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An Independents Charter

By Steve Laing

Over the course of the last few years only Blind Freddie would suggest that there isn’t a growing issue in the governments of western democracies, particularly the US, the UK and Australia, where the electorate are increasingly supporting what we might call “non-traditional parties”. Of course, at election time the large parties are immediately concerned about this “protest” message, but before long they are back on their merry way (unless, of course, the results of those “protest votes” suddenly impact the passing of legislation). In the UK, a glib promise for a vote on Europe as a means for the Tories to get back into power at a general election has resulted in a country cutting off its nose to spite its face, whilst in the US we have an orange faced baboon contending the presidency. And here in Australia we have an orange haired ex-fast food purveyor now holding a not insignificant chunk of the senate cross-bench.

Sure, that’s democracy, but as we know there is very little substance behind the slogans, yet people are still supporting and voting for them, and that is a very real issue.

Now it might be argued that there are a large number of people who have actually understood the detailed policies and plans before giving their support, but given that those of use who are informed recognize the paucity of such a statement, let’s be blunt: People increasingly don’t trust the big parties.

And how can you be surprised? It is clear that despite what they say, both the Coalition and Labor are stuck in models of factional warfare. The factionally unaligned Lisa Singh was dropped down to 6th on the Tasmanian senate ticket, but got back in in spite of the Labor Party’s preferences. And Andrew Leigh, whilst retaining a shadow ministry position, does so without the corresponding pay packet – the danger of not having anyone to fight in your corner. Merit? Pfft. It’s all about influence.

In the Coalition it is of course significantly more obvious with the right-wing continuing to push Turnbull around like the puppet that he is. Again, influence is the key factor in that party too. And in both cases I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised that the amount of influence one has is significantly correlated to the amount of money that the person, or the faction that they represent, brings to the party. And we are back to the problem that in politics money talks, and the voters can see that and they don’t like it.

So when people want to register their electoral protest, why are they voting for another “big entity” like PUP or One Nation, or indeed one might argue, the Greens, rather than for the plethora of other candidates including the independents who are the least likely to be in the pockets of external donors?

Because for a protest to be valid it has to be heard. And most of us are aware that when you have a limited opportunity to protest, it’s important to make it count. And in that situation a vote for one of the perhaps plethora of independent candidates means your protest will simply be ignored; by politicians, by the media, by the world. “In space nobody can hear you scream”. Well the same goes for elections.  And you can’t get much louder than Pauline Hanson, Donald Trump or Nigel Farage. So it’s perhaps no surprise that shouty, angry politicians attract shouty, angry voters. Aided, of course, by our erstwhile media who love nothing better than shouty politicians – who needs clickbait when you have Jacqui Lambie? If you want to know why Jacqui and Leyjohnholm were re-elected, and not the more thoughtful but quieter Ricky Muir or John Madigan, just consider which ones have the higher media profile (more for their outspoken opinions rather than their eloquence or well considered contributions to the political debate). The media love shouty because the viewers love drama!  And sadly high TV recognition seems to attract the votes of the members of the electorate who aren’t really that interested in the detail.

Unfortunately, “shouty” doesn’t solve problems. Solving problem actually requires listening, and lots of it. Which is why loud politicians are typically ineffective – they back themselves into corners that they can’t easily get out of without losing face, so they will happily continue with pointless and expensive exercises because actually doing the right thing would be politically too expensive to their personal brand. NBN, offshore detention, Direct Action are the great shouty policies of Tony Abbott, which unfortunately our latest PM has had to adopt as part of his Faustian deal with the shouty right wing of his party.

So how do we collectively turn the protest vote against the major parties into something more solid and tangible? Something that registers as a clear rejection of the large parties, without one’s vote being considered wasted? The answer is perhaps best determined by listening to politicians of the two main parties. Whom do they implore you not to vote for? And why do you think that is?

The answer is ‘independent politicians’, because nothing worries them more than an MP, very much unlike themselves, who cannot be “bought” and isn’t a dumbass. It truly scares them shitless, because for the most part, without their party machine behind them, many politicians in the two main political parties would be unelectable.

Unfortunately these jobbing politicians, the lobby fodder of both main parties, contribute little, simply going with the flow and doing what they are told. And they know this is their role, and that they must obey or get out. Alannah McTiernan, highly effective when previously a WA state politician, said as much when she decided not to recontest her federal seat at the 2016 election – there was really nothing for her to put her considerable talent towards.

And that is where the concept of an ‘Independents Charter’ comes in. It’s a set of rules that independent candidates can sign up to, which will dictate their behavior as parliamentarians. It has nothing to do with ideology, or political leanings, and thus is as appropriate for right, left or centralist leaning candidates.

For voters, the charter gives a level of assurance that the independent candidate they are voting for won’t act like an obstructionist pork chop, or vote in a manner entirely contradictory to their pre-election promises.

One way out of the current political morass is to diminish the powers of the major parties. Not to replace them with a new major party, but to get the power back in the hands of the people, and away from those of the vested interests, the powerbrokers, the corporate sponsors, the wealthy elites, that ensure the two-party system continues to do their will. And that means we need more independents, and we need to ensure that people will vote for them, confident that they have the power and capability to develop quality policies and get them enacted.

So here is my first draft – quite literally a straw man. It is open for discussion, addition and change, but it stands by the principals of integrity, transparency, duty and honesty.

  • To apply for the role I am standing for, I will submit my resume and a “covering letter” stating why I believe I am qualified for the role.
  • I will document in my own words my personal positions on each of the key areas of government. If I have no strong position I will state this too.
  • Once elected my first priority is to the citizens of the entire country, and then to those of my electorate (both those that voted for me and those that didn’t). I will work positively for whomever the government of the day is, although this does not mean that I will necessarily vote for the bills they propose.
  • I will explain to my electorate why I voted the way that I did on every piece of legislation enacted. There will be full transparency for my actions.  If the electorate decides they do not like how I have operated, and what I have done, they can vote me out at the next election.
  • I will respect the views of others, even if I do not agree with them. I will base my arguments and decisions, wherever possible, on facts and reason, rather than opinions and hearsay. Where I do not believe I have enough knowledge to make a judgment on a particular issue, I will abstain from voting, and explain to my electorate why.
  • I accept the decision of the majority even when it disagrees with my personal viewpoint. Diversity of opinion is not a bad thing, nor a sign of weakness, but is actually a strength.
  • I will not undertake any paid political advertising. My ability to persuade electors to vote for me should be on the strength of my arguments, not the size of my election war chest. With no funding required, I will not be beholden to the views, or desires, of external parties.
  • Being an independent does not preclude me from associating with other like-minded individuals, indeed such should be encouraged. However, these associations should not require a formal association, and agreement on most issues should not presume agreement on another.
  • I will only claim expenses that are directly associated with my undertaking of the role I have been elected to do, and not as an additional source of income. If I am found to have abused this privilege I will expect the same outcomes as any other citizen.
  • I will declare any personal investments or other potential conflicts of interest, and recognize that failure to declare such should be dealt with appropriate to the position I hold, and the personal benefit that might be obtained.

So that’s my first stab at it. I’d welcome any feedback, edits, ideas, additions. I’d like the end product to be a collective effort, and the intention is to send out to independent politicians for their thoughts, and ideally them signing up, to create an independents movement, a means to break through the current political torpor that is holding our country back. Democracy is meant to be lean and agile, but currently the autocratic nations, like the Chinese, are the ones who seem to be doing best at progressing their countries long-term needs.

Of course, I know that many still believe that their party will save the day. Let me assure you, if you don’t change the way the system works, money will continue to talk.

Perhaps the greatest collective of independent politicians ever assembled were the signatories to the US Constitution who developed a political system that was exceptionally robust for the time. It has, unfortunately, been eroded by the vested interests of the two main political parties (much like the situation here in Australia, and indeed the UK) – a possible outcome that was certainly predicted by one of the key Founding Fathers, namely John Adams, the first Vice President, and second US president who said:

“There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other.  This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”

He certainly wasn’t wrong there. The questions is, have we the will to fix it?

Steve LaingAbout the author: A regular bloke, Steve Laing is unaligned to any particular party, but cognizant of the reality that people are our biggest asset, so it makes sense to look after them. Uncomfortable with the ineptitude that permeates our current government, and yet sees such as the prevailing condition in our political system. Over the years Steve has worked for a number of different businesses, both corporate and small, and has experienced good and bad “policy” development and decision making, and seen the outcomes of such.

Whilst the business world has changed radically, our political system seems stuck in an outdated paradigm, which is increasingly undemocratic, with outside influences now having far greater control than the will of the people. The inventiveness and flexibility that a good democratic system should deliver, has in Australia’s case become moribund predominantly through a system that has allowed ineptitude to flourish. We are increasingly susceptible to our economy being overwhelmed by the sheer force, but potentially dangerous one-mindedness, of autocratic governments where groupthink might easily result in catastrophic outcomes, so revitalizing our democratic processes is essential.

Ideas to do such are documented on his blog www.makeourvoiceheard.com   Please feel free to drop by.

