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Choose! Or the Left May Die!

The Left has eaten itself for the past few weeks. The anger on Social Media regarding the decision making of Labor will have dire consequences. One consequence is the Liberals in Government for six, nine or twelve more years, or Armageddon; whichever comes sooner. For the Left to stop eating themselves alive; the Left have to make a choice about what type of opposition they support and Labor has to listen.

This Is It for the Next Three Years

For the next three years, the construction of the lower house is that The Coalition holds power and the Opposition Labor Party does not have the numbers to prevent any Bill passing in the lower house.

For Bills to pass in the Senate the Liberals can pass Bills by securing the support of three of the six right-wing individuals from the Crossbench.

In the Senate, the Liberals hold power, with Labor and Greens parties on the left and a six-person crossbench. the Six person Cross Bench are all Right Wing parties or Individuals. With one posing as a Centre party. The Cross Bench all hold right-wing ideologies. These ideologies span from Christian Conservatism, Nationalism and Centrism.

Political Risks for The Left

The risk for the Left, with the Right wing Cross Bench holding the balance of power, is they hold the power to trade anything they want in exchange for their support to the Government. The Right Wing Cross Bench ONLY hold no power if Labor or the Greens side with the Government.

Have a think about this. Go Wild! Have a good hard think about what trade-offs the Cross-Bench will make. Especially with Christian Conservatism and Nationalism, It could be anything from cuts to social security, defence spending, racist legislation, abhorrent Asylum Seeker (yes even worse) legislation, criminalisation of abortion – anything.

The Left has two choices.

We must decide right now; which type of opposition we prefer, by framing the long term consequences in the context of the left’s power and position in parliament. This is a very serious issue. Power exists in the construct of the environment and that environment’s rules enables who holds power and when. To get through the next three years, we really need to think hard about this.

But first of all, we need to settle some myths.

Labor Opposition Myths

Labor is the Opposition. They do not have the Power to implement their policies, strategies or ideas. The only party who can do that is the party of Government.

Labor does not have the numbers in either house to block any Bills or Legislation.

If Labor and the Greens join together, they do not have the numbers in either house to Block any Government Bills or Legislation. (So when the Greens tell you this. They are lying).

ALL Bills are written by the Government. ALL Bills debated and considered are written by the Government, unless the Government allows a Private Members Bill.

No Bills put before Parliament will be written by Labor, unless Labor secures passage to do so from the Government or via the Senate.

The content of the Bills by the Government are the Bills that need to be debated, and they are not based on the ideological position of the Labor Party; even if they pass with amendments. The amendments are from the ideological position of the Labor party only.

The Lower house holds no power for the Left. To hold power bills must be passed and progressed to the Upper House for Debate. This is the only house where a small amount of power, may be held under the right conditions and strategy for the left.

When the Greens make an amendment or put forward a motion and Labor does not support it; history almost always shows that this is not because Labor is against the “idea” per se; but because of a variety of reasons, including raising the motion in the wrong Bill, or using the wrong procedure in the Senate etc., This is an often used tactic by the Greens (power construct again here folks!) to position themselves as the Left Power. However, if you boil it down, they really are just treating us like idiots, because they know only the nerdy political freaks read the daily Senate Journals.

Choose or the Left Dies

At the rate of how fast the left is eating itself over the last few weeks, those on the Left who seek to divide us will see the left divisive and dead. I have watched a lot of friendships disintegrate on social media the last few weeks. We have a choice presented by the two major left parties below:

Greens most used option: Concede ALL power to the right-wing Cross Bench nutters by blindly protesting. Shame Labor for not conceding all power to the right-wing crossbench and misrepresent this to the voting public as “Labor voted against xyz” and flailing about fawning over words like ‘capitulation’. This option is to satisfy ego and create a false construct of power. It is not an option used that can protect the people in the current construction of this parliament. Conceding Power to the right is the exact opposite of solidarity.

This is the short term thinkers option. This is normally intrinsically motivated to satisfy ego and power.

Labor’s most used option: Work with the Government to try to implement amendments. This secures support for a Bill, with sufficient amendments to provide protections to society, that is better than the raw Bill put up by the Liberals. This is based on the understanding that if amendments are not secured by the Labor party, without holding the balance of power, the amendments will be insisted upon by the Right Wing Cross bench of Christian Conservatives, Nationalists and Centrists. This choice prevents the right wing nutter trade-off.

