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A dirty deal to drown out our inner voice

Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.” Steve Jobs, 2005

Voices, opinions and narrative shape a society in a free democracy. This is a crucial underlying construct of our ‘Australian Culture.’ It is one of the essential freedoms we enjoy as a country. Our voices, my voice, your voice shapes us.

The right to use our voice to protest. The right to use our voice to use social media and other platforms to speak up loudly for or against issues. The right for journalists to report on sensitive issues and to criticise the Government. The right to nominate as a voice in our parliament and the right to vote for that voice.

Sometimes debate in our country is a lovely, manicured clear pathway and sometimes our debate is a thick forest with bruising scrub, dry arid land, harsh conditions, thorns that cut and grab and where we have to step around snakes with fear and angst.

However, it is our inner voice which allows us to block out the loud opinions of others and look up above that noise to the wisest of owls who will guide us out, beyond the snakes and to the other side to a place of peace and tranquility.

Every single person’s landscape of peace and tranquility is not the same. Some will find that peace in a conservative landscape, an authoritarian landscape, a socialist landscape, a (small l) liberal landscape or a libertarian landscape. For some people, depending on the issue at hand, they might find they have unfolded their deckchair and soaked up the sun in different landscapes over time. For example, some may sit in the socialist landscape for worker’s rights, but will also sit in the punitive and conservative landscape to advocate for the death penalty.

There are also some people who don’t fight through harsh scrub and snakes, they have no wise owl to guide them to their landscape, they are trapped forever in a 70’s disco doing ‘The Shrug’ to the tune of ‘meh, meh, meh, meh, meh.’ Sometimes they might reach out and take a few steps down the easy manicured path of debate, but you will never get them near the forest.

Sadly, today, there are still many loud voices which drown out the opinions of those in minority groups who are suffering from harm. More and more people look to the wise-owl of their inner voice, to guide them and set themselves down in the landscape of the minorities in solidarity and that is a good thing, because it is so important that these voices are the loud and heard.

I do not support the argument that the only voices we should have in our parliament are the Independent voices and that the parliament would be better without the major parties.

I do not believe a parliament of independents is the panacea to some of the issues we have in parliament today. There are only so many frames of political ideology and to have the necessary legitimate and at times coercive power, blocs would be formed, representing that ideology.

The theories which explain power in relationships and politics are complex. Power can see people struggle over finite resources, some have the ability to use referent power, some can use power to make other’s dependent upon them and some can use coercive power. A party of Independent MPs or Senators is not the nice walk down the manicured path, some believe it to be.

What I strongly advocate for, is that all citizens should have the freedom to vote for a party who has either a solid platform they agree with, or a vote for an independent voice, which may take a myriad of conflicting positions.

My strongest argument is for informed voting. Although I am not a supporter of the Liberal party, I would prefer to see a voter vote conservative/LNP who has a truly informed conservative position they align with. They are informed and fully understand the damage that this party’s ideology and policies will do to certain groups of people, how their authoritarian nature will aim to suppress our voices and that they favour punitive measures above all else. I support that this voter is comfortable with being a bastard and owns it and wears it on their sleeve with pride.

I would rather this than just voting because of the aesthetical appeal of an individual politician, or they find a slogan catchy, without knowing what that party or person is really about. I want to turn the music off at the “Meh, meh, meh” disco and fill the disco full of owls to be followed right out of there.

I argue strongly for this, because this is critical in shaping who we really are. The voices who end up on the other side of power (whomever that may be), end up battling through the forest and/or sitting in solidarity with groups of minorities. They know their collective needs to grow stronger and their voices need to be more persuasive and louder. This enables robust debate and shapes our country. This is important as we do not want to just stretch out on a deckchair and catch a few rays in our ideal landscapes, but to build a house on it for life.

In the debate of democratic voting, the majority of people have built their house on the landscape of democracy. The Greens, the Xenophon party and The Liberals want to knock down our democratic houses. They have done a dirty deal to silence the voices of the independents in the Senate. They are essentially forming a bloc on this issue to use legitimate power to drown out the inner voices who sit in their landscape and in solidarity with the Independents.

The Greens, the Xenophon party and the Liberals want to knock down your house of democracy by relying on the voters who are bopping away to “The Shrug” to the tune of “meh, meh, meh, meh.” This is the key to their success and the key to suppressing the independent voice.

Bill Shorten’s Labor is sitting in solidarity in the Independent’s landscape of democracy.

As a member of the Labor party, I am glad that this is where my party sits, as it is where I would be sitting regardless.

I will end this article, not with my own conclusion of why this is so wrong, but I will leave you with a must watch video of Anthony Albanese speaking out against the changes to the Senate Voting system. I hope that the voice in this video, encourages you speak up against these voting reforms with your pen on election day.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRnHSZsiKfc&w=560&h=315]

Originally posted on Polyfeministix


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  1. cornlegend

    Don’t betray your base: Greens asked to back out of deal over Senate voting

    An online Essential Media survey of 2700 respondents taken early this week, found Greens’ voters opposed their party’s cooperation with the federal government on Senate changes at the rate of two to one, 54 per cent to 27.2 per cent. Another 14.7 per cent had no firm view.



  2. corvus boreus

    I fully support one type of ‘below the line’ reform, specifically the voter-empowering ‘limited preferencing’ option (>12 but <all) that was recommended by the original senate committee, but conspicuously absent from the cynical Coalition/Greens proposals.
    This sensible and necessary reform idea, which would encourage below the line (ie; informed) voting without effecting existing bloc preference deals, has been conspicuously absent from any political discussions.
    My (and many others) wishes for a better choice in democratic say have been betrayed by putrid party politicking.

  3. philgorman2014

    There is a great need of strong independent voices in both houses of parliament; Andrew Wilkie is but one fine exemplar. Australia’s proportional representation system combined with compulsory voting is an excellent way to enhance democracy, but it’s not perfect. There are pitfalls when too much complexity is involved. Voting for the Australian Senate makes a hybrid of the lower house’ straight out proportional representation and preferential voting. Voters can too easily lose track of where their preferences will actually fall. Voting “above the line” can lead to some quite perverse outcomes.

    Voting below the line can be too daunting and too difficult. It is confusing for people confronted with dozens of parties they may never have heard of, or whose names closely resemble those of more favoured parties. It is all too easy to make mistakes and invalidate one’s vote.

    Such complexity makes the voting process clumsy and too easy to “rig”. It potentially allows extremists and fringe groups with minuscule public support to take up office ahead of candidates with more initial votes. The Labor Party was quick to point this out after the last election, especially as 62% of Senate minor party preferences wound up going to the Coalition. It looks a little hypocritical for Labor to withdraw all support for reform at this late stage.

  4. David (other)

    I read in the Guardian Xenophon had a nice cosy private morning tea and scones meeting with the Puppet PM during the week, no prize for guessing the topic. I continually fail to see the fascination many have with the Senator, he comes across to me anyway as a sook, a want to be a friend of everybody, not wanting to upset anyone’s feelings, but all the time manipulating, maneuvering while displaying a every mothers son exterior. Its sometimes called ‘rat cunning, I prefer mouse, a rat shows fight and spine when required.
    I admit he has stood up for SA on some important matters such as the future of car workers, submarine construction. But then he would be a bloody fool if he didn’t, he knew the benefits as a SA politician.
    I am sure there will be opposing views, I see nothing in the man to change mine and his latest cuddling up surely doesn’t.

  5. Ronson Dalby

    One thing that needs to be remembered is the Senate voting changes have been Greens’ policy for well over 10 years under both Brown and Milne. Although I don’t like de Natale, the changes are not his initiative.

  6. Shaun Newman

    Trish, on the subject of democracy you might suggest internally that the ALP deploy a “one vote, one value” policy on the leadership ballot and in pre-selections and other internal structures. I am satisfied with the way Senate voting occurs currently.

  7. Trish Corry

    Why would I suggest that Shaun? It is not an area of interest for me. I am currently working on Income Management changes/abolition. Everyone who is unhappy with Labor has the ability to join Labor and use their voice in the party and through the appropriate policy channels to advocate for change.

  8. corvus boreus

    “Voting below the line can be too daunting and too difficult”.

    “The Committee has also proposed that voters choosing to vote below the line not be required to number every candidate. Voters would only be required to nominate at least as many preferences as there are vacancies to be filled (six in a normal half-senate election for a state, two for a territory)”.

    Does that sound a bit easier and less intimidating for the voter?
    Strangely, this easy option (which would allow WA Laborites to put Pratt over Bullock, Greenies to preference Labor over the PUPs, Sex Partiers to avoid passing votes to Family First, and half-sane SA Liberals to avoid endorsing St Bernardi), is entirely missing from the proposed ‘reforms’ that have been tabled.

  9. philgorman2014

    Corveus, you and Anthony Green have proposed a workable solution which could have been taken up by Labor either in preliminary consultations or as an amendment. Their continued failure to do so still leaves them looking shifty. The Greens have been proposing such reforms for years and, as usual, getting no traction.

  10. cornlegend

    The micros, with support from some Unions aren’t going down without a fight
    “TLC will be attending the largest minor party meeting in Australian history this coming Saturday and for very good reason.

    This will be an unprecedented level of bipartisanship bonding and uniting us all together for the first time. Our plans will be broadcast soon after.

    The Greens proposal for Senate reform does have its merits, but unfortunately the one they and the LNP are pressing to adopt does not. The same system has been implemented in NSW with devastating results for the average Aussie to ever enter politics without a multi-million dollar bank roll or a double decade history. A sure sign this so called reform only favors the rich as being one of the many negative points of this feverish fiasco.

    The new reforms propose a 6 above the line option. History has shown under identical laws in NSW 90% of voters tick only one box thus exhausting the rest instantly. The LNP know this and it’s why they want it. The seats from the eviscerated little guys have to end up somewhere, and that somewhere is obviously LNP hands as one of the many benefits afforded to the plotters.

    This dodgy deal will most certainly hand over more power to the LNP as shown by Antony Green in his assessment of the last election had these reforms been in place. There is no dispute. The Greens through their sanctimonious position on ‘all things that should be gooder’ have clouded their own judgment and the LNP know it.

    Through the salivating of their quivering lips you can see the glean of those razor sharp LNP teeth as they prepare to dine on a smorgasbord of crossbenchers wiped out from the collateral damage of a deal hastily and shabbily rushed through the Senate.

    For the LNP are going to use their own morals against them, it is what they do – it is as we know all too well – all about them and not you.

    TLC are not anti Green despite the influx of anti TLC sympathisers. We agree on most things Green. But along with the most powerful Unions in Australia we strongly believe this proposal is ill timed, ill thought out and needs extensive discussion before and after the next election so that we the voters are engaged fluently and can better understand the pro’s and con’s.

    Because a wise person once said;
    “Only fools rush in”.

  11. corvus boreus

    If the Greens had held out for this voter-friendly BTL reform above all else, I would have better countenanced their cynical/pragmatic dealings with the mal-administration..
    As it is, they have come out of this looking rather sketchy, and more than a little bit stoopid (a real vote loser).

    I notice that you do not refer to the BTL recommendations I quoted at 4:00 (also repeatedly referenced and endorsed by A Green in his analyses).

  12. totaram

    Why are the Greens not addressing Labor’s concerns? And what are they please? Trish hasn’t spelt them out at all. Isn’t it better to give preferences above the line instead of it all depending on some group voting tickets that no one can analyse, without spending hours of time on them? All this vague talk of democracy doesn’t cut it.

    Of course, because of the group voting tickets nonsense, I vote below the line and the recommendation of the senate committee on this issue has been ignored. Why so? This is all extremely opaque, and given that situation, Di Natale should probably back out.

  13. JohnB

    Albanese had this (and more) to say in parliament 24 Feb:
    “I will make this prediction, Senator Di Natale has been asked about preference negotiations with the coalition. He has been asked very clearly, and clearly it is going on.
    And here is the fix: the Greens get preferences from the Liberal Party in seats where they think they might have an opportunity of winning—spontaneously—and they will not give them preferences back in those seats, because that would be a bit crude and a bit obvious.
    They will either do that or run split tickets in other seats, just like in Victoria during the last state election, when they produced a different how-to-vote card on polling day in some of the seats where they were handing out at prepoll—a different how-to-vote card on polling day, and they talk about transparency and wanting people to know where the votes are going.”

    This action by the Greens ensures that Labor can never match the LNP for representation in the senate, as ALP progressive votes naturally leak to the Greens, whereas leakage from LNP voters to Greens is negligible.

    If this change goes through, the ALP must strive to minimise leakage of ALP senate votes to the Greens – that means the Greens must be placed in last position (with the LNP) on all future how to vote cards and preference deals.
    This shabby deal has positioned the Greens as the enemy of ALP senate representation. It thus demands that
    the ALP stem the flow of 2nd preferences to the Greens. The Greens may well then only attract enough votes be relegated to become yet another minor party on the Senate ticket.
    These senate electoral amendments may thus have created the means of their own demise.

  14. Miriam English

    corvus boreus, I’ve always wondered why we need to number every box below the line, risking invalidation of our vote and forcing us to vote for fake parties fronting for a group that could be hiding monsters or handing their preferences to monsters. I’ve also wondered why we need to capitulate to party backroom deals by just ticking a single choice above the line.

    Surely a better choice would be to simply number only as many as you wish, either above the line or below it. Those who don’t get numbered should not get a vote. I don’t want to give ANY vote, no matter how small, to groups like the LNP, or Family First, or the Shooters Party, and other repellent groups. Forcing me to vote in any way for them smacks of being anti-democratic.

    It also feels like a sneaky way to force many people to do it the Party way, by making voting below the line feel like punishment. And it is quite stressful. There you are in the voting booth trying to ensure you number all the boxes, don’t miss any, and don’t screw up the numbering. For someone like me, who has discalculia it is real sweaty-palms stuff.

    I also think that a blank voter form should not be omitted from the count. It should be recorded as a vote of no confidence against all the candidates. In fact I’d be most comfortable if there was a box titled “None of the above”. If sufficient people chose that then we should have to hold the election all over again as clearly too few people had any confidence in the pack of shysters standing. This might improve our elections and our politicians’ record of lying. It might also give them pause in arranging sneaky backroom deals if they realise that they all stand to lose if people don’t trust them. It might take some of their focus off beating each other and shine more light on what the Australian people think of politicians, which, on the whole, is not pretty.

  15. cornlegend

    corvus boreus

    I notice that you do not refer to the BTL recommendations I quoted at 4:00 (also repeatedly referenced and endorsed by A Green in his analyses).”

    Here’s a long winded answer
    I would like to see below the line voting with a minumum of 10 , but a formal vote as long as you number at least that, but also being a formal vote if people number more to give a wider spread of their preferences , so, if you wanted to number, 10, 20 or 60 or whatever, that would still be formal .
    Now, even though I’m viewed as a “Labor party hack” I have a personal more radical view of how the Senate should operate .
    I don’t like the idea of a Party getting control of both Houses {Howard} and just be a rubber stamp .
    The Senate is supposed to be a “House of Review” and to fairly and impartially review Legislation .
    That hardly ever happens .
    Now what if .?
    What if Parties were banned from the Senate and the whole lot we have now sacked .
    What if, we ran it like a judicial system where the Leaders of the Government and Opposition and 2 or 3 experts from each side presented their case to a “jury of the people”
    The Legal system operates daily on the jury system, so why not a “panel of our peers” called up just like jury duty, oversaw the ‘Review of Legislation”
    They could be fairly compensated and have bureaucrats on tap to provide any relevant information to help them make an informed decision.
    They aren’t expert in all fields of Government but what Senator is ?
    A new Jury for each Legislative piece would ensure independence from political parties and they can’t make any more of a dogs dinner of the Senate than this lot .
    The Legislation of the Country overseen by the people for the people.Sounds ok to me

    But why worry, it would never happen

  16. my say

    Hi Trish , i find the changes to the voting system very confusing,some say u have to vote for all six above the line,, others say you only need to vote for one,and your vote will be counted,do you then number every square below the line,
    As you said we have to make our voices heard on voting day,so we all have to get it right,vote in pen,
    this government has taken so much from us ,we cannot let them take our right to vote the way we want to away from us ,we are being governed by a dictator ,.

  17. David (other)

    @JohnB….John I fortunately heard Albo’s very deliberate and non conditional contribution in the House,that you refer to, brilliant. He also gave young Adam Bandt a few home truths to ponder over.
    It matters not how the Greens approach any other legislation in the Senate in future, if they expect any co operation from Labor and any remaining X Bench Senators should they persist in this unholy alliance they are, as my dad would say in his delightful Irish way, f-ckarood.

  18. Steve Laing

    Its a bit disappointing that some of these conversations turn into a “lets bash the other party” without necessarily understanding the other perspective. The reality is that the way that the senate is currently voted for allows it to be significantly gamed, and this is what has occurred. However, from it, we have been lucky to have got a few senators who thankfully appear to have their heads screwed on straight. But the reality is that Muir and Lazarus could have turned out to have been as big a fruit loop as Leyheljohn is. WE HAVE BEEN LUCKY! But that is not the reason why NOT to resolve the problem. One might argue that the ALP’s position is as selfish as that of the Green’s, as that of the Libs.

    The biggest issue is that we should not be trying to resolve this in a hurry. It is simply too important. This deserves full consideration and discussion. Indeed if anything should go to a referendum/plebiscite, it should be this rather than our views on SSM. All the positions taken by the politicians are those of self interest. None are defensible.

  19. Miriam English

    cornlegend, that sounds like a great idea to me. I also like the idea of not necessarily starting the numbering of boxes from 1; beginning from a number that gives politicians less power sounds good to me.

    I don’t know why you would restrict the amount of boxes required to be ticked at 10 though. What if I thought there were only 3 people I felt could be trusted and all the others were revolting excuses for human beings and totally lacking in conscience? Why should I be forced to vote for them?

    The idea that either of the two big parties could gain control of both houses horrifies me, because we all know what happens then: they stop trying and just ram through whatever their masters want.

    The risk of a major party controlling both houses and removing the check on their actions is something that must be avoided at all cost.

    I also like the idea of letting people have more access to government, though the process of choosing those “jury” members would have to be very carefully vetted lest corruption creep in.

    But I’m in favor of a far more participatory democracy, where all major decisions are made by the entire country. We now have the technological ability to vote electronically and verifiably through the net in ways that can’t be corrupted. We should have the requirement that something like 80% of people be in favor of something before it is accepted. And I mean 80% of the people, not merely 80% of the vote. If not enough people vote then the vote must be held again, and again, until either a clear decision is reached or the question is dropped with no decision recorded.

  20. cornlegend

    Steve Laing
    “The reality is that the way that the senate is currently voted for allows it to be significantly gamed”
    I note you to have caught the Turnbull/Di Natale “Gamed ‘ bug
    Marvellous how those 2 within an hour of each other discovered the word “Gamed” Now can you explain to me the difference in this scenario ?
    The micro parties, all small and probably low on resources and finances get together and with the help of an individual, devise a method, within the law, of maximising their preference distribution in the hope of getting one/some of their group elected to the Senate
    And that we are told means we have been ‘Gamed”
    Ricky Muir get 0.5% first preferences and is elected , and thats bad , so they want to stop that
    The LNP, Greens , Labor etc get their teams of head office honcho’s ,advisors, party officials etc to work together to nut out a preference deal among themselves to maximise their preferences and chances of election
    Michaelia Cash {LNP} get 0.003% first preferences and is elected and they want to protect that

    “Van Badham

    Michaelia Cash got less primary votes than Muir BUT senate changes work to her advantage: she still gets *transfer value* from colleagues.”

