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Opportunity or privilege

In 1990, when Bob Hawke outlined his vision for Australia to become, not only the lucky country, but the clever country, he said we had a clear choice between opportunity and privilege.

He detailed how Labor were working to enlarge equality of opportunity for all through taxation, education, training, industrial relations, health care, child care and superannuation.

He spoke of the important role of scientists and researchers in mobilising our human resources to become a leader in the production and export of ideas.

He stressed that we had no greater responsibility than to pass on intact to future generations Australia’s priceless environment.

Reading Hawke’s speech reinforces how much the political divide in this country retards our progress. We are still arguing about the same things as shown by the following excerpt:

“I said at the outset that the great divide between us lay between opportunity and privilege.

There are two key issues in this election which starkly show the difference – capital gains tax and Medicare.

The plain fact about the Liberal/National plan for the abolition of the capital gains tax is this:

billions of dollars that would have been available for education, health, training, roads would be shovelled into the pockets of less than one in a hundred Australian taxpayers.

The capital gains tax is a fair tax. The vast majority of wage and salary earners do not pay capital gains tax and never will.

And you find on Medicare that same conflict between privilege and opportunity.

For all their confusion, their twisting and turning, the truth is that the Liberals and Nationals would dismantle Medicare – scrap bulk billing – leave two million and more of our fellow Australians without health cover – benefit only the wealthy – and saddle the Australian family once again with all the burden, the anxiety, the cost, the inconvenience and the confusion that existed before we delivered affordable health care to every Australian.

I will tell you our policy in two words: Medicare stays.”

The Coalition has been dragged kicking and screaming to every social reform that Labor has ever accomplished and then spent their next term in office trying to dismantle it.

Take superannuation.

The decision to freeze the superannuation guarantee at 9.5% rarely gets a mention compared to the outrage expressed by a comparative handful of wealthy retirees who may have to limit the amount they can stash away tax free and pay a pittance of tax on their substantial earnings.

As Bob said:

“But there is another, immensely serious, consequence of the Liberal/National desire to smash our wage/tax package and the Accord with the trade union movement which underpins it.

Australians now have for the first time a national superannuation scheme which all people covered by industrial awards can enjoy; a benefit which helps fight inflation; a benefit which prepares Australia for the ageing of its population; and a benefit which the nation and its businesses, large and small, can afford.

Yet the Liberal/National coalition would sabotage this national savings plan, a plan already amassing a huge bank for investment in Australia’s export and import replacing industries.

Because of our policies, eight out of ten Australian employees already get an average of $15 a week paid into their own personal superannuation scheme by their employer.

Over the next three years, under our package, that will double to $30 a week saved for your retirement.

Every one of the dollars saved through our superannuation plan helps finance Australia’s development without foreign debt. It’s a national savings scheme – good for you, good for Australia.

It’s too important to be put at risk.”

Even when they acknowledge the importance of certain policies, the Coalition abandons them when in office.

In September 1994, Coalition Senator Ferguson submitted to the Senate for discussion as a matter of public importance, the following:

The short sightedness of Labor Government policy leading to the retrenchment of CSIRO scientists at a time when science and research is vitally important to a competitive and successful Australian economy.

Senator Coulter went on to say:

“evidence after evidence indicates that so many of our major companies in Australia are now foreign owned, that they do their research overseas and that they are not spending the amount of money that they should be spending in Australia. They are spending it elsewhere. Therefore, it behoves the government to relatively increase its expenditure if we are going to meet the sorts of targets that we need to meet.

…world leadership in basic research will confer a competitive advantage only if it is coupled with world-class performance in the extensive set of skills, institutions, and investments that are required for the creation of economic wealth.

We need to spend a great deal more. Given that Australian industry is not spending the money in the R&D area, government must come in and fill that gap or we will simply lose again and again the applications of our basic science overseas.

To conclude, I think that the state of science in Australia is extremely parlous; the quality of our science is decreasing; the government is not recognising the seriousness of it; it is particularly pulling funds away from fundamental and basic research; and it needs to get back to and more strongly support research.”

The same is true of the NBN.

In 2004, the Federal Government released Australia’s National Broadband Strategy, which included the vision:

Australia will be a world leader in the availability and effective use of broadband, to deliver enhanced outcomes in health, education, community, and government to capture the economic and social benefits of broadband connectivity.

It clearly stated that Australia needs high speed, widely available, low cost broadband services. Our national economic performance depends on it.

And then along comes Tony Abbott who, though not a “tech head”, decided the NBN was a white elephant and set our current PM the task of “demolishing” it, an outcome he achieved all too well.

Malcolm Turnbull’s vision for the future is to cut the company tax rate for multinational companies earning billions in profits every year by 5%, to cut the income tax rate for people earning over $180,000 by 2%, and a very small tax cut for people earning over $80,000. Grants and tax concessions will be given to entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.

At the same time, this government has cut many benefits to low income earners and hopes to cut more. They have cut funding for childcare and aged care, family benefits and pensions. They have cut services like legal aid and community support programs. They have abandoned real action on climate change and slashed funding for research. Social reform and reducing inequality does not get a mention from this government.

Bob was right and the question remains the same.

Opportunity or privilege? The choice is ours.


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  1. Keitha Granville

    excellent article, but are enough people listening ? I do hope so. All they seem to concentrate on is “getting the budget back to surplus” and who cares how many people fall under the bus in the meantime.

  2. townsvilleblog on the other hand you could donate $100,00 or so to the LNP and never have to pay taxes again and dodge $8-10 bn of responsibility to the Australian people as has been done under the nose of the LNP since they got into power in 2013, or you could be like most small businesses and PAYE employee taxpayers and pay your fair share to see your country provide good health and education care and care for the elderly and disabled and go for Labor in this election, the choice is your’s be careful, you could be signing your own early death warrant.

  3. Peeved Off

    God if only we had another Bob Hawke instead of these lunatics we have today!

  4. jimhaz

    While I agree with the premise that we have the right to be hypocrites or bigots (providing we are prepared to cop the also righteous backlash) this does not apply to politicians. They are elected to be objective and to serve all and should be forced to make an oath to do so (rather than a meaningless oath to the F’n Queen).

    The Feds have been talking about an Ministerial Code of Conduct at least since Fraser. They end up deferring any real action every time – real action means something enforceable.

    Even Howard’s A Guide on Key Elements of Ministerial Responsibility (note the terminology “guide”) contains the following:

    “Ministers must be honest in their public dealings and should not intentionally mislead the Parliament or the public. Any misconception caused inadvertently should be corrected at the earliest opportunity”

    Maybe people in the media should start asking the PM, that as per Howards Guide, whenever honesty is displayed asking that they be reprimanded and that a statement needs to be issued correcting the “misconception” (aka lie).

    As it is clear that Ministers wish to be above the law thus purposely give lip service to a CoC. Howards Guide is not strong enough in relation to honesty. Maybe social media websites need to just start pretending that they do actually have a Code of Conduct and to suggest people write to them pointing out whenever they breach it, quoting this pseudo CoC.

    Here is a sample CoC that applies to the staff of QLD ministers – but not the ministers of course.

    “is committed to honest, fair and respectful engagement with the community”

    Not something we have seen from the LNP for a long time.

  5. Arthur Plottier

    Hawke and Keating government reduced corporate taxes by 16 per cent from 49 to 33 per cent.
    They cut the top personal tax rate from 60 cents to 47 cents in the dollar.
    With these changes saw the wages share of GDP fall from around 61.5 per cent of GDP to less than 55 per cent, amounting to a transfer of $50 billion from workers to the rich.
    No much difference with the moderate faction of the Liberals.
    IMO the right faction of the ALP is as close as the moderate faction in the Liberal party.
    Let wait and see what cuts to welfare Shorten propose today.

  6. Athena

    Agreed MN. We need Whitlam back, not Hawke.

  7. Kaye Lee

    I agree about Hawke and Keating and the right wing of the Labor Party but in general, social reforms are initiated by Labor governments and opposed by Liberal governments.

  8. gee

    it takes an amazing amount of ignorance to vote LNP

  9. Kaye Lee

    After our combined attempts to call out George Christensen for his attempted bribery, he has resorted to calling us names. Is this acceptable behaviour from an elected representative?

  10. Matters Not

    Should be banned from schools until his case is investigated. Can’t have the children consorting with …

    And his choice of language sets a very poor example. Besides I don’t think the children need to know he was born out of wedlock. Keep it a family secret.

  11. Athena

    GetUp! will continue to campaign against the likes of Christensen too and this bastard is proud to continue supporting them in doing it.

  12. Kaye Lee

    GetUp! called for crowd funding to campaign against Peter Dutton and raised almost $200,000 in a few days.

    And then we have Barnaby Joyce deciding to move a whole department, upending hundreds of people, to his electorate. Unbelievable!

    “Hundreds of Canberra public servants have been told they will be moving to northern NSW or looking for new jobs if the Coalition wins the election.

    Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said the veterinary medicines authority was going to move to Armidale in Mr Joyce’s electorate of New England and the public servants who work at the agency better get used to the idea.

    The move is opposed by the majority of workers at the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, their unions, the agency’s management and the National Farmer’s Federation.

    One of the agency’s workplace unions said the move was “pork barrelling” designed to bolster Mr Joyce’s chances of re-election in his New England seat where he is under pressure from independent Tony Windsor.

    The authority’s chief executive Kareena Arthy says it would be hard to rebuild the agency without scientists, most of whom were refusing to leave the capital.

    She has also raised concerns about sustaining the agency without staff and what it would mean for the number of products being approved.

    But Mr Joyce brushed aside the concerns while making his election announcement at his old university in Armidale on Wednesday.”

  13. Athena

    Moving an entire department like that is just irresponsible. What a blatant waste of money and loss of experienced staff who will not be in a position to move with the job. Anyone who votes for Barnaby Joyce after that announcement is equally as irresponsible for endorsing such a move.

  14. Athena

    BTW, GetUp! is currently calling for crowd funding to help get rid of a number of dangerous conservatives in this election. Christopher Pyne is one of their targets. I’ve volunteered to hand out their how-to-vote cards at a polling booth in Sturt.

  15. jimhaz

    Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority – Canberra to Armidale makes no economic sense whatsoever other than immoral pork barreling. God I hate the LNP.

    This could be a test of Windsors true quality – politically hard for him to argue against, as a dude representing that electorate.

  16. Matters Not

    Barnaby was told to have a cost/benefit analysis. The results are yet to come. The National Farmers Federation are not impressed. Barnaby is desperate. The authority of the Prime Minister is being wilfully ignored.

    But we all know that Malware lacks authority to control the LNP coalition. This is just more evidence of that.

  17. Athena

    A cost/benefit analysis is still a waste of time and money. Anyone with half a brain should be able to see that it involves a huge, unnecessary cost for very little benefit. I’ll be generous and say that the rent of the office space may be cheaper but that is probably the only benefit.

  18. Matters Not

    As I understand it, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority is funded on a cost recovery basis. It’s all about ‘user pays’. Presumable there would be a fair bit of interaction between this Authority and other Departments based in Canberra. One could reasonably expect there to be an increase in ‘travel’ costs. There would also be much interaction between these chemical companies and the employed ‘scientists’. Then there’s the relocation costs.

    I am sure Barnaby took all this into consideration before he made that decision. But probably not.

    All problems will be solved by the high-speed Broadband which we know from the ‘locals’ on Q&A leaves much to be desired.

  19. SLim

    The upwardly mobile bogan wants the opportunity to be privileged.

  20. jimhaz

    So Barnaby is failing all over the place. Lol the latest SMH news is that he is telling people to piss off….which I admit I’d do as well, but I’m not a DP.

    Statutory Decision-Making by Ministers

    The grounds for challenging administrative decisions made under legislation are set
    out comprehensively in the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977.
    They give a clear indication of the basic requirements for decision-making. In
    • each decision needs to be within the scope of the power provided by
    the legislation;
    • the procedure for reaching the decision needs to meet basic standards
    of fairness, allowing all sides to present their cases, and must also comply
    with any special requirements set by the legislation;,

    Has he allowed all sides to make their case. Not at all it would seem.

  21. jim

    Interesting to know Hawke was on the b/bench for two months before becoming PM while rabbitt and coward were on the same for years and years finally crawling into PM..quote;Shaw and her colleagues found that on average, suicide rates were 17 per cent higher when the Conservatives were in power, compared to the annual average of 103 suicides per million population when opposition parties held office.

    Richard Taylor and his team in the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney found similar trends over the past century in New South Wales. When Right-wing governments were in power, men were 17 per cent more likely and women 40 per cent more likely to commit suicide.

  22. Kaye Lee

    They are trying to do the same in the marginal seat of Robertson. Lucy Wicks announced very early on that the ATO would be opening an office in Gosford. The NSW State government did a deal with a Canberra developer to give them waterfront school land that had been earmarked for other projects, including a regional performing arts centre. The jobs would go to public servants transferred from Canberra. The tender process has been anything but transparent. Almost three years later and still no progress.

  23. Athena

    “As I understand it, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority is funded on a cost recovery basis. It’s all about ‘user pays’. ”

    If the cost of dealing with the APVMA is anything like the costs associated with dealing with the TGA, they will already be quite significant. I’m sure users would love to pay for a new building, relocation and the ongoing significant additional transport costs as the employees make their way around the country to do their jobs on top of what they’re already paying.

  24. Matters Not

    It’s Friday afternoon in Canberra, the Public Servants are heading to their favourite watering hole. One wonders what the topic of conversation will be. Who’s next?

    One person who might be quite somewhat pleased will be Mike Kelly, the Labor Candidate for Eden-Monaro. Peter Hendy less so. But it serves him right, given his plotting and scheming to get rid of Barnaby’s mate Tony.

    On the other hand Hendy is a great mate of Malcolm’s. Sounds promising but Malcolm is just a spectator. A ‘figurehead’. A passenger. A victim of Veterinary activity.

    Ambushes here, there and everywhere.

    BTW, how can Barnaby make these decisions while in caretaker mode.

  25. Michael Taylor

    “The Public Servants are heading to their favourite watering hole. One wonders what the topic of conservation will be.”

    And hence was born Cafe Whispers. ?

  26. Kaye Lee

    Barnaby is calling it an election promise which will only happen if he gets re-elected, somewhat like the Christensen/Mirabella method of campaigning.

  27. Athena

    Bwahahaha! At least Christensen chose a carrot that would be acceptable to the left. How tragic that Barnaby cannot even match the intelligence of Christensen.

  28. Miriam English

    Great article Kaye. It hadn’t hit me how little has changed in the intervening decades. How sad.

    By the way, I love the cartoon at the head of the article. It captures so well the importance of public education. Kate Salley Palmer is amazingly prolific, with hundreds of her cartoons on her website at:
    The cartoon at the top of your article is at:
    (Click on the cartoon to see a larger, even clearer image.)
    The dinosaurs in the LNP would love to have this too:
    Makes my blood boil.

  29. Douglas Evans

    A good summary of the differences between Labor and Coalition nicely set out largely using the words of the old silver bodgie. Unfortunately this tale of ideological deadlock retarding progress in the Lucky Country only tells half the story of the decades since 1990. There has been of course, as we all know, distressing bipartisanship (or insufficient differentiation) in critically important areas.

    So, as far as I remember:

    In the 25 years since Hawke made that speech, government has been roughly evenly divided between Coalition and Labor. The economic policies of both sides of our geriatric political duopoly has seen the steady flow of wealth to the top 10% of ‘haves’ and the corresponding impoverishment of the rest. Both ‘sides’ of politics have presided over the creeping casualization of the job market, explosive growth in public housing waiting lists, corresponding blow out in the numbers of homeless and distressing increase in the numbers of Australians who can’t manage to get through the week without forgoing meals.

    Contrary to all common sense both Coalition and Labor remain committed to continued subsidization (to the tune of billions of our tax dollars annually) of the largely foreign owned coal and gas extraction and export industries. While Labor can see the writing on the (climate) wall more clearly than the Coalition neither side has anything like an adequate suite of policies addressing either global warming or climate change mitigation.

    Finally, both Coalition and Labor are in lock step with regards their cruel, insanely expensive asylum seeker policies that are in clear and documented breach of our international obligations. The recent (very poorly reported) senate committee report on this topic exposes the lie that the boats have stopped coming saving desperate people from the risk of drowning. Apparently Border Force reported to the committee that in the past 18 months there have been something like 20 boats carrying in excess of 600 people turned back. Despite the assertions of both Coalition and Labor politicians the boats are still coming but as they are prevented from arriving and the media is denied access any drownings are happening out of sight and therefore out of mind. And we should not forget the thousands rotting in our insanely expensive, cruel and dangerous off shore gulags.

    There are many more points of disturbing Lib/Lab similarity but this will do to illustrate my point. Any or all of the above should constitute adequate grounds for not allocating a first preference to either of these political groupings. Labor is not as much on the nose as the Coalition but both sides stink. Elections are teachable moments and nothing focuses the mind of the politician more than a good whack in the vicinity of his/her primary vote. In my experience this is the only thing which attracts their attention. An increasing number of Australians seem to be of this opinion. We know that a very large number of Australians will register their disenchantment by either not voting or deliberately voting informal. The predictions seem to be that this election a record number (roughly 25%) of those who do vote will register their disapproval by not voting for either Coalition or Labor. For several elections now Labor (with a primary vote languishing in the low 30s) has only been able to compete thanks to Greens voters’ second preferences. Who governs will almost certainly be determined by the second preferences of voters whose first preferences were for parties other than Coalition or Labor. Neither Coalition nor Labor are capable of achieving 50% in their own right.

    Every election is a vital opportunity to stand up for what we think is important but as time passes, the climate and general environmental crisis deepens, the social and economic basis of the Lucky Country decays further and our moral compass is further weakened. This Federal election is therefore the most critical in the quarter century since Hawkie made that fine speech.

  30. jim

    If you thought you’d see the real Mr Turnbull well you won’t, Now I want to meet Scott Morrison’s friend Jobsons a young street fighter Jobsons knew the only way to get ahead in life is to tell the odd “little white lie” Jobsons growth grew street wise knowing just when to tell the right “white little lie” and to-day Jobson Growth is living ” little white lies” KICK em out this election.

