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Duplicitous last minute declaration of intent…

With one day to go before the Election, Julia Gillard announces that she is prepared to make one of the most significant changes to our economy by putting a price on carbon, and that if she wins she will assume she has a mandate for it.

She’s had weeks to announce it, put it up for discussion, and convince the voters it’s a good idea. Instead she quietly slides it in at the last minute, allowing no time for dissenting views. This makes a mockery of a “mandate”.

When it’s something as serious as a committee of lucky-dip-citz’ with no official powers:  that deserves a proper launch and three weeks consideration.  But an economic move that affects every transaction, our international competitiveness, the energy sources we built our civilization on; That’s trickled into an interview with 24 hours to go. Righty-o.

The Australian Cover 20-8-2010: Julia Gillard’s carbon price promise

JULIA Gillard says she is prepared to legislate a carbon price in the next term.

It will be part of a bold series of reforms that include school funding, education and health.

In an election-eve interview with The Australian, the Prime Minister revealed she would view victory tomorrow as a mandate for a carbon price, provided the community was ready for this step.

“I don’t rule out the possibility of legislating a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, a market-based mechanism,” she said of the next parliament. “I rule out a carbon tax.”

This is the strongest message Ms Gillard has sent about action on carbon pricing.

While any carbon price would not be triggered until after the 2013 election, Ms Gillard would have two potential legislative partners next term – the Coalition or the Greens. She would legislate the carbon price next term if sufficient consensus existed.

It may be just a last minute ploy (out of rank desperation) to stem the rise of the Green vote, but if she was a conviction politician with a clear vision for the future (and any respect for the voters), she’d have put this on the table weeks ago.

What kind of mandate comes with the caveat: “provided the community was ready for this step.”

The gooble-speak makes it impossible to know what she really means. She’s not guaranteeing she’ll do it: she’s allowing herself the “out” by effectively saying “it needs some consensus” (which one, and who says?). But at the same time she’s playing the “in” card too — claiming that it’s a mandate. How can you have both? If the voters vote for her and give her a “mandate”, won’t it be the Greatest Moral Challenge all over again? What kind of mandate comes with the caveat: “provided the community was ready for this step.” (Like those poor dumb voters might give her a mandate, but not be ready themselves to take the leap they voted for?)

Once again, she’s made no policy other than to say: if it suits me, we’ll do it, and either way I’ll pretend it’s what the people wanted.

Forgetting for a moment whether a price on carbon is just hand-feeding the banker sharks, the bigger issue here is a leader who is blatantly “gaming” the system to get elected. No scruples, no principles, and no integrity.

“No scruples, no principles, and no integrity.”

Both sides of politics spin furiously, but concealing major issues until the last minute tells us this would be the kind of government that will add eleventh hour bulky amendments, disguise their true intent, and pretend that it’s the community and not them who make the decisions — when in reality the community gets no chance to know what’s on the table or the opportunity to speak against it.

Given that we can’t know all the future decisions that a PM will face, the character of the person in the office matters. More than any single policy, skill or talent, we need someone who is conscientious and honest.

It’s a principle free zone. Where is the Labor Party that cared about the workers?

If you feel concerned, yesterday’s post makes a good email…

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87 comments to Duplicitous last minute declaration of intent…

  • #
    Greg, San Diego, CA

    “Both sides of politics spin furiously, but concealing major issues until the last minute tells us this would be the kind of government that will add eleventh hour bulky amendments, disguise their true intent, and pretend that it’s the community and not them who make the decisions — when in reality the community gets no chance to know what’s on the table or the opportunity to speak against it.

    Given that we can’t know all the future decisions that a PM will face, the character of the person in the office matters. More than any single policy, skill or talent, we need someone who is conscientious and honest.”

    Jo, your description of the type of government that will exist under Gillard sounds like ours here in the US under Obama and the Democrats!

    I will be praying for you and all Australians that you can stop this madness.

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  • #
    pattoh

    Yeah right…..The Real Julia V 2.2

    The Labor Party Machine Men must be getting advice from one of the guys who spruiked the paradigm shifts for Bill Gates & Co.in the “hasta la Vista”.

