You said today, you know exactly how I feel… Family First policies!

Holy frijoles, the ‘policies‘ page of Family First is a mess.  It’s like they’re preparing you for the mental anguish by demonstrating a corresponding visual anguish first.

Is that fair?  Have I prejudged?  Probably.

I get the feeling that this isn’t going to be nice.  I suspect I’ll have to do a nerdshit post after this one to cheer myself up.

Okay.  Family First have divided their policy page into their policies and their core values.  I don’t have the stamina to go through all of their ‘core values’ because I want to protect the optimistic vision of the world I’ve nurtured.  Thus, I’m only going to touch the stuff under ‘policies’.


Freak me sideways.  There is absolutely nothing here.  Am I missing something?  Here’s their policy document and it’s bereft of anything to discuss.  I mean, I can take the easy shots at obviously false things:

The best environment to raise children is for them to have both a mother and a father. The best environment to raise children is for them to have both a mother and a father.  — Source.

The best thing my mother did for my brothers and me was leave my father.  It must have been one of the hardest decisions she ever had to make, but she made it because it was the best decision for her own benefit and for the benefit of her children.  To have the audacity to make the claim that we were not in the ‘best’ environment due to the absence of my father is nothing short of offensive.  The best environment [in which] to raise children is one which is loving and supportive.  If that means a mother and a father, two mothers, two fathers, a host of extended or adopted or fostered family, or even a single parent sacrificing everything for their kids, then so be it.  Family First policy makers can blow me, and I mean that with all possible respect.

Bee tee dub, to all 107 of you readers: call your mum.


FAMILY FIRST will establish the Election Policy Register which will force all political parties to set out their election policies and the timeframe for implementing them in a special register for the public to see. After the election, the new Government will be required to carry out all of the policies listed in the register within the set timetable so that voters can be genuinely assured of actually getting what they vote for  — Source.

Every time Family First writes its own name, it uses caps.  No idea why it does this.

This is a stupid policy.  Here’s how politics works:

1. Election campaign: Promise the sky.

2. First month of power: Discover that promises are undeliverable because you weren’t in possession of all of the facts.

3. Term of government: Explain to voters why you can’t deliver and how it’s responsible to change your promises to fit the facts.

4.  Election campaign: Promise the sky.  Continue from (2).

I don’t want governments locked into dumbo policy positions.  Who the McFreak would want that?

FAMILY FIRST will conduct a thorough review of all of the perks and special benefits given to policitians. Any spending which is deemed unecessary or excessive will be eliminated, such as providing free foxtel to all politicians’ homes at taxpayers’ expense  — Ibid.

Gee, FAMILY FIRST are tackling the big issues.

FAMILY FIRST will require all policians to sign a legally-binding undertaking that they have acted in the best interests of the nation and not just themselves after each vote on legislation.  — Ibid.

It’s a school night, so no drinking for me.  This is going to be long…

This is an utterly dumbo policy.  Here’s the cycle of politics:

1. Election campaign.  Promise the sky.

2. First few months of power.  Discover why your promises were dumb.

3. Three years of government.  Explain why your promises were dumb.

4.  Election campaign.  Promise the sky.

I don’t want politicians bound to promises they made to get red necks to change their vote.  While it would be good if they wouldn’t promise silly things, politicians aren’t omniscient and aren’t always in possession of all of the facts.  Why lock them to a position of ignorance when they can flourish in an environment of knowledge?


If anybody can find any policy content in this thing, let me know.  Sod it.  I need a drink.


Still can’t find any policy content.  I’m drinking Sapporo.  I quite enjoy it. I figured beer would be better than a cocktail.


FAMILY FIRST will set up a National Alcohol Commission to deal specifically with the issue of reducing Australia’s alcohol toll, We already have the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) for tackling our road toll and QUIT for lowering the tobacco toll, now we need a dedicated body to address the alarming alcohol toll  — Source.

Except QUIT is Victorian (not federal) and it’s not a commission.  Binge drinking is in the domain of the Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy.  So what, exactly, is FAMILY FIRST proposing here?