 


102 comments

  1. Jaquix

    I would like someone/some entity draw up a checklist before the election, of issues/policy positions of each party. A comparison chart like we do online for purchasing a new washing machine! Freely available online, printable. Voters could then see how many ticks each party has, what their intentions are. For instance the heading Aged Pension would show that the Libs intended to cut $7 per week from July 2016, as well as the lower increases due indexation to cpi instead of average wages. Newstart for Libs = a 6 month eligibility waiting period to receive the paltry $239 per week workers are expected to live on when they lose their jobs. (Abbott brainwave). Treatment/transparency around refugees. Etc. The list is large but should concentrate on main issues. I did come across something like this, but have forgotten who compiled it. Would have links to party websites for further detail. Independents could be included separately. Also I would like a database available of every single candidate, showing their references, qualifications, statement to voters, as Steve alludes to. Malcolm Roberts might still have got 77 people voting for him, but he might not have got so many preferences which got him over the line. Apart from political junkies, generally I think people are completely in the dark about who/what is on offer, and unfortunately the loudest/easiest to hear voices (Jones, Hadley, Bolt) get heard, and the TV/print media favours the Coalition, no matter how incompetent or corrupt.

  2. Roscoe

    how would we know the independents really are and not some party stooge, we have seen it happen already in NSW. but you are right, the two party system needs to go

  3. kerri

    A good notion for the independants but why stop there? We need a charter of position/role for all politicians to assure us that the people we pay handsomely are earning their wages. I would also like to see any breach of duty or rorting of priveleges as an immediate signal that the politician involved is prepared to surrender all retirement benefits usually due under their employment.

  4. cornlegend

    If you bring together like minded “independents” and have them sign up to a “charter” , locking them in to specific policy areas, with common objectives are you then not creating a “party” but just by another name ?
    The Greens for example, all individuals from different factions come together under a “charter” of Greens rules.{locking them in to] campaigning on specific policies with common objectives, as a collective {or party}

  5. Trish Corry

    Hi Steve,
    “The questions is, have we the will to fix it?”

    You haven’t actually explained or put forward an argument as to what needs fixing, other than stating ‘the two party system.’ It seems the norm just to posit the two party system as a failure, without people taking the time to analyse what has failed and why a grab bag of diverse independent’s will change this. It also seems the norm to ignore or conveniently forget the many reforms that the two party system has brought us over the years and would the country be where it is now, if not for that system?

    We also need to talk about and acknowledge what risks there will be with a grab bag of diverse independents. It seems the trend to just pretend there are no risks. If people are going to put forth arguments that we should destroy the two party system, we need to start giving more support to these arguments to have a genuine critical debate.

  6. diannaart

    cornlegend

    Such agreements do not mean a formal party.

    I am not going to argue about this, not having the legal background to battle with you – based upon my experience and judgement I do know a set of conditions to be accepted by an aspiring politician is fair and reasonable.

    Nor will you like to read this:

    The two major parties are flabby and infested with parasites – this is not democracy.

    Democratic rule is slow, difficult and must listen to many people some of whom are outright raving loonies – but a diversity of opinion is where we get our best answers.

    Vote Independent – be heard.

  7. cornlegend

    Diannart, “I am not going to argue about this, not having the legal background to battle with you – based upon my experience and judgement I do know a set of conditions to be accepted by an aspiring politician is fair and reasonable.”
    Who enforces the conditions and adherance to them or even dreams up the initial concept.
    Jennifer has got nowhere with her COALition, why would this be better than her concept?
    Plenty of Parties, other than Indies to sign up
    Here’s a start ,
    Renewable Energy Party,The Arts Party,Glenn Lazarus Team,Jacqui Lambie Network,Katter’s Australian Party,Sex Party/HEMP,Rise Up Australia Party,Sustainable Australia,Socialist Equality Party,Online Direct Democracy,Socialist Alliance,Science Party,Australian Progressives,Marriage Equality,Veterans Party,Seniors United Party of Australia,Secular Party of Australia,Voluntary Euthanasia Party,John Madigan’s Manufacturing and Farming Party,,,,,

    One thing they all have in common,
    Their combined vote didn’t even beat that of Hansons One Nation .
    Spoilt for choice?

    AND, on Lisa Singh
    Lisa is a member of the Federal Labor Left.
    It was the Tasmanian ALP Left faction that rolled her .
    {glad she is back though}

  8. diannaart

    Renewable Energy Party,The Arts Party,Glenn Lazarus Team,Jacqui Lambie Network,Katter’s Australian Party,Sex Party/HEMP,Rise Up Australia Party,Sustainable Australia,Socialist Equality Party,Online Direct Democracy,Socialist Alliance,Science Party,Australian Progressives,Marriage Equality,Veterans Party,Seniors United Party of Australia,Secular Party of Australia,Voluntary Euthanasia Party,John Madigan’s Manufacturing and Farming Party,,,,,

    These fledgling parties are just the start, cornie.

    The binary political system is being challenged here, Britain, the USA – unless Labor does some amazing reinvention on their economic, environment and humanitarian policies – they will have to contend with having to negotiate as they did in the Gillard/Rudd government and as Turnbull is failing to with his tiny majority LNP always on the knife edge, always at risk that compromises will favour such as Hanson.

  9. cornlegend

    diannaart

    “Turnbull is failing to with his tiny majority LNP always on the knife edge,”
    It isn’t really.
    He is in a far better position than Gillard could have ever hoped
    At worst he has the 75.
    Labor 69
    Greens 1
    NXT is an ex Lib, who worked or Briggs, the bloke she knocked off so she will be onside with Turnbull,
    Cathy McGowan 90+% or the time if she stays true to previous form.
    Bob Katter , almost always
    Wilkie , often
    so the HOR in most instances will be 75-79 LNPs way
    And Labor, Bandt 70
    So as I said earlier, we will have the same horse through to the 2019 election, maybe a different LNP jockey
    As for the minnows I listed, a heap have been around for a decade or more

  10. diannaart

    …and The Greens have been around since the 1980’s so what?

    As for Turnbull being in a better position than Gillard – no argument from me. However, my point remains that the LNP and Labor will continue to hold minority governments and independents will continue to attract more and more of the mainstream voters.

  11. cornlegend

    diannaart
    Ye of little faith 😀
    Bill will sit back, leave them to destroy themselves and get a good majority on his own
    14 more LNP seats now within a % or 2 😀
    “and The Greens have been around since the 1980’s so what?
    “These fledgling parties are just the start, cornie.”

    you raised the “fledgling”
    how long to lose the fledgling tag?

  12. Glyn Hannen

    There is no place in a democracy for Party Politics. As was apparent in the last election , the electorate are saying that they want neither of the major parties to govern in their own right, But they want all members of parliament to have a conscience vote on all issues arising there.Elected members are there to represent their Nation and their Electorate. And NOT a particular Ideology . The purpose of parliament is to inform,form, debate and act on issues that are necessary to running the nation,and achieving the best outcome for its peoples.
    For too long have we put up with deliberately misleading statements, So called promises, both “Core Promises” and “Others” . The major parties seem to have forgotten that they are “employed by the population” to handle the mechanisms involved.
    I would personally like to see any candidate for an election, declare that they are there for the nation and its peoples first and foremost
    A charter of some devising would be a welcome.addition to those entering the ‘halls of democracy’. Since I voted for the first time sixty years ago ,the role of parliament has deteriorated to the condition that the chamber has become a ‘bickering session’ and the opposition will oppose because they are the opposition. Party Politics must be removed , to allow the members to go forward without fear or threat .

  13. OldWomBat

    The fact that several senators ‘got in’ although only getting les than 1% of primary votes needs to be addressed. The preference deals that can deliver a win to these people is at least partly at fault. If asked, would all those people who did not vote for hanson-candidate be happy if they found that in the end their preferences served to place one of the hanson clan into the senate? With so many candiates it is a tad difficult to really work out how your vote counts. Perhaps all candidates should have to secure a certain base percentage of primary votes to be able to take a senate seat. This would not preclude those like Pauline Hanson from getting into the senate, as she secured a reasonable primary vote, but it would help to provide a filter on those who really get in by a failure of the system.

  14. cornlegend

    Glyn Hannen

    “the electorate are saying that they want neither of the major parties to govern in their own right, ”
    sorry, wrong.
    They gave the LNP a majority, 76 seats

  15. Trish Corry

    Why do people think that this new system in the senate is ‘democracy?.’ A system that changes from keeping the people we least want kept out, is fraught with danger, as we have just learnt.

    The old system was democratic in the sense, that we voted for number 1, then if number 1 didn’t get in, then our number 2 got in, if number 2 didn’t get in, then it was our 3rd favourite, and so forth until we put our mark on the person we wanted to get in last of all. So you were saying that I want ALL of these people in before this person. We no longer exhaust every preference we have, if we vote below the line.

    The new system no longer allows this to play out to the final person, with the new Liberal/Greens optional preferential voting system. As you only need to choose up to 12 below the line. Essentially, if you did not fill out your entire senate ticket below the line, you said that you didn’t care if any of these people (you didn’t put a number against) get in before Pauline Hanson. Therefore by default, you voted that Hanson was better than everyone else you didn’t vote for, because you left that up to other people to decide on your behalf.)

    That is not democracy (unless you are an idiot who really did not care if any of these people don’t get in before Pauline Hanson.) I use her as an example, as she is one of the most dangerously minded people we can ever have in our political system. People have very, very short memories it seems.

  16. cornlegend

    Trish Corry
    It is now possible to number 12 below the line and still not elect a candidate or even get anywhere close to a quota and their vote then exhausts .
    Under the LNP Green system voters for Indies are likely to never get anyone elected and their vote being useless as it exhausts and no one benefits other than the big Parties

  17. Trish Corry

    Hi Corny – I’m not sure that is right about benefiting major parties. That would be above the line.

    This is from the AFR about below the line.

