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Why I Wish I’d Voted For Tony Abbott!

There are times that I repeat myself. That’s right, I repeat myself. I suspect politicians do it, in order to give them time to think, but I do it because, sometimes, it seems that people weren’t paying attention!

Now, I don’t think I’m always right. In fact, just the other day I conceded to my wife that she may have been correct about a disagreement we had just last 2002. After I’ve had time to think, I can usually see that another’s point of view is valid, and, sometimes, I can even see that I was wrong.

Yes, I did think that there could be a job for me, translating Barnaby Joyce’s speeches into English. But I was eventually convinced that there was no demand for it. From either side of politics. And true, I did say that Tony Abbott would never be PM because Australia doesn’t have that many people who actually read newspapers, so it didn’t matter how many times the Murdoch Media mashed up photos of the Labor Party in Nazi uniforms, many of their readership would mistake that for an endorsement. And, of course, my idea for a pop-up umbrella that covered your Hills Hoist at the first drop of rain failed to attract any interest from any of the people I sent it to.

But sometimes, I’m right. Actually quite often, because generally, I don’t assert that I’m sure unless I’m absolutely positive. If someone asserts that Captain Cook was a Quaker, I may ask if they’re sure, before running away to check the facts, but were they were to assert that he was, in fact, a camel, I feel that I’m on solid ground when I tell them that they probably should consult their history books. This, of course, doesn’t always work, owing to the reasonable proposition that history books are full of inaccuracies and often written by the victors. However, while there may be some inaccuracies, this doesn’t mean that one can assert, for example, that Prince Albert was definitely Jack the Ripper and Queen Victoria was the daughter of Thomas Edison.

All this is a rather round about way of apologising for repeating a couple of things I said in blogs several months ago. The first relates to the way people’s brains work.

People are naturally agreeable. (Apart from on the Internet where Godwin’s Law applies!) But it’s rather surprising to discover how much the desire to be agreeable – or at least not look stupid – can influence perception.

In an experiment, a group of people were shown the following and ask which of the three lines: A, B or C was the same length as the one of the left.

line x

Clearly A, right? Well, actually it’s C. The thing was that only one of the group was the subject of the experiment; the rest were actors who gave the clearly wrong answer. Interestingly, about a third of the subjects went along with the rest of the group. Asch’s experiment is one of the more famous psychological experiments, and from time to time, I’ve wondered whether this is the Liberal Party’s strategy in government. “Look, the Budget’s in a much better position now than it was a year ago, apart from the fact that it’s blown out by several billion dollars. If we just ignore the fall in revenue and the spending cuts which haven’t passed the Senate, we’d be right where we said we’d be!”

Anyway, the next time somebody tells you that you should be out doing something instead of just talking about it, you can point out that countering clear wrong assertions with another opinion at the very least, encourages people to think for themselves.

The second point I’d like to make is about Double Dissolutions, the Blocking of Supply and the Governor General sacking the elected government of the day. I could go on and on about the technicalities of these things, but they’re easy enough to find with a simple internet search, and, if you look up the rules and requirements, conventions and history, you can conclude that not only is Captain Cook not a camel, but that the Governor General is not going to sack the Prime Minister while he commands a majority on the floor in the House Of Representatives. Secondly, it becomes pretty obvious that after the events of 1975, Labor is not going to block supply without seeming like hypocrites. Thirdly, if Labor were to decide to block supply, there’d be little likelihood of support from enough Senators to make it effective and the LNP, the right wing media and the conservative media would attack them mercilessly for their disregard for convention.

And, of course, while I agree that Tony Abbott is responsible for some terrible damage, I have to look at it objectively. If I argue that he should be sacked because he broke promises and is doing things I disagree with, am I any different from the right-wing types who called for Julia Gillard’s sacking over the Carbon Tax and the “dysfunctional government”? (No, I think they were wrong so don’t tell me about the “changed circumstances” or the full quote – that’s my point. People shouldn’t be calling for an unelected appointee to sack a democratically elected government just because they think it’s the “worst government in Australia’s history”, or all future governors-general will be party hacks who’d need to be replaced with each incoming government.)

Finally, why do I wish that I’d voted for Tony Abbott? Well, just so, when some troll attacks me as a Labor Party stooge – which I’m not, by the way – I could say, “Look, I voted Liberal because they promised that they’d stop the waste, not spend $1100 on dinners in London for four people, where they drank over four bottles of wine plus champagne! How excessive is that? Was it one each or did someone get really sloshed?”

And, of course, it’d be one vote that I’d be sure he isn’t getting next election.

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29 comments

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  1. Sue-Ellen

    I really like your umbrella idea, but possibly you would have had a better response if it was more tent like than umbrella like to account for driving rain coming in from the sides

  2. Kaye Lee

    I wish I’d voted for Tony Abbott because I want an ETS, no I don’t, yes I do, no I don’t, maybe a tax….but don’t quote me.