This is the long term thinkers option. This is normally extrinsically motivated as considerations are about preventing the worst possible outcome for the people.

Scenario-Based Risk Management

The above choices can be explained via scenario-based strategic planning. Within this type of strategic planning, the focus is Best Outcome Scenario, Expected Outcome Scenario and Worst Outcome Scenario.

The Worst Outcome Scenario in the makeup of this Parliament is the Right Wing Cross Bench holding the power to negotiate and trade off with the Government for support. To prevent the worst outcome a contingency plan needs to be put in place.

In the case of this parliament, the contingency of the Greens Choice by conceding power and blindly protesting fails; as it allows the worst case scenario outcome. All it does, it makes people “Feel” like someone has stood up for them, but in reality, they have done the opposite by handing power to most extreme and radical of those in power who seek to harm them.

In the case of this parliament, the contingency of the Labor Choice by negotiating amendments is the only choice to gain any power. This is either via Government agreement or convincing the Cross-Bench to support the amendments.

Accepting the Ugly

With the makeup of this parliament, where the right wing hold power, as the Left, we must accept the ugly choices in this scenario. We must question ourselves upon every single debate of every single Bill:

Q1) Did Labor do all they can to secure amendments to provide protections in that Bill?

Q2) If Labor blindly protests, or votes down a Bill, do we accept the consequences of conceding the power to the Cross-Bench to negotiate all wishes, desires and trade-offs to secure their support for the passage of that Bill? Do we concede power as the Greens do always to Pauline Hanson, Malcolm Roberts, Jacqui Lambie, Corey Bernardi, Rex Patrick and Stirling Griff to decide on our behalf?

The Left Holds No Legitimate Power

For every single scenario in Parliament for the next three years, the above choices are our choices for what type of opposition we want for every single Bill and every single debate. This is because the Left holds no legitimate power in this parliament. The Government also holds no legitimate power on their own due to the makeup of the current Senate. However, based on the ideological leanings of the Cross-Bench the legitimate power is more likely for the Right-wing Government than the Left.

The only way for the Left to gain legitimate power is to via amendments and negotiations with the Government and Cross-Bench to support this power. They have no power via protest or stamping their feet and saying NO! alone.

Short Term vs Long Term

Currently, the left is eating itself because of the strong desire to see the opposition just say NO! to the Government on everything. As argued above, the constraints of power in parliament, this is not as straight forward as it seems. As in Paddy Manning’s article in The Monthly; he speaks to the fact how the Greens will use this to their advantage. My argument in this article is that whilst I agree, with most of Paddy’s arguments, it is also up to us to decide if we want to ignore the parameters and constraints of opposition in the current parliament, and insist on protest and concede all power to the right-wing crossbench. Or we take the complexities into consideration.

We MUST decide if we want to allow the constructs of power in this parliament to divide us, or if we want to get behind Labor by thinking about the questions above. Dividing us, as the Greens always, always seek to do, only gives more power to the Right. (As we have seen as a result of their anti-Labor campaign in the last election via Stop Adani – it suffocated every other single important issue like work rights and healthcare and divided us all).

We MUST decide if we want Labor to be a protest party and adopt the Greens Choice of political strategy and concede power to the Right wing Cross Bench or do we want them to stand up for us and fight via amendments. There is no in-between. Blindly protesting does not enable negotiation power for amendment agreement making. Voting down bills in the lower house does not create the avenue for negotiation in good faith in the upper house. Sadly, decorum is stiff and boring and procedural, but it is still a thing.

Why Labor Needs to Combat Greens as Well as the Government

I know which choice is in the long term interest of all of us, and it is not misrepresenting using the only avenue to gain power via amendments as capitulation.

As socialists (well I am) we should be looking at the worst possible outcome for the most vulnerable. Protecting the most vulnerable in the makeup of this parliament does not include playing games and conceding all power to the Cross-Bench nutters via the Greens Choice.

It is trying to gain the only skerrick of power available to protect us by trying to amend bad legislation and eradicate the power of the right-wing Cross bench nuttery.

The improvement that Labor could make is to start hammering and keep hammering the power constructs of the current parliament. Stop using political words and speak to the people straight. We can take it.

Labor needs to sit the Greens on their backsides, by pushing them to explain their reasoning via the choices available right now and remind voters that the Greens hold no power and by blindly protesting they give ALL power to people like Pauline Hanson.