    That increases the prospect of more independents being elected to the twelfth or perhaps even the eleventh positions. The effect of more votes being exhausted early on means the percentage of the vote necessary to be elected at the end also falls.

    A proper democratic vote would be to number all boxes, so votes are not exhausted. Because if a lot of people number all the boxes and some only number 12 and exhaust the rest, then by default, then others are electing people where those chose to remain silent on how they preferenced these people, they exhausted. This was not explained. In fact the entire system was very poorly explained before the election and it should not have been allowed come into effect until the next election, so there was enough time for a proper education campaign.

  18. cornlegend

    Robyn
    “We have the answer Online Direct Democracy Party, representing the people through real democracy: ”
    It seems you don’t have the answer that the people want to hear.
    ODD had a good run on AIMN and elsewhere
    0.14% NSW
    0.20% QLD
    after more than a couple of goes isn’t really to impressive is it?

  19. cornlegend

    Trish Corry
    I didn’t go into detail.
    “committed voters” who go 12 below the line for micros and become exhausted really waste a vote
    Those without to much concern vote above the line so favouring big parties.
    So,called “thinking voters” could actually come out with a wasted vote unless the want to number 50.60.70 or so or the lot below the line

  20. totaram

    cornlegend: “So,called “thinking voters” could actually come out with a wasted vote unless the want to number 50.60.70 or so or the lot below the line”

    I used to do that before the changes came in, but this time I did not. Please prove your contention with an example. I suspect it is rubbish. Of course, you first need to define “wasted vote”. If I never want my vote to go to Family First, and it exhausts before it gets there, I have no problem with that.

    Not holding breath. Cheers!

  21. cornlegend

    totaram
    Senate N.S.W.
    12 below the line, all considered “left” ot progressive” candidates
    and the lot of them attracted O.O15% of the vote
    breath out now ,
    Candidate Party Votes % increase

    CANNING, Ken Socialist Alliance 730 0.02 0.0021
    PRICE, Susan Socialist Alliance 82 0.00 0.0002
    LEROY-DYER, Sharlene ” 34 0.00 0.0001
    COGAN, James Socialist Equality Party 198 0.00 0.0006
    DAVIS, John Socialist Equality Party 28 0.00 0.0001
    KEARNS, Sam Pirate Party Australia 912 0.02 0.0026
    McINTOSH, Darren Pirate Party Australia 92 0.00 0.0003
    DER SARKISSIAN, Online Direct Democracy 292 0.01 0.0008
    Berge Anthony
    EMMETT,
    Arthur John Online Direct Democracy 50 0.0 0.0001
    JANSSON, James Science Party 1,987 0.0 0.0058
    SLAVICH, Eve Science Party 373 0.01 0.0011
    STONER, Lynda Animal Justice Party 2,299 0.05 0.0067

    Exhausted

  22. diannaart

    …In fact the entire system was very poorly explained before the election and it should not have been allowed come into effect until the next election, so there was enough time for a proper education campaign.

    In full agreement, Trish.

    This LNP collection of reprobates fail to explain ANYTHING, the Census being the latest stuff-up. Supplying factual information, has become anathema; secretive behaviour is the result where a government with much to hide, continues to bury itself deeper into autocracy rather than face the unpalatable truth about themselves.

    Labor has an opportunity to break free of this cycle – before the next election. Admit to (some) mistakes, this may result in a chorus of jibes from such taunts matter from the likes of the LNP – grow a pair (which BTW, pertains to both balls and ovaries being the equivalent of each other).

    An opportunity to clean up and produce the humanitarian based policies Labor is capable of doing…. and learning to negotiate with other progressive FFS!

    As for a diversity of parties in government, this does work in other countries (as has been pointed out ad infinitum) a prime example being Denmark http://denmark.dk/en/society/government-and-politics/ an example which will not even be given thought as per usual the one-eye Labs. However, it is always worth trying.

  23. trishcorry

    Diann – The trouble is not that Labor does NOT have humanitarian based policies. They in fact do. If it is the asylum seeker policy you are referring to, I’ve explained that on here, many, many times, until I am blue in the face, including detailed explanations and even a video.

    Either Labor needs to spend more time on this explaining how it is indeed a humane policy, albeit still offshore, or people are just completely stuck with offshore equals inhumane. If Labor cannot articulate this well enough and bring the people with them and guarantee the fair and just treatment of people on Nauru, then it will always be a contentious issue. Considering the Greens vote is less than last election and the cross benchers are all right wing (nearly all anti-immigration) cross benchers in the senate, not enough people saw this as a key issue in the election. Labor needs to work hard to highlight the treatment of people seeking aslyum, which although I probably wont be believed….they are against. They have consistently asked about this in parliament. Just because it does not get air time, doesn’t mean it is against their values.

    Practice does not equal policy. The same thing in a policy, ie offshore, can have the operations of said policy conducted very differently. That is where Liberals and Labor differ greatly. Now Abbott has come out and said that they never should have blocked the Malaysia solution, as this is what it has resulted in………. its all coming out in the wash.

    I think Labor does need to drop turn back the boats though. If they can meet it to turn it back, then can put the people onboard and take them for processing their claim for asylum. To me, I only saw this as a political move and NOT a solid inclusion. As Shorten said it was only as an option. Labor’s model if it works, should eventually see the need of manus and nauru obsolete, because they will be working to fund onshore camps. Remember the Greens policy is also very similar to Labor’s. The Greens support the funding of offshore camps through UNHCR (as in Indonesia etc.,) and many other areas of Labor’s policy.

    I’m not going to debate this any further, because I don’t want to disrespect the author by moving further and further away from his topic through discussion with by one eyed – anti-Laborites.

  24. helvityni

    The majority of Oz population (many immigrants included) are anti-asylum seeker.. It will take a long time before we get asylum seeker friendly governments voted in, be they Labor / Liberal / anything. Sadly the Green’s vote has not increased, yet good old Pauline is rising from the ashes…

    That anyone votes for Ms Hanson is incomprehensible to me, as was Abbott’s rise to be our PM.

  25. Trish Corry

    Diann – This is going to be a long response, because you posed a simple question, which you see as a simple solution, which this one-eyed person did some thinking about and it is actually a complex answer. So sorry for the long post, but I hope you can see “I am trying” to overcome my non-thinking one eyed-ness.

    On the matter of Denmark – as someone who is putting it out there insinuating that people like me who are members of Labor are one-eyed and therefore can’t think for themselves, cannot identify a range of factors, cannot argue from various ideologies and are subsequently apparently essentially vapid sheep – then how much thought did you put into how Australia would go with adopting Denmark’s highly Christian values, transferred from a predominantly white Christian society?

    How much thinking did you put into that the system is vastly different than Australia? For Australia to be equivalent to Denmark – 179 people representing 5 million, then Australia’s similar system should then have 895 members of Parliament? The Crown decides on who the Prime Minister will be, not the country, or the parliament, the Crown. How will that transfer to Australia? The parliament has been ruled by coalition of parties, or a minority Government for a very long period of time. There are still parties, it is not a bevy of Independents. So for example, the two or three right wing parties will align – no different than if we mapped out the coalition of Liberal, National, Country National Party and LNP as the ruling coalition with say Katter, Mr. X and ONP if they had a lower seat jumping on board. Is that much different than Australia? What thinking went into that?

    In addition, the reason for this is not based on seats in electorates, it is that any party or independent with more than 2% of the vote, gets a seat. How would that work in Australia? Are we prepared to pay Parliamentary salaries for that amount of people? (Remember they have 179 people representing 5 million, to extrapolate this, we would need 895). How much thinking went into that? Or do we just go with 2% of the vote, regardless of how many seats this ends up with? How many seats would meet the criteria of 2% of the national vote below? Would this change if the country could vote 1 or 2 for ALL Candidates Nationally? Is this a risk for populism versus policy? How much thinking went into that? (These are first prefs – Denmark has either vote 1 or vote 1 / 2. )

    Even if we ran the same system with seats being apportioned on the national votes, then it would look like this:

    ALP Australian Labor Party 34.73 62 Seats
    LP Liberal 28.67 51 Seats
    GRN The Greens 10.23 18 Seats
    LNP Liberal National Party 8.52 15 Seats
    NP The Nationals 4.61 8 Seats
    IND Independent 2.81 5 Seats

    The Independents would be Cathy McGowan, Andrew Wilkie, Tony Windsor, Rob Oakshott and Stephen Ruff. However, as the nation votes for anyone in an open list system, then this may change.

    Xenophon only got 1.85% of the national vote, so he would be excluded. However, once again, It would depend on how many people Australia wide would vote for Xenophon, rather than just where he had candidates, and this would go for all the other parties as well. Also the level of engagement in voting in Denmark is quite high, compared to our informal rate here. This also makes a difference.

    As you will note, this is only 160 seats. Denmark has 179 for 5 million people compared to our 150 seats for almost 25 million people. So as you can see, The major parties still play a great deal into this and to Govern, it would depend on what coalitions were formed and which Independents had the highest number of votes nationally and who they would align with to form Government. Basically in Denmark they have a red alliance versus a Blue Alliance? Doesn’t sound much different to Australia, except in Australia a party can actually Govern without being held to ransom by those in their alliance. Remember – these parties do not share all the same values. There are risks to this. It is not all flowers and sunshine.

    In Denmark the Danish People’s Party has 37 seats – which is described as right wing nationalist in Denmark and Far Right by International standards. So how much thinking went into a system that could give us 37 Pauline Hansons? Or worse – Pia Kjærsgaard is far more right wing Nationalist than Hanson.

