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Have the Greens just divided the Nation?

Have the Greens divided the nation? Is this what a political party should do? Is this disrespecting the people? Is this against democracy? Is this challenging the right to free speech? People need to start really expressing their views on this now. It should be a topic of conversation around every dinner table.

In an act of defiance today, the Greens turned their backs and walked out on Pauline Hanson’s maiden speech in the Senate. In an email I received from Richard DiNatale tonight, he explained this was because he was called a ‘greasy wog’ at school and told to ‘go home’ and the Greens do not condone racism.

DiNatale has a personal story that so many can relate to. Whatever your individual circumstance, be it racism, or disability, or poverty; so many know the ridicule, the shame and the stigma runs deep and stays forever. For some who can never change who they are, the hurt runs deeper. This is the shame and stigma that Hanson and her followers want to cut deep.

I listened to Pauline Hanson’s speech today and I was truly sickened listening to Hanson’s attack on almost every segment of vulnerable people in our society. The divisiveness, which underpinned her speech, shows that Hanson plans to pit group against group until we all hate each other. Her goal is to make Australians choose between ‘her’ or ‘them.’

Hanson’s speech resonated as someone who thinks they have so much reverent power amongst ‘the right’ and her ambition is to grow into a major political party. Her aim is to take every single conservative vote in Australia, to punish the Liberals who rejected her, ridiculed her and jailed her.

In her speech, she metaphorically strolled by and kicked the teeth in of homeless people, and single mothers and mothers who were single because of domestic violence. She metaphorically sat from above and spat on all those on unemployment; the young, the disadvantaged and the disabled.

Hanson’s speech was about creating fear of the disadvantaged. Her aim is to stigmatise and divide our people.

If you were ever made feel ashamed because of who you are, then Hanson is intent on making you relive that nightmare.

If you were made feel less than human because you were poor, or disabled, or recovering from an addiction then Hanson is here to make you feel less than human again.

If you were ever shunned because you were unemployed, homeless or broken, then Hanson wants you to hate those who are living this now.

This is not about Asians, or Muslims or racism, these groups are merely the start. Over the next six years we will see her use the full gamut of disadvantaged groups to create fear and divisiveness amongst us all.

Over time, Hanson will target individual groups and attack them one by one. People in disadvantaged and minority groups will be ridiculed, shamed, and labelled ‘unAustralian.’ Her mantra will be to hate all things ‘unAustralian.’ Her followers who think it is this ‘hate’ that will make Australia a great country, will actively create unrest.

If Hanson achieves her aim of a nation divided in two, what then?

Do we dare to imagine the civil unrest of the “Hanson’s Australians” attacking the bludging poor in the streets?

Do we dare to imagine “Hanson’s Australians” attacking young single mothers and calling scum and slutty whores and thieves who steal taxes?

Do we dare to imagine the intensity of racial hatred and racial violence we have never known before?

Do we dare to imagine Hanson’s Australia? The Greens did and they turned their backs.

Did the Greens just divide the Nation? Yes, they did.

The Greens symbolically asked every Australian to divide and either stand with “Hanson’s Australians” or with all Australians.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

In six years time, don’t let there be no-one left to speak for you.

The Greens have divided the Nation.

Today is the day to decide on which side you stand.

Originally published on Polyfeministix


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  1. Tracie

    Thanks for your article Trish.

    I think many of us have been doing our damnedest to stop the division, by standing with the groups most affected. I know the Chinese are now standing with the Muslims, because they knows what it feels like to be targeted by hanson.

    The thing is, the more groups she targets, the more together we should be. I was actually very grateful the Greens walked out on her. Everyone should have. She is not Australian.

  2. clarelhdm

    Well said. Pauline Hanson is an evil destructive force and must not be ignored. She represents a serious threat to all that is good in our country. I stand with the Greens on this one, unreservedly.

  3. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hanson is poisonous.

    Be careful YOU are not classified the same,

    for causing division between the TWO parties that can bring about alternative government.

    FULL credit to the Greens for walking out on Hanson today.

    Pity, the cowardly Labor types didn’t do the same..

  4. Carol Taylor

    One part of me says that Hanson as an elected representative has the right to be heard, however the other part says that if a person is talking dangerous, divisive, racist cr*p then I should not have to occupy the same space nor breath the same (now fouled) air as her.

  5. Steve Laing -

    Hanson has the right to be heard, but she overstepped that line today, just as her other idiot senator did yesterday.

    The Greens did the right thing. Hopefully Labor will do the same next time too, and perhaps even some of the Liberals might join in as well. I hope the media stop reporting her. The oxygen of publicity needs to be denied her.

    We just don’t need this type of fact free nastiness in our public discourse.

  6. Trish Corry

    I agree Steve. It took me a bit of thinking to even post this because it meant talking about her. It is a hard decision to make. Will remaining silent make her go away? I decided no and to try to use my words the best I could.

  7. silkworm

    What a ridiculous, hypocritical article. First Trish Corry condemns the Greens for rejecting Hansonism, then goes on to reject Hansonism herself. Then, in the most ridiculous fashion, she accuses the Greens of being divisive by exercising their own free speech in walking out. Pfui on hypocrite Trish Corry.

  8. Trish Corry

    Silkworm, I’m not following your comment at all. I’m not sure if you have taken the time to read the article. I have condemned Hanson, but not the Greens. Sorry, bit confused as to what you mean.

  9. Matters Not

    Did the Greens just divide the Nation?

    Give me a break. It’s very much like asking:

    Did Pauline just divide the Nation?

    Surely there are much better, more insightful questions that might be asked. For example, did Hanson’s speech expose real, existing divisions within Australian society? If so, then why does it take an ill educated ‘dill’ like Hanson to reveal same? Why does the MSM need a Hanson to point the way? So many more significant questions that might be asked.

    At a less significant level, why is it the case that Hanson’s speech caused the presence of so many LNP senators (including Ministers) who stayed to the end? Why didn’t they view same from their offices? After all, that’s what hard working Ministers do each and every day of the week. (Here’s a clue, it was all about ‘sucking up to her’ so as to ‘build her up’ in the hope she will be sympathetic to their legislative agenda – as soon as they develop one).

    As always, the Greens will be dammed if they do and dammed if they don’t. As will Labor. That’s the nature of politics.

  10. kerri

    Another good article Trish! Thanks for voicing what many of us feel.
    There was a report that much of Malcom Roberts maiden speech yesterday was full of lies!
    Can he be charged with misleading the parliament???

  11. brickbob

    Good article,i voted a couple of hours ago in an online poll of about 3000 people at time of voting,48% agreed with Hanson,52% did not,now i know it was an online poll in the SMH,but the results were disturbing to me as i thought 15% max would agree with Hanson but i was wrong,seems there are a lot of Australians who agree with Hanson and i find that frightening.””””

  12. Jexpat

    It’s hard to do sarcasm in the 21st Century.

    Poe’s Law always seems to bite- which given the nature of those infesting the corporate media, ABC and even some several at the Guardian is understandable.

  13. Trish Corry

    Bloody Hell Bob. That is Scary. I thought it was mainly just rural and regional Queenslanders.

  14. Matters Not

    As to how Hanson, Roberts et al might be handled is somewhat problematic, now and in the future. Currently the circus has just arrived in town, so there’s not much that can be done in any positive sense. While ‘clapping’ isn’t recommended, neither is ‘booing’. Don’t make them victims. Don’t ridicule them. People sympathise with the ‘underdogs’.

    The best advice is to give them as much exposure as possible. Regular appearances on national TV, radio and the like should be the ‘common sense’. Give them as much rope as possible. Have ‘faith’ in the belief that ‘irrationality’ will eventually win the day.

    And remember that Joh, Tom Aitkens, Russ Hinze and the like were all Queenslanders.

  15. Jexpat


    Online polls are always subject to impressive amounts of response (and non-response) bias.

    Social media applications like facebook and twitter online increase those statistical biases, which among other aspects affecting the integrity of data “going in” make online Fairfax polls worthless as a reflection of public opinion.

  16. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Sounds like ‘good’ advice re Hanson and Roberts. Let them hang themselves with their own starkling stupidity.

  17. wam

    nothing like the raggazzi verdi, diludbrankims, running the show by walking out because ‘a wog’ is racism,
    Is the walk that different from labor’s pollies standing putting their point of view with a sea of plush green seats empty or senators surrounded by empty red ones.
    What about bob brown, of all people. who had gillard by the short and curlies yet no movement to remove little johnnies’ private input ‘man and woman’.
    It is not hard to admire gillard, an unmarried athiest, for standing against MARRIAGE of all types. But to admire shorten or the loonies is stretching it?

  18. Matters Not

    Then there’s James Ashby. (Pauline, like Turnbull, has never been ‘wise’ when it comes to advisors.)

    Probably celebrating tonight, particularly with a wrap like that. But who is watching? Will Pyne offer personal congratulations?

    Is Pauline in favour of gay marriage? So many possible questions.

    Never been a better time to be a political watcher.

  19. PK

    NO they DID NOT… Pauline Hanson has with her dribble and rhetoric… I applaud the Greens for having the guts to treat her with the disdain she deserves, I turned off, pity the ALP didn’t have the guts to do the same, there is a time to be polite and a time to stand up and say no… they have my vote!

  20. Trish Corry

    I applaud the Greens for walking out too. I guess that is why I wrote an article about it :/

  21. Annie B

    A good article by Trish Corry – pointing up the massive danger this red-headed redneck, poses to all of us.

    Agree that the Greens should have turned their back on her. It was the only moral and decent thing to do. …. Gutter-mouths should always be walked away from –

    Now – who in the MSM will have the same guts and NOT give her the publicity she desperately seeks…. She is not about being ” true-blue Australian” … or anything remotely whatsoever to do with Australia. .. She certainly is not about decency, or morality. …. The only thing she is ‘about’ is herself – she is a publicity junkie.

    I have said elsewhere, that she can be counted on to come up with some peurile statement, filled with bigotry and hate, every two weeks or so ……. just to keep ‘her’ presses rolling. And so far, that’s pretty much what she has done.


  22. Glenn K

    And she has her “job” for the next six years. A bigger parasite on the public purse could only be her science denying loony bin cohort. What an obscene theft of public funding these two are.
    Oh, and I’m proud to be a member of the Greens – proud of what they did.

  23. Zathras

    Hanson has empowered every neo-fascist group hiding in the shadows to come out and further inflame hostility within society.

    She has now given them tacit legitimacy and will ultimately have to wear responsibility for any violent acts they provoke.

    She tried to distance herself from a recent stunt at a Gosford Church but on the basis of what she has said will not be able to do so again. Deliberately inflammatory statements produce consequences.

    It’s time for her and her followers to put up or shut up. Just saying “I don’t like it” is not good enough any more and will have to defend her statements with hard facts, not prejudiced opinions.

  24. mark

    pauline hanson just divided the nation.mark

  25. paulwalter

    An abysmal symptom of (deliberately) log-jammed politics both in the lower house and the senate, where the worst manifestations occurred, the right taking the nation as hostage to bend it to its will.

    Watching the near hysterical Crabb and Baird silencing Bridie Jabour on the government’s performance last night on the Drum makes me feel that the atmosphere is a bit overheated as the Coalition tries to hold power against any indication that it remotely has earned or deserved it.

  26. Peter F

    Trish. As usual, most people do not actually read the full article. It would seem that they missed your words “divide and either stand with “Hanson’s Australians” or with all Australians.”

    No, they just rush off to attack (their own misunderstanding of) what you have said. From such a performance on this site, you might see how easily manipulated the general population are by way of the MSM.

  27. Miriam English

    Well said, Trish. (The provocative title may have been a bad choice though, as a number of commenters have mistaken your piece as being critical of the Greens.)

    The only good thing to say about Hanson is that she pulls a lot of (malevolent and insane) voters away from the LNP. While she’s there the LNP is losing power and influence. It’s not much of a plus, but I try to see the positive, even in someone as poisonous as her.

  28. Trish Corry

    Thanks Miriam. I had a think about that too. Although on one hand, yes votes will be taken away from the right, there are many swinging voters who vote for all kinds of parties voting for her as well. I’m quite terrified of the thought of a major nationalist right wing party if it ever came to that.

  29. Kaye Lee

    One of the many things Hanson fails to understand is that the Australian Muslim community is our best defence against terrorism. I hope the heads of our security agencies take her aside and strongly point out the harm she is doing.

    Also, Curtis Chang’s son wrote to Hanson telling her NOT to use his father’s name in her Muslim bashing, but she did any way.

    Hanson asks for respect but shows none.

    I think we should all take our lead from the way our Indigenous brothers and sisters treated Brendan Nelson’s belated Apology response and silently turn our back on her whenever she speaks.

    I too applaud the Greens action and I think Hanson may just help to unite the Nation by shining a light on her poisonous ignorance. She and Roberts are loony tunes.

  30. Freethinker

    IMHO the Greens have the right thing, they did not divide the nation, they “voted”with their feet against one individual and party that would like to divide the nation, that believe that is OK to offending people.
    There is NO right to discriminate, offending or insulting people because they did not born here, because they race,etc.
    I hope that there are more politicians out there with the same courage but there are not.

  31. z

    free speech can’t be used as a weapon to defends racism speech which lead to conflict in Australian society, what Ms Hanson has done could divide the nation.

  32. Kaye Lee

    “Our leaders continue to tell us to be tolerant and to embrace the good Muslims,” she said.

    “But how should we tell the difference? There is no sign saying ‘good Muslim’ or ‘bad Muslim’. How many lives will be lost or destroyed trying to determine who is good and who is bad?”

    That is horribly reminiscent of “there might be one good Abo amongst a hundred but it isn’t worth the trouble of finding them. Line them up and shoot the bastards.”

    This woman is dangerous.

  33. Adrianne Haddow

    Thank you Trish for this article.

    Why was this sad, hateful woman allowed to speak her bile in Parliament? Where was the speaker?
    I’ve seen Labor politicians thrown out of parliament for far less breaches of protocol than this woman’s diatribe.

    Do they not realise that the parliament is supposed to represent ALL Australians, not just those who wrap themselves in flags and worry about the type of toilets being built in public buildings?

    Di Natale quoted Australian of the Year David Morrison, ‘the standard you walk past is the standard you accept’.
    All of the commenters on this site have rejected Hanson’s standard. Why does our Parliament accept it?

    I congratulate the Greens on their integrity.
    For those who are fearful of this woman and her party’s influence, the Green’s have an online pledge to stand against racism.