Labor needs to really push the Greens and be very vocal about WHY the Greens are too lazy to do any of the hard work in convincing the Cross-Bench to oppose the Liberal Bill or support Labor’s amendments. They need to insist that the Greens explain themselves to voters on this.

If Labor supports a Bill without securing amendments, they need to really explain loud and clear to the public, what the alternative risks the crossbench posed by allowing the crossbench to negotiate the Bill without Labor’s support and why Labor could not accept that risk. Once again, we can take it.

Getting a bit angry sometimes would also bloody well help. People out here are starving for real emotion. They need to feel protected and stood up for, and Labor needs to do that WELL with the cards and choices dealt by the voting public.

I choose Labor.

PS: I hope now I have (hopefully) demonstrated the choices and construction of this parliament in terms of power, how the three-year campaign by the Greens against Labor via Stop Adani, was never in our long term interest, but always, always in the short term interest of the Greens. And now we are suffering for it.


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  1. HumeAndTwain

    Whoo … I am impressed by your dissecting of the current makeup of the Parliament. It would be good if both Labor AND Greens read this and contemplated its meaning. Thank you for this roundup.


    No I do not agree. What you refuse to recognise is your strategy will make Labor unrecognisable in the electorate. Labor will appear as a weak opposition, mirroring LNP policy on every issue, giving left voters no reason to support them. This is madness and will lead to a major collapse in Labors primary vote. Voters will desert Labor and go to the minor parties, making the nutters on the cross bench an even bigger problem. Labor should oppose vigorously and prosecute strong princiole arguments to keep faith with its supporters. Your strategy will tear Labor apart. You start your piece by decrying the fighting and division in the left, but your plan will destroy any notion of the left in Labor and will destroy the Labor Party.

  3. Keitha Granville

    Excellent explanation, thanks. But the Greens are too busy being self righteous that they are holding the government to account – really ? No – and being different to the Labor party. And the Labor party is sticking hard and fast to its Never join the Greens platform, neither will listen because neither believes it is wrong.

    I suspect your opening paragraph, 6. 9. or 12 years of the current team. Actually that equals Armageddon.

    I am depressed again

  4. Matters Not


    Labor needs to sit the Greens on their backsides,

    So for the next three years it will be even more of the same.

    How very creative.

  5. john ocallaghan

    Thanks for this article, and im wondering if Labor should really throw their machine and resources behind getting a Labor majority in the Senate. Why does it have to be right wingers who always seem to hold the balance in the Senate?

  6. Dr Tristan Ewins

    Labor backing $160 billion in tax cuts over 10 years – and MUCH more into the future as Phase Three kicks in fully – just gives the impression of weakness ; of betraying our base and of standing for nothing. If Labor was a small Party like the Democrats this would have been our ‘Meg Lees moment’. Labor will survive ; but effectively backing moves towards a flat tax will tarnish its ‘brand’ in the eyes of economic progressives for years. The Greens will make political capital out of it. Perhaps it has to be like that for us to learn our lesson.

    read here:

  7. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    More Greens bashing bullshit.

    What else would I expect from Trish Corry.

    It’s Time for Trish to embrace The ALLiance of Greens/Socialists/Progressives and Labor, if they can grow a backbone.

  8. Baby Jewels

    I’m with you Stuart E Anderson. And you, Jennifer Meyer-Smith.

  9. wam

    fck I wish I could organise ideas into words, like you.
    The diludbansimkims have been the woodchippers of the left forest since brownies’ xmas shock in 2009 and used the chainsaws in 2019.
    Wonder why brown did wait for a day like today? Perhaps they didn’t want to shake a shorten government ROFL???
    The loose-principles pragmatists went trading cash on the honest loonies, like my big sister, of 55 years ago and impressing the city latte greenies.
    Even now narrow nose and bandt are out banging their drums(there are 9I must have missed hearing from any of the 5 women???) and labor caucus has the earplugs in letting the noise echo.

  10. Judith Bacon

    Thankyou, Dr Tristin Ewins. I was wondering what Labor’s capitulation was reminding me of. Meg Lees! What a sellout she was! Regarding the artlcle itself, it was a lot like Labor’s franking credits policy. Probably makes sense, but is too complicated to be communicated succinctly. Perception is everything in politics and Labor looks like weak not taking a principled stand. It needs to be clear and it needs to be seen to be distinct from the LNP. I am not holding my breath.

