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John Lord’s Election Diary No. 14: Have you thought about why we are voting? This might help

Monday 13 May 2018

Author’s note: Part of this article contains sections of a post I wrote around four years ago. We are not supposed to repeat stuff but I can think of no other words better than those I wrote back then. Anyway, the editor is probably in a pub in County Cork drinking Irish Whisky and won’t notice. 

And I haven’t mentioned the Liberal launch either because I haven’t had time yet to digest it.

1 Here we are at the pointy end of this one-sided election campaign. I say one-sided because only one side in its meditation on what a society should be has been able to articulate a picture of our future.

On the one hand, the conservatives have spoken exclusively the words of the economist. On the other hand, Labor’s language has succeeded in marrying the words of the enlightened economist and those of the thinker to form a sentence that describes a marriage with the word society.

2 Before further explanation as to just what I think a society should be, allow me to pose a question to those as yet undecided as to their voting intention.

How could anyone seriously vote for a party that has performed so pathetically? Firstly, with a leader of the calibre of Tony Abbott who was nothing more than a lying, grubby, uncouth, loudmouth gutter politician.

Secondly, in Malcolm Turnbull, we endured the most hypocritical Prime Minister in our history.

Thirdly, a Prime Minister in Scott Morrison who has been a motor mouth with not the slightest capacity for the deepest contemplation of fairness or future.

All three led a party full of obnoxious liars with a “born to rule” mentality. A party that has been in power for six years and finally tells the country that it has a plan.

All of a sudden Scott Morrison has an ownership on righteousness that will resolve all of our problems. Just listen to him.

A party that argues it is the one better placed to govern for the next three years when it hasn’t done so for the past six.

A party that has wasted six years in which nothing will ever be recorded by political historians as being meaningful.

A party that thinks climate change is an invention of the left to replace communism.

People intending to vote for this obnoxious collection of pithy self-serving narcissists should stop and reconsider their vote and the impact their vote will have on the country.

If climate change is the No. 1 concern of the populace then the polls cannot possibly be right.

”I think we can often become so trapped in the longevity of sameness that we never see other ways of doing things.”

3 In Australia politics no longer meets the needs or aspirations of the people and is held in such low esteem that politicians are barely relevant.

I have long felt that the political establishment has taken ownership of a system that should serve the people but instead serves itself. It is self-indulgent, shows no respect for the people it serves and lacks any trace of transparency.

Successful societies should be built around a common good and we need to examine which political ideology is best placed to build such a society.

This is the first real opportunity for some time that we have had the opportunity for real change. Where the differences between the parties are genuinely spelt out.

The last few weeks I have written copious words about them.

Firstly, let’s ask ourselves what is an ideal society based on. For me it’s an attainment we may never accomplish, but nonetheless is a worthwhile aspiration.

In the modern Western sense, an enlightened society is a populace of men, women, and children who as a collective desire to express their humanity, work, aspirations, spirituality, art, poetry and play with the richest possible diversity.

If Robert Kennedy was looking over my shoulder he might say:

“ … the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages … It measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither our wisdom or our learning; neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.”

It cultivates a common good with equality of opportunity for all. A society where one’s sexual preference or gender is not a judgment upon your character and the colour of your skin says nothing about you other than perhaps your geographical place of birth.

A society that believes in the individual pursuit, intellectual accomplishment and financial reward only regulated by what is beneficial for the common collective good. In other words everyone is entitled to an equitable share of society’s wealth.

If Abe Lincoln was looking over my shoulder he might say:

“Labour is prior to and independent of Capital. Capital is only the fruit of labour, and could never have existed if labour had not first existed. Labour is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”

A society where freedom of expression is guaranteed but limited only by the innate moral personal decency of the individual.

Where free speech is fair speech. An enlightened society in which the suggestion that we need to legislate ones right to hate another person is considered intellectually barren.

“The ability of thinking human beings to blindly embrace what they are being told without referring to evaluation and the consideration of reason never ceases to amaze me. It is tantamount to the rejection of rational explanation.”

A society where the health and welfare of all, is sacrosanct and access to treatment is assured. Where the principle that we should treat others in the same manner as we expect them to treat us is indelible in the mind of every citizen.

A society that respects science before myth and mysticism, but at the same time recognises the individual’s right to the expression of their own form of spirituality so long as it doesn’t hinder the common good.

A society that should be judged by its welcoming, and how well it treats its most vulnerable citizens. By how well protected we are and how accessible the law is regardless of stature or wealth.

In democratic societies (the best – or least bad form of government) our herding instincts are realised by the election of leaders who form government.

Even in the imperfection of democracy, we comprehend that a group mentality advances society better than dictatorial individuality.

So we need a government that is subservient to the will (the common good ethics) of the people and is responsive to the inclusiveness of public opinion.

It is government that decides and regulates the progress and ambitions of society. Or at least provides the environment in which to do so. There is very little that is done in the name of progress that cannot be attributed in some way to government. Individual or collective ambition can only be achieved within a social structure built and controlled by government.

