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Policies & Commentary
At first glance, the url of David Dillon’s site is puzzling. It honestly appears to be a default password. But on closer examination, it’s an abbreviated form of his slogan: Vote 1 for A Better Commonwealth with Dillon. Dillon apparently has confidence that people will work that out, just as he has confidence that despite registering using his middle name officially with the AEC, he can forego its use in his actual campaign. He’s also not above using his political campaign to draw attention to his winery business (and as such, Something For Cate will also be soliciting reviews of his wines in addition to the more usual political responses to this post).
Dillon’s confidence also shows in his extensive list of policy offerings, and also in his willingness to accept criticism and even modification of them – he proudly states that with all my policies there would be a performance Tracker App to demonstrate complements/complaints/suggestions/improvements/effectiveness/transparency etc. in real time. Which is laudable, but has certain difficulties in implementation, notably the difficulty of reducing subjective feelings to numbers. Still, while perhaps a little blind in its technocratic nature, it seems well-intentioned at least.
Dillon’s policies, or initiatives as he calls them, are as follows:
- Get you from renting to buying your own home within 10yrs.
- Honestly, I’m actually not sure what Dillon is proposing here. His explanation is disjointed and unclear, and there seem to be assumptions being made that are not specified. If anyone can figure out what he means, by all means enlighten me.
- Get your health care when you need it.
- The simplicity of the above sentence belies the actual contents of the page. This is by far the longest and most detailed section of the entire site. It is also somewhat unclear, as it frequently presents a blizzard of facts rather than a prescription for action.
Dillon starts with a detailed breakdown of the ‘can-do party‘ (i.e. working party) he wishes to form, and clearly quite a bit of thought has gone into thinking about how it will be composed. However, he sets no priorities for it, apparently trusting that it will set its own. There’s also nothing to explain what authority it will have to actually put whatever decisions get made into practice, although there is also a fair bit of detail on how it will be funded. Although it should be noted that for a lot of the sections on this page, those details very rarely seem to emerge into a coherent whole. I’m left with the impression of a bulleted list incorrectly formatted as a paragraph. There also seems to be a much greater emphasis on finance than on actual care – great concern for value for money and under-utilised assets, little mention of patients.
Dillon also seems very focused on the Geelong area, and the kind of reforms he’s advocating would seem to fall more under state than federal authority, which makes me wonder why he wants to be a Senator rather than an MLA.
However, should one read down as far as the section on Health Language, things abruptly shift focus. Dillon wants to see the largely Latin and Greek inspired names of our medical fields updated and modernised, to be clearer for a modern audience – and all the moreso since the existing words are often difficult to translate in languages other than English. On the face of it, this isn’t a bad idea: increasing accessibility and ease of comprehension would make life easier. On the other hand, it’s going to see a lot of opposition from traditionalists in the medical establishment, and certain medical idea are irreducibly complex, and require special terms to describe. Basically, I think he’s got a good idea but isn’t considering the complexities of it.
The Health Food has a misleading name – he’s actually talking about Hospital Food. He wants to see better options not just for vegans, vegetarians and allergy sufferers, but also ethnically. And he makes good sense here, although suddenly, his usual focus on finances has deserted him – Dillon doesn’t seem to realise that something like this could wind up being a lot more expensive. And how does anyone talk at length about hospital food without ever mentioning the most common complaint regarding it: its frequently poor quality.
(I’ve avoided mentioning it until now, but Dillon’s spelling and grammar are often quite bad, which isn’t a huge problem until it reaches a point where it impedes understanding of its meaning. I have reached that point. I have also reached the point at which Dillon didn’t have the figures to hand and so substituted XX instead of the actual numbers. No doubt he meant to go back and fill them in later, but this did not happen, and the documents have been published in this unfinished state, which somewhat undermines his points.)
The next section, Ward Acuity is actually named in a way that runs headlong into the problem he mentioned above under Health Language – it’s a specialised term that few outside the heath field would know. There isn’t actually much here about acuity, but my, my, my, are there some sexist assumptions about nurses, including a patronising reference to nurses needing to pull up their big girls’ undies.
He does seem refreshingly open minded about drug use, and promotes a medical rather than legal approach to it, which I applaud.
And then, at the bottom of the page, there’s a quick grab bag of policy ideas:
Look at requiring the goose neck of tow bars to be removed when not in use, and likewise bull bars on city registered vehicles the intention being to reduce injuries in road accidents involving these vehicles.