I like Manhattans.  I understand that American television shows have ruined the image of Manhattans.  Despite this, I feel I’m still more than masculine enough to drink them.  I’d like to note that they should be served in a low ball glass.

FAMILY FIRST will restrict the sale of takeaway alcohol to between the hours of 7am to midnight. Any bottle shop caught trading outside of these hours will be fined $10,000 per offence. Family First has introduced the Responsible Takeaway Alcohol Hours Bill to give effect to these measures  — Ibid.

Okay, the first part is policy the second part isn’t.

HOLY FRIJOLES, BATMAN!  $10,000 per offence?!  I — on not a few occasions — have purchased a bottle of something nice on my way home after closing time.  FAMILY FIRST wants to end that?  That’s just flatly uncivilised.


FAMILY FIRST’s “Accessing Super Scheme” will give first homebuyers a leg up into the property market by letting them borrow up to $15,000 interest-free from their superannuation to use as a deposit on their first home  — Source.

Thus pushing up the price of housing by $15k.  The solution to affordable housing is infrastructure.  It’s amazing how many problems our woeful infrastructure are causing.  The other cause, of course, is people buying up land and not developing it.

FAMILY FIRST’s “Kickstart to Home Ownership” policy will make first homes more affordable as first homebuyers will enjoy the same special tax benefits that investors receive. This means they can claim their interest costs on their mortgage as a tax deduction, up to $7000 each year. Families on an average mortgage which have their weekly mortgage payments reduced by almost $100 which is substantial  — Ibid.

This isn’t even remotely coherent.  Just play it through your head a few times to see if you can spot the train wreck…

FAMILY FIRST calls on state and federal governments to release more land suitable for housing and work more closely with the housing industry to promote affordable housing for first homebuyers  — Ibid.

Releasing more land isn’t working.  Family First should perhaps attempt to read through the Australia’s Future Tax Review (section E4).


No policies here.  The beer is finished.


FAMILY FIRST calls for a Commission of Inquiry to be established to take evidence from Australian and international experts on the science surrounding the extent to which human  made carbon dioxide emissions are the major driver of climate change and the likely effectiveness of any emissions trading scheme in reducing climate change  — Source.

This shits me right the shit off.

The Family First Senator Steve Fielding, whose vote the Government is courting for its emissions trading scheme, spent more than two hours with Australia’s chief scientist Penny Sackett and Climate Change Minister Penny Wong yesterday. Senator Fielding told AM he still needs to get to the bottom of a couple of issues and is waiting for further clarification from Penny Wong. […]

STEVE FIELDING: Well, look when I put forward the question – isn’t it true that carbon emissions have been going up and global temperature hasn’t – they wanted to rephrase my question not answer it so I have got an agreement with Penny Wong that she would answer my question over the next day or so. So I am hoping to get that either later today or tomorrow and then we can get to the bottom of it. — Source.

So even after private tutoring, he still can’t get his head around climate change.  In his own blog, he wrote:

Given this question remains unanswered, I believe Australia should wait until the rest of the world decides what to do, before we pass any emissions trading legislation so we can see what the big economies and polluters around the globe plan to do to tackle climate change.  — Source.

Politicians need a right slap on the knuckles when they pull crap like this.  They’re not experts that need convincing: they’re there to represent the people.  You need absolutely no prerequisites to be a politician and, given Fielding’s stunts in the Senate, it shows.

FAMILY FIRST calls for a significant increase in investment in new low emission technologies, but there must be balance between nonfossil and fossil-based technologies  — Ibid.

Seriously.  In related news, I can’t find who donates to Family First.  I think there should be a register of donors to political parties so we can find out why policies like this stink of corruption.  Why ‘must’ there be ‘balance’?

Okay.  I’m too grumpy at this to continue.  More on Family First later.

Author: Mark Fletcher

Mark Fletcher is a Canberra-based PhD student, writer, and policy wonk who writes about law, conservatism, atheism, and popular culture. Read his blog at OnlyTheSangfroid. He tweets at @ClothedVillainy

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