    Updates will be necessary & take some time & memory space…. may show some temporary degradation in performance, but hey at least the graphics are pretty!

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  • #
    Lionell Griffith

    Our so called leader of our US House of Representatives said of the unread 2000+page so called health care reform bill: “We have to pass this bill so the public can know what is in it.”

    She and her ilk cannot be said they are out of touch with reality. They are not close enough to reality to be out of touch. They are living in a totally different universe at right angles to ours. Unfortunately, it is we who are going to have to pay for it in the long run with our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.

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  • #
    Max_OK

    “I don’t rule out the possibility of legislating a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, a market-based mechanism,” she said of the next parliament. “I rule out a carbon tax.

    Regardless of the scheme, carbon reduction results in benefits beyond curbing further increases in global warming from green house gases.It encourages the more efficient use of fossil fuels, thereby slowing the depletion of these fuels, and reducing the air- and water-pollution caused by burning these fuels. Our grandchildren and future descendants will be the main beneficiaries.

    Would carbon reduction schemes slow our economy by making fuel more expensive? Well, if the cap or tax on carbon emissions was too severe it would. But who would want “too severe” ?

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  • #
    Joe Veragio

    Sounds more like what companies in the UK are having to sign up for by end of next month.

    Showing evidence of reducing their Carbon/Energy use (compared to 2008 levels) will be ‘rewarded’ by discounts on their energy price, to be paid for by those who don’t.

    It’s all about language – just don’t call it a Tax.

    The little known Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC)  is a mandatory new carbon emissions trading scheme.

    Sounding rather close perhaps to the ‘Climate Debt’ idea, so enamoured of drafters of climate treaties, it has recently been re-styled as the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme.

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  • #
    Rereke Whaakaro

    It is not my place to comment on party politics in Australia – for one thing, I am too far removed from it.

    But I have noticed that “mandate” (with a small ‘m’) seems to be a favourite word with Ms Gillard, and she seems to use it as a stronger version of “agreement”, rather than meaning a clear indication of support from the electorate.

    She probably means her caucus, and the party lobbyists are behind the idea. I also take it to mean that they have done the numbers, and can see a number of Greens being in Parliament. So they figure that they will be able to swing a coalition deal on the basis of getting “a mandate”, after the election.

    They may also feel that they could do a deal with the coalition, if push came to shove, but I would not bet my grannies pension on that.

    But the timing is/was abysmal. It makes her look like she is panicking. Not a good look, in a Prime Minister, and something the opposition will taunt her with, if she gets re-elected.

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  • #
    Joe Veragio

    Nahh, it’s just lip-service to a carbon committment to keep any voters on board (past Saturday), that might be tempted into defecting to the greens, without alarming the bulk of more realistic voters.
    There’s no committment and no stomach for a real scheme any more.

    Similarly Mr Abbott didn’t consider it expedient to abandon carbon reduction altogether or to be seen communing with Lord Monckton, despite where his sympathies may lie.

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  • #
    janama

    “Both sides of politics spin furiously,”

    IMO Tony Abbott has been clear and determined in his statements. He will NOT bring in a carbon tax. – He will not tax the mining industry! – I’ve found his honesty refreshing.

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  • #
    Treeman

    Jo
    This last gasp from Gillard is nothing more than an attempt to coax first prefs from those who would otherwise vote Green amplify her loss with independents having the balance of power in a conservative govenment. The swing is on against Gillard, it’s late and gaining momentum, so who knows by how much Labor will loose today!

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  • #
    Grant

    Rereke @6

    Oh the horrors of a politician spouting “mandate”. It brings back memories of David Lange after the 1984 election in NZ. He put forward no policy during the election campaign and effectively won the election by default (Bob Jones’s New Zealand Party cannibalised the conservative vote) and then claimed a mandate for every unpopular, rights depriving policy they introduced.

    I’m not bitter :-)

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  • #
    wes george

    We saw this coming, didn’t we? It makes perfect political sense.

    A few weeks ago Gillard made the astounding tactical error of announcing that she wanted to delay a carbon tax until after some sort of vague citizen assembly had spent a bloody year debating the issue.