    If parties can’t decide on legislation, then the court decides. So if the Australian Government can’t get legislation through – let’s say making people on welfare go without any money for six months. Then it goes to a court and the court decides whether this should be allowed. How much thinking did you put into that being in practice in Australia? How many pieces of legislation would have gone to court in the Abbott/Turnbull era? How much thinking went into that?

    There is no Senate – it is Unicameral like QLD. My opinion – crap system. Any idea of how many pieces of legislation Newman got through after midnight or with less than 24 hours briefing in our wonderful unicameral system here in QLD? Imagine that nationwide. Stop the Boats, No Stop the Bikers! Put the bikers in solitary even if they have done nothing wrong but fill up their petrol or go for a beer! How much thinking went into abolishing the senate and just having parliamentary committees instead?

    What is different is in Denmark is that the people in parliament MUST represent their own values. They do not represent an individual electorate they must decide on their own values, not based on the will of the people. So for example if the will of the people wanted marriage equality, every person in the parliament must vote on their own conscience, ignoring the will of the people. How much thinking went in to that? Considering that the biggest argument for the growth of Independents in Australia is that “Independents represent ME, they don’t represent a party” Well sorry, in Denmark, the politicians vote on their own values, not on behalf of ‘ME’ How much thinking went into that?

    Along with this, how will a system transfer to a country with 5 times as many people, 181 times the land mass, a GDP in the trillions (Aus), not billions (Den), where 90% of the people are protestant and white Danish Nationals, with no disparity of Indigenous population quality of life compared to other Australians, with no vast amounts of rural and regional land to provide infrastructure to. Where we would decide to move to one of the highest taxing countries in the world to have free health and free Education. We already have (supposed) free health and free education up to Secondary school, with a repayment system in University, but we are a relatively low taxing country. How much thinking went into that?

    PS – it is really insulting to imply anyone is a sheep, one-eyed or rusted on. One can be committed to an ideology/value system of a party but be fully aware and cognisant of why you reject other ideologies and can even be educated enough to argue from the opposing view point or ideology. You can also be fully cognisant and aware and place value on the processes within a party you choose to align with, and understand fully the pros and cons of such a system.

    PPS Speaking of thinkers, I hope you have done some thinking around how the rise in the narrative that ‘party aligned people’ are the non-thinkers and the people who reject these parties are the thinkers, has contributed to the wonderfully intelligent grab bag of independents that have been installed to break down this system of the non-thinkers. Because apparently the two party system has never achieved anything in Australia. I hope you stop being so ‘one-eyed’ about party aligned people.

    Sincerely, your one-eyed Lab.

  26. diannaart

    Trish

    1. Who said we have to copy Denmark exactly? Just because we ape the USA doesn’t mean we can grow up and adapt. Use the good bits?

    2. Please don’t take me so personally, my comments were for any Labor supporter who does no want Labor to adapt for the future and for the better. 😉

    3. Yes it is insulting to suggest that anyone is a sheep – so what do you suggest we do with Hanson/Bolt/Bernardi/Jones supporters? Deny them a voice? (please refer to my reference, above, true democracy being rather messy.)

    4. (which applies to your PPS) as above mentioned in #3.

  27. Trish Corry

    Diann – you did put it out there that how easy this system works in Denmark, without taking any type of critical review of any of it. Then you ended that comment by insinuating that anyone who is dedicated to Labor would not give it any thought. As you have the monopoly (being a non-Labor supporter) as being in the class of ‘thinkers’. That is indeed insulting and shows that your original comment lacks any type of critical thought. It is this type of attitude defaming the party aligned people as morons, that is resulting in the rise of the populist right. I abhor it and I condemn it and I will call it out when I see it.

    I have given you enough information in my comment above to present some of your arguments on how we could then replicate this system. You say we don’t need to copy Denmark exactly, but your proposal takes absolutely nothing into account of how it would work here. Your argument on this is baseless, albeit presented with the pretentious haughtiness it should not have been. If you are presenting a fair reaching argument that would change the entire structure of our system, as if it is simple with no ramifications, humility and support for your argument for this, I would expect would be in order. I think that is where you need to take some stock instead of when you answer back, not recognising any of that. If you comments are not meant to rile those party aligned, then why make the comment?

    Do you not think that conservative / Liberalist / Libertarian people who follow the Liberals sincerely believe in conservatism and individualism and reject collectivism / socialism? Do you consider that there is a possibility that they are educated and see anything that is socialist and disrupts the status quo or reduces individualism as a threat? Do you not see this is aligned with their personal belief and choice about the type of country they want to live in? As is the same with Labor supporters who favour a system based on social democracy and a modern strain of collectivism as opposed to individualism. This is a battle of ideology between the two major parties, not a battle between non-thinkers.

    The non-thinkers are the ones who are populist voters based on one issue and give no consideration whatsover to the ramifications on a wider amount of issues in Australia and how that party they voted for will affect other areas. That is a non-thinker. I do not see this aligned with dedicated Party voters as much as opposed to Independent / minor / micro party voters as much. So even your insult is baseless.

    It is also a bit hard not to take it personally when the comment is targeted towards Labor voters AND you have had similar comments towards me before.

    In what way to we “Ape” the USA system? Another comment that you think bears weight but is not justified.

    PS your point number 3, is not inline with your advocacy of the Denmark system. Are you assuming that under this system they would NOT be elected or they would be, and why? In an open list, if these people were first on the ticket, would that increase or decrease a national vote in a system the same as Denmark?

    My PPS was purposely facetious in response to your insult about non thinking Lab voters. I’ll wear that on my sleeve, simply to return in common terms how insulting and pretentious your original comment was.

    Unless you want to contribute to the the advancement of the right wing ideologues that are gaining populist appeal, possibly think about why you think our democracy should not include these (right wing people you listed) making the laws in this country and what is the best way to shut them out. Is that through an increase in separatist individualism (as in white power separatism) or to fight back with collectivism?

    What I do personally, is I join a party that is based on democratic socialism, that is the party who has driven every positive national reform we have ever had in this country, with the exception of gun control, which was Howard, and I stand shoulder to shoulder with my comrades in collectivist action and I work hard to advance the party for a better country.

    I’d be interested on your thoughts on what positive national reforms have ever been achieved through individualism and separatist type rhetoric, and what type of reforms will occur if the rise of individualism and white separatist in Australia eventually achieves a collective majority. That is the democracy you are prepared to advocate for. Is it not?

  28. diannaart

    I apologise in avoidance Trish, (BTW my name is spelled Dianna)

    I did not get past

    you did put it out there that how easy this system works in Denmark, without taking any type of critical review of any of it.

    I said nothing of the sort, I did state that we select the better bits.

    I am not spouting rhetoric.

    And I am currently looking at ways more collaborative methods of government can be achieved. I do not have a magic answer – who does? But that does not mean we have settle with the status quo, we, all of us need to change, because what we have got is not working.

  29. cornlegend

    Trish Corry
    Damn Trish, I’m one of those one eyed characters, and I wear a patch over my good eye at times 😀

  30. Trish Corry

    “We select the better bits” (which I won’t bother to detail – just chuck it out there and then tell others they are idiot for not agreeing what you put, especially just because they align with Labor!)

    We don’t need to settle with the status quo (Why – no details given again) but we need change (why, no details given again), what we have is not working (why, no details given again).

    Well Okay then!!! Now that is a progressive way forward…Not.

    Please take some responsibility for putting up insulting statements or baseless arguments, instead of blaming other people.

  31. Trish Corry

    Hey Corny. Lucky our two party system allows medicare or hopefully you are rich or something, if the new democracy we are arguing for but don’t know why we are arguing for it, takes hold.

  32. diannaart

    Trish if I was being “blatantly insulting” I would have my comments, quite rightly, deleted.

    I am saying stuff you either don’t like or don’t wish to consider.

    Now, I just stated I do not have any magical answers.

    I also stated that the two party system is not working well here or in Britain or USA.

    Perhaps, YOU, could consider the thoughts of someone far better qualified than I on the USA 2 Party System.

    …A possible break-up of the traditional two-party system might involve, for example, the two parties morphing into four parties. In this scenario, each major party would split into two factions, establishment and radical, whether of the left for Democrats or right for Republicans – whatever left and right might mean. These parties will likely include Libertarian and Green parties, but also a host of single-issue, far-left groupings as well as white, Christian nationalist.

    A clock is ticking; the current political system is being squeezed by the demands of a new capitalist global order. In the U.S., how this possible political realignment works out – or if it doesn’t – depends on changes in demographics and economics. The changing composition of the American people, of ethnic makeup, age-cohort and social class, is one axis of tension; and the social economy, of wages and growing inequality, is a second…

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/08/12/the-crack-up-is-the-two-party-system-splintering/

    There are no magic answers here either, but people are taking time to look at a crumbling 2 party system and trying to find answers or at least isolating the problems – which is a start. Much more of a start than the old “she’ll be right, Labor doesn’t need to change anything” that I am hearing from you and cornlegend.

  33. Freethinker

    Trish, said, quote: What I do personally, is I join a party that is based on democratic socialism, that is the party who has driven every positive national reform we have ever had in this country, End of Quote

    Can I asking you which party is that?

    regarding the 2 party system IMO it does not work, it is proved in many countries.
    On those countries that are not longer 2 parties it is because some of the politicians on them with progressive ideas have the honesty and guts to leave the party even if it can costs their seat. Many
    of them went together to form a small party, others went independent like Tony Windsor in Australia.