  31. jantonius

    There is no ‘we’.
    Without cultural analysis there is no political analysis.

  32. jim

    A few Labor policies;

    Renewable energy: Offering certainty for jobs and investors in our renewable energy industry, where Australia should be seizing our natural and competitive advantages. Liberals have greatly impeded renewable energy.

    Domestic violence: A new focus on tackling family violence: a national crisis summit within our first 100 days, ending the ‘postcode lottery’ of unequal services and put the focus on perpetrator accountability, because every woman has the right to be safe in her home and in our community.Labor the first to finance womens shelters etc…

    University reform: The next step in university reform, building the bridge between enrolment and completion, a system converting uni places into degrees, into good jobs.

    Indigenous progress: Greater urgency on constitutional recognition for the first Australians and closing the justice gap – bringing together Indigenous leaders to build a consensus for progress.

    Fairer tax system: Making multinationals pay their fair share of tax in Australia. Sustainable retirement incomes: Boosting the fairness and sustainability of retirement incomes. Liberals want to give their big business buddys more cash.

    Improve the family budget: Delivering long-term structural improvements to the budget trajectory, without Liberal ram-raids on the family budget……..the Liberals cuts well some cuts by LNP ;

    Ripped another $650m out
    for diagnostic imaging and pathology services – services on which another $650m cut from Medicare by slashing bulk billing cancer patients rely;
    axing radiation and oncology programs;
    slashing $420m in aged care support for seniors with complex needs; and
    cuts to child care before the government’s reforms have even started……….Under the Abbott-Turnbull government, there has been a consistent fall in living standards; it has fallen by 3 per cent, whereas it increased 6 per cent under Labor.
    “MYEFO shows that Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison have presided over a Budget deficit blowing out at the rate of $120m per day,” Shorten said.

    “The government’s promised surplus has been junked for good.”

    The shadow treasurer said the Coalition’s fiscal strategy was now in ruins…………….

    Growth is down: GDP has been downgraded from 2.75% to 2.5% this year, and from 3.25% to 2.75%
    Investment is down: Business investment fell 6.3 % in 2014-15, and the forecast investment has decreased from -7 % to -9.5 % in 2015-16
    Spending is up: At PEFO, spending for this financial year was estimated by Treasury and Finance at 24.9% of GDP, it’s now 25.9% under the Liberals
    Deficit is up: In the 2014-15 Budget, the deficit for this year was $17.1b, in MYEFO it’s now $37.4b
    Debt is up: At PEFO, net debt for the next financial year was 12% of GDP for this year, in MYEFO it’s now 18.3%………………….Health
    of Medicare by slashing bulk billing for diagnostic imaging and pathology
    Gutted crucial health workforce training programmes by $595m
    Ripped another $146m out of health prevention and eHealth programs
    Cut important radiation and oncology programs by $27m
    Aged Care

    Cuts aged care provider funding – complex care $472m
    Cutting aged care workforce funding by $595m
    Jobs programs

    Cutting $126m Jobseeker services
    Abolish mature aged employment program saving $11m
    Slashing support for industry skills by $274m
    Child Care

    $930m from family day care – introducing new child-swapping rules without undoing previous cuts
    $344m from the proposed child care subsidy – breaking the government’s promise not to means test the child care rebate
    $61m from the government’s nannies trial – cutting the program before it even starts
    $35m from programs to help low income families in areas with high child care costs
    $3m from the Australian early development census – further exposing the government’s lack of commitment to early childhood research
    Law and Order

    Cuts to Australian Federal Police (international deployments) by $30m

    $800m cut to infrastructure from asset recycling and directed to Northern Australia only

    $1.4b in hidden cuts in decisions taken but not yet announced

    Continuing family payment cuts
    Continuing cuts to school
    Continuing cuts to hospitals
    Continuing Tony Abbott’s $1.3b hike in the price of essential medicines
    Continuing Tony Abbott’s $267m attack on the Medicare safety nets
    Continuing Tony Abbott’s $2b four year freeze on Medicare rebates for GP visits
    Continuing $100,000 degrees for university students
    Continuing cuts to family payments that will leave 1.6m families as much as $5000 a year worse off
    Continuing cuts to Newstart that will leave young jobseekers with no income support for a month
    Continuing cuts to the pension that will leave 330,000 pensioners worse off and increase the pension age to 70
    Continuing cuts to paid parental leave for thousands of new parents. Just a few cold hard facts for your consideration. In 1983 Frazer, with Howard as treasurer, handed over an economy ranked 20th in the world. In 1996 Keating handed over an economy ranked 6th in the world. By 2007 Howard and Costello had let the economy slip to 10th in the world. In 2013 Rudd, Gillard handed over the best preforming economy in the world, 3 gold star Triple AAA credit ratings after steering Australia through the GFC.
    Joe Hockey inherited a deficit of under 18 billion dollars. (MYINFO) Scott Morrison has done nothing and he has just stood by and watched as the deficit has grown to 60 billion and still growing. So on what basis do the neo conservatives, or anyone else for that matter, maintain the ludicrous idea that the neo fascist, self-righteous liars in LNP are better financial managers?

    Have the Liberals done anything of value?

  33. Douglas Evans

    Nice list Jim. I’m personally more interested in outcomes than lists. Pity things have been getting progressively worse for twenty five years. Not just when the coalition is in power. Can’t credibly blame the Libs for all that failure – much of it, even most of it, but not all of it. From my point of view the answer to your last question is no not since Howard’s gun buy back and that was a long time ago. The Coalition is a waste of space but Labor is not good enough either and should be held to account not continually excused by the ‘progressive’ middle class (what’s left of it).

  34. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Didn’t Bananababy try this stunt of transfering a government department to his own patch for his own convenience one other time?

    Good list, Jim. However, where has Labor put a dignified and livable increase to Newstart? Newstart needs boosting by 25% per fortnight immediately.

  35. totaram

    Douglas Evans: ” The Coalition is a waste of space but Labor is not good enough either and should be held to account not continually excused by the ‘progressive’ middle class (what’s left of it).”

    Amen to that.
    I have had to listen to a rant from my young son, that the so called progressives failed to fight the long fight on the “culture war front” so that the neo-liberal groupthink has become the dominant paradigm and ALL political parties in Australia go by it. He is angry that no matter which govt. comes to power, his future is being trashed. I have nothing to say to him, except “I didn’t know, I had no idea”.
    And that, sadly, is what many will be saying to their children in the years to come.

    Arthur Plottier, take note.

  36. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    I empathise with your parental lament and I endorse your son’s anger.

    I think many of us are only now awakening to the cynical, repression of neoliberalism.

    All I can say is ‘never give up’.

  37. jantonius

    Well, as I am reading here, I might as well comment.
    I don’t endorse any indiscriminate rant that cannot distinguish the Liberals as the distinctively worst danger to the country.
    Anyone indulging such a rant needs themselves to have some regard for details.

    There are things which are concerning and regressive about the ALP.

    But, that said, the ALP are much, much better than the Libs. Better in nearly every major policy area; and better in the moral character of most of their MPs – as far as I can tell. They even have some very good people. They still possess promise of social reform for equity – rather than being destroyers of equity like the Libs.
    The ranter can’t remember the initiatives of the Gillard Government, against much spoiling and lies? Then, he is feigning his interest, and offering excuse for his lack of interest in equity.

    Lazy and self-indulgent indiscriminatedness should not be encouraged by anyone concerned about what is going to happen if the electorate keep voting in these liars, crooks and environmental pillagers. The ranter is actually obeying the moral equivalence peddled by the Media – whenever the Libs get caught out as peculiarly deficient and chronically crooked.

  38. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Sorry jantonius,

    you appear to be a newcomer to this site and welcome …

    … but please don’t presume to tell the rest of us respondents how to interpret the political power game.

    We are generally aware that anything LNP is not acceptable because reason decrees THAT unless you’re stupid.

    The next stage is to determine how deserving is Labor.

    Most responpents probably would vote Labor #1 …
    …but a growing number would vote Greens #1 with a backup of TRUE Progressive Micro Parties as #3 and decent Independents as #4..

    Before you condemn your respondents, get to know their intelligence before trying to super-impose your own!

    Considering your latest comment jantonius, I might even think you are an LNP troll.

    GOD forbid, The heavens will fall upon your head from ALL directions now.

    I pray for your soul.

  39. Backyard Bob

    Jesus Jennifer, he/she was obviously responding to Douglas specifically.

  40. jantonius

    And you want to be a player in an alliance?

    Your accusations are quite ridiculous.
    I made no reference to anything but a comparison between Labor and Liberal.

    Perhaps you could stop going on about your silly alliance – trying to ram it down everyone’s throat.
    It is an insipidly inane idea. It could only attract those who lack a capacity for political reality. It is inoperable nonsense. And it is entirely untrustworthy. It is condescending while being obtuse.

    Your conduct with this post just above indicates that any allying with you would be fraught indeed.

  41. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    No jantonius,

    I will not pull my head in according to your belated entry into the discussion despite my emotive language. Oh naughty me.

    All I ask of you is not to be beguiled by the pseudo alternatives aka Labor who won’t provide major change UNLESS there are reasonable alliances formed with other parties and political reps that are NOT LNP..


    Sorry jantonius but I’m not trying to gain your vote; I’m simply trying to gain support

  42. jantonius

    Thanks anyway, BYB.
    Such an entertaining evening.
    No, I was not responding to Doug. I was replying to the pernicious fiction that there is no difference between Lib and Labor. Doug did not write that.
    A poster above wrote that a kid was spouting that LIB-LAB equivalence tosh; dangerous rubbish for anyone concerned with getting the best Government practically possible.

    Perhaps Jennifer thinks me any easy target. Mmm…

    You have completely misunderstood my post. You have made a serious mistake – as much as anything is that serious on a bloggers’ site.

  43. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Unfortunately jantonius or whatever your real name is,

    you entered a discussion from various forces with various agendas but similar goals. We might all quite like each other but we still want to mould each other. You jantonius could remind us of our higher tract that you are currently on.

    Nobody is superior. Keep to the superior goal of Progressive, Reformist, Alternative, Egalitarian Democracy,

    Those rules apply anytime.

  44. jantonius

    Just stop it.

  45. Backyard Bob


    No, I was not responding to Doug. I was replying to the pernicious fiction that there is no difference between Lib and Labor. Doug did not write that.

    Fair enough. My mistake. I presumed you were referencing Douglas because he does tend to engage in Lib/Lab equivalence rhetoric, only grudgingly accepting it as not entirely true but usually doing so with “Ok, they’re not quite equivalent, but …” style speech.

    I mean, I’m usually partially sympathetic but I find he takes it too far, generally speaking.

    Anyway, apologies for my erroneous assumption.

  46. jantonius

    That’s quite OK sport.
    Have a good evening. You deserve it.

  47. Miriam English

    I have to say I’m constantly surprised at so many Labor devotees’ insistence that an alliance between the progressives is unrealistic. How else does anybody think Labor could win the election? They won’t get into office under their own steam. They require preferences from the other progressives.

    The Liberal assholes understand this. They might be crazy and inept, but they do understand how to gather power. They teamed up with the Nationals. They set up lots of fake parties to funnel preferences their way. Tony Abbott didn’t win power on the primary vote. He won it through preferences.

    And they understand the other side of the coin too. They will be doing all they can to sow discord between Labor and the Greens and the other progressives. You can bet they will leak lies to friendly members of the press so as to fan the flames of rivalry and dispute among the progressive parties. And some of the Labor faithful — only a small number, but enough for the purposes of causing friction — can always be relied upon to short-sightedly bite. They will beat their chests and aggressively shout that Labor don’t need no stinking traitorous Greens… oddly forgetting that Labor side with the LNP far more often than the Greens do. Meanwhile more level-headed Labor people will look embarrassed and maybe even whisper to the over-enthusiastic ones to tone it down a bit, realising that their silly cheerleading could end up losing them the election.

    All of us here hope that Labor wins the election. I will be putting the Greens first, but am under no illusions about their prospects. I will be preferencing Labor and a number of progressive parties and independents.

    Labor are far better than the LNP, but they have stopped being a really progressive party. They’ve become a lesser evil. That is not an inspiring way to campaign for an election: “Vote for us, we’re not as evil as the other guys.” If Labor want to be seen as truly worth the progressive vote they need to actually be progressive.

    We all hope Labor wins so that they can stop the genuinely deep evil of the LNP and their IPA push for a totalitarian nightmare where we never again have control over our own country; where we lose forever the right of freedom of information; where we lose our wonderful health system, just as we have already almost completely lost our education system; where we have two classes: the obscenely wealthy and the rest of us who struggle to survive.

    But we need the other progressives to have enough power so that when Labor do get into office they aren’t able to just shrug off all their promises (the way Labor did in Queensland) to continue with a slower, gentler, stealthier version of what the LNP were doing. They will continue the gradual destruction of our education system; after a partial rescue of our Health system they will return to a slow dismantling of it; they will continue to give the obscenely wealthy individuals and corporations tax breaks, though not as outrageously and enthusiastically as the LNP; they will restore funding to a number of services, such as women’s shelters, but will gradually bleed away what they restore; they will continue to torture refugees illegally and for no good reason and continue Abbott’s lie that the boats have stopped; I doubt they will reverse the shroud of secrecy that the LNP have wrapped all aspects of government in.

    Don’t misunderstand me. I know there are genuinely good people inside Labor. It’s just that the machinery has rotted and it forces evil choices on them. (I also know there are genuinely good people in the LNP, but the party machine there is hopelessly corrupted by money and power.)

    We need Labor to protect us from the LNP, but we need the other progressives to protect us from Labor. And Labor need preferences from the other progressives in order to win office.

    Only those deluded by tribalism think Labor can do it on their own.

  48. Athena

    What Miriam said.

    Oh there is one point where I beg to differ. In SA, the ALP is not content with a slow dismantling of the health system.

  49. Arthur Plottier

    I second that Miriam,

  50. Matters Not

    He won it through preferences … can always be relied upon to short-sightedly bite. … shout that Labor don’t need no stinking traitorous Greens … hope that Labor wins the election … Only those deluded by tribalism think Labor can do it on their own.

    Just about sums up my view as well.

  51. Douglas Evans

    What interesting comments. Seems to me that a Labor Government is far preferable to the alternative as some commenters point out and no doubt everyone here believes. This is because of the remaining bits and pieces of the social democratic platform which was once the rationale for the Party’s existence. It is probably no accident that in this election in which they have clawed their way back from ‘no chance’ to a ‘fighting chance’ it is these aspects of their policy mix which are front and centre. At least half of Australia sees the need for increased resource and reform to health, education, welfare, research and (socially useful) infrastructure. This is what Labor should be doing and to the extent that they are able to implement useful change in these sectors, all power to their arm.

    Nevertheless it also seems to me that Totaram’s son is right in his assessment that both sides of our political duopoly have played a part in trashing his future. I’ll forget about Labor’s inadequate position on energy and climate change and their rancid asylum seeker policies to concentrate on matters that are most likely closest to Totaram’s son. From an economic point of view the commitment shared by both Coalition and Labor to globalization, their shared faith in the power of the market to get it right and their shared liking for middle class welfare like the negative gearing that means Totaram’s son will probably never own his own home (this is a Labor invention). These policy positions all contribute mightily to the increasing flood of wealth to the top and the widening gap between haves and have nots. Joseph Steiglitz and …… that other rock star economist whose name escapes me at present …… have (I’m told) convincingly demonstrated the pernicious truth about such policies. Labor however, apparently still hypnotized by the successes of the Hawke – Keating era, seem not to have noticed that the world has moved on and Australia now needs radically different trade and economic policies than those which were so spectacularly successful in the 1980-90s for Hawke and Keating and to a lesser extent in the 1990-2000s for a Howard government fire-hosing away the benefits of the mining boom.

    It seems to me that Labor is caught on the one hand with a suite of trade and economic policies far too close to those of the Coalition, that contribute greatly to degrading the social and employment conditions of a majority of Australians and, on the other a remnant social democratic platform with which it attempts to alleviate the slide caused by the other half of its agenda. There is what looks to me like a gaping chasm down the middle of its policy suite splitting it between left and right, progressive and conservative. WTF!

    I’ll speculate a bit further. This chasm reflects the dilemma facing Labor in the 21st century. To capture the attention of the aspirational voters in the marginal seats whose votes determine who governs – leaving aside the blatant pork barrelling favored by both sides – Labor needs economic policies that give the appearance of enhancing the material standard of living of these voters. It is the conservative aspect of the Labor platform that cuts through in these seats. I haven’t followed the election closely enough to know how Labor has crafted the message in the NSW and Queensland marginals that will determine the outcome of this election but I’d be fairly surprised if Bowen and Shorten weren’t vigorously massaging the hip-pocket nerve. It seems to me that while the waving of the social democratic banner has pulled Labor into something approaching poll-parity nationally, we read that it isn’t cutting through in these electorates whose voters determine the future trajectory of the Lucky Country. If ultimately Labor falls short of the mark, and I’m with those who believe this is likely, it will be because of this. If against the odds Labor squeaks into power this time it will rightly be seen as a famous victory. However should this occur watch for them crab walking back from many of their pre-election promises. Both Shorten and Bowen are right wingers who see the party in the 21st century as rightfully closer to Menzies Liberalism than any faint lingering memories of Gough Whitlam’s progressive reform agenda.

    Finally before I nick off to watch Insiders. I reckon there are three reasons why pre-election arrangements for progressive coalitions are unlikely. First both sides have so thoroughly poisoned public perceptions of the Greens that for Labor to announce or even countenance coalition would be electoral poison. Second Labor doesn’t need coalition to harvest Green voters, nearly all of which second preference Labor automatically anyway. Thirdly the deep and widespread Labor sense of entitlement to Green votes lingers on. Labor believes with a passion that the Greens have stolen their votes and hence hates them with a vengeance and miss no opportunity to pull dirty tricks on Australia’s progressive social democrats.

  52. Miriam English

    Douglas, I think that’s a pretty good assessment.

    I’d like to make a little reading of the future, if I may.