    This was a huge admission of utter weakness. Labor climate policy was blowing in the wind, up for grabs! It was like saying to the Coalition and the Greens, OK, which one of you blokes care the most about a carbon tax? So how’d that work out? The Coalition made stupid jokes with their mates at the pub, while the Greens made savvy deals!

    Instead of making a big account of it and thereby rhetorically forcing Labor to repeat, defend, stand by and ultimately lock in this loony year-long-debate-delay as core-promised policy, the Coalition took the cheap (and dumb) shot declaring we already have a parliament to make laws. Yawn. This allowed Labor, the media and the discourse to walk backward from a year long debate on climate policy as if it were just a thought ballon – which it was – and right into the arms of those who really care, the Greens.

    The stupid part is that it was obvious that with the Greens polling at record highs that the balance of power in the Senate was likely to fall into their hands. Worse, it was obvious simply because of the new poll numbers Bob Brown was already powerful enough to bargain a carbon tax promise out of Labor in exchange for Green preferences. Now we have two coalitions! Guess which one channels Machiavelli?

    The guileless coalition can’t think strategically more than one or two moves ahead. If they had supported Gillard’s admittedly goofy idea of a big year long citizen’s assemble to examine the AGW propaganda and made a big media deal about the need for a truly bipartisan, apolitical approach to the “Greatest Moral Issue of Our Age” then they could have driven a wedge between Labor and the Greens. And if the realpolitik of Green preferences proved too rich a vein for Labor not to mine then at least Labor would have been truly exposed to the Australian people as the unprincipled knaves they really are. Win-win for the coalition.

    Instead we have political situation that can no longer be transmuted to our advantage…If the Coalition (the guileless one) doesn’t win today, we’ll get a carbon tax. Duh.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2010/07/gillards-non-plan-for-the-climate/

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  • #
    Neville

    Wes , I agree to a point but what should be highlighted to the general public is the obscene waste of billions of dollars spent on AGW that won’t change the climate or temp by even a tiny fraction of 1c, but it will make our country less competitive and export more of our jobs/businesses overseas.

    We will flush those billions down the toilet and not alter the climate and weaken our country as well, what a trifecta.

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  • #
    Robert of Ottawa

    She’s afraid of the greens, so she making a play for their votes. It’s the cheapest stunt yet, and what an irresponsible act!!

    She is quite willing to throw her country away to get elected. I never did like the Welsh!

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  • #
    Mark

    Wes, you are right and I would go further by saying that I simply don’t understand why the Coalition didn’t hammer the unholy Labor/Green union relentlessly along with all it represents.

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  • #
    cynic

    I expect that JG will win and will give us a carbon tax. The MSM support for both has been an overwhelming force. Methinks the battle for truth in AGW argument has been lost. The AGW hypothesis has been demolished by a substantial body of evidence, yet many (most of our policiticians) accept it as fact.
    Evidence based belief, the cornerstone of human advancement for the last 400 years, has been surpassed by media spin. The truth has lost.
    Enter the dark ages.

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  • #
    pattoh

    It will be interesting to watch the power plays within the Greens if they do get to use the balance of power in the senate. I get the feeling that Bob Brown will soon find some retrospective sympathy for Kevin Rudd while containing the odd self righteous inflated ego amongst his colleagues.

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  • #
    J.Hansford

    Aye Janama, I too found Tony Abbott refreshingly clear about his “carbon” stance…. He says he won’t bring in an ETS. A great big green tax on everything he has called it.

    He really can’t be any clearer than that…

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  • #
    J.Hansford

    cynic:
    August 21st, 2010 at 10:15 am “….. Methinks the battle for truth in AGW argument has been lost. The AGW hypothesis has been demolished by a substantial body of evidence, yet many (most of our policiticians) accept it as fact.”

    Not quite right cynic…. The problem Labor and the Greens will have, is that by basing a huge economic and social policy on lies, they will be contrasted by a reality that does not gel with their policies. Families are not going to continue to vote for political parties that tax everything, when people can see no stormclouds of disaster. Words and lies no longer cut the mustard with people when they start paying for it….. In poker, when your bluff is called… yer stuffed.

