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Talking about my generation

I was thinking the other day about my generation, or the people I come into contact with from my generation, and how little they care about politics.

This isn’t surprising. Not everyone can be interested in every minute detail of the political process like I am.

But what concerns me is not just how little they care, but how little they actually understand what elections like this one are all about.

I was born in 1981 and it’s fair to say, living in Australia between then and now has been pretty bloody easy. Sure, house prices have been high, but this is probably the most stressful thing for most people of my generation. And if this is as bad as it gets, it’s no wonder there is so much mass apathy towards politics. And even more worryingly to me, is the mass apathy towards the Labor Party and what it stands for.

I’m starting to think Labor is being squished between two very different types of voters in my generation – those who’ve had it too good for too long and therefore expect progressive policy as if it’s a birthright, but don’t want to work hard to get it. And those who think they are better off if their bosses are better off – all hail the boss. Let me explain.

I’ll start with the progressive voters who don’t support Labor. You can guess where they flock. And yes, as I’ve had to debate seemingly hundreds of times on Twitter, I do understand preferential voting. But there is a very large difference between quietly giving Labor your number two (or second to last) preference in a polling booth, and campaigning for Labor in your community.

I count campaigning as everything from joining the party, to the odd ‘like’ on your Facebook page, to a conversation with a work colleague about which political party you support and why.

I’ve written before how easy my life would be if I were a Green. Time and time again I meet perfectly reasonable and passionately progressive people, who take great joy out of bagging Labor and praising everything the Greens say. (I said ‘say’, not ‘do’ for a reason).

But here’s what I don’t understand about these people. How can they say they are all for progressive policies when they spend their entire lives attacking the only major party which is going to deliver anything close to the progressive policies they seek?

I understand that many Greens voters are concerned about the plight of asylum seekers, and are outraged by Labor’s policy. But how secure in their lives must these people feel, how perfectly catered for in all other areas of progressive policy must they be, to only care about one policy?

Do these people think their rights at work are safe forever and therefore not worth shoring up and defending? Has the union movement been the victim of its own success, breeding a misguided belief amongst my generation that rights can’t be taken away?

Do these people not care if the gap between rich and poor gets wider, and social mobility is crushed for future generations? Do they think health and education, and the government ownership of public assets important to the community are less important than asylum seeker policy? Do they think policies like the NDIS and the NBN being available to all, and action to reduce the effects of climate change will just happen without them lending a hand?

Do their ‘principles’ on one issue really make them totally blind to how detrimental their public bagging of the Labor Party is to their goal of having a progressive government? And if they really do care so much about asylum seeker policy, what do they think of the Liberals’ alternative?

Sometimes on Twitter, I get the most inane tweets from Greens supporters, which just make me want to cry. For example, one person tweeted to me that he couldn’t vote for a progressive party that doesn’t have a mining tax which is progressive enough.

Seriously. In other words, this person is saying they can’t support the progressive alternative because Labor hasn’t gone as far as he would like, so he’ll bag Labor, in effect supporting the conservative alternative that will get rid of the progressive mining tax altogether. This is ludicrous. Juvenile and ludicrous.

I understand that many Greens voters take great pride in despising both the major parties and the whole two-party system. It’s the ‘you can’t trust any of them’ mantra. But is my generation really so flippant about how easy life is, that they can’t see that politics is all about one alternative over the other? Progressive versus conservative?

It’s not about finding a soul mate, or some spiritual quest. Yes, the progressive major party might not be perfect. Just like people aren’t perfect. Progress takes time and a lot of effort, it never happens overnight. It takes compromise and pragmatism. This means the Labor party might not match up to your policy preferences 100% of the time. They might not be as progressive as you want them to be all the time. Two-party politics is messy, it is unglamorous and it does make progressive reform difficult.

Is my generation really so impatient and scared of hard work, that the progressive voters amongst us would prefer to bag the progressive major party, rather than get in there and help them to beat the conservatives? The worst part of this is, bagging the progressive alternative helps the conservatives.

Don’t you realise Tony Abbott is thrilled every time he hears Christine Milne complaining about Labor? Don’t you understand why you would never see the Nationals criticising the Liberals in an election campaign? If progressives can’t get behind Labor, why would a swing voter looking for something to believe in vote for them?

Every time you bag Labor, especially during an election campaign, you’re limiting the likelihood of Australia having a progressive government. You’re putting at risk all the progressive policies Labor has implemented in the last 6 years, and all those they plan to strengthen and implement in the future. So what exactly are you trying to achieve?

The only thing that can beat Abbott’s Liberals, who enjoy the backing of Murdoch, Rinehart and the rest of the big business community, is a united, strong, progressive alliance. I’ve been so disappointed during this election campaign that my generation are not interested in this fight.

Now let’s look at the conservative voters in my age group. To be blunt, I don’t know many and those who I do know most likely vote Liberal for one or both of two reasons – they think rich people vote Liberal and would like to consider themselves as belonging to this group, or they just vote how their parents do. Actually, some of them want a tax cut and to hell with the impact of reduced government services for their community.

But presumably, there must be a sense amongst Liberal and National voters that when the 1% is looked after, the 99% get some trickle-down benefit, no matter how stupid this idea is. Sure, there might be some entrepreneurial, business owning Liberal voters in my generation who strongly believe that a free market solves all problems, and any government intervention in a privately owned market is just bureaucracy getting in the way of profit.

And maybe some really do think a minimum wage is bad for the economy. But honestly, I don’t think most Liberal voters in my generation think hard enough about politics to come to any conclusion as deep as this.

Many are likely to think the economy is always better under the Liberals and choose to ignore the economic success of the Labor party in bringing the country through the GFC without a recession. In some ways, my generation is even more likely to rest on their laurels because of the reduced impact of the GFC, which ironically is even more likely to produce more Liberal voters – ‘see there wasn’t a crisis so why did Labor have to spend so much to save us from something that didn’t happen?’ To this, I say for f*ck’s sake!

My biggest frustration with conservative voters from my generation is this – they’ve been trained well, by vested interests in the media and by conservative politicians, to blame the government for everything that goes wrong in the economy, and to praise capitalism for everything that goes right.

In these people’s eyes, Wall Street greed wasn’t to blame for the share-market crash which caused the GFC, it was various governments and their failures to do something about it at fault. But then you use the word ‘regulation’ to try to explain that this is the only thing the government could have done about it, in advance, to stop the capitalists from eating themselves, and the response to even mentioning the word regulation is revulsion and sneers.

So when I have these Green progressives on my left, refusing to support Labor, and these un-thinking Liberals on my right, hating everything Labor stands for, it really does feel like I’m fighting a war on two fronts. Yes, I support Labor. No, it doesn’t mean I love Kevin Rudd – but I would be overjoyed if he wins this election. Yes, I support most Labor Party policies, but not all of them. Yes, I was devastated by what happened to Julia Gillard, and I’ll be upset about this for as long as I live. No, this doesn’t mean I’ll give up on the Labor Party.

Politics isn’t about personalities; it’s about policies – the people who come up with them and the people who successfully implement them. Those doing the heavy lifting on our behalf deserve our support. Maybe Labor voters like me are the most stubborn voters from my generation of all the ones I’ve described. I just want to live in the country Labor can give me and I’ll fight against anyone and anything that tries to get in the way. This is how I stand up for what I believe in.

By Victoria Rollison


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  1. girlseule

    I’m planning on voting for the Greens, but you raised some very, very good points in this post, and have got me thinking.

  2. Aaron Press

    Hmmm that’s exactly how I feel about labor and exactly what I think of the greens. I lost a lot of respect for the greens after they sided with the LNP on the Malaysia refugee policy.

  3. mikisdad

    “I just want to live in the country Labor can give me and I’ll fight against anyone and anything that tries to get in the way. This is how I stand up for what I believe in.”

    Fine, Victoria, but this is also how you demonstrate an arrogant and relatively narrow view of the political scene and how you display a lack of respect for others who don’t see it as you do.

    I admire your passion – such a state is something I’ve long suffered derision for, myself. However, in your recent writings you are certainly displaying more passion than reason and I believe that is problematic.

    I would like to see a more rational and less biased analysis of how the various parties operate; what values they represent; and where votes might best be placed – rather than simple castigation of those who make a different choice to your own.

    Throwing out principle for pragmatism might seem to you and others as a valid option but it does not seem that way to all of us, including many that do admire and support Labor Principle – or at least those on which it was founded. I don’t believe that those principles should be so readily sacrificed.

    I have been castigated for this view and no doubt will be again but this is not an attack on you personally but a critical comment on the skewed argument you make. I would certainly welcome reading a more rational and carefully argued and evidenced piece from you.

  4. cornlegend

    “I just want to live in the country Labor can give me and I’ll fight against anyone and anything that tries to get in the way. This is how I stand up for what I believe in.”
    Good on you ,Victoria, for your passion.
    You write from the heart.
    If people want balance, try standing on one leg.
    Leave Victoria to do what she does so wonderfully well.
    Write with passion and conviction

  5. nikki

    I agree with you on most points, already, but honestly, the ones you are trying to reach like it snappy, will indeed vote for a party or not based on one policy point and are too complacent to have this type of thought process… (”Tl;Dr”)

  6. Michael LaFave

    Ms Rollison, this is one of the most cogent and inspiring commentaries that I have been privileged to read. As a baby boomer, I can attest that the frustration of hearing the Labor Party undermined and egregiously vilified by all the other parties never gets any easier to deal with.

    I totally concur with your perspective that there are inevitably policies and personalities in the Labor Party that are disappointing to say the least. All the same, even during the years when my enthusiasm for our Parliamentary Leader is running dry, there’s never less than a country mile separating the progressiveness of Labor’s policies and 90% of
    of the ultraconservative goals pursued by the Coalition.

    Many thanks.

  7. melaine

    I couldn’t find anything ‘skewed’ about Victoria’s excellent article. In fact I am impressed with her analysis of the attitude of people her age. My nephew, I am ashamed to admit, is planning to vote Liberal because he believes it is better for his ‘lifestyle’!! He has recently married, she works in childcare, they have a huge mortgage, planning a family, small business owner… yeah I know, go figure?!

    Once again, many thanks for a fabulous, well articulated analysis Victoria. Keep up the good work, you are an inspiration to me and many others I am sure.

  8. richo

    Go victoria a greeat blog i concur wholeheartedly. I am about a decade older than you and lived well and truly through the horrible howard years. Horrible for anyone who believed in progressive principals, honesty and a fair go that is. I watched as our so called government sold off our assets and left us in such a state of neglected infrastructure.

    I went on to vote compass and i discovered that i am fairly equally split between greens and labor. but you are right, what can the greens do, yes they can speak but when they sided with LNP in voting down the EPRS and then the Malaysia stuff. It must be nice to be able to no have to be pragmatic and go with the best of the situation.

    I am not a Labor member but I am certainly supporter. i can’t imagine the state of my nation if the LNP gets in. I keep sharing memes and talking up the achievements of Rudd and Gillard.