    I think this hatred of the Greens and other progressives will eventually spread so much in the Labor party that we will see Greens voters and other progressive voters become so disaffected that they’ll cease to preference Labor and we will finally see a Green government in Australia. When that happens it will take almost everyone by surprise because the Greens have always had a very small percentage of the vote. What nobody will have taken seriously is that the Greens increase their vote with every election. As climate change worsens the Greens’ vote will skyrocket.

    When Labor alienates other progressives sufficiently they will lose that support they’ve always taken so much for granted. You can already see it starting to happen. Labor insist they don’t need anyone else and they’re happy to push socially unjust, and climate-damaging policies. At some point they’ll piss off the other progressives enough that voters will see little difference between the LNP and Labor. Suddenly both the big parties will lose. Labor will see this as an abberation and won’t believe they were to blame. They will double down on their disastrous policies and blame the other progressives for bleeding off votes (this is already occurring).

    When the Greens come to power they will protect social justice and the environment and I expect we’ll see a time that people will fondly remember for decades to come, where Australia may enter a knowledge economy boom as the lucky country once more… if it hasn’t been too gutted by the two big parties insistently beating the slowly putrefying dead horse of right-wing policies.

    At the moment I don’t believe Australia ever elects the LNP. For many decades the conservatives have been a singularly uninspired bunch who most Australians see as vampires with their knives out, waiting in the wings. I think the only reason the LNP have gained power in the last 30 years is because Labor lost. I don’t think the LNP win. I think Labor wins or Labor loses. Genuine progressive alternatives are growing and soon Labor will be able to lose without ushering in the LNP vampires.

    The frustrating thing is that Labor could hold power for decades if they understood how the politics of fear, envy, and hate are destroying what they used to stand for. If they abandoned the illusion of right-wing, market-rules economics and did their job using evidence-based policies, building our society instead of tearing it down to sell it off, they would be assured of the vote well into the future. But Labor, in abandoning their principles, have created the need for the Greens and other progressive parties. And eventually, if they don’t change course, they will lose to them.

  53. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Miriam has said beautifully what I think. You are a beacon of light, Miriam.

  54. Miriam English

    Thanks Jennifer. 🙂

    I wish more Labor people took seriously what you say about there being a defacto alliance between Labor and the (other) progressives. Labor would win easily if that was publicly embraced by them. Unfortunately I think we’re seeing Labor inching their way further and further out on a branch. I hope the other progressives are strong enough before the branch eventually breaks. It’s sad to see Labor doing this to themselves.

  55. Athena

    “I think this hatred of the Greens and other progressives will eventually spread so much in the Labor party that we will see Greens voters and other progressive voters become so disaffected that they’ll cease to preference Labor and we will finally see a Green government in Australia. ”

    Agreed, Miriam. This situation we have now with the ALP preferencing Liberal and the Liberals preferencing ALP only proves that they and the big party donors are the only ones that matter. They’re not in parliament to serve the Hoi Polloi and they don’t care about Australia as a whole.They’re protecting their turf from the minor parties because it just won’t do to have people with integrity trying to expose corruption and install a transparent government.

  56. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear Athena and Miriam.

  57. nurses1968

    “This situation we have now with the ALP preferencing Liberal and the Liberals preferencing ALP”
    could you provide a link or some evidence of that

  58. Kaye Lee

    I am not sure why people are so concerned about preferencing as every voter will be allocating their own preferences.

    I also do not for the life of me understand this never-ending argument about an alliance. We are surely all agreed that no such alliance will be formalised before the election. If neither of the major parties win a majority then Turnbull will continue as PM unless an alliance of 76 others agree to support a Labor government or vote in favour of a no-confidence motion in the government. We are also all agreed that we should make a particular effort to get to know the Senate candidates for our states and to choose wisely who we elect to the house of review.

    We will either have a Labor government or a Coalition government – others will support one or other of those.

    Why are we arguing?

    Dems da facts.

  59. Athena


    Nick Xenophon’s Facebook page on 1/6/2016 has part of a radio interview between 5AA and Christopher Pyne telling people to vote Labor if they don’t want to vote Liberal.

  60. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Because Kaye,

    winning the election is only 1/2 of the puzzle completed. True, annihilating the LNP Degenerates is an essential goal but only 1/2 the story.

    The other 1/2 is how the New Alternative Government is going to operate. It won’t be much of a victory if all we get is a lukewarm version of the neoliberalists in the LNP. Labor as the default lesser evil is no great victory!

    An ALLiance Government will have diverse progressive party voices to advocate, negotiate, represent diverse policies that represent all the 99% AND the environment.

    Without an effective ALLiance, there would be less compunction on the Labor part of the puzzle to undertake to move in the opposite direction of its current neoliberalist direction which is in step with Big Biz, Uncle Rupe, conservatives in marginal seats and conservative unions.

    This means asylum seekers would continue to be neglected in detention; people on Newstart will continue to be ignored; and the Great Barrier Reef will just be a figment of our imagination as Adani starts operating with the Lib/Lab blessing.

  61. nurses1968

    One thing for certain is that people won’t be lacking choice according to the email I just got
    2016 – 76 seats, 631 candidates,
    2016 – 150 seats, 994 candidates,

    New South Wales
    2016 – 12 seats, 42 columns, 151 candidates

    2016 – 12 seats, 39 columns, 116 candidates,

    12 seats, 40 columns, 122 candidates,

    Western Australia
    12 seats, 29 columns, 79 candidates

    South Australia
    12 seats, 24 columns, 64 candidates

    12 seats, 22 columns, 58 candidates,

    Australian Capital Territory
    2 seats, 11 columns, 22 candidates

    Northern Territory
    2 seats, 8 columns, 19 candidates

  62. Athena

    I’ve always considered how-to-vote cards to be a ridiculous waste of money, because I decide where my votes goes and I decide that before election day. I read somewhere a couple of years ago (can’t find it now unfortunately) that a staggering number of people have not decided who will receive their first preference vote before they arrive at the polling booth, so the parties know that how-to-vote cards are extremely important. With the growing number of voters now choosing to vote before election day, parties are becoming quite concerned because they are unable to influence the voters’ preferences. Also if an opponent releases an 11th hour policy, then parties cannot react to it in time to influence the pre-election voters.

    GetUp! certainly recognises the importance of the how-to-vote card. They’re planning to distribute one million of them on July 2nd in targeted electorates to get rid of Liberals.

  63. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I love GetUp.

  64. Kaye Lee


    Regardless of what you want, the next government will either be Labor or Coalition. Your refusal to accept that makes any sensible conversation impossible.

  65. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Kaye Lee,

    I have actually stated on numerous occasions that I acknowledge the ALLiance can’t be a formal arrangement in time for this election.

    Sadly, that means for now, the best we can have is a Labor win – and those skeptical of Labor’s desire to work for ALL of us have to just hope that Labor remembers its conscience and recognises the benefits of working inclusively with the Greens and other Progressives. That being so will mean a more formal ALLiance can be formed at the opportune time that will allow each party its autonomy but with the guarantee of proportional places at the table and involvement in policy formation and political implementation.

    Nonetheless, the groundwork must be happening even now because voters need to know that the benefits of an ALLiance are on the way and will only have a chance of happening if the major ALLiance players are making an effort to work together.

  66. Kaye Lee

    I would hope that every individual we elect to parliament would work with the other elected representatives, taking advantage of the expert advice available to them. I would prefer no alliances, and no parties for that matter, but that isn’t going to happen. It is unlikely that Labor will win sufficient seats in its own right (I hope I am wrong), and most players are saying they will not enter into agreement with either major party which would see the Coalition continue in government, either with the majority or as a minority. Listening to what everyone is saying, unless Labor get an outright victory, we will have to endure the Coalition for another three years.

  67. Arthur Plottier

    Kaye, do not trust the politicians, specially those in the two big parties. When the time come the ALP will ask the Greens to support them.
    There is far to big difference in ideology and policies for the Coalition have some kind of agreement with the Greens
    One thing that can change all is what Nick will do if his party manage to get 4 senators and how many senators will get the Liberal democrats.
    Between Nick and the LD and the help from another nutter the coalition can form government.

  68. Backyard Bob

    I’m seriously beginning to think some of you prefer your own fantasies to political reality. It’s kind of disturbing, frankly – well, it would be if anyone in professional politics took any of it seriously.


    I wish more Labor people took seriously what you say about there being a defacto alliance between Labor and the (other) progressives. Labor would win easily if that was publicly embraced by them.

    Oh dear, supping on the JMS Kool-Aid I see. Tastes good, huh? Pity it’s laced with arsenic. But go right ahead, gulp that shit down. Excuse my tone in this post but I’ve sort of had it with this and there’s already more than enough hair on my pillow every morning.

    I mean, if you’re going to lend support to JMS’s phantasmagoria, at least do it accurately. Jennifer does not and has never spoken about a “de facto alliance”. She is touting a formal New Alliance Government where people from minor parties like Ricky Muir’s petrol-head libertarians get a seat at the ministerial table. There’s no “de facto” or lower-case “a” about that paradigm.

    It’s seems people don’t or won’t understand the Labor Party and its various demographics. You fail to take account of history and reality and the complexity therein, and you do so at your – no, our peril. I swear some of you would happily risk another LNP term for the sake of your political science fiction.

    And when people speak of “other progressives” why do you not name them? Which progressives do you mean? The Cyclists Party? Truth is when you look past the single-issue blather of most of these minor parties and read their core value or principle platform, they are all saying the same things. I’m reminded of the adage “divide and conquer”. Australian progressives have manged to do that very thing to themselves. If unity in politics means anything, then they are not aware of it.

    Getting together to swap preferences does not constitute any sort of unity, particularly when you consider the nature of Glenn Druery’s The Minor Party Alliance that gave as Bob Day and David Gun Boy.

    I’m all for the evolution of progressive forces in this country, but can we possibly do it sanely? Please. It is not going to be progressed (pun intended) by lending support to pissant micro parties who ought to exist as lobby groups, not political parties. The best and safest way to proceed is to give support to the Greens in both houses. If these indies and micros and minors and minuets are so gosh-awful progressive let them join the Greens and stop dividing the progressive vote so egregiously. Stop confusing the living hell out of the electorate.

    I’ve said this before, explained this before but I guess I’ll have to keep doing it till someone listens to me: The Labor Party is not a progressive party. Never has been (in the sense we currently employ the term “progressive”). It has always possessed a significant dimension of that nature, expressing itself more clearly in particular eras, but it is far, far more complex and diverse than that. Labor is ultimately a party built on unionism and workers’ rights. What fool thinks that workers are all progressive, or that unionists are all progressive? Some of them are catholic conservatives; some unions are anything but progressive in their outlook (e.g. SDA). Many Labor voters from these demographics are centrists. This is not because of the drift to the Right by the Labor Party over the last 30 years but because they have always been such!

    Anecdote time: Spending a fair amount of time in hospitality venues is both educational and variously depressing. I meet as broad a cross-section of the community as one could reasonably imagine in environments where people are generally relaxed, if not in fact far too much so, and who tend to speak their mind about stuff. I meet small business people and tradies and blue collar workers every day every other day. Many of these folk are Labor centrists. They vote Labor ostensibly on the basis of their approach to industrial relations and not because of social policy. They are often jingoistic, xenophobic, chauvinistic and culturally insular types who express a deep distrust for the more “left” elements and for Parties like the Greens. It matters not one whit that such suspicion or distaste is based in ignorance or Murdochian propaganda. In the context of an election – not one whit.

    Such types are manifest. They are election result changing. Most of them would never admit to it but they are the types that would vote for the LNP, or a conservative minor party or independent, if Labor gave them sufficient cause to do so. And guess what – a public alliance with the Greens or some whacko-the-diddlio progressive parties would be just such a reason.

    You can’t steam-roll or intimidate these people into progressive modes of thinking and you’re a fool to try. I know, I’ve been arguing with them for 30 effing years, employing every debate and interpersonal technique theory ever invented in the history of the universe, and it’s gotten me little further than nowhere.

    Such people, like most of us, are herd animals, herd thinkers. Everyone likes to think they are not like this, but, they are. People will come around to more progressive modes of thought and attitude when and if it becomes culturally and politically normative – or where the cultural momentum thereto is irresistible. There are signs we’re heading in that direction. There are signs that the global experiment with neo-conservatism is waning. Canada, Britain, the amazing and simultaneously heart-warming and heart-breaking level of success of Bernie Sanders. And in Australia there are signs, not just with the emergence of progressive political parties (at least the ones that are actually progressive and not such self-serving groups), but also with the Labor Party. Whether as a result of cultural forces or for more internal political reasons, over the last 6 months Labor has been reaching out to its progressive base more directly than it has for some time.

    Luckily for us, professionals working in the major parties actually do polling and ascertain what their electorates are actually thinking. They don’t just pull aspirational ideas out of their butts and pretend they are reality. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of those aspirational ideas, I’m just not a fan of them being destroyed by misguided young Turkism. And no, this isn’t because I’m past it, it’s because I’m acutely aware of the dangers of it in this particular political moment.

    Personally, I hope the Greens pick up a couple more seats in Victoria and at least a couple more in the Senate. I’m yet to be convinced about the benefits of Xenophon. He makes me nervous and I don’t like that. He seems ok on some points, but then he is happy to side with the Government in ruining the financial lives of thousands (especially the young) by messing with their penalty rates. I think that’s pretty much a deal breaker for me.

    Jennifer’s Alliance concept isn’t merely pie-in-the-sky, it’s ultimately dangerous, at least as it’s being promoted by her, and now, seemingly others. With the increasingly likely event of a Labor minority government, mixed with a greater representation of Greens, there is all sorts of scope for the next Parliament to be invigorated and massaged along by progressive ideals and thinking. There was a mood, a little while back, for something akin to radical, revolutionary change, you know, when people were actually marching in the streets. The Abbott phenomenon. That period and that mood has diminished considerably. It’s morphed into a kind of sombre, cynical weariness that does not contain the same TV-punching energy of before. That is important. It ought inform our approach, moving forward (oh, crap, I just said “moving forward” – I apologise).

    I think the energy levels are about right at this time. Labor is moving with confidence and esprit de corps, there’s progressive energy which will help (if some folk can keep it in their pants) and the conservatives are looking increasingly fragile, desperate and crippled with ennui.

    But yeah, I began in a vein of intemperance and I continue to be frustrated by the willful ignorance expressed regarding what Labor is – not so much the Party, I get those criticisms and I very much sympathise, but rather with the actual composition of the Labor electorate. I don’t give two hoots if you don’t like some of it; I don’t either, but then again I don’t like some of the far-left whack-jobs in the Greens, but to ignore aspects of Labor’s actual voter demography – and pretend it can somehow be circumvented or ignored, is, to me, suicidal.

  69. Kaye Lee

    Arthur, the Coalition doesn’t need anyone’s support. Unloess Labor win 76 seats in their own right, the Coalition will automatically continue governing even with a minority because everyone has ruled out any formal agreement to support either of the majors. People must understand that the default is that the Coalition continue to govern.

    For this reason I feel it is very important to vote Labor for the HoR and then make considered choices for the Senate (with the Coalition not featuring as one of them).

  70. Arthur Plottier

    Bob, my impression about Xenophon is similar to yours, IMO he is a fence seater ready to jump to the coalition side than the ALP or Greens.
    Xenophon with possible 4 sesats in the senate plus the Liberal Democrats can be dangerous.

  71. Kaye Lee

    Surely the Liberal Democrats won’t get another run? The guy is mad plus he has already announced he will resign immediately and gift the seat to someone else. Do we really want people campaigning against pool fences and bike helmets while telling us wind farms make us sick but smoking and guns are just fine and dandy.

    Xenophon is a populist. He will vote the way he thinks we want him to (though he did vote for the wind commissioner – quid pro quo perhaps?)and will shamelessly push for South Australia (I suppose it is his job) regardless of whether a dozen subs are a good investment or not. I wish he would scrap the subs and try to save the car industry.

  72. Backyard Bob


    Bob, my impression about Xenophon is similar to yours, IMO he is a fence seater ready to jump to the coalition side than the ALP or Greens.

    Xenophon frustrates me because there is quite a lot to like about many of the positions he takes. But then he goes and spoils it all by saying something stupid like “I love you” – to poor industrial relations concepts.

  73. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Do us all a favour ByB and break up your vitriolic tirades into more palatable chunks, would you? And be careful, who you accuse of passing around arsenic. Your constant naysaying and criticisms of other people’s contributions with only a smattering of your own suggested solutions, is beyond palatable.

    I don’t think I’m wrong about Muir’s MP status but I will say so, if I find that I am. Yes he was in AMEP but I honestly thought he had become Independent by default especially after his connection with PUP subsequently broke too.

    If I’m wrong, then I’m wrong. I’m simply making an observation that Muir has grown into being a thinking and thoughtful MP in the Senate and worth considering as one of the 12 choices for the Senate from Victoria when voting below-the-line.

    As Miriam said above, we hope Labor does not turn its back on its allies because it is scared of losing the narrow-minded hippocket nerve voters in the marginals, but they would do so at their own peril.

    By the way ByB, you’re not the only person out here on the barricades discussing politics with people daily. We all have our own anecdotal experiences of what drives people’s opinions and aspirations.

  74. Athena

    I attended a public meeting during the week with Nick Xenophon and Matthew Wright and Nick said some things that indicate building the subs in SA isn’t done and dusted yet. There’s nothing in the contract about SA apparently, despite all the hype from Turnbull and Pyne. The day after that meeting Xenophon was campaigning outside of the ASC to “Make Ship Happen”. Although I notice on the corflute around the neighbourhood that Pyne is telling everyone he has delivered the sub building to SA.

    Unless one of the major parties is going to give a long term commitment to the car industry, I can’t see how we would keep it going. The manufacturers aren’t going to invest in an on-again, off-again climate.

  75. Backyard Bob


    Do us all a favour ByB and break up your vitriolic tirades into more palatable chunks, would you?

    Sorry. Rest assured if I compose a vitriolic tirade I’ll take your attention span into account.

  76. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Apparently, I was wrong about Muir being an Independent. I apologise and I will re-think my position on whether I will put him within the 12 spots below-the-line in the Senate. Although I quite like him for his empathetic stand on issues of employment security and unemployment, I would not favour supporting a libertarian party like AMEP.


    spoken like a true viper.