  34. Trish Corry

    Diannaart.

    “Trish if I was being “blatantly insulting” I would have my comments, quite rightly, deleted. ”

    Ok fair enough – you don’t think that calling someone one-eyed because they align with Labor is insulting. Calling people one eyed due to affiliation, also means they cannot think critically, are dumb, stupid, a blind sheep. Even after I explained that you can be completely aligned with a party, be educated and understand fully why one would reject the opposing ideology. If you don’t think that is a blatant insult – that is totally your call. Your conscience. Your voice. Not mine.

    I will call One Nation Voters plenty of names, but I am confident, I could articulate and defend WHY I would do so, without fobbing it off.

    “I am saying stuff you either don’t like or don’t wish to consider.” (This is underpinned by the construct that I am ignorant – thanks!)

    I will reiterate. Adding to the narrative that party aligned people are a pack of non-thinking morons, adds weight to the uprising of the right wing individualism in this country we are now seeing. Because the narrative is telling people, “unless you vote for an independent, you are not a real thinker – you are stupid” So no, I don’t like this narrative you join in on, nor do I condone it. I have definitely considered it and what I have just outlined is my view. It doesn’t mean I haven’t considered it. I totally reject it. I hope that is clear. If you want to advocate for and join into this narrative – once again, your choice, your conscience, your voice. Not mine.

    “I also stated that the two party system is not working well here or in Britain or USA.” Once again, absence of any argument of why it is not working. Cutting and pasting a random blog on America is not conducive to any arguments in Australia, without some defence of the correlation.

    I am not sure how I have articulated in any way shape or form that Labor does not need to change anything. Please outline where I have said that. I have not mentioned the Labor party system at all. I have responded to you and my rejection of your lack of thought of changing to a system of independents (just like Denmark) and away from a two party system. You have failed to challenge that in any way. All you have done is say pfft…., all I am hearing is (something that hasn’t even been mentioned!)

    If you are not prepared to defend your argument that we need to break down the two party system and have a system of independents, just say so. Not once have you articulated a relevant counter argument. If you feel it is more ‘trendy’ just to put random stuff out there, because breaking down the two party system is a common theme at the moment, without understanding why you think it, then say that as well.

  35. Trish Corry

    Freethinker:
    Trish, said, quote: What I do personally, is I join a party that is based on democratic socialism, that is the party who has driven every positive national reform we have ever had in this country, End of Quote

    Can I asking you which party is that?

    If you do not know what party has been the major contributor to positive reform in this country and you are advocating to break down that party’s access to Govern and replace them with Independents, we have a problem.

  36. diannaart

    Reality check.

    I am being critical of Labor and those supporters who do not see the need for change from the trajectory Labor has taken.

    This trajectory does not face the harsh reality:

    We will be receiving more and more refugees,
    we need to do more than trim the edges of action on climate change,
    we need to stop funding private schools,
    we need to increase the welfare net so that it helps rather than hinders people,
    we must stop mining coal and gas,
    we need to invest in our people not corporations,
    we need to reach out to one another and work together….. f*ck ideology!

  37. Trish Corry

    F*ck Ideology?

    There is your problem straight away Diannaart. Ideology is the underpinning construct of the value system, based on decision making and policy in Parliament, for all politicians. Even your precious independents. Do you think that Lambie, Xenophon, Palmer, Hanson or even the Greens are all devoid of ideology?

    It is the ignorance of the value system of parties that is causing the dissent we see in Australia. It is the rejection of the notion that ‘what we are going to do if in power, is based on our inherent belief system.’ Once people start factoring in ideology and value systems of the people they vote for, and how that will play into all policy areas, start weighing up the pros and cons of what happens if these people are in parliament, then we may see an actual system of conscious, engaged, democratic voting and a true battle of ideas.

  38. Trish Corry

    Reality check.

    I am being critical of Labor and those supporters who do not see the need for change from the trajectory Labor has taken.

    Thanks Dianna – but your blanket statement was one-eyed Labs – does not differentiate at all. What evidence do you have that this is only Labor voters and no one else? What evidence do you have to support such a remark that Labor supporters see the true value in collectivism, comradeship and their belief that progress is achieved through solidarity. Unless you don’t believe in solidarity, that this is a terrible thing to believe in. That you are one eyed or dumb if you don’t reject it.

    Even after all the points I put in my first comment to you, that there are indeed serious problems with the Denmark system you proposed, it is still me that needs a reality check. That is a very interesting point you make.

    Or was it really just a true dig at Corny or myself, you are too shy to admit to?

  39. Freethinker

    Trish CorryAugust 14, 2016 at 5:12 pm
    If you do not know what party has been the major contributor to positive reform in this country and you are advocating to break down that party’s access to Govern and replace them with Independents, we have a problem.

    IMO you should said which party was, not the one that you are refering now.
    That party was before Hawk Keating government which exist now in name only.

    if you do not realize that then, yes it is a problem.

  40. Trish Corry

    IMO you should said which party was, not the one that you are refering now.
    That party was before Hawk Keating government which exist now in name only.

    If you choose to ignore post Hawke (with an e) /Keating reforms of the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd era, then yes, we do have a serious problem.

  41. diannaart

    Trish, I believe you and Cornie and other Labor supporters are still caught up in the ideology of what Labor used to be, a long, long, time ago; an ideology that was shattered when Whitlam was deposed. Not a sly dig, a comment based upon everything you have been telling me.

    Since then a very corporatised Labor emerged, one which made changes in line with rationalist economics, these changes were seized upon by subsequent incoming LNP governments and taken to extremes, instead of winding back to centre left Labor has tried to outplay the LNP on the playing field of the far-right.

  42. Freethinker

    Trish CorryAugust 14, 2016 at 6:17 pm
    If you choose to ignore post Hawke (with an e) /Keating reforms of the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd era, then yes, we do have a serious problem.

    The negative results far outweigh the positive reforms.
    Being supporter of a party regardless of in the way that it is heading is what is damaging the party further more.
    We cannot live on the achievements of the past and look at the future without the politicians that were part of that bad policies.

  43. Trish Corry

    Oh the “believe in the old Labor party, that used to be” What on earth would you know about Labor, if you don’t even like them. You are not in the party. You are not privvy to conversations, or debates within the party, you are not involved in the ever involving platform of Labor? Really, what would you know?

    “Since then a very corporatised Labor emerged, one which made changes in line with rationalist economics, these changes were seized upon by subsequent incoming LNP governments and taken to extremes, instead of winding back to centre left Labor has tried to outplay the LNP on the playing field of the far-right.”

    Your attempt at saying things that are trendy, but baseless are indeed getting more bizarre by the minute! Considering Shortens reforms were more to the left than Rudd/Gillard/Rudds, and you have no concept of what far right actually means, I would expect that you are now speaking out of your hat.

  44. cornlegend

    “Trish, I believe you and Cornie and other Labor supporters are still caught up in the ideology of what Labor used to be,”
    can’t speak for Trish but I’m quite aware of the current Labor position and idealogy and am happy with that .
    Most members are, or they wouldn’t be in the Party still and the membership increases , quite quickly actually under Shorten ..
    It seems to me the ones who whinge and whine about Labor and Labor supporter are non members, Greens or closet Greens.
    and please, get over Gough,that was decades ago, things change, he is dead and the party has moved on.
    Why are you not out there instructing your Independent and Greens mates on what they need to do to reverse the trend they find themselves in?
    Anyone heard of Di Natale lately ?

  45. Trish Corry

    Freethinker

    Being supporter of a party regardless of in the way that it is heading is what is damaging the party further more.
    We cannot live on the achievements of the past and look at the future without the politicians that were part of that bad policies.

    Are you going to just think freely like there is no tomorrow or put some substance to what you are saying? What on earth are you on about? You do realise we just had an election and Labor release over 100 policies prior to the election IN FULL – fully costed, fully detailed. Unfortunately, you are bagging Labor, when you should be questioning why voters preferred to vote for a plan for a plan.

    Gimme a break. This is getting ridiculous and is the epitome of WHY we are now seeing that people just want change because they want change. If you don’t take the time to understand something, then you really are just contributing to the problem.

  46. Trish Corry

    Corny, feel free to speak for me. I am very actively involved in Labor and I am up to date on everything Labor.

  47. diannaart

    Well, not completely up to date on Asylum seekers.

    See my post at http://theaimn.com/lnp-refugee-backflip-even-possible/#comment-484855


    diannaartAugust 14, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    Labor does not intend closing the detention centres on Nauru or Manus Island and to continue “turning boats around” we know that doesn’t stop people from getting on boats and, therefore, deaths. There have been drownings and deaths at sea since the TurnBackTheBoats – we are just not told about it.

    We need to start helping in Indonesia AND in the Middle East where most of our refugees are running from. This would prevent far more de4aths than anything we have done thus far.

    Check for yourself: http://www.alp.org.au/asylumseekers

  48. Trish Corry

    I have no idea how that comment is even relevant here. BTW I’ve already replied to your comment that implies Labor policy is not Labor policy. If you are going to state things so convincingly, please at least update yourself on what is and what isn’t Labor’s policy. You made an accusation earlier on about one eyed Labor voters, yet you appear to argue absolutely everything from the basis that your arguments are fine as long as they are anti-Labor. It is rather hypocritical don’t you think?

  49. cornlegend

    Actually, it isn’t all that relevant what Labors policy on Asylum seekers is for the next two and a half years.
    We have an LNP government and they will determine policy and direction and there is diddly squat that Labor can do about it.