    The complicitness of the media in selling lies has me regularly yelling at my TV. I will woop with joy if we win this stoush. It is a stoush it is a David and Golliath battle. It is a battle for the social order it is a battle to at least slow the continued removal of wealth from the needy into the hands of the rich.

    We must stand firm against these blue bloods who want nothing more than to feather their own nests and care nothing of the rest of us.

  9. cornlegend

    I too am a baby boomer, and so proud that we have
    women of calibre,
    like Victoria.

  10. cousincat

    Generally love your blogs, Victoria, but have to say I’m not real happy with the Greens bagging in this one (I’m a paid-up member of the Greens).

    Surely Greens/ALP-ers and all other leftist parties shouldn’t waste their time and energy on this boring and petty “We’re more progressive than thou” posturing but instead band together to defeat the true LNP enemy, right?

  11. richo

    Victoria is the type of “woman of calibre” we need. Being a person of calibre has nothing to do with how much they earn it’s to do with charachter. I remember a speech something along the lines of having a dream. A dream by a man who dreamed his children would be judged by the content of their character not the colour of their skin. I think we can now say we dream our children can be judged on the content of their character and not the size of their renumeration.

    Keep it up Victoria, you are a woman of fine character and fine calibre. You go girl!

  12. richo

    Indeed cousincat where is that ideal when it came to the EPRS and the Malaysia policy. As Victoria says we may not agree with all the policies …
    Yes let us unite against the common Noalition.

  13. Kaye Lee

    An excellent article that eloquently expresses my frustration, and I am not of your generation Victoria, but I greatly enjoy the articles by both you and Kay.

    We truly do have a good life in this country. This doesn’t mean there will never be challenges or tragedies to deal with but, as a very wise woman once said to me, we learn from every experience in our lives, good and bad. The point is in this country, if hard times hit, we have a safety net, and I don’t think people realise how precious that is and how hard the fight has been to win so many things we now have come to expect.

    I have had the same arguments as you with Greens and conservatives. I find them often deaf to any discussion. The conservatives you speak of, voting for class or radition, are not the only breed. It is astonishing the number of people who will be infinitely worse off under the Coalition who are fighting for their right to lose their job, their entitlements, their household assistance, their schools and hospitals, their NBN, and any collective voice in either the workplace or government.

    The Greens say my way or the highway. You cannot get the co-operation of government, business and workers that way. I have pleaded for the co-operation of the idealists with the pragmatists – one can give us goals and the other can show us a practical way to achieve them – but it just ain’t happening. I want to achieve things, I don’t want to just protest about them.

    The first priority for anyone who values social equity and justice must be to elect a government with whom we can work towards our goals.

  14. J.Fraser

    Its not you fighting on 2 fronts.

    Its the dumbass decision makes in the Labor party who thought they could go it alone against the combined might of Murdoch (70% print ownership in Australia) ,Pell (WTF) and the Rinehart type billionaires as well as the usual rag tag of multinationals.

    The Australian Greens are the political party of youth (of 2 generations now) and they will always have a voice in Australia … only the octogenarian Murdoch and his lap dog “Slick” Abbott think otherwise.

    Its as though we are currently living in a mirror image world where Labor is Hitler and he has declared war against Russia while fighting the East … its as though the extreme fundamentalist right has decreed a second coming and the world is going along with it … the dream of an equal society has been replaced with a society looking for and accepting false hope …. the false image that the elderly are quite capable of looking after themselves in an Australia that could be about to face the greatest upheaval since the 1930s …. its Phoney Tony.

    And Australia is being sold it.

    Will Australia be just like the U.S. and reject it … they did , they voted for Obama’s second term against the odds.

    Will Australia wake up on 7 September 2013 and vote for Labor ?

    I will do all that I can to try to get Australia to do just that.

  15. J.Fraser


  16. Kerrianne Springford

    My same frustration, to the letter! But I shouldn’t be surprised. You always seem to channel my exact thoughts every time you set pen to paper. I feel just that little less alone in my fight. Thank you, Victoria.

  17. Michael LaFave

    If the Murdoch media and all the copycat journos in the ABC get their way on 7 Sept., is this the sort of dumbed-down society that our next generation will inherit after a PM Abbott has finished his G. W. Bush reign?

    “Louisiana GOPers Unsure If Katrina Response Was Obama’s Fault

    A significant chunk of Louisiana Republicans evidently believe that President Barack Obama is to blame for the poor response to the hurricane that ravaged their state more than three years before he took office.
    Twenty-eight percent said they think former President George W. Bush, who was in office at the time, was more responsible for the poor federal response while 29 percent said Obama, who was still a freshman U.S. Senator when the storm battered the Gulf Coast in 2005, was more responsible. Nearly half of Louisiana Republicans — 44 percent — said they aren’t sure who to blame.”

  18. Kaye Lee

    Oh yes the Republican Party are great examples. They too are for sale.

    Climate change is happening, humans are the cause, and a shocking number — more than 56 percent — of congressional Republicans refuse to accept it.

    158 elected representatives from the 113th Congress have taken over $51 million from the fossil fuel industry that is the driving force behind the carbon emissions that cause climate change. They deny what over 97 percent of climate scientists say is happening — current human activity creates the greenhouse gas emissions that trap heat within the atmosphere and cause climate change. And their constituents are paying the price, with Americans across the nation suffering 368 climate-related national disaster declarations since 2011.

  19. Douglas Evans

    Seeking to portray the Labor Party as the protector of worker’s rights you write:
    “Do these people (Greens voters) think their rights at work are safe forever and therefore not worth shoring up and defending?”
    However Crikey who have actually compared the policies (which of course you have not) finds that:
    “Perhaps surprising for a party that sprung from the environmental movement, the Greens appear to boast the most progressive approach — on paper at least — to workplace relations. The principles and aims run to 39 bullet points and cover the full gamut from right of entry to industrial manslaughter provisions. Melbourne MP Adam Bandt is the party’s IR spokesman and boasts years of experience at labour law firm Slater and Gordon, where he tilled a very similar field to Julia Gillard. Interestingly, the Greens specifically put the onus on an employer to enter into collective bargaining unless it can prove a majority of workers are “demonstrably opposed” to it.
    Last year, Bandt introduced a private members bill to protect casual workers in insecure employment arrangements by providing a process for casuals to apply to move to ongoing part-time or full-time work.”
    Anyone interested can find the whole piece here.

    You write:
    ‘Has the union movement been the victim of its own success, breeding a misguided belief amongst my generation that rights can’t be taken away?’
    Well perhaps they have been reading the Labor Party website which trumpets that: “Labor has delivered strong protections for conditions like overtime and penalty rates THAT CAN’T BE STRIPPED AWAY.”
    This incidentally has been declared by PolitiFact’s Truth-O-Meter to be untrue. Have a look for yourself.

    You write:
    Do these people (Greens voters) not care if the gap between rich and poor gets wider, and social mobility is crushed for future generations?
    In fact, in 2012 ACOSS announced that: “there is now an irrefutable volume of evidence pointing to a growing gap emerging between the haves and the have-nots in Australia. Perhaps the most stark is recent Australian Bureau of Statistics data showing that the wealthiest 20% of households in Australia increased their average net worth by 15% in the past 5 years compared to just 4% by the poorest 20%.” That is under the Rudd Gillard governments (Rudd had not yet made his comeback).
    “The bottom 20% had an average net worth of only $32,000, just 1% of total household wealth. The richest 20% by contrast accounted for 62% of the whole country’s wealth, or an average of $2.2 million per household.”
    Ahhh yes the ALP safeguarding social equality.
    Anyone interested can find some facts here:

    You write:
    “Do they think (that) action to reduce the effects of climate change will just happen without them lending a hand?”
    The truth of this is that Labor’s combined climate and energy policies are consistent with runaway climate change by mid century. Far and away the most effective climate policy (and the only one that comes close to matching what the scientists say is required) is that of the Greens. Don’t take my word for it (set out here):

    You write:
    “Not everyone can be interested in every minute detail of the political process like I am.” Really Victoria? Every minute detail? There must be something I’m missing here. Don’t let a few facts get in the way of a good rant eh Victoria!

  20. J.Fraser

    @Douglas Evans

    Then tell everyone what the Slick” Abbott squad will do differently from their past history.

    Lets see how verbose and accurate you are with that.

  21. Kaye Lee

    I agree Doug. You accuse others of “ranting” and hold yourself up as the bastion of truth yet you fail at every turn to address that very question. We have a choice between Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott as our next Prime Minister. Which of those two, because they ARE your only choices, do you feel will be better to work with towards addressing all the issues raised by Victoria?

  22. Douglas Evans

    J. Fraser
    Sorry can’t see the connection. I’m suggesting that Victoria’s piece criticizing Greens voters and by inference the Greens policies is based on a series of less than fully truthful propositions. I’ve offered you the evidence that this is the case. To be frank I find this pretty poor. That is Andrew Bolt territory. Haven’t said anything about Abbott who I hate and fear as much as you. If you actually want to know what I think the big picture is (which I doubt) it was published more than a year ago on Independent Australia here:

    The inference in Victoria’s piece that voting Green and (as Greens voters inevitably do second preferencing Labor) somehow strengthens the likelihood of an Abbott victory is complete nonsense. It’s no accident that Abbott like Baillieu before him here in Victoria allocates LNP preferences to their supposed political opponent Labor ahead of the Greens and tried to goad Rudd into doing the same. He sees correctly that the real barrier to him achieving his agenda is not Labor in the Reps who are sliding to a big loss, but the Greens in the senate who, if Labor can find a bit of backbone after the election, might just stand between us and Armageddon. You, Victoria and others of like mind better hope and pray that line of resistance is not swept away in the coming flood.

    Now if you guys feel better huddled in the dark with the blinds drawn and the doors locked comforting each other with fairy tales about what’s going on outside that’s your democratic right, but don’t bitch when someone notices that is what you are doing and says so.

  23. Robyn Deane

    Great article Victoria. In an ideal world, I would love to see an alliance between the Greens and ALP. Greens need to learn that 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing. Abbott/Coalition will set Australia back in so many ways from the social to the environment.

  24. TechinBris

    Thank you for your honesty Victoria. In a day and age of lies and disinformation, it is a breath of fresh air in the fetid atmosphere which we all have been forced to breath thanks to our MSM.
    Australia, no matter how it votes, will get exactly what it deserves. But watch the Sociopath’s angry bleating we will have to endure when the the effects of that decision rolls through and they deny any fault. How predictable.
    Not matter what happens and what you voted for, the final results is the consensus of Australia (if it isn’t rigged) and we are all to blame for what we get. Move over Marque du Sade, Australia takes over where you left off.
    How depressing, considering what we’ve got to choose from.

  25. mikisdad

    Thank you Douglas. I am continually saddened by the resort to inaccurate, lazy, or exaggerated statements by those whose passion I can share and who, I believe, are generally sincere and good-hearted individuals who do wish to see a more just and equitable society.

    Such passion should be a real asset and is to be commended, but not when it relies on misstatement, misrepresentation or errors of omission, for then the passion simply magnifies the flaws.