  11. Lawrence S. Roberts

    When I was still financial in The Labor Party we had a branch meeting every month on the first Tuesday.

    We used to discuss resolutions among other things and successful ones were passed on to the State Branch of The ALP.

    Every year a big conference was held and a manifesto was put together.

    This all happened in the last century but is there not, still a book about what we stand for?

  12. Trish Corry

    I think the article is fairly self explanatory. You can make the choice of conceding all power to Hanson, Roberts, Bernardi, Lambie and CA, if you wish. That is your choice. It isn’t mine. I find it remarkable (well not really) that my FB and Twitter are absolutely brimming with really super positive comments about this article and I come here and its all the opposite as per usual. If you go have a look at my Twitter account you can see that the comments here are not in line with what most people are thinking. Even those who were of the opposite view the last few weeks. They are actually getting the arguments in the article. Oh well, it is what it is.

    After the election, frankly, I don’t care whichever option you choose – concede all power to the cross bench, or support Labor’s tactic of amendments. But communicate to Labor you are fine with them conceding all power to the right wing nutters on the X-Bench and let them know you are fine with whatever they demand. We also must stop killing each other and stop with the Faux outrage and ignorance of power constructs as the parliament stands now. Normal protest and blocking does not apply for the next three years and arguing like it’s actually a choice in reality will continue to create pure destruction and division on the Left. We have to live with that. I’m shocked an apparant “Marxist” like Tristan is fine with conceding all power to the most extreme worker hating politicians we have in the X-Bench right now though, instead of supporting Labor trying to prevent their demands. Oh the only person on Twitter who said they didn’t like my article was the Rohan – the Greens councillor from Melbourne lol.

  13. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I would look at your Twitter comments, Trish, if you hadn’t wimped off and blocked me.

  14. Kaye Lee


    Most people have thanked you for the article and then added their thoughts. Discussion is a good thing. That’s one of the advantages of this format.

    It’s a great plan to have Labor propose sensible amendments and convince the government (or the crossbench) to support them. Except we have just been shown with the proposed tax changes and amendments that that will not work. I thought Labor’s plan was good. The government just steamrolled them. They would rather give meaningless promises to the crossbench than ever consider Labor’s amendments.

    That being the case, really Labor may as well take a principled stand.

    The Greens are disparaged for doing that but it is informative how many of those “loony” ideas actually represent what the public want – and what other parties eventually move to eg marriage equality, federal integrity body

  15. Dr Tristan Ewins

    Trish I’m not at all content to relinquish power to the cross-bench. But have they actually extracted anything ‘nutty’ and ‘extreme’? The fact is they are Liberal lite, the the Government knows it can deal with them. The fact is that this time by passing the policy we will have confused and demoralised our base ; and it could haunt us for years depending on how we deal with it at the next election. Labor will lose votes to the Greens on this. Our approach should be ‘case by case’. Obviously if One Nation was demanding something preposterous we wouldn’t help facilitate that.

  16. Freethinker

    Quote: “Why Labor Needs to Combat Greens as Well as the Government”
    Your hate and fanatism against the Greens are one of the common reasons in the labor party among the unconditionally blinded followers and why the left is not gaining any ground on the Australian politically landscaping.
    You are talking about the Greens ego and yours is above them with the idea of Labor or nothing. Your attitude is destructive and against any solidarity on the left movement.
    If true left socialists want to be a force in the future have to unite, mature politically and learn to leave with each other
    If the pure left socialist in the Labor party cannot change the party from their neoliberalism will be better to leave the party and form a progressive political broad front with Greens, socialists, and independents.
    The Labor party as it looks like a party from the right, without directions and leadership and the support for them collapsed as it can see in the social media

  17. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear Freethinker

    BTW Trish, no doubt you’re celebrating the handful of Adani jobs that Qld will score from Adani while Adani rapes the Great Barrier Reef.

    Australia thanks you for that.


  18. David Howe

    Correct! The left are quite powerless in the current parliament, almost a badly as they were when Howard won a majority in both houses. Yes the Greens are stunt merchants with their own agenda however the ALP should behave like the grownup in the family, let’s face it a Green ALP partnership would be infinitely a better option for Australia. The optical problem is important, seen to be siding unconditionally with the detestable Scumbag govt is very disheartening and when you have no actual political power it probably means you need to start giving your supporters something to believe in.