  50. cornlegend

    diannaart
    I may have missed it as I’ve been on holidays, but has ANYONE looked into why we had the Greens minor fail, the Independents or minor parties fails {other than the Right} and the mini rise of the Right ?

  51. diannaart

    Too tired to do justice to any further replies …. in fact shoulda stopped a while back. I’m not sure if I am making any sense at all.

    As For Greens in election? A lot has to do with the way preferences work – they actually polled better, because the way our system works, idiots like Hanson can get in…. anyway, can’t find the info right now, must rest.

    Trish & Cornie what ever else we have to get the LNP out sooner rather than later – we must try to hold up the lie that is the LNP at every opp.

    Now going, gone. Goodnight.

  52. cornlegend

    diannaart
    “we have to get the LNP out sooner rather than later ”
    they will go full term.
    Actually, I am more inclined to think that maybe Shorten should set up a working group to work with Turnbull to see what Legislation could be amended and supported and put through, {like Super}.
    Better that than let Oz stagnate for 3 years and it might keep the far right loonies in the LNP away from the Lodge
    might even raise that at the next branch meeting 😀

  53. Trish Corry

    Cornie – I am hoping there will be an election within 12 months as Albo has predicted. I could not stomach another 3 years. I prefer Abbott over Turnbull. At least with Abbott you new what you were getting, Turnbull is a detestable snake. I have a lot of difficulty with fake people and Turnbull is one of them.

  54. Bighead1883

    Hello Steve,
    Can you please name these Independent politicians in the HoR and how they will put fear into the government

    Then secondly Steve,could you please name these Independent politicians in the Senate and maybe show us how their role will better Australia
    Thank you in advance

  55. Bighead1883

    cornlegend August 14, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    “Anyone heard of Di Natale lately ?”
    AS you know I have been searching high&low Cornie
    I`ve looked under hundreds of bushes
    I`ve combed the countryside and my hair
    I`ve peered into the brambles,the sandalwoods,acacias and flowering hakeas
    Other than a magnificent flowering OUTBACK splendor,NO vision of di Natale have I spied
    I resume my search tomorrow

  56. Trish Corry

    Have you seen DiNatale near the old fruit markets?
    Sipping on his latte in his shiny Italian shoes
    In his eyes you’ll see no pride
    Bandt bagging Labor by his side
    Yesterday’s reforms, making Greens yesterday’s news.

    Now how can you tell me he’s hi-i-ding
    When he’s renewable but the sun don’t shine (don’t shine)
    Let me take you by the hand
    and walk you through the new stream of morons
    and I’ll show you a new parliament
    that will really blow your mind.

  57. Bighead1883

    The makings of a song,sung blue Trish

  58. Trish Corry

    I’m not sure about feeling blue now and then and singing it out in a song.
    I think that this new parliament delivered by DiNatale and Turnbull should make everyone drop to devastating levels of despair and we should see a revival of full on protest songs!

  59. cornlegend

    Trish, they can only go for about two and a half years this time, so as to have the election to bring the Sneate back into the same timeframe ,
    The constitution requires the Senate to award a six-year term to six of the 12 members from each state elected following a double dissolution. Their terms expire on June 30, 2022. The other six receive a three-year term, which will expire on June 30, 2019
    That should be interesting now the countback method in the Seate has been rejected.
    Hinch and Lee Rhiannon will now only be 3 year Senators, along with 6 other Greens.Only 4 of the 11 crossbenchers will get 6 year terms, Hanson and Lambie being 2.
    .

  60. Matters Not

    The Labor Party has some ‘vote winning’ problems. For examples, just read above. Effing hopeless.

  61. Bighead1883

    You can bet London to a brick on that all our tunes will be changed by the time MYEFO comes
    Yes we know it`s a Turnbull/di Natale creation,and what could we really expect?

  62. Trish Corry

    Matters not your personal bullshit attacks don’t assist in any debate. Paying any attention to you is like trying to breathe in a dutch oven.

  63. Trish Corry

    Cornie, is there any chance of another DD? Just say Turnbull can’t get anything through including the budget? What would happen?

  64. Matters Not

    is like trying to breathe in a dutch oven.

    Again I say, just read above. (Shakes head). How to lose hearts and minds in easy lessons.

    When will they ever learn …

  65. Trish Corry

    /Ignore

  66. cornlegend

    Trish Corry
    All he needs is a guarantee of confidence and Supply to go full term. {he’s gauranteed supply and would get the numbers on confidence with Indies}
    He could go full term and pass nothing .:-D

  67. Matters Not

    Just watch as they ignore their own advice. (Useless as it may be.)

    And I note also that Bighead’s latest post has been ‘binned’. My advice is don’t protect ‘dickheads’ regardless of claimed ‘head’ size.

  68. Matters Not

    For those who may be wondering about Trish’s earlier comment re ‘Dutch Oven’ Here’s a definition:

    Blowing hard ass wind under the covers several times and building up stench while your old lady is brushing her teeth and getting ready for bed, then when she gets into bed, pull the covers over her head and yell “Dutch Oven” and let her enjoy the stench of your ass gas for at least 30 seconds

    Trish is all class.

  69. Bighead1883

    We know Katter and McGowan will secure their sinecure so Labor can rest easy and let the destruction take it`s own course,cheered on by the di Natale Seekers as they mutter ‘Train Whistle Blowing”
    Still a wanker then Mutters Now? {shakes head too often,too many times,Mini Nachos}

  70. cornlegend

    Bighead,
    i sort of agree.
    What a wonderful time for Bill and Labor to sit back say nothing and watch the LNP destroy themselves.
    It would also be the ideal opportunity for
    Katter, Sharkie, Bandt, Wilkie and McGowan to have free reign to pursue the policies that they took to the electorate.
    What an opportunity.
    Labor could stay out of it, leave Question Time solely to the Independents and let them try to make their mark

  71. Trish Corry

    Yes, the use of the Dutch Oven was clearly a blatant example of how your comments stink Matters not. I’m not sure who I am supposed to be classy for. It certainly is not you.

  72. Trish Corry

    “He could go full term and pass nothing .:-D”

    Well that is depressing. But then again, patience is also the key. LNP could totally destroy themselves in this period of time. It will be an interesting few years ahead then.

  73. cornlegend

    some would be lost without cut and pastes from the urban dictionary

    Trish Corry
    If Labor sit back and not rock the boat there are 14 LNP seats on razor thin margins , grab them , have a majority

  74. Trish Corry

    Bill is coming to Rockhampton tomorrow. So It will be interesting to hear his thoughts on what is coming up in the future. He will be a PM for a very long time, I think.

  75. Matters Not

    I’m not sure who I am supposed to be classy for

    Perhaps yourself? Or has the ‘party’ expropriated that as well? A ‘being for others’? Sartre would not be pleased.

  76. Trish Corry

    Oh Matters not. Do you think you have the monopoly on what is defined as “class” and that we should all bow to meet your needs and desires. Or do you have some peculiar view that women are not allowed to be as rude and crass as the men folk. You deeply, deeply disturbed person who thinks I live in some cocoon inside a party machine.

    Oh no, “the party” has forced my eyes open, and they are putting drops in them, and making me watch union marches on repeat!!! stop it! Stop it! Its not very horrorshow you gloopy bratchneys!!!!

  77. Matters Not

    /Ignore! Look above. And my prediction.

    Hilarious!

    Are you seriously suggesting that the ‘other’ has forced your eyes open? Take personal responsibility.

  78. Trish Corry

    Ok – clearly you have never read the book. Your loss. Maybe you should take more time to read, instead of making inane pesky comments on the internet during your periods of boredom.

  79. Matters Not

    As I’ve said on any number of occasions, one has no control over the meanings given. And perhaps I have never read ‘the book’. (Whatever the hell the point is, she was trying to make .. )

    But enough. Or I might become bored. And then Trish would, at least, get something correct.

    FFS. No wonder the Labor Party is in trouble.. Accept no criticism. Jump at shadows.

    Put head under blanket, (oops). And all that. Grow up!

  80. Trish Corry

    Oh dear you are becoming quite incoherent now. Please wipe the spittle off your chin on your way out – it is most unbecoming. Take a book to bed with you. Good night.

  81. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    Thanks all for your comments. Again, it is good to stimulate debate – although not sure if that included the section on esoteric european cooking devices.

    Trish – unfortunately there is only so much that can be put into one article. The research showing the value of having a diversity of perspective in problem solving and decision making is well documented e.g.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ekaterinawalter/2014/01/14/reaping-the-benefits-of-diversity-for-modern-business-innovation/#40fbe4b36476

    (and occasionally gets highly mathematical! e.g. http://www.pnas.org/content/101/46/16385.full).

    Just google diversity in problem solving and you’ll find more. I’ve tried to build the argument for the value of more “independent” (or rather the dangers of party politics) in my blog http://www.makeourvoiceheard.com recognising that though there are values in collectivity, it should not come at the expense of scrutiny. The usually dreadfully thought-through policies of the Coalition are proof of the drawbacks of such groupthink, rather than those of, perhaps Labor, who do have greater diversity in their make-up – but both parties contribute to the continuation of the same system which unfortunately serves us voters up more Coalition governments than Labor ones!

    Bighead – if you cannot recognise the importance of independents in this parliament, whether Cathy McGowan, Andrew Wilkie or Bob Katter, in the knife-edge reps, or indeed the nutters in the Senate, then you really need to work on your arithmetic. So far, like Rob Oakshott and Tony Windsor in 2010, Bob Katter actually seems to be rising as a possible voice of reason! Strange times.