    The accusation of verbosity is unwarranted. You have wasted no words; written with clarity of expression; and a substantial proportion of your post consists of quotes from the piece on which you comment. I have noticed that a derogatory use of the term “verbose” is not uncommon among those who oppose a view but are either unwilling or unable to provide a coherent argument in support of their own.

    I fail to see the relevance of J. Fraser’s comment to, ” tell everyone what the Slick Abbott squad will do differently” to your own post and the points you made. I can only assume that J. Fraser believes that if you challenge misrepresentations made by an ALP supporter then you must be an LNP supporter – a logic which is clearly flawed.

    Perhaps it is the adversarial nature of today’s society that creates this appalling inability of individuals to accept genuine criticism without ire and derision. Oh that we could enjoy and benefit from rational and clearly supported argument in order to better reach a common understanding of real worth and optimum direction.

  26. Kaye Lee

    Doug I fail to see what you hope to achieve by insulting everyone. You are the epitome of holier than thou. It seems you have conceded the House of Reps to Tony Abbott. I have not and will not.

    You also seem to feel that you are the suppository of all wisdom and that the rest of us are “huddled in the dark with the blinds drawn and the doors locked comforting each other with fairy tales about what’s going on outside” whilst you look down on us from your eyrie of truth, justice and the one true way.

    If you can’t work with us then I fail to see what practical contribution you are making. And that is what alienates people from the Greens. I think we all agree with their policies. How about helping us defeat Tony Abbott so we can help you campaign for progressive reform in the future.

    And in the mean time it would be nice if you showed just a little respect for other people’s opinions!

  27. Kaye Lee

    “Perhaps it is the adversarial nature of today’s society that creates this appalling inability of individuals to accept genuine criticism without ire and derision.”

    Oh the irony!

  28. mikisdad

    Kaye, you consistently fail to see that when someone raises issues with a poorly written or inaccurate article it does not necessarily equate with an attack on that person. It is also not reasonable to decry anyone who writes well but does not agree with your position as feeling themselves superior to others. If you were to review your own comments you should be able to see that you only ever make these sort of impassioned assertions about the posts of those who do not agree with you.

    Victoria’s article has been described by one poster as “cogent and inspiring” and by yourself as “eloquent” when it is actually neither. Indeed, although I value that Victoria takes the time and makes the effort to write and raise issues which provoke thought, she regularly lets her passion overcome her fluency and her accuracy. Now that is fine and I don’t make the comment as a criticism of her – we all write and act in the ways that we know and can – but to describe her writing as “cogent” or “eloquent” is to not understand the meaning of those terms.

    You have also, more than once in these pages, suggested to those who have expressed problems with the content of articles, that you don’t see what contribution they have to make. Can you not see that this reflects *your* unwillingness to take on board a disparate view or accept that *your* way isn’t the only way to see things? If we come to these blogs only to read what we believe or believe we understand already – what is the point? Learning comes out of questioning with an open mind, not a closed one.

    You are willing to write and make your views known publicly and I applaud that. However, I feel that you would gain much more from your own participation if you were to actually take a step back and a breath, when you read something that doesn’t parallel your own view. Give it some thought and ask yourself whether it really has merit. Check the references. Put yourself in the other writer’s shoes or play “devil’s advocate” with yourself and you will improve your own understanding and ability to mount a cogent argument. You may even find that your own views change to a degree.

    I don’t think that Douglas has shown any disrespect to any poster here. I have read far more intense statements that others could potentially find offensive from ardent, single-minded and blinkered supporters of a “do no wrong” ALP.

    We are adults here (I assume) and should be able to argue and debate reasonably and rationally; should be open to challenge and diverse opinion; and should be willing to admit it when we are over zealous or just plain wrong. Otherwise, what is the point?

  29. richo

    I certainly read no inference of hatred of The Greens policy setting. I saw no attempt to run down there policies.
    I felt the central thesis of Victoria’s post in relation to The Greens and Policy was in terms of pragmatism and idealism. It is all very well to hold ideals but if you do not gain government you have little hope of implementation.

    Neither did Victoria at any point claim absolute affinity with Labor policies either. The response of Doug pretty much epitomised what Victoria said in regard to her Green acquaintances who despise the major parties with a badge of honour.

  30. cassilva48

    The Greens, imo, are the latest neo-pasturalists, the idealists of the 21st century, thinking that saving a tree will benefit the next generation. They haven’t found a balance between environmental ideals and the loss of jobs these schemes, if put into practice, would create unemployment and force more people on to welfare. In an ideal world it would be wonderful if we could cease all mining operations and all tree harvesting, but the facts are that these industries keep the roofs over our heads and put food on the table.

    The Greens and their supporters refuse to believe that the Boat Asylum Seekers are not genuine refugees and are taking places of authentic refugees who still wait in line for repatriation. IMO, Labor’s decision to take only refugees in UN camps is far more humanitarian than feeling sympathy for people who have the means to pay
    $20,000 upfront for their passage. That they decide to get on leaky boats is not our responsibility, but their choice. It wouldn’t take much to figure out that a boat with over 200 people can only accommodate 50. And that some would send their children unaccompanied defies reason.

    I am not a racist, and that this charge is labelled against anyone who sees the practicalities of an open border system as simply not workable, should not be judged so. It is not their race or culture that is being criticised but there intention to ignore the immigration policy of our country, and then once here demand certain rights under threat of destroying their accommodation is just not Australian.

  31. Kaye Lee

    “Kaye, you consistently fail to see that when someone raises issues with a poorly written or inaccurate article it does not necessarily equate with an attack on that person.”

    And who decided it was poorly written or inaccurate? You? Doug?

    “It is also not reasonable to decry anyone who writes well but does not agree with your position as feeling themselves superior to others.”

    When you are told you should be ashamed of yourself, that you are complicit in inaction, that you have swallowed your principles, that you are ignorant, etc etc, it kind of gives the impression that the person saying that feels themselves superior.

    “Victoria’s article has been described by one poster as “cogent and inspiring” and by yourself as “eloquent” when it is actually neither.”

    Who are you to decide what inspires another individual? Eloquent: (writing, etc) characterized by fluency and persuasiveness. I stick with my description.

    “You have also, more than once in these pages, suggested to those who have expressed problems with the content of articles, that you don’t see what contribution they have to make.”

    That is completely false. What I have said, and will continue to say, is that we need action, not protest and that the idealists must work WITH the pragmatists.

    Both you and Doug are extremely condescending. You both tell me I need to read more so I can find out the TRUE facts. I can assure you both I read voraciously. Telling my if I actually looked at the links that I might learn something is arrogant on your part.

    You tell me we “should be able to argue and debate reasonably and rationally” and “should be willing to admit it when we are over zealous”. I have tried to do that with both you and Doug. I have tried to talk calmly and rationally with both of you but the only response I ever get is… know nothing and you obviously don’t care unless you agree with what I say.

  32. cornlegend


    “Victoria’s article has been described by one poster as “cogent and inspiring” and by yourself as “eloquent” when it is actually neither”
    That is your view.
    I beg to differ.
    It appears most who have commented think it is an eloquently written inspiring article say
    ” Learning comes out of questioning with an open mind, not a closed one.”
    It appears you have an open mind to the articles to which you relate, but not so much to those who dare to differ from your opinion or belief.
    “but to describe her writing as “cogent” or “eloquent” is to not understand the meaning of those terms.”
    I don’t think people come here for an English lesson from you.
    I find both Victoria and Kaye Lee eloquent, cogent and inspiring.
    They are indeed
    Women of calibre.
    And spare me the page long lecture , or response.

  33. richo

    Perfect response from both Kaye Less and Cornlegend.

  34. mikisdad

    Cornlegend – as I said, learning comes from an open mind, not a closed one. Your response to me is simply proof of all I had to say. As well as a misunderstanding of the terms “cogent” and “eloquent” you also misunderstand the term “lecture”.

    As far as Victoria and Kaye being “women of calibre” – I don’t doubt it. I have already acknowledged both of them for their willingness to put forward their point of view. I do not and have not denigrated either of them, as you imply with your response to me.

    What I have commented on is the quality of the writing and the accuracy of the points made. Your suggestion that I only question or criticise articles which don’t align with my point of view is spurious and unevidenced. It is a common argumentative ploy to accuse a critic of being guilty of exactly what they have criticised. However, where there is no evidence to support the reversal, as in this case, it amounts to little more than playground squabbling. It certainly reflects no mature level of discussion or debate.

    Why do you think people do come here, Cornlegend? Is it for mutual admiration or for serious comment and discussion or some other purpose? Please enlighten me.

  35. richo

    Oh yes and who made you the arbiter of the English language and writing eloquence

  36. Kaye Lee

    You also have failed to understand the point of this article which was about the disconnection of young people with politics. To say “Not everyone can be interested in every minute detail of the political process like I am.” Really Victoria? Every minute detail? There must be something I’m missing here. Don’t let a few facts get in the way of a good rant eh Victoria!” shows that you are disinterested in what she is talking about and were just ready to use the venue she provided to push your own barrow.

    Once again Victoria thank you for an excellent article.

  37. cornlegend

    you asked

    “Why do you think people do come here, Cornlegend? Is it for mutual admiration or for serious comment and discussion or some other purpose? Please enlighten me.”

    They come here to read the works of some very fine citizen journalists.
    They come, seeking out those fine citizen journalists, to get the information that MSM fail to provide us with.
    They come to read the likes of

    John Lord, Victoria Rollinson, rossleighbrisbane, Kay Rollinson, Michael Taylor and the rest of the fine A.I.M.N contributors.

    They are the main act mikisdad.
    The people come to read their fine contributions.

    not yours or mine, .{if you believe that, you’re delusional.}
    You should write an article mikisdad.
    “The all seeing all knowing oracle” could be the title.
    There you are, I’ve given you a start.

  38. Kaye Lee

    “I would like to see a more rational and less biased analysis of how the various parties operate; what values they represent; and where votes might best be placed.”

    Then write one mikisdad. This article was not about a comparison of policies or even parties really. It was about why young people vote the way the do.

  39. Douglas Evans

    Kaye Lee
    Just trying to call it like it is. Sometimes I get it right sometimes I get it wrong but I don’t like people using platforms like this to mislead their readers about serious issues. You disagree with me. That’s fine. Refute what I’m saying with a counter argument and some evidence. I try hard to check the support for the statements I make in places like this but I’m often wrong and not unhappy to admit it when it occurs.

    You think there is something wrong with the calls I have made on the errors on which Victoria’s piece is based (and I’ve only pulled out a few of the most glaring) that’s fine show me the errors and I’ll be happy to apologize. There might well be errors as I only spent about 20 minutes checking online. Still, thought provoking hey? Otherwise if you (or anyone) who has read this piece can’t knock down the objections I have raised perhaps you need to consider whether you are actually happy about being misled like this. No?

    You write: “If you can’t work with us then I fail to see what practical contribution you are making.” I think that’s an interesting thing to say. It suggests first to me that you think that by swapping mutually supportive comments with like-minded folk online about how awful the LNP is you are contributing to their defeat. You aren’t. No-one who is likely to vote for that mob will ever see or consider what you say. Even if they did they are no more likely to seriously consider your viewpoint than you are to seriously consider mine.