  34. Matters Not

    Agree with Howard (in part):

    Former prime minister John Howard has warned it would be wrong to repeat the mistake of 20 years ago and try to marginalise Pauline Hanson and her supporters.Mr Howard told ABC TV, Senator Hanson was entitled to be treated in a respectful fashion by the rest of parliament.

    ‘In relation to Pauline Hanson, the mistake that was made 20 years ago of trying to demonise her and demonise her supporters should not be repeated,’ Mr Howard said.

    He argued that people who voted for Senator Hanson were not racists or bigots and did not vote for her because of their views on immigration.’They voted for her because they’re unhappy with the mainstream political parties,’ Mr Howard said.’A form of disillusionment or protest vote, yes.

    But when it comes to racism and bigotry and denial of same he’s wide of the mark.

    See more at:–hanson.html#sthash.5kVaHGx5.dpuf

  35. z

    20 years ago, she said ‘Australia is in danger of being swamped by Asian’ and today she says: ‘Australia is in danger of being swamped by Muslims’, in the future she could raise : ‘Australia is in danger of being swamped by African’ etc. etc. all she worry about purely on “one nation”—she is a racism for sure, not a politician, what she only able to do just incite extreme ethnic emotions, nothing else

  36. king1394

    I think the Greens should have stood and turned their backs, but not left the chamber. If they had stayed, it might have inspired others who were sickened by Hanson’s attitudes to also stand and turn their backs. Leaving the chamber was a distraction, and highlighted the Greens, so points for PR. But then the Chamber was left empty of dissenters (seemingly).

    At other times, I have been enraged by seeing Greens senators addressing an empty chamber with a fine speech and I believe it is the job of all Senators (and MHRs) to be in the Chamber for all speeches..

  37. helvityni

    Bishop and Howard can demand respect for Hanson; I wish they would also demand respect for our Muslim immigrants.

    Pauline speaks of good and bad Muslims; are ALL white , Anglo Aussies, GOOD? No crimes committed by ‘real’ Australians….?

    Australia has a fairly small population; how come such a high number voted for One Nation. I for one was stunned by her success.

    Good on you, Di Natale ( ‘the greasy wog) and the Green senators….

  38. Zathras

    Don’t be fooled – part of today’s problem is because Howard did NOT try to marginalise Hanson when he had the chance.

    As I recall, despite protests and concern from both sides at the time of Hanson’s first speech he claimed that she was entitled to her own views (on Asians) but was concerned that she had bled votes from his own party as well as the ALP.

    He also said that seeing Asian faces on Sydney streets made his feel “uncomfortable” and as someone who is known to use the word “boong” in private company has his own tendencies in this regard.

    He later won back many of those foreigner-paranoid votes (plus extras) during the Tampa affair and then got Abbott to get rid of her by legal means.

    He’s trying the same strategy now, hoping that disenfranchised Liberals can be won back by some sort of supportive legislation from Turnbull – or his successor.

    He’s no stranger to race-baiting politics himself.

  39. z

    the real danger Australian are facing is not “swamped by another ethnic migrants” but one nation play a key role to guide our political system to make every decision

  40. helvityni

    paulwater, you are right, Bridie was not given her fair share of time…

    On 7.30 Bishop did not want give Leigh the time to ask her questions. Not a good look.

  41. Kaye Lee


    “in the future she could raise : ‘Australia is in danger of being swamped by African’”

    Too late. She already did that ten years ago.

    “We’re bringing in people from South Africa at the moment. There’s a huge amount coming into Australia, who have diseases; they’ve got AIDS. …They are of no benefit to this country whatsoever; they’ll never be able to work. And what my main concern is: is the diseases that they’re bringing in and yet no one is saying or doing anything about it.”

  42. helvityni

    Hanson is a handy a tool for the right-wingers, she says things in public they agree with, but know are not quite the right thing to express openly…They nod their heads silently, only the faintest smile on their lips.

  43. Kyran

    It may seem odd to introduce a quote from Senator Patrick Dodson’s maiden speech into a discussion of one who thrives on hatred, division and ignorance;

    “Some, though, have been elected on platforms which I will undoubtedly find challenging. I will not be averse to argument and debate on these issues. This place is, after all, the sanctuary of free speech. The debates will, however, need to be informed by the fundamental principles of respect for the diversity and richness of our various cultures in Australia, and the recognition of our shared humanity. We know, as a fact, that some Australian legislation in the past was founded on outmoded patterns of thought and belief. Our laws have, at times, been based on ingrained paternalism and racial superiority, denying our shared humanity. Such mindsets justified repeated acts of greed that grabbed the lands of our people without negotiation, settlement or compensation—and at times at great human cost, with many lives being taken or cut short. Those laws built bureaucratic systems and processes that controlled the lives of our people; stifling life choices; creating the sorrow, pain and anguish of children ripped from the arms of their mothers.”

    Oddly, hanson was one of the many who made a bee-line to be photographed with him afterwards. Maybe talcum isn’t the only one who will jettison ‘core belief’s’ for political expediency.
    Julian Burnside wrote a piece on the Renate Kamener Oration 2016. It is a wide ranging discussion and links patterns of behaviour that are manipulated by our ‘leaders’.
    One section that is entirely relevant in this conversation;


    So, we have a number of false explanations for conduct which, I hope, does not reflect the genuine character of this country.

    But what is the true explanation?

    A leading politician once said this:

    “…after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”

    The person who said those words was Hermann Goering. It is hard to contradict that statement; it is hard not to see it at work right now across the Western world. It is a matter of real concern that anti-Islamic views are apparently driven by our political masters.

    A survey in 2015 took a nationally representative sample of 1000 adult Australians. It found that almost 70 per cent of Australians have a very low level of Islamophobia, about 20 per cent are undecided and only 10 per cent are highly Islamophobic. The survey found that women tend to be more worried about terrorism than men. Where a respondent lived did not have a significant impact. People were more worried about terrorism if they were older, had lower levels of education, were unemployed, were employed in a non- professional role or if they supported the Liberal or National parties. They were less likely to be worried about terrorism if they had regular contact with Muslims, felt tolerant of migrants or had lower Islamophobia scores.

    The survey concluded that most Australians display low levels of Islamophobia, and are willing to have Muslims in their family or friendship group (although they are even more welcoming of members of other major religions). There are pockets of prejudice and anxiety directed towards Muslims, for example among the aged and those facing financial insecurity. But the great majority of Australians in all states and regions are comfortable to live alongside Australian Muslims.

    Islamophobia, it seems, is being driven from the top and for political advantage.

    I do not want to be misunderstood: I deplore Muslim extremism, Hindu extremism, Christian extremism: I deplore extremism and terrorism of all kinds. But I would not readily assume that a person fleeing extremism is an extremist. I would not readily assume that a person fleeing terrorism is a terrorist.”

    Renate Kamener Oration 2016

    The extreme danger of hanson, howard, abbott and their ilk is not that they speak, but that they speak garbage in a blatant attempt to get the ignorant to do their bidding. If the 2015 survey referred to by Burnside is compared with the online survey referred to by brickbob (at 10.44 pm), the effects of the ‘leaders’ words can be measured in the manipulation of ‘popular opinion’. Whilst the methodology of the surveys may be at odds, the overall change in trends is notable.
    Thank you, Ms Corry and commenters. Take care

  44. guest

    When we put together the posts by Matters Not (8.07am) and Zathras (8.37am) we see what sneaky games Howard has played and is playing.

    As for what happens on the ABC, remember that the ABC has been white-anted and hog-tied, threatened with extinction by the Right..

  45. Tracie

    I have been reading up on Howard’s father. It appears he was in a group that loved neoliberalism. The group was dedicated to Prince Edward during Hitler’s Nazi era.

    It appears that we can go by the saying ‘like father like son’. Howard appears to have driven Australia into the same kind of leanings as Nazi Germany, which is why he dedicated himself to ‘purity of race’ whatever that means. It’s why we are in the mess we are, with neoliberalism at our forefront.

    Two and a half years ago, while I was writing my submission to the ICC (and shortly beforehand), I was telling many people that we were headed towards policies similar to that of Nazi Germany. I wasn’t believed back then, because it didn’t appear obvious. I hope it appears much more obvious now.

    When Howard recently told Australia that women can’t represent people in parliament due to women being child bearers, it made me think of the policies he had to get women to have babies when he was in power. I obviously didn’t take up the charge, but many women saw the baby bonus and rethought their reasoning to have a child. This philosophy was quite similar to Nazi Germany, where Hitler was telling female students to have children instead of go to university. It brought up many female resisters to Nazism within Germany.

    My thoughts of hanson are that she is addicted to the camera, so will say and do anything to have the camera pointed at her. She is dangerous, but LNP are even more dangerous, as they have patience to push the policies hanson wants to see the light of day, in some way, shape or form.

  46. Wayne Turner

    What the Greens did,was NOT against free speech at all.If they were against free speech,they would have yelled over the top of her speaking and/or tried to grab her,or something like that.Instead they chose to walk out why she was talking.

    Nothing wrong with what the Greens did.They were expressing their democratic right,to protest against what Hanson said,by walking out.It was a form of protest.

    NOT that it would ever happen,but how would Pauline Hanson feel if all red heads were ban from entering parliament? And weren’t allowed to change their hair colour to NOT be a red head.

    Hanson is an ignorant bigot,voted in by people just like her.She divided Australia by attacking powerless minorities,whic h of course she isn’t part of.She is of course selfish too.

    Personally,I’m disappointed everyone from all the other parties/independents didn’t walk out too…

  47. aravis1

    I agree with the action of the Greens, and wish that others had seen fit to do this too. I do NOT agree with giving Hanson and her idiots air and exposure. That encourages the fools in our midst, and there are plenty of them, mostly sadly, in the older age groups, and far too many in Qld. What the media and we also, need to do is totally ignore the evil witch. Mocking her is not an option; her words are too inflammatory and appeal to the worst elements in our society. We will get through the next 6 years best by pretending she is not there.

  48. Möbius Ecko

    As the guest commentator on ABC News Breakfast said this morning if Hanson had been around 20 years before her swamped by Asians statement it would have been Italians or Greeks.

  49. Homeo

    Really? You applaud the greens for performing an act exactly the opposite of democracy?
    You support politicians refusing to listen to opposing views?
    Therefore liberals and nationals should evacuate the chamber every time a green speaks. It is after all what you support..
    Politicians are paid very well for exactly the opposite of what the greens did. They are paid to listen to opposing views. Especially if those views are disagreed with!
    If one nations policies are wrong, then parliament is the exact place to challenge those ideals!
    By walking out you achieve nothing. You do not challenge the veracity of her statements, you just appear as petulant children heading off for a sulk.

    You have also handed one nation the moral high ground on a silver platter. They will remain in the chamber for the green senators and appear the more reasonable and rational ones. Nice work greens, you just made a climate change denier look more reasonable than yourselves…..

  50. helvityni

    “I’m back.”
    “Go back where you came from.”

    Says it all about Pauline.

  51. Tracie


    I’m sorry to tell you this, but many of the politicians from opposing parties actually do evacuate the chamber whenever the Greens speak. Usually, the chamber is empty, so they do not hear opposing views, at all.

  52. Wayne Turner

    Homeo: What the Greens did,was NOT against free speech,or democracy at all.If they were against free speech and democracy,they would have yelled over the top of her speaking and/or tried to grab her,or something like that.Instead they chose to walk out while she was talking.

    Nothing wrong with what the Greens did.They were expressing their democratic right,to protest against what Hanson said,by walking out.It was a form of protest.

  53. Matters Not

    Homeo, just a couple of points. The Greens would have listened to her speech, when they were in their offices. They wouldn’t have missed it for ‘quids’. That’s where the vast majority of speeches are watched and heard. As for:

    then parliament is the exact place to challenge those ideals

    It’s a convention that maiden speeches are interruption free. No interjections please. Thus no verbal challenges to her nonsense.

  54. diannaart

    An excellent article from Trish, about a vexing issue.

    When is the highest forum in our nation used for free speech and when is used for hatred?

    The Greens have clarified what Mr Hanson’s speech was about.

    Now, who will stand with the Greens?

  55. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    That background story on Howard’s family is very interesting. So much for strong, honest, law-abiding values.

  56. Tracie

    Thank you Matters Not. That was a very interesting article, and shows the depth of ‘dummying’ that the Howards went to for their own benefit. They will do anything and everything for themselves. That much is obvious. That is not something to look up to.

  57. diannaart

    Ooops about the ‘Mr’ Hanson – genuine mistake, not taking the piss.

  58. Matters Not

    No doubt some viewers of her speech would have noted the presence of Linda Burney making a rare appearance in the ‘other place’ (not on the floor of course – and for at least some of the time). The cameras didn’t dwell.

  59. paulwalter

    Helvi, so true.

    Sales cops a rubbishing some times but the softly softly approach paid dividends in the revealing of the dark side of a problematic personality.

    I won’t forget in a hurry the aspect of Bishop I saw on that show last night; the utter arrogance.

  60. Harquebus

    What The Greens did was gutless. They demand that we all listen to them but, when it is something they don’t want to hear, they turn tail and run away.

  61. Tracie

    Harquebus what planet are you living on?

    Walking out of racism is not running away – it’s showing courage that racism is not to be listened to. Why on earth listen to drivel that refuses to be educated if one can walk away from it?

    It’s like dictating that one shouldn’t feel oppressed, when in fact who is anyone to say what one should feel?

    The thing is, I don’t believe that you would understand facts, nor will you ‘walk in another’s shoes’ as per Atticus Finch. You point the finger, yet refuse to understand that what another feels when racism is directed at them is legitimate.

    Well done to the Greens. I can’t say it enough!

  62. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    They made a strong statement by walking out.

  63. Matters Not

    diannaart, pretty hard to mistake Linda Burney. Besides, she was wearing the same ‘red’ attire as she wore to Question Time earlier in the day.

  64. diannaart

    Matters Not

    Yet the MSM missed her – again.

  65. keerti

    Australia is in danger of being swamped by bigotry, racism and fascism. Oh, sorry! It already has been!

  66. SGB

    The speech by Pauline Hanson was in 1996 and is again in 2016 totally repugnant to me.

    I made a point of reading the transcript of the 2016 speech and I have to say I see none of much your article Trish Corry, so I am not going to praise you for the words, that in my view, you seem to have put in Hansons speech.

    I will say that I agree that Hanson and her party members are ignorant and simplistic in their view of the world.