  77. Douglas Evans

    Kaye Lee
    Don’t understand your comment on Xenophon. Do you see his vote for the wind commissioner as supporting the wind energy industry or opposing it? Just for clarification Xenophon hates the wind power industry. The wind commissioner was (perhaps you already know?) an invention of his and that other clean energy recalcitrant Senator Madigan intended to slow the spread of the demon machines that make people sick in so many, many ways, not.

    On other matters

    I see that this election as last time, you advocate voting for Labor in the Reps because presumably (now as you announced then) the threat from the other side is so great that experiments with alternative possibilities will not suffice. Well a number one next to Labor is a vote for their cruel, unsustainable, insanely expensive asylum seeker policies. These have been shown to be in contravention of our international obligations. A number one next to Labor is a vote for economic and trade policies that have previously worsened, and are guaranteed to continue to exacerbate the division between rich and poor in this country. A number one next to Labor is a vote for a Party without a coherent suite of global warming and climate change mitigation programs adequate for the challenge that confronts us. There is no other possible interpretation, vote for them directly and you signal your acceptance of these policies.

    If that is all OK with you, good luck to you, I suspect it is not OK with many others who frequent this site, but your vote is your right so go right ahead. If not, a number one next to the square that represents some other Party or individual whose policies don’t have these shortcomings and a number two next to Labor will have the required effect. Labor will have been put just a little bit on notice and your vote will still snuggle down where you think it should be.

    As I have said before many times, and on this occasion somewhere above, what is left of the progressive middle class must hold Labor to account for their shortcomings, not simply avert its eyes and wave them through come election time, hoping that somewhere down the track they will see sense. Decades of history indicate that the lesson the Party takes from this tacit acceptance of the unacceptable is that they got away with it this time and history suggests that they will continue to do so. It is past crunch time. We either stand up for what we believe in at the election box or we are complicit in the continued blurring of our moral compass, the continued erosion of our international reputation and the continued slide into economic and environmental chaos.

  78. Backyard Bob


    spoken like a true viper.

    Actually you got precisely the response your comment deserved. If you want to play mongoose, well, you know …

  79. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well said, Douglas Evans.

  80. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    pot calling the kettle black.

  81. Backyard Bob


    There is no other possible interpretation, vote for them directly and you signal your acceptance of these policies.

    Did your Buddhist studies teach you nought about logic? Oh, yeah, it was Tibetan Buddhism so I guess not. That cheap shot aside, your point is garbage and you know it. If you’re not aware of the logical fallacy you just indulged in I suggest you visit a fallacy website and see if you can figure it out.

    Show me a person whose political party reflects every idea and principle they’ve ever had and I’ll show you a religious nutjob.

    I’m sympathetic to the Greens 1, Labor 2 idea for “message’ purposes, but at the same time something about it makes me nervous. Oh, it’s probably Di Natale.

  82. Kaye Lee


    This is what you did before the last election and I am no more willing to tolerate it now than I was then. Do not presume to tell me what I think.

    Would you care to comment on what I was actually speaking about, as opposed to what you want to tell me I was speaking about, and that is that if Labor do not win 76 seats in the HoR then the Coalition will remain in government.

    And, having read the Senate Committee report, I am very aware of the role Xenophon played in that madness, hence my comment.

  83. Miriam English

    Given that there will be no alliance in the near future, can Labor win 76 seats to oust the LNP?

    If I vote Greens 1 and Labor 2 does that pass on to Labor if Greens don’t get elected here? If I lived in an area where a Greens representative could be elected I presume my preference for Labor would not be used. That would give me a horrible choice. Vote as my heart dictates, or cast a strategic vote for the lesser evil simply to get rid of the LNP.

  84. Douglas Evans

    Yes a cheap shot and a wildly inaccurate one. Tibetan Buddhism is extraordinarily rigorous wrt the application of logic. There is no logical fallacy here. If you vote for a Party you agree with or (as a minimum) acquiesce to its policies. No ifs, no buts that is a logical certainty. I suspect that what you are thinking of is not so much logic as pragmatics. The art of what is deemed to be possible assuming that the other camp (whether across the chamber or within the Party) will never accept a principled outcome so the starting point for a discussion or a decision on how to vote, needs to be an assumption of compromise. For decades I swallowed hard, looked the other way and voted for a string of Labor icons in the Reps (the most recent and probably the last was Lindsay Tanner) knowing that they would probably betray their social democratic roots (again) but hoping that somehow this time it would be different. It never was. Finally the penny dropped and I realized that irrespective of the personal qualities of the candidate in my seat (and his 80s economic policies aside Tanner was a good’un) policy is decided by wholly different considerations. What is playing in the marginals? What delivers advantage to the dominant warring faction(s) within the Party? What are the corporate or union rent seekers demanding now from their personal political plaything?

    If there had been no alternative (of course The Greens) I would probably still have been voting Labor with a dreadful sinking feeling each time I did so. After retiring and four years of climate change activism and advocacy I finally realized (around 2009 or 2010) the absolute bankruptcy of Labor’s position on this, the issue of our times which will certainly define our future. I note neither party wishes to seriously address this time around either). Quelle surprise! Don’t bother to list the half baked pre-election promises from Labor of support for renewable energy – they’ve made ’em before, they never eventuated, they never will. Neither of the old parties understands the urgency of this issue and according to the scientists we are now less than one electoral from the point at which emissions have to start trending down at a dizzying 9% p.a. Labor taking us there? Of course not! After retiring from this battle because it was doing my head in after six years of struggle, I know what I’m talking about here. Neither Coalition nor Labor has a clue what they are dealing with. Both are in hock to the fossil fuel industry, but I digress.

    The point is that at about the time the penny dropped for me that Labor was never going to save us from ourselves. Lindsay Tanner put in an email to me that to vote for the Greens was simply to limit oneself to shouting from the sidelines – Greens voters were never going to help shape Australia’s political trajectory. Well guess what? Decades of experience showed me that Labor voters don’t either, so I might as well vote for a Party platform that I could almost without exception support. That, my friend was a liberating experience. Instead of endlessly debating what might get past the opposing factions or the various un-elected rent seekers we were simply discussing how to begin to make things better – what should be the principles that informed a Party platform. I won’t inflate my role here I was for a small time peripherally involved in these matters. I was a branch rank and file member. I door knocked for Adam Bandt in 2010 (and had the extraordinary good luck that the campaign was successful and he was elected – it was a great party). I played an even smaller role in his successful 2013 campaign and was slightly active in a couple of State campaigns. Again I digress – privilege of the ageing!

    My point is this:
    First; if you vote for the Party you accept or at least acquiesce to its policies. This remains so when you agree with most of the policies but disagree with a handful (no matter how vital). No logical fallacy there.
    Second; to vote for the least worse option is understandable in the absence of an alternative. But there is at least one alternative progressive party whose policies don’t have the shortcomings I listed above and whose other policies do not differ greatly from the remnant social democratic policies Labor has highlighted with some success this election.
    Third elections are teachable moments for political parties. I don’t over-estimate the possibilities here, but of the diminishing potential for individual voters to influence the future trajectory of the Lucky Country your vote is certainly the strongest.
    Fourth the peculiarities of our electoral system, whether fair or not, dictate that voters list preferences and that if your first preference doesn’t get up your vote goes to the second and then the third preference etc.

    Now given points 1,2,3 and 4 above I ask you BYB, logically speaking, how does anyone concerned with the issues I listed in this and previous comments above, justify a first preference for Labor?

  85. Backyard Bob

    Given that there will be no alliance in the near future, can Labor win 76 seats to oust the LNP?

    Yes, if you vote Labor in the HoR. What is this “alliance” shit? Beyond my awesome drinking game it’s total insanity. Who on the left is going to get elected by this “alliance” gibberish in the HoR? Labor is utterly necessary to defeat the LNP. Suck it up. Have we forgotten how bad this mob are?

    Wow, Turnbull has made an impact, hasn’t he … we actually think we have the luxury of experimentation. Fine, but damn you to hell if you screw it up…

  86. Douglas Evans

    Kaye Lee
    To briefly deal with Xenophon – the meaning your post was unclear to me I accept your clarification.

    On the rest of it well you said it not me. “For this reason I feel it is very important to vote Labor for the HoR and then make considered choices for the Senate (with the Coalition not featuring as one of them).” What you think is pretty clear. Why would I bother to tell you what you think? You’ve already told everyone quite clearly! Last election, as in this post, I put a simple (I believe) uncontroversial proposition to you and others about the use of the preference system to send a message, however weak it might be, to Labor about voter dissatisfaction with some of their least satisfactory policies. I set out my argument and reasons as always. That time and now again you have responded with what I might call haughty disdain but now as then, deign to offer no reasoned argument or justification. I will refrain from speculating about what this might mean.

    Although I don’t get here as often as once I did when I come across your writing I admire your productivity and the clarity with which you write. I generally agree with your pieces. However on this instance you write: “Would you care to comment on what I was actually speaking about, as opposed to what you want to tell me I was speaking about, and that is that if Labor do not win 76 seats in the HoR then the Coalition will remain in government.” Well I have already written a heap about all this and more up above. Perhaps you might read it and respond?

  87. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well said again, Douglas Evans.

    ByB, don’t get too desperate that some of us are questioning Labor’s integrity or the chance of an Alliance getting up sometime very soon. If the LNP Degenerates can be a coalition and make it acceptable to their vote support base, it stands to reason the Alliance can work too.

    You’ve had a good go at trying to intimidate people for daring to express their viewpoint. Time to build bridges and not get your allies backs up. Considering you like to use psychological gameplays on others, I’m surprised you don’t know this.

    We all need to win this election from the LNP and Labor does not deserve the credit alone. Simple as that. (I look forward to you quoting me in bold lettering again btw.) 😉

  88. Backyard Bob


    Tibetan Buddhism is extraordinarily rigorous wrt the application of logic

    Ok, that was the funniest thing I’ve read this year, or maybe ever. Btw, I’m a Zennist so I’m almost obligated, by reason no less, to find Tibetan Buddhism absurd.

    There is no logical fallacy here. If you vote for a Party you agree with or (as a minimum) acquiesce to its policies. No ifs, no buts that is a logical certainty.

    That is total crap. No wonder Tibetan Buddhism is the most “logical form” of Buddhism you could tolerate. You know nothing of actual logic, Douglas. Nothing at all. Don’t sully that term in your moral rhetoric, please.

    First; if you vote for the Party you accept or at least acquiesce to its policies. This remains so when you agree with most of the policies but disagree with a handful (no matter how vital). No logical fallacy there.

    Sigh. Yes there is. Please don’t make me patronise you by explaining it. I generally like you too much to do that. Just reflect on it a while. For personal, not political reasons.

  89. Backyard Bob


    “You’ve had a good go at trying to intimidate people for daring to express their viewpoint.”

    For me this bullshit indicts you. But by all means type “alliance” again, I could use a drink.

  90. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks for your permission, ByB, I will anyway.

  91. Miriam English

    Backyard Bob, it would be nice if you could avoid going ballistic each time people speak of wanting some kind of alliance between Labor, the Greens and other progressives. You screech as if someone was making an invokation to open the gateway to hell. If you read my statement carefully you’ll see I was saying “Given that there will be no alliance in the near future”.

    If Labor could see their way to being less pig-headed then an alliance of Labor and enough progressives to make up the needed 76 seats could take the government away from the LNP. But Labor say they won’t, so because of that gamble they have the much harder task of winning all the seats themselves (naturally, they understand that many of those will come from Greens and other progressive voters who have preferenced Labor as a result of the defacto, unofficial alliance that exists whether you decry it or not).

    Of course, if Labor falls short and doesn’t get all 76 seats we will almost certainly see Labor suddenly have a change of heart and decide some kind of alliance not not such a bad idea after all.

  92. Kaye Lee


    “There is no other possible interpretation, vote for them directly and you signal your acceptance of these policies.” Crap. Sorry for not being more verbose but that is all that assertion deserves.

    I would say to you, if you fool around with HoR votes then you are voting to keep a Coalition government because that is what will happen unless the Labor Party win 76 seats. You assume I don’t read what you write. You are incorrect. I am aware of your point of view and don’t share it specifically because the risk is too great.

  93. nurses1968

    Miriam English

    “Of course, if Labor falls short and doesn’t get all 76 seats we will almost certainly see Labor suddenly have a change of heart and decide some kind of alliance not not such a bad idea after all.”

    Why would they if Labor get less than 76 seats they will be in Opposition, pure and simple and what good is some coalition in Opposition
    I choose to use the word coalition so as to avoid Backyard Bob reaching for a drink

  94. Backyard Bob


    Thanks for your permission, ByB, I will anyway.

    I know; it wan’t permission, but encouragement.

  95. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    you make me laugh …

    … although your comment should have the opposite affect for it’s stupidity

    but I feel like being magnanimous at this time of night.


    is that coz you want another drink?

  96. Kaye Lee


    The Independents have said they won’t as well. As for Di Natalie…..he scares me

    The senator said he would “never say never” about one day forming a coalition government with the Liberal Party, but stressed he thought an alliance with Labor was much more probable.

    “In my view it’s much more likely that the opportunity rests with Labor, but you should never rule out any possibility, though it’s unlikely,” he said. “‘Never say never’ is the quote I’d use about everything in politics.”

  97. Backyard Bob


    Of course, if Labor falls short and doesn’t get all 76 seats we will almost certainly see Labor suddenly have a change of heart and decide some kind of alliance not not such a bad idea after all.

    Please show me all those seats where this “alliance” would make a difference to what is actually already happening. Are you suggesting to me that “progressive” minor parties aren’t preferencing Labor?

    Please explain the numeracy of this alliance to me in the context of HoR because Jennifer certainly cannot.

    Please, for God’s sake I get the progressive idealism but where is the reality, the necessary pragmatism?

  98. Miriam English

    nurses1968, if Labor shared power with enough others to get the 76 positions needed I believe they would be in government, not opposition. Of course if they stick to the idea of not working with others (and it looks like they will) then they would be in opposition…. unless they get enough primary votes and preferences to get 76 seats themselves.

    🙂 Good idea to avoid the “a” word. Backyard Bob has had more than enough to drink tonight.

  99. Miriam English

    🙁 Jennifer, please don’t be prickly towards nurses1968. I thought she was making a good point.

  100. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Yes Miriam. 🙂

  101. Miriam English

    Kaye, I thought di Natalie was merely being truthful. If the LNP decided to see sense and stop worshipping money as the most important thing in the universe then perhaps they could actually become small “l” liberals. I know it is pretty unlikely (as he notes), but strange things can happen.

    In the USA the two major parties have completely changed places. The Republicans used to be for change and freeing the slaves. The Democrats fought against that. Now the Republicans are the backward-looking racists who want to return to a golden age that never existed and the Democrats are the force for progressive change.

    Here in Australia, Labor are gradually becoming more right-wing and we have a former free-thinker at the head of the LNP. Perhaps it’s not completely far-fetched that a push could switch things.

  102. Miriam English

    Holy cow. It’s after 8:30. Gotta go cook up some veges for dinner. I need my brains tomorrow to help a friend with their computer, and I think so much better if I eat a bowl of veges the night before. G’night all.

  103. nurses1968

    From my understanding in a hung Parliament Turnbull would accept the reins again if he could get a guarantee of Supply and confidence of the Independents. From what I have read of the Independents currently there like Mcgowan and some would have a slim possibility of getting elected none have said they would not guarantee supply. I cannot think of 1 Independent of Micro who have the slightest possibility of winning a seat come out and say they would not support the LNP in the case of a hung House of Reps
    Alliance Jennifer
    “although your comment should have the opposite affect for it’s stupidity”
    to do a Hanson please explain or are you just adept at talking nosense

  104. Backyard Bob

    Good idea to avoid the “a” word. Backyard Bob has had more than enough to drink tonight.

    Oh, really? Ok, I’ll stop “drinking” when you explain the numeracy of HoR “alliance” voting to me.

    My sobriety, and possibly life, is in your hands. Ok, sobriety (and maybe not even that but hell I didn’t start that).

    Oops, she’s gone off to cook. Oh well. Life happens.

  105. nurses1968

    Jennifer Meyer-SmithJune 12, 2016 at 8:08 pm


    you make me laugh …

    I’m STILL in hysterics over the imaginary JMS ALLIANCE
    Sorry BYB

  106. nurses1968

    Miriam English
    sorry, I didn’t notice your clocking off my query can wait and I’m about to knock off too as my employer is due home about now

  107. Kaye Lee


    The Coalition won’t need a guarantee of support from anyone in the case of a hung parliament. As incumbents, they stay put – unless Labor did make an alliance which the independents have already said they would not do. They have also said they would not support a motion of no confidence and even Labor won’t block supply.

  108. Athena

    “As for Di Natalie…..he scares me”

    I can’t believe how much this comment – which is nothing more than a reflection of honesty and sensibility – has been distorted. If, by some chance, the Liberals became less evil and the Greens were able to negotiate satisfactorily with them, everyone would be up in arms because once upon a time, when circumstances were very different and no one could see the future, Di Natale said he’d never deal with them. How many times do we hear people say “never” and then go back on their word? For goodness sake, if he lies he’s an arse who can’t be trusted and he tells the truth he’s still an arse who can’t be trusted.

  109. Backyard Bob


    People never understand the rules. The Alliance Drinking Game™ is based on JMS typing “alliance”, not just anyone, dammit. Stop trying to usurp her turf!

  110. nurses1968

    Backyard Bob
    Sorry, I will play by the rules

  111. Backyard Bob

    Hahaha, yeah, like hell.

  112. Douglas Evans

    Kaye Lee
    As usual when challenged you respond with unsupported assertions and by turning up the volume. Your grasp of logic appears to be no better than your understanding of the nature of the preference distribution system. Labor looks unfortunately as though it will not make it to government and it will have nothing to do with preference distribution. See you later.