    Most people use the internet primarily to reinforce their pre-existing views and secondarily (if at all) to get better informed. I’m coming to the depressing conclusion (depressing to me at least) that the internet is mostly a sort of electronic sewing circle where like minded folk with time on their hands gather regularly to carry out a shared task. In the process they derive a heap of personal validation and go away feeling good about themselves already looking forward to coming back again for another dose.

    I guess that’s fine but I had hoped that given the economic (and ethical?) collapse of the MSM and the crisis we are falling into the fifth estate might be a sort of rallying point for resistance because I think it is going to be needed. Despite having discovered a couple of fine exceptions (Larvatus Prodeo, Independent Australia and Crikey come to mind) I think I’ve just about discovered that this isn’t likely. However increasingly I agree with you that I’m not making any practical contribution and just as I’ve admitted defeat and stopped irritating the blazes out of Ad Astra over on TPS I’ll probably not bug the good folk of AIMN much longer either.

    I beg to differ with you over what alienates people from the Greens. The fundamental problem the Greens have is that they are new (well relative to their two geriatric competitors at least) and people don’t like change (any change). So starting from a position of not liking change they are very receptive to simplistic ‘truthy’ homilies about what is wrong with the new kids on the block. This is because if there is something wrong with them we can dismiss them. We don’t have to change anything and we can just go on as before.

    Last words Labor will lose 2pp about 47% to LNP 53%. It will have about 60 or 61 seats to LNP 86 or 87 with three cross benchers none of whom will be Adam Bandt. In the senate there will be (just) enough Greens to frustrate the worst excesses of Abbott’s onslaught with the flake Nick Xenophon and Labor if Labor has the backbone and stomach for the fight. It will take another three terms for Abbott to be unseated and we will have passed the thresh-hold to runaway global warming before then. You heard it first here.

  40. Kaye Lee

    cornie I am entering you and I into the synchronised commenting competition 😉

  41. Douglas Evans

    Last, last word. You are happy that Victoria’s ‘excellent’ analysis of why young people vote the way they do is based on distortions and untruths are you? Doesn’t matter at all? Still waiting for the refutation.

  42. mikisdad

    Kaye, yet again you have jumped to aggressive defensiveness rather than thought through what was written.

    For instance, I wrote:
    “You have also, more than once in these pages, suggested to those who have expressed problems with the content of articles, that you don’t see what contribution they have to make.”

    You replied:
    “That is completely false.”

    Then who wrote the following under your name?
    “If you can’t work with us then I fail to see what practical contribution you are making.”

    I could also quote from your posts on other articles but I don’t think that’s necessary. There is proof enough, above.

    Cogency and eloquence are definable and recognisable qualities. Who decides on whether a piece of writing qualifies will depend on the context for which the writing is produced and the understanding and critical ability of those reading it. Whilst there may be degrees of eloquence or cogency, to use those terms implies more than simple opinion. I cannot speak for Douglas but in my case I claimed them to be inappropriate based on my understanding of their meaning. That understanding I believe to be a reasonable one based on my passionate love of literature; extensive reading over a period of 60 odd years; my studies for and experience as an educator and librarian for over 45 years; and some spedific studies of literature and literary criticism.

    I did not comment on “inspiring” and I agree that what inspires a person is something that is personal to them.

    I admire your passion, Kaye, and I am sure that in large measure we have similar views about the damage that an Abbott government would do to Australia. However, we differ on one main point: that you appear to believe that the end justifies the means – many statements you’ve made show that; and I don’t believe that the end justifies the means.

    I will do what I can to persuade others to vote against the LNP and have written extensively and continually to that effect in various forums and on Twitter, etc. I have not said that you should be “ashamed of yourself” or the other things that you refer to in that paragraph of your post. On the contrary, in response to a previious article I noted that “I” felt ashamed to have given support to Kevin Rudd’s asylum-seeker policy and believed, on reflection, that those who criticised me for having done so were right. As a result I changed my view, which, like yours has been based on pragmatism and that it was necessary to keep Abbott out of government, no matter what the cost.

    I no longer believe that to be true, despite the very thought of it making me feel sick. I believe that it is important to stick to one’s principles even when, at times, that may mean defeat, for in the end, it seems to me that to sacrifice my principles for an end is hypocritical.

    Others do not feel that way and that is their right. However, I am not the enemy here and, I believe, neither is Douglas, but it is for him to speak for himself.

    My frustrration is the lack of willingness of so many on these forums to open themselves to alternative views and to present a distorted view of Labor policy as though it were all o.k. It isn’t, in my view, though I would agree it is not as bad as that of the LNP, it is a long way from the ideals and principles on which the Party was founded.

  43. Kaye Lee

    Doug since we haven’t voted yet it is obvious you get your “facts” from the polls and bookmakers. How very astute of you, though you will excuse me if I choose not to.

    As I have said before, I agree with all you say re climate change and will do everything in my power to act on it. What I have also said is that you have NO idea on how to rally people to the cause. Your dismissive arrogance alienates people and divides those who want to work together for change. How about you listen to ME and learn that you need a better approach to achieve what you desire.

  44. mikisdad

    richo – If your question was aimed at me then I can only reply that you’ll have to tell me for I wasn’t aware that anyone had. However, if you are really asking why I consider myself capable of assessing a piece of writing then I’d refer you to my response to Kaye.

  45. mikisdad

    Incidentally, since so many of you seem fascinated by my love of language, you may care to note that “disinterested” means “unbiased”, not “uninterested” as is the way that Kaye has misused it here and as so many others do in other places; not least those whose profession is writing and who should know better.

    There you go – that should be a good starter for more ire…

  46. richo

    Seems to me there are some that can’t see the tree for the forest or need to remove the log from there eye prior to the speck from anothers

  47. melaine

    Thanks Kaye Lee, Cornlegend, richo techinbris & others. You all seem to understand the frustration Victoria feels at the short-sightedness of the demographic she is commenting on. I do hate to see you wasting your energy arguing with people who behave as though they are more interested in diverting the conversation than furthering it.

    Victoria has written yet another article that opens up discussion on what is shaping up to be one of the most important elections in Australian history. Much as I agree with a lot of the Greens ideals, right now the only thing that needs considering is which of the major parties will work for the betterment of our peoples needs, our environments needs, how we transition to the realities of a world needing to deal with moving on from fossil fuel industries and how we function within the international community. And I can’t see any evidence either the LNP or the Greens are that interested in bettering anything other than their chances of getting into power.

    Yes, I know that’s what Labor want too, but they actually have policies which are already working really well and have some idea of how they are going to implement further policies that WILL actually achieve something that will benefit ALL not just the big end of town, not just the bleeding hearts and not just to get POWER at all costs.

    Not rocket science…

  48. mikisdad

    Cassilva48 – You may not be a racist – I wouldn’t know as I don’t know you. I do know that Australia is a particularly racist and xenophobic society.

    The view you’ve expressed above are, in my opinion, not soundly based. Personally, I deplore both the LNP and ALP policies on immigration. I don’t believe in closed borders. I am constantly surprised at the level of racism displayed by even recent immigrants to this country who now have permanent residence or have become citizens – how quickly they forget why they came and adopt a selfish, “well now I’m ok, to hell with you” sort of attitude.

    I don’t agree with all the policies of any current political group in Australia but my view is that the Greens are the closest to the values I respect, of compassion, equity, caring and sharing – and most importantly, of stopping the environmental destruction that is taking place for the purpose of lining the pockets of a tiny minority of the population.

    The argument about lost jobs that result from environmental protection is certainly one that incorporates genuine concerns but it fails none-the-less. The fact is that there will be no jobs for anyone if we do not act on global warming now and in a determined fashion. If the World continues as it is then jobs will be the least of our worries. None-the-less, I accept that we can’t just expect to throw out of work those who are unfortunate enough to be occupied in industries that need to be curtailed. The answer does not have to be to do nothing. Instead, we need to establish and encourage new technologies and industries which can replace the old ones and provide the work that people need. Australia is well placed to do that. It simply needs the determination and a longer term view.

    Unfortunately, at the moment, the Greens are the only group that have that.

  49. Kaye Lee


    There will be doers in this world and there will be talkers. There will be those who find it important to dissect and criticise minutiae while ignoring the actual message, and others who will be inspired to think. There will be those who take every comment as personal criticism and who will react accordingly while losing the point of the conversation.

    If I used an incorrect prefix I apologise as I too pride myself on my language skills though I find them far less important than the substance as communication is all about getting your point across.

    Perhaps you could explain to me what your actual purpose is in making those sorts of comments. Is it to display your undoubted appreciation of the English language itself? If that is your goal then well done. Gosh you’re clever.

    I have a different priority at the moment but by all means enjoy your parsing.

  50. melaine

    I have just read the posts that came up while I was writing my previous response…

    mikisdad… for goodness sake grow up… your arrogant and smug statement “There you go – that should be a good starter for more ire…” shows the level of intelligence you bring to the conversation…

    Now can we please return to more adult discussion about what is a very important subject.

  51. cornlegend

    You know, as an old bloke, a father and grandfather, I care passionately about the future direction of our country.
    I am proud we had such a strong and confident Prime Minister like Julia Gillard.
    I am proud that women of calibre, like Victoria, Kaye Lee ,Melaine and others continue that fight that Julia so bravely led
    I hope my grand daughters can be inspired by women like you .
    Thank you .

  52. mikisdad


    “I too pride myself on my language skills though I find them far less important than the substance as communication is all about getting your point across.”

    Yes. So using appropriate words to express that point is useful, else you are saying something different.

    It was not I who introduced the issue of written expression and language so perhaps you (and richo, and Melaine) should aim your ciriticism in this regard at those who did.

  53. mikisdad

    Melaine, I am neither arrogant nor smug and have not made statements that are such.

    The statement you quote from me was a rhetorical reflection of the standard of abuse that has been hurled at me by those who cannot stand to have their thinking challenged. It seems that you may be another one of them, given your exhortation that I should “grow up”.

    If you wish to discuss an issue with me then please do so. If you simply wish to join those who have little more than playground insults to hurl, then so be it but it will achieve nothing. So, before you urge me to return to “a more adult discussion…”, I suggest you address those who have engaged in the childishness for that is not I.

    Frankly, I am thoroughly depressed by the low level of discussion in the comments on this network and at the rigidity of views. The network itself is a valuable tool and most of the articles intelligent and articulate reading which, in the main, raise significant issues. I offer my views on those issues and attempt to promote and engage in discussion of the points made. However, total agreement with everything that is written or said or sycophantic flattery is not my style. As a result, I am constantly subject to trivial attacks by those who have little to say or are so rigidly entrenched that they will tolerate no deviation from their mantra. In the past I have tended to just give in to that sort of abusive tirade but I am no longer prepared to do so.

    I am more than happy to listen to and consider the views of others and have a mind that is extremely open to change when there is evidence and reason for making it. It is apparent, however, that there is a significant number of contributors who are not.