    I will say that, I am glad that she and her ilk in the LNP, like Abbott, Christianson, Abetz, Benardi, Dutton and others (whose names escape me) have come out of the shadows to show who they are and that it has encorouged their followers who think alike, to also to come out.

    Abbott set out right from the time he was elected as Leader of the LNP in opposition, set this country on the path of devision, he and the subsequent similar minded have taken heart and been encorouged to speak their ugly phylosophy. Hanson is a manifestation of the ugly Australian.

    I am saddened that Australia has finaly shaken off the title an egalitarian society, a land of the fair go, but I will add, that my experience as an immigrant from the UK, told me that the fair go and the egalitarianism was not so deeply entrenched as it was promoted.

    But back to Hanson, her party of Senators and those on the extreme Right of Australian politcs. I believe (from the facts of the numbers of extreme Right in parliament) that a very significant percentage of Australians (including many immigrants) are in fact mysogenic, racist, homophpbic, bully boys and bully girls, who’s intent is to exploit the weak and less fortunate and try their hardest to create a second white Australia.

    They will of they succeed first plunge Australia into a divide of ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’, then scape goat the ‘have nots’ to cement power in the ‘haves’ and plunge this country into a nationalist dictatorship.

    My view is that whilst these people are merely exposing their idiology, I see it as an opportunity to show the rest of us how nasty their idiology is, and perhaps cut it off before it becomes irreversible

  67. Paul

    If the LNP and Labor were more representative of that section of the workforce being marginalized by globalization and casualization, One Nation would not be in the news.

    Most of ON support came from a protest vote.
    No need to run and hide from that fact.
    Fix your policies and ON becomes irrelevant.

    As for PH’s statements, why does the MSM give her so much publicity I wonder?
    Possible the media thrives on conflict much?
    Deliberately trying to raise the temperature of the collective is not a recipe for success.
    Avoid MSM, it’s toxic.

  68. townsvilleblog

    I understand that my view will not be the most popular view, however the Hansonism revival makes it even more important than before in my view that the ALP democratize the party so that all who are opposed to Hanson, can gather under the one decisive banner. She is a typical tory, but less educated with aims to divide and conquer. This is a crucial time for Labor to stand and verbally oppose with sound reasoning, even better with the attraction of new membership.

  69. Tracie


    Your view is (I think) more popular than you think. The ALP democratising the party would ideally be quite a good thing. At present, I’m not politically affiliated, but would prefer many coming together under one banner to negate hanson.

    Right now I don’t like many of ALP’s policies, but they have many members voicing opinions that give humanity a go. If they listened to their members much more, perhaps they could ‘conquer’ hansonsim… One can only hope.

  70. Brad

    I’m not surprised the Greens walked out on pauline’s speech. I can’t bare to look at her, let alone listen to her nasty ignorance. Good on the Greens! It’s a shame the rest of the house didn’t follow.

  71. Trish Corry

    Townsville. You do appear to have a personal bug bear with Labor and democratization. They are the most democratic party out of every party in Australia. No party is perfect at all, and I am for reforms, but reforms need to be done, through the proper voting processes in place in the party (meaning members vote on the changes), which they will continue to do.

    I don’t understand your connection to democratizing the Labor party further and the internal propensity of Labor to ‘conquer’ Hansonism. The party has largely repaired since Rudd Gillard Rudd. I would see this more as a leadership issue, than a party reform issue. There is nothing in the party reform that needs to be addressed that weakens leadership, that I can think of. It is the leadership that is so crucial in addressing this matter.

    Labor’s membership is increasing all the time. However, of course I’m keen for more, but nothing you speak to prevents anyone from joining a branch. It is up to individual branches to recruit based on getting out into the community and advocating on issues against Hanson. Not everything is up to Caucus or Shorten.

    The issues I see in Leadership where Labor can really make a difference is pushing many of their IR policies (which speak to a lot of the issues Paul raised) and actively pushing job creation and decentralization of the public sector. They are my personal views. Unemployment is a huge issue, especially in the areas where she received a lot of votes. The Nats doing nothing for the bush – ever – also has added to the rise of Hanson, but the people who live there don’t see it, they blame everyone else. They hate Turnbull so many of them voted ALA or Hanson or right wing IND.

    Hanson is not just a conservative. She is a Nationalist conservative, which is very different to a Liberal conservative. Much more dangerous.

    I think this is a matter for ALL politicians in how they respond to Hanson and how they communicate with individual communities, including active displays of ignoring and rejecting what she says.

  72. Kim Southwood

    “Hanson has the right to be heard, but she overstepped that line today, just as her other idiot senator did yesterday. ”
    Steve, the (im)pertinence of this remark provoked a hearty laugh. I applaud the lead article for creating such a dynamic discussion. I think The Greens are a party of principle first and foremost. They are consistent and better equipped to run the country than the two majors from my point of view. Significantly they support an inclusive society which is anathema to Hanson’s lot. By walking away from the Hanson mantra they were advancing the principles of inclusiveness and equity which were under attack.

  73. Steve Laing -

    There is a lot to like about the Greens, but a lot to dislike too. Their internal decision making can be apparently so laborious that nothing happens. And whilst they are sometimes portrayed as “politically naive”, they at least seem to stick to their values. I had the opportunity of seeing Richard Di Natale speak at Curtin University last year, and I was impressed with why he got into politics (through recognising that without dealing with the source of the problem, that all the medical assistance in the world won’t solve them) working with indigenous communities in rural Australia, rather than through student politics which so many of our politicians appear to have come from (and still act like they haven’t moved on…).

    But back to how to deal with Hanson… I believe that the best way to expose One Nation is through the use of one simple word. How. Its bloody easy to whine, complain and blame, but a very different thing to work out how to solve the problems that they are so obsessed about. I think they believe that if they whine long enough, someone else will sort it all out for them, somewhat like the Brexiteers did in the UK.

    So how are the going to get Muslims to leave the country? How will we be able to identify them? How will we know if they are integrating into “Australian” culture (and how are you going to define that). How will we know if people say they are no longer Muslims, but have a Muslim name just to avoid being deported? How are we going to interact with Muslim countries if we take that approach? How will we deal with the influx of Australians if the Muslim countries send all the Aussies back? Where will we get our oil from if the Arab countries won’t sell it to us? How will Australians survive if Indonesia says that Australians are no longer welcome to visit Bali? How will you create the jobs that are needed to stop people bludging on benefits? How, how, how. Because this will either expose them as having no answers, or shock people when they realise what their approach is. Because I’m sure it won’t be that far removed from aspects of the Final Solution. Expose their stupidity. Expose their ignorance. Expose their nastiness. Too many Australians apparently need to be woken up from their stupor.

  74. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    See for how the Greens aim to unite the nation.

  75. Matters Not

    Steve Laing – re your comment:

    Expose their stupidity. Expose their ignorance. Expose their nastiness.

    Why not let them do exactly that all by themselves? Give them as much air as they want. Today in the Senate, Roberts asked about arranging a meeting with the CSIRO because he’s having difficulty doing that himself. A perfect opportunity I would have thought. Don’t only arrange for a meeting, have it recorded and televised.

    If ‘elites’ do the exposing, then it’s likely to be counter-productive. Thus urge Hanson to write the Terms of Reference for a RC into ISLAM. Again give her as much publicity as possible. Let her unmask herself.

    Let her have as much ‘free speech’ as possible.

  76. jim

    Hanson is a godsend for the Liberals in keeping the heat o their incompetence…According to the International Monetary Fund, the Howard/Costello government was the most profligate in Australia for the last 50 years. Indeed, while the mining boom was gathering pace they cut taxes so far and so fast that they forced the Reserve Bank of Australia to rapidly increase interest rates.

    While countries like Norway took the benefits of resource price booms and banked them in their sovereign wealth fund, Peter Costello chose to cut taxes for the wealthy instead. He knew at the time that his populist generosity to the highest income earners would force future treasurers to choose between budget deficits or cutting spending on the sick, the poor and elderly. No prizes for guessing which our former treasurer prefers.

    The only thing Costello hates more than budget deficits is collecting the revenue needed to fix them. Just as his government did nothing about the long-term challenge of climate change, his government did nothing to set up Australia’s long-term public finances.

    On Tuesday, Costello wrote an op-ed in which he bells the cat on who he thinks should pay less tax. His idea of a fairer tax system means “lowering the reach or rate of top marginal income tax rates”.

    For the record, here are five of Costello’s most “profligate” and inequitable decisions, which created the structural deficit inherited by his successors:

    1. Permanent income tax cuts during the boom. Worth $37.6bn or $26.4bn if you exclude bracket creep in 2011-12

    During the first phase of the mining boom the federal government’s coffers were being filled with a temporary windfall gain. Costello made the decision to use this temporary windfall gain to cut income tax, mainly to high income earners. From 2005 to 2012 these tax cuts cost the budget bottom line $170bn. In 2012 they were costing the budget $37.6bn per year. Even accounting for bracket creep, the tax cuts would cost the budget $26.4bn in 2011-12. They would be worth more today. 42% of these cuts flowed to the top 10% of income earners while 80% of income earners got only 38%.

    2. Capital gains tax discount. Worth $5.8bn in 2014-15

    In 1999 Costello introduced the capital gains tax discount. Capital incompetence LNP incompetence.

  77. Miriam English

    Steve Laing, truly excellent comment. What a brilliant suggestion.
    I’ll try to do exactly that from now on. When faced with a racist I’ll be asking “how” of them.

  78. diannaart


    Steve Laing – truly excellent suggestion, but when asking one of these bigots “how” – keep a bit of distance, they get a bit aggro when they can’t find words ‘n stuff (ideas).

  79. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    😉 How very true.

  80. Carol Taylor

    Steve Laing, I agree previous comments, excellent. Just to add, what does Hanson want to do with say 2nd or 3rd generation Australians whose background is Muslim? What about visiting dignitaries? Would Muhammad Ali be welcome if he had still been alive? And will she ban the Pakistani cricket team?

  81. Michael Taylor

    Steve, your comment could just about be a post on its own. Do you feel like adding to it a bit and sending it in?

  82. Harquebus

    Stupidity, ignorance and nastiness are not limited to One Nation’s politicians.
    The impossible dream of infinite growth will produce more like Pauline Hanson. It is already happening and unless the physical causes of society’s unrest are addressed, it will be unavoidable.

  83. Wun Farlung

    All the Libs lining up to say ‘I don’t agree but” is a good sign, sickening yes but still a good sign
    They aren’t sure whether to blow the dog whistle or shit their collective dax.
    The amount of conniving they would be up to, trying to work out how to get rid of Hanson and get their right wing rednecks back

  84. Matters Not

    Trish Corry re your comment at 4.09

    Labor’s membership is increasing all the time

    Really? Others would beg to disagree. And while there might be a temporary ‘upswing’, the longer term trend is clearly down and by a significant and accelerating margin. Here’s another view, albeit a little dated, but argues that the trend is clear:

    Membership of major parties has not just declined it has collapsed. In interviews for my doctoral thesis, senior labour movement figures were dismissive and despairing of local ALP branches as fewer, smaller and frequented mainly by political professionals and “maddies”.

    Several said that the ALP would have little chance of electoral success if it relied on the opinions of its own members.

    The same reluctance to rely on their memberships has seen the major parties increasingly turn to consultants and think tanks for policy development. A trend that further disenfranchises their memberships.

    Indeed, the policy program, a key feature of twentieth century mass parties, has become in most cases little more than a collection of so-what statements.

    It’s a conclusion that I share. Not with joy I hasten to add but an acceptance of the ‘reality’. The idea that to be an active member of the Labor Party requires attending a Branch Meeting X times a year, developing policy positions, (without expert input), advancing them to higher levels and then on to Conferences again at so many higher levels is so last century thinking. Then to have the Party’s ‘policy positions’ ignored (in reality) when the current Leader determines what the priorities will be shows the futility of Branch Membership.

    The ALP needs to redefine what it ‘means’ to be a Member. There’s a whole host of people out there who want to ‘contribute’ but don’t want to waste their time, say once a month, physically attending a meeting to hear ‘feed back’ from the local member (who is probably out of the power loop anyway) while they can learn so much more by being on-line. Where are the ‘virtual’ on-line branches for example?

  85. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well said MN @ 9.54 pm.

  86. Matters Not

    Notice from the above comments that Hanson’s advance might be thwarted by the media and others asking ‘rational’ questions. While I agree with the sentiments, I suspect that Hanson et al can’t so easily be negated.

    Hanson is now a sophisticated political operative. She now knows that the media now crave her more than she needs them. She is now driving the political bus. She is the news.

    I say again, let her crash the bus. All by herself.

    The ‘how’ questions are but a tactic (useful as they are) but not a strategy.

  87. Sam

    I’m not sure I entirely agree with MN’s assertion that One Nation should be given as much exposure as possible and have faith that the people will eventually see the light. I don’t think I am anything close to an expert on politics but my reading of The Euro exit vote in the UK, was that the people who wanted to stay in the EU pretty much just let the leave camp have at it and had faith that reason would win out in the end but it didn’t.

    Sure if we give Hanson enough rope, she may eventually hang herself but how many people is she going to strangle with that same rope first?

  88. Annie B

    Great comments here … overall, and very interesting reading.

    Agreed initially that the Greens were correct to walk out on Hanson, and still agree – although a different slant on it was posted by King 1394 ( 8.25 a.m. ) … which I now also agree with. Perhaps they should have stood and turned their backs, but not left the chamber. There is nothing more eloquent, than the body language of disapproval. And to turn their backs, might have had others show the same disgust and stand as well. … Which of course, would have made quite a few headlines, but also would have led to ‘why’ they did it, which would have been a good thing. Certainly newsworthy – the MSM love that kind of ‘lead article’.

    Possible however, that the commercial TV stations and newspapers – a la Murderoch inspired, would have ignored it initially, … but others would have picked up on it, and the news would have sparked more interest, which would drag the main MSM in as well. … Murderoch media, if nothing else, is fairly predictable, and don’t like to be outdone on any ‘scoop’ or nasties that might be happening. !!


    And Tracie ( 10.04 am ) … is correct. …. Specific speeches delivered in both upper and lower houses, are often ignored by a mass ‘conspicuous-by-their-absence’ departure of the opposing party to the speaker .. but apparently only a small number must remain to meet requirements of the Parliamentary quorum obligation ( I stand to be corrected on that ). …

    Matters Not – 5.32 pm ( who I often disagree with !! 😉 ) … does have a good point in giving Hanson all the air / oxygen she wants, and she craves it. Get the National Press Club to invite her to spruik her inanities. They will ask all the ‘hows’ … and she would then be up to her nasty little neck in a quagmire she could not escape. She wouldn’t have the answers. Give her the rope – she will hang herself, eventually. … Uneducated bigots usually put their large feet into their mouths … and I would bet as much as I could, that she would do just that. Give her longer time and she will anyway.