    But the biggest problem I have with your analysis isn’t the assessment of the dominant power paradigm, but rather it is the dismissal of Greens anti Adani campaign as detrimental to the left. This is simplistic. Adani and every associated issue, ie jobs, the environment, corruption and social equity can easily and convincingly be framed as wins for left values. The ALP chose ambivalence on an issue that instead could have been symbolic of a new “green” deal that put the socially progressive left on the front foot.

    Australians can and do vote for parties with vision, but if there is no compelling vision on offer it’s hard to blame them for voting for the status quo.

  19. jaq

    Oh Trish. Your article while having its good points, is rather hysterical in nature. The ALP voted with the LNP on more issues than the Greens, again knocking back Newstart yesterday. Add Adani, which I know you supported regardless of the fact that there are renewable energy projects popping up all over Qld and the fact that the Reef will be ruined and the thousands of livelihoods of people will be gone. Plus all the other things they voted with the Libs on. I’m too tired to list them all.
    I used to vote Labor. I will never do so again. Yes, they are the Opposition, yes they have fewer numbers, but they STILL are the Opposition and we were relying on them to be that.To keep the Gov honest. Every single time a new vile story of corruption regarding members of the LNP came up, I expected Shorten to yell from the rooftops. I’d think ” right.. they have them now” But no. Nothing. In stead of a lion, we got a mouse. He was trying so hard, not to be wedged, not to be threatened, not to upset the apple cart that was his ascension to the portal of PM he did.. nothing. Nothing on refugees, nothing on DV….The Greens are not the enemy. The enemy was the fact that Labor didnt know what it was standing for. For or against Adani? For or against treating refugees like human beings? For or against data privacy? It got to a stage where Labor didnt know if it was Arthur or Martha. And many of us were sick of it. Also Catholic interference , plus Unions… plus. So , please do not count me as ” we”. An opportunity for Shorten to join with the Greens woudve seen them over the line, especially for those of us concerned with the way we are treating asylum seekers, who could no longer put our hand up for Labor. I think its funny all these Labor supporters are jumping up and down now, saying they have no backbone. They havent for 6 years. Oh yes. And thank you for the article.

  20. Wayne Turner

    Labor oppose that all is wrong,with principle,explain and never say sorry for it.Combat all the lies when you have the chance.The MSM hates Labor,appeasing them doesn’t work,they are the enemy too.

    Me too will = Labor in opposition for a long long time.

  21. Freethinker

    I agree with you jaq, IMO the party leadership team has become a fence sitters showing no direction and determination to act.

  22. Kaye Lee

    As I have pointed out before, Labor and the Greens got 43.44% of the first preference vote in the HoR compared to 41.44% for the four parties making up the Coalition. For those of us who don’t have a party name tattooed on our bicep, it would be really great if progressive parties would focus on attacking the Coalition rather than each other. It’s been a lot longer than a few weeks that the left have been eating each other. It leaves most of us bemused.

  23. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well said, jaq

  24. Freethinker

    I agree with you Kaye Lee, both parties have to show some political maturity and join forces to claim government.
    As is the Labor is not prepared to be in a coalition with the Greens and the Greens do not have other choices than to compete with the Labor for votes.
    I blame the politicians from both parties to not be able to work together and also the followers for not encourage their parties to work together in a constructive way.
    A progressive left political front is the only way to win.

  25. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Yep, Freethinker

  26. Anon E Mouse

    I would hate to see Albo do a Beazley, but I believe he has more smarts and guts than that.
    The way I read it is that Albo has an internal issue to work through, with the CFMEU stirring trouble in Qld – going after 3 Labor members of state parliament among other issues. This is much like the ETU did to Anna Bligh and helped deliver the horrid Newman LNP govt.
    The Greens cannot sidestep the way that they continue to treat Labor as enemy, with their leader Whatsisname trying to have 2 bob each way and mostly siding with the coalition. Bob Brown lost me from the Greens when he voted Rudd’s ETS down (I don’t know if there is any truth in the story that Brown and Gillard were plotting out the carbon pricing – before she got rid of Rudd using dodgy polling numbers.) To me, the Greens will not have any credibility until they decide whether they are friend or foe of Labor, or the Coalition.
    I think Albo needs more time to show his mettle. Labor needs to get over sticking with Shorten even though he was clearly not liked by the electorate, a fact that Morrison exploited.