    Have I been “Gamed” by all the bigger parties too, or do we just stick to the MSM targets
    Why ?
    because they differ from your views ?
    Should someone run an eligibility test of candidates to ensure they meet prior approval,{your approval ?}
    or do we just let democracy take its course?

  21. Miriam English

    Steve Laing, very well said.

  22. Miriam English

    cornlegend, calm down. Steve Laing was simply saying that we shouldn’t rush into making judgements either way. Yes, the system has been used for wrong both ways. This is precisely Steve’s point. It needs more consideration and less hastily voiced vitriol.

  23. Trish Corry

    Miriam everything is hasty when the Libs holding hands with The Greens are trying to rush this through. It’s all in Albos video included in the blog post

  24. cornlegend

    Miriam English
    I’m calm
    It’s just all this getting “GAMED” is getting to me
    It was bad enough with Turnbull and Di Natale having their simultanious eureka moment with it, but for others to buy the “GAMED” rubbish is a bit much

  25. corvus boreus

    So, basically you support the idea of the recommended BTL reform (with a bit of arbitrary numerical tweaking) as a general theoretical principle, but feel that some abstract notions of a radical, revolutionary overhaul of the entire senate process (which you admit will never happen) is a topic much worthy of immediate discussion.

  26. David (other)

    @Steve Laing…Steve with respect the only ‘we’ are the Greens and the Torys in a hurry. We is far too a collective to be labeling all ‘we’.
    Take Di Natale out of the equation and i am sure sense withing the Greens would prevail. I have always contended he was a better doctor than he is a politician. I doubt very much Bob Brown would be overjoyed at his oddities.

  27. corvus boreus

    Miriam English,
    To be honest, I reckon next time round I will probably vote (purely to avoid the fine) by colouring in all the squares using a pack of invisible crayons.
    Seems like the least odious and best informed choice.

  28. cornlegend

    corvus boreus

    “but feel that some abstract notions of a radical, revolutionary overhaul of the entire senate process (which you admit will never happen) is a topic much worthy of immediate discussion.”
    No, I didn’t say this was ” worthy of immediate discussion.”
    I said “I have a personal more radical view of how the Senate should operate ”
    a personal view.
    just making a statement, not calling on “immediate discussion.” because as you so rightly observed, I concluded with
    “But why worry, it would never happen”
    I am not putting forward a grand plan, not trying to open a debate on the issue, simply stating a personal view .
    If in some way that bothers you, I will delete it {if that’s possible }

    Actually,on reflection I’m slowly coming around to the no preferences, first past the post position.
    That way, you get exactly what you vote for.
    BUT, that again is a personal thought,not something ” worthy of immediate discussion.”

  29. corvus boreus

    You’ve made yourself quite plain.

  30. Matters Not

    Actually,on reflection I’m slowly coming around to the no preferences, first past the post position.
    That way, you get exactly what you vote for.

    Really? I think not. Seems to me that Optional Preferential Voting (OPV) is by far the ‘best’ method. It allows for each and every voter to express a ‘first choice’ and if that ‘first choice’ is less than universally shared, then there are second, third, fourth and so on ‘expressions’ of preference, while at the same time, the OPV method does not require anyone to ‘endorse’ (broadly defined) any candidate who is totally abhorrent.

    Seems to me that we should be endorsing the democratic ‘principle’ here and not the political ‘pragmatics’.

    It follows, I support OPV below the line with an option to consciously exhaust.

  31. Miriam English

    Here is what Lee Rhiannon and Richard di Natale said:

    Moments ago, PM Turnbull announced that the Government will be introducing legislation for Senate voting reform. The Greens have ensured that the vital role small parties play in our democracy is protected.

    This is crunch time.

    We have been campaigning for a more democratic Senate voting system for over than a decade – now Labor’s factional powerbrokers are threatening to derail these essential reforms.

    Bob Brown and Christine Milne began the process of building awareness and support for Senate voting reform over ten years ago. Back in 1999 the Greens introduced a plan for optional preferential voting for the NSW Upper House, which has since become law for all subsequent elections.

    Federally we have spent the last two years in the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters working across the political spectrum to build consensus for this crucial reform. There was consensus – the Greens, Liberal Party and Labor Party all agreed to the committee’s recommendations.

    Now Labor’s factional leaders are pushing for a backflip. They are scaremongering in a last ditch attempt to stall these democratic reforms.

    The current Senate voting system is like a lottery. You vote for one person, then your vote can end up electing somebody totally different. Our reforms mean that the power is handed back to the people, and you control where your vote goes.

    Our Senate should not be controlled by faceless factional powerbrokers. It should be controlled by the people.

    I’m wondering if Mr Albanese was being entirely candid. Spending years developing consensus doesn’t really sound like they were rushing anything through. Albo makes it sound like the Greens and LNP were conspiring against Labor and smaller parties, but in reality it sounds a bit like the power-makers in Labor saw a chance to isolate the Greens by making out that they’re betraying their voting base. It is no secret that Labor has lost a lot of progressive voters to the Greens. It looks like they saw this as a way to plug that leak by making the Greens look like villains. Why did Labor only switch their vote at the last minute if they were full of conviction that voting for it was the wrong thing to do?

  32. cornlegend

    From The Labour Coalition

    Lets get down to the nitty-gritty of what’s really going on with the new Green/LNP/Xeno-Factor alliance shall we.

    Join the fight here if you get it: http://www.tlcp.net
    CFMEU The National Union Of Workers New South Wales Branch (Authorised) ETU Queensland & NT ETU – the Electrical Trades Union Unions NSW Australian Unions Queensland Unions Maritime Union of Australia Guardian Australia Unions 4 Workers Australian HEMP Party Queensland Nurses’ Union Australian Taxation Office Farming Australian Professional Fishermen Australian Separated, Single & Divorced Mums Australian Mining CSIRO Australian Science Teachers Association Australian Medical Council Australian Immigration Agency (AIA) Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection NDIS National Disability Insurance Scheme Australian Agricultural Company The Salvation Army International Inspire Education Queensland Police Service Ambulance Victoria NSW Ambulance St John Ambulance

  33. corvus boreus

    Miriam English,
    if senators DiNatale and Rhiannon were really serious about ‘handing power back to the people’, they would be pushing for a below the line limited preferencing option, which would give the voter an easy option to bypass party allocations altogether.

  34. Matters Not

    While I endorse ‘reform’ to the Senate ‘electoral’ arrangements I am amused with:

    Our reforms mean that the power is handed back to the people, and you control where your vote goes

    This ‘handing back the power’ is only true at a ‘technical’ level. Miriam, why should I be forced to express a ‘preference’ for a whole collection of candidates that I find completely ‘distasteful’? In technical terms, why can’t I ‘exhaust’ BTL without invalidating my ‘preference’? Can’t I be trusted? As a ‘citizen’, can’t I be allowed to express my ‘democratic’ view.

    It’s certainly possible, at the ‘technical’ level but apparently not at the ‘political’ level. Shame! Shame! Shame!

  35. Bighead1883

    Nothing to stop Labour Coalition-Muir/Lazarus/Wang forming a super micro and getting Labor preferencing

  36. cornlegend

    Bighead, that would be an interesting tactic

  37. David (other)

    Miriam English…what the hell is a ‘progressive voter’ that you declare have been lost to Labor? Sounds to me like the orphan child of a Tory and Democratic parent. Or Is it something akin to a test tube political baby, with a mix of every thing thrown in…Greens speak.

  38. Bighead1883

    JohnBFebruary 27, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    A very interesting piece JB and of course Albo never ceases to amaze at his astuteness in the political arena
    Your final paragraph is alredy echoing through Twitter and gaining momentum
    The call for “Put LNP last and Greens Second Last “grows
    This “gaming”of the electorate with this bogus reformation has made people so angry
    It has even exposed the previously secretive Greens “Offshore Processing policy”to process refugees in Malaysia and Indonesia-yes the a similar one was denied Julia Gillard`s government because of the Greens putting it to the High Court [was the LNP hand in that as well?}
    Our Climate Change policies have suffered a 10 year :”Dark Ages Period”because Greens denied Rudd1 an ETS [a Southern Hemisphere first} with them wanting a 40% RET whereas Labor offered a 20% on a sliding rising scale after 2020
    No the Greens were not responsible for the CT,Gillard went to the 2010 election with Labor`s Price on Carbon policy
    300,000+ part pensioners are spewing at losing all or part of their pensions thanks to another Greens/LNP deal
    The Greens “Australian Democrats”moment has arrived
    Also the very first vote the Greens do in the Victorian Legislative Assembly is vote for a Liberal Party president
    I think I`ll make meme`s putting the Greens last and the LNP second last-nah just kidding,the Greens second last and LNP last

  39. Miriam English

    David (other), I and many other people I know who used to vote Labor began voting Greens instead when Labor turned to repellent policies such as imprisoning innocent men, women and children in concentration camps and bowing to the racists. I would prefer to vote Labor, but if they don’t hold to truly progressive policies then how can I in honesty vote for them? I don’t understand why you speak with such a snarl in your voice. How could you be so poisoned and not know that you’re being used?

    Matters Not, does it mean you are forced to express a ‘preference’ for any group? I’m asking honestly. I genuinely don’t know.

    corvus boreus, I can’t say what they are pushing for. Are they excluding below-the-line choices?

    I presented what Lee Rhiannon and Richard di Natale said because we seemed to be getting a particularly one-sided view, especially from Anthony Albanese, whose speech sounded just a little too “clever” and didn’t seem to fit with very well with reality.

    You all know my views:
    – I think having our say once every few years is not really what I call democracy, especially when we have the choice of one slanted way of voting (above the line) or another slanted way of voting (below the line).
    – We should have no-confidence votes counted instead of ignored; if a large part of the population votes “informal” then that’s an important criticism of our politicians.
    – We should be consulted for all important questions. Technology makes it entirely feasible. I don’t know about you folks, but when they want to take educational opportunities away from the kids I want to be able to say, “No!” and when they want to lock innocents up in concentration camps and turn a blind eye to the rape of children and women, I want to say, “No!” and when they want to blackmail the Wangan and Jagalingou into allowing Adani to steal their land, wreck the reef, and the climate, I want to say, “No!”

    The idea of sitting helplessly with our hands tied while the LNP liars run rampant, and Labor, elected on the promise that they would put a stop to the Adani mine in Queensland turn around begin breaking all their vows — it infuriates me.

    If I come to understand that the Greens are doing something stupid and/or corrupt then I will not hesitate to condemn them. What I don’t understand is how those of you who know Labor are being two-faced and manipulative can turn around and cast insults at those of us who want something better. Don’t you want something better too? Or are you resigned to put up with the half-truths as they see fit to hand out, because you’ll settle for the lesser evil?

  40. randalstella

    The geniuses of Labor number crunching gamed the current Senate voting system to donate to the nation the brief, overlong and inglorious career of Steve Fielding.
    The Senate voting system needs reform. The Greens have long had a policy against such gaming by the major Parties. But it is a bad error of judgement to be seen to join with the Liberals, as this push by this rotten Government is not genuinely democratic in spirit.

    A successful campaign to put the Greens second to last as voting preference would do no harm to the Liberals at all. It would play straight into the hands of the corporate power that has the current gangsters in power as its puppets.
    It would be a complete disaster for Parliamentary leverage on vital environmental issues and actions against global warming.
    It would remove the one inside resistance to the massively disastrous Adani mine. It would give strength to the woodchip industry, the major destroyers of bio-diversity.

    It exposes the reckless and insular priorities of some obsessive Labor hacks. It is vexatious and irresponsible in the extreme. It exposes them as anti-environmentalists.

    This is a recent post on this site by one of them.
    “Our online Labor “Hit The Hypocritical Greens Squad” is ready to tear you liars to pieces
    Let the blood spill-yours– you lying hypocritical Greens”
    Fantasy,paranoia, and viciousness.
    The abusively aggressive campaigning on this site measures its success by the distraction of debate, and the deterring of posters here who have a different perspective than barracking for a political Party like a loutish big head at a footy match. Then he goes elsewhere, to a mate’s site, to boast about it.
    Hate appoints itself the dire enemy of reason and debate. People need actively to protect this site against it.
    Actively. Not wait off for him to go back to his mates for a while.
    He is here for a reason, and it is not a motive that means this site any goodwill.

    Neil of Sydney is a minor pest. This is a significant threat.

  41. corvus boreus

    Miriam English,
    Yes, in practical effect they (the Greens) are excluding real below-the-line reform, both by it’s omission from the tabled bill they support, and their complete avoidance of the subject in public communications.
    This suspicious silence is not restricted to the Greens, as neither the Coalition nor Labor are willing to discuss the elephant either.
    Likewise, the author of this article, and the various party-aligned commenters, just don’t seem to want to talk about it.

    A simple idea, recommended by committee, to give BTL voters an option which accurately reflects their confidence in candidates they support without the onerous task of allocating preference to every critter in the field.
    “The Committee has also proposed that voters choosing to vote below the line not be required to number every candidate. Voters would only be required to nominate at least as many preferences as there are vacancies to be filled (six in a normal half-senate election for a state, two for a territory)”.
    A simple and workable reform, with none of the controversy surrounding the ATL proposals, yet seemingly a taboo subject.

    I strongly suspect that none of the parties involved are willing to hand greater control of preferencing back to the actual voter (eg me), and for that I declare a plague of pox upon all their filthy houses.

  42. cornlegend

    corvus boreus
    “and the various party-aligned commenters, just don’t seem to want to talk about it.”
    I guess I’m one of the ” party-aligned commenters”
    But I’m not quite sure what is expected .
    I gave my opinion, I responded to you, not much more I could have said really
    Never mind, it will be all done and dusted in the next couple of days when the LNP/Green/Xenophon Coalition
    whip it through the Senate .
    The only fun then will be watching the various other players come up with strategies of payback.
    I have no problem putting the LNP/Green/Xenophon Coalition last {or the last 3 spots}

  43. corvus boreus

    Since I first specifically linked to information on the reform recommendations (and my long time support for a limited BTL preference option) some weeks ago (repeatedly), and your eventual belated response on the subject (3 vague lines) indicated that you seemingly had not bothered to read the BTL reform proposal, your complete disinterest in the subject is rather obvious.

    Carry on with barracking for your party in their preference shell games, I have little interest in such plots and ploys.
    I just want the right to cast my below the line ballot exactly as I would choose, placing votes for those candidates who I would tentatively trust to honestly represent public interests, and not for who I wouldn’t.
    Since none of the political parties support me in this basic wish, my best informed choice would seem to be an informal vote.

  44. cornlegend

    corvus boreus
    Thats the wonderful thing, if you want to vote informal you can .

    It did seem from your continued requests that you somehow would not be satisfied with whatever response I made, {unless it coincided with yours}
    I stated what I thought , if that doesn’t meet your expectation there isn’t much I can do about that

  45. corvus boreus

    So you automatically assumed that I would be unsatisfied with any answer given, thus chose to make some evasive excuses rather than giving me your honest opinion (or informed viewpoint) on a specific legislative proposal.
    Fair enough, I’ve come to expect that in politics.

  46. cornlegend

    corvus boreus

    “thus chose to make some evasive excuses rather than giving me your honest opinion”
    No, not evasive excuses .
    Now I know this is a particular hobby horse of yours , and you have continuously chased me for an opinion {why my opinion is of such concern to you did have me wondering}
    1 I told you I had been out of the country for a couple of months and wasn’t up to date .
    2 I had a number of pressing family and business issues and didn’t get time to read the several links you provided at the time
    3 I gave an opinion which was one didn’t seem like you wanted to hear
    I did say “I would like to see below the line voting with a minumum of 10 , but a formal vote as long as you number at least that, but also being a formal vote if people number more to give a wider spread of their preferences , so, if you wanted to number, 10, 20 or 60 or whatever, that would still be formal .”
    Now that might not meet with your expectations or fall into line with a particular Partys view but for you to assume that I was not giving my
    “honest opinion” is a bit rich you

    You did at one point seem to grasp my idea
    corvus boreusFebruary 27, 2016 at 9:39 pm
    “So, basically you support the idea of the recommended BTL reform (with a bit of arbitrary numerical tweaking) as a general theoretical principle,”

    So I don’t follow, how now, I am “evasive”
    And you did sort of get a bit carried away in a comment of my “personal view ” to somehow be

    “but feel that some abstract notions of a radical, revolutionary overhaul of the entire senate process (which you admit will never happen) is a topic much worthy of i”mmediate discussion.”

    Which never called for i”immediate discussion.”
    It was what it was, a personal view.
    not there to try to influence anyone, start debate , none of that just a humble personal view

    Just for clarity
    I will use your response at February 27, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    “So, basically you support the idea of the recommended BTL reform (with a bit of arbitrary numerical tweaking) as a general theoretical principle,”

    could I be any clearer ?
    good luck with your informal voting

  47. corvus boreus

    You support (in theory). Good.
    Next thing (in practice) would be to start petitioning within your party (utilise your insider voice) for these changes to be tabled as practical amendative counter-proposals.
    This is similar to what I am currently doing, (though not as an insider). I have as yet received no response from either L Rhiannon (GRN) nor D Cameron (LAB), but I shall persist.
    I see this specific item as a ‘priority for immediate discussion’ because this issue is currently on the imminent agenda facing an impending parliamentary vote.
    The BTL reform item missing from the proposals tabled is the one reformative amendment that that should be present, and the louder (and clearer) the public voice, the greater the pressure for our elected representative to facilitate the wishes of the voters.
    That is the way pluralistic representative democracy is supposed to work.

  48. Bighead1883

    randalstella February 28, 2016 at 5:40 am

    Thank you for noticing the total abhorrence I have with Greens Politicians and their hypocritical leader
    I`ll work hard to let people know online how deceitful Greens really are
    Just like the “Mogwai” Greens turn into Gremlins when exposed to a little power or parliamentary privilege

    I understand the beast which is the LNP,it“s driven by greed lies and compulsion
    It`s masters own the MSM that is complicit in atrocities committed by backers of LNP and all conservatives
    I cannot condone however a Party that calls itself progressive and left then proceeds to try and destroy through false friendship Labor and it`s supporters
    The whole filth is exposed
    The Greens naked lust for more power sits there impotent now with the spotlight of realisation glaring brightly on them as all see them for what they really are,greedy and power hungry ready to do any crooked or shonky deal they can to further a means to their own end

    I`m going to do all in my power to assist the progress of the “The Labour Coalition” to take over from the Greens as a third political force in Australia

    Ave`Greens and Rest In Peace for in Richard di Natale you have your Meg Lees

  49. Adrianne Haddow

    Miriam English ( 28/2, 1.25pm)

    Your views are exactly those of many voters who switched from Labor to the Greens, including myself and many of my friends.

    My inner voice tells me it is wrong to incarcerate asylum seekers indefinitely and to supply rogue governments like Nauru and Cambodia with the funds to continue their dodgy governance of people who didn’t vote for them ( Cambodia) or set up as a state where anything goes as long as it brings in money (Nauru).

    My inner voice tells me it is wrong to impose the disadvantage of a life style on the fringe of white privilege for indigenous people, and to incarcerate them in numbers far greater than their white counterparts.

    My inner voice tells me our planet is precious and in a precarious position due to the rampant exploitation of its mineral wealth by multinational corporations who can buy a government.