    If Labor and the Greens bring in a price on Carbon…. The Australian people will annihilate them at the next elections once they wake up to fact they have been lied to. It will be an easy case to make from opposition.

    But we’ll wait ‘n see who wins tonight first ‘eh;-)

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  • #
    Mark D.

    As an outsider I’ll stay away from any comments on your AU politics. I will simply wish you all well and hope things work out in the best way!

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  • #
    IrenaJ

    More than half of Britain’s wind farms have been built where there is not enough wind

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1303688/More-half-Britains-wind-farms-built-wind.html

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  • #
    Chris in OZ

    A few weeks ago, Rudd gets removed by the back room factions because, they claimed, Labor had lost its way, (and run the country off the rails), replaced Rudd with Julia, and with a wave of her magic wand, fixes 3 years of stuffups, inside a couple of weeks.

    Bullshit, nothing has changed, Labor is still lost and the country is still off the rails.

    I, for one, won’t be giving these ratbags another 3 years of trying to find their way, if ever. This mob wouldn’t run out of sight on a dark night !

    .

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  • #
    IrenaJ

    I heard that the DISHONEST LABOR PARTY is handing out “how to vote cards” which are BLUE, the SAME colour as the Liberals!!

    DON’T BE FOOLED BT THIS!!

    READ THEM CAREFULLY!

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  • #
    Jaymez

    I don’t have much faith in the average Australian voter.

    Retired journalist Allan Ramsay made a good point the other night. He made the observation that we have the sort of democracy where voting is compulsory. It is those people who wouldn’t otherwise vote, who don’t really care, who don’t study the party platforms, who end up choosing which party governs us. It is their votes our politicians chase with their advertising and the 3 second sound bites and populist policies. That is why we get little truth in political advertising. We see those voters being interviewed on TV regarding their voting intentions and they parrot the catchphrase from the latest political advertisement which resonated with them.

    How many people who vote for the Greens know the Greens intend to increase the top marginal tax rate to 50%, as well as introduce a carbon tax and a mining tax? In 2007 it was only 100,000 votes, less than 1% of voters, who delivered Rudd his victory. To see what an Australia would be like if the Greens hold the balance of power with a Labor government for too long, we need only look at Tasmania. Tasmania has so little productive industry it has become a welfare state. It receives more than 150% of it’s GST revenue from the Federal Government Grants Scheme. That is, they get $1.51 back for every $1.00 in GST paid in Tasmania. WA get $0.68 currently. Tasmanians per capita welfare funding from the Federal Government is over 125% of the national average and second only to the Northern Territory.

    That is the type of society Bob Brown advocates, but how will he fund it if he closes our industry and miners down?

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  • #
    pattoh

    Mr Hansford

    Unfortunately by the time the next election comes around for annihilationof a sitting government (or at least intensive tropical fruit therapy), the Greens may haved forced Aus to sign up to a binding international agreement which puts a clawback beyond possibility.

    Just think about the World Heritage Listings as an example & consider the downside of an international agreement to trade Carbon Credits.

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  • #
    Mark

    Jaymez #23:

    I’ve always believed that Tassie car rego plates should bear the motto:
    “Tasmania, the basketweavers state”. When I think these freeloaders have the same Senate representation as the mainland states, sheesh!

    Only a few years back the Coalition had a Senate majority and I naively thought they would use it to put some integrity back into the Electoral Act: They chickened out. It’s going to be progressively harder for them to win elections because Labor keeps putting more people on either welfare or the already bloated public service.

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  • #
    John Trigge

    I too have an issue with politicians using the ‘mandate’ mantra.

    All parties always claim they have a mandate for introducing their programs when they win power. I believe it is rare for a voter to want EVERY promise made by a party; most would vote for the party that MOST suits their ideology, wishes, etc, and there is no way a party can know whether the voters wish any particular program to be implemented. This is especially true if the balance of power in either house is controlled by independents or a minor party as the ruling party is not in power with a majority of voters selecting them.