  113. Backyard Bob

    I’d like to, en passant, note that Di Natale was educated in the Catholic School system, for those who think that means something. You know, idiots and the like, who, you know, think that means something …

  114. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well nurses1968 and ByB,

    your attempts at denigrating The Alliance is falling on deaf ears actually. Sorry I didn’t respond earlier but I was watching Dr Thorne on ‘our’ ABC. You might like to watch it too to see how people in mid 18th century England played politics and deception, while attempting to pull the right strings for a society marriage at the expense of a marriage of true love.

    Do you see the analogy to your own refusal to see the wonderful marriage that the Greens and Labor could have?

    I suggest you start getting a little bit real and understand that there are many dissatisfied Australian citizens, who do not feel either of the Lib/Lab flipflops represent them.

    If you don’t get the message NOW while there is still time, you will be just as guilty as every other naysayer who stands in the way of allowing the Alliance to form against a return of Malcolm Muck and his Degenerates.

  115. Kaye Lee

    Perhaps you could inform me about what I do not understand about the preference distribution system because as far as I am concerned it is very straight forward. I have not turned up any volume….you just cannot stand for anyone to disagree with you and I find it particularly arrogant. And you are a fine one to talk about unsupported assertions as you tell me what I endorse and what I do not understand. It is a very annoying habit of yours Douglas. You would do better to discuss what you think than to tell me what I know or don’t know because you are invariably wrong.

  116. Backyard Bob


    Labor looks unfortunately as though it will not make it to government and it will have nothing to do with preference distribution.

    What will it have to do with, then, Douglas? Tell us. You seem to be less rational in your commentary than previous incarnations. See how I used “incarnations” to speak to your Tibetan Buddhist sensibilities.

    You offer no details beyond the your stock standard objections to modern Labor ideology – which in itself I don’t entirely reject – of why you think Labor will lose. Why do you think this, and what actual non-platitudinous analysis do you bring to that view?

    Why do you think the momentum isn’t swinging sufficiently against the Government for a change thereof? Moaning about what you want Labor to be and bemoaning its past is all well and good, but this is hardly the time for that.

    No wonder some Labor people are shit-off with the Greens. Some of you are are deserving of it because you don’t know when NOT to be the drunken Uncle at the wedding.

    You’re at the wedding. You got an invite. Don’t stuff it up.

  117. Backyard Bob


    I suggest you start getting a little bit real and understand that there are many dissatisfied Australian citizens, who do not feel either of the Lib/Lab flipflops represent them.

    Oh jeez, we don’t understand that? Oh, golly gosh-tinferry we must be silly then. We surely must be spanked to within an inch of our lives. Whimper.

  118. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    OMG! Did you have enough time to pick up on the marriage analogy or is it just divine intervention that you chose to use that drunken Uncle cliche?

  119. Backyard Bob

    I neither know nor care and confess a level of fear at finding out …

  120. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I’m off to watch more tv coz it’s more riveting.

  121. Matters Not

    Spent the last little time looking at the possible Senate outcomes here in Queensland. Labor should get 4, the LNP will probably get 6, while the Greens will get 1. The only ‘seat’ in play is the last vacancy – number 12.

    Seems to me, the serious contenders for that last vacancy include Jane Casey (ALP), Dan Ryan (LNP), Andrew Bartlett (Greens), Pauline Hanson, (One Nation) and Glenn Lazarus (the thick as a brick candidate).

    How one can ‘promote’ or ‘prevent’ the election of this final ‘Senator’ seems beyond (my) rational planning.

    In my extended preference allocation, Casey, Bartlett, and Lazarus will probably/possibly get a ‘mention’ (receive a number) while the others above will be ignored.

    Can anyone tell me where my analysis and intention is in ‘error’. I do admit the possible permutations and combinations are almost infinite.

  122. Backyard Bob


    You sleep well while I remind people of certain political realities and the questions they raise:

    Ps, Backyard Bob, if you have any valid reasons for reservations about the Australian Progressives (or specific details on the cause of Tim Jones’ departure), I would appreciate you posting an informational link.

    “Btw, in regard to this, you could just ask Jennifer for some info since she was part of the process and her signature is at the bottom of the document(s) concerning it. I don’t occasionally throw it in her face for no reason. I actually think it is a matter of public interest that the Australian Progressives took significant punitive action against their founder and that he continues to publicly warn against supporting them.

    If I’m going to vote for them – i.e. take them seriously – I’d like to know that this action was reasonable and not something that might cause me concern regarding their nature.”

    I spoke to Tim Jones today and he repeated his view that the Australian Progressives ought not be supported because “they act like children”. He also showed me correspondence with Jennifer that cast doubt on the merit of the process by which he left his party.

    Jennifer touts Australian Progressives as a serious Senate choice. Tim Jones says they’re a joke. Whom/which is true.

    Know your candidates.

  123. Backyard Bob


    I do admit the possible permutations and combinations are almost infinite.

    That probably defeats any notion of people suggesting you might be in “error”.

  124. Matters Not

    Not really ByB, I’ve advanced a number of possibilities and (perhaps) probabilities. All of which can be evaluated and commented on. That’s my ongoing invitation.

    I perhaps should also draw your attention to the fact that ‘error’ was in inverted commas. Deliberate!

    You know, an intellectual ‘escape’ clause. Something to be defined in terms of ‘necessary and sufficient conditions’ at a later date, in case some dickhead or other gets ‘picky’.

  125. Backyard Bob


    Then in the spirit of mischief, I will quote you more fulsomely:

    Can anyone tell me where my analysis and intention is in ‘error’. I do admit the possible permutations and combinations are almost infinite.

    I do agree the possibilities in which you may be wrong are infinite. 🙂 It may be, however, a matter to be considered by particle physicists that our errors sometimes collide.

  126. Athena

    “Jennifer touts Australian Progressives as a serious Senate choice. Tim Jones says they’re a joke. Whom/which is true.”

    Sasha Pazeski is one of two SA candidates for Australian Progressives. After the announcement that he would be the SA candidate (only one person named at the time), several weeks ago, he pulled out, stating that his life situation and juggling of work and family life didn’t leave him the time to be a politician. Then a few weeks ago he announced he was running again, after witnessing some political situations and deciding that he needed to do something about it. There has been no mention of anything changing at home that is now making it possible for him to run. The uncertainty at this point makes me doubt his capabilities. I question the wisdom of electing him for a 6 year term. Even though I like many of the party’s policies I won’t be voting for this candidate.

  127. Matters Not

    the possibilities in which you may be wrong are infinite

    Yep! Then comes the ‘problem’ (among many) of what meaning to give to ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. Followed by the possible meanings that might be given to ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and so on.

    But let’s not drift off into metaphysical, epistemological and axiological discussions on this thread because most readers will die of boredom. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

    But we are talking about base politics here.

    Now back to what advice you may have re my Senate voting optional analysis. Any comments?

  128. Backyard Bob

    Yes. Don’t screw it up!

    I think that’s the most important thing I could advise you to do, or possibly do, with your choice, or someone else’s choice of not to do anything at all, which may be your choice, prerogatively speaking, but not wishing to imply you should do anything but make your choice, if you choose or not to choose to choose anyone’s choice or non-choice – my probable choice is to very likely but not certainly choose to make a decision based on nothing more than fancy.

    I’m confident of that.

  129. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    congratulations for digging around for dirt on the Australian Progressives, an emerging Progressive Micro Party that offers a progressive and reformist set of policies and political aspirations as an alternative to the dinosaur duopoly.

    It is true I was on a special panel to ensure that Tim Jones’ position in the party was examined and that party processes were acting fairly and objectively. We three panelists acted accordingly. Any other correspondence you purport to have witnessed would only support this contention.

    I no longer have access to the records, so I am not able to quote any particular section, and nor would I, if it contravened any privacy considerations.

    I was closely involved in the Australian Progressives a while ago but my focus has changed. Nonetheless, I support the immense energy, intelligence, innovative progressiveness of the people, who belong to the Australian Progressives. They are not manacled by the chains confining true, progressive reform behaviours as those in Labor are.

    Now that I have told you as much as I am prepared to on the matter, I suggest you use that same level of scrutiny on how Labor treats its insiders. I especially would like to know how the branches are stacked to parachute outsiders into seats that local constituents would prefer for a true local. Does Feeney come to mind by any chance?

    Athena, I agree each of our votes are precious and we must not throw them away. I don’t know Sasha Pazeski-Nikoloski the SA AP Senate candidate, but I found this on the AP website. See He sounds like the type of person I would vote for.

    Meanwhile, I do know the AP candidates standing in Victoria and I intend voting below-the-line for the 2 Victorian Senate candidates, who are David Knight and Josh Gilmore. I can’t vote for Russell Hayward who is the House of Rep candidate in Batman because I don’t live there, but I know Russell to be a decent, energetic, progressive person and would recommend him to those constituents who live in Batman.

  130. Athena

    “Athena, I agree each of our votes are precious and we must not throw them away. I don’t know Sasha Pazeski-Nikoloski the SA AP Senate candidate, but I found this on the AP website see He sounds like the type of person I would vote for.”

    Sasha looks ok on paper. But a few weeks ago he didn’t have the time for politics. Now nothing seems to have changed to create more time but he’s back again, and he hasn’t spent any time in Canberra yet. He should have his personal life all sorted before he even throws his hat into the ring. What happens when he is in the job for one month and decides he doesn’t have the time? Six years is a long time to keep someone in the position who doesn’t have time to represent South Australia’s and Australia’s interests. He’ll need to be up to date on many different issues if he is to vote wisely on them. Where will he find the time for that?

  131. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    True Athena, but that goes for all the candidates. I can only suggest you pose those questions to Sasha yourself. I would assume he would have the good decency to reply to your queries, which is not what you can expect from the dinosaurs.

  132. cornlegend

    Dougy Evans ,geez retirement isn’t suiting you, you were grumpy in 2010 grumpier in 2013 and now 2016 wew !
    Kaye Lee and I have butted heads over the years and now and then she has basically told me to pull my head out of my arse and I have told her to {nah, too gentlemanly :-} } but the bottom line is she does her homework, writes some bloody good articles and from what I see has a pretty good knowledge of preferences
    You Dougy lad seem to just go into denial and we end up with the Gunna Greens.
    Gunna do better next time Gunna stand on principles Gunna kick Labors arse

    BUT Dougy It just doesnt happen
    In elections in the last few years Federal 2013 the Greens plunged to 8.6% The Greens lost over 507,813 votes in the Senate and 342,079 votes in the House of Representatives this election, The Greens lost over 507,813 votes in the Senate and 342,079 votes in the House of Representatives this election, The ACT, Greens plunged to almost oblivion
    Tasmania real bad even lost Party Status, Queensland and the Campbell Newman rout and the Greens managed a miserable 0.9% increase and NSW where their increase was zilch 0.0% to be precise and Even the NT saw a 1% drop
    And we won’t mention SHY almost wiping out, or Scott Ludlam losing only to get back on the re run when the West Australians knew they had a LNP Abbott Government

    And the contentious issue of preferences where Greens even on this site want to rank ALP way down the line, and Labor are the baddies?
    Dougy, after the Senate Green/LNP deal you got your way, and it wasn’t pretty, watching Lee block and shut down debate but hey you got your Optional Preferential in the Senate so I guess Labor can expect much of the same from past Greens experience with op pref.
    In states where OP Pref was available Queensland 2009
    In 2009, based on preference flows for the final excluded Green candidate in 71 electorates, Green preferences flowed 39.4% to Labor, 17.8% to the LNP and 42.8% exhausted.
    So 60% were either exhausted or went to LNP
    Then 2012 there was a slight improvement,In 2012, in the smaller sample of 33 electorates where Green candidates were the final exclusion, preferences flowed 43.3% to Labor, 16.3% to the LNP and 40.4% exhausted.
    ONly 56.7% went to LNP or exhausted

    So why, with Labor getting around 4.5- 5 million first preference votes be so beholden to the Greens for their at best 40% preferences in Op Pref elections?

    I reckon I should leave the last word to you Dougy in a response you gave me a few years ago explaining Greens voters/preferences
    “The Greens’ probably somewhat larger ‘right leaning’ protest vote comprises people whose basic political position is somewhere to the right of Greens policy but who have voted for the Greens because of individual policies. Figures produced by ABC election analyst Anthony Green support this view. They reveal that between 20% and 25% of Greens votes have always allocated second preference to the Liberal Party. These voters might be (for example) conservative gay people who would like to be able to marry their partner or, in particular, ‘small-l-Liberals’ who can’t abide the cruel inhumane asylum seeker policies of their preferred party.”
    Douglas Evans 18 September 2013, 1:07pm

    Dougy, if Labor get 40% of Greens preferences in this election it would be a miracle on past form
    That 60% of Greens would prefer LNP or even an exhausted vote than fight to keep the LNP out

    Sad fact Dougy, something to get grumpier over eh?
    And you wonder why some Labor don’t trust this lot?
    What was it Lindsay Tanner emailed you ? “always yelling from the sidelines……”
    sounds right 😀

  133. Athena

    The questions about why Sasha wthdrew and is now running again have been put to him. There was nothing in the answers to indicate that he has more time. He said he decided to tolerate the sleepless nights. That might be a satisfactory answer for you but it isn’t for me. If I had someone come to a job interview and tell me that I wouldn’t be hiring them. So why would I use a precious vote to make him my representative in our government for six years?

  134. Athena

    “And the contentious issue of preferences where Greens even on this site want to rank ALP way down the line, and Labor are the baddies?”

    Judging a party on the preferences of some of its voters. Now that sure sounds logical.

  135. Douglas Evans

    Kaye Lee@9.37pm
    I have discussed what I think about a wide range of issues raised in this comments column starting with your article. I have given reasons for my opinions and where I am simply speculating I have been up front about this too. As always you don’t bother to read – just demand more. If you want to know ‘what I think’ scroll back up the comments column. Afraid I can’t be bothered repeating myself.

    I’ll ignore your increasingly ridiculous gratuitous insults. This is what I meant by my comment that Labor will probably not get the required seats to form government and it will not have anything to do with distribution of preferences. They will (probably) fall short of a majority of seats because:
    1. Party polling (widely reported) shows that three weeks out they are pretty uniformly behind (after notional distribution of preferences) across the key marginals seats they will have to take from the Coalition to gain a majority.
    2. This is more or less confirmed by the pollster I favor William Bowe (the Poll Bludger) whose ‘Bludger Track’ showed Labor rapidly gaining nationally on the Coalition until around a week ago this trend stalled at about 50/50 with Labor unfortunately still trailing by at least six seats – those bloody marginals.
    3. It is supported by the betting agencies, widely regarded as the most accurate predictors of elections, which uniformly assess the likelihood of Turnbull retaining government at just a tick shy of 80%.
    4. It is supported by the fact that Turnbull and the Coalition strategists are now sufficiently confident that they will hold against Labor to agree to preference swap with them. They hope this will allow them (the Libs) to take a few rural seats from their coalition partners and for this they are now happy to help them (Labor that is) hang onto their inner city seats in Melbourne and Sydney.

    That do you?

    On my assertion that if you vote for a party you endorse or at least acquiesce to, all (not just some or most) of its policies: I find this self evident. You find this logically flawed but seem unable to explain why. Kaye Lee dismisses it as absolute crap and (typically) doesn’t deign to explain why. The explanation is not complicated. When you vote you don’t get to pick and choose between the individual bits of party platforms. Just as you can’t be a little bit pregnant (you either are or you aren’t) you can’t be 50% or 25% a Labor (or Greens or Coalition) voter. You either are or you aren’t. So when Kaye Lee insists (as she does) that we should all vote for Labor in the HoR she requires that we all endorse their barbarous asylum seeker policies presumably on the grounds that they are less barbarous than the Coalition equivalent. She requires that we endorse their neo-liberal trade and economic policies which have been shown to promote the growing inequality between Australians, presumably on the grounds that they are marginally less damaging than the Coalition equivalent. She requires that we endorse their climate and energy policies that are in no way adequate to the task the scientists say confronts us, presumably on the grounds that they will take us over the brink slightly later than the Coalition equivalent. Well I don’t buy this piss weak position. There is an alternative and I will not accept this defeatist crap argument. What about you? As you say ‘Don’t f*ck it up’.

  136. cornlegend

    Not just that, cold hard facts where optional preferential has been in play for years, did you not read
    “In states where OP Pref was available Queensland 2009
    In 2009, based on preference flows for the final excluded Green candidate in 71 electorates, Green preferences flowed 39.4% to Labor, 17.8% to the LNP and 42.8% exhausted.
    So 60% were either exhausted or went to LNP
    Then 2012 there was a slight improvement,In 2012, in the smaller sample of 33 electorates where Green candidates were the final exclusion, preferences flowed 43.3% to Labor, 16.3% to the LNP and 40.4% exhausted.
    ONly 56.7% went to LNP or exhausted”
    figures Antony Green ABC

  137. cornlegend

    Here is a response I gave a year or 2 ago , could be some minor update needed but not much

    Actually, to be precise The Greens lost a % of the vote in 55 of the 59 seats in the WA State Election 2013
    Some seats like Fremantle -8.5% Perth -6.6% Swan Hill 7.9% etc

    In the most recent election in Victoria 3014 . where the voters dumped the toxic Napthine Government
    The Greens gained a State wide swing of 0.3 % but managed to have a swing against them , with a loss of % in 47 {fourty seven} seats
    In Queensland with the devastating defeat of the Campbell Newman LNP, with massive swings occuring,
    the Greens managed to gain just a tiny 0.9% swing to them

    Now the South Australia 2014 Election
    The Greens managed a 0.6 % increase in their Statewide vote
    HOWEVER, they managed to get a swing against them and lose of % in 18 {eighteen} seats
    with swings against them like the seat of Giles -7.2%

    Now the Queensland Election 2015 , Campbell Newman , Biggest swings around, 30%+
    A change of Government and
    The Greens managed to increase their statewide % by just 0.9%

    continuing with the same trend however, they actually had a swing against them in 33 seats where their % of the vote dropped.

    In some seats, like Mackay, Hinchenbrook,Warrego, Lockyer etc, the vote was so low, the ABC election site just lumped them in with “Others” for expediency

    The ACT election 2012 were even worse.
    Its better to let Canberra Times have the last word
    “The ACT Greens slipped into deeper electoral trouble last night with updated vote counting showing for the second night running that their leader Meredith Hunter is heading for defeat.