    My inner voice tells me it is wrong to try and impose the beliefs of the narrow minded, fearful right wing conservatives on the education of our young and on the aspirations for marriage equality of our LGBTI people.

    The Greens are the only party who express my inner voice.
    Like you, if I come to realise they are being corrupt I will condemn them.

    But until then I believe they are the only party who have a truely democratic ideology.

  50. Bighead1883

    Adrianne Haddow February 28, 2016 at 10:30 am

    Your “inner voice” Adrianne needs to ask your Party the Greens about how it plans to implement it`s “Offshore Processing of Refugees”
    Greens hold balance of power in the Senate @ 2010-2016 and have done little with their political clout concerning refugees
    It`s time your “inner voice”asks WHY?

    Shy wrote on 12 th October 2015

    We need to work with the UN to set up processing centres in Indonesia and Malaysia and then, when we know who needs protection and who doesn’t, we take those in need and send the others home. That way we could care for refugees without locking them up on Prison Island and throwing away the key.
    Read more at http://www.mamamia.com.au/nauru-abortion/#Ku36UAJQIffWkVqr.99

  51. Trish Corry

    Bighead may I please add the the Green’s inner voice also asks themselves why they rubbish ALP as if they are the devil himself, yet what they are proposing there IS Labor policy. In fact many things in the Green’s policy are from Labor’s policy. However the Greens policy is quite ambiguous. That is my criticism of it.

  52. Bighead1883

    Bighead1883 February 28, 2016 at 10:52 am
    should read via the Senate

  53. Bighead1883

    Trish Corry February 28, 2016 at 10:55 am
    I agree as this is the crux of the whole matter Trish Corry———Greens Hypocrisy toward Labor

    I don`t know about you Trish but #Greensplaining sounds so much like “Wentworth Waffling”
    Talking round and about non issues ducking and weaving the question hoping many words somehow create the illusion of sincerity

  54. Trish Corry

    Greensplaining and wentworth waffling. I like it.

  55. corvus boreus

    my say (7:26 27/2),
    In response to your query, on the senate ballot you can only vote above OR below the line (whether the ‘reforms’ pass or not).
    If you vote both above AND below then your vote is invalidated and classified as ‘informal’.

  56. Adrianne Haddow

    Ok Bighead.
    What does your inner voice say regarding Labor’s caving in to data retention laws? To secrecy surrounding politician’s profligate spending of the public purse and continued entitlements until death? To the deportation and incarceration of New Zealanders and Brits who have lived in Australia all their lives? To the decisions regarding these people being made by a single minister? To the proliferation of mining ventures of foreign corporations and their impinging on prime farming land?

    I agree processing centres in Indonesia and Malaysia are the way to go regarding settlement of asylum seekers.
    But Labor also had the opportunity to employ that solution when they had a far better diplomatic relationship with those countries and were in government.
    I am off to research the Green’s policy on detention centres.
    I believed they were up for resettlement of refugees on shore but I could be wrong.

    As for the Green’s poaching Labor policies, surely social justice does not belong to one party?

  57. cornlegend

    Bighead1883,Trish Corry,
    Cornsplaining is getting to the stage when you’d put the LNP in front of the Greens
    With the LNP there are no surprises , they are aresoles all the time
    With the Greens it’s the unexpected surprises , one you really wouldn’t expect that get me , like the attacks on pensioners, the giving the $100 million companies a tax free ride , the shafting of micros, the very ones that got some of them elected and the biggest shocker of was when one of the fools, defending their support of backing LNP policies had the hide to say “We are on the side of Angels”
    LNP angels .
    Now in simple Cornsplaining, my “inner voice” tells me don’t trust the bastards any more
    But my other “inner voice” keeps coming back to a question I have posed to the Greens, and Greens supporters for years and have never got a single solitary answer/figure .
    How many Asylum Seekers a year should we take ?
    simple question
    my inner voice tells me I probably won’t get a direct answer

  58. David (other)

    @Miriam English…’there are none so blind as those who cannot see’…that could have been uttered just for your good self. Good luck searching, you will need it. Perhaps looking at the big picture would be helpful. Me snarly? Try appealing to my better side 🙂

  59. cornlegend

    Bighead1883,Trish Corry
    Just one more Cornsplaining ,
    The Greens have never had to govern and never likely will, but if they can do the damage , as mentioned above from a position of nothingness, my “inner voice” tells me to be scared as hell if ever by some miracle , or the intervention of Whish Wilsons “Angel” they did get the job
    What carnage then ?

  60. David (other)

    @cornlegend…I believe Di Natale knows deep down Greens will never form a Govt in its own right, never in a million years. His alternative and God knows how he convinced all his caucus, is to get into bed with the Torys and in his weird mind, visions of power and grandeur. He has a very rude awakening coming, the Torys will spit him and his party out, once they achieve their objective.
    The Torys are evil personified, they have it in their DNA, what would posses the Greens to join them?

  61. Bighead1883

    Adrianne Haddow February 28, 2016 at 11:32 am

    My “inner voice”tells me that data retention laws have not affected anyone
    {it was always done via court orders but now legalised without]
    Hundreds of part pensioners have been affected by Greens voting with LNP to reduce their claims
    How does your “inner voice”live with that Adrianne Haddow?

    Why the Greens were wrong to support the pension cuts

    As JohnB explained
    NSW State election are now only for cashed up Parties
    But how about WA?
    Nobody talks of the horror movie Greens have caused in WA-a perpetually LNP controlled Upper House
    How will you : inner voice: #Greensplain this Adrianne?

    WA 2013 – the broken upper house

    WA 2013 – the broken upper house

    Also Adrianne how does you “inner voice” #Greensplain that the very first vote in the newly elected Labor Victorian State Government the Greens voted with the LNP to elect their choice as President of its Upper House

    Now I don`t expect any answer from you Adrianne other than “Greensplaining in Wentworth Waffling fashion” if even that

  62. Bighead1883

    cornlegend February 28, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Peter Whish-Wilson`s statement of Greens being “Ön the side of angels” is something Abetz or Bernardi may say but are far too intelligent [Woo Woo me propeller on topOme heads spinnin real fast now Peter sings traipsing around his farm}

  63. cornlegend

    I’m beginning to like The Labour Coalition
    A chance for the 3rd force in politics ?
    They posted
    The Labour Coalition
    2 hrs ·

    The lunatics have escaped from the asylum.

    Under these reforms at the last election: The Greens would not have been able to preference Palmer. Sarah Hanson Young would not have been saved and the Greens would become weaker at every election cycle thereafter until finally they became the Democrats.

    Self saboteurs.

  64. cornlegend

    David (other)
    Di Natle wrote a piece {about minority government } where he said he would like to be Health Minister in a Labor Government
    Bill Shorten repiied, words to the effect “He may have a chance one day, all he needs to do is join the labor Party .
    Maybe Turnbull has offered a “sweetener” , like a friendly coalition, nd let’s face it. Malcolm hasn’t got much to pick from
    They do seem particularly close lately {even on choosing the word Gamed}

  65. Trish Corry

    Adrienne: *As for the Green’s poaching Labor policies, surely social justice does not belong to one party? * No it doesn’t, but when one party bashes the other party and then take the moral high ground while promoting the exact same thing- I think that these parties MAKE social justice political. They SHOULD be saying, I agree with this, this and this, but I think we need to work together to change that. So the Greens do indeed make social justice political, if you are trying to say that they do not.

  66. Trish Corry

    No you won’t get an answer from the Greens cornlegend. In their policy they also give no reason for reducing the 90 day processing timeline / KPI down to 30. If the 90s is supported by UNHCR are there risks with 30 days – ie incubation of certain illnesses? In adequate security clearances? Whatever the case, they do not explain any justification for reducing processing timelines by 60 days less than supported by UNHCR>

  67. Trish Corry

    Lots of carnage cornlegend. Lots.

  68. cornlegend

    David (other)
    So as not to misquote what Dickie had to say,

    “Richard Di Natale eyes cabinet post in future Labor-Greens government as Malcolm Turnbull brings him in from the cold

    Greens leader Richard Di Natale has declared he would “relish” the chance to serve as health minister in a future Labor-Greens coalition government, and suggested colleagues such as Larissa Waters could also serve in cabinet in charge of portfolios such as environment.
    A spokesman for opposition leader Bill Shorten said Senator Di Natale was a nice guy and “we’re flattered he’s confident Labor will win the next election”.

    “We can assure Senator Di Natale that a Labor government will treat his party with more respect and the courtesy than the Liberals do. If he wants to serve in a Labor government, he needs to join the Labor Party,” he said.”


  69. Matters Not

    If you vote both above AND below then your vote is invalidated and classified as ‘informal’

    Don’t think so. Currently, if you vote above the line AND below the line on the same ballot paper, there are two possibilities. If your below the line vote is basically ‘correct’ (less than 4errors) then that becomes your valid vote. However if you stuff up the below the line vote(more than three errors etc) then your above the line vote becomes the one that is counted.

    My authority here is Antony Green.

  70. Matters Not

    I should add, my reference is to Federal Elections and not States which have different arrangements. In Victoria it is not legitimate to do both. At this stage I can’t provide a link.

  71. corvus boreus

    Matters Not,
    The AEC states the choice as an either/or (no ‘and’), but does not specify whether the vote still counts as valid if you do both.
    A verifying link to clarifying information would be appreciated.

  72. David (other)

    @cornlegend…there is no doubt Bill Shorten has the wood on Di Natale’s transparency and is honest about it. Puppet Turnbull has him summed up as well, but he on behalf of his Tory right, is using him and like refuse will toss him when the time is, dare I say right.
    I respect a couple above others in the Greens lineup, sadly they are being led to a dark place.

  73. cornlegend

    Apparently, on other online sites, they are reporting a couple of unnamed Greens Senators are pretty pissed about the Senate deal
    Could there be rumbling in the ranks before the vote ?

  74. Matters Not

    Here’s the link:

    The instructions say you must fill in every square, but the savings provision of the act require that only 90% of the squares be filled in, and will allow a maximum of three sequencing errors. A sequencing error is any doubling up of numbers and any break in the number sequence.

    If you want to be ultra safe, fill in below the line and the fill in one of the above the line squares. The below the line vote takes priority, but if proves to be informal, the ballot paper will revert to the above the line option .


    It’s not publicised nor widely known. (Took me some time to find the ‘link’ but I ‘knew’ it to be true.) It’s how I vote.

  75. Matters Not

    BTW CB, read the ‘comments’ below the article as well.

  76. Adrianne Haddow

    The entire Green Party policy can be found @ greens.org.au/policy.

    That should satisfy those who believe Green supporters will not reply to their questions.
    If you can be bothered to read it.

    Far too much information to paraphrase. Besides I don’t argue with bullies.

    As for the inner voice rip off, if you read the Steve Job’s quote you used, you might see the irony.

  77. Miriam English

    cornlegend, David (other), and bighead1883, if you could pause laughing it up with your insults and believing your own misleading comments maybe you’ll notice that Labor, Greens, and LNP were all agreed on the changes to Senate voting. Labor backed out at the last minute and then spoke as if they were always against it but that the Greens and LNP had suddenly allied against Labor. That is untrue. Why would they misrepresent the situation so?

    As for the pension changes, those only affected wealthy people who were effectively misusing the pension scheme — poor pensioners actually did better out of the changes, if I remember rightly. Labor painted it as the Greens doing a dirty deal with the LNP to betray all pensioners, when that’s not true. Why would Labor tell untruths like that, you have to ask?

    You are being manipulated. It pains me to say this of Labor because I grew up voting Labor in a Labor-voting family, and my sympathies were with them over decades, but they are now using Machiavellian politics, apparently to try and stop the loss of progressive voters from their base. But there is an easy way to stop the loss of progressive voters: adopt more progressive policies — the policies Labor always used to have.

    I would love to be able to vote Labor again, but they are drifting further and further into bad politics. That is why all my extended family, and most of my friends now vote Greens. It isn’t because we adore them, or are devoted to them, or are cheerleaders for them. It is because they are the only ones championing genuinely progressive policies across the board anymore. Labor still have some good policies (which is why I have any time for them at all) and there are a lot of good people inside the party who still believe they can turn the ship around, but as Labor powers further and further into the politics of deception, and pandering to multinational corporations, I think there is less and less chance, sadly.

  78. Bighead1883

    Miriam English February 28, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Thankyou Miriam but ambiguous #Greensplaining is falling on deaf ears as Australians awake to the pathetic leftovers of Bob Brown`s vision
    Pup are dead and Greens will take their place this election @ 5.49% of the National vote
    Their preferences will be cut to shreds by especially your sham reform partners the LNP

  79. cornlegend

    Adrianne Haddow
    “That should satisfy those who believe Green supporters will not reply to their questions.”
    but it doesn’t .
    Do you want a stab?
    How many Asylum Seekers a year should we take ?
    And on the issue of deporting Kiwis and Brits,, I don’t go much on the policy but don’t see it having any affect whatsoever on my law abiding friends .
    Kiwis aren’t going to be deported for the fun of it ,

    The number of NZ nationals sent home by crime type since December 11, 2014.
    25: Child sex offences
    1: Murder
    4: manslaughter
    8: Rape, sexual offences
    5: Use-threat-intent weapon
    95: Assault
    42: Armed robbery
    28: GBH, reckless injury
    83: Other violent offences
    47: Drug offences
    38: Theft, robbery, break and enter


  80. Bighead1883

    cornlegend February 28, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    Facts certainly paint a differing political landscape Cornie
    I`ve had that go to greens.org bit said by their supporters a hundred times like it`s a cure all
    I`ve never answered a question once yet,by writing—–go to http://www.alp.org.au/joinlabor but hey for those who want to get in on Social Democracy and join the winners click away

  81. corvus boreus

    Matters Not,
    Thanks for that. I had read that AG article, but must have skimmed the bit about doubling up (blush). Useful to know.
    Ps, yeah, the accompanying comments section was a breathe of comparative sanity with sound follow-up advice..

  82. Miriam English

    Bighead1883, sorry to hear you’re determined to be a dick. 🙁

  83. cornlegend

    “you’ll notice that Labor, Greens, and LNP were all agreed on the changes to Senate voting.”
    No, not all the changes .
    The deal to go before the Senate was modified by the LNP and agreed to by the Greens and Xenophon in a rushed little dirty deal .

    It seems Greens voters don’t like the dirty deal either .
    Don’t betray your base: Greens asked to back out of deal over Senate voting

    An online Essential Media survey of 2700 respondents taken early this week, found Greens’ voters opposed their party’s cooperation with the federal government on Senate changes at the rate of two to one, 54 per cent to 27.2 per cent. Another 14.7 per cent had no firm view


  84. Trish Corry

    I’m getting a bit sick of Greens supporters blaming Labor for everything. Anyone would think the Liberals are above being questioned. Anyone would think the Greens should be above criticism. No politician or party is above scrutiny.

  85. Matters Not

    Anyone would think the Greens should be above criticism

    Not sure how you arrive at the ‘anyone’ description. It doesn’t apply to this ‘anyone’. Perhaps you are generalising from your personal ‘meaning making’?

    As for:

    No politician or party is above scrutiny.

    Can only agree. And in spades.

    Perhaps a few examples of when you have (publically) criticised your ‘politician’ or ‘party’ would possibly strengthen your case?

    Links would be helpful.

  86. cornlegend

    Trish Corry
    You know after an election , it’s really hard to find someone who will put their hand up and admit who they voted for .
    I’m yet to meet someone who voted for Abbott or his midfits.{or admit to it}
    funny that .
    I also have a problem finding people to put their hand up and admit to being a paid up member of the Greens .
    If you put it to some commenters, the ones who eat sleep and crap Green propaganda that they are Greens members, the denials come thick .
    Now I know their membership took a dive in QLD, but surely we could rustle up one or two paid ups

  87. Trish Corry

    The Greens in QLD are about as significant as Family First. There is always an illusion that they are so popular because they are popular in Melbourne and Sydney

  88. Trish Corry

    Do you have a reason to personally attack me on every blog article I post Matters Not? Frankly it is getting tiresome.

  89. cornlegend

    Trish, there was an interesting article on the inner city latte sippers in the Hoopla a couple of years ago

    “Despite being a party that concerns itself primarily with the natural environment, when it comes to the lower house the Greens only seriously target the most inner-city urbanised, gentrified seats. At local level they are ever the populist.


  90. Matters Not

    cornlegend, here’s a complication you may wish to consider. (Or not)

    I volunteer to hand out ‘how to vote’ cards for Wayne Swan and have done so for years. And yet I vote ‘Green’ as a first preference.

    I do so because I well understand that the Labor Party continually moves to the ‘right’ in an attempt to capture the ‘centre’ ground.

    I vote ‘Green’ in an attempt to stop that nonsense tendency.

    Presumably you are worried about this obvious tendency and if so what is your strategy? Or is it all down to ‘hope’?

  91. Trish Corry

    Corn legend the Australian a Welfare Network page just stated in a comment that Labor preferenced the Liberals above the Greens at the last election. I get so tired of the lies of Greens supporters.

  92. Matters Not

    Trish Corry

    Do you have a reason to personally attack me on every blog article I post Matters Not

    Really? A personal attack? Grow up. The fact that I take your comments seriously might be seen as a compliment. But I have absolutely no control over the meanings you choose to give.

    Still waiting for you to supply the links to when you have (publically) criticised your ‘politician’ or ‘party’

  93. cornlegend

    Matters Not
    “Presumably you are worried about this obvious tendency and if so what is your strategy?”
    You presume wrong, I really couldn’t give a bugger who you vote for, I can’t change it .
    And my “strategy’, for what ?
    people voting Green ?
    I just leave them to it and give them time to come to their senses .
    They usually do
    In the 2013 election The Greens lost over 507,813 votes in the Senate and 342,079 votes in the House of Representatives this election,
    I have a feelong that trend will continue
    If I did need a “strategy” Id leave it to Di Natale, he is doing a fair job for me

    An online Essential Media survey of 2700 respondents taken early this week, found Greens’ voters opposed their party’s cooperation with the federal government on Senate changes at the rate of two to one, 54 per cent to 27.2 per cent. Another 14.7 per cent had no firm view

    “I do so because I well understand that the Labor Party continually moves to the ‘right’ in an attempt to capture the ‘centre’ ground.
    I vote ‘Green’ in an attempt to stop that nonsense tendency.”
    How does that work for you ?
    Not sure you voting Green will have any impact on the inner workings of the ALP

    I’ll get in early on the question you posed to Trish.
    I’m forever critical of some ALP decisions

  94. cornlegend

    Matters Not
    Just a quick question ,
    Why don’t you hand out how to votes for the Greens if you vote for them ?
    I’m sure Swannie would manage and he is a member of the Right faction, the one you are trying to depose

  95. Matters Not

    Not sure you voting Green will have any impact on the inner workings of the ALP

    That’s central to ‘your’ problem. And that of the ALP who have lost its moral way. Now completely concerned with winning government while devoid of any ‘mission’, ‘vision’ or any higher ambitions.

    The ‘greens’ came from nowhere as it were. The ALP should have seen it and didn’t. The Neo-Liberal agenda was in fact promoted by Hawke/Keating. (Want some ‘links’)?

    As for being forever critical of some ALP decisions, I would also like some links that go beyond passing references and lead to considered links of the ‘deep and meaningfuls’ Just one would be helpful.

    Too much to ask?

  96. cornlegend

    there are heaps, but one which i was talking with someone else today
    just a quick one from Independent Australia

    Cornlegend • 2 years ago

    A couple of of days ago, I sent an email to Louise urging her to write an article for IA,

    Glad she had already had that in hand before my suggestion
    the ALP need many Louise Pratts.