    And hey – that might be ( at this time ) why the MSM are not so grand at coming forward with much on her. Might interfere with their attachment to the right wing of the current guv’mint, and it’s total inadequacies, and —– oh, that would NEVER do.

  89. Jexpat

    Just a quick further bit on the perils of online polling.

    This appeared under Fairfax journo Tony Wright’s piece on the topic we’re discussing:


    Were the Greens senators right to walk out on Pauline Hanson’s first speech in the Senate?

    No, Senator Hanson has been elected by voters and has a right to speak and be heard

    Yes, they sent a powerful message against Senator Hanson’s views

    This is an example of push polling that’s intended to (and does) distort responses -and which in turn is often further distorted and used (claiming legitimacy) down the track.

    Think about what it purports in the heading to gauge -vs. what it’s actually doing.

  90. nurses1968

    Jexpat,I’m not sure of perils of online, it seems to have given Ms Hanson far more Media exposure than she deserved.
    The SMH poll you mentioned attracted Total votes: 43157
    No, Senator Hanson has been elected by voters and
    has a right to speak and be heard 57%

    Yes, they sent a powerful message
    against Senator Hanson’s views 43%

    Total votes: 43157

    Poll closed 15 Sep, 2016

    Whether these polls are accurate or not or even genuine doesn’t stop ensuring Ms Hanson got a couple of further days Media coverage spinoff articles and even attention online on sites you would think knew better than provide oxygen, and I imagine keeping Pauline and her Media advisors are over the moon with the bonus publicity

  91. Mark

    So the greens walkout was pre arranged and had nothing to do with the content of hansons speach. This was a clear snub to the parliament and the people that elected hanson in the first place. To suggest it had something to do with childhood taunting was stupid to start with and showed the childish nature of this party. The main thrust of her speach was about islam and weather its teachings are compatible with the Australian culture. Whilst this is being debated she has called for a ban on all muslims coming into this country. Certainly the latter teachings of Muhammed were violent and confrontational so this should certainly be discussed.

  92. Trish Corry

    Hanson is a politician and a practiced racist. She will have answers for all of the hows, so they would need to be worded specifically.

    How would we identify people who need to ‘go back to where they came from’ She would rant and rave about an Australian ID card with the finger print on it and one mishap and your ‘out’. She would take an example of someone who got a slap on the wrist and make a big deal of it. She would then use one or two examples and then connect this to “ALL” to give weight to her claims. That is the sort of language she would use.

    There would need to be someone there to counter her claims, like the Police Commissioner – not another politician and not just her alone with an interviewer. She knows how to draw out the fear in people by arguing through ignorance and false attribution of blame.

  93. Trish Corry

    Mark, if anyone does debate your point. There is a rule here. If you ask anyone “Have you read the Koran” you need to buy all contributors and commenters, past and present, a bottle of top shelf scotch (each).

  94. Trish Corry

    Matters Not – There are a lot of assumptions in your comment re: Membership. QLD membership alone doubled in one year and membership has further increased nationally since Shorten came on board. I agree the monthly meeting isn’t for everyone, but your assumption is not correct that they must attend a meeting x times a year and that is all that happens. It is really, just an ill informed assumption. I find your views cynical and your point about membership doesn’t really contributed anything to this debate. I’m not interested in engaging by responding to assumptions about the internal workings of a party, when the commenter appears to know nothing about it.

    The point I was making to Townsville was to his point about Labor Party democratisation. Firstly, Townsville doesn’t appear to recognise that Labor already had many major reforms (a point continuously raised with him previously) and I do not feel ‘internal workings’ are the answer to defeating ‘Hansonism’ But the answer lies more with Leadership. Bill Shorten needs to continue his town hall meetings so people can ask him questions about the fears they share with Hanson’s rhetoric. He can be very vocal about the positive jobs agenda and IR policies Labor has. He can push the Govt on job creation. That is the sort of valuable thing Shorten can do as a leader. People look to leaders in times of crisis or concern, not members.

  95. Trish Corry

    Freethinker – For people to walk out of the Lower House on George Christensen’s comments, that only weakens the vote in the lower house. The Greens walked out in a maiden speech. I doubt the Greens would walk out and reduce the numbers during a debate when a vote might quickly be called in the senate. A Speech is just ‘respectfully watched’ With no replies or interruptions. This isn’t just regular debate or voting.

  96. diannaart

    Annie B

    They should have stood and turned their backs, but not left the chamber. There is nothing more eloquent, than the body language of disapproval.

    An excellent tactic for a future opportunity? Walking out on an inaugural speech was good as no one was voting on anything.

  97. Mark

    Trish -noted.

  98. Steve Laing -

    What I’ve found equally interesting (particularly on social media) show little people understand about what actually is happening whilst most such speeches are given. “The Greens walk out is unconstitutional”, “should get their pay docked” etc – yet most speeches appear to be given to empty chambers. Where was Hanson when Ludlum spoke last night, for example? (And where the associated confected outrage?)

    Though it does beg the question, what is the purpose of all this waffle (by all parties)? Who is the actual audience? What does it add to the debate? If a tree falls in a forest and there is no-one there to hear it, does it make a sound? More “because that is the way that it is” no doubt.

    Trish – in answer to your point about Hanson being able to answer the How questions. Yes I’m sure she has answers, but I can’t believe they would be particularly palatable to at least some of those who might have voted for her. I’m sure the Reclaim types would like nothing more than an opportunity to take a Duterte approach to anyone that didn’t follow their preference (in a manner not dissimilar to Pol Pot I would imagine), though maybe I overestimate the rational and emotional maturity of that sector of the electorate.

    Being one myself, I know a number of UK expats who have been posting Hanson meme’s on Facebook, about loyalty to Australia or go back to where you come from. They tend to go remarkably quiet when I ask them who they’ll be supporting at the next Ashes series. Because it really is just racism hiding behind false nationalism. Unfortunately that is much of the Liberal electoral base, and they are happy to keep stirring the racism pot – as long as it doesn’t lose them votes, which is why Howard sent Abbott in to wreck them 20 years ago. In the meantime, however, we are going to see a conga line of Liberals courting One Nation because without them they will struggle to pass legislation, but you can bet your last dollar that behind the scenes they are already drawing up plans.

  99. Kim Southwood

    One of the most tedious things I find about politics is the game-playing on really serious policy matters. As far as I’m concerned The Greens walking out on Pauline Hanson was an assertion of their solidarity in opposing racism and its potential for harm as stated by their leader subsequently. It was a decisive, honest statement which has been (mis)interpreted according to the political sensibilities of those reacting. What Pauline Hanson said was totally predictable and no doubt The Greens had planned their reaction in advance. No surprises in any of this.

    I actually have people I count as friends of various talents in interesting fields and of varying ethnic backgrounds who think Hanson’s stance on Muslims and Chinese is valid. The fact that I totally disagree with them presents the challenge of offering my point of view and ‘hoping’ to give positive food for thought. I neither despise them nor belittle them.

    However, in the political arena, I think The Greens made a very appropriate statement of their own. I agree with Di Natale that parliament is a public forum where we should think twice about allowing our reps to whip up ‘angry’, possibly even subversive, sentiments. Perhaps The Greens and I expect too much of parliament. But that’s another discussion.

  100. Woody

    What a load of Crap !! Di Nutter was probably called a greasy wog because he was an uppity little of trouble making shit !
    I’m 5th generation Aussie and I would have been called names too if I had his attitude !!
    I and my friends had good mates from a lot of different cultures 50’s and 60’s and that was before this nutcase was born !!
    The greens are a divisive party let’s face it and the last election results show that people are waking to them

  101. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    go back to your cave.

  102. Steve Laing -

    Actually I don’t think Di Natale has claimed to be a victim of racial abuse. But if it makes you feel better to call him names and make insinuations about his past, whilst hiding behind a false name, you go for it.

    And The Greens got 10 times more votes that Hanson did. So you are right. People are waking up to them. But because they are inclusive, not divisive, and actually want to keep the planet alive. But you keep on insulting people. It seems to be your preferred talent.

  103. Matters Not

    show (how) little people understand about what actually is happening whilst most such speeches are given

    Indeed! ‘Speeches’, these days, regardless of whose ‘side’ makes them rarely (if ever) have influence on the legislative outcome. They are an historical hangover. A reminder of the times when ‘parties’ didn’t exist or if they did, they certainly didn’t rule the roost and when those who were listening were ‘free’ to make decisions based on the ‘strength’ of the argument.

    These days, politicians (particularly Ministers) who are actually in the chamber when this farce is underway can be rightfully accused of ‘bludging’. Running away from decision making that requires them to make decisions back in their offices.

    The really serious political players are rarely seen saying anything in public forums. After all, it’s what ‘backrooms’ are all about.

  104. Kim Southwood

    Sorry, Woody, my Aussie heritage goes back a long way – at least 200 years. But I still have a complex mix running through my veins which reminds me I’m human. On this planet our species call the shots. But we are one. We have the capacity to communicate meaningfully. Historically, we have not done that too well. But I believe it’s very much worth the effort. The Greens are anti-divisive in the sense they don’t want to demonise or stigmatise any particular group. Of course in pursuing that end they attract dissension, We are one and we are human.Yes, we all have a mouth, but let’s work towards understanding each other and working together.

  105. Harquebus

    Steve Laing
    My field of expertise is in computer science and systems analysis. My internet rules have always been, never use your real name on the internet and never ever use your credit card.
    Anonymity on the internet is not cowardice, it is prudence.

  106. aravis1

    Just on the subject of ALP membership: I never attend branch meetings, do all my work online. I did once in WA years ago and swore not to again. It is not mandatory at all.

  107. Steve Laing -

    Harquebus – I’ve had a considerable background in the IT industry too. And I know exactly what you mean about prudence – but I think if one is going to put forward ideas (rather than simply to comment on others), you have to put your name to them.

    But I do respect your right to anonymity (given you clearly aren’t simply trolling behind a temporary account like so many on a number of “progressive-leaning” forums), particularly given how this government appears to stamp on any civil servant to publish opinions that might contradict their own!

  108. Harquebus

    Steve Laing
    I disagree. There is no need for anyone to have to involuntarily claim possession for ideas, good or bad. It leaves one vulnerable to retribution as in the example you provided.
    I would hope that the contributors here are using aliases but, except for a few, I doubt it.

  109. Woody

    Steve Laing I’m not sure then what this quote from Di Natale meant to say ” “Go home you greasy wog!”. Those words, yelled at me in anger by classmates who didn’t know any better, still sting. This didn’t happen often, and not nearly as often as my parents’ generation experienced, but for me it was a taste of what racism is and does. Racism is hateful and it damages people.”

    As I expected I copped a lot of abuse from some here, and in that lays some of the main problems with the Greens , One cannot have an opposing opinion on anything (I won’t go into the meaning of “Bigot”)
    Even Trish’s article goes to the question

    “Did the Greens just divide the Nation? Yes, they did.

    The Greens symbolically asked every Australian to divide and either stand with “Hanson’s Australians” or with all Australians.”

    A distinct lack of choices there, The Greens do not represent “All Australians” and those who do not support The Greens are not necessarily Hanson supporters.

    And comments from idiots like Jennifer who says “Go back to your cave” is a good example of bigotry and the problem I speak of.

  110. Trish Corry

    Hi Woody
    The point of the article is in the words “Symbolically” you have quoted above.

    Your comment: A distinct lack of choices there, The Greens do not represent “All Australians” and those who do not support The Greens are not necessarily Hanson supporters

    I am not a Greens supporter, but a member of Labor and I stand on the side of “All Australians”. George Christensen is a LNP Member and he stands on the side of “Hanson’s Australia” – Australians as determined by Hanson’s criteria as to what an Australian is.

    This is not about party allegiance. It is about the Australia you want to live in.

  111. Woody

    Thanks Trish
    A nice commonsense answer, Sadly everyone in the political circle seems to be radical in their views.
    I agree with some of the Labor ideology but sometimes with the Greens and also with Hanson and rarely with the LNP.
    I think the Greens have a problem as shown here that if one disagrees with any of their ideology the mad lefties in the party feel a need to
    to insult and abuse the person concerned. Definitely not the way to gain support , Although admittedly it is usually just some keyboard warrior.
    I watched an interesting show today where in Tasmania where the Greens party started they no longer even have the membership to be recognised as a Political Party.
    I think that speaks for itself.

  112. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    I note that you now have incorporated some moderation in your language. The article is generally attempting to discuss the Hanson phenomenon and how best to deal with her call to arms to people who consider themselves disenfranchised.

    Whilst I acknowledge the concerns of disenfranchised voters, I support any political force that aims to breach the gaps that cause that sense of vulnerability. So for your information, I don’t despise those that desperately seek respite from Hanson’s narrow vision of how to find solutions.

    Therefore, I advocate repeatedly for alliances to be made between political forces and parties, so that solutions will be found. That means building bridges between the Greens, Labor, Progressives and Independents in the first instance and others where applicable.

    Your entry into the discussion was adversarial and the opposite to what I have been repeatedly advocating. Your further insult simply reinforces my point of view.

  113. diannaart

    Well, said Jennifer

    The traditional binary of left and right, politically speaking, is far too simplistic.

    Of course, nuance makes a lot of work for any of us, I can understand why a simple black and white picture of everything is appealing, but not useful, helpful or in any way progressive.

    No doubt there are people who find some of Hanson’s’ ideas acceptable and are also compatible with environmental issues.

    Which is what makes this world so interesting.

  114. Harquebus

    Politicians voting according to the will of their constituents instead of party allegiances would do it.

  115. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Yes H in a nutshell,

    but how to get there is thy question?!

  116. Woody

    @ Harquebus

    Absolutely agree with you but sadly it will never work that way, I worked in a big way with some Labor people including Conroy and Marles and others ! The reality is they were concerned about where they were heading above all else.

    Although I will say that Richard would be the best of the bunch

  117. Harquebus

    What about a pyramid scheme? Everyone convinces two people to abandon all the parties and ask the converted to do the same. I am pretty sure that I can do at least one. There’s Getup maybe or email. For those who use facebook etc, it should be easier.