  27. Liz thornton

    That ETS of Rudds was approved by Minerals council or heavens sakes.No ways they wanted any carbon tax so helped forge the deal. Bad Greens looking at the bigger picture and suspicious of those who look at the next election.😩😩

  28. Anon E Mouse

    Liz, the Greens, and Australia, ended up with nothing despite their political games. Had they gone with the ETS, or if Bob Brown had actually talked with Rudd (instead of plotting with Gillard – if the suspicion is right) an ETS with Green input could have been embedded, much the same as the GST was, and tinkered with to improve it. Instead we now have far less than Rudd was proposing. Thanks Bob.

  29. Amanda Thomson

    This was just shared to me, and I am so glad I read it.
    Thank you, I’m reassured I’m on the same page.
    If been taking the fight to the greens,
    Munchhausen by proxy,
    The greens could have backed labors amendments, however, wedge politics and voilla,
    Labors bad the greens are good yadda yadda yadda
    I’m so done with the greens,
    I’ve accused Natali of swinging to the right, pretty sure I’m right

  30. Florence Howarth

    Labor did not back the third tranche. It let it through saying there is plenty of time to deal with it before 2025. Labor had no choice. Labor did not want to vote against the first & second tranche, especially as the first tranche was Labor policy. Labor also proposed the second tranche be bought forward to stimulate the floundering economy.

    Labor’s choice was to vote for or against the whole packaged. Labor made the correct choice.

    Good tacticians choose carefully the battles they are willing to fight. This was not the one.

    I am no great Albanese follower but is willing to see how things turn out before rushing into an attack.

    I did notice PM was on defensive during QT. Both he & Taylor lost it towards end QT. Taylor losing his temper taking on the speaker. PM, riled up. forgot to call an end to questions.

    There is one thing Albanese is great at. When he was Labor leader of the house, he performed in my opinion nearly as great as Fred Daly.

    Albanese was taunting the government with facial expressions. IMO it worked.

    Labor was asking short direct questions which allowed the speaker to pull government up, keeping them the question. They did not like it. .

  31. corvus boreus

    David Howe,
    The thing is, if you sideline issues like land and water degradation, indigenous rights, the blatantly dodgy record of Adani enterprises and the increasingly critical scientific message around catastrophic climate change, then the environmental actions surrounding the Adani coal mines project can be conveniently framed as a mere exercise in ‘Labor bashing’.
    However, for those who take a more custodial (rather than exploitive) view to land management, and seriously heed the message of climate scientists, opposition to the proposed export mega-mines runs a little deeper than mere political convenience.

  32. Matters Not

    Amanda Thomson re:

    pretty sure I’m right

    You could do a Vote Compass survey and then you’d be certain.

  33. Judith Bacon

    Who is there to unite the Left to defeat the Tories? Some of us have been calling for a Left alliance for decades. Is there anyone who can cut through Labor shifting to the right and the Greens quest for perfection? I still have a faint hope that it will happen though that hope took a hammering with the Stop Adani/Greens convoy into Queensland and Labor’s pastel response to Adani. Add to that the Unions’ lack of unity on the issue and Queensland was a goner as far as voting Left was concerned. So how does the Left unite itself to defeat the Tories? Does Labor makes itself so small a target during this parliament that it appears non existent to the voting public? Or does it become as strident as Sarah Hanson Young? Both of those approaches don’t work so well. Does it wait for the voting public to say now it is Labor’s turn as it usually does after a long run of Tory government? Oh and a comment about Albo tying the government in knots in Question Time? Who really cares if that doesn’t communicate itself to the voters?

  34. jim

    Not only has the LNP got the MSM or vise versa thet also has microsoft working for them imo.
    Trosky quotes;
    The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.
    All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
    All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.
    Music is the shorthand of emotion.
    Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.
    There is no greatness where there is no simplicity, goodness and truth.

    Earlier this month, tech giant Microsoft announced its solution to “protect” American elections from interference, which it has named “ElectionGuard.” The election technology is already set to be adopted by half of voting machine manufacturers and some state governments for the 2020 general election. Though it has been heavily promoted by the mainstream media in recent weeks, none of those reports have disclosed that ElectionGuard has several glaring conflicts of interest that greatly undermine its claim aimed at protecting U.S. democracy.