    I wrote , in part.

    Sent: Wednesday, 16 April 2014 4:40:08 AM To: senator.pratt@aph.gov.au (senator.pratt@aph.gov.au)

    Congratulations on your Conference and Statement today.

    You are too valuable for the ALP to lose.
    What you said today, a large number of us on Independent Australia http://www.independentaustrali
    have been saying for weeks.

    davrosz Mod Cornlegend • 2 years ago

    Thanks for doing that mate.

    Cornlegend • 2 years ago

    This was a great article by Louise on the damaging invasive right wing power brokers that are decimating the Party .
    A chance for the rank and file to have greater control and reduce the negativity of the SDA and AWU influences.
    Good on her for taking the steps and speaking out .

    It’s time all members and supporters let Shorten and the factions know their feelings .

  97. Jexpat

    Curious as to when the next Bighead/Cornlegend sockpuppet will appear.

    That identity uses the moniker “Red Ned,’ and “they” like to talk to each other on other forums too- just as the two above are transparently doing here.

  98. Matters Not

    Why don’t you hand out how to votes for the Greens if you vote for them

    Because they can’t win. But primary votes in their direction cause (intelligent) strategists within the Labor Party to ‘think’. But it would seem that the ‘intelligent’ ones are few and far between.

    cornlegend, I suspect that you have little understanding of how ‘political’ forces actually operate in the wider world. Rather sad.

    Membership at the local level is a complete waste of time in the policy formulation sense as is a ‘meeting’ with a Minister, let alone with a Shadow.

    The naivety is breathtaking.

  99. Trish Corry

    Matters Not you missed my point amongst your demands of my time. My point before was that Greens supporters blame Labor for everything. Even when they are in opposition. The only reason for this is that Greens supporters see Labor as their opposition and not the Liberals. If they really saw the Liberals as the opposition and Bad govt they would hold them to account instead of wasting their energy on the opposition. They should also put their energy into compare and contrast of their policies against the Govt instead of wasting their energy bashing labor. The fact that they see Labor as their true opposition only strengthens argument of why the Greens want these reforms. They KNOW they will never form Govt but the balance of power is an incredibly powerful position. A position they can use to isolate and use radical voices to put Labor in a bad light if they are in Govt or opposition. The DiNatale greens are not the Brown Greens and should start to be criticised and scrutinised if the franc themselves as a major party.

  100. cornlegend

    What are you waffling about, I have known Red Ned for years through the Union Movement
    This sock puppet rubbish, is that some sort of stunt ?
    Ask Dave Donovan or Michael to check IPs and as for Bighead 1883, he lives on the other side of the country and we converse online ,
    Whats the big deal?
    The fact we have a common dislike of Greens?

  101. cornlegend

    Matters Not
    To each his own 😀

  102. Michael Taylor

    Jexpat, I can vouch that Cornlegend and Bighead are not the same person.

  103. Michael Taylor

    Who’d want to be Cornlegend anyway? He drives a Holden. ?

  104. Trish Corry

    Well no wonder I like Cornlegend! So do I.

  105. Michael Taylor

    Oh, gawd.

    Such low standards. ?

  106. Trish Corry

    Hahaha oh Ford Man then Michael?

  107. Michael Taylor

    Yes. Impressed?

  108. Trish Corry

    Oh very much. But only because there are so many awesome Ford memes on FB.

  109. Michael Taylor

    Plenty of awesome Ford drivers on Facebook too. Namely me and Carol. ?

  110. JohnB

    I suspect The Green tacticians have not thought this deal with the LNP through.
    I have been doing some research on the 2013 election senate preference distributions and the effect of the ALP placing The Greens at the last or near last position on the senate group voting ticket.
    At the 2013 election the ALP placed The Greens preference priority directly after ALP candidates in all states except QLD where they were placed in (seventh party order) – position 16 on the group ticket (No Green senator was elected in QLD 2013).
    The LNP place the Greens generally towards last on their group preference ticket.

    The Greens 2013 AEC senate preference group voting tickets generally placed the ALP approximately half way down their party preference list in all states.

    There were 3 Green senators elected in 2013; Scott Ludlam failed in 2013, but was elected in WA in 2014 re-run.

    In the states of Vic, SA and Tas ALP preferences were responsible for electing Janet Rice (131,625 preferences ex ALP), Sarah Hanson-Young (87,010 preferences ex ALP) and Peter Whish-Wilson (14,449 preferences ex ALP).

    If the ALP place The Greens last on their group preference ticket at the 2016 election, based on 2013 results there will likely be 3 (or more) Greens senators missing from the 2016 parliament.

  111. Jexpat


    If you’re claiming to have met each of these indivduals in person, that’s an acceptable voucher.

  112. cornlegend

    Grow up you bloody nitwit ,
    What do you think you are ?
    Super Sleuth ?
    I couldn’t give a toss who you are,
    I tell you what Jexpat , I’ll put up $1000 to be donated to your favourite charity if you can prove any of this accusatory sock puppet rubbish
    You do the same for my favourite charity if you can’t.
    Deal or are you just all mouth ?
    Put up or shut up ?

  113. corvus boreus

    The author of this article is ‘getting sick’ of Greens ‘rubbishing Labor as if they were the devil’ and chose to bemoan this alleged incivility to Bighead (#KillTheGreens), a self proclaimed ‘anti-green hit-squad’ (looking to ‘rip them to pieces’ in a ‘blood-letting’) who regularly spouts personal abuse in response to rational criticism of Labor policy.
    This precious attitude to any criticism extends to Matters Not and his gentle rejoinder that Trish cannot truly claim to broadly speak for ‘everyone’, which the author chose to view as a tiresome ‘personal attack’.

    Note to self; if you seek rational and non-partisan (ie hypocrisy free) policy discussion, don’t bother reading party pieces.

  114. cornlegend

    Trish Corry
    Get yourself a towbar and quick release hitch
    It helps get Fordies out of trouble

  115. Miriam English

    Trish, I’m not sure why you think the people who vote Greens attack Labor all the time. We don’t. Generally those who vote Greens tend to feel some kinship with Labor (most of us are ex-Labor voters) so will voice their worries about Labor making errors of judgement. Most of us are quite clear in our very strong criticism of LNP.

    I have never seen Greens voters revel in slander and insults of Labor the way many Labor voters seem to do when speaking of Greens. When Greens voters talk of Labor they tend to say things like I did above: “I would love to be able to vote Labor again… Labor still have some good policies (which is why I have any time for them at all) and there are a lot of good people inside the party…” I doubt you’d ever hear a Green say that of the LNP, or, increasingly and sadly, a Labor voter of the Greens.

    So where are the attacks coming from and where are they directed? And, I have to wonder, why?

    As I’ve said before, I think it is fear. A lot of votes are moving from Labor to the Greens and I think many in the Labor Party see this as a threat. This has led some (though not all) in the Labor party to encourage a kind of hysteria of over-reaction against the Greens and promotion of falsehoods (such as the Greens allying against Labor in the Senate vote, or betraying pensioners, or killing the emissions trading scheme).

  116. Miriam English

    The assholes inside the LNP party machine must laugh themselves silly watching some of the Labor faithful working to alienate their Greens allies. Many Labor candidates, in NSW especially, get elected largely on Greens preferences. LNP would love nothing more than to see hatred develop between Labor and the Greens.

  117. Kaye Lee


    One thing this thread points out for me is that party affiliation tends to make one judge change by how it will affect your party (reasonable enough) except, as we fall into camps, we stop listening and start shouting. Change should be made to assist the voter rather than the parties.

    Why can’t Labor suggest an amendment to include limited below the line in the legislation? No-one could disagree with that surely?

  118. Michael Taylor

    A Holden wouldn’t have the grunt to tow a Ford.

  119. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, you won’t get a disagreement out of me.

  120. Michael Taylor

    Alright Jexpat, just for you . . . Cornlegend and Bighead are they same person. And I’m really John Lord. And I have a suspicion that Trish Corry is Kaye Lee and John Kelly.

  121. Kaye Lee

    I’m Brian and my wife’s Brian too.

  122. cornlegend

    Matters Not
    “The ‘greens’ came from nowhere as it were.”
    state-based Greens parties had existed since the early 1980s. the Australian Greens from 1992

    Sure taking them a long time to get to “somewhere”

  123. cornlegend

    “Kaye, you won’t get a disagreement out of me.”
    Would that be the Michael Michael agreeing or the John Lord Michael
    It’s doing my head in, i haven’t had my weeties yet

  124. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, then your ‘the wife of Brian’. ?

  125. Michael Taylor

    No Cornie, it was Carol disguised as me.

    God knows why she’d want to be me.

  126. JohnB

    Correction to my February 29, 2016 at 1:39 am post:
    There were 4 Green senators elected in 2013 – (was misled by an error on ABC result site)

  127. trishcorry

    *Why can’t Labor suggest an amendment to include limited below the line in the legislation? No-one could disagree with that surely?*

    Kaye – Albo explains this in the video. They do not want this to go through proper scrutiny and the Greens have said YES to this bill before it has gone through proper scrutiny. Hence the outrage from Labor for the Greens siding with the LNP on this. Labor does not have a problem with proper scrutiny of bills. The LNP and Greens and Xenophon want this rushed through.

  128. trishcorry

    Michael “Great Article Victoria” has been seen a few times on my articles on here lol. Whilst I’m not Victoria, just as much as Cornlegend isn’t Bighead, I don’t mind. I’m quite a fan of Victoria.

  129. Kaye Lee

    Blessed be the cheese makers

  130. Michael Taylor

    Trish, I thought you WERE Victoria!

  131. Michael Taylor

    I saw an article yesterday that tells us that the Greens would be wiped out in SA if these changes go through. Why on earth would they support it then?

  132. Kaye Lee


    I just watched the video again and it does not mention that at all. It says nothing about any ideas from Labor in fact.

  133. Kaye Lee

    If the only way we can discuss something is to slag off on each other then we are really in trouble.

  134. Michael Taylor

    Kaye is right. When it all boils down to it, we are all on the same side. We have a government we all want to see the end of. The best way ensuring that is if we stand united.

  135. Miriam English

    Trish, why do you say that the Greens are rushing the bill through? Spending years on working towards it is not rushing it through.

    To clarify, I don’t think the Greens should be going forward on this limited version of the bill. As I’ve said before, I think we should be able to number as few or as many boxes below the line, just as the new bill allows for above the line. Unless the bill allows for this change to below the line voting I think the Greens should do what Labor have done: drop support for the bill.

  136. Kaye Lee

    Miriam, they can suggest their own amendment and make support conditional on it. I would like people to contact the Greens with this suggestion. Labor don’t have the numbers to do it alone.

    Bighead, I am not trying to find fault with any of the commenters. I like to find solutions and when you have no party allegiance, passion is less likely to interfere. I am trying to listen to everyone and take the best of what all have to offer.

  137. JohnB

    I have taken off my ALP party hat to make what I believe is an objective summary – I have been active within the party striving to eliminate corrupt factional practices and establish proper democratisation of ALP processes.
    Removing senate party ticket preference control is one good step in that direction.

    On reading Antony Greens (ABC) article, and a few relevant articles on The Conversation I have come to the conclusion that the fairest most transparent method on electing federal senators is to enable the voter to select candidates directly, free of party factional intervention, using the optional preference method below the line only.
    It should be optional preference below the line (perhaps with mandatory 1-6, or 1-12 for DD), otherwise it disenfranchises many voters; it places an un-necessary and undesirable burden on electors to cast a valid vote.
    It is impracticable and ludicrous to demand electors to number correctly ~100 squares.
    Demanding voters rank ~100 unknown candidates is some meaningful order is a ridiculous ‘donkey’ voting exercise.

    Selection of a single (or multiple) party ticket above the line is open to complex obscure preference manipulation via sham micropartys; it also empowers factions to exert corrupt and undemocratic control over the political process.

    The constitution Sect 7-23 states explicitly “…The Senate shall be composed of senators for each State, directly chosen by the people of the State, …..”
    Party ticket choice above the line (single or multiple via OPV) ought be ruled as unconstitutional – by using that method electors do not directly choose senators, party intermediaries controlled by party factions select the priority in which ‘favoured’ senators are appointed. “Joe Bullock WA” says all that needs be said.

    OPV below the line, with mandatory sequential numbering of a square that corresponds with each vacancy to be filled is the proper way in my opinion – it is fair to all.
    It won’t be popular with any political party as it takes control away from party factions.

    Candidates political party allegiance can be grouped for convenience – as per current senate ballot paper, but above the line should be eliminated.

  138. Trish Corry

    Great idea John B and you have explained it so well

  139. Trish Corry

    Miriam I suggest you challenge Albo because that is what he says in the video.

  140. Trish Corry

    Bighead I’m accused of being a Hack and Matters not challenged me before to find and provide evidence of where I disagree with Labor. The assumption there is I am a mindless drone. As a member of the party I put forward 8 platform changes at regional conference. For the next conference I am working on the abolishment of income management. I think that is evidence enough that I can think for myself. I can only use my voice. It is up to other members at conference to support me. It is how we work and I’m proud of that. I will not abandon the party whilst our voices have input into policy and platform. Those looking from the outside in will never understand unless they are part of that. And if they think we all agree with each other and sing happy songs that is way off base. Arguing for adopted policy supported by the majority is not being a mindless sheep. It is respecting the will of my fellow members and respecting the process. In saying that pushing for change where I feel it is appropriate. I don’t need to do this for matters not’s satisfaction or anyone else’s. I am passionate about democracy and that is why I like Labor process. I think selection of candidates needs a big review but in all our process is quite democratic. Although I cannot stand Libertarian ideology the people Leyonhelm represents also deserve to be heard. That is the impetus behind this blog post.

  141. JohnB

    if you had watched the “debate” in parliament you would know that there was no “choice” offered.
    The bill presented did not fully reflect the joint committee’s recommendations – only selected parts.
    The bill was guillotined through parliament HOR – the 6 necessary correcting amendments were also guillotined through – with strict time limit, unable to be debated in detail.
    It was presented as a fait-accompli – for forwarding to the senate for approval.

  142. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear Miriam English throughout, esp @7.06am, @7.17am and @10.09am

  143. Jimmy

    I just purchased a new SSV VF11
    Ford hasn’t even come close
    the auld adage applies Found On Roadside Dumped

  144. Michael Taylor

    Jimmy, into the naughty corner for you!

  145. cornlegend

    “I think selection of candidates needs a big review but in all our process is quite democratic.”
    Labor have run community preselections in a few seats. Sydney Newcastle areas and in some close to 6000 voted ,
    Now the momentum is building it will be coming to an Electorate near you {my prediction}
    Balmain residents turn up in record numbers to select Labor’s candidate
    Over ten percent of the electorate of Balmain has voted in the Community Preselection to select Labor’s candidate for next year’s state election.
    Over 5600 people voted in the primary-style contest online, in person and by postal ballot.

    “This unprecedented result has engaged the community and energised local branch members. Community preselections are changing the way the Labor Party engages with the Community, and they are responding.”


  146. Miriam English

    JohnB 10:59 am, very well put.

    Kaye, yes. Contacting the Greens is the best way. I did so when I first read Trish’s article. I’ll post any reply I receive here.

  147. Miriam English

    JohnB 12:42 pm, thank you. I didn’t realise that the bill had had debate restricted. That’s never a good sign.

  148. Trish Corry

    Same for candidates here Cornlegend. My previous life was a HR academic. I’m speaking from that perspective. I can chat to you about that another time

  149. Trish Corry

    Thanks Bighead

  150. Trish Corry

    The video is in the Blog Miriam of Albo explaining his objections to the process

  151. cornlegend

    Geez, don’t get me started on that !!
    Being around Labor from when I was a single digit age I’ve seen some hair curlers .
    To my shame I assisted in getting some of the arseholes elected

  152. Michael Taylor

    To the naughty corner for you too.

  153. Miriam English

    Trish, I just watched Albo’s talk again, and understanding more than I did earlier I’m now inclined to mostly agree with him, whereas before it sounded too much like grandstanding. (I truly hate the way politicians learn talk.) One point I fully agree with him on: that if they are unsure of the wisdom of the changes then they should reject them. In science it is called the precautionary principle.

    I am surprised, and a little disappointed that the Greens are allowing a partial change to go forward. Perhaps they figure partial change is better than none and that they might be able to get the rest of the change later. I’m sure it would be difficult to abandon something they’d worked hard on over years. I’ll know better what their reasoning is when I get a reply from them. I wrote another couple of emails to them today.

  154. Trish Corry

    Miriam I don’t know the specifics but someone posted the Greens reforms from years ago compared to this one and they are not the same. If I find it I’ll post it here

  155. Miriam English

    Thanks Trish, though I don’t wish to put you out.

  156. Trish Corry

    It won’t be a problem at all. I think it might clarify what the differences are.

  157. corvus boreus

    JohnB (10:59),
    Thank you, that is pretty much what I have been saying all along.
    Here is the wording of the original committee recommendation;

    “The Committee has also proposed that voters choosing to vote below the line not be required to number every candidate. Voters would only be required to nominate at least as many preferences as there are vacancies to be filled (six in a normal half-senate election for a state, two for a territory)”.

    Nothing difficult or controversial there, which begs the general question; why the hell is this not in the tabled proposals?

  158. Kaye Lee

    Here is the Greens policy…nothing about limited voting below the line. Their policyis to abolish group voting tickets and be able to vote 1 to 6 above the line

  159. corvus boreus

    Kaye Lee,
    Yep, the Greens obviously decided that there was no need for any reform of the current BTL (non-party controlled) requirements (except to allow for 2 more mistakes), and would prefer the subject not be raised again.
    ‘All about giving real control back to the voter’, my hairy arse.
    How they have approached this has been not just dodgy, but rather dumb, and I reckon it will cost them votes.

  160. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    This is the submission I provided to the Joint Standing Committee’s Inquiry into the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016.

    I hereby make my submission to the Senate committee responsible for the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016 – Parliament of Australia

    I expect it to be understood that I do NOT support any changes that would dilute the opportunities of micro parties and their democratic right to seek to represent the best interests of the Australian community on diverse issues, values and principles.

    I am aware The Bill proposes to implement the following:

    1.reduce the complexity of the Senate voting system, by providing for partial optional preferential voting above the line, including the introduction of advice on the Senate ballot paper that voters number, in order of preference, at least six squares;

    2.provide appropriate vote savings provisions to capture voter intent and reduce the risk of increased vote informality, including by improving vote savings provisions for below the line voting;

    3.improve transparency around the allocation of preferences in a Senate election, by abolishing group and individual voting tickets, noting that this does not change other provisions relating to candidates nominating to be grouped on the Senate ballot paper;

    4.introduce a restriction that there be a unique registered officer and deputy registered officer for a federally registered party; and

    5.reduce the confusion that may arise with political parties with similar names, by allowing party logos to be printed on ballot papers for both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

    I submit that No 1 above fails to address citizens’ rights to vote for micro parties. Citizens are better served with three options: the current above-the-line status quo and TWO options of below-the-line preferential voting instead of this proposed above-the-line option of 6 candidates. They can choose either the current below-the-line option of every choice of every candidate OR a new second option of below-the-line, which gives them the option to choose a limited number of 12 or 18 senate candidates in numerical order, which means all other candidates would remain unmarked.