    The ‘mandate’ issue is further compromised if ANY promised program does not come to fruition. It is hypocritical to claim a mandate for implementing any particular program if even one of the other programs is not implemented. It should be all promised programs or suffer Some form of penalty for false advertising and deception.

    Spleen vented.

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  • #
    wes george

    Jaymez sez,

    Retired journalist Allan Ramsay made a good point the other night. He made the observation that we have the sort of democracy where voting is compulsory. It is those people who wouldn’t otherwise vote, who don’t really care, who don’t study the party platforms, who end up choosing which party governs us. It is their votes our politicians chase with their advertising and the 3 second sound bites and populist policies.

    I totally concur. Compulsory voting encourages:

    1. Lowest Common Denominator politics. For instance, I actually know some one who said they are going vote for labor because they’ll get free school uniforms for the kids! Now that’s putting your country first. The party in power can simply buy the votes of people who otherwise wouldn’t know the ETS from the MCG. Forcing everyone to vote favours the most demagogic platform.

    2. Forced voting combined with the complex calculus of preferences makes a mockery of the concept of the citizen’s right to an INFORMED vote. Who the hell knows whose pocket their vote will really end up in anymore? I’m sure everyone spent the last month studying up on how to distribute their 84 preferences for the senate. We should go back to the pure simple democracy – One person, One vote.

    3. It’s oxymoronic that in a free democracy it is illegal not to vote. What if I find all the parties on offer abhorrent? I still have to vote. How is that fair? Isn’t refusing to vote also a political statement in itself? Or… What if I am just worthlessly ignorant and lazy and couldn’t give a rat’s whatever? Well, that’s the profile of your average Labor voter. You still want to force me to vote?

    Heck, I say we lower the voting age to 10, sure the kids would all vote for the Bananas in Pajamas Party (preferences to The Wiggles) but we could balance that out by requiring the recently deceased to vote as well.

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  • #
    Richard C

    O/T re ‘We Have Been Conned’ by John McLean, PhD candidate, James Cook University, Australia.

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=6166
    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/we_have_been_conned.html

    Excerpt:

    “PREFACE

    This document has been written in response to the independent review of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) currently being undertaken by the InterAcademy Council (IAC).

    Others may have a different opinion but I have no faith whatsoever in this review because the IAC has far too many close links with the International Science Union (ICSU), an organization that spent almost 30 years pressuring for the creation of the IPCC (see chapter 1).

    According to the IAC website, the 18-member board of the IAC has at least three people – Ralph Cicerone, Martin Rees and Kurt Lambeck – who head national science bodies, all of which are members of the ICSU. Howard Alper, also an IAC board member, is the co-chair of IAP, the global network of science academies, and most of those academies are ICSU members. Membership of the ICSU has the documented obligation of supporting its objectives, which means that already the IAC’s independence is compromised.”

    This is a comprehensive review preempting the inevitable IAC whitewash. Topics covered:

    CHAPTER 1 – THE DUBIOUS SCIENTIFIC JUSTIFICATION FOR ESTABLISHING THE IPCC
    CHAPTER 2 – FLAWED AUTHORING OF IPCC REPORTS
    CHAPTER 3 – FLAWED AND DECEPTIVE REVIEW PROCESS
    CHAPTER 4 – DECEPTIONS, CONCEALMENT, MISINFORMATION AND DISTORTIONS
    CHAPTER 5 – FLAWED TEMPERATURE DATA
    CHAPTER 6 – FLAWED CLIMATE MODELS

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  • #
    DougS

    It cannot be considered to be a mandate if it wasn’t in her manifesto before the first vote was cast.

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    DougS

    IrenaJ:
    August 21st, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    More than half of Britain’s wind farms have been built where there is not enough wind

    I live but a few miles from from the worst-performing ‘farm’, at Blyth Harbour, it’s ugly, expensive and useless.

    Probably the only good thing to be said about it is that with an output of only 4.9% of it’s capacity, it doesn’t need much backup from real generation.

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  • #
    pattoh

    Just seen Bob Brown boasting that the Greens have 3 time the National party vote.

