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open letter to the liberal party: six reasons I will never support tony abbott

Dear Liberal Party of Australia,

Wow! What a hectic few days! I imagine you’re feeling as I did in high school, when my friends would find themselves in melodramatic and deliciously juicy situations, and I would relish in the drama because I wasn’t at all involved myself. Such fun!

But really, Kevin Rudd’s decision to challenge PM Gillard for the top job has been rather effective in making you look good, hasn’t it? You’re sitting pretty on polls while the ALP loses credibility, and if I’m completely honest with myself, it has crossed my mind a few times over the past few days that you’re looking like the more stable party. Plus, I saw Malcolm Turnbull on ABC’s Q&A last year, and thought he was quite funny and charismatic: traits that I otherwise didn’t think were to be found in your politicians (sadly, you appear to have learned nothing about popularity contests winning elections since Kevin 07’s landslide win).

Let’s get serious though.

I don’t agree with privatising healthcare and education (though in the interests of full disclosure: I did attend a private school and think I received an excellent education) and was pretty dissatisfied with the Howard Government apparently rallying to provide the wealthy and powerful with further wealth and power. So these fleeting thoughts that you might be better equipped to run the country than the ALP at this point really rather shocked me. But in truth, voting for you is something that I could potentially, possibly consider doing, if it weren’t for the fact that Tony Abbott is your leader.

Granted, I do find it disconcerting that this is the person you would choose to represent you, so the sheer fact that he holds this position at all illustrates that our values are not even close to aligned. But I thought I should express why I’m so vehemently opposed to him that the Liberal Party will be at the bottom of my preference list come election time for as long as Mr Abbott is in charge (and although I realise it’s been a contentious topic, my concerns have nothing to do with his swimwear).

1. He thinks women belong in the kitchen
“What the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing is that if they get it done commercially it’s going to go up in price and their own power bills when they switch the iron on are going to go up, every year….”

Translation: Ladies, if you don’t do the washing up yourself, you are literally going to ruin everyone’s lives.

2. He is racist
He really speaks for himself on this one.

“Even if dispossession is taken to mean that government has a higher responsibility to Aborigines than to other Australians, the production of beautiful art and connectedness to the land does not warrant the maintenance of a way of life also characterised by unemployment, substance abuse and domestic violence. If people choose to live in difficult to service places, that’s their business.”

“…Jesus didn’t say yes to everyone. I mean Jesus knew that there was a place for everything and it is not necessarily everyone’s place to come to Australia.”

“Now, I know that there are some Aboriginal people who aren’t happy with Australia Day. For them it remains Invasion Day. I think a better view is the view of Noel Pearson, who has said that Aboriginal people have much to celebrate in this country’s British Heritage”

“Aboriginal people’s high incidence of chronic disease, substance abuse and domestic violence are a function of unemployment, lack of education and very isolated living, not official neglect.”

And then there was that whole Tent Embassy thing.

3. He is anti-choice
I know the spin is pro-life, but I feel like I’m actually being quite generous in describing him as anti-choice, rather than anti-woman.

I really don’t care about his and his wife’s reproductive decisions, and likewise, he should have zero investment in mine, or those of any other family. The only arena in which someone should be able to have their say or exert any influence as to whether a child is carried to term is where they have made a genetic contribution. Obviously he is entitled to his own views, but they shouldn’t play a part in what is or is not in my womb, or that of any other woman.

He has described abortion as a “culture”, an “epidemic”, and “a convenient exit from awkward situations”. He stated in 2004: “Why isn’t the fact that 100,000 women choose to end their pregnancies regarded as a national tragedy approaching the scale, say, of Aboriginal life expectancy being 20 years less than that of the general community?” (see point 2). This quote rather effectively explains why he’s not actually pro-life; he wants women to have children they don’t want and/or aren’t ready for, but doesn’t appear to give a shit about the children and adults who are already alive and suffering health crises in Australia.

Reproductive decisions are personal, and they’re private, and yet Mr Abbott’s attempt to veto the introduction of RU-486 six years ago indicates that his views are ones that he wants to impose on every woman in Australia.

4. He supports at-fault divorce
In his 2009 book, Battlelines, Mr Abbott suggested that at-fault divorces should be available to the Australian public. That’s right: he wants people to have the option to legally blame their partners for the dissolution of their marriage. He didn’t explicitly say it was to create hostility, compel friends and family members to take sides, or contest any future financial support, but you’d be daft to think these wouldn’t be the outcomes.