    Both below-the-line choices are closer forms of representative government than this bill’s focus on above-the-line increased to six choices. Both below-the-line preferential voting options provide opportunities for like-minded minority groups to negotiate and form alliances in order to have their voices heard in parliament for policy making that serves the interests of the community and their voter supporters.

    I reiterate that by introducing this second below-the-line option, it would not rule out voters’ choices in numbering all candidates on the ballot paper below-the-line if they so choose, or the one choice above the line if that is how the voter chooses.
    I submit No 1 above wants to reduce the volume of varied grassroots’ voices by only offering limited above-the-line choices and is intended to support the major parties that form the Liberal/National Party Coalition and establishing parties as in the Greens and the Xenophon Parties.

    No 2 above would be well served by this second below-the-line option because it would better serve the voter intent and reduce the informality vote for voters who choose not to vote for every representative below-the-line on the large ballot paper.

    Regarding No 3, Transparency is important but preference negotiations between micro parties is a wholly valid democratic process and should NOT be restricted. I am disgusted that the LNP Coalition and the Greens and Xenophon Parties seek to reduce the opportunities of Australian voters to choose from an array of micro parties that meet and address their democratic rights.

    Regarding No 4, the Committee has not explained the significance of demanding a unique registered officer and deputy registered officer for a federally registered party. This lack of explanation defeats the call for Transparency stated in No 3.

    Regarding No 5, the Australian Constitution does not demand that parties be identified on ballot papers. It however, does state names of candidates should be present. This is the essence of democracy for community candidates to be voted on the basis of their merit and preparedness to work hard for their community, and NOT their party allegiance. I suspect the LNP/Greens/Xenophon Parties seek to have parties identified to enhance their electoral advantage over rising, alternative micro parties. This is an outrageous misuse of our democratic processes. If however, it is deemed that some parties are misusing their names to cause voter confusion, I submit the Australian Electoral Commission should be authorised to put a special note defining the differences between the respective parties.

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    26 February 2016

    There would still be a short time for other motivated people to do likewise and to air their criticisms of The Bill before close of business today.

  161. paul walter

    I found this an odd, fluffy, querulous little post- a bit ranty-pants and wondered at the ageism implicit in the Cartman Michael Jackson meh-meh elements, but won’t be drawn into a stoush because there is too much I agree with in the thread starter.

    I dropped the Greens , who I have become suspicious of, very quickly after the snub to the purest of the Greens, Lee Rhiannon who, like meself is a fossil from the Vietnam Moratoriums era, something now apparently slipped from historical and cultural memory, but within my span of recall is a vison of things changing over a fifty year period rather than a twenty year one and my vision of the rise of the Democrats, then Greens, is backdropped by the phenomena of deindustralistion and death of the ALP Left and then the split between Australian intelligentsia and once genuinely progressive Labor, as Labor increasingly drifted to a neoliberal, anti enviro, anti intellectual and anti-leftist postion that has become antipathetic to an egalitarian position. Of course, the fall is a reflection of theimpacts of globalisation, neo lib style and Labor has responded to public apathy by doing the sensible thing and retreating to a defensive ideological position, but when rubbish like data retention and arbitrary detention and FTAs are ok’d you start to wonder if the definitive rupture with reality hasn’t now happened beyond recall.

    Being a jive-dinosaur, I can propose that the impressions formed of a long view not always accessible to a younger person are not necessarily invalid. The Dems then Greens offered a voice for people excluded by Murdochist politics, and both overreached, but the underlying causes of their appeal are not to be taken for granted.

    Had Labor stayed to true to its progressivist roots and not joined in the general slander against the Greens on enviro/development, (pol) economics, rationality and science on behalf of vested interests, the smaller groupings would never have gained credibility, ironically developing on an accurate social critique of Labors’, abandoned as incovenient.

    So, I retain the right to remain “stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive meh-meh” when others do so and if that means rejecting a few elements of tabloid, pomo critique wilfully oblivious of history, I am happy to do so, because part of what I see is some thing too close to “New Greens” Ageism, from Dr Corry.

    I won’t stoush with her, but ask her to think a little next time, because too much of what she contributes IS valid.

  162. cornlegend

    Steph or Reggie

  163. corvus boreus

    Is there an AEC statute specifying that a person contributing their voluntary time to campaigning (handing out flyers) for a political party/candidate is under a legal obligation (with enforceable punitive sanctions) to cast their primary vote for that party/candidate?
    That’s rather ‘Orwellian’.

  164. Trish Corry

    Hi Paul. Thanks for your comment. Two things – Meh is an expression of apathy or the I seriously can’t be bothered face. The meh emoticon is a face with staring eyes and a horizontal mouth. I’m not sure how you are configuring Michael Jackson and the Bee Gees in there. I have also not completed my thesis and I placed that on hold. I am not seeing that happen in the near future, so I do not have a PhD and I am not a Dr. I am just a humble blogger who enjoys writing in a variety of styles about politics and on other occasions I write about issues concerning women.

  165. paul walter

    Stick with it friend, the world needs rare types like you.

  166. cornlegend

    paul walter

  167. corvus boreus

    I would have thought that making a formal accusation of a specific offense (electoral fraud), punishable by law under the Criminal Code Act, would have warranted at least a little investigatory clarity regarding the legal validity of the claim, but each to their own.

  168. Matters Not

    Bighead1883 at 8:38 pm:


    True that! And at so many levels.

  169. Matters Not.


    I`ve informed the Minister

    Hon Wayne Swan MP – Parliament of Australia

    Again the Dunno self-descriptor applies. If Swan chose to converse with you, unlikely as that may be, he will tell you he is no longer a Minister and hasn’t been for some time. His resignation came with the re-election of Rudd in June 2013.

    Bighead, you and your unthinking ilk, lie at the heart of Labor’s problems.

    Perhaps you should go back to SHOUTING?

  170. Matters Not

    He told me he doesn`t know you

    Hilarious! Clearly, ‘logic’ is not your strong point. Perhaps he checked the electoral roll? And ‘Matters Not’ doesn’t appear? Do you find that somewhat strange? I think he was humouring you as the Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau of the political world.

    As for ‘contributors’ above I wouldn’t ‘out’ them even if I knew same. Seems ‘privacy’ is another of your conceptual weaknesses.

    Bighead, stop digging. You continue to embarrass yourself.

  171. mark delmege

    Paul Walter (from your comments) I had to dig out a few old address books – our life experiences seem to have similar paths

  172. corvus boreus

    I applaud (ex–deputy-prime-minister) ‘Swanny’ for his extremely swift personal response in the matter concerning Matters Not.

  173. Matters Not

    So sorry Bighead, I didn’t realise your ‘condition’.

    While I didn’t engage you initially on this thread (it was you who ‘attacked’), I will studiously desist from even responding in the future.

    But perhaps I can give a bit of free, professional advice. Your ‘assertions’ demonstrate a complete lack of comprehension skills as anyone who seriously reads the above will attest. (Not that I would recommend same).

  174. mark delmege

    grey but not defeated … just relaxed (actually I’ve never worked so hard in my life- and loving it)

  175. mark delmege

    Never head that one before. But I can remember the BG’s doing the rounds as young kids dressed in Tartan on young talent shows.

  176. randalstella

    Nice article on Melissa Parke in New Matilda. Shows what Labor are losing. International commitment, experience, expertise, progressive policy motives, a concern for the powerless. The kind of person to attract intelligent, brave, progressive members and future MPs. Once it took filthy Liberal campaigns to target Labor talent and waste it. Now Labor are willing to do it themselves.

    The former Party of Don Dunstan and Gough Whitlam now has two potential leaders-in-waiting, should the appalling happen and the Cayman Islands dodger win the next election. (Which is possible.) One pays tribute to Ariel Sharon as a peacemaker; and the other rages against ‘socialists’.
    Now there’s a Party inviting new talent? No it seems to be a Party for the rancorous and obsessive, with too much time on their hands for anyone’s good.

    The abuse, the bluster, used against the Greens here by these bods is just like they used against Shorten on his election to leader. This bile and hatred went on for two years and more. So the Party solidarity is paper thin; rhetoric thick. Recrimination is their mode. If there’s not a real issue to spike it, imagine one.
    Pity about policy.Pity about human rights. Benham Satah is still on Manus Island. Who?
    But that Adani mine is what the country needs -‘cos Bill says so. Stinkin’ Greens letting down Labor on important issues. .

    ‘My Party right or wrong’ tends to be Party wrong. It’s probably too late for another hobby.

    These bods are dominating this site. They will take it over. Suit yourself if you don’t care. If you don’t care, why should I? Another site with ‘independent’ in its title.

  177. Trish Corry

    Someone was saying before, either on here on on Facebook (I can’t remember, sorry) that the Greens rush through policy or side with policy just to get what they want, regardless of the consequences (ie voting for pension changes in exchange for a report into superannuation). Here is the reason given by Di Natale himself, that he just sees this as a step in the right direction. He is prepared to sell out the Independents to get just his big toe on the political ladder for his party’s (kind of looks like our reform, so it will do) reform idea.

    But that is good enough I suppose *sarcasm*. http://imgur.com/lr2Sj6n

  178. Bighead1883

    Matters Not March 1, 2016 at 12:06 am

    Just keep lying,you`ve done it all the way down the page
    I did this as it says,8.8 hours ago
    I now throw you back as undersized and immature
    You`ve been gamed because your lies were easy to prove
    You never even tried and I`m sure Cornie will have a question or two sometime soon over it

    BandtsInMyPants ‏@Biggy1883 8h8 hours ago Melbourne, Victoria
    Well @SwannyQLD look who hands out how to vote cards for the ALP in Lilley #auspol


  179. paul walter

    The BeeGees on those old talent shows?? God, just how old are you, man? I’d have been about six or seven when I saw them the first time and they werent much older than I and thought they looked like Ron Blaskett’s Gerry Gee.

    Mircles and magnets..

  180. paul walter

    Trish, I don’t trust the New Greens any more than you, as I said above. But Labor has a terrible job getting past pot/kettle, given its own shabby efforts in the past in siding with the Liberals against the earlier Greens, sometimes for very shabby motives involving enviro.

  181. Trish Corry

    I really think when there is something so serious that it denies independent voices and has the potential to return Libs to hold balance of power, that the argument should not be “oh they aren’t innocent. They have voted the same as them too” because this is actually harmful. Harm being the operative word because with these changes we won’t know what real harm is until it hits us and it’s all too late. I’ve lived through Joh and Newman and Howard, no thank you. Never again.

  182. Trish Corry

    There is also a Friendly Jordies video on Labor’s record on the environment, smashing many myths. It’s worth a watch

  183. paul walter

    I’ve just discovered what a Friendly Jordies is. Looks like quite a few and they are quite long. Still, maybe tomorrow.

    Trish, you have probably read the link Mark Delmege offered up from NM re Melissa Parke and maybe are also in recall of Joe Bullock’s siding with the Coalition concerning Safe Schools. Bullock was the individual who replaced Louise Pratt, a progressive and it follows the removal by the right faction of people like Lisa Singh and Linda Kirk and the near-removal of Penny Wong in favour of Don Farrell.

    I would vote for Labor in a two horse race, but only because the Conservatives are insane. I don’t think the ALP has done itself much good over this century, with the coming to dominance of the Right-Faction.

  184. corvus boreus

    AIMN Labor threads,
    Now featuring not just low personal abuse, but unjustified accusations of criminal misconduct.
    (Were NoS to pull such a stunt, I suspect he would be barred for life).

    I am going offline for a few days (taking a work-paid helicopter trip to an uninhabited offshore island- yippee).
    I sincerely and seriously hope this site can sort some shit out in the meantime, because it is starting to be dominated by some rather rabid and repulsive sledging, which is affecting the level and tone of discussion and discouraging honest participation.

  185. Michael Taylor

    “I sincerely and seriously hope this site can sort some shit out”.

    Corvus, we can’t be on hand 24 hours a day to monitor comments. I for one certainly aren’t going to stay up all night checking comments.

  186. Michael Taylor

    Labor threads can get like that, but fortunately the commenters work things out themselves. We rely on that, and more than often everything settles down.

    We’re lucky that we have such intelligent and mature commenters.

  187. Matthew Oborne

    Ignore trolls, the admin will get to them in time be patient, we cant expect people to live and breathe a site to the detriment of their life.
    Bighead derailed a great article which is well worth getting back on the rails.

    Our country has been well served by the current nature of the senate, domination of the senate gave us the worst excesses of the Howard Government,

    We as a people dont have many rights, we have political freedom of speech in the constitution and we have our common law heritage and in reality other than technicalities on government we havent got a system where we can point to too much in the way of rights to stop a mad government.

    In reality this situation with the senate has saved us again from a government with an agenda the people didnt want in the 2014 budget and we have senators who dont trust a word of this government, that is a win for us. The Abbott/Turnbull government blew smoke up some senators bottoms and now we have a senate who isnt to keen on trusting the government.

    That is a complete match with the public we too feel bitten by a lying cheating government and the system they are trying to change it into would replace those senators with nodding donkeys.

    Does it really matter how a reflection of public will is achieved in the senate so long as it is achieved?

    The proposed changes would not see the senate change it’s views because of sneaky behavior.

    In that respect alone we should consider this senate properly reflects better the mood of the people.

    The will of the people will be ignored if this change is implemented and that is not democracy.

  188. randalstella

    That’s not the point, Michael.
    It is not about the odd comment. It is about domination of your site, by partisans, obviously running a campaign.
    Just above is repeated abuse of one longtime poster here, calling him/her a criminal – on the merest, dippy fancy. About nothing more than an excuse for attempted intimidation. Attack and clear the site of objections to the attack: that’s the approach.
    These characters arrived in this election year to do a job. I have seen them do the same job elsewhere. It has bugger-all usefulness, and only services their own delusions. But it will damage the attraction to your site of people who would like to discuss things. People you don’t even know about, the visitors who may be the future of the site.
    Maybe this might be a litmus test: was Craig Thomson a rorter? I do not mean to pick on Craig, who deserves a break, but this mob go on as if he is a working man’s martyr. And abused and stalked anyone who dared to point out the obvious facts.
    By the indications offered by these partisans, the Labor Party are killing themselves from inside out. I hope these indications are wrong. It is a dreadful prospect for this country if so-called representative democracy descends to the levels of the U.S. Congress.

    The issue of the Senate – and HoR – voting system, is an interesting one, and can provoke real discussion, with people needing to see different views in order to consider their own. Precious little of that here – from the biased article onwards.

    If someone posting here has to steel themselves for possible attack, how does that help discussion?

    I can’t be here that often. Of course, it should not be assumed that if I do not respond that I have conceded. But if someone attacks and abuses me, they had better look out.

  189. Michael Taylor

    The only way we’d ever have ‘perfect’ comments is if all comments were put under moderation. We don’t want to do that, of course, though many sites do.

    Being a moderator or an admin here is very time consuming. And it’s thankless.

  190. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Yesterday @ 4:28 pm,

    I suggested commenters on this site could do as I had done, and provide a submission to the Joint Standing Committee’s Inquiry into the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016.

    Since the article and the discussion has become so volatile, I would be surprised if that passion wasn’t transferred into submissions for the decision makers themselves to see and to be obliged to consider before any changes happened for Senate voting.

  191. Michael Taylor

    It also comes down to what the authors want. Some authors don’t want any comments deleted from their articles, so the dwindling pool of moderators respect their wishes. The authors can of course delete comments from their own articles if they wish to.

  192. David (other)

    randalstella I have never been ‘attacked’ as you put it by anyone on this site. I have in the past had posts commented on but hardly attacked. I have always taken the good with the bad in all aspects of my life, work and play. I find things balance out. Lack of a thin skin also assists.
    Enjoy wherever you find your non controversial blog. I will stay put.

  193. randalstella

    Complete bullshit David (other)
    Bullshit of a pedigree.

    “Our online Labor “Hit The Hypocritical Greens Squad” is ready to tear you liars to pieces
    Let the blood spill-yours– you lying hypocritical Greens”

  194. Kaye Lee

    The anger in this thread is astonishing. All we are talking about is how to improve senate voting. One would think we were talking about sacrificing our first born child.

    There is not a political party going that has not made poor decisions or done dodgy deals. Pointing at and abusing each other achieves nothing.

    It is not compulsory for everyone to agree with you. Make your suggestions about improvements. It’s ok for others to think differently. Why the vitriol? It’s counterproductive.

  195. David (other)

    randalstella…have a nice day mwaaaaaah

  196. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear Kaye.

    Bighead and David (other), you’re sounding like the schoolyard bullies ganging up on minority or lone voices.

    Your conduct epitomises what you presumably hate about the proposed Senate changes ie the LNP bullies with help from the Greens and Xenophon against the micro parties.

    Did either of you write submissions to the Joint Standing Committee yesterday under your own names about your criticisms of the proposed Senate changes?

  197. Miriam English

    Trish, I am a bit puzzled at your response to the quote from Richard di Natale. When I read it I got almost the polar opposite impression. I’ve been trying to understand how you think he is doing something wantonly evil. Here is his quote as text rather than an image:

    “Our first preference was to reform BTL [below the line] also, and it’s disappointing that it hasn’t been included in the government’s bill — but Senate voting reform is still a giant leap in the right direction and crucial to our democracy.”

    I read that as being exactly what I thought might be the case: that the Greens wanted the complete changes for Senate voting, but were only able to get most of them, and that rather than abandon all their hard work over the last couple of years they stuck with what they got in the expectation that getting the last bit later would be more likely than going back to the starting point and beginning all over again. While I don’t 100% agree with them on that — I think they could have held out and used their position as a bargaining chip — at the same time I can’t really blame them.

    If you are willing to see their actions as somehow manipulative, can you see the backroom horse-traders in Labor as being unhappy enough with the changes to Senate voting, and their loss of their ability to manipulate our votes, that they would block it for their own selfish reasons? I must admit I find that more likely than them feeling genuinely sad at the loss of some independents, such as that half-wit Fielding, elected with vanishingly small numbers of votes to hold outlandish power in the Senate.

  198. Trish Corry

    Because when a compromise on your policy has the ability to destroy democracy it is not ok to accept that compromise for the sake of “yay well we kind of got our policy approved” although the outcome will ruin democracy and squash independent voices we don’t care. Excuse my sarcasm predicting what Richard must be thinking, but the voting changes are not a joke

  199. randalstella

    Kaye Lee,
    Fence sitting is bad for the anatomy,
    Show me where there was any serious extended discussion of voting systems.
    There could have been. But there was not..Why not?
    It is very clear where the fault is. It is not with the abused. It is with the abusers.
    You either do something about it or you will find yourself in the dominating company of geniuses like just above.
    That would be a pity given all the work you do.
    is it really naivety that would let a numbered boofhead arrive here and screw up any discussion where he feels he’d like to indulge his delusional malice?
    It might also be nice if longtime posters were given some credit for their support of the site, people such as Matters Not – who was left to fend for him/herself against a capricious line of interrogation and slur.
    You cannot just sit it out and wait for it to end. It is not going away. Like the asylum seeker problem of the Labor Party. There is an eery similarity, perhaps not a coincidence.
    It is a matter of trust. There is no middle ground on trust.
    This site is being subjected to ‘programming’ by roguery and its dumber offsider.

  200. Kaye Lee

    Your accusations of fence-sitting are insulting randalstella. As you well know, I express my opinion on a vast range of topics. I am not in any camp including yours. How you can accuse me of not having an opinion flabbergasts me.

    If you would care to read back, there has indeed been extensive discussion about voting, with the consensus seeming to be, why can’t we have limited preferential voting below the line?

