Bring back the Democrats
Monday October 29th 2007, 10:45 am

There’s an immense imperative at present on the part of many Australian voters to oust HoWARd and his Liberals. Lots of people are considering their preference options to achieve a particular power balance.

The people have decidedly been stung by allowing HoWARd control of the House and Senate. When Johnny got absolute power, he gave us WorkChoices, which effectively criminalised many aspects of normal collective bargaining and union representation.

There’s an imperative to improve debate and moderation of legislative outcomes in Parliament by having the Greens in the balance of power, such that neither Liberals nor Labor can impose their policies without compromise on a party line vote. At present, the most practical option to achieve that balance is to vote Green 1, Labor 2 and so on.

However, the ‘keep the bastards honest’ strategies of the late, great Don Chipp‘s Australian Democrats are glaring by their absence from the field of familiar faces represented by press-favoured candidates of late.

Certainly, internecine squabbles and brain implosions within the Dems as well as Meg Lees’ most infamous caving on the GST, damned the Dems to a very long time in the woodshed. Natasha Stott-Despoja’s retirement from politics after years of valiant service to the party and the ideals seemed to extinguish the last bright beacon of the Dems.

I yet keep hoping for a renaissance of the Democrats, with some modification to their core ideals, notably deletion of their advocacy of removing the state level layers of government in Australia. I’m a firm believer that some elements of bureaucracy and a federal structure are necessary and important hedges against authoritarian rule from a small segment of government in Canberra.

I hope Andrew Bartlett is successful in any bid to keep his seat, regardless of the trajectory of the Dems. Bartlett’s blog has been a unique and invaluable window into truly democratic parliamentary politics as she should be done.


Gimme my vote back, you bastards
Thursday October 25th 2007, 7:10 am

oops, wrong salute, Morrie

I made a very grave mistake in the last NSW state elections. I voted Green, but preferenced Labor.

NSW Labor is proving itself to be the closest thing to an authoritarian regime we’ve got in Australia. Former NSW Premier Bob Carr legislated to allow drug sniffer dogs to search people on public transport, on the footpath in certain suburbs and in pubs and clubs- without a warrant or so much as any reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing whatsoever.

Present NSW Premier Morris Iemma introduced laws regarding hydroponic cultivation of cannabis, based in myths propagated by zero-tolerance anti-drugs activists instead of any sort of medical or scientific evidence.

Iemma has also legislated to build a multi-billion-dollar desalination plant for Sydney, one which will supply only a very small fraction of Sydney’s water needs and which will use as much electric power as a town the size of Parramatta. Not one cent has been spent on researching recycling of Sydney’s stormwater, which at present is simply discharged into the sea. Iemma is on record as saying that the desal plant is ‘beyond public debate,’ despite a significant recovery of the storage levels of Sydney’s reservoirs. What the people of NSW think about the desal plant is fully irrelevant to NSW Labor.

On top of that, NSW Labor’s chief prick, Michael Costa, is presently sneaking around looking for buyers to privatise NSW’s electricity generation facilities, potentially from the People’s Republic of China. When caught out by NSW Greens senator John Kaye, check out how Costa ponderously stonewalled the query. On the ‘net, we call this sort of behaviour ‘trolling‘… and it’s usually a fairly reliable way to get kicked out of any reasonable discussion forum.

Now… NSW Police are to be given powers by Iemma to tap phones and internet communications- without warrants or any judicial oversight at all. Isn’t this the very same abuse of power which has got the Bushies in the poo? Well, it is, actually… but Australians have not got a Bill of Rights on which to base any sort of defence. Australian governments can violate their citizens, at will and with impunity.

At the risk of Godwinning myself- sieg fucking heil, Mr Iemma. So much for Labor being any sort of a party which might actually represent the voters who elected them.

The solution? Vote Green. Call talkback radio. Blog about it. Raise hell.

Governments which do what they want, without any concern whatsoever for the voters who elected them, should not stand.


Can’t score unless you have the ball
Wednesday October 24th 2007, 9:36 am

A worm with THE worm

Peter Garrett flips 30 years of environmental activism to embrace Labor’s weak enviropolicies; Krudd looks more and more like HoWARd-lite at every possible turn, up to and including being soft on repealing even the most heinous provisions of WorkChoices . Why? Could it all be to attract enough votes to win government, but once in the catbird seat, to enact more progressive policies?

Ross Gittins ponders the purpose of Labor’s prima facie centrist nonsense in his op-ed piece in todays’ SMH. Could KRudd be a silent socialist waiting to pupate? Is Garrett poised to pounce on the pulp mill once out of shadow ministry? Maybe. Maybe not.

