers reflecting my actual opinion).
Next, the Australian Cross-Disability Alliance has launched their “Election Platform” which is essentially a list of disability-friendly ideas by which we can measure the parties at the upcoming election. I quite like this first link because it is clear, short and has a list of questions for your MP at the end of it. However, here is where you can download the election platform in full in your preferred format. The policy platform suggests thirteen policy areas that people interested in disability rights should prioritise. Some of it is a bit vague and broad.
Also, each of the major parties has made some statements about their disability-related policies.
- The Coalition site is somewhat difficult to navigate. However, I found this “plan for disabilities.” hiding out. This appears to be the press release for the plan, but it is now very difficult to track down.
- The Greens have a dedicated disabilities page here. However, it is really a philosophy statement, not a policy one. You are better off going to this page and searching for disabilities in the election platform.
- In terms of researching policy, I found the ALP the easiest. If you go to this page. You can either look at the menu across the top and click on “positive policies” and it will give you a list of policy areas which will link to lists of labour promises, or you can simply scroll down the list of 100 policies, or you can go to the right hand side and type in “disability”
Unfortunately, there are very few statements by the major parties addressing the matters in the Cross-Disability Alliance platform. However, hopefully this will give you place to start in your voting. Lets vote on disability lines guys. Twenty per cent of the population…imagine what would happen if we did.