    July 24 2009

    “The government’s emissions trading scheme is the perfect political response to the public’s fears. It’s a plausible means to limit carbon emissions that doesn’t impose any obvious costs on voters.”

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/turnbull-is-right-the-coalition-cant-win-this-fight/story-e6frg6n6-1225754172086?nk=8141b29ab205a470e4eb3f2895ca2457

    In October 2009, Mr Abbott said: “We don’t want to play games with the planet. So we are taking this issue seriously and we would like to see an ETS.”

    And in November that year he said: “You can’t have a climate change policy without supporting this ETS at this time.”

    http://www.news.com.au/national/opposition-leader-tony-abbott-changes-line-says-he-never-supported-ets/story-e6frfkvr-1226098237952

    December 12 2009

    TONY Abbott says it was a visit to the Victorian country town of Beaufort that crystallised his thinking on the folly of supporting Labor’s emissions trading scheme and set him on the path to ousting Malcolm Turnbull.

    The Weekend Australian this week returned to Beaufort to talk to those who were with Abbott when he set his foot on the road to Damascus. Among them was Joe McCracken, the young vice-president of the Beaufort branch of the Liberal Party.

    “He did say crap; he did say I’m a sceptic and there was big applause,” McCracken says.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/archive/politics/the-town-that-turned-up-the-temperature/story-e6frgczf-1225809567009

    July 20 2011

    Mr Abbott insists “it’s always been my position” that action had to be taken against human-induced global warming.

    “…but I’ve never been in favour of a carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme,” he told an FM radio station in Gippsland, Victoria, yesterday.

  3. stephentardrew

    But, but, but? Oh well never mind.
    Why do I feel so empty inside?
    With a mind like that you should have been PM Rossleigh.
    Maybe you should just stick to being a Labor party stooge.
    Or are you God coming to shine the light of wisdom and reason upon we poor misguided folk?
    None the wiser I crawl back into the swamp of dystopian nightmares where Tony is the head python sucking up innocent brains with lies and rampant dishonesty.
    One lives in hope that masochism is selectively removed from the human psyche.
    On a more positive note note Happy New Year.

  4. hforward22

    I enjoyed reading that Rossleigh.

  5. stephentardrew

    Yes Kaye combine plausible denyability with Asch’s experiment and magic and mythical thinking and you have the perfect grounds for irrational proof of the failure of empirical proof to mean anything other than what I want it to mean. Isn’t the mind a wonderful experiment in paradoxical thinking, obfuscation, irrationality and rampant madness. Sadly the light on the hill went out long ago for this lot of dystopian crazies painting themselves in the aura of wisdom while sending us all to hell in a had basket.

    I am going to agree that the thing we need to stop is bad but lets not get too excited while there are profits to make because the end is neigh so just keep on keeping on while we put a rotten rubber band on the chimney of life. Now what could possibly go wrong with that?

    Great reasoning. Meanwhile Labor plays Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

    Not to be critical since the end times are upon us.

  6. crypt0

    Mr Asch is a genius !
    With one experiment he has demystified the successful election of abbott et al to government ….
    murdoch, bolt, jones, the IPA, abbott and various others say the nation is in a “debt deficit disaster”, and 33% of voters, thinking in their own personal vacuum, join with the the committed conservatives and voila !
    PS I think if Sue-Ellen and your good self were to combine thoughts on the umbrella idea, you are on to a real winner !
    All that is required now for international success is a small amount of government funding !
    Australia really is the “clever country “!

  7. John Fraser

    <

    Someones gotta say it …… I thought I was wrong once but it turns out I was mistaken.

    I think you should have taken your Hills Hoist umbrella to A Current Affair …. that Will.E.See fellow could have sold it and thrown in a set of steak knives.

    I'm happily eating New Zealand lamb for the snob value.

    http://www.theage.com.au/business/markets/currencies/kiwis-turn-to-australian-produce-as-new-zealand-dollar-rises-20141230-12fi7g.html

    Trumps your voting pattern.

    Trumps you voting pattern.

  8. Anomander

    Tony is too dumb to know left from right, up from down, right from wrong, truth from lies.

    He is one of the people in that experiment who goes along with whatever his puppeteer tells him to say.

  9. Annie B

    Rossleigh ……

    what to say ? —- as usual, brilliant, funny, well reasoned, with facts.

    I venture to suggest you would have jiggered up the Asch experiment in a heart beat. Because you think ‘outside the box ‘ … and would not let others sway your instinct, and abilities to ‘see’ – as opposed to ‘follow’.

    Well done …… look forward to more of your knowledge and wit, in 2015. Happy New Year to you.

    ( p.s. – The umbrella / tent douvre – a great idea 😉 ..)

  10. eli nes

    great read till the last line with the tip of the scorpion’s tail? Australians couldn’t maintain the rage for a couple of weeks much less 2 years.

