1 Our political system is in crisis because our solicitations fail to speak with any clarity on issues that concern people.
In Australia the right to vote is the gift that democracy gives and people are free to vote for whichever party (or individual) they support but overriding this is the fact that people cannot possibly believe in democracy, if at the same time they think their party is the only one that should ever win.
A clear indication of an Australian Democracy in decline is the fact that people have been giving up this voting gift, literally saying: “A pox on both your houses”.
Three million did so at the last election by not voting. Who can blame them when there is no transparency, no freedom of information or politicians simply choose not to answer questions.
Wednesday 17 April
2 The question to Shorten was about an increase in tax on super to which he gave a misleading answer. Instead of saying Yes, we intend to raise taxes on people earning above $000.00 (whatever it is), in order to help those suffering from cancer. Instead he chose to tell a lie. Albeit one by omission.
”Lying in the media is wrong at any time however when they do it by deliberate omission it is even more so. Murdoch’s papers seem to do it with impunity” (John Lord).
In doing so, Shorten has made himself look stupid. You cannot be critical about other people’s behaviour and then do the same yourself.
And on the subject of who is the best economic manager:
The Coalition has added more debt in five and a half years than all governments over the preceding 118 years.
It also illustrates just how on top of the detail within policies one has to be. Kim Beasley and John Howard were the best I have ever seen, both having a deep knowledge of the facts between the lines.
Thursday 18 April
3 His apology for his stupid error seems to have been well accepted but it was helped by a Grattan report that said the Coalition would have to find $40 billion in cuts to services to pay for package of tax cuts for middle and high income earners, to start in 2022 and 2024.
4 Still on tax: A report in the Canberra times suggests that Labor has decided to opt out of any tax cuts for 1.5 million workers. It would have been a sizable cut for those earning between $90 and 12. Instead it will go toward reducing the budget bottom line. A good move.
At Shorten’s first press conference for the day he seems to have cast off his absent-mindedness and is mixing it with the journo’s. However, in opposition, and without access to Treasury it is sometimes impossible to give definitive answer, particularly on the cost of cleaning up the environment.
“We all incur a cost for the upkeep of our health. Why then should we not be liable for the cost of a healthy planet” (John Lord).
The latest inconsistency from the Budget is that High-income earners will receive at least $77bn from the Coalition’s 10-year income tax package, shrinking the proportion of the overall tax burden shouldered by the rich, according to a new analysis.
Liberal governments love spruiking large tax cuts and the rich and privileged think it’s fantastic with not a thought to where the money comes from. Nor do they care.
It comes from cuts to services like health and education. In the meantime the gap between rich and poor continues to rise.
“The exchange and intellectual debate of ideas needs to be re energised and it is incumbent on the young to become involved” (John Lord).
5 Let’s be honest. What has excited you about the election so far? Easter is upon us and people’s thoughts will have been confined to thinking about what they will be doing during the break.
No electioneering will take place and it would be the worst possible time to be talking policy.
6 Looking at Labor, I am wondering if after Shorten’s Budget in Reply speech he hasn’t lost his edge a little. I’m thinking, and I may be wrong, that he thinks he can just drift into power. We all know that would be fatal.
Up until now the campaign has been somewhat lacklustre, even boring and after Easter the people need to be woken from their holiday inertia with a change of subject.
Give the people a decent dose of inspiration, highlighting the inequality in society.
“A commitment to social justice demands the transformation of social structures as well as our hearts and minds” (John Lord).
If the conversation must continue in the economic arena then the Opposition Leader must underline the difference in approach between the two parties.
The voter scepticism and unrest felt throughout the Western world is the result of a widespread disillusionment with neoliberal economics that continue to make the rich richer at the expense of everyone else.
And it is still the model favoured by the Coalition. It is a model that for forty or so years the Coalition has said would flow through to the general community. But the so-called trickle down effect has never materialised.
In this election Shorten must forcibly make the point that building better hospitals and schools is a better investment than making the rich richer.
Friday 19 April
7 With an ever-increasing hostility from the Newscorp tabloids and The Australian Shorten at a press conference on Thursday decided to hit back.
I suggest you read this piece from Paddy Manning in which he says that:
Shorten let rip: “First of all, it is just a nonsense claim,” he said of the suggestion that Labor’s carbon reduction policy could cost business $25 billion. He continued: “It is built upon the back of a big lie. It says somehow that using international offsets to help abate carbon is a bad thing.” In terms of the costs, Shorten said that the Labor plan relied on the same the same public modeling as the government.
Shorten continued: “The News Corp climate change deniers and their ally, the prime minister – a coal-wielding, climate-denying cave-dweller on this issue – they all say, ‘Look at the cost,’ but never mention the cost of extreme weather events, do they? They never mention the cost of not getting into renewables, and they never mention energy prices, do they?”
The Daily Telegraph has been vomiting out its usual front pages. The Australian is in a battle with itself to see how many anti Labor headlines it can fit on its front pages. After dark Sky News is so partisan it only has comedic value.
One cannot begin to discuss the decline of Australian democracy without at the same time aligning it to the collapse in journalistic standards and its conversion from reporting to opinion.
Murdoch and his majority owned newspapers with blatant support for right-wing politics have done nothing to advance Australia as a modern enlightened democratic society. On the contrary it has damaged it, perhaps irreparably.
They even promote free speech as if they are the sole custodians of it.
8 Barrie Cassidy asks: “Is there another job in Australia that pays you $550 a day to go overseas and do nothing?“
Who might he be talking about?
9 My last comment for today is that the AEC reports the highest voter enrolment since Federation. The young must think this election is very important.
My thought for the day
Invariably when I read about how successful people are. The measure is always the value of their assets. Why is this so?
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