Determine whether all scooters can either be used-on public roads with registration and helmets etc. or on footpaths at lowers speeds, and both only during daylight hours since they do not have lighting. And users either need to have a driver’s licence or have completed the theory component of the Victorian Learners Permit to prove awareness of road rules etc. Hear hear. Stand-on motorised scooters currently exist in something a legal limbo, and more certainty is needed in this area.
Require all health insurers to present policies in a like for like way to enable exact comparisons and provide figures on claims, variety, client age, Hospital cost, out of pocket, region by region & state by state, National population overlay, accepted, rejected, time lags and other KPI’s important to consumers. This is a great idea, but David, it shouldn’t be restricted to health insurance, but expanded to all insurance in general. I especially like the emphasis on what comparisons are important to consumers.
Require photo ID to be recorded/photographed/scanned for all purchases of Knives, Nang’s, Spray Paint, Tobacco, Alcohol. because these items are especially being abused by the 1%, to the detriment of the 99%. Just as we have with other things that have emerged as being shown to kill or permanently injure like cars & guns. In case you’re wondering a “nang” is the street name given to a small canister of nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. This is a breath-takingly nanny state idea, and places an enormous burden on the retailers, to say nothing of the bureaucracy needed to implement and oversee it. I can see what he’s trying to acheive here, but I’m not sure this is the way to do it.
Finally, and one of Dillon’s signature policies, is increasing the legal age for buying cigarettes to 21 – this policy, by the way, has not been updated in several years at least, since it intends to increase the legal age by one year each year, and contains multiple references to ‘people born before the year 2000.’ Somewhat disingenuously, Dillon claims that it will not reduce tobacco company sales from current levels even though discouraging smoking is clearly the intent of the policy.
- Okay, remember what I said up above about confidence? Nothing shows it more than the fact that (at the time of writing) it’s 12 days until the polls open and only these two policy areas have been expanded upon. The other 19 below this are simply those one line each, and I’m going to leave them like that unless I’ve something to add. You may take my silence as finding the points unexceptional and indicative of broad agreement, pending a clear explanation of what he intends.
- Get you around the clock nursing in aged care.
- Get the NDIS working properly.
- Get our Victorian projected carbon emissions (CO2) down by 50% in his first Term.
- Get you to embrace multiculturalism & humane immigration.
- Get childcare waiting lists down from over 1yr to zero.
- Get more from the taxes you pay.
- Get an equitable distributions of public & private schools funding.
- Get the cost of living down by harnessing the ‘gig’ economy.
- So, generally, harnessing the ‘gig’ economy means a race to the bottom on prices while people complete jobs with no sick leave or superannuation. That’s a big nope from me.
- Get a renewables industry hub in Victoria.
- Get our most disadvantaged into work and stop online scams.
- Get the CBD transformed into a place for living.
- I’m assuming that on this point and the following one he means the Geelong CBD, and while it’s a reasonable enough policy, it does seem more like an issue for the relevant local council, the City of Greater Geelong.
- Get peak hour traffic congestion sorted.
- See under 13, above.
- Get safety for wildlife & protection for all our pets.
- Get environmentally sensible controlled urban development.
- See under 13, above.
- Get pollution from our streets, waterways, coastline & Bay.
- See under 13, above.
- Get equity between Corangamite & Corio electorates.
- Equity in what sense? Context, please.
- Get political transparency and accountability.
- Get the Local, State & Federal representation you deserve.
- That’s a big ask for one independent who, frankly, doesn’t seem to be terribly across how parliament works…
- Get Democracy working for the 99% not the 1%.
- …and that’s an even bigger one.
So, that’s David Dillon. He seems harmless enough, and his feet seem to be placed mostly where I like to see politicians feet placed, but a website that is clearly more aimed at standing for a local seat than a state Senate position troubles me a little, as does its unfinished nature. Dillon is probably going to land near the upper middle of my ballot, because I like most of his policies, and I have a certain amount of respect for anyone who invites suggestions of how to do things better, because that’s a vanishingly rare quality in politics, but on the other hand, the unfinished state of his website makes me think that he lacks a certain amount of follow-through.
Just a reminder that Maz and I lack the necessary Eurovision knowledge to choose the songs that Catherine liked to include, but we’d love to see what you suggest in the comments below 🙂