    “You either do something about it or you will find yourself in the dominating company of geniuses like just above.”

    You will also find, if you read back, my repeated attempts to stop the “slagging off”, and you are not blameless on that front.

    I resent your comment. it is unjustified.

  201. paul walter

    I don’t understand the griping.

    Quite simply, you take the thread as a whole with comments like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle put together to show a resulting profile or picture.

    The thread is about the concern non-conservatives feel concerning the Greens /ALP stand off and a desire to understand it and remedy it before further damage is done.

    To my mind, both groupings have it wrong to an extent on different aspects of the split. Perhaps it all is an obscured replay of the nineteen fifties.

  202. Kaye Lee


    I find it strange that di Natalie said that when it doesn’t appear in their policy statement. They don’t mention BTL reform at all.

  203. Miriam English

    Trish, aren’t you overstating it a bit? I agree the partially-complete change carries potential for damage, but even in its lesser form the changes nevertheless do safeguard against other, existing and well-documented abuses to democracy.

  204. cornlegend

    Hey ,I put my hand up to some of the problems on why this post went off track and I apologise to Trish for that.
    Her article deserved better , but this “holier than thou” bullshit sprouted by Randallstella is just a bit much
    Randallstella , who was it when I offered to simply deliver adocument for Jennifer Meyer-Smith jumped in with
    Don’t do it, its a conspiracy, I have background info, I will respond through Michael, you have been warned, ”
    And then you wimped away producing nothing .
    I’m still waiting for the big exclusive .
    In my disagreements with others, we get past it, but you seem to sit in the background and wait for some chance at rubbishing people .
    You, and that idiot Jexpat, and his sock puppet rubbish don’t help
    FFS, Jexpat wouldn’t even take Michaels word for it unless Michael had had physical contact .
    I wear my mistakes, when are you gonna grow up and do the same

  205. Trish Corry

    Maybe I’m terrible at the prospect of anything which gives the LNP the ability to control the upper house. Sorry if you think my reaction to people starving for six months on Newstart is over playing it, but I don’t feel it is.

  206. David (other)

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith….I would appreciate you indicating where in my posts I have been ‘bullying’ anyone?

  207. Kaye Lee

    Trish, that last comment was just like the conflating of marriage equality with the Stolen Generation. I think we are all agreed we want the Coalition out. But surely we can discuss things rather than resorting to emotional blackmail.

  208. Kaye Lee

    As I have said before, this discussion should not be about what’s best for parties but what’s best for voters.

  209. Trish Corry

    I am utterly and completely confused how on earth you see I have used emotional blackmail or how you have paralleled my comment to Marriage equality and the stolen generation!

  210. Kaye Lee

    If we do not give limited preferential voting BTL, we have to vote for people like Joe Bullock, Eric Abetz, Cory Bernardi and George Brandis whether we like it or not. Factions control senate order on the ticket and they are making crazy decisions eg Louise Pratt and Lisa Singh. We need to be able to counter that without having to number 1 to eleventy million.

  211. Kaye Lee

    Voting reform for the Senate/people starving? I agree, blackmail was the wrong word. Sorry.

  212. cornlegend

    If ever you want an example of the low life Greens and their snuggling up to the LNP, try this .
    This Senate rubbish was jammed through the H.O.R without even allowing them the time to hear the results and outcomes of the Senate Committee hearing held this morning
    This mornings Senate Committee were addressed by the Australian Electoral Commisssion .
    When asked of the outcomes this Legislation would have, the AEC said they were unable to answer but would need to hear from relevant Departments .
    When asked by Labor to allow the relevant Departments to address and advise both the Senate Committee and in turn the AEC
    the Green Liberal Coalition blocked the vote and refused Departments the opportunity to provide critical information .
    This Legislation, now to be jammed through by the Green/LNP Coalition has been found this morning to be so bad and inaccurate that Ammendments must be now rushed through .
    When asked by LAbor to at least delay the vote till May, to allow all Senator to make an informed decision, with all information from Departments and AEC , they were voted down by the Green /LNP Coalition
    It appears the sellout is complete .
    For the LNP the Double Dissolution needs to happen and the Greens to their shame are supporting in providing the trigger for that
    What a sick lot the Greens are on this

  213. Miriam English

    Trish, I hate the idea of LNP having any prospect at gaining another 3 years too, but when you make out that gaining some traction in fixing the broken Senate voting system is equivalent to letting kids starve for six months, that’s a tad hyperbolic.

    The currently broken Senate voting system could easily allow more obstructive, conservative, LNP-aligned nitwits like Senator Fielding to be elected on microscopic numbers. In that case we could easily end up with an extremely LNP-friendly Senate. God! We could end up with Pauline Hanson in the Senate!

    Granted the changes don’t go far enough, but they are still an improvement, getting us closer to doing what the voters actually want.

    It is my (limited) understanding, the main reason Tony Abbott got in in the first place was because of the broken preferences system, and that he never actually had enough of the primary vote to elect his government — almost nobody actually wanted him as Prime Minister. This change to the Senate voting prevents similar happening there. I’m annoyed it doesn’t go far enough, but it is an improvement, and it is a beginning.

  214. randalstella

    Kaye Lee,
    I stand by what I wrote.
    You should resent the site being exploited by political hacks with a vicious, very personal anti-Green campaign.
    Maybe others might resent being attacked on this site without any intervention.
    Where has the bighead entity been named and specifically warned? Why is he allowed to get away with it? People who have done less have been subject to far more.
    Seriously, you cannot tell the difference between his assaults and my warnings? It’s that bad is it?
    I noticed your little lecture next to my post. I reject it. You should know better. But that does not mean that you do.

    But do go ahead and let extreme reactionary Labor propagandists set the agenda, when they like, as they like.
    Unfortunately, by what you say here you may not notice the difference, or care.
    Which is a pity. But nothing more than a small matter.

  215. Backyard Bob

    The following is not an “attack”. Let’s get that out of the way immediately.

    The author of this article seems to be something of a slave to debate “techniques” she probably isn’t even aware of; at least, I hope not. The fallacies of false comparison and variations of Ignoratio elenchi (red herring/wild goose chase) are primary among them. It makes discussing or debating a topic with her almost impossible. She’s not bad with a strawman as well. Mind you, her contributions to this debate have been a tad better than usual on those fronts.

    I note that only in the hope that she might look at her style of engagement and perhaps see the issue for herself.

    I must say it’s been sort of entertaining watching this thread unfold. The gradual yet inexorable slide into “electoral fraud high farce” was truly epic. But I ran out of popcorn so I thought I may as well say something. Much of it reminds me of a recent post by CB regarding what happens to political debate when partisanship rears its often ugly head. Btw, I’ve campaigned for a Labor candidate and always give the Greens my first preference regardless of what Labor might wish of me, so I guess I’m guilty of fraud too. Mind you, I think with respect to accusations of electoral fraud some might do well to remember that a secret ballot is precisely that – secret.

    As for the actual subject matter of this debate, I can but add my voice to CB’s (and Cornie’s) model of limited BTL preferencing. It seems eminently sensible and workable to me. But, as CB has also said, it is highly interesting that it’s not being seriously considered/promoted by any party. This makes me somewhat reluctant to take the “Greens are bastards” line seriously. Seems everyone is “politicking” on this. Pity.

    But, as always, Party membership seems to afford one greater than usual powers to discern the truth of specific political motives and machinations, and those enhanced powers of perception are in no way informed or moulded by the agendas of that Party membership. Ha, I think I just amused myself.

  216. Trish Corry

    Ok so if the Libs get control of the upper house. If as Di Natale says that the Govt should be able to pass legislation. Then the Social security legislation which would see young people without income for six months would be a reality. I think this heightens the rashness and complete disregard for the voters who vote for independents who are suppose to be the balance in the parliament.

  217. Kaye Lee

    You are entitled to your opinion randalstella. I do not approve of personal abuse and try to refrain from it, not always with success but always with the aim to improve.

    I share the concern of others as to why the Greens would push this through with no scrutiny or debate. Why wouldn’t you want information about consequences before you decide?

    The Coalition have made a big deal about being slow and methodical and considering all consequences. How does this gel with that?

    Why didn’t Labor propose an amendment for BTL limited preferential voting?

    I don’t think anyone wants a solution – they all want what’s best for them.

  218. randalstella

    More lies from the legend. I said nothing about a conspiracy. They were your words. I corrected you on that before. I was only ever referring to you, what you get up to.
    If your offer to Jennifer were genuine you could have renewed it, with my support.

    You admit to your mistakes do you? What a minor sham you are.
    For one small recent example: can’t have an ICAC as that requires bi-partisanship, you claim. Like the bi-partisanship on jailing anyone who reports on events from detention centres where rapes and one murder have occurred?
    It’s called policy. The ALP policy has been stated as against an ICAC. The policy you support. Can’t admit that?

    I do know your form – like stalking Marilyn Shepherd on IA, harassing her and offering insults each time she posted. And abusing her personally and frequently at other times.
    I know she can be annoying, but your response to her was obsessively vindictive. It was relentless. It was sick.
    That kind of form. And more.
    Your attempt to pass yourself off as the good old chummy bloke here is a poor joke to any who have seen you operate.
    The rest of your post is the usual hypocritical cant and crap.

    Thanks to Kaye Lee for giving the rogue his cue. He was waiting just in case he might have one roll his way. He was hiding behind the fence.

  219. Kaye Lee

    Geeze Louise,

    You want me to moderate? Ok I am telling you to settle down. Your personal sniping is adding nothing helpful randalstella.

  220. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    David (other),

    see your comment @ 11.05am as a start. (Don’t bother to debate me on whether it is bullying or not. Whatever way you look at it, you were belittling someone whose opinion you were dismissing.)

    Now my question to you (again) is, did you put in a submission to the Joint Standing Committee yesterday?

    We can bitch at each other as much as we like on this site, but we need to get our voices heard in parliament where this undemocratic legislation is being forced through parliament.

  221. trishcorry

    The author of this article seems to be something of a slave to debate “techniques” she probably isn’t even aware of; at least, I hope not. The fallacies of false comparison and variations of Ignoratio elenchi (red herring/wild goose chase) are primary among them. It makes discussing or debating a topic with her almost impossible. She’s not bad with a strawman as well. Mind you, her contributions to this debate have been a tad better than usual on those fronts.

    How about just don’t comment on my articles then Bob? Maybe not even read them. That would save you a lot of concern about who I am and who I am not. And it that was not an insulting attack. I have no idea what is.

  222. Backyard Bob

    If indeed the Greens are engaged in a dirty deal to potentially enhance their own electoral prospects, that is certainly unfortunate, but you know, I can’t get too riled up about it because it seems to me that they’ve simply learned such political techniques from their major political party masters. The Padawans appear to have grown up – and a half dozen more applicable Star Wars metaphors.

    Yes, it seems to run contrary to the Greens apparent ethical stance on everything, but does anyone still believe politics doesn’t corrupt? I mean, hit the keyboards people! Email your Greens candidate and ask what’s happening. Hit Twitter, make noise. Post on facebook. I thought social media was the new way for the people to get shit done? Well, get shit done…

  223. Backyard Bob


    How about just don’t comment on my articles then Bob? Maybe not even read them. That would save you a lot of concern about who I am and who I am not. And it that was not an insulting attack. I have no idea what is.

    You are correct, you have no idea what is.

  224. cornlegend

    Geez, I’ve had this fool ,
    I never mentioned ICAC but
    Senator Wang ?@SenatorZWang Feb 24

    How Senators voted for my Federal #ICAC proposal: 37 AYES (all crossbenchers, ALP & Greens) vs 27 NOES (LNP)


    ” like stalking Marilyn Shepherd on IA”
    I argue with her but gave up as a waste of time
    I have had little or nothing to do with her in the last 6-12 months
    Show me one .
    It really has SFA to do with you anyhow, thats for Marilyn S or the moderators
    “Thanks to Kaye Lee for giving the rogue his cue. He was waiting just in case he might have one roll his way. He was hiding behind the fence.”

    You really are a moron , I don’t hide behind fences , but I do wait for idiots like you to front up .
    Kaye Lee, Trish , moderate away if you like but it had to be said , I am not letting that rubbish go unanswered

  225. Kaye Lee

    BYB, I am typing my fingernails to the bone….

    Each of us contributes in the way we can. If that entails just being nice to your neighbour well good, you are helping make the world a better place. Respect is something we all need to work on.

  226. Kaye Lee


    That is heartening to know that Labor voted for a Select Committee to look into a National Integrity Commission, though Committees are kind of renowned as somewhere to park things you don’t want to think about eg the Liberals refererral of Jensen and Beck’s assertion that humanity is not affecting climate change. What a waste of time and money. Still, if Wang’s proposal leads somewhere I would be mightily pleased and am thankful Labor and the Greens supported it.

  227. Trish Corry

    and for the record, I have absolutely no problem with CornLegend or Bighead. I don’t know them in real life nor on social media, but for some reason they are being highlighted as nasty people. From my perspective they are not. I have found them nothing more than funny and engaging when they talk to me.

    They have had a stoush with Matters Not on here and these things happen on social media all the time. There are plenty of people on here that have had constant digs at me, passive aggressive little snipes and I just have to deal with it. From Bob’s little snipe here just before to someone abusing me because I write too academically on a previous post and now there is comments in this thread that this piece is Fluff. Regardless of whether I agree with the person’s view or not, I try to make a point of acknowledging the author’s work. If I didn’t like the author’s writing style or work, I wouldn’t be an ass about it. But that is just me.

    I try to write controversial pieces in a range of styles. I am not going to please people all of the time, but I am not going to change my writing style or how I view the world to suit others. I write because I have to, I don’t write to please anyone and I don’t target a certain group hoping they will like my articles/posts. I write because I have to. It is hard to explain, but It is as simple as that. People can either read my stuff or not. It is also as simple as that. For those I continually disturb, I suggest you possibly should just refrain.

    There was one occasion where a little group was formed to have a go at me, because I had an opposing view to someone else who posted a similar article. I’m sure these people know exactly who they are. That was one of the most unpleasant things I have experienced online, but I am still here. It is part and parcel of putting my opinion online.

    Some don’t like it if I call out people having a dig. Some don’t like it that I am a member of Labor and I argue very strongly for my party. If my arguing strongly for my party annoys you…then tough. If my arguing strongly for a certain stance annoys you…then tough. You haven’t given me anything else at all to consider. Try harder.

    If people do not understand the ramifications that have been outlined by the independents, that they have indeed prevented harsh legislation being adopted – the one I used was the punitive No Income for six months on Newstart, and this is seen as a strawman, or over emotive or blackmail or as something as insulting as aligning marriage equality with the stolen generation, then I put it to you that you haven’t been listening to the full debate and are ignoring the ramifications of what this deal actually means.

    What is evident in the debate here is that there are some people who automatically dismiss a person’s argument because they know they are a member Labor, others who will automatically detest anything I say because I am a member of Labor and then there are others who are obviously downplaying the ramifications of this deal the Greens are doing with the Libs.

    For those who complain my comments are far too long. Feel free to complain now.

  228. cornlegend

    Kaye Lee,
    The National Integrity Commission will go nowhere .
    Shorten, back in 2014 offered to have talks with Abbott on that and come up with a Motion for the HOR.
    Abbott didn’t respond .
    There is no way it will get through the HOR , even if Labor moved it today ,
    The LNP oppose it so no point going any further

  229. David (other)

    Jennifer..so this is not bullying but belittling “randalstella…have a nice day mwaaaaaah” Well I can assure you it was neither it was well meant and a kiss has never in any circle I mix in been regarded as belittling. However if you took it that way, so be it.
    As for ‘did you put in a submission to the Joint Standing Committee yesterday?’ In the notice that was available, as I do not spend my life actively pursuing politics or blogs, no as for millions of other Australians who wouldn’t have, but like me, many making their feelings known on social media blogs as time allows.
    I don’t need to write to the committee when the way it is being conducted would be a complete waste of time. With respect, in case you are offended I wont be making make my intentions known to you personally how and when I act.
    Enjoy the rest of your day.

  230. Kaye Lee


    “we are happy to sit down with him and work constructively in a bipartisan fashion to ensure we have the strongest possible defences against any perception of corruption full stop.”

    This was not well phrased.

  231. Backyard Bob

    And right on cue Trish delivers Exhibit A in her last post with respect to what I have observed as intellectual problems (not writing style) with her manner of debate. Actually, Exhibits A, B, C, D and maybe E.

    And I don’t have an issue with the length of your posts per se, Trish, other than to observe that such verbosity allows a writer involved in debate to overwhelm their interlocutors with debate points. There’s a name for this technique but I can’t bring it to mind right now. I only ask that you ask yourself if it’s possible you indulge in any of the things I’ve mentioned. That’s all I’m doing.

  232. Trish Corry

    Sorry Bob I’m not changing because you have the audacity to demand I should.

  233. Kaye Lee


    I hope to improve every day. I am not saying I agree with ByB but it can be useful to listen to criticism. If we are trying to appeal to an audience, it is even more important to listen. Get your message across in a way that those who disagree might be willing to at least consider.

    I enjoy your writing and appreciate the work that goes into it. Considering what others say is not a betrayal of your beliefs.

  234. Backyard Bob


    Sorry Bob I’m not changing because you have the audacity to demand I should.

    Nevermind. This reply is the final proof you couldn’t anyway. By all means, carry on as usual, as shall I.

  235. Trish Corry

    Kaye I don’t need your “assistance” and I sure as hell don’t need to herd Bobs personal criticisms of me as if they matter. Thx

  236. Trish Corry

    And the last sentence is quite a disturbing comment from you. How patronising to insinuate I don’t listen to others.

  237. Trish Corry

    Good Bob. You never say anything positive to me anyway. Do you expect I put myself out just there to wait for your criticisms?

  238. Backyard Bob

    [backs away slowly …..]

  239. Miriam English

    Trish, the changes made to the Senate voting only make people’s choices more effective. They don’t go far enough, as I’ve said, but they do improve things over how they were. They don’t take away people’s ability to vote for independents — it actually improves it slightly. What it does help (slightly) to lessen is the chance for outrageous deals to be done. Being able to distribute your own preferences any way you wish above the line gives much more power to voters. Being able to do the same below the line would have been even better, but allowing for 5 instead of 3 mistakes is a small advantage.

    The same people who vote below the line will continue to do so.

    Those who vote above the line will continue to do so too, with the slight boon to them that they can now distribute their preferences instead of party back room boys doing it.

    So why the fear that this affects the independents? Little has changed. We have a slightly better record of our wishes — not far enough in my opinion, but still better than it was. And a little less chance of Fieldings being put in the Senate with bugger-all vote.

    Do you think small-party people should be elected by vanishingly small minorities in defiance of democracy? I’m not trying to be provocative here, I am genuinely puzzled.

    I can understand being fearful of any chance that the LNP gets re-elected, but I don’t think making democracy more difficult is the solution.

  240. cornlegend

    Kaye Lee
    Not Bills greatest statement, I agree, but it was going to go nowhere under the LNP and they have that important little thing in the HOR, the numbers .

    Trish Corry Kaye Lee, two different writing styles, 2 different ways of delivering the message , both bloody good
    Don’t change anything, just keep sticking it right up the bottom feeders

  241. Trish Corry

    I’ll leave you genuinely puzzled. I’m over this debate. Talk amongst yourselves.

  242. Kaye Lee

    I wasn’t offering you assistance and I won’t bother trying to discuss anything further with you either.