    I understand that dyed-in-the-wool Labor supporters find my position uncomfortable – for them collectivism is a core strength (indeed it is the tenet of unionism, united we stand etc). However it also makes them extremely vulnerable, a trait that the Coalition repeatedly use to their advantage. They are the first to try and exploit any chink in the armour, highlighting any member or candidate who doesn’t repeat the party line as revealing that policy will be undermined (whilst ignoring the same issues within their own “broad church” of course!). It is easy for them to rail against Labor as a single entity, than it would be to argue against multiple perspectives, because binary arguments are simpler and far easier to create false dichotomies. Labor are unfortunately brought down to the lowest common denominator politics of the Coalition. To achieve long term success they need to find a way to stop playing the game to the Coalition’s rules, and I’m yet to be convinced they can.

    The boat people issue encapsulates the issues of the party system in trying to resolve a complex problem. This was further highlighted at the weekend when Tony (in yet another attempt to destabilise Malcolm) stated that perhaps the Malaysian solution should have been considered in more depth. But in the system of “we are always right and you are always wrong”, rational problem solving and nuance unfortunately goes out the window.

    Moreover the simplistic approach is highly attractive to many voters who don’t have the time or interest (or perhaps the critical thinking skills) to think too deeply about such matters. They want simple messages – three word slogans. Unions bad, boat people bad, Muslims bad, lefties bad, greenies bad. A much, much simpler position to have than actually worrying about the details. Its Coalition heaven! Unfortunately Abbott, like Howard before him, stirred up the racist pot, and hey presto Pauline Hanson, to pick up the votes of those who like their politics really, really simple. Don’t for one second be conned that Hanson emerged because of changes to the senate rules – that shit has been brewing since Abbott started his dogwhistling.

  82. Robyn Stevenson

    Again I will say that Online Direct Democracy Party has the answer. What more diverse system could there be than allowing all citizens to have a say in policy building, debate, information gathering and voting on bills?

  83. cornlegend

    Steve
    how do you figure a “in the knife-edge reps”
    Turnbull has a particulary easy run, in reality

    also
    “I understand that dyed-in-the-wool Labor supporters find my position uncomfortable”

    No, just unrealistic and never likely to happen.
    reality check time

  84. Trish Corry

    Steve thanks for replying. As my original comment, I’d like to see some more support or backing for your own argument to break down the two party system, rather than you trying to identify the reasons for the opposing arguments. You could then engage in active debate defending your own stance, rather than just complaining that dyed in the wool Labor supporters are looking for a chink in the armor, or assuming the breaking down of the two party system is just a discomfort for some people.

  85. cornlegend

    in the 18 months prior to an election us “dyed in the wool Labor supporters” hear nothing but Lib/Lab duoploly, The Independents will do this, the Greens will do that, this micro party will change the world, , Labor can’t be trusted Labor didn’t do this, Labor didn’t do that … only the Greens/Micros/Indies can save us from big bad LNP and Labor …
    The election comes and goes, the Greens/Micros/Indies do bugger all result wise and those who had bleated for the last 18 months come demanding Labor take certain positions and basically expect Labor to save the furniture .
    Rather that what CAN the Greens/Micros/IndiesCOULD do, why not an article or some review of why they flopped {again}

  86. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    Robyn – whilst I believe Online Direct Democracy is a great concept, the reality is that most people just don’t have the necessary bandwidth that is required to give serious thought to the serious matters at stake. That’s one reason why I think an representative democracy is better.

    Corn legend – maybe so. But whilst you seem to be happy with right wing neanderthals running the show more than half the time, just so your lot can get a turn at the wheel once in a while, I’m not. So I’m trying to consider alternatives. Pipe dream? Possibly, but the Labor party didn’t exist 150 years ago, but here it is now. So whilst many of the systems the world now uses have adapted and changed, our democratic process is still stuck in an outdated paradigm that unsurprisingly favours the wealthy and powerful. And you are happy with that? Like Kier Hardie, I’m happy to be a dreamer. However if you really think that Turnbull has a particularly easy run, perhaps we can review that statement in a few weeks. Your own comment suggests that all your hard work pre-election was a greatly wasted effort, yet I don’t think that is the case.

    Trish – for sure. As said, its a lot to cover in one article, but I completely take your point. If you want to go to my blog/book draft on makeourvoiceheard.com I’ve tried to build up the argument for an alternative to party based politics from the bottom up, considering what government is actually responsible for, and thus what kind of skills and attributes are needed for it to be effective. (I might ask Michael if I can serialise it here, because I agree having the background certainly helps to see the perspective, whether you agree or not.

    I’m more than happy to back my own points, based on my experience, knowledge and research outside of Australian politics. There are plenty other arenas outside politics where problem solving and decision making are essential skills, and these seem to have adapted over time based on evidence and research. Politics, on the other hand, seems stuck in a hole which it cannot seem to get out of, and all the time the country is going down the gurgler. It is no longer effective, nor is it producing the solutions that the nation requires – and we all see that or we wouldn’t be writing or responding to articles. Unfortunately I stupidly got rather tied up this weekend when the article was published, so didn’t have an opportunity to respond more promptly!

  87. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    To your last point Cornlegend – why do you look at these things from the prism of failure and success of parties/candidates? The point is that the system failed. We have no consensus in government. We have a hamstrung prime minister. The countries long term fiscal situation is precarious. Unemployment and underemployment is high and growing. The entire country and most of the population is being failed, but you appear to be happy because Labor got more seats! Is it all just about Labor for you? Does nothing else matter?

  88. cornlegend

    “why do you look at these things from the prism of failure”
    so you can work out why, and maybe improve

  89. Trish Corry

    Hi Steve. My frustration with all of this, is we have just had the biggest failure of an election, I have ever witnessed in my life. Behind this are many people chanting “Down with the two party system.” However, I am yet to discuss this with person who can articulate WHY, without just saying, ‘because’ or ‘its not working’ I have also not yet spoken to one person who can articulate why the new system can be better. Considering you have written an entire blog piece on this topic, I am at a loss when you say “there is only so much that one can put into an article” I would assumed support for the central argument at least would be a given. I am not just saying this to be a smart alec, I am frustrated with this rhetoric, that is pushing to destroy something that has delivered many successes, and not just failures, yet no one, as yet can articulate why we must destroy this. This includes your article.

    You have put forward how do we go from a protest to something better – your answer is a charter. Unfortunately the big issue for me is that you haven’t even said why a grab bag of Independents would be better than the major or minor populists you mention. Are all Independents immune from Ideology or a personal belief system? Will they sit outside of the political spectrum somehow? Will they be immune from forming blocs in parliament, as we have seen with a number of minors and independent’s previously?

    A charter does not address any of this. For example, points 3 and 4 are contradictory. As too is the entire “I’ll vote for the majority, even if it is against my belief system”.” So this person would garner votes promoting a platform during the election, but then choose to do the opposite in good conscience post election. Is not this something people already complain about?

    Before I can even buy into you argument we need to destroy the system, I think it is important to understand from your point of view why it should be destroyed. Maybe you could write (or post an existing) article explaining why we need to destroy the system in the first place, before we start considering charters and the like.

    I hope that clarifies that I’m not just a terrified rusted on Labor voter/member, but I have legitimate questions and criticisms of your article.

  90. Robyn Stevenson

    The answer to Cornlegend in very few words: political donations (which independents and micro parties have little access to) and media bias.

  91. Robyn Stevenson

    The answer in very few words: political donations (which independents and micro parties have little access to) and media bias.

  92. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    Trish – I totally agree with your conclusion regarding the outcome of the election. My answer is not a charter for independents – that is but one feature that I hope might make the general public be persuaded that a vote for an independent candidate that behaves in a particular manner (i.e. positively) is not a wasted vote. My ideas for changing (not destroying) the system are much larger, and recognise that it needs to occur through an evolutionary rather than revolutionary process, as the latter might give short-term value, but rarely delivers long term judging by those nations whose systems have been built on revolution (including the US whom I believe may self-implode over the next few decades if not sooner). There are so many good parliamentarians, particularly in Labor, but the system undermines them.

    In response to direct points, I think you may have misinterpreted what I wrote – I did not say that independents should vote for the majority, but should accept the validity of a majority decision, particularly if they were actively involved in the discussions leading up to the decision. They should continue to vote according to their beliefs and principles, and continue to disagree with that decision, but should be open enough to accept that their beliefs and principles might not be those of a majority. I also think that people can change their minds on issues – indeed many in Labor have on SSM and indeed boat people – but I think that if you are going to do so as an elected member, you really need to explain to your electorate why you are doing so – or face the consequences.

  93. Trish Corry

    Hi Robyn. Is that in response to me or Steve? You think we should destroy an entire system that has delivered us many successes and not just failures, because it is impossible to legislate against political donations and somehow we can control Murdoch (and now the ABC’s empire). Are you calling for Media Reform? Which is a Labor reform rejected by the LNP?

  94. Trish Corry

    The majority decision of whom Steve? The electorate or the Nation. In point three you state Nation first. The Liberals are allowed to cross the floor whenever they like. How is this any different?

  95. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    Given that the electorate is a subset of the nation, parliamentarians have a responsibility to all citizens, including those who cannot vote.