  54. cornlegend

    Critical of wtiting style

    “However, in your recent writings you are certainly displaying more passion than reason and I believe that is problematic.”

    critical of content

    “I would certainly welcome reading a more rational and carefully argued and evidenced piece
    from you”

    Style and content

    “Kaye, you consistently fail to see that when someone raises issues with a poorly written or inaccurate article it does not necessarily equate with an attack on that person.” I


    “we all write and act in the ways that we know and can – but to describe her writing as “cogent” or “eloquent” is to not understand the meaning of those terms.

    misunderstanding of the terms “cogent” and “eloquent” you also misunderstand the term ““lecture”.

    Truly, if I needed a lecture from you, I’d ask.
    Do me a favour Miki, just ignore me

  55. richo

    It is a shame that this thread has digressed into such trivial issues rather than the substance of what is expressed in the article. That of a personal observation and opinion of why the younger generation vote in a particular way.

    I too am more concerned about substance than spelling grammar and expression. Thank you for saying so Kaye Lee.

    I do believe that Victoria crystalised the question with cogency and eloquence. She was not trying to, in my humble opinion, analyse, critique and evaluate the positions of the competing parties but make a very valid point that this election is in fact about which of the two parties that end up governing will govern for the greater good.

    It is clear from the past that the LNP will govern with the good of the wealthy and the Labor party will govern with a broad view of providing a stable standard of living and support to the masses.

    Clearly the Labor party are not without issue. Personally I am appalled at the PNG Solution but I also would be appalled at an open border policy that would definitely see people in refugee camps never getting an opportunity of making a new start in our “lucky country”

    Many of the ideals the greens espouse I would concur with but the reality is that they will not govern and they have not governed and we have no concept of how their ideals will fare in the light of pragmatism being forced upon them. Which of their policies will they be pragmatic and which will they be idealists on.

    Like it or not. It will be Kevin or Tony. Neither of them are perfect by any stretch of the immagination, what human was. Gillard will by all accounts go down as an extremely successful Prime Minister of our country, what’s more she did so in an extremely toxic and hostile parliamentary environment leading a minority government and all that those factors encompass.

    As I said neither is without fault. Kevin has however led the country successfully through the biggest economic challenge 90 years. Tony has merely been a cutting health minister and attack dog through a boom time in an overspending overtaxing wealth transferring and asset raiding LNP government who allowed our infrastructure to degrade over a decade of government and happily stripped away the civil rights through legislation such as work choices. Electoral reform and Anti Terror laws.

    I despair at the apathy and what is in it for me attitude that pervades our mainstream media, I despair that we are more concerned about moronic things as Masterchief, Big Brother and the Biggest Loser than the stripping away of rights, the increasing homeless rates, the working poor, generational poverty and the demonising of people fleeing for their lives.

    I despair that it looks according to the MSM that we will have a regressive and backward stepping government in a few short weeks. I sincerely hope I am wrong and that Labor remains in government but I am deeply concerned.

    I hold with hopes to predictions made by Bob Ellis.

    I hope too that the Greens maintain senate position or even increase it. Accountability is required.

  56. cornlegend

    you are so right.
    I’m now staying ontrack.

  57. Kaye Lee

    This has been a useful discussion. It has crystalized for me the essence of my argument.

    My father told me, when I was about 16, that it was not necessary for me to always point out when people were wrong. They are words that resonate with me to this day though I have to continually remind myself and too often fail.

    Some of my family are practising Catholics. They are people I truly admire who unquestionably have always worked very hard to help others and to make this world a better place. On certain topics I have to compromise my principles rather than have a god almighty blue with them. I don’t ram home to them my views on abortion and euthanasia and contraception though they know how I feel. Likewise, they don’t condemn me or my children for the fact that I chose not to have them baptised in the Catholic church though I know how they feel. We have learned to recognise the good that each other do, to respect our differences, and to continue to work together (or apart) for the common goal of easing suffering and making the world better for all.

    I have also had to compromise my principles in the workplace and in my fund-raising activities many times. There are lines I refuse to cross but, as one of you said, 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

    I would never ask anyone to deny or abandon their principles but I would say that, if you wish to achieve something. you need to be able to compromise and you need good negotiating skills to bring people on board. You have to be able to work with all concerned parties. You have to prioritise goals and find practical ways of achieving them working in the available framework.

    I had hoped that at this stage of the game that we could have all identified the number one priority common goal was to keep Tony Abbott out of the Lodge and could work together to achieve that first.

  58. ()

    Mikisdad. said:


    exaggerated statements by those whose passion I can share and who (sic), I believe, are generally sincere and good-hearted

    Now the correct usage and reasons why:

    Whom I believe. ‘Whom’ is the object here, and whom is used when it is the object of the sentence. ‘Who’ is used when it is the subject of a sentence.

    In informal, spoken English either is acceptable. In written, formal English use ‘whom’ in this sentence

    Just sayin …

  59. kate ahearne

    cornlegend. Thanks for pointing me towards this article. I enjoyed it immensely. Thanks, Victoria.

  60. Bacchus

    Would you like to have a little think about that again ()? 😉 Who is actually the subject there.

    who, I believe, are generally sincere and good-hearted

    Just sayin …

  61. Douglas Evans

    Just a quick thought. Victoria’s article is predicated on a row of distortions and untruths. She draws a set of conclusions on the basis of these about the laziness and self centredness of her generation that are predictably attractive to older readers. Ah yes Young pewople today not what they were in my day etc. Laughable really. However as the original premises are demonstrably incorrect – Labor protector of social equity, Labor protector of justice at work. Labor protector against climate change etc what validity should we really attach to her conclusions. Might it not be that the people she complains of have correctly understood that which she misrepresents and are voting accordingly. I think its a beat up worthy of Andrew Bolt and is ethically appalling. I won’t be disturbing the peace on this site again.

  62. bundysmum

    Thanks Victoria, I agree with you that many young people are disengaged from politics and it is deeply worrying. I am of the generation that had to fight for the most basic rights at work and without the union movement women would still be asked to resign when they fell pregnant, as I was with my first child.So I do think that my generation were far more politically aware because we did not grow up with all the advantages that Gen Y and X take for granted.

  63. richo

    One has to wonder where Douglas has been hiding when labor fought for things like the 8 hour day the rights of unions the repealing of the horrid workchoices. The removal of the white australia policy. The signing of the Kyoto policy the introduction of a carbon price the apology to the first australians. Need I go on.

  64. kate ahearne

    ‘ I won’t be disturbing the peace on this site again.’ Wonderful news, Douglas.

  65. Kaye Lee

    “At the last federal election, 1.6 million voters gave the Australian Greens a go at being more than a party of protest. The pundits talked big, touting the Greens as the new ”third force” of Australian politics. Three years on, has the party proved deserving of such a role?

    The 2010 election gave the Greens a box seat in a hung Parliament. The party doubled its representation to 10 MPs, shared the balance of power in both houses of Parliament, and ultimately shared government with Labor for most of this term. A minor party has not wielded so much power in many decades.

    With all this political muscle, what has the party achieved? On climate, the Greens finally voted to implement a scheme that is strikingly similar to the one they rejected in 2009. On refugees, Australia’s policies have grown dramatically more draconian and the Greens have been unable to do anything about it.

    These are the Greens’ areas of passion. On broader policy – the economy, health and education – there is scant evidence of Greens influence.

    Yes, there have been achievements. The Greens highlight a $5 billion investment in dental care and the creation of a new Parliamentary Budget office. These are important initiatives, but they are modest.

    They pale in comparison with those achieved by the Australian Democrats in its prime, or even Brian Harradine (the lone senator from Tasmania who held the balance of power in the Senate during part of the Howard years), though neither held nearly as much influence as the Greens have in this last Parliament.

    Why have the Greens not achieved more? One reason is that their political style has remained that of a bit player. At the radical fringe of politics, the hard line is the righteous path. But in the main game, compromise is essential to getting things done.”

    Read more:

  66. cornlegend

    you said

    Last, last word
    ” I’ve admitted defeat and stopped irritating the blazes out of Ad Astra over on TPS I’ll probably not bug the good folk of AIMN much longer either. ”
    and the you mention a better vibe at
    “Larvatus Prodeo, Independent Australia and Crikey ”

    Just in case it isn’t your last, last , last word.
    I don’t know too much of the others, but how does IA differ
    Most of the commentors here are regulars at IA,
    Of the commentors on this post alone, I reckon about 90%

  67. melaine

    Cornlegend is right Doug, most of us post over at IA too, but you will fit in well at Crikey. But not sure you should try the adult tantrum routine to get your way on any site.

  68. Kaye Lee

    It’s interesting that David (Skynews) Speers, president of the press gallery for some unknown reason (lets give Rupert more power), decided that Crikey was worthy of a place in that revered venue (in their own minds), but IA was just an “opinion” based site that did not have real journalists.

  69. melaine

    yeah, I had trouble getting my head around that one too Kaye Lee!!

  70. Kaye Lee

    My children are not interested in detailed policy discussion. They are politically naïve and ignorant. Obviously I talk at them and we have some discussion (on a very basic level…I consider this one of my failings as a parent).

    Having expressed my disappointment, it is interesting watching what resonates with them. My son has a few select youtube videos that he shows to any friends that say Abbott good Rudd bad. They also latch onto rubbish things like this latest boat buy-back silliness. They have immediately seen the potential of taking our boat to Indonesia and upgrading lolol.

    Having been a teacher for a long time, I have the overwhelming urge to get out my red pen and mark Opposition policies with comments like you need to justify this argument or this does not add up or you must state your sources for this assertion.

    I have to agree with them when they say both parties are vote-buying but I counter-punch with you have a choice of two for Prime Minister. That being the case we all find common ground.

  71. melaine

    Limited opportunity for discussion in my circle too Kaye Lee. But have hope with your kids, my Mum was a lot like you and tried to interest me when I was younger… I eventually got what she was on about. From little things big things grow.

  72. Kaye Lee

    mel watching my children evolve is a continual delight for me. They judge things from their perspective and what they say has merit.

    My son has played high level sport. He recognises when someone wants to punch you and he recognises sledging.

    My daughter has done volunteer work in Cambodia and Vietnam and is studying to be an early childhood/primary teacher. She is driven by compassion.

    They don’t have to pay the bills yet so economic arguments are not their focus. Their opinion is not diminished by this. They speak from their experience and I find them very astute judges of character.

  73. melaine

    I have a niece who is a continual delight. Such a well grounded young woman. And like your daughter driven by compassion not self and greed.