  243. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    This Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016 has upset a lot of us, who follow Australian politics closely. The article has helped to inflame the divide between the Greens and Labor, which is a big pity because we should be working together to form a working partnership that will defeat the LNPees.

    For me, torn between my allegiances for left leaning progressive micro parties; usually the Greens; and Labor IF it is not trying to out-neolib the LNP, I am very disappointed with the Greens (and Xenophon, although perhaps he’s just showing his true colours).

    Therefore, I understand why it is hard for fellow Greens sympathisers to defend the Greens’ decision to support this devious LNP bill, although I acknowledge the Greens have been calling for voting reforms for a decade. Despite the Greens’ motives to effect voting reforms, the timing of it and the assistance the Greens are giving to the degenerate LNP is a poor decision and undermines their standing in the eyes of voters who value integrity. This is a shame considering the usual good record of the Greens, who have always taken the honourable charge on behalf of the vulnerable in the community: the environment, people on welfare and people seeking asylum, amongst other standpoints.

    Having said this, I have also observed various commenters take this opportunity to put the boots into my fellow Greens sympathisers for their defence of the Greens despite the Greens’ collaboration with the odious LNPees. As far as I’m concerned any Labor commenters, who have taken this opportunity to denigrate the Greens or their supporters, it just shows their small mindedness and short memories on some of the various unacceptable sellouts Labor has done over the recent past.

    So David (other), although I can be blamed for being confrontational and nosey as to how you conducted your business yesterday, my view is that unless we stand up and be counted when important legislation is being considered, we are wasting our energy by just trying to point score against each other in tit for tat dialogues.

  244. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    “any Labor commenters, who have taken this opportunity to denigrate the Greens or their supporters”
    Don’t you take every single opportunity to denigrate Labor with your continuous
    “LIBLAB flip flop ” in almost every comment
    I’m upfront, I don’t like the Greens

  245. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    you disappoint me for not getting the motto correct, which is ‘Lib/Lab flipflop duopoly’! 😉

    I’m being upfront too. I expect better from both Labor and the Greens for working together in order to provide better proportional representative government that includes an assortment of micro parties and Independents.

  246. cornlegend

    Didn’t I read you were putting your hand up to run as a candidate for the Online crowd ?
    This Greens sellout will make your bid for a future political career almost zero .
    I’ll try harder with the motto thing but I’m sure I will see it time and again .
    Why would you want an “Alliance” with half of your ‘Lib/Lab flipflop duopoly’! ?
    I can see the Greens are working pretty hard to stitch up their Alliance the LNP/Green alliance that is .

  247. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I am open to any such positive option, as offered by ODD.

    Well at least I’ve got you trained coz I didn’t even use the word “Alliance” this time but you knew that’s what I implied anyway!

    Bottom line, as I intimated earlier, because I’m torn between allegiances to the left-leaning micro parties and Independents; the Greens in most instances; and left leaning elements in Labor, I want to see the Alliance exist, so it provides a truly representative and proportional political front in the Left and Centre fields of Australian politics.

    I agree that that vision isn’t looking very healthy at the moment, but I intend to keep beating this drum until Labor and the Greens grow up and see sense.

  248. paul walter

    Thanks for those comments, JMS.

  249. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    Trained ? you have me brainwashed
    As much as I think you have a snowflakes chance in hell of pulling that off I have to give you 10/10 for persistence and at least getting out their and backing your beliefs with actions, not hollow words .
    This IS NOT an endorsement of your pipedream, as I know it won’t happen , just an acknowledgement of your dogged determination

  250. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks (I think) cornlegend. 😉

    No worries, paul walter.

  251. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    No, it was genuine, you’ve tried hard
    I give you an A for effort

  252. cornlegend

    As it happened: Cory Bernardi seconded to the United Nations

    The Federal Government is sending controversial senator Cory Bernardi to the United Nations for a three-month secondment, starting September.

  253. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Sending Cory Bernardi to the United Nations as a ‘face’ of Australia is yet another insult that this LNP Degenerate Government thinks it’s funny for inflicting upon on us.

    All the more reason for us to band together.

  254. cornlegend

    Greens leader Richard Di Natale is under pressure from within his own party, the union movement and the party’s supporter base not to allow the Turnbull government to run to a double dissolution election on the back of controversial Senate voting changes which could wipe out the crossbench.

    Election experts predict Senate changes will encounter High Court challenge

    Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters along with fellow psephologist Antony Green, the ABC election expert, constitutional expert Professor George Williams and University of Tasmania academic Dr Kevin Bonham.
    Professor Williams described the proposed new system as “incoherent” and Mr Green, who broadly supports the changes, which he said would “put preferences back in the hands of voters” said the anomaly above and below the line were “a foot in the High Court challenge”.
    Mr Mackerras believes the proposed system is unconstitutional because it does not adhere to the “candidate-based” system envisaged at federation.

    “The [bill] as it now stands is breathtaking in its contempt for the Australian constitution. It is a bad bill,” he said.

    “It should be withdrawn and redrafted to bring it fully back to comply with the constitution.”


  255. Miriam English

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith, very well put. I too am disappointed in this storm in a teacup.

    I don’t get why Labor followers are getting so wound up. Sure, it is disappointing that the Greens were not able to get fully freed up voting below the line, but what they did get is nevertheless an improvement on the completely broken system of before. We have one step toward more democratic Senate elections. And we will likely get the rest of the change in the near future. Listening to the hyperbolic invective being flung around here one would think the changes had gutted democracy instead of improving it.

    As for why they didn’t want it delayed, I wonder if they figured it was just that — a delaying tactic. Years have been spent on this already with plenty of time for discussion. What is there to settle? We either allow votes to be more in accord with voters wishes or we leave the system broken. What’s to argue? The Labor backroom boys seem quite unhappy with the idea of voters getting to make their own preferences known, so much so that they are casting the Greens as evil. And I’m surprised their followers are swallowing it up so easily without giving it careful thought.

    It is odd that Labor cooperating with LNP on such things as spying on us all and locking up innocents in concentration camps is not seen as bad, but the Greens working with all the parties, including Labor (until Labor backed out at the last moment), to get our preferences recognised is seen as evil. Is tribalism so powerful?

  256. Kaye Lee

    How can you vote for legislation before the committee tasked with investigating it has heard from experts about the consequences? It would be wise to get it right because high court challenges cost a shitload. If we are going full term, then there is time. The ONLY reason to gag debate and rush this is to facilitate a DD which is cynical at best. A DD should not be called just for the hell of it. If the GG had any courage he would tell them to get on with governing. The ABCC is not a reason to send the country to an election and from what I can gather, it is the GG’s call whether he allows it or not.

    “4.The power to refuse to dissolve the House of Representatives despite a request from the Prime Minister.

  257. Miriam English

    Cornlegend, the voting system didn’t comply with the constitution in the first place. That’s why the Greens have been working to repair it. Granted, it is still not perfect — we should be able to vote the same way below the line as above and confer votes on as few or as many of the choices as we want, but it is still better than it was.

  258. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Yes and thanks Miriam, but I think it is more than a storm in a teacup.

    As I attempted to argue earlier, the Greens are losing more than they’re gaining. They have conceded ground to the LNPees in the negotiation process by NOT insisting on the below-the-line reform of limited preferences as the voter sees fit, which would give reasonable balance between the voters’ choices and the opportunities for micro parties to be considered in the voting process.

    The Greens are sadly coming across as the bullies in the schoolyard like the Lib/Lab flipflops do on other occasions. Wishfully thinking that such odious legislation can be improved later on is no reason to allow that legislation to be implemented in the first place.

    However, I agree with your observation how Labor fails to see its hypocrisy when it has a poor recent track record of supporting the LNPees and their invasive and cruel political offences.

  259. Miriam English

    Kaye, I don’t understand. What is the connection between the Senate voting question and a double dissolution? I’ve heard a couple of people mention this and I don’t see why one relates to the other. And what is the ABCC? (Please excuse me seeming stupid.)

  260. Backyard Bob

    Kaye Lee wrote:

    4.The power to refuse to dissolve the House of Representatives despite a request from the Prime Minister.

    Nice to have that confirmed. I thought he might have that ability was was too lazy to look it up. Of course, by that I mean too apathetic. 🙂

  261. Backyard Bob


    Isn’t this upcoming election only a half senate election? A DD election means a full election, if my understanding is correct. So the LNP may well see political advantage in going that way so as to increase their chances of Senate control.

    The ABCC BIll is a DD trigger that is currently, technically enforceable (with the assent of the GG).

    If I’m wrong it’s because I’m drunk, ok? I’m actually not drunk, but sshhhh…

  262. cornlegend

    Miriam English
    Because this current rushed Legislation isn’t about fixing it .
    If that was the case they would listen to Departments, AEC, Constitutional Lawyers etc and get it right .
    This is being rammed through to work with Malcolms trigger for a DD, and the Greens have been played like fiddles
    Even this very morning , when the AEC couldn’t answer questions in the Senate Hearing and suggested bringing in Departments with the knowledge expertise and answers , the Greens and LNP shut down questions and refused .
    Time is of the essense for Malcolm to pull the DD trigger and it is rapidly running out , so he has suckered the Greens into ignoring the , AEC, Department experts, and just getting this dogs dinner incomplete rubbish through .
    And the dumbarse Greens are being compliant

  263. cornlegend

    If the Greens give Turnbull his DD trigger, it is very very likely they will control both Houses and if that is the case, the Greens Labour and all the Independents may as well pack up and go home because everything will be rubber stamped and expedited .
    Remember Hockeys last Budget ?
    It would fet through unimpeded with them in control of the joint.
    Kiss Medicare . Social Welfare ,etc goodbye

  264. Backyard Bob

    If that’s the case, Cornie, then the Coalition are pretty stupid. If there is any legal or Constitutional question over these voting reforms, the GG, acting upon his own legal advice, is somewhat likely to refuse. I don’t think any modern GG wants to be embroiled in another Constitutional crisis.

  265. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear cornlegend.

    Trouble is ByB,

    the GG was appointed by the LNP Degenerates and has not shown himself to be a free-thinking or impartial political player thus far.

  266. Backyard Bob


    I don’t know if your description of the GG’s behaviour/status is correct or not. We’ve not really heard anything from him at all that I’ve seen. I’ve not noticed much in the way of “political playing” of any kind, but I likely didn’t care enough to notice.

    i.e. I find Governors in General to be pretty boring.

  267. cornlegend

    Peter Cosgrove was appointed by them and it used to make me sick watching him swooning at Abbotts feet
    If they can jam this through the Senate on day 1, Go to the GG for a DD on day 2 and start campaigning that same day {Advertising agemcies are already hired and have the propaganda in place to start their ads 5 minutes later .
    Murdochs mob probably have it all ready to roll and would have copies on the streets in hours
    Cosgrove doesn’t really have to look into the merits of a DD request if he doesn’t want to
    Cosgrove just has to agree to Malcolms request and ensure the trigger is there and he meets what is required of a GG .
    Remember Kerr ?.
    Firing up any legal/constitutional challenge probably would take a little time and no one has declared they WOULD challenge, just they thought they could
    Jennifer would know more on the Legal stuff than I would .

    Cosgrove will do what the LNP want ,
    He wouldn’t want to be a “former” GG and he’s stupid, but not that stupid not to know that

    Not sure what Centrelink benefits for a former GG would be 😀

  268. cornlegend

    Joe Bullock is in the Senate now, talking about resigning
    I turned it off so I could pray he does .
    bugger the fact I’m an atheist = any port in a storm .

  269. Miriam English

    Thanks for the link, paul walter.

    So, it is Labor who are preventing debate (though for what I think is probably a good reason).
    And the Greens do support optional peference voting below the line and want it included in the existing legislation.

    The proposition to make the start date the 22nd of August in order to remove the chance of the LNP using it as a trigger as a double dissolution seems like a good one, except of course then you just know the LNP will stop the legislation passing and we’ll be back where we started with completely broken Senate voting.

    Goddamn politics. Why can’t we just have proper democracy? Have votes by the people instead of contaminating them with the backroom manipulators. Wouldn’t it be nice.

  270. cornlegend

    yahoo, he quit

  271. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    The ugly bastard Bullock blocked Louise Pratt from No 1 position & now he’s retiring before the term is over.

    Another reason to put Labor Right on a very short leash for good.

  272. cornlegend

    Bring back Louise
    they just have to appoint her to fill a Senate vacancy once he goes
    Guess what I’ll be pestering Labor to do ?

  273. Miriam English

    It just occurred to me… if Labor are honestly worried about the changes to the Senate voting being a trigger for a double dissolution there is an easy way to avoid that: allow the legislation to pass. We would get improved voting and the double dissolution would not happen.

    Hmmm… there’s obviously something else going on. Is the problem that the Labor people think that without the undemocratic election of micro-party senators that Labor wouldn’t have sufficient power in the Senate? Is that what this is about?

  274. Kaye Lee


    The ABCC is the Australian Building and Construction Commission – the “tough cop on the beat” to pull the construction unions into line…..supposedly. They have draconian powers to force people to give evidence (including children) and you can be prosecuted if you tell anyone about it. The Senate has blocked legislation for its reintroduction once already. if they do it again then the Coalition can use that as a trigger for a DD. The argument from the opposers is that we should deal with all corruption, not just building unions.

  275. Kaye Lee

    WOOOHOOOO happy dance to see the back of Bullock. What a dreadful decision that was in the first place.

  276. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Go cornlegend. Pester and pester again. Louise Pratt was always the better parliamentary representative.

    Miriam, why allow any of the parties: LNP, Greens or Labor to cut out the micro parties? To cut the micro parties out is to BE undemocratic.

  277. Kaye Lee

    In other news, Kerrod Walters is going to run together with Glen Lazarus.

  278. cornlegend

    Yahoo, I’m off for a day in Canberra tomorrow 😀

  279. cornlegend

    Tomorrow is cut off day in the Senate .
    The shit could hit the fan, I can’t miss that

  280. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I would love to be in Canberra tomorrow to see the fireworks. 🙂

  281. Miriam English

    Thanks Kaye. 🙂 It seems like alphabet soup here sometimes. 🙂

    Jennifer, if the only way for the micro-parties to get elected is to distort democracy, then surely that’s the wrong way to do it. (Bear in mind that the Greens have been working to make it easier for micro-parties — they oppose increasing membership requirement and have legislation Reducing Barriers for Minor Parties Bill to lower nomination fees.) At the moment nothing has changed below the line, which is where we vote for micro-parties. The only real change so far has been above the line where we have been given the choice of where the preferences are to go. How can that be seen as undemocratic?

    Please understand that my questions are genuine questions, not posed for effect. I am pretty ignorant about politics, being a science/computer geek. I think Trish thought I was having a go at her with my questions. I wasn’t. (I actually have a lot of respect for her in spite of her irrationality about the greens — we all have our achilles heel. I’m sure I do too.)

  282. Trish Corry

    No I didn’t think you were having a go at me. Just sick and tired of snide remarks about me from people who don’t know me, rather than people talking about the content. I was truly over this debate as I said at the time. I was just saying I’ll have to leave you wonder or whatever I said cos I’d had enough at that point. It wasn’t personal. Sorry if you saw it that way.

  283. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    my understanding is that the reforms would better serve the general public and diverse voters if the proposed changes were directed at below-the-line because voters could enumerate their preferences to 6 or 12 depending upon what part of the Senate voting cycle. (I favour 12 or 18 or more.)

    I personally advocate keeping open THREE options:
    – the current above-the-line ONE choice if that is how the voter prefers;
    -the current below-the-line EVERY option for the voter if they want to guide their vote and every value of every preference to other candidates; and
    – the THIRD option of a SECOND below-the-line option of voters having their own 6 or 12 choices of where their preferences go without having to do so for all 100+ candidates.

    (Capitals used to try to clarify my understanding.)

  284. cornlegend

    Miriam, it is a misconception that the micros somehow “distort democracy”
    They just allocate their preferences wisely .
    As with preferential voting, once one candidate/parties vote is exhausted it passes on to the next preference you have allocated and on and on until there is a quota .
    That does not differ from the way the ALP, Greens or LNP work
    “Example of determining a Senate quota

    This is how the quota for NSW was calculated at the 2013 Senate election.

    (4 376 143 / (6 + 1)) + 1 = 625 164

    Therefore the quota, or number of votes required to be elected, in NSW at the 2013 federal election was 625 164”

    once a quota has been filled that person is elected and preference votes pass on to the next candidate until the are either excluded or gain a quota .

    The micros actually support democracy in giving a voice to smaller parties .
    If say , 10 micro Parties can can agree on basic polisy nd can form a loose “Alliance” 😀 around that policy, they can distribute their preferences and maximise their chance of election .
    It is a bit deceptive when people say Ricky Muir only got 1.5% of the vote when in fact, he had to gain the same vote, through promary vote or accumulated preferences as any other tp gain a quota .
    Given the quota in NSW was 625,164 votes , that is the equivelant to what Muir ended up with after preferences

    The micros can in fact give the minorities or the smaller activist groups a voice in our democracy

  285. cornlegend

    Trish Corry
    come back,
    What do you think of Joe going ?

    geez, my comment above,
    I should spell check 😀

  286. Matters Not

    It would be wise to get it right because high court challenges cost a shitload

    Forget the dollars which are neither here nor there in the whole scheme of things, but consider the notion of get it right. There’s no ‘absolute’ ‘rule of thumb’ here. No historical precedents and no ‘bench marks’ when it comes to the getting of it ‘right’. The only ‘value’ to be really considered will be the ‘effect’ and ‘affect’ it will have in the political world..

    The ‘good intentions’ of a cross party committee have been rapidly overtaken by the real or imagined ‘outcomes’ envisaged by the factional specialists, most notably on the Labor side.

    Must admit, the veracity, or otherwise, of the postulations are beyond me.

    I will await the analysis of Green, Bonham et al before deciding.

  287. Kaye Lee

    Michaelia Cash got less primary votes than Ricky Muir did.

  288. cornlegend

    Miriam, to show the big parties aren’t “pure’ here is a bit from Crikey on the SA Senate

    Senior party powerbrokers, including Brown, resigned Christine Milne chief-of-staff Ben Oquist and Hanson-Young herself decided to throw ideology to the wind in South Australia, placing the Palmer United Party and Katter’s Australian Party ahead of Labor and other micros ahead of Nick Xenophon’s No. 2 candidate Stirling Griff. The approach angered Labor with senior figures now extremely reticent to deal again with the Greens in 2016 — a scenario that if rolled out nationally could deny the party a single Senate seat.

    It has also caused consternation inside the Greens with other states irate at the perverse consequences of “dealing with the devil”.

    The South Australian party effectively baulked at the national preferences committee process with Hanson-Young, Brown and Oquist talking with the PUP, Xenophon and the micros directly. It appears that in return, PUP put the Greens before Labor, the Liberals and Griff and that Katter placed the Greens before Labor and Griff. The No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics placed the Greens before Labor and Griff.

    In the wash-up, Hanson-Young was elected on PUP and Labor preferences but her preferences went on to elect Day instead of Griff. In another grim irony, the other possible party the Greens could have elected was the No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics.

  289. Trish Corry

    Cornlegend – Good Riddance to Joe I say. A Joe as bad as another Joh we had to suffer. He can go join Family First now.