Forgive me, but even with Labor’s crushing poll lead, I still can’t bring myself to fully trust the ‘unemployed diplomat who speaks Chinese‘ nor even consider an increasingly likely Labor landslide as a sure thing. Even if it’s essentially a done deal (and with a 58% to 42% ALP lead, it’s hard to consider it anything else), I want nothing to do with Labor mimicking centre-right ‘New Labour’ or ‘Clinton Democrats.’ Australia has been given away to HoWARd’s fatcat mates- and the balance of power has got to be shifted back to Australian working people.

Did you catch Peter Costello on the 7:30 Report last night? Combative, arrogant, smirking- to the point of putting people offside who had their TV on mute. Anyone as desirous of power as Costello shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near it. Yeah, you betcha- I want to see a Swan-Costello debate. Bring on the worm. Mind you, if there’s any women pushing the worm’s buttons, you might need a taller TV screen to see just how low it burrows for Petey.

Still planning upon voting Green and preferencing Labor- for now.


KRudd vs Howstello: Who won?
Monday October 22nd 2007, 9:02 pm

this worm bites!

The worm!


h/t to SHAO for finding the killer worm pic.

Deathbed conversions
Friday October 19th 2007, 4:33 pm

When the end is nigh, everything is open for reconsideration.

John HoWARd has seen his fate in the rear-view mirror, overtaking at Mach III- and suddenly came to the realisation that aborigines are human and ought to be recognised in the Australian Constitution..

Alan Jones similarly has seen irrelevance slowly but surely eclipsing his time in the sun- and has publicly pondered the workability of legalisation of       recreational       evil drugs.

Yeah, OK.


lulz @ da Gr33nz
Tuesday October 16th 2007, 3:41 pm

In what could be the dumbest bit of the 2007 campaign to date, the party which are probably (and seemingly unfortunately) going to get my vote are acting like teenage haXX0R m0r0nz.

Da Gr33nz are running a ‘LOLpolz competition,’ where one applies a caption worded somewhere between haXX0R, 3-year-old-cutesy and Ebonics to a pic of a politician, supposedly to debase and unpopularise said pols.

No, Greens- it’s not funny, nor a vote getter. It’s lame. It’s somewhat less annoying with the cute kittens, but I’m not considering voting a cute kitten into Parliament.

More policy statements, more invoking the need for political change… and less dorking around, please, Greens.

The email just received from The Greens is much more informative:

Services Not Tax Cuts

The Greens oppose Costello’s election tax cuts. The $34 billion should go to schools, hospitals, water, tackling climate change and the poor.

The tax cuts are an irresponsible election bribe and fail Australia. The total cost of tax cuts announced in the last three years is now $100 billion.

Once again the rich get the biggest gains. The big end of town, those on $200,000 per annum will get $128 per week while battling households on $70,000 per annum will get just $20 per week.

The Australian Council of Social Services are also opposed to the tax cuts.

The ACTU has said the money won’t compensate workers for the impact of Howard’s workplace laws.

We should be using the surplus to invest in Australian infrastructure and services to safeguard against future problems.

Greens Leader Bob Brown called on Kevin Rudd to “resist the urge to get into a tax cutting auction with the Coalition.”

To read Bob Brown’s statement on the tax cuts.

Yes indeed… spread the largesse from overtaxation to people who really need it, instead of giving the millionaires a burger and a shake.


Yeah, baby
Sunday October 14th 2007, 1:16 pm

image: Alan Moir for The Sydney Morning Herald

’bout time..

PM announces November 24 poll

Prime Minister John Howard has announced Australia will go to the polls on November 24.

Mr Howard launched the election campaign after visiting Governor-General, Major General Michael Jeffery, earlier today.

Let the bribery begin!


MORE: Howard says best lies in years ahead. I reckon Howard’s old lies have been pretty good, too.

And MORE: Not sure if you want to vote for John HoWARd? Noise Ltd’s ‘Vote-HoWARd-a-Matic‘ makes your ‘choice’ easy. Pick any electoral issue and Noise Ltd will assure you that you really want to vote Lieberal. Check their headlines from now to 24 November- the Noise Ltd website is nothing but a long HoWARd election ad.

What if they had an election and nobody came?
Monday October 08th 2007, 7:31 am

image: Cathy Wilcox for The Sydney Morning Herald

image: Cathy Wilcox for The Sydney Morning Herald

Cathy Wilcox nuts it. Far too many KRudd policies are just ‘HoWARd lite.’

 No thanks.