    In this investigation, MintPress will reveal how ElectionGuard was developed by companies with deep ties to the U.S. defense and intelligence communities and Israeli military intelligence, as well as the fact that it is far from clear that the technology would prevent foreign or domestic interference with, or the manipulation of, vote totals or other aspects of American election systems.

    Election forensics analyst and author Jonathan Simon as well as investigative journalist Yasha Levine, who has written extensively on how the military has long sought to weaponize public technologies including the internet, were consulted for their views on ElectionGuard, its connections to the military-industrial complex and the implication of those connections for American democracy as part of this investigation.

    In January, MintPress published an exposé that later went viral on a news-rating company known as Newsguard. Officially aimed at fighting “fake news,” the company’s many connections to U.S. intelligence, a top neoconservative think tank, and self-admitted government propagandists revealed its real intention was to promote corporate media over independent alternatives.

    Newsguard was among the first initiatives that comprise Microsoft’s “Defending Democracy” program, a program that the tech giant created under the auspices of protecting American “democratic processes from cyber-enabled interference [which] have become a critical concern.” Through its partnership with Microsoft, Newsguard has been installed in public libraries and universities throughout the country, even while private-sector companies have continued to avoid adopting the problematic browser plug-in.

    microsoft has moved its HQ to Tele aviv pissrael

    Now, Microsoft is promoting a new “Defending Democracy” initiative — one equally ridden with glaring conflicts of interest — that threatens American democracy in ways Newsguard never could. ElectionGuard is touted by Microsoft as a system that aims to “make voting secure, more accessible, and more efficient anywhere it’s used in the United States or in democratic nations around the world including Australia .”

    However, according to Jonathan Simon, election forensic analyst and author of CODE RED: Computerized Elections and the War on American Democracy, this public relations campaign is likely just cover for more insider control over U.S. elections. “It’s encouraging that after close to two decades of ignoring the security issues with computerized voting, there’s suddenly a scramble to protect our next election that suggests those issues are finally being taken seriously,” Simon told MintPress. “Unfortunately the proposed solution is just more computerization and complexity — which translates to more control by experts and insiders, though of course that is not part of the PR campaign.”

    As to the likely identity of those insiders, the fact that Microsoft’s ElectionGuard was developed in tandem with a private military and intelligence contractor whose only investor is the U.S. Department of Defense offers a troubling clue. As a consequence, ElectionGuard’s promise to “secure” elections is dubious, especially given that Microsoft itself is a U.S. military contractor. Furthermore, amid the unfolding scandal of Israeli meddling in foreign elections, Microsoft’s growing ties to Israeli military intelligence and private Israeli cybersecurity firms raise even more concerns about whether ElectionGuard’s real purpose is to “secure” American elections for candidates friendly to the establishment, especially the military-industrial complex.

    paper ballots “scanned” into Election guard WTF who fn Knew ?

    According to an announcement made in early May by Tom Burt, Microsoft’s Vice President for Customer Security and Trust, ElectionGuard is “a free open-source software development kit (SDK)” that “will make voting secure, more accessible, and more efficient anywhere it’s used.” Burt’s statement further claims that the ElectionGuard system “will enable end-to-end verification of elections, open results to third-party organizations for secure validation, and allow individual voters to confirm their votes were correctly counted.” While ElectionGuard may appear to concern itself only with electronic ballots, the announcement states that the system “is designed to work with systems that use paper ballots” through the use of an optical scanner.

  35. corvus boreus

    Judith Bacon,
    Whilst all we wait for saviours from on high, us mere mortals here on the ground (especially the party faithful) can do our bit by scaling down on the divisive rhetoric (especially the pre-wrapped party sledges), doing some of that despicable ‘freaky-nerd’ type research into the details of what actually occurs within the houses of parliament (rather than regurgitating party derived twitter memes) and acknowledging both the undeniable positives within ‘other’ parties policies/performance and the inevitable failings within our ‘own’.

    Even if this has no other broader positive impact, it can serve as a helpful personal mental disciplinary excercise.

  36. Kaye Lee

    One possibility that no-one is mentioning is that it would only take two Coalition members to cross the floor to pass a bill in the HoR provided they had the crossbench on side. Surely there are a few Coalition members who heed the advice that Newstart must be increased, particularly those who talk about large unemployment rates in their electorates. Of course ‘the best welfare is a job’ but lifting people out of poverty while they are looking will not only boost the economy, it will help people be able to apply for and find jobs. It’s hard going for interviews when you don’t have the money for transport or presentable clothes….or an address.