  74. Jenny

    I will say this victoria, I have grown up in a strong Labor household and have voted Labor all my life and was even a member of the ALP. But have turned my back on them because of the disgusting decisions that Ms Gillard made when she was PM. Please explain to me and i don’t mean to be rude. Do you agree that single mum’s whom was supported in Parliament by the Libs, voted to push these women off news Start and on to the dole, plus the people on the Disability Pensions forced on to the dole , and how both major parties don’t give a hoot about how these ppl are living well under the poverty line. the Govt and the Libs expect these ppl to find work. But what boss will allow a single mum to work in between school hrs, that is if she can get employment for starters, and ask for time off during school holidays and when the child/ children gets sick. It will cost them more in Childcare than what they will earn in wages. Plus why should ppl on the DSP be forced back to work and as my local pollie has said with Chronic backpain and dosed up to the eyeballs on drugs. plus pPl on the dole whom a lot have lost work through no fault of there own ,try and survive without a helping hand. It costs money to travel around the countrywide looking for work, and clothing suitable for interviews, will come out of their dole money. . But it is the Greens whom are the only party, who gives a shit. they are condemning these cuts because they are just terrible.Yet are the only party that shows any guts about helping these ppl. Labor has moved too far to the right. all this shit as i mentioned was just to chase Abbott in to the Rabbott burrow and chase after the middle income earners. But where does it leave the Paupers of this country. In a shit heap. If not for the greens what hope have these ppl got. As they are certainly getting kicked in the guts by the Major parties. Mind you if it wasn’t for the Greens the Labor party would NOT be in Govt right now. plus i find it bloody unreal how in the ACT at the last state election. Their was a hung Parliament, and guess who came crawling for support to help them retain govt. yes the ALP and so did Abbott urging the Greens to support the Libs up there. Maybe the Greens bashers would prefer the Greens to withdraw their support and dissolve parliament. Would the greens haters prefer another election. Or are both major parties happy to accept the Greens help when it suits them. I have voted Labor all my life, and am a Baby boomer now , . But for the firt time i postal voted the other day and Voted Greens. I would never vote Colaition because they only like the likes of Gina and Twiggy, and to only help the Rich. As far as abbott is concerned he’s just a racist pig. this election is all about him. He will totally destroy this Country if he wins Govt. Even Mal Fraser former lNP Prime minister, has said Abbott is not fit to run this country. Abbott is the most ringed wing extremist we have ever seen in politics in this country. He is dangerous and we don’t need a fool like he ruining this great country of ours. We can’t afford Abbott with the cuts he has in store and the cuts he won’t tell us until after the election. His NBN is just a lemon, and an economist has said the libs Direct action will blow out to another $ 4 Billion dollars. The Libs already have a $ 70 Billion dollar Black hole. it was proved before the 2010 election which was done by Treasury. We can’t trust the libs as they lied about that. as well. Abbott’s Pai Parental Leave is just absurd. Why should a mother earning over $ 70, 000 be any different to a mum earning around $ 30, 00o. It is the poorest out of the two that needs the helping hand. anyone earning $ 100, 00 plus should be ashamed of themselves for even applying for it. It is just bloody greedy.. Give to the needy and not the bloody Greedy.

  75. Jenny

    What shits me in this country now is how nearly everyone has the attitude i’m alright Jack” Stuff everyone else attitude. So far gone are the days of giving your fellow man or woman a helping hand in need. It is all about Greed now , and what is in it for me me me. We are getting more like America all the bloody time.

  76. Jenny

    I Voted Greens because they are the only hope the Poorest ppl of this nation has, and they are the only party that gives a shit about these people. Go Greens. keep the other bastards honest.

  77. Douglas Evans

    Really well said. The double standards and deep social conservatism on show in this piece are a disgrace. Apart from the fact that the Party of choice is Labor it might have been written by Andrew bloody Bolt.

  78. cornlegend

    And another Greens low go
    In explaining the Greens’ decision to preference PUP ahead of Labor in Bass, Braddon and Franklin, Dr Brown said that that while Clive Palmer was developing ‘‘ an obscene giant coalmine in central Queensland’’ his asylum policy was preferable to Labor’s.

  79. cornlegend

    Douglas Evans
    I figure, after your decision to leave AIMN, this is your, last, last, last last comment.
    I look forward to your next Last comment

    you said ” I won’t be disturbing the peace on this site again.”
    you did 😀

  80. cornlegend

    I know I’m an old bloke, and the mind might be going, but I seem to have heard, with constant regularity, from the Greens, that we must leave the coal in the ground, for our climates sake,
    Greens ,Dr Brown said that that while Clive Palmer was developing ‘‘ an obscene giant coalmine in central Queensland’’ his asylum policy was preferable to Labor’s. so they could have Greens preferences.
    Now that sounds ………………

  81. cornlegend

    While working on the Pre polls yesterday
    One female, about 30, I spoke to .
    “I want the Greens to win because I care about Asylum Seekers”
    how many
    “Who cares”
    1 million ?
    “If necessary, were a big country”
    What about the economy ?
    “It’ll fix itself, anyhow, I don’t care, I’m unemployed”

  82. Kaye Lee

    Regarding the single parents moving onto Newstart, I don’t think people realise that it was John Howard that brought that in. Everyone who registered after July 2006 was subject to the new rules of moving onto Newstart when their youngest child turned 8. People who registered before that date were subject to the old rules so it created a situation where some people were being paid until their child turned 16 but others were not. What Labor did was make the rules the same for everyone regardless of when they first registered, so the change only applied to those who registered before 2006 as those who applied after that were already subject to the rules Howard brought in. I am not defending this or saying it was the right thing to do …just passing on the information.

  83. Douglas Evans

    You’re right I can’t resist a few extra extra last last words. Further, I’m sure you are right also about the commenters on the other sites. Maybe I’ll just have to grumble to myself. One difference might be in the type of OPINION writers to be found on those sites. As you’ve probably noticed I find Victoria’s brand of passionate but uninformed, self important, patronizing and downright misleading green-sliming particularly irritating and in threatening times, really, really counterproductive. As I commented to Jenny above, apart from the fact that the good guys this time belong to Labor, this piece uses all the rhetorical techniques of Andrew Bolt’s finest efforts and could have been written by him.

    I’m surprised and disheartened that none of the ‘progressive’ admirers of this author and this piece get their antennae twitched by this familiar technique of setting up false straw men to knock down using false or misleading but ‘truthy’ sounding homilies about the virtues of the ALP to reach distressingly conservative and deeply patronizing conclusions about her generation. Sorry long sentence but I hope understandable.

    Ah yes – young people today, they’re not what they were in our time eh Cornlegend! What rot. Of course Victoria is careful to limit her discussion to ‘those young people she has contact with’ but this is a blatant dog whistle and every reader knows instinctively that she is passing judgment on her generation. I’m surprised and disheartened that no-one is bothered by the fact that the piece is based on a string of demonstrably false assertions, that in their determination to put me in my place no-one has bothered to refute the clarifications that 20 minutes on the computer turned up for me and which I passed on. It looks to me as though people are happy to be lied to as long as their prejudices are confirmed.

    As I’ve said before over the last few years I’ve met hundreds of terrific young people volunteering for NGOs, giving their time to various civil society movements and yes also to the Greens who actually carry the battle to the enemy, rather than preening themselves in front of their computer screens. On their behalf I find this piece offensive.

  84. richo

    The only one who seems to be blowing a dog whistle. The fact that greens candidates would preference PUP before Labor shows they have not truly progressed from a single issue party.
    As for the comments about single mothers the issue in reality is not about single mothers having to go onto Newstart it is about the inadequacy of newestart. It is right and proper that they should be seeking work once their children are school aged. It is not right and proper to place them into poverty.

    A number of years ago I was working as a teacher and my former wife was living at home with her mother not paying rent or bills, getting a good portion of child support and the single parenting payments. She took home more than I did, the money paid for child support was not spent on the children but on herself. She had no encouragement to get a job at all and I was left trying to support my family and children and pay all the bills for children who I was only allowed to see a short part of each week as anymore would reduce the child support obligation paid as well as support a new baby and mum.

    Roll forward a few years and my x after being made to look for work has got a job that has dramatically improved herself and her outlook. Allowing single parents to stay on inefinitely till kids are 16 is not helpful for their future an breeds generational welfare dependence and poverty.

    I am now on Newstart myself. It is patently inadequate to supply a basic level of support to people. I am expected to support my family on less than 500 a week. Our rent alone is 400 plus. The inadequacy of this system to supply the means of people to continue life and support adequate job seeking is clear. It is night impossible to meet basic living costs and meet job seeking financial requirements. How does one get a job when they are unable to purchase a train a bus ticket to get to a job?

    Kaye rightly points out that the labor move was only to level the playing field. Unfortunately it is the level of payment and support that is at issue not the type of benefit that people are on.

    Doug your inability to consider any other viewpoint than your own is exceedingly sad. You really need to broaden your mind and consider that your opinion is not the only valid one and stop to listen reflect and consider before responding with your condescending diatribes dismissing all others as intellectual lightweights.

  85. Douglas Evans

    Kaye Lee
    Thank you for sharing the opinions of the former Labor Mayor of Dandenong on the Greens. How astounding that she thinks the Greens are failing. Who’d have thought it! Perhaps she is thinking it would be nice to emulate the performance of my former Labor mayor Jane Garrett, a careerist absolutely symbolic of all that ails Labor currently, who is ruthlessly clambering up the greasy pole. National vice president at the moment I hear. For anyone less interested in ALP propaganda and wanting a more balanced view of the current state of the minor Party they might like to try Associate Editor Shane Green’s piece – ‘Tenacious Milne walks the thin Green Line’

  86. Douglas Evans

    Of course you are right. I should simply accept the obvious virtues of this crumbling, smoking ruin of a once significant political party that, despite the self serving rhetoric in the National Platform, turns its back on the nation’s weakest and most vulnerable at every opportunity. A party whose policies on asylum seekers have resulted in 150 charges against them by the UNHCR. A party that despite the self serving bullshit rhetoric of the National platform has a suite of climate and energy policies absolutely consistent with runaway climate change before mid century. A party whose credibility is absolutely destroyed by endemic internal corruption that has been regular front page news fodder since Brian Burke and WA inc long ago. A party whose crumbling membership base complained long and loud to the Bracks Carr Faulkner review about undemocratic internal practices. A Party who regularly commissions then trashes uncomplimentary reviews of its internal procedures because the Factional and Union controllers of the party of the Fair Go refuse to give their members a fair go. A party that despite only having about 5800 members who also belong to unions is controlled by and utterly dependent for funding on the Union movement whose membership accounts for less than 16% of Australian workers. How representative is that? Yes my friend thank you. The scales have fallen from my eyes. How could I have doubted the virtues of a party like this?! Do you begin to understand the source of my discontent with this mob who still get starry eyed about ‘the light on the hill’ that they extinguished thirty years ago? And Richo unlike the fairy stories you are apparently content with I am able and willing to provide documentation supporting any of the above that you take issue with.

  87. cassilva48

    Richo, I agree with you and what the media fails to report is that these women who have three or more children receive $800 plus a week from govt which does not include maintenance from their partner, and I have known of many who work casual cash jobs to boot. I have no problem with supporting children for the first seven years of their life, but at some point these sole parents must take responsibility for the children they created. When immigrants arrive here they must think that they have landed on Easy Street. 50 years ago you were on your own if you became a single parent or lost your job. There was no new start, no single parent payments, there was nada, it was up to your family to support you. Now no matter how generous the tax payers are to these people they still demand more and more assistance.

