Women of Australia, I am writing to you because I know you are the ones who do the emotional and cognitive labour in your houses. Also the housework. You are the folks who sign the permission notes, who make sure the PE clothes are clean, and who remember it's mufti day.
So you won't be at all surprised when I ask you this one thing: Do not, under any circumstance, allow your children to be in photos with politicians. I mean, it's scammy enough when they arrive at schools and sportsgrounds with those novelty cheques, but now it turns out your kids are in actual, physical danger when the pollies arrive.
Morrison's pitch on Wednesday afternoon included the reannouncement of a $3.5 million upgrade to the Devonport Strikers Soccer Club. And there was poor kid Luca Fauvette, in the under-eights, on the receiving end of a prime-ministerial crash tackle.
Turns out Luca is OK, according to his mum. Except he's now developed a morbid fear of giant politicians smashing him to the ground, and says the Prime Minister should have been given a red card. Also, I am wondering if renowned sports fairness expert Katherine Deves could possibly look into massive actual men lining up against small boys.
I asked you to do this one thing - but I lied. There are two other things I'm going to ask women to do urgently.
One, vote Labor or your nearest alternative this election. Two, join the Liberal Party.
I know it seems like these two tasks are completely at odds with each other. But let me explain why it matters.
At an auction, the best outcome for the seller is when two bidders are competing. Right now there is no competition for the women's vote. If there was, we would not still be waiting for superannuation on paid parental leave, we would not still be waiting for domestic and family leave for all sectors and workers, we would not still be waiting for free universal childcare. Parties would be offering women the works. One, two, three, four, we deserve a bidding war.
Right now, the only truly interested party is Labor, which is why women need to vote for the party which has policies and promises to make women's lives better. This election has generated more women's political scorecards than I have ever seen before. And time after time, these scorecards mark the Labor Party on all the measures that count.
The Work+Family Policy Roundtable scorecard reveals Labor's policies go much further towards fixing the intransigent childcare problem in Australia. Childcare will be cheaper, and there will be more of it available for more people. Labor also has an explicit policy about equal pay and stopping pay secrecy. The Women's Electoral Lobby scorecard shows Labor offers more significant policies on key concerns such as childcare, workplace safety and housing. Women for Progress shows the same: Labor is attempting to improve the lives of women and girls, the Liberal Party not so much.
But how good would it be if there was a contest of ideas here?
There is only one way forward, and that is to completely reinvigorate the Liberal Party. Turn it into a party where women are welcome both as party members and as local members, as ministers and in cabinet. Ditch the deranged and entirely out-of-control factionalism, and seize control from the cold dead hands of the ultra-right Liberals. Make your blue a little tealer. Why, you ask? Because that's where the future of your party is. How is it possible that Allegra Spender is not the local Liberal candidate for Wentworth? My guess is that even though she is Liberal to the core, she just cannot with the current party.
As one insider says, the Liberal Party must do a lot of soul searching about why it can't attract women as voters or as members.
"It needs to get beyond puerile arguments about merit versus quotas. When it contemplates issues around structure and membership, it must think more about who could and should vote for them. There is no longer a core group of Liberal voters," she says, sadly.
"What's missing is a clear vision of the kind of country the Liberal Party wants. Morrison doesn't appear or has failed to articulate his vision for the country and where all of us sit within that vision."
She highlights Morrison as a clear problem for the party - not only because of his personality but, because of his attempted takeover and then destruction of the way the traditional Liberal Party operated. Too many captain's picks, no consensus, no proper process.
She and others still believe it is possible to achieve change from within the tent (and are probably more likely to be persuasive than a columnist very clearly outside the tent).
"Parties, especially ours, need to modernise. Get with the program. Fit in with the way people live their lives," she says.
Mary-Lou Jarvis, a Liberal Senate candidate in NSW, is much more optimistic. She is also the vice-president of the Liberal Party of Australia NSW Division, and president of the NSW Liberal Women's Council. She urges like-minded women to get involved.
"Do what I've done. Devote your whole life to it," she says.
I asked you to do one thing, then three. All lies, or at least a little misleading.
Put women's needs first, because we are the engine room. Our labour keeps the country together. We are the nurses and teachers, the childcare educators and carers of the aged and of those with a disability.
And after you've done that, join a party which represents who you are and will do what you think is best for Australia.
Also, never ever let your kids play sport with politicians, because it's just politicians making sport with us.
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