Who Musicians Are Voting For in Tomorrow’s Election
Article about how musicians are voting in the 2013 Australian Federal Election.
Date: 6 September 2013.
Earlier this month Mark Seymour from Hunters & Collectors placed his vote in the 2013 Australian Federal Election.
A staunch Labor voter, for the first time in his life the 57-year-old couldn’t bring himself to vote for the party based on their stance on asylum seekers, something he outlined in an impassioned Facebook post. With the country set to go to the polls tomorrow, here’s what a few musicians – from various parts in the industry and in various stages of their careers – are thinking heading into the booth.
Mark Seymour of Hunters & Collectors:
“Next week we’ll be in Tasmania so I voted in Frankston yesterday. I am 57. I have voted for the Labor Party all my life. I have always seen myself as a true believer, and a friend of working people. I am one myself. I’ve always seen Labor as the party of vision and change. I think this country is a great place and Labor has made it so. We work hard, we play hard. The fruit of this nation’s wealth is a direct consequence of our collective spirit and the party I vote for should reflect that spirit. I have always loved my country.
“BUT, this time my conscience will not allow me to vote for the Labor party because I cannot accept the cruelty and belligerence of Labor’s attitude towards asylum seekers. We are a nation of immigrants. We all came from somewhere else. Asylum seekers are NOT cheating. They are NOT ILLEGAL. What is it about US that our leaders feel the need to act like arse-holes in order to win government?
“There are other issues of course, but I believe the way we treat asylum seekers goes to very heart of our national character, as a fair-minded generous people who look out for others.
“The very idea of locking up asylum seekers indefinitely is appalling and breaches their human rights. The other mob are proposing this of course, so they’re well and truly gone in my mind. I do not want to see this great southern land of ours, surrounded by a ring of open-air prisons, dotted around the pacific, full of good people who tried to come here, and for doing merely that, have ended up spending the rest of their lives living in despair. As an Australian I find that COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE. We should be processing refugee applicants on shore, in our community, in a rational, fair and open-minded way. The AUSTRALIAN WAY.
“For the first time in my life I voted GREEN.”
Simon Berckelman from FEELINGS:
“As a musician and record-producer my political stance is not easily categorised. No party really represents me: I’m often poor, sometimes rich, educated, hang out with lowlifes and freaks, keep odd hours, have a need to be free and run a small business. The result is that I end up having to weigh the pros and cons of a meddle of weird, knee jerk, vote-chasing policies that get thrown in my direction, from all directions. I don’t believe in telling people how to vote and to be honest I don’t even feel like voting, but the bottom line is that this is our mess and we need to deal with it.
“Look into your heart and think beyond what’s in it for you in the short term. Use your brain, do some research and vote for the party and/or person that you believe is the most likely to do what is right and stand up for what you believe in. Don’t listen to the right-wing newspaper chronies, OR your lefty mates on Facebook – find out things for yourself! You don’t have to be pigeonholed politically, but you do need to participate.
“Key election issues for me are: ability to govern, the environment, equality and ethics. I’m as of yet undecided.”
Alexi and Chris Collins from Tigertown
“We care most about international/foreign aid and the party that shows real commitment to this has our vote. Heal the world, make it a better place. Provide shelter to those in need. You wanna be starting something, you gotta be starting something.”
Jeswon from Thundamentals
“Aside from the whole asylum seeker issue which I think both major parties have handled appallingly, my key election issue is education funding. I am studying to become a teacher and believe very strongly that our education system would be substantially worse off under Abbott. Based on the recommendations of the Gonski report, Labor and the Greens have pledged $10 billion over the next six years compared to only $2.8 billion by the Liberals. For this reason (amongst many others) I will most likely be voting Labor or Greens.”
Michael Richards from Violent Soho:
“Australia’s political culture has an over-bearing sense of obedience to Christianity. There is no reason for religious influence to have any form of dogmatic control over how our nation is politically shaped. It’s a seriously unaddressed issue and one that needs to be highlighted more than any fairness and equality issues as this is something that controls us all equally. There also needs to be more education for people as to what political alternatives we do have, and I’m not talking about the Greens. We don’t have a two party system, so why do we pretend like we do? This is why I’m voting for THE SECULAR PARTY.”
Solo – one half of Horrorshow – told Fairfax.
“A lot of people of my generation are pretty disengaged and disenchanted … we’re pretty appalled at the options we have on offer, really. I can remember not that long ago there was a feeling of optimism … and all of a sudden the rug seems to have been pulled out from under us. All of my peers who voted for him and were excited at the time are now feeling really cynical about the Labor Party but they’re appalled at the way Abbott has been carrying on. My friends have been swinging towards the Greens in the past couple of years, but since Bob Brown left the party it’s not so clear any more.”
Young MC L-FRESH The LION is becoming an increasingly important voice in the Australian music landscape and earlier this week he offered this open letter to the leaders of the two major parties:
He told theMusic.com.au, “The key issue in the election for me is truth. Which party will stand for the truth regardless of the repercussions? Both of the major political parties are out to win at any cost. As an individual who values truth, I can’t support any party that pushes misleading information and lies in order to win over the popular vote. And even further, I refuse to support any party that calls on fear, racism and patriotism to win votes. I’m on the look out for true leaders. True leaders don’t behave like bullies and/or spoilt, disrespectful children. And more importantly, they don’t sacrifice the truth in order to win votes. Neither of the two major political parties will get my vote.”
…And we’re going to be honest, we have no fucking idea what’s going on over at The Stiffys
“Hi everybody it’s The Stiffys here our key election issue is probably just having a really great time and everybody trying their hardest so the president that resonates with us the most would be Clive Palmer because he obviously likes to have a couple of drinks and he does whatever he wants whenever he wants and doesn’t worry about checking things or asking questions or reading about things he just does it that’s what we need someone that gets things done around here we don’t really care what it is and we really like his idea of building Jurassic Park but then Tony Abbott had some good points about everybody being happy and the economy being better and our education and health system and environment being better if we can just stop the boats and he had a great idea about buying all the boats from Indonesia so the boat people don’t have any boats left and that would be great because The Stiffys are in the market for a boat and we might be able to get a good deal and also he said on big brother the other night that anyone that votes for him gets to sleep with his daughters and that would be great so yeah we’d probably vote for Julia Gillard or The Greens because it’s 2013 and we’re sick of gay people not being entitled to marriage like everyone else.”