    And I agree that the sooner they get back into the workforce the better they will be. We had to put our children into child care in order that we could afford to pay off our mortgages.

    I think we are all becoming a bit soft and as Chopper says, we need to harden the xxxx up!

  88. cornlegend

    I’m not sure if you are aware.
    Victoria Rollinson, is a very respected OPINION writer on IA, with a strong following
    just saying

  89. cornlegend

    Douglas Evans
    you said
    “Ah yes – young people today, they’re not what they were in our time eh Cornlegend! What rot”.
    Now where did I say that.
    That is a falsehood.
    I mentioned 1 young woman,
    I find the young people no different to my days.
    Some very committed, some not so, some not knowing a political party if it bit them on the arse.
    I don’t need you to make up comments to try and argue a point

  90. Katherine

    I agree wholeheartedly about the lack of thought that goes into a lot of voting – especially by the 18-35’s. I cannot say I agree wholeheartedly about the greens slamming. I vote green sometimes (and i don’t bag labor out)… but i do think that there is value to be had in diversity of opinion. I think there is value to be had in an alternative voice. Of course they have to play politics a bit… all parties do… but i think dismissing them and the people who vote for them isn’t thinking about the vast reasons that people may vote green – and it isn’t always about just one policy.

  91. cassilva48

    Jenny I must disagree with your opinion as Australia and its attitude to others as we have the best social welfare programs in the world, bar none. This means that our attitude is not about “I’m OK Jack, but about helping Jack to get back on this feet. The Jacks that exploit the system are the ones spoiling it for others who have found themselves in situations beyond the control and require assistance, and I would hazard a guess that those that exploit or bitch about the system do have the opinion “that I’m ok Jack “- I like things exactly the way they are.

  92. Heather

    Loved your article Victoria. And the ensuing discussion was most interesting.
    I am saddened by the fact that the Greens and Labor seem unable to coordinate efforts against neo-conservatism.
    I put that down to the treachery of the Greens.

  93. diannaart

    I agree with Victoria that no single party can meet all expectations. This is why I hope for another minority government, having to negotiate with a variety of interests was part of the success of the Gillard government.

    As I do wish to participate in the forthcoming election I must, therefore select a party which holds the majority of policies that fit with my concerns. For that reason I will be voting for the Greens. Neither the Libs nor Labor have even discussed what Rudd once described as the “greatest moral challenge of our time”. The Greens do discuss this.

    As for Greens “treachery”? Both Labor and the Libs have TOLD voters to place the Greens last in preferences. Since then, the Greens have been aligning themselves not with either of the major parties, for obvious reasons, but smaller groups and independents, for not so obvious reasons – the chance of another minority government, a more representative government.

    I am including the link below for any who wish to take the time to vote below the line for the senate:

    A 2 party system where both major parties are to the right of centre, is not a choice. Diversity is the foundation of a healthy environment it is also a marker of a healthy democracy.

  94. Bacchus

    As for Greens “treachery”? Both Labor and the Libs have TOLD voters to place the Greens last in preferences.

    It’s all well and good basing your vote on principle alone diannaart – as long as it’s also based on facts…

    Labor’s national executive has ordered the party to preference the Greens ahead of all others in every state except Queensland.

    Labor has a deal with Bob Katter’s Australian Party in Queensland, but in other states and in the ACT, Greens senate candidates have been given a boost to their electoral chances.

    The move has angered ALP members in Victoria, who fear the deal might also affect how people vote in the lower house seat of Melbourne, which Labor is trying to win back from the Greens.

    ALP national secretary George Wright did not respond to calls from Fairfax Media.

    A senior Greens operative said the balance-of-power party would be preferencing Labor in the Senate in a similar fashion.

  95. richo

    I am extremely concerned. I am concerned about two things. One that the LNP will gain government and two that the Green vote will be small. I believe we need the greens to keep the bastards honest as it were. I believe an Abbot Gov will take us way way back and will like Mr Keating said back to the 50’s cultural cringe. I believe we will be economically periollous and morally bankrupt.

    but it seems we will have an oversupply of fishing boats.

  96. diannaart

    I am very pleased to read that link. What do you think about a diversity of government parties? Are you not concerned about humanitarian issues with regard to single parents, refugees, environmental sustainability?

    All you took from my comment was that I had failed to adequately check on Labor’s telling people how to vote? No comment, on my link to making preferences work how you, as an individual can choose to vote? No comment that a 2 party democracy is not really a democracy at all?

    To reiterate; no single political party can meet all my concerns, the only one that comes close is the Greens.

  97. Bacchus


    The rest of your points were quite valid. I have already printed out the Qld Senate list and have started working out how I am going to number the 82 squares. Greens will certainly get my preferences immediately after Labor 😉

    I’ve also printed out the HoR list and numbered the six candidates there (Greens No.2 there as well) – my wife, daughter and her boyfriend can all use that one, effectively giving me four votes for Jim Chalmers 😀

  98. Boxlid

    Victoria I enjoyed your article very much.
    What I did not enjoy we’re the comments by Douglas Evans and Mikisdad,they brought back to me not a very enjoyable time in my final years of high school in the UK.
    There was a headmaster,(I suppose a bit Kevin Ruddish) and a Deputy Headmaster (eerily like Tony Abbott), they both confused the hell out of me.But I learned to disregard all of their preaching at me and my life improved from then on.
    I learned to have strength,courage and conviction and too hell with what so called “academic pedantics” say.
    Keep up the good writings.

  99. Douglas Evans


    No I hadn’t noticed VR on IA. Looks like I’ll just have to grumble to myself. and as for – “Ah yes – young people today, they’re not what they were in our time eh Cornlegend! What rot”. – I wasn’t accusing you of that it was simply my dumb paraphrase of the underlying position of VRs piece, sorry for the confusion.

    Still waiting for someone to either disagree with the handful of original untruths underpinning this piece that I pulled out or tell me why it doesn’t matter they are being misled. At the moment it looks to me that it doesn’t matter a damn what lies people are fed about political parties so long as their emotional commitment to an already established position is not disturbed.

    Someone who knows about these things told me this afternoon that research has been done in which people in an MRI machine were asked political questions. For most people the EMOTIONAL centres not the INTELLECTUAL centres in their brain lit up. This is consistent with what I’m picking up from this discussion and others I’ve had earlier on TPS. Emotional commitment first and foremost rational thought an optional extra.

  100. Douglas Evans

    “Doug your inability to consider any other viewpoint than your own is exceedingly sad. You really need to broaden your mind and consider that your opinion is not the only valid one and stop to listen reflect and consider before responding with your condescending diatribes dismissing all others as intellectual lightweights.”

    I consider any viewpoint put before me in discussion. When I put a position I back it up with rational discussion and reasons. Where are yours? I am happy to admit mistakes and hungry to debate alternative positions. No one is putting any. I’m afraid ill informed slurs against the party I choose to follow don’t count. Nor does the slightly ridiculous position that this is not the right time to experiment with minor parties Mr Abbott has to be seen off first. Anyone who understands the nature of preferential voting can see the holes in this one. Apart from these two ‘positions’ what others can you think of that have been offered in this discussion?

    I have been exactly where you, Kaye, Cornlegend et al are politically speaking. I made a rational decision to move on. I barrack for a football team I do not barrack for a political party. As far as I am concerned political choice should be governed by principle and rational thought. Perhaps you differ. I listed a good selection of the reasons why I moved on from the ALP above in a comment to you. You have not responded to a single one. Why is that? I am interested in the reasons behind your rational decision to ignore all of these pretty serious issues and stay put.

    You and Kaye find me condescending. I do not feel superior but I’m afraid I can’t be bothered pandering to bruised sensibilities. I’m too old now and life is too short. I will simply call it as I see it. If you don’t like it mount a counter argument. Don’t stand in the shadows making personal attacks and mumbling feeble slurs.

    At the tail end of a very long exchange with Ad Astra over on TPS about asylum seekers and role of political blogs he said to me. “We have to decide whose side we are on, and fight for it. I made that decision long ago.” I said to him in response: “it is clear that in your mind you have identified the ALP brand with the progressive humane values you prioritize so NO CRITICISM of party, policy or politicians will be countenanced.” His heart is in the right place but his mind is closed and he is part of the problem not part of the solution. What about you?

  101. Douglas Evans

    Share your fears about the loss of Greens balance of power. The preferences in the senate look likely to run everywhere and end in the most unlikely places. I’m pretty worried about dummy parties running senate candidates only to funnel votes to the LNP. In the lower house seat of Melbourne Adam Bandt seems to be in front on the primary vote now but my feeling is that he will come up short of an absolute majority and that Liberal preferences (how ironic) will see him replaced with a nice docile Labor backbencher. So that’ssomething for you to look forward to.

  102. Douglas Evans

    Oh and by the way I just found your comment up above about where I was when the Labor party established the 8 hour day etc. This was in the nineteenth century for God’s sake. A lot of water under the bridge since then.

  103. diannaart

    Thank you. I am so happy that you have made use of the link. That you are voting Greens as well is heart lightening, there is so much negativity… no need to bang on about it.

  104. richo

    Oh my goodness me i am utterly amazed at how a simple opinion piece can suddenly be taken to be as if it was a diatribe against another political party.

    I don’t believe for a second Victoria was attempting to run down the Greens policy and ideals but highlight the reality that they are a minor player.

    I am positive Victoria totally understands the preferential voting system. The problem is that too many people out there don’t they just pick up the how to vote cards and blindly fill them in. This means they are then at the whim of the parties’ preference deals, I would infer that that was where Victoria was coming from in her comment about that and that is why it is a valid comment to make.

    The truth is she is absolutely correct the Greens remain a minor party with minimal ability to influence things and to prosecute their policy mix. They are unable to prosecute needed taxation reform or superannuation reform with any realistic goal of it moving anywhere.

    As Victoria said it is all very well to rest on principals and protest but if you are not able to prosecute the agenda then that is all it is protest. This may not be the way we want it to be but it is the reality of the system of democracy within which we live.

    It’s all very well to scream and yell but at some point there is a table that needs to be sat at and the business of government requires pragmatism and negotiation tempers and funnels ideals into takeable action.

    Perhaps Doug your comments would be less offensive if you tempered them more in the realm of adding to the body of thought rather than trying to tear down and tell others that there opinion is wrong. Because regardless of the links you post or the rants you write what you say is only opinion just as what all the others contributions are.

    A link to a mainstream media or an alternative media is hardly a suppository oops repository of fact it is a piece of writing filtered through a journalists and a sub editor and editor and then the readers lenses.

    I welcome the contributions of all I do not welcome the claim to absolute authority and knowledge that seem to be expressed by some of the contributors.

  105. Boxlid

    This forum of independent media is a gift,look I have brain spasms and yes opinions,I’m fortunate enough to have a mentor who supports opinion and facts.
    The person in this case is very well respected on IM across a lot of sites.
    I am learning a lot and also I’m getting very involved in our up coming election.
    I do not appreciate being lectured or dictated too,over the act of syntax or it being “actually correct”.The content and the social connection and the understanding,contained therein is the most important factor.I could make a very nasty or unsocial comment here,but I won’t get into the gutter or rise to the halls of “Acedemia”

  106. Boxlid

    And yes that word was purposely mid-spelled for the pedants to pick on.