5. He’s homophobic
Tony Abbott has said that homosexual relationships challenge “orthodox notions of the right order of things”. He has also said that he feels threatened by homosexuality, perhaps because same sex relationships threaten his idea of an Australian society where women serve their male partners.

6. He thinks people (mostly women) should save themselves for marriage
When asked about pre-marital sex in the Australian Women’s Weekly in 2010, Abbott responded: “I would say to my daughters, if they were to ask me this question, I would say … it is the greatest gift that you can give someone, the ultimate gift of giving and don’t give it to someone lightly, that is what I would say.”

I don’t think you should have sex with the first douchebag who leers at you either, but that virginity is a gift? Virginity isn’t even a real thing! It’s a construct that positions people (predominantly women) who haven’t had sex as having something that those dirty, leg-spreading tramps do not. In fact, “virgins” are lacking something: carnal knowledge of another person. How about instead of “losing the virginity”, we talk about “having the knowledge”.

‘Do you have the knowledge?’

I think it could take off.
___________________________________

People, of course, say things that they regret or later change their minds about. The fact that many of these are recent quotes and public stances about which Tony Abbott has not expressed any remorse or reconsideration aside, someone who has historically held racist, sexist, homophobic, archaic views, and been unable to separate said views from his political career, is not someone I want running this country.

This is who you have chosen to represent you dear Liberal Party of Australia. The prospect of PM Abbott is one that will ensure my vote stays firmly away from you for as long as he is the leader of your party.

Yours Sincerely,

Dunja Nedic

28 thoughts on “open letter to the liberal party: six reasons I will never support tony abbott

  1. I agree with every point you’ve made. I too will never support the Liberal Party as long as Tony Abbott is their leader. He doesn’t speak for the majority of Australia, and his strong ties with the church mean he’s not open-minded.

  2. totally agree, word around Sydney is that his wife has thrown him out, for having an affair with Peta….coming from high but cannot confirm….Lyn.

  3. Hearing you loud and clear, Dunja! Abbott isn’t likely to get my support in this lifetime… I worry about the future of a country where the PM values fetuses and virginity higher than indigenous issues, refugees and women who aspire to being more than obedient housewives.

  4. I agree completely with all your points, however I can’t see anyone I’d vote for instead. My list of reasons I don’t agree with the labour party or the greens I feel are just as valid. I have no idea how I will vote in the next election, as usually I vote for the one I think will do the least damage to my country and way of life, this time I can’t pick one. Let’s hope the options improve soon.

  5. Agreed. And there’s that horrifically insensitive joke about the italian ship disaster:

    “”Well, that was one boat that did get stopped, wasn’t it?”

  6. wow, well said. I dont like Gillard or the Greens either. I say rid us of them all. Exchange Abbot for Turnbull :) I would vote Liberal, but not while Mr Rabbit is leading

  7. I am not very politically minded, I really just look at the poli’s and how they act and decide who to vote for – I would not trust Abbott as far as I could throw him, it’s just a shame that Gillard is making him look like an option to many.

    Really Australia, are these the best two people we have to offer? surely not.

  8. If he believes women belong in the kitchen why is he endorsing the most generous paid maternity leave policy of any party?

  9. WHY THIS ARTICLE IS RIDICULOUS AND FLOORED:
    Him thinking women belong in the kitchen? This argument just doesn’t hold up, he has a wife and 3 daughters for Christ sake, I very much doubt he is anti-women. The liberal party put up the biggest paid parental policy in history, so women can choose the path of BOTH a family and career, please point out for me how this is anti-women??
    The racist thing is absolutely floored, all of those comments are descriptions of current happenings none of which can be viewed as targeted or racist, just commentary.
    In all of the FULL statements of those selected quotations he goes onto state how we should going about improving the life of aboriginal people, this persons quotes and comments are extremely deceitful. Also, the Liberal Party have the FIRST and ONLY Indigenous member of parliament!
    I’ve read battlelines, and the at fault divorce is a policy IDEA, plus it would be intended for extreme cases such as when one partner is abusive to the other, I think that’s a great idea. Julia Gillard had anti-capitalist/Socialist IDEAS back in her university days, maybe we should be focusing on those.
    I don’t agree with his views on gay marriage, but we live in a democracy, sounds like this person really wants to live in a nanny state where no one is allowed to express their views unless it is that of the populist. Without differing views there is no choice or freedom, no democracy and no government… Which is what makes Australia great!!