  290. Miriam English

    Trish, I’m glad you were here to see my comment. I felt a bit guilty that I didn’t get to say it before I thought you’d left. I’m relieved that you hadn’t taken my comments as personal. I do like your writing (despite your sometimes anti-Greens stance. 🙂 )

  291. Backyard Bob

    Joe Bullock’s “passing” doesn’t ultimately mean much if the dynamics that put him there in the first place are extant.

  292. Miriam English

    Cornlegend, your point that it is a misconception that the micros somehow “distort democracy” is a very interesting take on that. I’ll have to think on it. I still think letting us choose is the best way. We should have complete choice of how many we want to number above or below the line. In fact I’d love to have the stuff above the line removed so that we only vote for the below the line items. That would make much more sense. Having a section above the line really lets the major parties be represented more than once. That doesn’t seem right or democratic.

    Kaye, interesting article. I wonder if their figuring is right.

  293. Matters Not

    Michaelia Cash got less primary votes than Ricky Muir did.

    Certainly true. it’s a ‘fact’ and all that. But it clearly demonstrates that arguments based on ‘facts’, while ‘necessary’ in some instances, are certainly not ‘sufficient’ to ‘clinch’ an argument and in most instances are not really helpful.

    Facts are a ‘dime a dozen’. The number of ‘facts’ available is almost infinite. For example, did you know that when Ricky Muir was born under a full moon. That he likes to throw kangaroo scats at his friends. And the like. All indisputable ‘facts’. But hardly useful.

    To rely on ‘facts’ to win an argument just misses the point. And by a large margin. And that’s a ‘fact’.

  294. Trish Corry

    I have always given Greens my number 2 vote but I not while Di Natale is leader. The same way Greens don’t see Labor as left, I do not see him nor his recent decisions as left.

  295. Trish Corry

    I’d prefer to argue based on facts rather than assumption

  296. Matters Not

    have always given Greens my number 2 vote but I not while Di Natale is leader

    So your second preference will be allocated to which party? Or individual(s) and why?

    Just askin …

  297. Trish Corry

    No bloody idea. It’s a scary thought for lower house as I’m regional Qld and lots of Lib Nat Family First and conservative or nutter independents. Senate though I will look into a suitable independent. The Reason? When Di Natale said he would work with either side if it meant his people got a portfolio – from that day that has been my reason

  298. Kaye Lee

    Not sure what you are getting at Matters Not. My point is that most of us have been voting for parties rather than individuals. That allows the parties to thrust people upon us like Joe Bullock. How many votes would Michaelia Cash get if you actually had to choose her specifically instead of a vote for the party? Or perhaps its just me that can’t stand her?

  299. Matters Not

    Yes Trish, life (including political life) is about making difficult decisions. But decide we must. Or in the case of political ones, just entertain the notion that one can become totally irrelevant by voting informal.

  300. JohnB

    ‘The Greens’ claim:
    “Overall we will support this bill because it goes a long way to making our voting system more democratic.” Their claim is not substantiated by the facts.

    The bill in its present form greatly advantages the major parties – or to put the inverse, disadvantages ‘micro’ parties to the extent that they will find it impossible to garner ~5% of the primary vote (the support level necessary to gain a sufficiently high quota) to attract preference flows left over from ‘the majors’ early senate elimination counts.
    Antony Green at the joint senate committee today claimed that achieving 5% primary vote will be virtually impossible for any future minor party without ‘how to vote’ distribution and support at each polling place.

    His evidence to the joint senate committee today derived from statistics gathered over several recent elections:
    – show 83% of electors chose to vote 1 only on ballots where optional preference was available (but not specified by the ballot instruction) Note that the vote of those who only mark ‘1’ will exhaust at the completion of the local ‘party ticket’.
    – show that at elections where the ballot instruction was to vote 1-7, compliance was approx 50%.
    Since 50% do not follow the instruction, half the electors votes will expire at the completion of the local ‘party ticket’.

    The above statistics, in conjunction with the abolition of ‘party group tickets’ mean that under the proposed legislation very few preferences will flow down to the minor parties.
    Many electors’ votes will simply exhaust after serving the major parties interests.

    As below the line voting method remains unchanged at this time, electors are repelled from using that option by the onerous associated task/time of allocating 100 consecutive numbers alongside the names of unknown candidates – in fact only 2% of electors use that option.
    The claim that extension of the additional voter error allowance below the line from 3 errors to 5 errors will lower the number of informal votes is also grossly overstated – Green’s estimate is that the overall impact of that change is minuscule – effecting only around 4000 votes (in 14 million).

    Thus new micro & minor parties are unlikely ever to be elected under these electoral rules.

    Malcolm Mackerras, Antony Green & Glenn Druery before committee on Senate changes

  301. Matters Not

    KL, I also can’t stand Michaelia Cash but I don’t think it’s helpful to compare the method of her election to that of Ricky Muir (and others) because it’s all down to how the current ‘system’ works.

    I should add I use her example when I am talking to the political naïve as an ‘opener’. (Not that I have many ‘naïve’ friends, or any of the other variety also. Or so my wife keeps reminding me.)

  302. Matters Not

    below the line voting method remains unchanged at this time

    True, but I suspect that will change. (At least I hope so). If not, the Greens’ credibility is ‘shot’.

    Di Natale and his advisors would be conscious of that,

  303. Trish Corry

    Women died for the right to vote. I would never NOT vote.

  304. Matters Not

    Women died for the right to vote.

    Now that’s a ‘fact’. A long and interesting history. As is the ‘fact’ that ‘men died for the right to vote’as well (No I won’t insult by providing links). But I would argue that more men died in that pursuit than the number of women. And that’s a fact.

    Not sure how your ‘fact’ and my ‘fact’ advances the understanding of the reader.

    As I suggested above, ‘facts’ are never sufficient if one is about ‘insights’.

  305. Kaye Lee

    Women in Switzerland didn’t get the vote until 1971.

  306. JohnB

    @Matters Not March 1, 2016 at 11:30 pm
    “..True, but I suspect that will change. (At least I hope so)…”

    Even if the below the line changes to OPV it is still not good enough.
    With the LNP/Green/Xenophon abolition of ‘party group voting tickets’ minor parties can only only receive votes deliberately and directly from electors.
    Antony Greens statistically predicted 15% voter utilisation of below the line OPV voting, together with no flow on of unintended/organised/fortuitous preference votes from the majors parties, minor parties will have to ‘catch and kill their own’ so to speak.

    As one of the contributors to the Joint Senate Committee said today, the Greens/Xenophon have been sucked in by the LNP. They have effectively ‘pulled up the drawbridge’ that they themselves made use of to access elected government. No future minor party can rise to office the same way as they did – and whats-more, if Xenophon or the Greens electoral fortunes should drop below the critical 5% primary vote support level, they too will be shut out of governance with no way back in.

    The major parties will have no incentive to ‘preference’ other parties – their tactic will likely be to allow their votes to exhaust – why encourage other minor players into their domain?
    Why would the LNP want to preference Greens? Most LNP voters consider Greens an anathema to their ideology.
    Indeed why would the ALP ever want to preference the Greens after collaborating with LNP to lock in a senate ‘balance of power’ situation?

    In this brave new world of no ‘party organised group voting tickets’ the only preference allocation will be done by the voters themselves at the ballot box -and that preference flow will exhaust at the last number written on the ballot paper.

    Antony green’s statistic indicating 83% will vote only “1” unless directed otherwise, and the 15% utilisation of 1-6 OPV ‘below the line’ voting (even when instructed to do so) must be a worry to minor parties – how many of those 15% will vote for a minor party?

    Then, if the senate electoral legislation is enacted we have an almost certain High Court challenge to the constitutional validity of the ‘above the line’ party based voting.
    The constitution Sect 7-23 states explicitly “…The Senate shall be composed of senators for each State, directly chosen by the people of the State, …..”

    Quite a Pandoras Box of problems the LNP/Greens and Xenophon have opened – all to obtain electoral advantage and facilitate a DD election to get rid of those pesky crossbenchers.

    It may well all end in tears.

  307. Trish Corry

    *(No I won’t insult by providing links)*.
    I think it is high time you just cut the sniping. It is completely unproductive. I don’t know how your insinuation that I am a stupid bint adds anything to any debate.

    As a WOMAN, Matters Not, I can have the particular view that other WOMEN died to vote when MEN decided they could not. As a Woman, this assisted me to respect the importance of a vote as a young woman as I cast my first vote.

    I think it does contribute something to readers, as there are many people who are apathetic (a point which is metephorically represented in my article by the meh meh meh disco group and the same group the Greens and Liberals are relying upon for the success of these reforms)

    If MY own motivations encourage an apathetic woman to vote, then I think that is a good thing.

    I wasn’t aware I was supposed to put up an argument as to the “The Nature and Extent of deaths of human beings in the pursuit of voting rights: A compare and contrast by gender.”

    When you suggested that I myself should be apathetic, in response, I told you in one sentence my reason why I will never be.

  308. Trish Corry

    I’ll send them some tissues.

  309. paul walter

    Trish, they are picking on you, but I still love you.

  310. nurses1968

    Trish Corry
    Good morning Trish, I think you nailed this .
    Do you think the Greens are suffering from Richard Di Natales naivety?
    The man just doesn’t seem capable of listening to common sense or reason and even with evidence mounting of the damage the Greens could do,he seems oblivious.
    ACTU secretary Dave Oliver has written to Greens leader Richard Di Natale reminding him of what happens when a conservative government gains control of both houses of Parliament.
    Appealing to the Greens leader’s progressive tendencies, Mr Oliver warns that the government wants the changes to Senate voting in order to pull on an early double-dissolution election – an election in which there is an increased chance that Liberals will replace crossbench senators and perhaps jag a majority in their own right.

    “A double dissolution may see some or all of the crossbench senators defeated two years into their six-year terms and potentially replaced by Coalition senators,” Mr Oliver states

  311. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear JohnB @ 1.15am.


    hopefully Dave Oliver’s letter has an impact on Di Natale’s stance and he withdraws Greens’ support of this undemocratic Bill.

  312. Trish Corry

    Thanks Nurse. Yes, I think Di Natale is way out of sync with the Greens. I am hard pressed to imagine Rachel Siewart or Larissa Waters saying the things Di Natale has said since his leadership; but I may be wrong.

    Good on Dave Oliver. I still live in fear of Work Choices all these years on and I will never forget. The other thing that makes me so angry about this is that they will use this to get a hold of the senate to really crush the worker. After all the Libs would be kicking this all off because they can’t get a bill through that crushes the rights of workers.

  313. nurses1968

    Trish Corry
    Believe me I live in fear of Work Choices as well, but the greater fear is that if they get control of both houses thanks to the Greens, any sembance of a caring Australia will be gone .
    My Super will not be enough to sustain me and I fear the safety net Social Welfare system will be attacked, as will Medicare.
    I am being selfish here in seeing how us “mature aged” would suffer, and I think even with those fears the younger generation have a way greater target on them
    I blame the Liberals but accept that is in their DNA but I cannot accept the Greens would hand them the keys to the social time bomb and give them the ability to create destruction of the working class and those who need help .
    The Greens willl be last on any vote I ever make from here forward for the rest of my voting days ,
    I wish I knew how to change my avatar to a different colour

  314. Trish Corry

    You have hit the nail on the head there. I will never put Greens second on my ballot ever again

  315. Backyard Bob

    Matters Not,

    Do you ever wonder why you bother? I mean, you know, seriously wonder?

  316. Backyard Bob

    How curious, my last comment is “awaiting moderation”. System glitch or is there something I should know?

  317. nurses1968

    I guess the only upside, not that there really are any would be Sarah Hanson Young and Scott Ludlam will pay the ultimate price but seeing they voted for it all I could say would be bye bye Sarah and Scott, don’t let the Senate doors hit you in the rear on the way out .
    Trish, have you considered the Labour Coalition if they run in your state?

  318. Michael Taylor

    Bob, it was most definitely a system glitch.

  319. Matters Not

    Backyard Bob

    Do you ever wonder why you bother? I mean, you know, seriously wonder?

    Yes, it is depressing.

  320. Kaye Lee

    MN and ByB,

    I think there is often misunderstanding in this form of communication.

  321. nurses1968

    I’ve been coming here to the AIMN for a long time but infrequently .
    Is this an “in joke” for regulars
    “Do you ever wonder why you bother? I mean, you know, seriously wonder? ‘

  322. nurses1968

    Matters Not,Backyard Bob
    If you don’t mind me asking and from what seems to be the tone of the question
    Why do you bother ?
    ” it is depressing.”
    I know a simple cure for that and it doesn’t require my medical training

  323. philgorman2014

    The Greens have now announced that they’ve succeeded in adding below the line options to the Senate Ballot Papers. Here’s a quote:

    “Below the Line preferential voting

    The Greens have always supported below-the-line preferential voting. Today, the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters reported to the Parliament with its recommendations. As well as agreeing that we must proceed with the proposed reform to make Senate voting ‘above the line’ more democratic, the committee (which included Lee Rhiannon) also called for ‘below the line preferential voting’ reform.

    We have pushed the government to support this reform, and on March 2 they agreed.

    The ‘below the line’ reform we have helped achieve will mean that voters can number [1] – [12] below the line. At the moment, only 3% of people vote below the line — no doubt in part because navigating a ballot paper the size of a tablecloth is near impossible! ”

    I hope this placates the Labor Die-hards who seem to think there’s no room for a genuine socially democratic party in Australia. (Just teasing folks but do yourselves a favour; get back to your roots, stop flirting with The Corpocracy and democratise your pre-selection processes, pronto. And no. I am not a Dyed in The Wool Green either, they’ve got enough flaws and problems of their own.)

    How about working together to bring real social democracy to Australia. You have common cause and co-operation is going to progress that cause way better than bickering and sniping like jealous school kids.

    “Let a thousand flowers bloom.” Chairman Mao

  324. Kaye Lee

    Thank goodness sense has prevailed. From the outset it was obvious that was what was needed.

    philgorman, there is mistrust on both sides with Labor and Greens supporters, justified on both, but I agree with you that this should be put aside as far as possible. Find what we have in common rather than concentrating on when we have let each other down in the past. This amendment shows we can work for change – we don’t just have to accept what is presented.

    I agree work needs to be done on preselections. Branch stacking leads to poor results more often than not. If you can’t win over the members honestly, then you probably don’t have much to contribute.

    Will Labor agree to the Bill now, or make further suggestions on how it can be improved?

  325. paul walter

    Kaye Lee, that is what I was thinking on the bus into town..non-tory people are fed up with the refusalof Greens and Labor to cooperate and the result last evening was such a pleasant shock I rated it as good as sex.

  326. Matters Not

    From Antony Green re above the line and below the line voting re the proposed new arrangements.

    What happens when a citizen votes above the line and ALSO below the line on the same ballot paper. Does the below the line vote take precedence as it does at the moment?

    COMMENT: As now, the below the line option is counted first.


    Can anyone detail why Labor will still not support the changes? What other modifications do they want and why?

  327. Kaye Lee

    Richard di Natale has stood firm against a move by Family First Senator Bob Day to legislate a starting date of August 22 for the reforms, so they would not apply at an early double dissolution. Di Natale told the Financial Review this would “create a situation where the Australian Electoral Commission would be preparing for a normal election under new rules, with the continued possibility of a double dissolution with the current rules”, and render it “impossible to begin a public education campaign”.


    That is a piss poor excuse.

  328. Backyard Bob

    Can’t wait for the commentary from certain quarters.

  329. nurses1968

    Kaye Lee
    I’d love to know what deal Richard Di Natale has going with Malcolm to allow for a Double Dissolution .
    There has to be something in it for him, perhaps his dreamed about Ministerial position?
    Look out sick,elderly, unemployed, disabled, workers, particularly casual/part time, single mums, the environment etc where does it end?
    The LNP in control of both Houses, I’m starting to look for a job overseas
    Thanks Richard

  330. nurses1968

    Backyard Bob, do you like cryptic crosswords?

  331. Backyard Bob

    I’d love to know what deal Richard Di Natale has going with Malcolm to allow for a Double Dissolution .

    Interesting. Another poster with the same space bar disability offered a similar observation in this thread. DD triggers already exist. The LNP does not require any help from the Greens to create a new one, which as a notion has arguably passed any credible use by date.

  332. corvus boreus

    Well, I am back on this island with all it’s human noise, after a few days hearing little but the sound of waves and sea-birds.
    While I was gone, amendments were made offering a limited (>12) preferencing BTL option. Good, and about bloody time.
    I shall be thoroughly researching the pedigrees and performances of the various senatorial candidates in order to try to find at least 12 reasonable and rational people of sound principle and policy to cast my vote for.

    As for the vitriol, false accusation and inaccurate hyperbole displayed on this thread, I respect and appreciate the fact that this site is run upon voluntary efforts, and that the administrators are reluctant to censor differing expressions of opinion.
    I will therefor, in future, take the simple advice offered by the author (posted 1/3 2:28pm, in response to legitimate criticisms by Backyard Bob) and not bother with reading her blindly biased party pieces.

    Ps Jennifer Meyer-Smith,
    Thank you for your efforts in petitioning the senate committee for the inclusion of these worthwhile changes to BTL voting.

  333. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    corvus boreus,


    Our combined voices have made the Senate committee and Greens listen to sense and to decide the inclusion of the limited (>12) prefencing BTL option, which you were also advocating.

    This is a win for democracy and is vindication of our grassroots’ political mobility and in turn empowerment.

  334. corvus boreus

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith,
    I see it as more of a step forward than a true win, no vote upon the changes has not yet been taken.
    Personally, I would not mind seeing some negotiatory compromise towards watering down some of the ATL proposals, since they are causing such acrimony and division. This would protect the interests of those parties politically benefiting from the current style of preference dealings, whether conducted directly or outsourced through agency brokerage (eg, Glenn Druery’s MPA). This is not a cause I ardently champion, but others seem to see this system as important to preserve.
    Either way, it looks like I might possibly get to cast my BTL senate vote exactly as I would choose this time around.

    Ps, On another ‘hobby-horse’ of mine, namely a National Integrity Commission (aka federal ICAC) there have been recent movements, although I am uncertain if the direction is forward, backward, sideways or stationary treadmilling.
    I am, by learned habit, rather sceptical/cynical about motivations within politics, and hackles of suspicion are raised by the fact that the composition of this committee has been deliberately maneuvered to contain 2 Libs, 2 Labs, a Pup and an ex DLP indi (elevated on Christian Democrat and One Nation preferences), whilst the Greens, who have repeatedly raised the motion of forming such a body, have been excluded from the subsequent discussion regarding it’s relative merits and possible functions.
    I shall closely observe and assess how proceedings unfold before making any further comment.

  335. Kaye Lee


    Why on earth would they exclude the Greens from the National Integrity Commission committee when they are the only party that has been calling for one?

  336. corvus boreus

    Kaye Lee,
    Why indeed?
    As a well-respected poster keenly observed, sometimes choosing the ‘right’ committee can be a very effective method of burying inconvenient proposals (‘a place to park unwanted thoughts’).
    I shall, as I said, be warily monitoring proceedings.

  337. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I hear your scepticism, corvus. I saw this the other day and wondered why the committee should only be comprised of 2 micro party representatives also as an offset against the sum of 4 major party representatives.

    What’s wrong with 10 reps such as 2 + 2 + 2 Greens + 4 micro/Independent reps?

    I also will be watching with interest because I want to see how deep they go and what repercussions are designed for the offenders.

  338. corvus boreus

    Regarding research on our elected politicians and their performance record on various issues,, I found this site very useful;
    I recommend it as being both factually informative and relatively user-friendly.

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