  118. Steve Laing -

    I’m personally not sure about politicians doing the will of their constituents, largely because 1) it would be highly difficult to organise, and 2) it is unlikely that the constituents will have enough details to be able to make good decisions on all the policies. The value of a representative democracy is ideally you select a representative that largely represents the will of the local people, or at least shares common values.

    The problem with the current system is that we don’t know enough about the candidates, and the shortlist is largely dictated by people whom we have little information about. So it’s no surprise that parliament is full of vested interests, sycophants, head nodders and palm greasers – because those are the qualities required to get a nomination.

    But I’m all for abandoning all the parties! I wonder if Getup would be interested…

  119. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    H’s idea of turning the current system on its head is a good start.

    It must end up being a multi-representative governing body where priorities, policies and procedures are soundly debated, negotiated and agreed.

    It must also allow for significant representation from an assortment of political entities and then it is up to them how they organise themselves

  120. Steve Laing

    Yep. I’m for that. It’s what my site proposes.

  121. trishcorry

    We have got a multi-representative body Governing body currently in the senate. At least over the next few years we can see how effective that is and you maybe can then present some solid arguments as to why this should be replicated this in the lower house; because I still haven’t seen one good reason yet from anyone advocating this ‘destroying of the current system.’

    I mean, this trendy multi-representative body Governing in the senate that has occurred (by weakening the system with the reforms and DD,) already has had one party walk out in disgust………… Now that is democratic progress!

    I can imagine the ‘sound debating’ that is going to occur in the current senate.

    Imagine if the lower house voting was weakened the same and we had blocs of right wing nutters in the lower house and they actually had real balance of power. Would you still champion the same reforms then? Would you still say this is ‘democracy?’ Do you believe the current senate represents true democracy?

  122. Kaye Lee

    With the current system, there is no effective debate in the lower house because the winner takes all. The Coalition dictates completely.

  123. Trish Corry

    Yes, that is correct. In the lower house, the major party who forms government has the majority say. That is not the question here. The question is, is a similar representation as we have in the senate a better system than a majority platform and why? There is also another question. That question is, in the lower house, we would need to have a PM. In the system that is advocated above of a ‘multi-representative governing body’ where the PM’s party does not have a majority say; what are the perceived risks with this model? Is there a potential that blocs of parties considered dangerous to society, may hold the Govt to ransom to push their damaging policies through?

    Is the current senate make up seen by those advocating this model as a similar replica in the lower house, see the current senate as a model senate we should aspire to? If so, why? If not, why not?

  124. Kaye Lee

    I think the question is how can we change our very archaic system of government to improve decision making and reduce the self-serving corrupt behaviour.

    We don’t have to have a PM. In Switzerland they have a multi-party executive who take turns at being the representative for a year.

    Having a multi-party executive means legislation is better negotiated in the first place giving it more chance of success. No-one blocks things for political reasons because no one party runs the government.

    We will have a radical change some time in the not too far distant future (surely the Queen can’t last much longer) so some blue sky thinking about what that change could look like makes for interesting discussion.

  125. cornlegend

    Under the current system,with 150 electorates there is technically no reason why we couldn’t have a “multi-representative governing body”
    Parties come about when they form around common policies and goals to achieve what they believe is the common good .
    Even with the illusion of a “multi-representative governing body” there would be lobbying and coming together of groups with similar aims and objectives. {quasi parties}
    Usually, this argument comes about by supporters of minor parties who just don’t have the ability or platforms to convince a significant part of the population to support them {and are continually trying to grow their parties to be bigger, stronger and with more clout}
    If you put 150 people, elected to a “multi-representative governing body” together in Canberra, the first bloody thing they would do would do would be to start gather similar thinkers together to form voting blocs

  126. Trish Corry

    Kaye, I think your presentation of the Swiss System is very plain, considering what a complex system it actually is. The Swiss have a system of direct democracy, where the public can submit petitions challenging Govt decisions in a nutshell. This might be fine in a country with a much smaller population, a country that is much smaller geographically and does not have the disparity that we have between rural, regional and metro areas, nor the multicultural make up. These things considered, in a country where progress for minorities can be stifled by the majority, do you see that it is a possibility that progressive reform could be squashed by the loudest conservative voices, who may have more money to mobilise said petitions? I think to look at such a system as ‘all nice’ without any criticism does not do arguing for changes to our system any justice.

    My biggest concern is in a system that is not compulsory voting and where the top end can really influence decision with money for the ‘democratic vote’ then this is indeed a concern.

    My concern is always for the disenfranchised and the minorities, especially the poor.

    Is this a question that we have never had progressive reform despite this being against popular opinion *cough* Whitlam, *cough* Keating………

  127. Trish Corry

    Corny;, I have raised the same thing, but called them ‘pseudo-parties’ This is my biggest point. I get annoyed at the ‘Independent’ diatribe, when every single Independent that has put themselves forward in my electorate, is either a raving loony or a right wing raving loony. The way people draw some type of ‘progressive’ with ‘independent’ does my head in. It is not realistic. It is not what happens.

  128. Kaye Lee


    I have written before at length about the Swiss system. I did not consider the comments section the place for a lengthy explanation which people can look up if they are interested. People’s referenda are one small part of the system – just one option available that is not used as often as you would think BECAUSE the parties negotiate first knowing that anything crazy can be challenged.

    “in a country where progress for minorities can be stifled by the majority, do you see that it is a possibility that progressive reform could be squashed by the loudest conservative voices, who may have more money”

    Seems to me that is exactly the system we now have. Marriage equality anyone?

    I think the Independents Wilkie, Windsor and Oakeshott did a very good job.

  129. cornlegend

    The thought of 150 “Independents’ gathering in Canberra to run the country brought a smile to my face.
    It reminded me of a little ditty my dear old dad used to say to me when I was a kid
    In my wild imagination I would see this as similar to the “gathering”


    The dogs held a convention, they came from near and far.
    And some dogs came by taxi, and some by motorcar.
    And at the registration, they all signed in the book.
    And each dog hung his arsehole upon a separate hook.

    One dog was not invited, and this aroused his ire.
    He ran into the meeting, and there he shouted “fire!”
    And in the mass confusion, the dogs forgot to look,
    And each dog grabbed an arsehole, from of the nearest hook.

    The dogs ran from the meeting, they scattered far and wide,
    And which dog had which arsehole, they never could decide.
    And now whenever dogs meet, on land or sea or foam,
    Each sniffs the other’s arsehole, in hopes that it’s his own.

  130. Kaye Lee

    Interestingly, the Christian Democrats in Switzerland introduced a “popular initiative” that was voted on in February that would have added the definition of marriage being “the union of a man and a woman”. It was defeated.

  131. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    The current system is divided by parties with individuals who serve their party first, their backers second, and if we’re lucky, maybe the Australian people, a poor third (but by that time they’re so worn out, they have no puff left!)

    Hence, the need to take the power away from the parties and put the emphasis on the political structures and procedures that support diverse political representation, debate and policy formation.

  132. cornlegend

    I’ll say it again 😀
    “If you put 150 people, elected to a “multi-representative governing body” together in Canberra, the first bloody thing they would do would do would be to start gather similar thinkers together to form voting blocs”
    Jennifer, what is your party doing?
    trying to increase numbers and adapting policies to be voter friendly {trying to grow}

  133. Kaye Lee

    Under our current system, if there is a majority government in the HoR, the other members may as well go home and try again in three years. They serve no real purpose other than holding press conferences and trying to deliver a one-liner in QT that will make the nightly news. I suppose you could argue they hold the government to account but only in the media.

  134. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    The first thing would be the negotiation process which is complex based on policy stances and political values. The voting blocs would change according to the issues being considered and therefore would never be boringly predictable.

    Very true, Kaye too.

  135. Kaye Lee


    There is no problem with forming voting blocs. The problem comes when only one party makes the decisions as happens now. Also, parties dictate that members must agree on EVERY issue.

  136. cornlegend

    “There is no problem with forming voting blocs”
    Voting blocs then morph into “parties” once they see the significant ability in numbers.
    Even Labor started that way prior to going Federal
    Do you not think Greens or Hansonites or NXTs would try to expand their significance by enticing others to get in their tent, formally or informally?

  137. Kaye Lee

    Only if we stick with the winner takes all system. If we had a multi-party executive there would be no need.

    The quality of candidates dished up by the party system is deplorable. Party hacks and sycophants are rewarded with a job for life if they toe the party line on all matters.

    Speaking of which, George Brandis is on the move as we speak. Notice how he supported Kevin Rudd’s UN bid? Notice how he is lauding Turnbull as one of the greatest conservative PMs? He wants Downer’s job as High Commissioner to London.

  138. randalstella

    How long is this fantasyland going to last?
    As of 91% count of HoR votes 2016:
    Liberal Party: just under 3.9 m. votes: 45 seats
    Labor: just over 4.7 m. votes: 69 seats
    Greens: just under 1.4 m. votes: 1 seat

    Where is proper representation with such a system?
    What is the duopoly bragging rights about? It is about a lie.

    ‘The first thing’ is the voting system. Change that, change the whole structure of debate and policy-making.
    It would even change the woeful Media.
    Would the major beneficiaries want that? Of course not.
    Now, that is something worth a plebiscite. But it will not happen.

  139. Kaye Lee

    The Greens with 10.2% of the first preference vote got 1 seat in the HoR. The Nationals got 16 seats (six of them LNPers) with about 7.8% of the first preference vote.

  140. Trish Corry

    Thank you Randalstella for bringing up that we would indeed need to change the voting system to change the representation. I wonder if that argument would get shut down this time? Or if anyone can articulate how we get to this new ‘model’ without changing the voting system? I wonder if anyone can actually speak to the pros and cons of a system as to how it would work within Australia, rather than just dumping one system from another country as our own? I think so far we have had Norway and now Switzerland as ideal models. Would other country’s models always work fairly as duplicates in our own? Political systems compare and contrast literature does not suggest so.

    What a good conversation that would be, as opposed to to the “greens should have more power” clandestine arguments disguised as ‘destroying the two party system arguments’ we constantly get here.

    I expect in a hypothetical world if the Greens had majority in a two party preferred system and there was a Greens PM and they were part of a ‘duopoly’, we wouldn’t even be having these conversations to the extent that we are.

    I say this because there just is not enough commitment and substance within the arguments about this issue as a whole, just piecemeal arguments, whilst dissing the parties that commenters here love to hate.

    Until the voting and representation can be addressed, and making sure that is fair to start with, discussions about policy, power and democracy are pointless.

    If people were serious about this, their main arguments would have been about the voting system of representation, as I have pointed out before, not just about how crap the major parties are.

  141. Kaye Lee

    Geeze Trish,

    Can you explain to me why we should stick with a British system developed in the middle ages?

    I don’t know how many times people have said we need new system. I know I have at least a hundred. I have never suggested we copy someone else’s system but surely it is worth getting ideas to modify for our country. I wrote an article for the AIMN with a suggested whole new system as I have linked to before. I also linked to Ted Mack’s suggestions.

    “If people were serious about this, their main arguments would have been about the voting system of representation”

    If people were serious about this they might see some merit in change from a system that pledges allegiance to the Queen of Australia.

    I think most people would like to see more proportional representation

  142. cornlegend

    Kaye Lee
    The Nats are smart, targetting winnable seats , {about 30 from memory} and use their resources wisely {I assume}

    The Greens go scattergun in all 150 seats .”opportunity candidates” and all
    Maybe the Greens could learn a trick or two from the Nats
    All up the Westminster system has worked ok, what would you replace it with ?
    All the while we have a Queen of Australia, it is a bit difficult not to,
    Go the Republic!!

    “I expect in a hypothetical world if the Greens had majority in a two party preferred system and there was a Greens PM and they were part of a ‘duopoly’, we wouldn’t even be having these conversations to the extent that we are.”


  143. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Obviously, the voting system needs an overhaul. Nobody said it didn’t but it shouldn’t just be about bean-counting.

    Possibly starting at the formation of the multi-party Executive Government, is the way to design the new system.

    Knowing what key elements we want and we need in that diverse representative body would help decide how the voting system could be designed to bring about those results and to avoid the pitfalls of gerrymandering, which has inequitably helped the nitwit Nats.

  144. cornlegend

    “What is the duopoly bragging rights about? It is about a lie.”
    No lie,
    Under the current system of Government that we have, with 150 Electorates they do exactly what is necessary to win, i.e win Electorates

  145. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    What are you worried about? Is it that if we had a multi-party Executive Government, Labor would lose its dominant traction? Surely not! You wouldn’t want to hogtie the promise of rejuvenation of Australian democratic socialism to a tired old model simply to protect your own party’s vested interests, would you?

  146. Kaye Lee

    If we had a 36 person executive government, based on first preferences from last election, it would consist of 12-13 Labor, 10 Liberal, 4 Greens, 3 LNP. 2 Nats, 1 Christian parties, 1 Xenophon and 2-3 others.

    Seems like a good representation of voters to me.

  147. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Ditto, Kaye. A sensible distribution at first glance. No absolute dominators. More necessity placed on policies and negotiations.

  148. randalstella

    Thanks for the thanks,
    It looks as if your ‘hypothetical world’ is a deterrent to the discussion you profess to support.

    There is no ‘clandestine argument’. The Greens should have about 15 seats in a 150 seat HoR.
    And then the debates would change because there would be about 15x as many representatives of the 1.4m. Greens voters and Greens policies – as should be their right.
    The Greens get a bit under 1/3 of the Labor vote, with relatively miniscule resources and against a hostile Media and duopoly.

    Something has to change big time. It’s not going to come from the big Party barrackers. That’s very obvious.
    The blatant calls the fair ‘clandestine’.
    I use the Greens as an example, the best example as they are really an independent Party. Unlike the so-called Nationals and their offshoots.
    I use the Greens as an example, as a longtime Labor supporter. This last sentence I would not have to write, if the climate of discussion were less partisan. I resent having to write it now.

  149. trishcorry

    Oh. I see. So you are advocating for a system that is least likely to keep the most dangerous politicians out? That is what our current voting system stops because you can rank your vote.

    1. I really want this one 2. If mine doesn’t get in this person will do. 3. Well I guess so they are better than the others 4. Not really 5. Hell No!

    Gerrymandering can influence first past the post much more than a ranked system like we have.

    Considering people yelling failure at the UK First past the post system. Why would we want that here?

    I also do not believe your example is how the Swiss executive council works Kaye.