    And history is against Ms Hunter in her Ginninderra electorate, where no independent or minor party MLA has ever lasted more than one term.

    Last night’s updated interim preference figures show the Greens heading for a near wipeout, losing three of the four seats they won in their historic 2008 showing.”

    Also, the Tasmanian Elections 2014
    Tasmania saw the Greens suffer an 8.1% swing against them, and end up not even being able to maintain “Party Status ”

    Now Federally, the last result , 2013 didn’t give the Greens a warm inner glow either with its vote dropping to 8.6% a loss of 3.6% nationally
    Not only did their vote drop Nationally , but in the 150 Seats they managed to lose a % of their vote with a swing against them in 135 seats Yeah correct one hundred and thirty five seats had a swing against the Greens
    135 !!!!
    And it wasn’t small swings, Bass-7.7% Denison -11.1 % Durack -12.2% Fairfax -9.7 %
    Even in Tony Abbotts own seat the Greens managed to lose 0.8%

    Then we have the current NSW one , where with counting continuing, so has the trend.
    Currently, Greens 0% increase and in the Legislative Council -1.7 %

    Stay tuned for updates

    all the above can be verified at

    Just the conclusion of all recent elections State Federal and Territory
    showing the Greens exact position in the game

    NT votes 2012 Northern territory 2012
    Even though Labor copped a flogging, you would have thought this was the ideal opportunity to see the Greens make some gains at Labors expense.
    They even ran new candidates, in seats for the first time
    But no, again, even contesting more seats, their Territory wide vote dropped by -1.0%
    and in some seats, took a hammering

    Greatorex -8.8% Nightcliff -17.0 % Port Darwin -9.6 %

    Then we move on to the just held NSW Election

    The Greens have declared their strong showing at the NSW election sends a strong signal to the major parties that voters are dissatisfied with their policies
    Greens MP John Kaye said the result showed the major parties had been put on notice

    This is the type of hype and spin they
    get away with.
    A ‘strong showing” equates to NSW Election 2015

    A 0.0% increase in their statewide vote
    a loss of 1.4 % in their Legislative Council vote
    Currently, with almost all the vote completed the Greens have managed to have a swing against them in 56 {FIFTY SIX} of the 93 seats in the State
    Yep, a loss in % of the vote in 56 seats

    Now Labor picked up 20 seats and that was a “poor result”

    Greens has a swing against then in 2 thirds of all seats . yet “The Greens have declared their strong showing at the NSW election sends a strong signal to the major parties that voters are dissatisfied with their policy

  138. Athena

    Straw man! People vote how they want to vote. Parties are not responsible for how people vote. Greens voters sent their preferences all over the place. The party has no control over that and is not responsible for that.

  139. Athena

    “So when Kaye Lee insists (as she does) that we should all vote for Labor in the HoR she requires that we all endorse their barbarous asylum seeker policies presumably on the grounds that they are less barbarous than the Coalition equivalent. She requires that we endorse their neo-liberal trade and economic policies which have been shown to promote the growing inequality between Australians, presumably on the grounds that they are marginally less damaging than the Coalition equivalent. She requires that we endorse their climate and energy policies that are in no way adequate to the task the scientists say confronts us, presumably on the grounds that they will take us over the brink slightly later than the Coalition equivalent. Well I don’t buy this piss weak position. There is an alternative and I will not accept this defeatist crap argument. ”

    I completely agree, Douglas. I’m tired of this bullshit argument that people who don’t vote ALP are responsible for putting the Liberals back into power. We’re well overdue for ALP voters to accept responsibility for their actions. Their willingness to accept slightly less garbage than the Liberal Party dishes up has helped get Australia into this mess. If you’re not prepared to let your vote do the ultimate talking then the rest of it is all for nothing. They obviously like going off the cliff, albeit at a slightly slower speed.

  140. cornlegend

    Al the more reason for ALP to tread cautiously in any dealings or trust issues with Greens.
    They promise a lot but even you seem to acknowledge that as a Party they can;t really deliver.
    Will respond later, ALP electioneering to do 😀

  141. Athena

    Another straw man. Is that all you’ve got?

  142. cornlegend

    Is this a recorded message that stuck?
    “Another straw man. Is that all you’ve got?”

  143. jantonius

    Douglas v. Coinlegend
    It looks as if there are two partisan obsessives going at it against one another again. Green v. Labor – like some contest: ‘show me your animosity, and I’ll show you mine’.
    What is lamentable in their to and fro is the relish they take in disparaging the other Party, as the real objective enemy, the grave danger to this country. The Libs would relish this stuff. Their opponents doing the spoiling of open debate for them.
    Where there are facts in what the two say – what is adverse for Labor and what is adverse for the Greens – I read the deplorable state of affairs in the politics of this country. Whereas they are gleaning some pride from it. Even some enjoyment. A bit depressing.

    Any wonder the gangsters representing about 1% of Australians are in power?

  144. Kaye Lee

    “So when Kaye Lee insists (as she does) that we should all vote for Labor in the HoR she requires that we all endorse…”

    I “insist” and “require” nothing at all you pompous arrogant mansplainer.

    I point out that, on the basis of what the candidates are saying, unless Labor win 76 HoR seats in their own right, the Coalition will remain in government. I fully understand your proposal that we “send a message” by voting Greens and then Labor but if too many people take your advice, we will keep a Coalition government. I “send messages” by ringing and emailing politicians, going to meetings and protests, and by writing articles and posting comments, not by fooling around with my vote in what I consider a very important election. Others “send messages” by joining the party and actually having a vote on policy at national conference.

    Please do NOT ascribe YOUR interpretations of things to me because, I have told you countless times, you are wrong. Do not dare to presume to tell me what I am endorsing or what my words mean. I am very simply pointing out the rules about the election and the unlikelihood of any alliance, no confidence vote, or blocking of supply.

    Vote for whoever you please but understand the consequences of so doing.

  145. cornlegend

    I”t looks as if there are two partisan obsessives going at it against one another again. Green v. Labor –”
    Yep , and for a very simple reason both political parties are out to win seats {one not very well}
    The Greens are trying to get their candidate elected , Labor theirs so of course their is opposition
    I view the Greens no differently than LNP or Independents when it comes to trying for the punters vote.
    The fact that the Greens tend to target Labor seats with a bit more venom and money than LNP seats , particularly inner city seats, is turning the into something different to the environmental party of bygone years .Now on average nationwide the Grens only poll 2% , so now hey are the city slickers trying to knock of Albo and Tanya,, Of course I’d fight that
    Albo summed it up with this “The Labor MP whose federal seat of Grayndler is under threat from Greens candidate Jim Casey, says the Greens’ focus is misplaced. ‘I’m out there each and every day campaigning against the Liberals, while the Greens are campaigning against me, I mean someone’s got to fight the Liberals and it certainly isn’t the Greens political party’
    Of course I’m going to be out there today, tomorrow and all the way to the election fighting the opponents of Labor and that includes the Greens

  146. Athena

    “The fact that the Greens tend to target Labor seats with a bit more venom and money than LNP seats , particularly inner city seats, is turning the into something different to the environmental party of bygone years .Now on average nationwide the Grens only poll 2% , so now hey are the city slickers trying to knock of Albo and Tanya,, Of course I’d fight that”

    The Greens policies have more in common with ALP policies than with the Liberals. So of course they’re going to target the seats where they have the greatest chance of winning. It’s not rocket science but it obviously is beyond Cornlegend’s capabilities of rational thought.

  147. jantonius

    That’s just a bit tedious cornlegend.
    You think it is OK for Labor to target seats they have better chance of winning – but somehow a mortal sin for the Greens to do the same.
    Like I said, obsessive partisanship.
    Thanks for the reply anyway.

  148. Arthur Plottier

    Kaye, you are saying, quote: Regardless of what you want, the next government will either be Labor or Coalition. Your refusal to accept that makes any sensible conversation impossible. End of quote.

    I guess that we can look that in 2 different ways, one , yes the Labor can be the next government BUT if they do not have control of the senate they cannot govern.
    Options? one can be that if the Greens have enough senators, policies can be passed with negotiation with the Greens which in turn it makle a type of coalition.
    That it is what I hope, I like to see both parties reach a middle ground in important issues.
    IMHO that it is sensible if we have a mature political environment.

  149. diannaart

    Any wonder the gangsters representing about 1% of Australians are in power?

    Indeed, jantonius – too much with the “my way or the highway” with some of the posters here.

    With great regret, I will be voting Labor for the HoR – in the (vain) hope that the LNP will be tossed out.

    Although, an ellenpee win might, just might, give a progressive alliance (this includes Labor – doesn’t have to be all formal like the Lib/Nats) some badly needed motivation instead of name-calling.

  150. Kaye Lee


    I am more than happy for the Greens to hold balance of power in the Senate. Julia Gillard governed very well imo without control of either house.

    My point is about who forms government which will be determined by seats in the HoR.

  151. jantonius

    You might have been a bit tough on Douglas.
    I think he means well.

  152. Arthur Plottier

    Kaye, we are in the “same page”

  153. Kaye Lee

    Possibly so jantonius but we have history. I think I am guilty of anticipated tension because I know where the argument is headed. I have tried the reasonable route before and I just KEEP being told I do not care about climate change, I endorse offshore detention, and I do not understand our electoral system. it’s aggravating.

  154. jantonius

    OK Kaye,
    Easy does it.

  155. cornlegend

    “but it obviously is beyond Cornlegend’s capabilities of rational thought.”
    Now thats a bit rich from someone with the attention span of a goldfish
    If you read it, I said they have EVERY right to stand and I have every right to oppose them and treat them as I would LNP, Independent or Greens opposing Labor
    In the seats of Grayndler and Sydney where I have spent a fair bit of time campaigning, the gutter tactics and the rubbish is coming from the Greens towards the ALP , not other parties as much
    Any how enough of this, you stick at the keyboard, I’ll head out to convince some real people

  156. Kaye Lee

    I feel like when both of my children have accused me of considering the other one the “golden child”. I get accused here of being rusted on Labor or loony Green. I am not either of those things (a tad loony maybe but unaffiliated). There are things I like and dislike about both Labor and the Greens but they certainly better represent my views than the Coalition and seem a bit more open to transparency and accountability and change. I am also a numbers person so I like facts.

    I am sorry I was rude Douglas.

    PS My response to my kids was “I ignore you equally”

  157. jantonius

    Please cornlegend,
    Can you just give it a rest?
    How about discussing substantial issues of policy? Something like that.

  158. diannaart

    Kaye Lee am happy to join you in the Unaffiliated Loonies Party.

    FFS: Athena “but it obviously is beyond Cornlegend’s capabilities of rational thought.”
    Now thats a bit rich from someone with the attention span of a goldfish

    Now I know where ByB gets his comments from….

  159. Kaye Lee

    The silly thing is all the protagonists in this discussion make very valuable contributions to discussions about policy.

    We are running out of time so we need to focus.

    The one thing we all agree on is we need to get rid of the Coalition government. That is task #1.

    Unless we unite to achieve that then other priorities become ‘exhausted’.

    The only way to achieve that is for there to be a Labor government who everyone can then work on to improve their policies.

    We need achievable goals rather than being distracted by the multitude of problems. One step at a time.

  160. Athena

    If you read it, I said they have EVERY right to stand and I have every right to oppose them and treat them as I would LNP, Independent or Greens opposing Labor”

    Cornlegend, you have every right to oppose whatever party you wish. But please don’t insult our intelligence with your ongoing bullshit argument that the Greens are the bogeyman because they are campaigning strongly in ALP-held seats. The object of an election is to win. They’re going to campaign most strongly in the seats they have the greatest chance of winning, just like every other party does, including the ALP.

    “Any how enough of this, you stick at the keyboard, I’ll head out to convince some real people”

    That’s what you said a couple of hours ago, yet you manage to find the time in your busy campaign schedule to continue to post volumes here. Obviously those “real people” aren’t taking you seriously either.

  161. Athena

    “The only way to achieve that is for there to be a Labor government who everyone can then work on to improve their policies.”

    Kaye, why do you think it is possible to improve on ALP policies? They’ve been drifting to the right for years and their voter base is opposed to working with the Greens. A large number of their supporters are opposed to asylum seekers. As a number of people have pointed out here, the ALP is causing the same problems as the Liberal Party, just at a slower rate. They’re embracing neo-liberal thinking more and more and there is no indication that they will ever return to truly progressive policies.

  162. Bighead1883

    cornlegend June 13, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    “Hey Cornie how much for 20,000 htv beer coasters , I might do same in WA ”

    We`re getting our HTV`s organised tomorrow providing Central replies,so busy there and we`re all excited to have Louise Pratt back {damn Bullock=good riddance]

    Mutters Not,will you be handing out Swanny fliers #ausvotes2016?
    HTV Lilley HoR

    2016 Ballot Paper (5 Candidates)
    Candidate Name—Party

    1-SWAN Wayne Australian Labor Party

    2-HALL Sharan Family First

    3-HOLMICK Simon James Liberal Democrats

    4-KINGSTON David Liberal National Party of Queensland

    5-OGDEN Claire The Greens

  163. Kaye Lee

    I cannot believe that you would preference the Greens behind any of those other three. Shakes head.

  164. Kaye Lee


    Who would you prefer to see in government, Labor or the Coalition? For this election, and I would suggest for a while yet, those are your only choices.

  165. Jexpat

    The irony is that posters like bighead, corn and “athena” (I’m guessing that one actually is a liberal) are their party’s own worst enemies.

    Far from attracting supporters or shoring up your party- they turn people off, emphasizing and reinforcing all of the negative stereotypes that people have about Labor and its stalwarts.

  166. Athena

    “Who would you prefer to see in government, Labor or the Coalition? For this election, and I would suggest for a while yet, those are your only choices.”

    Neither. I would prefer all of the lefties that disagree with the direction the ALP is taking and prefer Greens policies actually have the balls to vote for the Greens. That is the only way that the ALP is ever going to sit up and take notice that a lot people don’t actually approve of what they are doing and they need to change.

  167. Athena

    ““athena” (I’m guessing that one actually is a liberal) are their party’s own worst enemies.”

    Don’t give up your day job, Sherlock.

  168. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I’m with you diannaart @ 1.57 pm and Kaye Lee @ 2.11 pm (for the present).


  169. Jexpat


    Major apology in order to athena: I mistook her for the “nurses” poster.

    Sorry about that. Got the names mixed up from a long colloquy in another thread.

    Sherlock, indeed. That was embarrassing.

    If the mods wouldn’t mind editing that, I would be grateful.

  170. Athena

    Bwhahaha! Apology accepted Jexpat. BTW, I agree with your suspicions of nurses. 😛

    I’m seriously considering voting for NXT in Sturt. I think Matthew Wright is going to get closer to Christopher Pyne than any other candidate will. Xenophon is very popular in my area and has a reputation amongst the locals for helping individuals and community groups. I’ve been chatting with several lefties in Sturt who vote for issues rather than have an allegiance to any party. They’ve been voting for Greens previously but all have said they’ve voting NXT, not because they disagree with the Greens but because they fear the Greens will lose some votes due to the Senate voting reform. They all want to get rid of Pyne and see Matt Wright as the best chance of doing that. He’s running a great campaign, much better than any of the other candidates. There’s a lot of common ground between the NXT and Greens policies.

  171. cornlegend

    Don’t you personally get how to votes printed as that would be contravening ALP policy
    {Unless it has ALP endorsement}
    I personally have not paid for any HTVs
    A close friend wanted to do it so I just gave him a loan to have them printed, contact with a local printer and the use of my vehicles for a few weeks but only because he is a good mate and I thought the few weeks on the road would be good for their health
    I didn’t want to contravene ALP rules, and in helping a long time friend and his mates out doesn’t do that
    If you have mate that may be interested just give him/her a loan and let them get on with it .
    Make sure you get a receipt for the loan to your mate ,ideally lsted as a personal loan and any conditions.
    I just have repayments must commence any time prior to Jan 1st 2050
    No rules broken then mate 😀

  172. cornlegend

    Jexpat, you and your conspiracy theories, Didn’t you already all but demand DNA from Michael Taylor when you started tthis rubbish last time?
    Didn’t he answer you and eliminate your conspiracy concerns?
    The fact that Bighead is in WA, me NSW , and Nurses aa part time employee of mine has all been canvassed before and responded to , but hey don’t let me upset the conspiracy

  173. Matters Not

    Jexpat @ 3:21 pm

    Far from attracting supporters or shoring up your party- they turn people off, emphasizing and reinforcing all of the negative stereotypes that people have about Labor and its stalwarts.

    Yep. Perhaps it explains why Labor is so keen to spend on education. The demonstrated need is so close to home.

    Or maybe they are being paid by the Liberal Party and are mere …

  174. cornlegend

    Don’t worry, the converts are coming and getting good responses and you are wasting your time with this Liberal party shit, but I guess when desperate…. trolls next is it?

  175. Matters Not

    I think I know who is desperate.

  176. Jexpat


    As mentioned before, I took Michael’s assurances on the matter, though you can hardly fault a person for noting that all three identities share the same pathology.

  177. Bighead1883

    cornlegend June 13, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    Cornie,this comments section is the hallowed ground of Bob Browns Ghost

    They want us to moooooove on

    And Jetpak believing & thinking we`re clones must really be just one gnarled kernel on his Greens cob

  178. Douglas Evans

    Kaye Lee
    Sorry for slow response I’ve been out in the sunshine. Time to take a couple of steps back – “pompous, arrogant mansplainer” whoa! That’s a first. Don’t think any of the women who actually know me would hang that one on me but feel free. Time for a break.

    Still alive and kicking I see. Happy that the Libs will throw you a few scraps in the preferences are you? Are you still down on the south coast? Will Mike Kelly get up? It was a loss to the Parliament when he lost his seat in the wake of the Rudd-Gillard implosion.

    Somehow I missed your long comment. Now I’ve read it and although I haven’t appreciated some of your silly cracks about Buddhism elsewhere I reckon you hit several nails right on the head with that comment. I would like to see the Greens advance a bit this time also but now LIberals and Labor are swapping preferences the chances of that are probably slim. Still I have a sneaking feeling that the Lib-Lab preference deal will play very poorly in Batman and just might provoke a backlash. The Greens just might still grab the seat from that waste of space David Feeney. Alex Bhatal is a terrific candidate and well known and liked in the electorate which you certainly couldn’t say about Feeney. She just might get there under her own steam.