Currently, we are experiencing a shift in power. The right, those who control the means of production, financial institutions, the media, the rich, the privileged, large corporations and government are seeking to take us even further to the right.

Those with corporate power seek a marriage with government to maximise power.

Government by the people for the “common good” needs to be taken back. It is our entitlement, not their’s.

Catalyst is a word that describes something that is a defining reason for change.. This election is such a catalyst.

When I look at the past few years and what this government has done to our institutions and our democracy I can only ask that we might wake from the political malaise that has us bogged us down in a quagmire of selfishness. It’s the individual first second and third.

“A commitment to social justice demands the transformation of social structures as well as our hearts and minds.” (John Lord)

Every part of society, when you think about it, has been indoctrinated with a nefarious, “me first,” attitude that has seen the common good almost vanish. You can witness it in our children.

If a wise old man was advising you on a political resurrection what might he say?

“How can I help you?” might be his opening words.

“Is it not possible to hope that there are some people of integrity who might form a centrist party dedicated to an honest government for all and the principles of “from each according to her/his ability, to each according to her/his need?”

My thought for the day

“People haven’t rushed to vote early because they are enamoured with the performance of the government. They did so because they were not.” (John Lord)

Previous Diaries:

John Lord’s Election Diary No. 1: There is no such thing as a society

John Lord’s Election Diary No. 2: Morrison plays the race card while Dutton lowers the bar even further

John Lord’s Election Diary No. 3: My language really doesn’t tell you what I think of these bastards

John Lord’s Election Diary No. 4: Shorten drops ball on Super but gives Murdoch the boot

John Lord’s Election Diary No. 5: The masters of scare. It’s like watching the best of “Yes, Prime Minister”

John Lord’s Election Diary No. 6: Are the baseball bats still behind the front door, at the ready?

John Lord’s Election Diary No. 7: Will the young convince us to save us from ourselves?

John Lord’s Election Diary No. 8: “Morrison versus the rest”

John Lord’s Election Diary No. 9: With just 18 days to go I refuse to believe Newspoll

John Lord’s Election Diary No. 10: No policies so let’s talk about the climate and money

John Lord’s Election Diary No. 11: Wake-up, Australia we need to Change the Government

John Lord’s Election Diary No. 12: “Is there any more?” Cassidy asked

John Lord’s Election Diary No. 13: Shorten has dared to go where other Labor leaders have not

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18 comments

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  1. whatever

    They haven’t just lost Government, they are an extinct species……pining for the fjords and all that.
    The Liberal superhero, with his corny National sidekick, are now just part of folklore. All the deluded TalkbackRadio and tabloid newspaper spivs and urgers couldn’t put them back together again.

  2. Carol Taylor

    Thank you John for helping hold down the fort while we’re away. Your dedication in holding this most awful of governments to account has been a marathon effort. Our fearless editor is currently enjoying a wee dram of Stroma in Pitlochry.

  3. Michael Taylor

    Don’t believe a word of it. It’s not a wee dram at all. In the Scottish Highlands they don’t wee drams. They do very, very large ones. 😀

  4. John Lord

    Me thinks you made a very good decision to escape the usual drudgery of our entry into winter. It is now having its way with us so I expect a wee drop of the dram would result in a large piss up. Kathy is protecting me against the evils of wrong password entry and all the writers are in fine form.

    You’re the wee hen that never layed away.

    Translation: Don’t play the innocent with me.

    So have a wee dram on me. JL and others.

  5. Kronomex

    And, on queue, the main sleaze media starts ramping up the crap in the last days of the election campaign –

    https://www.smh.com.au/federal-election-2019/morrison-to-ramp-up-warnings-over-home-values-as-labor-seeks-to-neutralise-pm-s-policy-shift-20190512-p51mkg.html

    The following smacks more of Scummo getting the boot after the election and Friedeggburger taking over the leadership, with help of course.

    https://www.smh.com.au/federal-election-2019/presence-of-a-capable-future-leader-hints-at-a-possible-revival-for-an-exhausted-party-20190512-p51mji.html

    The Vastone sticks her nose in as well –

    https://www.smh.com.au/federal-election-2019/for-me-the-choice-next-saturday-is-clear-20190510-p51m0r.html

    Surprise, surprise, Newspoll is 51/49. Gosh, how unexpected.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/may/13/newspoll-shows-labor-still-just-ahead-with-boost-to-bill-shortens-personal-rating

    Coffee time…yay…

  6. MöbiusEcko

    Kronomex. Haven’t the link, but also on queue is a Ltd. News article espousing doom if wages rise as just about the entire Australian workforce will be offshored.

  7. Terence Mills

    I am not being critical of this last minute housing affordability scheme from Scomo, but mate, you’ve been in office for six years and now you come up with a policy !

    It’s been operating in New Zealand for twelve years and has helped some first home buyers in to their own homes BUT New Zealand hasn’t had negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions for investors which, in Australia, put a genuine first home buyer at a disadvantage when competing with an investor.