  37. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hey Kaye,

    what do you propose would be a decent increase to Newstart that would entice rogue LNP members to cross the floor?
    Most respectfully asked, of course…

    If you chorus the $75 (commonly agreed by the so-called powers that be such as dear Rachel Siewert of the Greens and Cassie Gold from ACOSS), then you just show that you are so badly out of touch with the reality of decent people who have been dumped on disgusting Newstart for the terms of their natural lives

    Thanks for that


  38. Freethinker

    Just as reference
    Newstart single rate $ $555.70 fortnightly
    Age pension single $ $843.60 fortnightly
    Poverty line (ACOSS 2018) $866 fortnightly

    IMO if the person has to pay rent even the ACOSS rate is out of date.

  39. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well done, Freethinker for cracking the code yet again

  40. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Newstart must be DOUBLED and I defy anybody who says different

  41. Stephen Tardrew

    Am with you Jennifer activist have the courage of their convictions and a set of deep and enduring ethical principles that will not be compromised. Appeasers and capitulators are craven cowards long gone from the true progressive fame in which we fight for justice not crumbs under the bed. My friends and I warned Labor before the election and were thoroughly vilified. Shorten was always damaged goods and the popularity polls said it all. Labor made up a convenient fairy story to justify their neoliberal complicity and a lack of courage to challenge current economic theory and the poor state of the economy. The wet rag approach. I take no comfort in Labor losing however you failed then and you are continuing as failures now. Even Sanders and Courtez are embracing Modern Monetary Theory and the Green New Deal yet in Australia all we get is right and further right neoliberal and neoclassical appeasers. Voting down an increase to Newstart says it all about the non-workers party. Trish you live in a world of double speak and catch twenty two claiming reason when the ethical imperatives are staring you in the face. Change comes through change agents not blind conformity to a wholly dysfunctional party. You need urgent reform and without it you are lost. I could see Morrison playing the suckers while Labor dithered as Rome burned. Thing is those who vilified progressives before the election and were wrong, wrong, wrong continue their idiocy you included. People’s lives are at stake here and you have been found wanting. Someone needs to shake you up the party is a disgrace.

  42. Lambert Simnel

    I follow Jaq’s thinking much earlier above. It is poor to blame the Left for hidebound lack of principles, spine and imagination from the “Me too” right faction.

  43. Judith Bacon

    mnn? Stephen Cardew, yes you are correct in a lot of what you are saying. But again like so many all or nothingvGreens supporters, out goes the baby with the bathwater. Perfection over progress. And because of it, the Tories keep winning. Great, huh! And when do you think the Greens will become a major party? It has taken 27 years to get to 12%. Imagine if 20 odd years ago the Greens and Labor had formed a lasting alliance. The Nationals sit on less than 3% and control the country. The Greens could have achieved so much more in that time but instead keep chasing the holy grail of perfection. The Tory party’s best friend.

  44. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear, Stephen Tardrew!

    Judith Bacon, since Labor appears to be incapable of being courageous against the austerity of neoliberalism alone, I fully agree they need to join #TheALLiance of Greens/Socialists/Progressives so they can be brought back to the Left and can help forge the much needed reforms (even in Opposition).

  45. Freethinker

    Some people are worried that if the ALP form a colaition with the Greens and other socialist micro parties the conservatives will be in power for many years to come.
    Well, IMO and based in my OS experience, the initiative has to come from those genuine progressive politicians in the traditional parties to get out of their parties and form a political progressive broad front were moderate left, socialist and even communists can work together is a political mature way.
    Is not going to be easy, at the beginning will be only the control in the Senate but later on, they will be in power.
    The main thing is being consistent with their policies, keeping their word and values and wait for the collapse of the conservative parties due to their ideology to look after the minority of the population.

  46. Judith Bacon

    Mnn? So how do we get them all to find the common ground to make this happen? Seems to me everyone wants to be boss and no one wants to form a collective of progressives that will do as Jennifer, Stephen and Freethinker have said.

  47. Freethinker

    Judith is possible, it happens OS and in the formation of a broad front with more than 12 differnt groups and independents and now they are in their 3rd term in power with strong possibilities of winning the next election.
    It requires values, maturity and looking after the interest of the population instead of the self-interest or the party.

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