  150. Trish Corry

    “It looks as if your ‘hypothetical world’ is a deterrent to the discussion you profess to support.”

    No. Merely my own observation and my own opinion based on the people involved constantly in pushing this forward. I do have a right to express an opinion, just like everyone else here. Even if most people disagree with me.

    I believe Stephen Laing is only one person who comments here, who is truly dedicated to this cause without it being driven by the Greens having more power in any way, shape or form.

  151. Kaye Lee

    We seem to argue because we have different goals. For one side, the goal is to win power. For the other side, the goal is for the composition of the decision makers to better reflect the voters. One side plays to the umpire and uses/abuses the rules as they can (Richie McCaw comes to mind). The other side wants to stop the game.

  152. Kaye Lee

    “I also do not believe your example is how the Swiss executive council works Kaye.”

    |It had nothing to do with Switzerland Trish.

    You also are perhaps misunderstanding the executive council thing – what you would call government. Each electorate can still have their elected representative elected the same way – the question is who then makes the decisions and a multi-party executive representative of first preference votes means ALL voters are represented in the decision making instead of just one side.

  153. randalstella

    I don’t have the time to linger here – especially when the Labor hacks are about playing footy barracker logic. With them it is never a discussion, just a slanging match. Says something about the Party? I only hope the Party is a bit better, but I have my doubts, from other evidence. The basic ploy seems false accusation.
    By the way, the Greens were attacked for supporting reforms to the Senate voting that they knew would make their re-election more difficult – whereas the Labor Party behaved like sledging schoolkids to protect backroom deals where voters did not know where their votes would end up. When Xenophon can seem straight and true against the honourable Dastyari, Labor have systemic problems with credibility.
    Labor’s big problem is that they are morally equated with the Libs. When they go on like that, they only confirm that opinion.

  154. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well said, randalstella. But will Labor listen?

  155. Trish Corry

    Oh because I’m a Labor person and I’m not in the “Greens loving in-group’ on this site, It’s a slanging match and I’m just a hack…. How easy your life must be where everyone just agrees with you.

    “By the way, the Greens were attacked for supporting reforms to the Senate voting”
    And so they should have been? Have you seen the result?

    Wow must have hit a nerve about secret arguments for Greens power posing as arguments to destroy the current system, if you even had to chuck Dastyari in! Now who sounds like the Libs……. What’s next….corrupt unions?

  156. randalstella

    Trish Corry,
    You are a waste of my time.
    The Senate voting system was crooked.
    You kick people in the shins and claim it as argument.
    Your allegations are complete bullshit, like so much of your feral partisanship.

  157. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-SmithSeptember 19, 2016 at 10:45 am

    What are you worried about?

    I’m not,
    I’m not trying to change the goal posts to suit my Party as you are.
    The rules are there, the umpire {voters} have decided, your lot failed.
    My lot need to do better,
    My lot there is hope, your lot, no hope.
    And if anyone here can convince me that a couple of Greens holed up in Melbourne can represent the voters and Electorate of, say, Lingiari from afar, good luck

  158. Trish Corry


  159. Elle

    Nice Discussion

    I’m struggling with the push back against parties and left leaning independents coming together and forming a voting bloc. I mean they do that already (mainly in the Senate) and even in the HoR, we saw this in their first week.

    There is a right wing bloc in the HoR. Without them the Liberal Party would never be able to form government (or a strong opposition party).

    The Coalition make up

    Liberal Party
    Liberal National Party
    The Nationals
    Country Liberals

    They also rely on Bob Katter, Cathy McGowan, Andrew Wilkie, Xenophon House Rep.

    It would have been interesting if more (so called progressive and left leaning) Labor and Independent Senators left the room during Hanson’s hate speech. Imagine it? What a powerful message that would have been. But alas not to be.

  160. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    you are blinkered and your vision can only see what will help Labor. The discussion should be on the bigger issues like this article purported to be about and that is standing up against repression and oppression for the benefit of the Australian people and values.

    The current system represses equitable representative government. You don’t have to be Einstein to see that.

  161. Harquebus

    It would take an election or two to evaluate elected independents. I really do not think that the global economy will survive that long.

    The “current system” is currently destroying everything. That’s a good enough reason to abandon it.

    I see that ideology might claim another leader. Collin Barnett. They will all fail.
    Physics trumps economic and political ideology every time.

    “Reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.” — Richard Feynman

  162. Elle

    Senate Voting Reform and the DD are two different things.

    I can’t tell you how many times people who usually vote 1 above the line and not really into “politics” came to me to discuss the table cloth vote. They actually seemed interested enough to find out who all the other parties were and what they stood for and it went from there.

    For many, I think they felt they were a bit more involved with the process and in an odd way empowered and started to imagine what Parliament might look like in the future with a bit more of a diverse group in the red room.

  163. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    I know I’m never going to change the AIMN Green collective,just as you have got buckleys of selling me your COAlition, but at leat you finally came “out” as a Green
    but never mind, I’m off on holidays,
    squabble amongst yourselves 😀 and hope Malcolm doesn’t sell the family silver and there is something left to fight climate, overpopulation a stuffed economy an army of underemployed/unemployed and those that need a hand .
    Things aren’t looking too rosey Jen,

  164. Elle

    Just imagine what HoR would have been like if we had a strong left leaning opposition (bloc), especially with the Budget Repair Bill last week.

    New Household recipients of Family Tax Benefit Part A and Part B, new recipients of Senior Health Card and Newstart received cuts.

    What a way to increase the disenfranchised voter(s) even more so over to the loonie right in the future. We see the outcome of this, when the LEFT fail the people in the UK and especially in the USA with the rise of the right and with the masses rejecting left leaning (establishment) parties.

  165. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear Elle.

    What is a COAlition, cornlegend? Don’t you mean ALLiance?

  166. cornlegend

    “Just imagine what HoR would have been like if we had a strong left leaning opposition (bloc), especially with the Budget Repair Bill last week.”
    what did you expect of them, {ALP} with 69

    The LNP has a decent set of numbers, plus
    You already pointed out
    ElleSeptember 19, 2016 at 12:02 pm
    “Rely on Bob Katter, Cathy McGowan, Andrew Wilkie, Xenophon House Rep.”

  167. Harquebus

    “gather similar thinkers together to form voting blocs”
    This is the process of parliament. The difference with non partisan representatives is that, they are able switch blocks at will. An unconstrained vote. Provided that, it is what the majority of their constituents want, all is good.
    The bottom line is, representatives are their to represent their constituents and the majority of them don’t.

  168. cornlegend

    On Hansons hate speech, while agreeing with the Greens tactic, that is exactly what it was, not some disgust at hearing what she said, because they didn’t listen .
    This walkout was pre-arranged, pre-organised and designed to get support for their cause.

    When you are on 10% anything helps.
    It could have backfired.
    All Hanson needed to do was change course when they walked out and sing the Greens praises, and they would have looked like feather dusters.
    Di Natale was organised well ahead
    “A whiteboard in his parliamentary office shows the walk out was a carefully considered move, with a table listing “tactic: walk out; message: no to racism; audience: journos, everyone; channel: Senate”.

    A further line lists “announcements” explaining “why & what” as a further tactic, and Twitter, email and Facebook as the communication channels.”

    a political tactic, no more no less

  169. Elle

    Is the ALP relying on the “Ordinary Australian” not paying attention to detail?

    I have already listed what got through last week with the Budget Repair Bill.

    So come the next election or leading up to the election, when Labor starts off their talking points – how they’re for the workers and families and understand their economic concerns etc… Are they relying on the “ordinary Australian” not to remember or not know that Labor agreed to the school bonus cut? Sure most “ordinary Australians” may not have ‘felt that sting’ this year (last payment was in July). But “ordinary Australian households” will definitely be feeling the never ending sting by the end of 2017 (income insecurity, job security, cost of living rising, welfare payments cut).

  170. Elle


    Yep. Exactly The liberals have a coalition. Without that they would never be able to form government or an effective opposition.

    My point was….. What it would be LIKE (future) if the left did the same

  171. Elle

    lol Corn, you pretend like nothing is organised (or pre-arranged) by other parties in Canberra.

    Politics is a game, tactics and strategies. (short term and long term) You of all people know that.

  172. Harquebus

    Perhaps we should conscript our politicians. Instead of holding elections, we could hold lotteries. Of course, certain requirements and criteria would have to apply.

  173. diannaart

    What Jennifer said, September 19, 2016 at 10:45 am

    To the supports of the status quo,

    You wouldn’t want to hogtie the promise of rejuvenation of Australian democratic socialism to a tired old model simply to protect your own party’s vested interests, would you?

    Trish and Cornie please elaborate on why the present state of the HoR is preferable over a multi-party system.

    Beginning with why the LNP currently in power is better than questing for a more democratic method of governance – that Labor might or might not replace the bastards in 3 or more years is not good enough.

  174. cornlegend

    “you pretend like nothing is organised ”
    NO, the exact opposite, I say almost EVERYTHING is organised, judt get tired of people trying to turn it in to a sudden born again revelation
    but things do wake me from my slumber sometimes .

    Essential Research, 13 September 2016:

    23% {up 5%} of Greens voters approve of Malcolm Turnbulls performance

  175. cornlegend

    “Beginning with why the LNP currently in power is better than questing for a more democratic method of governance”
    The LNP are in power because THEY WON .
    They were expected to win, and they did.
    “Labor might or might not replace the bastards in 3 or more years is not good enough.”
    Given a decent Murdoch/MSM campaign Labor are only 50/50 and the LNP will probably get another run.
    Not much we can do about it while we live in a democracy and the people choose who they want
    Unfortunately, they chose LNP, and we need to live with it {outside armed revolution?}
    DO you HONESTLY think there is a smidgen of a chance of some other outcome?

    “why the present state of the HoR is preferable over a multi-party system.”
    It will never change in my lifetime or going on the votes garnered by the micros, any generation soon .

  176. Elle

    62% (down 5%) of Labor voters approve of the job Bill Shorten is doing and 19% (up 4%) disapprove.

  177. Elle

    Do you approve or disapprove of the job Malcolm Turnbull is doing as Prime Minister?

    Disapprove: 31%
    Strongly Disapprove: 20%

  178. Elle

    The questions were asked BEFORE the first sitting week back finished.

    If a Federal Election was held today to which party will you probably give your first preference vote? Last week 06/09/2016.

    It will be interesting to see what Labor Voters thought of Shorten and ALP after the first week back, whether their own polling significantly changes upwards or not.

    Lets hope most of them don’t read The Guardian where they explained in detail the cuts to most households.

  179. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    It’s never too late, cornlegend to admit you got it wrong by not encouraging the ALLiance before the election. The LNP one seat majority would only have been but a figment of their imagination, as they cringed on the Opposition benches after humiliating defeat.

    While Labor might be happy to be taking it easy on the Opposition benches now instead, don’t forget that all anti-LNP constituents hate having the LNP in power.

    Any perceived complacency from Labor will be severely punished. (Same goes for dirty deal making with the LNP, as Elle points out. Labor’s constituents won’t appreciate those cuts.)

  180. Elle

    Will be interesting to see what the ALP will do with the TPP



    Customs Amendment (Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation) Bill *

    Customs Tariff Amendment (Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation) Bill *

    – amend the Customs Act 1901 and the Customs Tariff Act 1995 to implement the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

    Reason for legislation: to enable the implementation of the TPP

  181. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    I’m off on holidays, see if you can sort it out while I’m gone 😀 and have an Alliance of more than 1 {JMS}
    I don’t want to hang around while Malcolms at the rudder, maybe I will come back to Scomo in charge or even Tony rising again

  182. Trish Corry


    “Trish and Cornie please elaborate on why the present state of the HoR is preferable over a multi-party system.”

    Kaye asked me a similar thing before. I’m a bit confused as to why I need to defend the current system from a change, when no one can clearly articulate what that change is supposed to be.

    However, I will outline what we have been presented with thus far (feel free to add more).

    We have had two attempts across different posts of replicating Norway and now Switzerland
    A mention of changing to a first past the post voting system (which I would vehemently disagree with)
    And Stephen Laing wants everyone to have resumes

    My response:

    Is the current system better than that? Yes. It is. It currently has a ranked voting system, which is designed to keep the people you want least out (democratically speaking)

    Do I agree with all the current boundaries in how the seats are managed – no possibly not. Especially in QLD. I can’t speak for other states. But I would argue for different boundaries, but then again, my opinion may be biased against the favouring of the Nats that happens here. I’m sure the Nats won’t argue….

    Do I agree with a direct democratic system – No. Three reasons. Whitlam, Keating achieved much progress we take for granted – through sheer leadership. These reforms would have been rejected by the people with a referendum style democratic system such as the Swiss have at the time. and 3. the theory of bounded rationality (Keating’s televised radio interview on Mabo is a good example).

    Do I agree with a system of independents? – No. The main reason – I believe in solidarity as the best means to achieve progress. Not win-win compromise situations, which a system others advocate for would put us in for every single policy, then have the ‘people’ Hanson voters included shout it down. What should the left give up to appease the right in this system you speak of?

    If Labor is not convincing the people of their direction is better than the LNP – they still have more work to do. The Liberals were elected based on the democratic representation we have with a ranked voting system. This does not mean the current system should be destroyed. It means Labor needs to win more seats to form Govt. If the Greens were serious as a left party, they would put a lot more energy into winning LNP held seats than just Labor’s.

    As for the voting blocs of the left. I do not define the Greens as a left party. I define them as a protest party. That is my prerogative opinion, as I know it will be disagreed with here.

    I am no longer defining myself as a leftist, but a Laborist, to eliminate any confusion. My key priorities are for the worker and those who are out of work or unable to work, always have been. Always will be.

    I do not believe that Labor needs to join with anyone to be a better party. I believe they are the best party. You only need to look at the Greens policies to see the non-original thought put into them. Everything they have in IR in particular is built from Labor’s achievements.

  183. cornlegend

    Bills doing alright, he’s safe 😀

  184. Elle

    Liberal (paid) members are NOT amused by the Medicare changes either.

    Had an interesting conversation with a life long liberal member (self-funded retiree) mighty pissed off with their own party, especially with the Medicare changes hitting their back pocket, or rather their credit card.

    Will they vote for [1] ALP next election? No.

    I can see them voting for Xenophon Party ahead of ALP.

  185. Elle


    I am aware of Labor’s Long Term Strategy (as most people here are). Not news. lol

    Will be interesting to watch Labor (new) economic rationalism talking points as it gets closer to the election.

