The election seems a tech la-la land

The election seems a tech la-la land

Summary: We might all wish that tech policies would take centre stage in this election, especially with such polarised views between the main parties about the National Broadband Network and e-health, but the truth is that tech will never be the main game.

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We might all wish that tech policies would take centre stage in this election, especially with such polarised views between the main parties about the National Broadband Network and e-health, but the truth is that tech will never be the main game.

I just spent a fairly enjoyable few minutes looking at the two parties' election ads.

Enjoyable because I got to have a bit of a laugh. (Although I only did that because if I didn't, I'd cry.) Gillard talks about moving forward, but her and her opponent's ad could have happily fitted into any year. The arguments are always the same.

In the 30-second television ad, Gillard mentions having a strong economy, stronger borders, as well as a new approach to population and sustainable energy.

"First class schools, a strong economy, a sustainable Australia. Together, let's move Australia forward," she says to end the ad.

Why, if you want to talk about moving forward, don't you talk about the National Broadband Network? E-health could have even received a look-in.

A longer speech recorded with poor sound and mobiles ringing touches on some more issues such as health services and computers in schools. So there was some tech focus in there, but it was more playing on people's desire for their kids to get a better education than any real focus on the technology itself.

With this longer focus, I wondered where the big fat elephant in the room, the National Broadband Network, was.

Tony Abbott's commercial, with its annoying music, talks about what people earn and pay in taxes. His party is trading on its perceived economic credentials.

He promises to end spending, pay back debt, stop new taxes and stop the boats.

"That's our action contract," he says. His non-action contract, more like.

So although there are a whole lot of issues on the table that all of us in the tech industry care about, such as the internet filter, such as the National Broadband Network, such as e-health, we're campaigning using a green mantra and by playing on people's fears of being swamped by refugees.

Of course, it doesn't help that the Coalition hasn't even released its alternate policy for the NBN, or decided what it wants to do about the filter.

But with such advertisements, who'd really know or care? People will just go on whose voice they like the most, or who is dressed the best. Sometimes I think there should be a compulsory election afternoon, where companies have to tell their employees about parties' policies. Or, maybe we should vote by policy. The party with the most voted in policies win.

Since we don't have a system like that, I think I might vote on the basis of the ad below.

Topics: Health, Broadband, Censorship, Government AU, NBN

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

9 comments
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  • I don't think it very nice to make such an obvious slur, aimed directly at our old friend [sic] Sydney la-la, Suzanne...!
    RS-ef540
  • I don't think it very nice to make such an obvious slur, aimed directly at our old friend [sic] Sydney la-la, Suzanne...!
    RS-ef540
  • Wow I got 2... one for Vass Mass as well... nice!
    RS-ef540
  • "maybe we should vote by policy. The party with the most voted in policies win"

    That was my idea! I've always thought this was a good idea. Send a clear message about exactly which policies work and which are just dumb. Then, who ever ends up winning government has to implement the winning policies as well, regardless of whether it was theirs or someone else's.

    The problem, and the reason I can't see it ever working, is that it requires a much more well-informed electorate.
    Dean Harding
  • Suzanne, your sensible and analytical opinion relating to the election silly season illustrates that the political advertising is not directed at those who are blessed with the mental capacity you obviously possess.

    Politicians aim to capture the attention (and votes) of the majority of those with little knowledge or attention span. Certainly the NBN should be front and centre of the election campaign but as it is a complex subject it, to some extent, will be kept low profile.

    Of intense interest will be the Abbott policy for a deliverance of an acceptable Broadband system for Australians and the cost and time-frame for its build. The Government/Telstra provisional agreement is progressing an is critical for NBN.
    sydneyla
  • Mr Lawrence.

    I believe the Abbott plan involves the ressurection of OPEL.

    One of the, if not the, very reason you voted Howard out.
    RS-ef540
  • RS you have a long and correct memory but things do change and before we jump the gun let us wait for the policy of Tony Abbott.

    Admittedly it is, at the moment, difficult to imagine what rabbit he could pull out of the bag to trump the NBN but let us wait and see.
    sydneyla
  • Big mistake, RS, you forgot that T$ is now lovey-dovey with the NBN, so the la-la shareholder seems to have become a great big NBN supporter. Albeit a little late.
    gnome-8be8a
  • LOL...yes indeed gnome you have a definite point...I wonder where he got that idea from, lol...?

    Interestingly and regardless though, I see Sydney is still having an each way bet with those shares, and hoping Tony Abbott wins, cans the NBN (to the detriment of all Aussies, including his, kids, grandkids etc) and reintroduces Telstra's monopoly FTTN (and OPEL) lol....

    Yes the very same OPEL he bagged daily a few years back, sigh...

    He's yet to understand, the worst thing is uncertainty. The very same uncertainty he forever promotes, lol!!!
    RS-ef540