I've sent the Liberals, Labor, Nationals and Greens the following email:
Hello, my name's Iris Carden and I write the blog sometimesitislupus.com.
I have a series of questions of interest to people with chronic illnesses, which I am providing to all the major political parties. I would like to be able to publish everyone's answers to these questions together to allow readers to compare easily. Please tell me only what your party's position is, not what you believe is wrong with another party's position.
Would someone in your media department please get back to me with your party's responses by the 25th of June?
1. If you were in government, what would the future of Medicare be? (Ie, would it be privatized? Would the freeze on rebates continue?)
2. Quite a number of people with lupus have been unable to gain Disability Pensions, despite their doctors being insistent that they should stop work. What would your government's position be on Disability Support Pension for people with chronic illness? (Particularly episodic illnesses, where the patient can appear fine one day, and be crippled with pain, fatigue, and mental confusion the next?)
3. Does your party support the idea of a renewed Chronic Illness Dental Scheme?
4. Do you plan any changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme?
5. Is there any other message you would like to give to Australians living with serious chronic illnesses?
Thank you for your attention to this matter, I realize a blog will not rate as highly in your priorities as a major news outlet, but the community I write for is very interested in these matters (our lives, in fact, depend on them.)
Grace and peace
Would you like to know what I've had back so far? Everyone except the Nationals sent me an email acknowledging receipt of my email. Labor has sent a further three emails asking for donations and inviting me to volunteer for them.
That's it so far.
I wonder if any of them will take the time to give me an answer to the questions?
10//6/16 That's now four emails from Labor asking me to donate or volunteer.
11/6/16 Now seven emails from Labor asking me to donate or volunteer. No emails from any party answering my questions.
13/6/16 Now nine emails from Labor asking for money or work. No emails from any party answering questions.
18/6/16 I can't be bothered counting any more. Labor has continued sending me two emails a day (and an extra on one day when they asked permission to ring me about how I could volunteer.) Still no answers to the actual questions.