    The Ordinary Australian as we all know will be doing it tough come 2017 onwards and with that in mind, the ordinary voter has little choice but to kick the current mob out with this two party system and vote for the lesser of the two evils.

    Do you see Labor campaigning for an increase to Welfare Payments at the next election they helped cut this month? lol

    I wonder if Labor will rethink their increase to pension payments this time around? It wasn’t something they considered at all this campaign.

    Do you see Labor campaigning for UBI, reforming Tertiary and Vocational Training away from economic rationalism at the next election? lol

    What will they offer to families with school-aged children, now that they helped eliminate the school bonus payments? While at the same time underemployment trends continue and with family benefit payments “restructured”… hmmm ?

    Labor’s long term strategy it seems is hoping that most people wont realise THEY were part of the Austerity cuts during the Abbott/Turnbull Government 2013 -2016 (we still have a couple more budgets to go, my god – in the art of compromising and governing).

    They will of course campaign (again) to protect workers, families and medicare (even though it’s been compromised already!) and murmur something about inequality and the rich (laughable really).

  186. Kaye Lee

    “It will never change in my lifetime or going on the votes garnered by the micros, any generation soon .”

    I strongly disagree with that statement. I believe there will be a very strong push for change when the queen dies.

    “replicating Norway and now Switzerland”

    Gee I thought I said we should get ideas and develop a system that suits us.

    “A mention of changing to a first past the post voting system”

    I am not sure if that was in reference to my executive council but if so that is not what I am proposing at all as you would have seen from what I wrote.

    “These reforms would have been rejected by the people with a referendum style democratic system such as the Swiss have at the time”

    They don’t hold referenda on every piece of legislation. – only when sufficient people object.

    All federal laws are subject to a three to four step process:
    1) A first draft is prepared by experts in the federal administration.
    2) This draft is presented to a large number of people in a formalized kind of opinion poll: Cantonal governments, political parties as well as many non-governmental organisations and associations of the civil society may comment on the draft and propose changes.
    3) The result is presented to dedicated parliamentary commissions of both chambers of the federal parliament, discussed in detail behind closed doors and finally debated in public sessions of both chambers of parliament. Members of parliament do take into account the results of step 2, because if the fail to do so, step 4 will be inevitable.
    4) The electorate has a veto-right on laws: If anybody is able to find 50,000 citizens signing a form demanding for a referendum within 3 months, a referendum must be held. Laws do only need to find a majority of the national electorate to pass a referendum, not a majority of cantons.

    Shouldn’t we be trying to think of ideas for when the republic (or whatever we want to call it) comes?

  187. diannaart


    I appreciate you taking time to reply, although I believe (to quote from the seminal work “Cool Hand Luke) “what we’ve got here is a failure to communicate”.

    I need a little time to think about what you have been writing in reply to the questions Jennifer, I and others have been asking. I am not being sarcastic. I just don’t get why you don’t see that Australia and similar nations (like Britain) have reached a point where the traditional political systems aren’t working like they used to.

    Let’s try and keep the lines open, shall we? This includes you too, Cornie, enough of the sarcasm, more of the serious discussion – we really do have a problem with the Westminster form of parliament, this is why people are voting for anything other than the 2 parties – it explains the Hanson phenomena, Brexit, Trump and the swing to the right in Europe.

  188. diannaart

    Kaye Lee: “Shouldn’t we be trying to think of ideas for when the republic (or whatever we want to call it) comes?”

    Yes, especially Labor, if it wants to be a viable part of changes that are happening right now.

  189. Steve Laing -

    I am bemused that people only believe that blocs of representatives can make things work, and that any kind of independents would be chaotic. As I’ve challenged before, show me any other organisation that manages itself in the way that our parliament does, if its so bloody good.

    You can’t just change one facet and expect it will work. I expect that new representatives all come in, ready to change things, but very quickly are embroiled in the culture. Even those of the press gallery know the rules of the game, and are astonished when, for example, senators can’t undertake a filibuster at a moments notice, even though said filibuster just reveals how badly organised the system is. We need to change the rules.

    So if you want a system where the representatives are allowed to actually think and decide for themselves then
    1) you need to work out what the skills and attitudes of the people you would like to be representatives
    2) you need to find a better way for the electorate to better decide whom they would like to represent them, having a better idea of how they will react than we currently do. So yes Trish, we need to know who these people are, and not just whomever the party has decided. Loyalty needs to be primarily the people, not the party, and party politics simply doesn’t give you that and to argue it does is completley absurd.

    The last thing we need are people like Pauline Hanson, not because her views are absurd being based on emotions and not facts, but because she has no ability to problem solve, only to create big problems out of small problems. But we do need people like Cathy McGowan, Rob Oakshott, Tony Windsor and Andrew Wilkie, and even Ricky Muir, because they actually appear to have the ability to synthesise a position on each and every different policy based on understanding the background and the consequence. I honestly believe that a group containing those individuals would come up with a more robust solution to a problem, acceptable to a wider range of the electorate, than a group from either of the major parties. Unfortunately the current system does not allow their perspective as participants, only as reviewers, hence we have this nonsensical situation where the parties throw half-baked ideas into the ring, or else denigrate perfectly good ones simply because they are from “the other side”. But that’s the system that “partyists” seem happy to accept!

    And then they wonder why people are losing faith with the major parties, and the broken system that they support.

  190. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well said, Steve.

  191. Steve Laing -

    Thanks Jennifer.

    Labor doesn’t seem to want change. They seem happy playing bridesmaid, as long as occasionally they are allowed to be the bride. As you say Elle – they are happy being economic rationalists. Their slogan for the next election should be “well we’re not as bad as the Coalition”.

    Announcing they’d saved Arena whilst allowing cuts of half a billion when the climate is going down the toilet and we desperately need projects that will replace fossil fuels reveals that their positions on climate change are more based on political opportunism than on any genuine commitment.

  192. Trish Corry

    “I am bemused that people only believe that blocs of representatives can make things work, and that any kind of independents would be chaotic”

    I think for me, it started in 1891 with a Shearer’s strike for better conditions for the worker…..

    All my life; everything I have seen Labor or Unions achieve is through solidarity. By standing together shoulder to shoulder. I have the utmost respect for those before me, who were jailed, killed, injured and whose families suffered and even went without food.

    The suffragettes also achieved what they achieved through solidarity. The movements after them achieved through solidarity as well. Without that solidarity, my life as a woman today would be very different.

    Would the environmental activism of the Greens and Greenpeace have any effect if it was just done by individuals or through solidarity?

    People can put as many arguments forward as they want about Independents; but I will never, ever, ever agree that anything is better than solidarity to fight the ugliness and unfairness and those who bring it. I’d rather have an established system of solidarity by way of a party – than take the grab bag risk that there are those who just might agree with me.

    To me, it is insulting to those before me who fought so hard in solidarity.

    If that is wrong; I will take that wrong with me until the day I die.

    I would argue those who do not respect solidarity, take struggle for granted. That may be a harsh call. But It is a serious one.


    ” As I’ve challenged before, show me any other organisation that manages itself in the way that our parliament does, if its so bloody good.”

    I’m not sure what you mean here – but I’m assuming you mean that businesses do not operate as ‘blocs’ or ‘groups’

    Answer: Businesses do not operate successfully as separate individuals within a group, but highly motivated cohesive teams. If this is not what you mean – please explain further.

  193. Elle

    “Announcing they’d saved Arena whilst allowing cuts of half a billion when the climate is going down the toilet and we desperately need projects that will replace fossil fuels reveals that their positions on climate change are more based on political opportunism than on any genuine commitment.”

    Yep. Like I said earlier… Laughable really.

    It could be because the public to a small degree are not focusing as much these days on climate change, but rather the economy, jobs security, income security, cost of living pressures. You can just imagine the backlash if Labor did something like this say a few years ago, or around another report of increase global temperatures “hottest quarter for decades” type report, or even just before Paris late last year.

    Incidentally, I heard that pension discounts for utility bills (electricity, water, rates) are no longer applicable. I know this is a state/local issue. However, the public do eventually connect the dots (the bigger picture).

    There should be NO argument or even wonder how on earth the population end up disenfranchised and end up rejecting both parties, especially when the LEFT party continues to fail them, protect them, support them.

  194. cornlegend

    I am amused,
    Labor won a bunch of Federal seats
    The Greens Senate vote showed a 0.0% increase
    The Tassie Greens, no longer entitled to party status,
    N.T. Labor 18 seats, thee ruling CLP, lost it’s Leader and down to 2 seats
    The Greens vote drops by 0.5%

    surely the voters think Labor is doing something right,and all we can go on is the only poll that counts = Elections

    Thats it, holiday time

  195. Jexpat

    As anticipated, Labor apologists can’t accept responsiblity for losing the election or their repeated pandering to the right and policy sell outs of ordinary Australians- so, in much the same way as the flailing Clinton campagin- they lash out and point fingers at the Greens.

  196. Trish Corry

    Jexpat. I made a comment earlier that if Labor lost the election, it means they have more work to do. I’m not sure how that is not taking responsibility….

    If being a Labor apologists means fighting for the only party in Australia that has delivered progressive reform after progressive reform over more than 100 years. I’ll take that and wear it on my sleeve.

    With the Clinton campaign, I expect that Clinton supporters are annoyed at people voting for Stein, because it does stuff all to prevent Trump – a very dangerous man to become President. I read an article by Sasha Stone on Medium just last night on this very subject.

    Here is one of Sasha Stone’s comments back to a commenter on her post, that expresses how I feel, especially at election time.

    Sasha Stone
    2 days ago 1 min read
    Yes, you are correct. I believe self expression should be reserved for poetry, think pieces, and water color paintings. Your vote should be used to protect those who cannot protect themselves. A vote only matters if it produces a result. A vote in an election should be as part of a union, a democracy that is not about the individual. I know you’ve been raised to believe otherwise. You would not be supporting nor voting for someone if you did not believe yourself to be at the top of things that matter. Remember, that’s what narcissism is. Your vote is like rolling your window down on a windy highway going 60 miles an hour and spitting out of it. At best, you manage a smear on the windshield. Nothing you do here matters. Your vote doesn’t matter because you are voting for nothing. Jill Stein can’t even get on a debate stage. She has no leverage because she’s a crackpot and a 9/11 truther. Bernie wants nothing to do with her because he’s sensible. So if you were voting in an election in 1930s Germany and you didn’t like the person who was running against Hitler (hypothetically speaking) would you not vote for that person or would you vote to stop Hitler? I will always side with doing the greater good. Otherwise there is no point in having a majority vote. Your vote doesn’t matter. All it does is help Donald Trump. And if that’s who you want to elect, good for you. Embrace it. Be happy with whom you are choosing to support.

    I empathise with her annoyance.

  197. cornlegend

    I couldn’t leave that .
    Labor were really happy with the 2016 results. picking up 14 seats and within a % or 2 in a dozen seats for next crack.
    I openly said, as did Labor that they were unlikely to win {my prediction was lose by 8}
    As with the NT, results, Sydney Council Elections, Labor are on song.
    Instead of the feigned concern about Labor, why aren’t you having a stewards inquiry into how dead the Greens ran
    As Albo and Tanya said in their seats, victory is sweet.
    Now, Labor are geared up and ready for 2018/19
    And the Greens?
    Too busy bitching about Labor to look at their failures

  198. Elle

    Why aren’t the Clinton folks upset with the majority of Independents and democrats (under 35 years ex Sander supporters) support now going towards the Libertarian, Gary Johnson?

    Johnson is polling in the double digits compared to Stein who is polling less than 5% at the National Level.

    Both Candidates are unable to hit the debate stage with Trump and Clinton because of the RULES. Must be polling (consistently) above 15% at the National Level.

    If a Candidate and/or party can achieve over 5% of the national vote, they are automatically entitled to public funding afterwards in the USA. So from a tactical point of view, I can see why some voters in non-swing states in the USA would be placing their vote for either Johnson or Stein… Especially if one believes that money (the way its set up in the USA, “Citizens United”) corrupts democratic processes and also understands the corruptive practises in the way the two party (republican/democrats) operate in the USA . Meaning, they mainly support ‘insiders and not progressives or moderates”. Alan Grayson, a Progressive Democrat lost his seat in the primaries recently. DNC don’t like actual progressive democrats who get things done in congress on behalf of the people, for the people, oh also those who are vocally more so against the TPP.

  199. Annie B

    I find it interesting that on one table of vote counting

    The LNP ( which for just a start is two parties – called the Coalition !! ) …. Is termed the ‘coalition’ under the heading “State of the Parties” (?) – 6 categorised parties.

    And on another table below that – labeled “Party Totals” … Labor ( specified as such ) was clearly ahead of Liberal ( specified as such ) … by 6% … and just under 1 million the difference in votes counted ( of the 91% then counted ), with Labor ahead.

    The Nationals ( specified as such ) added only 4.6% … to the total – which could be counted as Liberal/National Party, or Coalition, which amounted then to 33.3% with 9% of the total Australian vote yet to be counted.

    So :
    – Labor = 34.7%
    – Liberal / NP = 33.3%

    And by the way, what are the Liberal Nationals ?, Liberal .. and the Nationals ? And the Country Liberals. Do they count towards a ‘coalition’ too ? … Are they all one and the same – or just 3>4 divisions of one party ? I did not add in the Liberal Nationals count, which if I had – would serve to have the “Liberals” win. How can one alleged party no matter what they call themselves, have 3 or 4 distinct divisions – which they can call upon ( when it suits them ) to become one larger party. Is that fair ? Perhaps Labor should become the Labor/Greens party and throw in a couple of others that are progressive in their ideals ? …. Just to even the playing field ….

    Are we in effect being ruled by a party, scraping in based on a further 9% of voters ?, and adding to that – are we in fact now being ruled by a party that also depended ( obviously ) heavily on the damnable preferential votes ? …. Which means that we are governed, not by the will of the majority of the voters, but perhaps by a measly 9% of uncounted votes, AND the first, second, third etc. selections by the voters – because of the preferential voting system, which counts back and has to rely on more preferences to obtain a result ?.

    That all seems totally whacky to me, and I have thought so for many years.

    What would happen, seriously, if we maintained compulsory voting, the voting papers were more or less the same with a difference in the Senate paper – to reflect once again only 1 vote per person per party, put in numbered preference – and no smaller parties could give preferences whatsoever. I figure that just might be true democracy. It might see smaller parties who do often have some very good ideas, pulling back because they have no hope of winning – on a 1st past the post voting structure.