  107. cornlegend

    Richo, Boxlid,
    I think you two are like me,
    just wanting to get out there and Stop Abbott and his crew of bottom feeders.
    Victoria expressed her OPINION,
    In my opinion, brilliantly.
    Stuff the fanny little games a couple want to play.
    Abbott is the enemy if they hadn’t realised

  108. cornlegend

    Oops, that was funny, not fanny.
    Now I fully expect an English and grammar lesson 😀

  109. richo

    I fanny mispelling 😉

  110. Boxlid

    Cornie,your always worth a read,your sense of humour and perspective always lightens my day.Where you referring to Fanny as in “Nicky Arenstein”?.In the movie “Funny Girl”?.Seems we have a lot of fanny’s in politics at this time,but it’s dreadful fun to watch, 🙂

  111. cornlegend

    Richo, you might scoff, but I’m gonna be in trouble with the “professor” 🙁

  112. cornlegend

    I was after a bit of pity for my error,
    Now, I’m gonna be hunted down like a dog 🙂
    If all the column inches of criticism was aimed at the real enemy, {ABBOTT LNP}
    I wouldn’t give a toss

  113. Boxlid

    Cornie you don’t need pity for what you consider to be a mistake,I’ll let you borrow my very loyal faithfull and protective border collie,she will protect you,if I tell her too,”Professor” being at the top of her focus,when she has her tail down it’s focus,when it’s up and wagging its fun time.

  114. richo

    I am absoutely Gobsmacked at the hypocrisy of that man; though I hesitate to actually call him a man. To stand in front of those signs. To say nothing of the bullshit perpetrated by the shock jocks, the constant carping in question time and parliament, the utter sesist nature of his comments about her parenting and of course the dying of shame comment. For this pathetic little arsehole to claim Julia denegratid politics is just unfathomable. There is no depth to which he will not sink.

  115. Boxlid

    Richo, Well if he keeps digging hard enough he may end up in another side of the world,by his efforts he may have made money from mining by doing it,but Im not so sure that he will get a welcome reception from wherever he may emerge from.

  116. Douglas Evans

    Kaye Lee, Cornlegend richo Boxlid et al
    Sorry for being such a grumpy old pain in the backside. You have been right to call me on my attitude. I don’t have any explanation for it other than to say that I have been pretty obsessed and depressed by the unfolding political nightmare in Canberra and the wider environmental one for years now. I felt it coming on last year and it was because of that I pulled out of activism and writing. I found myself more or less permanently grumpy which is not my normal state. I’ve been drifting back into both activism and writing but it has eventually dawned on me that I really am burned out and need a break. So cheers to you all and if I do stick my nose in again I’ll try to be a bit more relaxed.

  117. cornlegend

    Douglas Evans
    Doug ,I wish you all the very best, and hope you can overcome your depression.
    I personally know what that is like.
    Good luck with the struggle mate.
    I truly mean it.

  118. Boxlid

    Douglas everybody in Australia will know what “reactive depression” is if the LNP win Gov, it won’t even take six months to feel the affect.Douglas Im sure some of us feel much the same as you do,gee that’s a whole article of discussion we could share.I can only ask that you don’t withdraw and see support and the sense of community where it is placed.

  119. Kaye Lee

    Doug I think it would be a great shame if you withdrew from the political debate. Your passion is important. Your activism on climate change and asylum seekers and social equity and justice is important. My family has pointed out to me that politics is turning me into a grumpy bitter old woman. I have to agree with them.

    Regardless of who wins this election, we still have a fight on our hands to force politicians to do what we know must be done, and to do that we have to work together. No political party fully represents my goals or my ideas on how to achieve them. The Greens certainly come closest to my ideals and they definitely have a part to play in our political landscape.

    I respect your opinion. Even if we don’t agree with each other about everything, I want you to know that we have far more in common than you seem to believe, and I hope that we can work together with other like-minded people to achieve change for the future. The election has become a pissing contest that will soon be over but the fight for the future will still be in front of us.

    Your health is important. Take care of yourself and never despair that the fight is lost. Whether it be Tony Abbott or Kevin Rudd as our next Prime Minister, they must not be allowed to sit back basking in the glory. We can and will hold them to account. Power to the people!

  120. richo

    I concur with the others Doug. keep up the fight and the passion. But of course look after your health first!

  121. Zofie

    Hello Doug
    Both my partner and I have followed your articles on Earthsign, IA and your comments on other sites – the AIMN and the Political Sword. We know exactly how you feel about AGW. We have moved from being hopeful that things would be done to avert this catastrophe to being depressed at the realisation that it’s coming sooner than anyone expected and still almost everyone in our family and circle of friends just goes on with life as usual. We also have tried to convince others about what is coming but it makes no difference. We also have been angry and frustrated at other people ignoring the issue or relegating it to ‘some time in the future’. As all the people on this site have been telling you, you have to negotiate, be pragmatic. Well let me say one thing to that – the Earth is not going to negotiate with us as a species. The Earth will be extremely pragmatic and the sad part is we will be inflicting all of the climate change woes on all of the other species on this planet who are blameless. So thank you for trying to convince others of the dire straits we are in and that there is no more important issue than climate change because if nothing is done about it, everything, and I mean everything, becomes insignificant.

  122. Kaye Lee

    There has not been ONE comment here disagreeing with the urgency of action on climate change. Action WILL happen because it MUST. To suggest we can’t afford pragmatism is counter-productive. You can protest and despair all you like but action is what we need so ignoring the method by which we can achieve change leaves us in limbo.

    “Pragmatism is a rejection of the idea that the function of thought is to describe, represent, or mirror reality. Instead, pragmatists develop their philosophy around the idea that the function of thought is as an instrument or tool for prediction, action, and problem solving.”

  123. Zofie

    I prefer the Macquarie Dictionary definition of pragmatic – ‘to take action, be busy’. The philosophy and thinking has been done by the scientists working in the area – all we have to do is take action. And there isn’t room for negotiation as a 3 degree C warmer world or hotter is dangerous to life (latest estimates have us on track for 5degrees C which spells absolute disaster for life on Earth). Your idea that ‘action will happen because it must’ is a ludicrous and empty notion. It is the kind of statement the politicians would put out to cover up their inaction.

  124. richo

    I might have heard Doug on Faine this morning. Was that you Doug?

  125. Douglas Evans

    thanks for your support
    Kaye Lee and others
    One last time.
    1. Action on climate change requires effective policy from political parties.
    2. Climate Commission warns that this must be in place by 2020 (not ONLY in Australia but ALSO in Australia).
    3. Neither of the old parties have anything approaching adequate policies on climate change. The climate and energy policies of BOTH are consistent with runaway climate change by mid century – in the lifetime of our children and grandchildren. Although the Australian economy will be destroyed much earlier. Rely on it. This assessment of policy is supported by the independent think tank the Climate Institute which on the other hand rates the Greens’ policies as consistent with what is required by climate science.
    4. Your vote is not strong compared to the negative influence of the industries funding elections but in the absence of any mass movement is still the most effective tool available to you for influencing policy.
    5. The Climate Commission’s Critical Decade report makes it CRYSTAL CLEAR that this is the last Federal election (if we are very lucky the second last) before IT IS TOO LATE to prevent runaway climate change.
    6. In the nature of the Australian electoral process all votes are distributed according to preferences. The Greens have only a tentative hold on ONE single Lower House Seat. Any Green vote outside of the Seat of Melbourne with either of the major parties as second preference will end up with the Party you wish to see in power. No tricks here. No sleight of hand. THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO TELL THE PARTY OF YOUR CHOICE THAT YOU DEMAND EFFECTIVE ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE and you can still vote for them. Hey what’s to lose?
    If this gesture (which is certainly not guaranteed to have any effect) is still too much, don’t bother with protestations of how seriously you take this threat. Whatever you say you don’t understand what is happening and probably should be thinking about how you are going to spin this to the younger people you are connected to.

  126. diannaart


    Will not be voting for anyone who wears a blue tie – Kevin and Tony are making this soooo easy. Staying true, heh heh, and voting GREEN.

    Julia Gillard – so absolutely right about the wearing of blue ties – apparently very few male pollies are concerned about women. PPL? Gimme a break – giving birth is just the first step (well not quite, but you know what I mean) of being a parent!

  127. richo

    Labor need to talk more about the environment I agree. But I still will go with them this time around. I want to be as sure as I can about the choice. I have voted green in the past but this time it’s Labor. Sorry Leadbeater.

  128. Douglas Evans

    Until their ‘friends’ let them know that they expect the Party to step up and actually confront this issue they will not do anything – as simple as that. Within the Party the Labor Environment Action Network (LEAN) which has tried is sidelined and ignored. The only possible message that will be heard is from the voters. Nothing else will get through. Try this;

  129. Kaye Lee

    “If this gesture (which is certainly not guaranteed to have any effect) is still too much, don’t bother with protestations of how seriously you take this threat. Whatever you say you don’t understand what is happening and probably should be thinking about how you are going to spin this to the younger people you are connected to.”

    Doug I do not know how to get through to you that I ALREADY KNOW WHAT THE SCIENCE SAYS. I TOO HAVE READ THOSE REPORTS. I AGREE WE NEED URGENT ACTION. Why you keep trying to convince me of something I know and agree with is beyond me. It is infuriating. Your arrogance in telling ME I don’t understand and that I do not take the threat seriously is unbelievable. How dare you imply that I do not care about my children and all future generations. Get off your bloody high horse!

  130. Douglas Evans

    Kaye if you know as you say, what are you doing about it and what is wrong with my very modest suggestion? However you duck and weave a vote for Labor this time is using your last chance to tell the Party what you think to wave through policies leading to runaway climate change. Perhaps it is not only me that needs to get off my high horse.

  131. richo

    Doug you are preaching to the converted mate. Whilst climate change is a very important issue it is not the only issue to consider when selecting a government.
    I do not believe the the greens have the ability to run the country so I will vote for the party that i believe does.
    Does this mean I disagree with the greens policy mix. NO
    Does this mean I need to be preached to continually NO

    It does mean though that I make my choice. I will read what I read. I respectfully thank you for your article options to peruse but you have done so enough.

    In cockney turn of phrase leave it out mate

  132. kayelee1

    “Kaye if you know as you say, what are you doing about it ” IF I KNOW?????? Geeze Louise!!!!

    I will continue to work towards reducing my family’s carbon footprint. I will continue to volunteer for landcare groups. I will continue to donate money. I will continue to lobby politicians for action on climate change and I will do so in my own name, not with some anonymous protest vote. I will continue to talk to others and spread the word. I will continue to sign petitions. I will continue to attend lectures and rallies. I will continue to campaign to keep out the party that wants to repeal carbon pricing and renewable energy investment. I will continue to lend my voice to the growing wave around the world demanding the action we all know we must take.

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