    It is important to note that under the “Scomo” plan, first home buyers who have been able to save for a deposit of at least 5%, will be able to access a government guarantee for the remainder up to 20% of the purchase value.
    The government will act as guarantor to the bank, they will not put up any money, and the home buyer will still be responsible for the repayment to the bank.
    Only in the case of default by the borrower and foreclosure by the lender will the bank be able to call up the guarantee and only to the extent that the bank, as mortgagee in possession, is unable to recoup its outlays from the sale of the property.

    The scheme which Labor will also adopt does make loans easier to access and does have the potential to boost home ownership for first home buyers but only when coupled with changes to negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions which are currently distorting the housing market.

  8. Terence

    Hi Terence

    Correct me if I’m wrong but the LNP’s first home owner scheme sounds a bit like what they accuse Labor of – Turning Australia into a Socialist State.

    They do say that imitation is the greatest form of flattery.

    They really are a bunch of Muppets.

  9. wam

    It was only one course, lord, but figjam.is difficult to digest even when you blow the I am the leader by myself with all behind me a long way behind me but, I make the decisions(avoiding the use of captain) bulldust off. Whew only a turd like scummo could say that in one breathe

    Glad to think you are on the mend.

    Your thought is ideal(ised)
    My experience of early voting, from not voting on polling day since little johnnie won, shows the increasing numbers is because we can rationalise that if it is possible that something may happen on polling day so we do not have to lie to vote at a booth in comfort, with minimal paper being shoved in the face(rarely anyone other than labor and the clp) rather than running the gauntlet.

    The best labor can hope for is win the lower and be blackmailed by the loonies in the senate and the worst is scummo winning the senate.
    I have a slim hope that the young will see the loonies compliance over the last 6 years of sound and fury but ‘signifying f-all’ and read about their train wreck of gillard’s 3 years and give them the arse. Ah dream on idiot.

    Unfortunately the polls are saying labor lower house with senate to scummo.
    So for the first time in 50 years:
    Go loonies go
    ps shorten may be strong enough to go for a DD?
    pps my scot’s quote
    the best laid plans of mice and me gang aft go agley let’s hope scummo’s solo plan fits it???

  10. Harry

    A hackneyed saying maybe but most conservatives, neoliberals, economic rationalists seem to know the price of everything but the value of nothing.

  11. Harry

    Terence Mills: this policy will inevitably result in house prices rises as the market “capitalises” the value of this scheme but it is limited to 10,000 first home buyers a year and it could result in negative equity as home buyers have low equity from the start of the loan.

    But it’s another sign of desperation from the Morrison one man band government.

  12. Keitha Granville

    Bump for the LNP, primary vote 39% Labor 37%.

    Where are these people?? Who the hell are they ?? What are they thinking ???

    I am dumbfounded that anyone except those set to lose free money (ie ftax refunds when they’ve paid no tax) would want to vote for a mob who hare now promising to do the things they haven’t had time to do for the last 6 years. A mob who care nothing for the future of the planet and only for those who HAVE rather than the HAVE NOTS.

    I don’t want to live in that country any longer. We MUST vote them out. We simply must.

  13. Paul Davis

    Keitha, it is a distressing fact that the LNP Coalition won the popular vote in 2016 according to the AEC disbursement table on their website. Each party who qualified for payment received $2.63 for each vote. Here is the total $$$$ the top four received…

    Liberal Party of Australia    24,203,154.00
    Australian Labor Party        23,191,686.57
    Australian Greens                   6,717,055.98
    National Party of Australia   3,261,589.61

    You can do the maths ie divide each total by 2.627 to give the head count

    Dont like Labor’s chances to overcome 39 to 37 primary if this is really true. Even getting 70-30 Green preferences may not suffice as all the other minors including most Indies are pro LNP. If 37% Labor primary is correct then where is this huge swing away from the right that is reflected in the bookies market?

    Like everyone who turns to AIMN, IA and even the Guardian for an alternative view on Oz politics, i am gobsmacked that almost 40% of the adult population would counternance giving their primary vote to these gangsters.

    Really hope the polls are wrong….

  14. New England Cocky

    @Michel Taylor: Now you are boasting!

    @Terence Mills: This is a desperate unthinking vote buying exercise that will enslave young home buyers and inflate the market as sellers recognise that the government is funding a 15% share of the purchase. @Harry is likely correct.

    Anybody who believes any of these election polls wants their head examined for holes! The 49/51 split is within the bounds of possibility and so irrelevant, except for the MSM journalists who have insufficient statistics to understand the methodology. Besides, when has News Ltd ever published the truth about elections?

  15. Kronomex

    Regarding the link I posted above: Scroll down and read the latest from the sickening scum that is Anning.

  16. pierre wilkinson

    “A party that has wasted six years in which nothing will ever be recorded by political historians as being meaningful.”
    ah but…
    they can and do claim to be the party that allowed gay marriage
    and they also boast that Morrison himself brought in the Inquiry into Banks
    so never forget that they can spin even history
    and as far as the polls go, margin of error seems to be increasing and rounding down increasing and soon 53.7 to 46.3 will be reported as 51 to 49 rounded down with a margin of error of +/- 2%
    witness the last few elections where the polls suggested it was closer than it seemed and yet still turned into a white wash

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