    Cornlegend and I have form. You shouldn’t take too much notice. Neither of us do. I actually wish the best for the ALP believe it or not. However their crumbling internal structure and rancid, borderline corrupt processes, their refusal/inability to implement meaningful reform and the growing illogicality of their policy suite should really be the subject of serious discussion elsewhere than just within the Greens. As it stands it’s hard to believe that we aren’t witnessing a political party in terminal decline. No one is interested in talking about this however. I found your comments perceptive.

  179. cornlegend

    Yeah, still kicking and enjoying it and still on the South Coast , in Whitlam but registered to vote in Gilmore with that fool with feet Ann Sudmalis.
    Dougy hopefully after your spell in the sunshine you might be a bit less grumpy and a bit more likely to disclose which 11 seats your mob are running open tickets in.
    Our long term Green candidate in Whitlam didn’t front this time Doug, must like it as an Independent on Council.
    Have to give it to him though 20 odd years of running as a Green in anything that require elections. FFS, the Girls Guides hid their election for Brownies leader in case he nominated .
    Funny that though Dougy. I won’t name the bloke for fear of shaming him but you and I know hey?
    He ran at EVERY election, State ,Federal Local Government, for a couple of decades nothing, :-{
    Switched to Independent and got a go 😀
    I actually feel pleased for the poor dumb arse, as I’m sure you do

    p.s. Yeah Mike Kelly will get back, nice bloke and deserves it
    Any chance Adam and Scott will roll Dicky?
    pretty dodgy way they pulled that one off eh!
    Anyhow Doug. places to go people to see. I’m sure we will chat again 😀
    I;m sure we will cause you are usually wrong on most counts and I sort of feel obliged to correct you 😀

  180. Kaye Lee

    Perhaps you don’t misunderstand the women in your life like you do me. Perhaps you aren’t condescending to them. Perhaps you don’t explain to them what they are actually saying and their motivation for saying it. One can only hope so.

  181. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    The way you people talk makes me wonder if we can ever win government away from the LNP Degenerates.

    Democracy should be a round table but with the current neoliberalist stranglehold on our western governments, it is a very pale memory of Democracy. This is compounded by Uncle Rupe’s stranglehold on our media, including Aunty.

    Therefore, while we all have a chance to band together, I urge stalwart Labor, Greens and other alternatives to the LNP Degenerates, to come down off your high horses and forge mutually beneficial relationships that will take power away from the LNP lackeys to Big Biz and steer us away from neoliberalism and towards an innovative socio-economic future that resembles MMT.

    And thanks cornlegend, for referring to my thinking as fuzzy the other day. Unlike you, I’m advocating a difficult standpoint. I’m advocating political and institutional change that will encompass a wider socio-economic demographic than you are.

  182. Matters Not

    There’s nothing like ‘insiders at play’ to piss most readers off. Apparently, it’s all a game. No better example than Shorten is Roskam’s ‘best man’. Why there’s even advice as to how to best disregard the ALP ‘rules’.

    And it’s even boasted about. I don’t know who some (all) of these insiders are but if I was driving the bus, they wouldn’t be passengers. Talk about ‘dumb’ and even ‘dumber’.

    No wonder the average voter is pissed off. Me included. And no wonder they don’t want an ICAC.

  183. paul walter

    Well-spoken, JMS.

    I think it is good conversation and agree with the major points of both Kaye Lee and Douglas Evans; Kaye Lee that the ALP for all its manifest flaws might be the only realistic alternative to the Coalition, and Douglas’ points that the ALP has serious problems concerning some issues and is too neoliberalist in some of its more recent thinking, thus should not be ok’d without due prior consideration.

  184. cornlegend

    Hows the Alliance going or is it still just you holding the flag
    Now you know Labor want bugger all to do with coalitions so is it possible you can run off a list of the Indies, Greens, Micros any anyone who has signed up just so we could have a squiz?
    It’s a bit hard getting too enthused about an Alliance if bugger all is known of them
    It’s a bit like filling out a blank ballot paper and putting the candidates name in after the election if you don’t let us in on some of the inner workings, or can you please pretty please tell me if the membership has extended past just you.
    Geez Jenn, I have been discussing this with you for what must be a year now,and you must admit I have been bloody patient but the birth is way overdue mate, tell us something

  185. Trish Corry

    Good article Kaye. Yes, that is what this election is about. It is about a crossroads. If we choose the path of conservatism again, progress will be extremely difficult in the future.

    To jump in on the previous comments about the election. My personal opinion is that Labor will win with a majority. It is from this point onwards – three weeks to go, where it will get exciting.

    My prediction – Now we have three weeks to go, Shorten will now be full steam ahead – turning it up and turning it up and Turnbull will look more miserable and stuttering every day. Shorten is gaining more and more popularity every day. And he has done it all without the rubbish negativity we have put up with for years. Even when Turnbull didn’t show up to the forum. He could have been very nasty about it, but he was very diplomatic and actually quite kind, considering it is an election period.

    The AMA have not even ramped up their ads about the destruction of medicare yet, and Bob Hawke has made his first political ad since he was Prime Minister.

    There will be some seats in QLD that will have larger swings to Labor than the 4% they are looking at. The large Palmer vote in QLD last time and the fact that basically everyone hated Labor’s guts will play out very differently this election.

    Libs will lose some seats to possibly Xenophon. Barnaby will lose to Windsor. I’m not sure if Pyne will remain. The battle for Melbourne could also swing to Labor – although this will be knife edge. The Labor candidate there is exceptional.

    I love Evan Hughes. I will be lining up shots at the election party if he wins and beats Turnbull.

    I don’t think anything can replace the emotional intensity of over throwing Campbell Newman, but if Labor wins, it will come close.

    Medicare is my key issue. The loss of our rights to healthcare will dramatically change Australia and people will die. I am choosing Progress. I hope others do too.

  186. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Must be good sitting up there on your high horse, cornlegend.

    I’m not pretending to have all the answers. That has been on the table from Day 1.

    I’m reaching out to your knowledge and experience and that of other knowledgeable political people in Labor, the Greens and Progressives to contribute to its development.

    It is an Alliance for ALL of us, who NEED political change immediately from the LNP Degenerates and over the short term after, from Neoliberalism.

  187. Arthur Plottier

    Oh Trish, I hope that your predictions are spot on, IMHO the Coalition will return to government without control in the senate.
    My BIG worry is that Nik, the Liberal Democrats and couple of independents will support the coalition in some nasty policies.
    My preference at the very least is to have a senate controlled by the ALP and the Greens.

  188. Matters Not

    While I am hoping for a Labor victory, I am not optimistic. Then again I was hoping for Labor to win in the State of Queensland but I suggested it wouldn’t get that ‘swing’. I was wrong.

    I can’t see Labor getting over the line at the national level (the polls have stalled) but again I hope I’m wrong.

    Trish exudes confidence but where is the ‘evidence’. Labor supporters need to be encouraged but not given false hopes.

  189. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I want to believe you, Trish.

    A subordinate outcome, if you are right is you win but with no real heart for change. I really hope that means Labor remembers its friends despite the stupid squabbles.

    Best case scenario, you are right and we all celebrate because we can work together bringing about real socio-economic change back to egalitarianism which is diametrically opposed to neoliberalism.

    A fairer future for all of us and the environment.

    The unthinkable is that you are wrong and we are destined to another 3 years of fear and intimidation. Just think how refugee detainees on Manus and Nauru are feeling!

  190. corvus boreus

    Matters Not,
    The way the big ‘insider’ game is played pisses this voter off even more;

    “Australia’s powerful gaming and alcohol lobby is targeting independent senator Nick Xenophon and the Greens as it tips hundreds of thousands of dollars into the pokie-friendly major parties ahead of the July 2 poll.
    One senior AHA figure told Fairfax Media that the association wanted a “two-horse race” in Australian politics’, and that Senator Xenophon and the Greens were hostile to the industry’s interests; their defeat is the top priority for AHA campaign funding”.

    “Gas producers Santos, Woodside Energy and Chevron Australia each gave comparatively large ratios of their donations to the ALP, with Woodside Energy declaring the most even spread of $136,100 donated to the Liberals and $111,100 to the ALP.
    Santos political donations were higher still with $185,300 to the Coalition and $108,841 to Labor, showing the gas companies were still determined to keep a relatively even hand in the political ring, given their interest in gaining support for fracking and unconventional gas production”.

    Political donations lean heavily towards Liberals

  191. paul walter

    JMS, don’t worry about Trish.

    It comes down to pragmatism, getting funds for election campaigns etc..Labor has to do this to avoid being left behind. The real task for Labor supporters is to remind the hierarchy that neoliberalism is not the only game in town and not get taken in by developer “contributions” to the extent that they are become no longer who they should be as defined by principles acted on in the right way.

  192. Matters Not

    Yep cb. Most punters are really pissed off with the big ‘end of town’ (and those who claim (or aspire) to be exactly that) and the influence they exert. The arrogance is unbelievable. The ‘dumbness’ even more so.

    ‘Political operatives’ – my arse.

    A ‘trail of evidence’ down the track? I think so. The LNP won’t need a software program to track exactly that. It’s part of the public record.

  193. Athena

    “One senior AHA figure told Fairfax Media that the association wanted a “two-horse race” in Australian politics’, and that Senator Xenophon and the Greens were hostile to the industry’s interests; their defeat is the top priority for AHA campaign funding”.”

    This isn’t surprising. The major two sold their souls to big business long ago and aren’t even bothering to disguise it any more. Neither gives a rat’s posterior about the little guy. The sooner voters realise that, the better off we will all be. Knowing that big business wants to get rid of Xenophon and the Greens makes me even more determined to keep on voting for them. I’m 100% certain I will never vote Liberal and 99.9% certain I’ll never vote ALP again – I’ll leave a small opening for a miracle to occur.

  194. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Athena, your words ring true for a lot of us, although I’d like to think we can pull Labor back from the dark side.

  195. Athena

    You’re far more optimistic than me, JMS. The love of money is the root of all evil.

  196. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Yes Paul and Athena,

    I’m listening.

    I wonder if the lemmings are listening too?

  197. paul walter

    Lemmings see that a cliff is being approached, but everyone else is still running so the idea of stopping and turning around is anathema to them… must be the way to go.

    Which is not to say the average voter is any less intelligent than a lemming.

  198. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    The average voters are not necessarily the lemmings I was referring to. Or wasn’t that obvious?

  199. paul walter

    Which Lemmings were you referring to? My mate on the council lawn mowing gang always used to reckon, “seen one Lemming, seen ]em all”. Much the same for many humans?

  200. paul walter

    Time to shut down. Maybe a little music to settle things. I know, Sibelius’ Lemming-konnen…

  201. helvityni

    paul, Sibelius soothes my soul, makes me forget about Mal from Oz…

  202. Kaye Lee

    Music is a wonderful thing. It can relax and soothe but it can also be a call to arms.

    For Barnaby Joyce…..

  203. cornlegend

    Kaye Lee
    first day of pre polling so I don;t want to put them to sleep try this one

  204. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    The only Fracking Way would be if it was under Bananababy’s and Baird’s bums.

  205. cornlegend

    or I guess the question that needs to be asked

  206. Kaye Lee

    Here’s one for the bankers…..

  207. cornlegend

    Kaye Lee
    Good one, I’ll add that to Dropkick Murphies, All the Joe Hills playlist for the July 2 BBQ at my joint

  208. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Ok, you’ve put a smile on my face especially with ‘Bugger the Banks’! 🙂

  209. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    if we’re ALL celebrating on 2 July, I will too!

  210. Bighead1883

    Matters Not June 13, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    What the hell are you really on about Mutters Not?

    Like Jim Casey you`d rather see Tony Abbott as PM than Bill Shorten?

    This is why you @Greens have lost the plot entirely and now Dickey Knee Natale is jumping up and down because the ‘DEALS”he cut with the Libs aren`t happening,{colour me surprised]

    Labor is preferencing every Greens above the LNP in all 150 HoR seats and the Greens are not returning the favour [colour me ,I fecken knew that]

    You`re the little boy on the oval who nobody wants to play with because he`s just a crybaby

  211. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    And then along comes Bighead1883 … and the good, congenial mood between allies dissolves …

  212. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    I have a strategy
    July 2 Election’, big Party
    July 3 results
    July 4 th American Independence Day, hopefully Oz celebration Day
    But if we lose
    July 5th Cornies Independence day , Lawyers in to the game to have my properties declared Principalities and disposal of bulk of investment properties
    while this is happening ,July 6 th to whenever, organise so She who must be obeyed and I will head of on a 12 month holiday, an on the journey check out real Estate in Vietnam now Aussies can own there, and leave OZ to the LNP and the inevitable carnage

    The old Boy scout motto, Be Prepared

  213. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    What Allies?

  214. Kaye Lee

    “Labor is preferencing every Greens above the LNP in all 150 HoR seats ”

    Bighead1883June 13, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    2016 Ballot Paper (5 Candidates)
    Candidate Name—Party

    1-SWAN Wayne Australian Labor Party

    2-HALL Sharan Family First

    3-HOLMICK Simon James Liberal Democrats

    4-KINGSTON David Liberal National Party of Queensland

    5-OGDEN Claire The Greens

  215. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    If things go pear-shaped on 2 July, I understand cornlegend’s decision to head for the hills or re-locate to Vietnam. However, I’m damned if I’m going to let the neoliberal parasites make me leave my country. If I can’t beat them, I can at least make it difficult for them.

    On another note however cornlegend, you know the Allies I mean! The Greens, Progressive Micro Parties and sane Independents – oh and Labor too despite Labor’s lamentable neoliberalism which will be expunged shortly when you learn the error of your ways.

  216. diannaart


    And then along comes Bighead1883 … and the good, congenial mood between allies dissolves …

    Was scrolling through my emails, following the banter, when “along came Bigggie” – will he refrain from insult THIS time? Nah, no such luck.

    As I believe that the 2016 election is our opportunity to oust the LNP, am still staying with my plan to vote Labor in the HoR – but it gets very difficult; Cornie summed up Labor’s intransigence very well with this “Now you know Labor want bugger all to do with coalitions…

    I always thought that collaboration and cooperation were part of the progressive zeitgeist – but not so Labor…

    Must think of big picture…

  217. cornlegend

    I’m only going while they commit their carnage and come back to the “Principality” where the scumbajs will have no say
    I’m doing a Prince Leonard of Hutt, or a ‘Robbo Pie shop Principality”
    Bugger it, thats only a half hour drive, time for a pie and maybe a lesson on Principalities, I’m off

  218. cornlegend


    “Now you know Labor want bugger all to do with coalitions…”
    How many ALP figures do you need to tell you?.
    You have had from Bill down in the Feds, All the ALP Premiers, Tassie Rank and File etc

  219. cornlegend

    Election 2016: Greens’ dummy spit over preferences as unedifying as it is hypocritical

    Greens leader Richard Di Natale’s dummy spit over Liberal preferences flowing to Labor was as unedifying as it was hypocritical.
    Deal making is alive and well in politics
    And it proved that when you scratch the surface, the Greens can be just like the major political parties.

  220. diannaart


    I thought I made myself very clear that I DO get it.

    Labor wants to stick with the binary political system (overlooking the fact that the LNP is… well…. Liberals and Nationals) but big brave Labor can do it all without any help from anyone. See, I get it.

    Despite world wide trend towards diverse political representation, Labor will not have to compromise a single atom.

    I will be riveted to watching Labor in the event of a hung parliament…. who said this was a boring election?

  221. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I can’t wait either, diannaart,

    to see Labor come down off its high horse and come begging for the peacemaking Alliance with the Greens and other Progressives once we’ve all demolished the LNP.

  222. Kaye Lee

    I have not heard one independent say that, in the event of a hung parliament, they would support a Labor government – in fact I have heard nearly all of the contenders specifically rule it out.

  223. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    Geez, don’t hold you breath

    Kaye Lee
    Labor will preference the Greens ahead of the Liberals across the country
    I think that was a Bighead 1883 “ticket”
    The Greens however are running open tickets in 11 Electorates
    “I have not heard one independent say that, in the event of a hung parliament, they would support a Labor government – in fact I have heard nearly all of the contenders specifically rule it out.”
    Yep there ain’t any
    Jennifer, are you doing your bit on the Alliance front there ?
    Where’s that leave you?

  224. Kaye Lee

    I really don’t care about open tickets. I don’t see them as any sort of impediment and I think Labor would be better served by focusing on policy and making clear the consequences of the seat count in the HoR. This war with the Greens is a detrimental distraction and basically irrelevant.

    I see the Greens are focusing on Kellie O’Dwyer in Higgins.

  225. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well said, Kaye @ 11.38.

    You don’t have blinkered eyes.

    Oh what sweet revenge it would be to tip O’Dwyer off her throne! Especially if it was achieved by the Greens!

  226. Kaye Lee

    Jennifer, being an unaffiliated loonie gives freedom. But I am also a realist. I think the Greens and Labor are both guilty of this distraction. The most important message I can pass on right now is that unless Labor win 76 seats in the HoR the Turnbull government will, by default, remain in power. Whilst I empathise with your aspirations regarding co-operation between progressives, we have to overcome this first hurdle.

  227. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    You are I are in full agreement, Kaye Lee.

  228. Miriam English

    Ummm… not wishing to put a damper on things… I’ve been thinking about some of the ways this election could go and I’m finding it worrying.