    • floored is probably a faux pas on your part…… though more appropriately related to the liberal party views. You may have been reaching for ‘flawed’ though I can see how you may be floored by your alignment with a party that cannot get off the floor with its archaic philosophies! :)

  10. Wow – only 6 reasons eh? and each one really just his personal preferences – nothing to do with Liberal Party policy. Meanwhile, there are a million reasons NOT to vote for the Labor/Greens dalliance. Public policy disasters. And please leave Malcolm Turnbull alone. If you want him to lead a party you’d vote for – enlist him in the Labor Party – he can keep Peter Slipper company.

  11. ok evan, i’ll take the bait.
    “he has a wife and 3 daughters for Christ sake,” – do you really think that’s good evidence that he isn’t anti-women? based on that logic, a man with sons, currently in a homosexual relationship is the ultimate woman-hater.

    “The liberal party put up the biggest paid parental policy in history,” – this is actually true, but also misleading because this proposal was a blatant act of political expediency on abbott’s part. you can tell because abbott refuses to even pay for it, instead passing on the costs to employers. considering how the Liberal Party feel about burdening employers with social costs you’d have to be a pipe-dreamer to actually think this will ever be passed. the liberal party won’t vote for it and abbott knows this but doesn’t care.

    “all of those comments are descriptions of current happenings none of which can be viewed as targeted or racist” – care to expand? simply asserting this doesn’t win the argument.

    “he goes onto state how we should going about improving the life of aboriginal people” – yes but the problem is the paternalistic manner in which he lectures indigenous people about how they should improve themselves. implicit in his remarks is the conviction that “white man knows best”.

    “I think that’s a great idea. Julia Gillard had anti-capitalist/Socialist…” – if you think it’s a great idea than that’s your prerogative, but how is Julia Gillard’s university days remotely relevant?

    “sounds like this person really wants to live in a nanny state where no one is allowed to express their views unless it is that of the populist” – what a claim! which part of the article suggests this? indeed if this were true then wouldn’t she have deleted your comment already?

    Grumpy Little Gumnut: do you think that if Abbott becomes PM his personal beliefs will have “nothing” to do with Liberal Party policy? like, actually?

  12. Sadly, I agree with you totally. I say sadly, because I am a member of the Liberal Party. WHY we can’t find a better leader more in tune with reality and people and less inclined to stick his foot in his mouth at every opportunity I have no idea.

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  14. Tony Abbott – “It’s the responsibility of government to try to put policies in place which over time will allow people to improve their situation. But we can’t abolish poverty because poverty in part is a function of individual behaviour.”

    “If people choose to live in difficult to service places, that’s their business.”

    These two Abbott quotes alone say it all. What is even more frightening to me, is that other Libs put him in as the leader.

  15. I don’t think any of the major parties are a good option these days. Too much arguing and jockeying for position going on.

    Abbott isn’t the only one with silly ideas though. The NT intervention was a labor policy wasn’t it? (Correct me if I’m wrong)

    Some of his opinions on sex and abortion may be unpopular, but that doesn’t mean he can’t have them. Nor that he is the only one with them.

    Personally, I think virginity is a wonderful thing, and for me it was a joy to be able to enter marriage knowing that the only person I would be carnally known by and know is my husband.

    As for Pro life and Pro choice, you could argue the “spin” idea both ways, depending on what you believe about where life begins.

  16. Interesting views which i enjoyed reading. What do you think about the VEXNEWS article that was published noting that Abbott and the Liberals are changing party rules to change the pre selection process for the only Likely Asian Candidate to represent the Liberal Party in their likely government?

    http://www.vexnews.com/2012/04/accused-nsw-libs-slammed-for-asians-out-preselection-plots/

    He doesnt like migrants and he certainly does not want to openly sit next to any everyday in canberra.
    Think that wraps up your second point.

  17. Hi Tanya.

    The intervention was a Liberal idea but it was continued under labour. As a former citizen of the NT I was appalled that Howard sent the army into enforce the law. Just as I was appalled he overturned our euthenasia laws.

    Regarding sex and abortion. I don’t think anyone minds he has oppinions on the matter. It is him trying to force his oppinions on others that is the problem. As I once heard someone wise say, ‘Pro-choice is the compromise.’

    For me the current Liberal party’s biggest problem is that they want remove choice from things. Adults of sound mind should have controls over their life and reproduction.

    Just as a government shouldn’t be able to mandate euthenasia or abortians it shouldn’t be able to ban them

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