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Election 2013 Issues: How we grow and care for each other

Haigh, Y. (2013) Election 2013 Issues: How we grow and care for each other. The Conversation, 22 August .

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Welcome to the The Conversation’s Election 2013 State of the Nation essays. These articles by leading experts in their field provide an in-depth look at the key policy challenges affecting Australia as the nation heads to the polls. Today, we examine the issue of caring, from paid parental leave and child care, to disability and aged care.

In the current election campaign, the major parties use the language of “care” in a battle of claims and counter claims over “who cares the most”. This public face of care on the one hand emphasises the importance of economic management, building productivity and providing the right conditions to secure the nation’s borders. On the other hand, demonstrating each party’s “care credentials” is played out in their policies on paid parental leave, child care, disability and aged care.

The policies of both the major political parties appear caught between a neoliberal emphasis on the importance of the economy, and a social democrat emphasis on the importance of society. At a simple level, we assume policies put forward attempt to balance the pros and cons of both positions: one that protects us from the vagaries of the market while ensuring Australia continues to develop into a vibrant and diverse society.

Item Type: Non-refereed Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Management and Governance
Publisher: The Conversation Media Group
Copyright: The Author
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