Why I'm not preferencing Labor in the Federal election

In all but my first election I've voted for or preferenced Labor, but that will change at the next Federal election.

Suppossedly the "political profile of Gen Y" is fiscally conservative and socially progressive, and I fit that bill pretty well. I have some conflict between my belief in individual sovereignty, my mistrust of unchecked corporations and the desire to help people: my inner socialist and libertarian jostling with each other. But there is one thing I hate with clarity: goverment interference in personal autonomy.

Unfortunately both major parties are socially conservative. Both are paternalistic and believe, in one form or another, that people are too stupid to think for themselves. The Liberals trust corporations to self-regulate, but insist on moralizing about what adults do in their bedrooms. Labor has to me been the best of two bad choices, with their paternalism at least coming from a vague sense of helping people.

There's a lot of reasons to be disillusioned with the Labor government. Other than (potentially) having guided us through the GFC there has been a trail of incompetence and inaction. With Abbott as the alternative PM, those failings wouldn't be enough to sway me away from Labor. But the incessant obsession of this government with controlling personal freedom has tipped me over the edge.

Despite massive public outcry, the government still plans to implement it's expensive, ineffectual and potentially harmful Internet filter. Now they are proposing to monitor the email and web browising habits of all Australians. This is a dangerous, infuriating and unacceptable breach of the role of government.

Imagine the public outcry if every letter sent through AusPost was opened and the contents recorded. This is even worse: not only are they reading your mail, but they know which books and newspapers you read, who your friends are and, increasingly, what you purchase. If, like I do, you use a VoIP phone service, that can be recorded too.

Potentially every electronic interaction you have could be monitored and stored. There is no possible justification for this level of citizen surveillance.

So, despite my severe reservations about the Liberals, I have decided that I cannot vote Labor. Somewhere burried in their core the Liberal party believes in personal autonomy, and even though they have been overtaken by religious nutjobs, I have to believe they have the potential to come down on the side of individual freedom. I have no such faith in the current Labor government, who have shown time and again that they do not.

God help me, I'm going to preference an Abbott-led coalition. I just hope the Greens get enough power to keep the craziness in check

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