Could anyone update me with what's going on with the Abbott government in terms of the Australian economy, how they are taking away benefits etc

(From comments section:

It's for an expository essay on encountering conflict for VCE English. Just want to explore how people choose to blindly follow authority and how some decide to stand against it.)

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Benefits is a loaded term. Likewise he is taking out cost/debt for future generations. Could you provide context on what it's for? English? An essay? General politics?
It's for an expository essay on encountering conflict for english. Just want to explore how people choose to blindly follow authority and how some decide to stand against it.
The best example of blindly following authority is how everyone assumes the government giving less "free" things is bad, and that it is a heartless and cruel government. The authority and force used by a government that taxes and spends the money of it's citizens is something that most people completely ignore. Instead they focus on what they can get from the government.
Thanks for that. Could I also use the Milgram experiment as my outside link?
I've tagged this as 'vce-english' and added your comments about the context/the fact that it's for a expository essay on encountering conflict in the original question.

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Encountering conflict essay - expository essay? The question to ask yourself is what is the "conflict" in this situation? What type of "conflict", how does has that "conflict" started, what motivates it (both sides) and how is it reported? The Government's action in attempting to or planning to balance the budget and reduce the deficit has certain consequences both positive and negative. Short term pain for long term gain? Regardless of political partisanship (and that may not be possible), is this "conflict" primarily ideological, social, financial etc. or is it a mish-mash of all of these competing values?

There is quite clearly a "conflict" here and the manner in which the "conflict" is characterized often superficially by the media as a conflict between "the use and abuse of the welfare state" (a universal entitlement to government services as a right for taxpayers who have fallen on hard times or who gain a financial benefit) versus the need for individual's to actively contribute to their own livelihood in more circumstances than currently determined by governments (of whatever political persuasion).

Any government is voted in to determine the "best" way to distribute and use taxpayers' revenue, which adds to the complexity of this issue. The current government has determined certain priorities and to that extent their approach has either been supported or demonized, depending on how the consequences have been perceived by those who face major changes in their "share" of the financial pain.

In an expository essay, in regard to "Encountering Conflict" thematically "explor[ing] how people choose to blindly follow authority and how some decide to stand against it", I would be very cautious about using the "Milgram Experiment" as it seems somewhat distant from this particular conflict, or even the "Nuremberg Defence". In an argumentative essay, I might use it as an analogy (hyperbole!), but I just don't think there is any useful comparison here. Similarly characterizing your issue as "Abbott Government vs Shorten Opposition (and others!)" also may misrepresent the current issue as non-ideological. Who is "blind" here?

Some background links:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2rXPgbT5Mg - Hockey's Budget Speech
http://australianpolitics.com/2014/05/21/joe-hockey-acoss-budget-forum.html - Hockey Responds to ACOSS
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rs7UFMJB9Ks - Greens' Response
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fbpWrAwtvQ - Palmer's Response

Your expository essay will have some very clear guidelines in terms of its structure, but it is the individual student who will determine what they determine as the "conflict" in an issue that will give your essay authenticity. I would suggest your definition of "encountering conflict" needs some careful thinking here, especially in regard to your thesis statement (i.e. expressing the conflict and its controlling ideas, being neither too broad nor too narrow).

Other questions apart from definitional:

How does this conflict affect individuals or groups in different ways?
Should or can the conflict be avoided?
How is an individual's response to this conflict shaped by any perceived causes of the conflict?
What other broad factors might contribute to differentiated responses to this particular conflict?
What individual factors may influence how an individual contends with the conflict?
In what ways have individuals and groups responded to this conflict - Perpetrators vs Victims vs Spectators? Compassionate concern for others or selfish individualism? Reasoned or aggressive support for the Government? Hostility? Ridicule?

This "conflict" is complex in some ways and simple in others, but it would be too easy either way to provide a partial and biased view. Your view of the "conflict" might well be influenced by your future HEX fees, just as much as whether your are seriously ill and dependent on financial support from the Government. Or your view might very well be influenced by your concern about how we can avoid future financial ruin? Your choice ...

Hope this helps?

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Wow - thanks for that! I wouldn't think anyone would actually have the effort to find all that info! Haha.