Here’s a complicated thought. If you support policies that are introduced by a “Left” leaning political group, does that automatically make you a Leftist?
In the current climate, I would have to say I am a “lefty”, but I don’t really think things are that clear cut. This desire to categorise everything into black and white annoys me. I prefer to see things as a great big number line; extremes at each end with a multitude of positions that exist in between.
I like to look at policies to decide what I like, however the political system doesn’t allow you to vote on specific policies (now there’s a thought…). You have to vote for the person (in reality though, party group) that introduces the policies you most agree with, or the ones you feel are most important.
Currently, I support policies that have been put forward by the ALP. That does not have to mean however that I support the ALP. Another way to say this is that I don’t just support policies *because* the ALP has them. I support the policies because I like the policies, I don’t support them because of who introduced them. The ALP also has policies I storngly disagree with (Refugee Policy for e.g.) but I can’t really pick and choose I’ve already mentioned.
There are many people that take hard party lines. They support their chosen party, and as a result automatically support the policies of that party. They are supporting policies *because* of the party and will often try to defend those policies regardless of any facts or evidence that goes against them.
Today, there are many policies that the ALP has out there. On the other hand, the LNP doesn’t have all that many officially released, but under Tony they are taking an “opposite view regardless” just to reinforce that they are “opposite”. At least when Malcolm was leading for that short time there seemed to be a period where he would at least concede to discuss policies based on their merits, not on who suggested them.
There are a lot of things the ALP is doing that I really don’t like or strongly disagree with.
However, there are even more things the LNP are doing that I disagree with even more strongly.
At this point in time, that means I must support the ALP (or a minor party that would ultimately lead to the ALP anyway). If I could choose individual policies to vote for then that would make things a lot nicer, but I can’t. I’ve voted different ways in the past depending on what was on offer, but the state of choice and political debate in Australia today makes me very sad.
So if you really need to operate in a black and white world of labels, that makes me a lefty.