    The Liberals are allowed to cross the floor whenever they like, but how often do they? And if they can, why don’t they? Sure, there are rules and then there are “behaviours” which basically control those rules. It is quite clear to me that politicians in both the Labor and the Coalition are loyal firstly to the party, before the nation. They may claim otherwise (usually agreeing to disagree as they resign if they are Labor, like Joe Bullock and Gary Grey), or threatening to do so but never actually doing it (like George Christensen, Eric Abetz and Cory Bernardi).

    Almost every party politician recognise that in the current system, if they stray outside of the party, they are nothing. The party has become more powerful than the parliament, and I think that is dangerous and has lead to the problems we are now facing with faceless donors either calling the shots, directing undue influence, or throwing spanners in the works, whether that is Murdoch, the Minerals Council, various unions, and the myriad of other lobby groups. And they can do so because they know that these politicians will cease to exist outside the party hence they are entirely corruptible.

    There was perhaps nothing more excruciating in the last parliament than watching Penny Wong describe how her position has changed on SSM, when any fool can recognise that she has done nothing more than toe the party line all the way through. It was entirely hollow. I like Penny Wong, but could I entirely trust her? Don’t think so.

    The reality is that other than playing little political games, the opposition parties have been reduced in their ability to contribute to almost nothing. Parliament is now naught but a numbers game. Nobody listens to debates, and QT is just a futile circus of ministers not answering opposition questions, and attacking the opposition in response to Dorothy Dixers.

  96. cornlegend

    “Nobody listens to debates, and QT is just a futile circus of ministers not answering opposition questions, and attacking the opposition in response to Dorothy Dixers.”
    That’s why I would love for Labor to sit back say and do nothing in QT for this term of government and allow the LNP to implode.
    It would also give the fearless 5 plenty of opportunity to spread their wings, push whatever policy they aspire to and allow the QT audience to witness them in action
    What do you think of that idea ?
    Lets face it, the theatre of QT is boring and, as Labor hasn’t the numbers to do SFA and only gets about 7 minutes to pose questions , why not give the Indies/NXT/Bandt the floor

  97. Trish Corry

    “”There was perhaps nothing more excruciating in the last parliament than watching Penny Wong describe how her position has changed on SSM, when any fool can recognise that she has done nothing more than toe the party line all the way through. It was entirely hollow. I like Penny Wong, but could I entirely trust her? Don’t think so.””

    Just another contradiction here Steve. You say that the Independent must go with the will of the people, even if against their own beliefs. How is going against belief to support a party platform any different? Can you trust your independents?

  98. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    Cornlegend – I’d love Labor to do that too! Again, though, Labor keep playing the Coalition at their own game. Shorten does seem to be changing the rules though, like the early policy announcements, so perhaps he can do more in that way. Avoiding QT for the farce it has become might be another good opportunity of not playing to the Coalitions hand – they want nothing more than confrontation as it suits their style of playing the man, not the ball.

    No Trish – though I’m not sure if you are purposefully intending to misconstrue what I’m saying. People will vote in independents based on their overall perspective of their skills and capability as well as their position on certain policy matters. How they decide to vote will be up to them – it could be their own beliefs which might change if good arguments makes them change their position, or they may go for what they believe their electorate would want. Either way, they need to be able to justify that position to their electorate. In a party position, they have to toe the party line whatever that is – irrespective of their own belief or their electorates belief. The first loyalty is to the party, all that it stands for (and quite possibly all those who financially support it). To me that is a world of difference. An independent is not reliant on someone else to do the donkey work for them, unlike lazy party politicians like Cory and Eric who get voted in largely on the party ticket. Party politicians are forever building factions and deals and favours because that is what they needed to do to become a candidate. Turnbull is a failure of a PM because of exactly those same behind the scenes deals. If he was independent, he might actually have more power to pursue the agenda that he claims to have, but he is currently hog-tied.

  99. trishcorry

    “How they decide to vote will be up to them – it could be their own beliefs which might change if good arguments makes them change their position, or they may go for what they believe their electorate would want. Either way, they need to be able to justify that position to their electorate.”

    Firstly, no I’m not purposely trying to misconstrue what you are saying. I will make it very clear right now, that I don’t play those games. There are plenty on this site that give the Authors grief and as a blogger myself, I would never purposely angst anyone who has taken the time to write and publish. I’ve had it done to me by others, including other Authors and I find it repellent, unnecessary and abhorrent. Yes, I am tenacious. Yes, I like to see support for arguments and I will question where I see lack of support and yes, sometimes I might write long replies, but every word from me is sincere.

    With that out the way. I still cannot see anything different to what we have now.

    “People will vote in independents based on their overall perspective of their skills and capability as well as their position on certain policy matters.”

    People vote in party members based on their overall perspective of their skills and capability as well as their position on certain policy. In a party – this is consistent to a party platform. It is solid. The people know this is the entire parties position. Everyone in that party stands by that platform.

    How they decide to vote will be up to them – it could be their own beliefs which might change if good arguments makes them change their position, or they may go for what they believe their electorate would want.

    This is where it becomes quite confusing. In your article you mention “Once elected my first priority is to the citizens of the entire country, and then to those of my electorate (both those that voted for me and those that didn’t). I will work positively for whomever the government of the day is, although this does not mean that I will necessarily vote for the bills they propose”

    So what you have described here, is that this person will vote on a bill, but there are many reasons also why a person can backflip on a bill, but it is ok as long as he explains his/her reasoning.

    How is that different to a party. With a party if they backflip, there are an entire gamut of MPs who need to answer to that backflip. The media mostly do question these occasions (some less than others, but that won’t change with an Independent). Politicians are very skilled at ‘explaining’ why they decided to do or not do something.

    I think the intent you have within what you have said is nice in a perfect world, but not in a realistic world. Politics doesn’t happen in a bubble or a vacuum. The external and internal pressures come into play. To pass anything in parliament, blocs would need to be formed (although you appear to shy away from identifying that pseudo-parties or blocs would be formed. However, when dealing with other human beings, the fact that they will want to be elected again and they need to respond to the pressures of their electorates. IN addition politics is not static, it is ever changing and pressures from the internal and external environment mean that what you suggest, cannot exist, as the world of politics is not perfect. Can you imagine 150 individuals all grasping at the one bucket of money for what THEY see as important. Like Andrew Leigh, sometimes personal sacrifice or even electoral sacrifice is necessary for the greater good. If one electorate doesn’t have working facilities in their schools (I know bad example cos its state) but other independents want the money for more frivolous purposes (say a new football stadium), that will make them winners in their electorate, do you really, truly suggest that they will not care how it affects their chance of re-election and just forgo getting money for their electorate.

    The other thing to me that appears to be sorely lacking from the Charter is the very essence of what a politician is there to do and that is to identify reform and enact change. Voting on bills is covered, but doing the research and analysis, to identify what is necessary to move communities and the nation forward, does not appear to factor in anywhere. If your argument to this is diversity, and if you do not think there is diversity within major parties, then you are way off base and very wrong.

  100. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    Apologies Trish – and thanks for being gracious.

    Firstly to your last point – the “charter” I put forward is not, and was never intended to be, a final document. It is simply a discussion piece. I know it will have issues, indeed I want people to find them, and address them. I agree that a politician should be there to identify reform and enact change – a very obvious oversight of mine – and I would include that in the next draft, so thanks for that feedback.

    Secondly, I agree that there will be “blocs”. There always are. I’ve worked in big organisations and if you want to get decisions passed, you need to lobby, and find support. But when you formulate “policy”, you try and check all sides, all perspectives, not just those of people who already largely agree with you. I don’t see this happening in the “two party” system. Even the non-partisan issues are not worked on consensually, but the government makes the call, and the other side simply automatically capitulates. Again, this does not create good quality solutions to problems, because those different perspectives aren’t considered during the time of understanding the problem, or coming up with solutions. Amendments are then usually tacked off afterwards.

    There have been a number of independents in parliament over the years. Even those who are particularly focused on a single policy (e.g. Andrew Wilkie on gambling reform) or their constituencies particular needs (e.g. Kathy McGowan) seem to contribute substantially outside of their pet policy area or constituency. I don’t see them continually wanting stuff for their electorate just so they can be re-elected, so I think that argument is fallacious. And guess what, they vote according to the legislation being presented. In some cases they may vote the same way, in others totally different ways. They might “work together” for one policy, but “against each other” for another one. Almost by definition they have to reach out and network, build consensus and recognise compromises. Compare to the big parties who would rather just get through based on sheer numbers – and screw the debate. But I would suggest that perhaps the best policy is determined when there is no clear majority, and in contrast is at its worst when there is a clear majority (i.e. Howard’s last government, and Tony’s first two years when he SHOULD have been able to convince a rightwing cross bench to support him, but he over-reached with badly thought through policy developed completely in a vacuum).

    But the big difference is loyalty. You cannot ignore the fact that parties control who the candidates are. They decide who will be the representative for that constituency. As such the parties are already stamping their authority and closing down different perspectives. And appeasing factions – as in the decision to put Joe Bullock on the top of the senate list in WA in 2013. To suggest that Andrew Leigh was happy to take one for the team also shows you recognise, and thereby condone, factionalism/cronyism. Personally, its not a sign of a healthy organisation.

    Here’s a hypothetical question for you (tying into that greater good theory) – would Labor disband if by doing so it would prevent the Coalition ever getting into power again? Or would the desire to be a big hitter in the party be more important than the welfare of the nation? Because (and David Feeney is an excellent example) there appear to be a number of Labor politicians who are happy to talk the talk, but walking the walk? Not so much.

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