  11. Sir ScotchMistery

    @Stephen Tardrew – utter bollocks

    God was a woman

  12. corvus boreus

    My theory is that God is either hermaphrodite, asexual, amorphic or non-existent.

  13. corvus boreus

    And everything in between and beyond.

  14. Sir ScotchMistery

    The followers do say god is responsible for all the things that happen.

    Based on the catholic experience I’m not certain I can see my way clear to agreeing with the “god of love” approach.

  15. Harquebus

    “Governor General sacking the elected government of the day.”

    “On 10 November, 1975, Whitlam was shown a top secret telex message sourced to Theodore Shackley, the notorious head of the CIA’s East Asia Division, who had helped run the coup against Salvador Allende in Chile two years earlier.
    Shackley’s message was read to Whitlam. It said that the prime minister of Australia was a security risk in his own country. The day before, Kerr had visited the headquarters of the Defence Signals Directorate, Australia’s NSA where he was briefed on the “security crisis”.
    On 11 November – the day Whitlam was to inform Parliament about the secret CIA presence in Australia – he was summoned by Kerr. Invoking archaic vice-regal “reserve powers”, Kerr sacked the democratically elected prime minister. The “Whitlam problem” was solved, and Australian politics never recovered, nor the nation its true independence.”

    http://johnpilger.com/articles/the-forgotten-coup-how-america-and-britain-crushed-the-government-of-their-ally-australia

  16. Sir ScotchMistery

    @harqebus and since that minute our sovereign nation has become a subset of the US military industrial complex and the congress. A shadow of a star on the blank screen of old glory. Our prime ministers primary position in terms of the alliance with the USA is bent over a barrel being screwed by their representatives both elected and otherwise.

  17. keerti

    Anomander, you are incorrect. The but knows left from right etc. The problem is one of perspective. With his head planted firmly up his……… he really has no idea of anything!

  18. Annie B

    @Harqebus and Sir Scotch ……….

    I had read recently, the ‘wheels within wheels’ that involved the U.S. intervention ( what’s new ) …. in that 1975 Whitlam / Kerr scenario.

    I didn’t want to believe it and still don’t, but unfortunately – considering what I REALLY think of the U.S. and their massive power hunger, I simply have to give it credence.

    Why the HELL can’t we divorce ourselves from such a monstrous plutocratic society that calls itself ‘United’.

    It’s about as united as a fox in a chicken coop.

  19. Harquebus

    @Annie B.
    Coz, we don’t have any nukes.

  20. John Fraser

    <

    @Harquebus

    ICBM …… intercontinental ballistic missiles.

    Once again you are living in the 1950s "dream".

    Time to take that "one big step for man, one giant leap for mankind"..

  21. Harquebus

    @John Fraser
    Mankind has already taken the leap. Our civilization is now in free fall.

  22. John Fraser

    <

    @Harquebus

    Such a positive outlook on life.

  23. Annie B

    John Fraser …… ( yr comment – ” Time to take that “one big step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.. )

    Um … er … does that mean you are taking a trip to the moon in the not too distant future. ?

    I really would like to know. !!!

    Am also surprised that you remember the 1950’s “dream” …….. ??????

  24. stephentardrew

    Spot on your Lordship Sir Scotti Scotchy boozy mystery paradoxical fella.

  25. John Fraser

    <

    @AB

    I have fond memories of Sputnik ….. does that help to ascertain my age ?

    Lots of people think the American Saturn rockets were big and exceptionally good ….. trouble is they never bother to look at the Russian Soyuz rockets …. most likely because of the MSM and that persists right up to the present.

    Even though Salyut and Mir are Russian.

    And its currently Russians that are supplying the International Space Station due to the failure to launch of the last U.S. rocket.

    Russians launch Progress supply ship to space station

    Walk on the moon ? ……. I have enough optimism in humankind to discover and populate new worlds.

    Already there is talk of mining on the moon …. something that humans are doing at a voracious rate on Earth.

  26. stephentardrew

    Harquebus:

    Fear not evolution has a way of sorting itself out regardless of those nongs of a human persuasion.

    We may just be a failed experiment on the fabric of infinity.

    Not to worry a better model will one day evolve to replace us if we all croak.

    Maybe we will succeed.

    Who knows until the fat woman sings.

    Always look on the bright side.

  27. Annie B

    @John F.

    Well – we are definitely in the same age bracket. !!!

    —–

    Recall also little Laika – the first dog in space – who unfortunately died on her mission. I’m not at all happy about using animals for space research.

    Mining on the moon wouldn’t surprise me at all – so we are going to buggar that up too ? And for what ?

    We’ve done a damned fine job of destroying so much on earth already, especially our life giving forests.

    Stephen said it …. “nongs of the human persuasion” …

  28. Harquebus

    Homo-sapiens are the most deadly and destructive species ever to have evolved and we have not changed.
    We will consume ourselves back into the stone age. There are still plenty of rocks, last time I looked.
    As for the moon, just getting there destroys any return on investment.

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