    I am working on the simplistic KISS principle here. It should indeed be simple. Voters should be given the freedom to choose – 1 > however many – in their electorate with no other consideration – full stop. ….

    AND do smaller parties spring up ( suddenly btw ) … in order to just give preferences ? …. have often wondered that too. And that also is out of whack, if that indeed happens.

    At this point in time, I am in no other commenters’ corners on this subject.

  200. Jexpat

    Corn: of course you couldn’t leave it: you’re obsessed withputting down the Greens. For what purpose, is anyone’s guess.

    The bottom line of course is that Labor lost a very winnable election- by its own means -and the Greens held their own, in an election where they were likely to lose a seat or two in the Senate. Beyond that, it’s all spilt milk and slipshod spin.

    Except of course that Labor, ever as always untrustworthy will likely yet again, sell ordinary Australians down the river- and after doing so, will, like their ideological twins in the Clinton camp, try to pump out their tired old bit lines and excuses.

    Hopefully, events abaord will leave the TPP out of their hands- because otherwise, we’re in for a lot worse than the usual LNP/Labor economic “compromisies.”

    Trish: my above post wasn’t directed at you or the article you’ve written.

  201. Steve Laing -

    Trish – I’m beginning to wonder if you are a bee, or an ant. You see so vitriolic against individuals, and against change, it is quite intriguing.

    The world changes. Things happen as a reaction to something else. The union movement was essential for a time and place, but it is no longer winning the current battle against the forces of a multinational market-driven capitalist economy expanding without proper control, and indeed through its stewardship of a significant amount of Superannuation funds, is actually a very significant part of the problem if you could but recognise it through your red rose tinted spectacles.

    We need a better form of government to protect the people. Less open to external pressure and funding, more transparent, more representative of the people, and leaders who have the courage of their convictions, not puppets constantly focused on appeasing factions, rather than looking after the population. Labor isn’t currently providing it, and doesn’t seem particularly keen to. All they seem to want to do is win the next election. What a miserably pathetic objective.

  202. Jexpat

    Elle wrote: Why aren’t the Clinton folks upset with the majority of Independents and democrats (under 35 years ex Sander supporters) support now going towards the Libertarian, Gary Johnson?

    Primarily because Johnson is seen to be earning roughly equal (and probably more) votes from those otherwise likely to be Republican voters than likely Democratic voters.

    538 discusses that dynamic here:

    Also, the Clinton camp sees progressives as bigger ideological enemies than “moderate” Republicans. In fact, if you look at the record, and subtract the overt racism and war on women bit, the Clintons and their wing of the party ARE Republicans- both economically via failed neoliberal ideology -and belligerent neoconservative foriegn policy.

    Hence, they and their surrogates and supporters have no problem lying about Stein, asserting (I kid you not) that she’s a Russian agent and an anti-vaccination crank.

  203. Elle

    Thanks for the link Jexpat. 🙂

    My commentary was referring to the Millennials and demographic up to 35 years old, where it is clear this voting demographic is opting largely towards Johnson and a smaller portion towards Stein since Sanders lost the nomination (ex Sanders supporters).

    It is also interesting among the educated/informed Millennials they largely preference Stein over Johnson, its about policy with climate change front and centre (Sanders, nor the (new) DNC platform doesn’t put climate change front and centre to the degree it needs to be).

    “the Clinton camp sees progressives as bigger ideological enemies than “moderate” Republicans. In fact, if you look at the record, and subtract the overt racism and war on women bit, the Clintons and their wing of the party ARE Republicans- both economically via failed neoliberal ideology -and belligerent neoconservative foreign policy.”

    Agree. Not to mention Bill Clintons welfare reform: war on poverty, which ended up being a war on the poor. Justice reform, which ended up being a fantastic revenue source for private prisons, largely filled to the max with POC.

    My impression is that the Millennials and those under 35 saw through the Clinton camp courting the “moderate republicans” and their donors, while chastising the millennials. Meanwhile the millennials continue to shout (as Sanders did) about corporate money in politics (bribery) while being “schooled” and fear mongering for not switching over to Hillary. Yep this too is laughable.

    They see what the Democrat party (establishment) is all about and what it is not.

    So when you think about it, The Clinton camp seems to hate well informed educated young voters. Something about being accountable and transparent 24/7 – 100% and having proper progressive policies for the 21st century, possibly? lol

  204. diannaart

    Annie B

    I feel your pain.

    We need to drop the term 2 party system, we already have a multi-party political system – except that we have ONE COALITION RULE, the LNP Coalition.

    All a bit too close to “one ring to bind them all”, if you get my LOTR reference.

    Also, your question “AND do smaller parties spring up ( suddenly btw ) … in order to just give preferences ? Totally valid, mate, there are certain Christian parties that appear for no real reason…

    I do know that the Liberal/Nats/Labor stranglehold in the HoR is not working towards the benefit of the majority of Australians.

  205. Trish Corry

    Yes you did Corny. You were right and I was wrong. I had Labor winning by two seats.

    To the few people who have started with the same old same old, Labor party Hack, blah blah blah mantra…….

    Until the Labor hating Greens apologists stop spending more time fighting the party of the worker, and little time fighting the party who hates the worker, that could be a start to progress. Delve out into LNP country, raise up your metaphorical swords and fight the bloody Tories and the Nationalists, then that could be progress.

    The Greens are not even a blip on the radar north of Brisbane. It is the Nationals – LNP Nationals that we fight here. The Hanson loving Nationals – that is who we fight. These people are truly vile. That is what the Greens apologists don’t understand.

    LNP Vol: “Who cares about Medicare? Not everyone gets sick”

    That is the real life LNP on July 2.

    Me: “How will you feel if your policy sees young girls around your age die from cervical cancer because they can’t afford it?”
    LNP Vol: “Well it isn’t my fault they haven’t found a decent job to pay for it”

    That is real life LNP on July 2.

    It does my head in how the people here think the Greens are more important than getting rid of that. It does my head in that Greens apologists think it is more important to get rid of Labor to “see their party take their rightful place’ than getting rid of that.

    If the same people developed some understanding of how destructive and nasty the LNP are and the absolute contempt the LNP have for the worker, the disadvantaged and the marginalised, then they will never see what I see. They will never fight what I fight for. If that makes me a bee or an ant Steve, I personally do not care.

    For me, it is not about disliking the Greens as much, it is about the sheer frustration of the Greens and their supporters continuously trying to make it harder and harder to get rid of the LNP by fighting the Labor instead of the LNP.

    Try and see it from my side for once, without the sledging about party hacks, one eyed blah blah blah etc., etc., Try and see it from my side when you stand at a booth and listen to the disgusting lies that come out of the mouths of the LNP, and they are surrounded by their associated parties of Family First and the right wing Independents who also feed them the votes, making it easier for them to get in, then tell me why I should barrack for the Greens who say similar disparaging things about Labor? Tell me why now that Hanson is an actual real threat in QLD to add to this mix, why I should champion anyone who disparages the only party who can remove the rot that has infested this country?

    Tell me why I should not question why the Greens don’t fight the LNP more than Labor? What is their purpose? Is the Green’s real enemy actually the LNP? It is really super hard to tell sometimes. This goes to their followers as well.

    Tell me how from where I sit, how the Greens and their apologists don’t make it easier for the LNP to return time and time again?

    Until the Greens and their supporters start showing some support to the only party who can remove the LNP rabble, instead of making out they are worse than the LNP; then they are nothing but a source of annoyance and a stain on progress. They may as well stick a picture of George Christensen in their front yard, as far as I’m concerned. They have not shown they are ‘alliance’ material in my eyes at all and I do not know why people keep thinking they are. Labor needs to constantly fight them as well as the LNP. Frankly, it is exhausting. Under DiNatale they have gotten much worse. He should just join the Libs and get it over and done with.

    If you don’t understand my frustration with the Greens and their apologists after reading this, you never will.

  206. Trish Corry

    Annie, I would entertain discussion about a National vote – still preferential (I’m deadset 100% against first past the post) and getting rid of electorates. I’d like to seek the view of what someone like Anthony Green would think of that.

  207. Elle


    Yep, It’s more about the “win” (the game) rather than looking out for the little guy. For all the reasons many continue to list and the most recent list I provided earlier.

    Remaining under the status quo and being against change is more to do about holding onto power than governing for ALL people and the NEEDS of ALL people.

  208. Trish Corry

    Elle – of course it is about winning. Do you not ‘get’ the destruction the LNP cause to this country?

    Can anyone say why they want to push for a system that has the potential to give the right even MORE of a say and more power?

  209. Kaye Lee

    “Labor hating Greens apologists ”

    Trish, I think you see Greens under the bed. You seem absolutely determined to totally misconstrue every comment made. Pretty much everyone except the members of the two major parties think the system could be improved. This is neither Labor bashing nor Greens loving. People are floating ideas for a change in the system – why is that so bad?

  210. Kaye Lee

    How is anyone pushing for a system that gives more power to the right? I have not seen one comment wanting more power for the right.

  211. Elle

    ” Labor hating Greens apologists stop spending more time fighting the party of the worker, and little time fighting the party who hates the worker, that could be a start to progress.”

    Family Tax Benefit A and B (for new recipients) Cut – Last week, with Labor’s tick of approval.
    Newstart benefits (for new recipients) Cut. – Last week, with Labor’s tick of approval.
    School bonus payments Cut – 2015, with Labor’s tick of approval.
    Senior Health Card (for new recipients) Cut. – Last week, with Labor’s tick of approval.
    Single payment pension Cut – Under Gillard government

    Not to mention the ongoing dismantling of those on a disability pension onto newstart

    The HOUSEHOLD worker comes in many shapes and form. Some are underemployed, some are looking for employment. Household workers are not just single people, but also families and/or single parents with children and seniors who are still in the workforce one way or another.

  212. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Trish @ 6.59 pm,

    the fact is both you and cornlegend were both wrong. We ALL lost by ONE because no agreements were laid down between the leading Left parties.

    Labor no longer deserves that respect alone despite what you both say and your pigheaded refusal to form that Alliance before the last election has left many of us in further frustration and even destitution.

    Goodonya and your lazy Labor mates.

  213. Elle

    Trish, I don’t see Labor supporting and protecting the needs of ALL people.

    Everything I listed above happened with approval of LABOR.

    Labor are very much part of this destruction and increasing inequality atm.

  214. Matters Not

    Until the Labor hating Greens apologists stop spending more time fighting the party of the worker

    That statement really stands out for the nonsense that it is. Without Green preferences, Labor would be in deep shit. That’s the mathematical reality. They even have a name for it, It’s called realpolitik.

  215. Trish Corry

    I’m not misconstruing anything Kaye. I just laid it out plainly what it is like here.

  216. Jexpat

    Matters Not:

    It’s the all too usual nonsense coming from the den of dishonesty that’s taken over the 21st Century Labor party.

    btw: Trish, I take it back.

    My first post in this thread noted that people were taking your article seriously- when it was meant as satire. You know, a Poe’s law type of thing.

    Clearly (and rather embassingly, I was mistaken. You actually were going there. LOL. Wow.

    So much for your credibility.

  217. Trish Corry

    Oh well. Same old same old than the Greens loving in-group on AIMN. “Can you try to see it from my point of view?” Nope I guess not…..

  218. Kaye Lee

    You may not see it Trish but you do very much misconstrue what is being said. You may be giving your version of what you think it is like here. I know from bitter experience that you misunderstand things I say – in fact you devoted a whole article to it. Your words are dismissive – “trendy’, “pseudo”, “apologists” etc It isn’t helpful.

    It is ok for people to have different opinions.

  219. Kaye Lee

    “Same old same old than the Greens loving in-group on AIMN”

    Give me a break. You have been given a platform here Trish.

  220. Matters Not

    A few points:

    you do very much misconstrue what is being said

    misconstrue suggests some deliberate, conscious intent. I don’t agree with the suggestion that it’s deliberate. Rather it’s the ‘theory’ brought to bear. ‘World view’ if you like. If you only have a hammer …

    As for different ‘constructions of reality’, that’s one inevitability re the human condition.

    As and aside there is a LNP ‘coalition’ in Queensland that persists while the Libs hate the Nats and the Nats hate the Libs. That they keep that hatred out of the public gaze brings rewards to both parties. And affects all of us.

  221. Jexpat

    It mght be a bit easier for ecidence based folks to see your persepctive if you used facts in your analysis rather than relying on emotion and empty aspersions.

    Since the issue of protecting workers was raised, it might be apropos to consider WTF has been going on with the Labor right SDA and selling their own members out. It’s been going on for a quite a while- to the tune of billions in lost wages by workers. Wage theft at Australia’s largest employers, including Coles, Woolworths, Hungry Jack’s, KFC and McDonalds, etc., with nary a peep from the ALP.

    New Matilda has a recent piece on point (there are others):

    The System Has Failed Retail And Fast Food Workers, Says Coles Fair Work Winner

    Curiously (with what justification, I cannot guess) this union, with 12 closely associated federal Labor MP’s, has also been keen on pushing an anti-choice (i.e. reproductive choice) agenda- as well as opposition to marriage equality.

    What the latter two have to do with representing members in regard to industrial relations- I don’t know. Perhaps some Labor stalwarts can shed some light on it.

  222. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    One thing Trish’s articles provide is a forum for other anti-LNP, anti-neoliberalist and even anti-complacent, self-entitled, lazy Labor personalities,

    to come together to make comments that make us all realise our diverse political positions exist regardless of an ignorant dinosaur duopoly.

    Thanks Trish, cornlegend and Bighead for that! 🙂

  223. Kaye Lee

    There is also the matter of historical stolen wages from Aboriginal workers. State governments have made this an almost impossible thing to pursue by refusing to provide records and all manner of legal delays, presumably in the hope that the claimants will die before a case can be brought. This really added to the entrenched poverty of our Indigenous people.

  224. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear Kaye,

    anybody in authority who can help clear that total injustice up must be asked to assist.

  225. Elle


    Who are these “12 closely associated federal Labor MP’s” ?

    I ask this because this site has 1000s of (wonderful) readers-only, with not every one politically savvy enough to know which Labor MP’s are tied to a right wing fraction or left wing fraction. Especially with a so-called promise by ALP opening up their primaries to be a bit more inclusive and democratic supposedly for the next election 😉

  226. Trish Corry

    I’m sorry you feel that way Jexpat and JMS.

    It is now time to turn off the comments. I’m sorry if anyone has anything thoughtful to add, but this is the decision I have made and I will be sticking to it.

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