    1. Greens voters and small progressives and independents to a large extent rally behind Labor in order to get rid of the cancer threat that is the LNP, and…

    a. Labor win and immediately begin rolling back a lot of the disastrous changes that have so damaged our social fabric, economy, and international reputation. Although they retain the awful refugee “solution” they do soften it somewhat, allowing for accountable oversight, guaranteed short processing times, and so on. Labor embark on a weak tax on carbon, but it is a beginning and they sensibly use it to help strengthen renewable energy, hoping a market solution will take over (which, luckily it will, letting us forgive them for so favoring the fossil fuel industry that is heavily funding them). They block the TPP, making them heroes to all Australian industries (at least all the ones that weren’t salivating at the prospect of getting cheap overseas workers) and Australian workers.


    b. Labor win and are so caught up in arrogantly convincing themselves they won on their own they double down on similar right-wing policies to those the LNP were advancing. They backflip on many of their promises (which is such a surprise because politicians never do that), but they do save Medicare (for the time being), while telling us that keeping the poor alive and well is going to cost Australia’s billionaires too much so we (the poor) will regretfully have to make sacrifices, thus they immediately begin nibbling away again at Medicare. Education will be as good as gone (did anyone notice the wet-tissue-strength policy statement on it?). They never intended to help there. The building of war machines will be cast as a good thing, and they may get some subs built here, but the rest will be multi-billion-dollar broken seconds bought from overseas that nobody else in their right mind would touch. The TPP will go ahead and more jobs will be lost overseas and any future Australian government will no longer be sovereign, now able to be sued into submission by giant corporations for trying to protect us or our country from them. Of course the Senate is heavily populated with Greens and other progressives, so they have a difficult time implementing some of their worst moves. Our country and our society is nevertheless degenerating.


    1. Labor lose because they pissed off all the other progressives and were put too far down in preference lists to be much use to them.

    a. The Labor hierarchy and their true believers are infuriated by this and see it as a betrayal, while the progressives see Labor’s arrogance and bile as a betrayal, and so the rift widens. Labor becomes convinced that they lost because they are not right-wing enough, believing the only way forward is to use Paul Keating’s strategy again to take the LNP’s voter base from them. (They try to make themselves believe all the money they’re taking from giant fossil fuel, insurance, mining, gambling, and finance corporations has nothing to do with this.) It becomes increasingly difficult to tell Labor and LNP apart, as it becomes more and more a battle about perception and tribalism rather than actual policy. Thankfully we have the Greens and lots of progressives and independents in the Senate and no matter how much the LNP and Labor collude to push through terrible policies they are still find it difficult to get things through. We have years more of this rapidly degenerating crap, with the prospect of facing the next election with the choice of electing Evil or Eviller.


    b. Labor understand their miscalculation in alienating the other progressives and make amends. Now with Labor and the progressives working together it becomes all but impossible for the LNP to get any of their nastiness through. Labor have learned their lesson, but we are stuck in a worsening limbo for another few years.

    So you see, the choice isn’t really a simple one. Can we believe Labor? Is a vote for them a defacto validation of their worst policies? Will voting for others and merely preferencing Labor be a way to teach Labor a lesson not to take us for granted? Or will that backfire and make Labor even worse? What are we to make of the lesser evil aspect of Labor’s policies? Are those policies merely a sly way to gain the xenophobic vote and they’ll actually do good after they’re in power?

    Unhappily I can’t help noticing only one out of the four possibilities I presented is a good outcome. It also bothers me that there are several other possible outcomes that are even more horrible, depending on the makeup of the Senate, but I don’t even want to contemplate those. (When considering the Senate I believe there is only one clear choice: to vote in as many progressive parties and independents as possible and exclude as much as possible both big parties.)

    I’m deeply worried by all this and I have no idea what to do about it. The only positive is that I’m just one tiny, insignificant human so my choice in bringing about one of these futures is microscopically small.

  229. Kaye Lee

    Miriam, I agree thinking about possible outcomes can be depressing but we must break it down into achievable steps towards our goal with a realistic view of our current choices. The government will be Labor or Coalition. Neither perfect by a long shot but who would be best to work with? Who is more likely to allow us to see important information? Who is more likely to listen to expert advice rather than paying consultants to come up with a specified outcome?

    I would also stress that, when voting in the Senate, be careful of Independents and micro-parties. There are a few who sound ok but some of them are truly weird. And some of them, whilst well-meaning, aren’t very bright which makes them susceptible to manipulation if they don’t have a handle on legislation (think the carbon tax).

    “Barring journalists from going to Nauru and Manus Island detention camps is necessary to prevent “sharing intelligence with people smugglers”, Coalition campaign spokesman Mathias Cormann has suggested.

    Cormann said refusing to allow journalists to attend the camps was part of the “operational discipline” that had stopped asylum seeker boats.

    On Monday on a special one-person Q&A panel the opposition leader, Bill Shorten, promised greater transparency for the offshore asylum seeker detention centres including allowing journalists onto Manus Island and Nauru.”

  230. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Miriam, I like 1a for starters because it would mean the LNP were crushed but it would be only a compromise in the pursuit of true progressive reform, if Labor does not negotiate with its allies.

    However, if we lost the election, I like 2b, as it would be a good outcome albeit a belated one after another gruelling period of the LNP Degenerates.

  231. Kaye Lee

    I should also point out that, should Labor win this election, they will be the incumbents next election which could be a better time to vote for other progressives if they have performed badly. The damage that the Coalition could do in the next three years does not bear thinking about.

  232. cornlegend

    Thankfully Turnbull [and the Greens} made it quite clear that we would end up with A DD election and was unlikely to go full term .
    This gave the ALP the opportunity to design the campaign to meet the changes and thus the Bill Town Hall Meetings were implemented in the early part of the campaign and the Billbus with mainly Dastyari in charge covered huge distances . Thoughts were to capitalise on the extended pre polling times this election and the fact that about 40% of the population will vote early given they have almost 3 weeks this time. 30% voted early last time in the 2 week pre poll time and those out and about were using persuasion to get people into the polling booths early and get a jump start on other parties . That seems to have worked as those working on 6 electorate pre polls that I have spoke to today have had a slow but steady stream already today. Now for a big finishing flourish through to July 2

  233. diannaart

    Our thinking is simpatico, Kaye Lee.

    Hoping for Labor win; scenario 1a) in Miriam’s hypotheticals, as a good start towards recovering from 25 years+ of neo-con/eco-rationalist stupidity.

  234. Kaye Lee

    Bill has been doing well. I also think Tanya and Albo act to remind the Party of their heart. If I was advising Bill right now, I would highly recommend a federal ICAC. It would be a vote winner that would highlight and take advantage of the Coalition’s latest corruption with Parakeelia.

  235. diannaart

    Bill needs to smile more – he has a very engaging smile – most pollies look smug when attempting this basic human action.

    Also Bill sounds better than the lecturing “this is good for you” style of Turnbull… his voice was such a relief from Abbott’s croak, but am over the novelty, have to switch of if I hear Turnbull now.

    Can’t see Labor endorsing ICAC…. they know where all the bodies are too.

  236. cornlegend

    Tanya and Albo have covered more ks than Qantas I think and now Penny Catherine King Tony Burke and Mark Dreyfus will be all over like a rash. Backbench MPs supporting each other has been flat out with a friend of mine having campaigned in 16 electorates already for fellow ALP MPS

  237. cornlegend

    It mightn’t seem like it but Bill is a pretty shy bloke, but is good with meet and greets and shopping centres and stuff

  238. Kaye Lee


    I think of Barry O’Farrell who banned political donations from developers and initiated the NSW ICAC. No doubt he was taking advantage of the corruption of Obeid et al but at least he had the guts to do it. I know it didn’t work out well for him or his party which no doubt makes your statement quite likely true, but sooner or later, someone is going to have to take the step. I would so admire Bill if he was the man to do it. Announcing yet another review is pointless. Political donations have to be cleaned up.

  239. Miriam English

    Yes, you’re right Kaye. We need to ensure the LNP get the boot at this election. We just have to hope Labor don’t become insufferably arrogant and a danger to Australia. (Unfortunately the degree of arrogance, misleads, and name-calling exhibited by Labor so far doesn’t fill me with great confidence.) The LNP present an unambiguous threat to Australia. Choice 1 in my four possibilities is the only one that has the favorable outcome (1a).

    No matter what happens, the most important thing is that the Senate be made as progressive as possible and able to effectively obstruct a destructive government, no matter what its complexion.

  240. diannaart

    …the Senate be made as progressive as possible and able to effectively obstruct a destructive government…

    or even a government that is straying into stupidity.

  241. Kaye Lee

    Thinking further on it, to avoid a witch hunt of epic proportions which would likely see every politician in trouble, we could establish a Federal ICAC whose brief was to deal with any complaints about actions from July 2 onwards. Complaints about previous actions would be dealt with by the bodies who currently oversee integrity and corruption (very poorly). That way it would act as a true deterrent, improving the system without wasting millions on things we can’t change. If the Coalition opposed that they would look very bad.

  242. Miriam English

    Come 4th of July there will be one thing to celebrate, regardless of politics: the Juno spacecraft will be entering orbit around Jupiter and we will start to get a deluge of detailed images and data from the largest planet in our solar system.

  243. Miriam English

    That’s an excellent suggestion Kaye. An ICAC that investigates current corruption instead of past corruption.

  244. Kaye Lee

    Miriam 🙂

    There are always things to celebrate. Sadly, in an election campaign we rarely speak about them. We should not let pessimism overwhelm us. Continue in whatever way you can to make your own corner of the world a better place and to demand that those in power do likewise on a grander scale. A tsunami is made up of individual drops.

  245. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    There is no Statute of Limitations on Fraud. Why should public officials and private donors lobbying to government be treated any differently from the person on the street?

    If any of us had taken illicit donations sometime in the past, we would be brought to account. So should they. All the dirty public officials we complain of, should not be above the law. The Federal ICAC should be given the teeth to deal with any live offender beginning with the worst.

  246. diannaart


    Yeah but, no but, yeah but… Kaye Lee’s suggestion gives us somewhere to start – that is better than what we are going with at present.


    I can’t wait to see the latest images of Jupiter, was mesmerised by Pluto – Jupiter will be awesome!

    Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!

  247. Kaye Lee

    A slight fly in the ointment. Bill might have to take the proposal to National Conference for endorsement. If I was being politically cynical, he could announce his intention to do so and then see what happens.

  248. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I shall bid you adieu, Comrades, for a few days.

    Keep fighting the common enemies of the LNP and neoliberalism!

  249. corvus boreus

    Here’s to hope for a change in governance,
    and the dream of a senate with enough members of integrity that it refuses fracking and embraces ICAC.

  250. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks corvus. Spot on link.

    My daughter tells me she listens to this alternative songmaker all the time. My eyes have been opened even wider.

    Hail The Revolution! (meant seriously)

  251. Kaye Lee

    The ad at the top of this article (for me anyway) is from the Liberal Party telling me to “Back Fiona Scott and the Turnbull Liberal team in Lindsay.” I wonder if they are paying for it with taxpayer funds?

  252. corvus boreus

    Kaye Lee,
    As I type this, the ad bar displayed above your article directs me to “Back Lucy Wicks and the Turnbull Team [Find Out More]”.
    Before, the ad bars were ordering me to “Call the National Security Hotline” (phone number helpfully provided).

    The paid advertisement imploring me to randomly call the spook-line (without possible reason given) was most definitely paid for by the taxpayers (along with other consolidated revenue levees imposed upon society).
    The ‘Turnbull team’ solicitations to back ‘I love Lucy’ and ‘Feisty Fiona’, may just as easily have been paid for by various industry lobbyist donations (with public policy favours subsequently owing).

  253. cornlegend

    I have Adblock but I can’t help myself, I’m turning it off and if they pop up for me I swear I will ring the hotline number and report the LNP for putting the wellbeing of good working class people at risk, friggin’ homegrown terrorists, and an overseas citizen terrorist Abbott
    What’s he most they can do, fine me ? 😀

  254. jimhaz

    Nice music link from CB.

    Here is a song from Ukraines got talent 2014, that is rather interesting and lovely…and it features forest birds.

    ‘Voice and sound from other dimension: Gennady Tkachenko’

  255. corvus boreus

    For people without excess funds and fungibles (ie poor people), the threat of monetary fines, or subsequent punishments in lieu of ability to pay, can actually be a serious deterrent.
    This would be why the Baird government has drastically increased the fines for those who do things like protest against CSG, and why wealthier people often threaten others with vexatious litigation based on frivolous claims.
    It is a handy way to silence the dissenting voices of those who cannot easily afford to lawyer up,

  256. corvus boreus

    Nice one.
    Here’s some other ethereal sounding vocalizations;

  257. cornlegend

    “people often threaten others with vexatious litigation based on frivolous claims.
    It is a handy way to silence the dissenting voices of those who cannot easily afford to lawyer up,”
    Sometimes individuals have no option but to seek legal action, not against dissenting voices , but against individuals who make outlandish and frivolous statements with absolutely no basis in fact
    To throw terminology like ‘anal sex’ and “beastiality” at an individual who regularly has to undergo Police “working with children” checks and stringent checks by Statuatory Authorities because of links and commercial involvement with a Homeless Youth Shelter and a Refuge is actionable and hardly “frivolous”
    I personally would seek litigation in a heartbeat to stop idiotic claims from someone making the claims simply to point score on an issue of politics.

  258. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    corvus boreus,

    I’m not referring to your and cornlegend’s particular discussion but to the broader point of onerous legal consequences for anyone daring to act upon our democratic rights to protest.

    This statement is for anyone who may be intimidated by stronger bodies’ threats of litigation against you. There are many decent pro bono lawyers and legal centres that would advocate for you. There are also higher international courts for human rights to which a person or a group of people can appeal.

    My message is: don’t let the bastards intimidate you into inaction for fear of unjust consequences that are an abuse of the legal system.

    When we have the Fed ICAC, I want to see Baird also in the frontline being made to answer for his abuse of the NSW legal system.

  259. jimhaz


    Those songs didn’t quite grab me in the same way (on one listen at least) as Rising Appalachia did. I also liked “Manifesto” by Nahko and Medicine for the People) on the playlist.

    One last song

    Starting at around 5:10 is an ethereal shaman song that stirs up my third eye and caged heart.

    Ayahuasca Shamans

  260. corvus boreus

    The long past (and deleted) comment to which you refer was a comment upon linguistics, not an accusation or insinuation.
    The terminology referred to is often unthinkingly used without awareness of it’s official definition (eg that Toyota ad).
    If the actual meaning offends you, I suggest you do not use the word.

  261. corvus boreus

    Even if the senate were to OK an ICAC, which looks rather unlikely in the immediate, I am sceptical as to whether such a body would (or could) include state government matters within it’s jurisdiction.
    I think the best we could hope for to slow the Baird demolition of democracy, of which 18 months worth of specially selected and appointed administrators replacing all the democratically elected councillors to run newly amalgamated Sydney councils is the latest pearler) is something like this happening again, only with a better end outcome this time round;

  262. paul walter

    Shades of John Grisham!

    Oh yes, we get our ideas from America and one of the bright ideas they’ve developed is a technique called “slapsuiting”, where a costly and time consuming legal process is employed to stifle dissent, through attrition.

    An example occurred about a decade ago when Gunns tried to bankrupt Bob Brown and others for opposing the worst of the Tasmanian forestry sleaze.

  263. corvus boreus

    You might find a bit of a look around Tuvan throat singing and the Sami ‘Yoik’ rewarding in terms of pure vocals.

    As for the lasses from the Appalachians, part of their spell is the message within the sounds.
    Here is the ‘loss of the whole mountain’ of which they speak;

  264. jimhaz


    Environmental degradation is something I prefer being ignorant about. Seeing what is occurring results in too great a sense of hopelessness. It is not so much about what we have already done, but the fact that it will continue and worsen.

    So I just be inactive and fall back on the maxim that 80% of what we worry about does not eventuate or we find changes more tolerable than we might anticipate.

    Que Sera Sera – we will evolve in whatever way we are caused to evolve. The more we change the environment the more we will have to adapt to the new environment.

    It is even possible that our rape of Gaia has an ultimate advantage for us as a species. The suffering it causes may lead us to develop, earlier than otherwise, the technology that would enable us to survive one of those cataclysmic X thousand year natural events, eg large asteroids, super volcanoes and so on.

    The great loss for us, the beauty of the diversity of other life on earth, could be replaced by some new form of emotional satisfaction, as we already see now with electronics.

    Good spot to segue to this comment on another thread

    [why must we wait 100 years for those ‘intimacy robots]

    I suppose we will never be rich or devious enough for Stepford wives Prototype 1, which yes will be much less than 100 years away.

    Should I live another 20 years there could be a prototype that I’d be senile enough not to notice the fakery. I’d probably select Model Nurse Randy Sandy Bot as I’d need physical help by then.

    (Umm, I’m so out of practice with humour)

    [I, for one, do not think that you are a weirdo]

    Thanks for the positive comment, CB. You’re a free and deep thinker and I respect your views.

    I’m sure part of the reason I attached the weird label to myself is that it enables me freer reign to say whatever I like. I often feel a need to be contrary using gut feeling rather than research so prefer not to be taken too seriously…and to not get many responses. Defending statements and dealing with often pointless nuances is too time consuming for a sluggish or slothful thinker like myself.

  265. corvus boreus

    Restoration of vegetation for conservation of biodiversity is my rice and water, so the carnage wreaked on the living skin of our biosphere is something that tends to somewhat fill my focus (and exacerbate my depression).
    Future speculation? I tend to get a bit pessimistic about that, based on my observations of current trends.
    Comfort lies in the concepts of geological time and cosmological context, and the fact that I could very easily be entirely wrong.

    I think a number of us choose to enhance some of our facets when we project ourselves over the cyber-ether; my alter of a cynically analytical forest raven tends to carry less egotistical baggage than the everyday mind from which it originates.
    Your free-form thinker firing off contrarian hip-shots can sometimes hit with pure instinct, or ricochet around in such a way that the complacently entrenched are motivated to examine the relative security of their assumed positions.

  266. diannaart

    Well said, corvus boreus, although, have you ever chased sheep around a paddock?

  267. corvus boreus

    Nah, I leave that job to the Canids.
    My only real task with sheep is that I am supposed to recycle the eyes when they’re done using them. 😉

  268. diannaart

    I have neither an effective bite nor bark; a young child, I could only chase them with pinwheeling arms and hollering, scattering them in as many directions as I could – there was always a stand off sheep, I always managed to make it run. Mission accomplished, I would look back at the paddock and the sheep were back to the “relative security” of being sheep.

    The only eye-balls involved, were between the stand-off sheep and me.


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