    If you could calculate an adjustment factor for the component of foriegn income generated by the supporters of the National Party & the Greens ,one factor would have a negative sign & one would have a positive sign.

    Funny how that quoted demographic of comfortable self satisfied Arts/Law types has no idea what pays for their bloody Volvos.

    Anarchy looks good

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  • #
    Roy Hogue

    I should not comment on Australian politics. But that word “mandate” has always scared me to death.

    I hope you can withstand this and beat back the carbon tax.

    Rereke,

    I understand that anger over the ETS and its inevitable price increases is growing in New Zeeland. I don’t know enough about parliamentary systems to know the answer. So how easy or hard is it for a large angry block of voters to force out the current government or force new elections? I think such things happen but don’t know the mechanism whereby it’s done.

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  • #
    Henry chance

    “the people have spoken”
    What is her mandate?
    Labor has lost 18 seats?

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  • #

    A dirty trick, but hardly surprising. As Minister for Employment Her J-ness took after-school work away from teenagers – and still the ALP had the gall to use Workchoices as a scare tactic!

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  • #
    Ross

    Roy @33. Anything is possible, but in NZ I don’t think we’ll see a revolt leading to a change in Govt. because the opposition ( left wing Labour ) is not a serious option. Their ETS scheme was worse.
    Having said that there was a poll on the Yahoo/MSM site the other day asking -”Are you skeptical about climate change?” It is not a “scientific” poll but when I last looked at it 14,000 had voted with 68% saying Yes, 27.5% No and 4.5% Don’t Know . So your understanding is correct about where people stand. ( 14,000 for these polls is quite high )

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  • #
    pattoh

    Perhaps with 3 former Nationals possibly holding the balance of power in the lower house, a push to get a proper ( Royal Commission) into all the science may get some airing & possibly even some traction ( notwithstanding the risk of a greenslide on scum ).

    Either way no clear mandate exists to act precipitously on permanent commitments to global agreements

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  • #
    wes george

    BA HA HA HA HA!

    Grovel, laborites, grovel!

    Julia, for one, welcomes her new insect overlords:

    http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/timblair/

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  • #
    El Sledgo

    I’m just hoping we’ll get less of the insincere monotone, marionette-like hand gestures and head bobbing. Honestly, every time she appears on screen I think I’m watching a character from the Thunderbirds.

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  • #
    Ross

    El Sledgo — you are going to see alot of grovelling. Unlike in NZ and the UK where the horse trading was between a major party and the smaller party , in Australia the trading is with individuals and that makes it more complicated ( or interesting if you are a political junkie ). But I’ve been reading that there are still alot of votes to be counted in some close seats ( I presume they are postal votes etc). So you have interesting days ahead.

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  • #
    El Sledgo

    True, Ross, and all the wheeling and dealing can be done away from the media. The less I see Gizzard, the better it is for my sanity.

    I’m just amused at ABC24 “Insiders” trying to dissect the chaos. Have the TV on mute, closed captions providing all the humour with mistakes and gibberish. The best way to watch the ALP’s taxpayer-funded media division.

    Looking through the link Wes George referred to, I am appalled at some of the comments being tweeted by lefty journalists. It’s no wonder these journos have a shred of integrity when they let their political bias run riot uncensored.

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  • #
    Baa Humbug

    G’morning all.

    Irregardless of who forms government, two facts stand out.

    1-) There will be another election long before the 3 year term is up.
    2-) The AGW sceptic grassroots movement that hoisted Abbott to the leadership has profoundly changed the political landscape over the last 8 months.

    All the talk of “the people wanted a carbon tax” is outright bullchit. Those who really wanted a “great big new tax” DID VOTE GREEN. The Green vote increased by single digits only, hardly a ringing endorsement for a “great big new tax”.

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  • #
    Harry the Hacker

    Hey Baa

    The greens score a huge protest vote – from the “pox on both your houses” brigade, which includes me. Cept I didn’t vote green, that would just be too much of a protest. But there are apparently a vast number of preference votes from Green -> Family First and vice versa – opposite ends of the spectrum. This is very unusual an indicates a well informed and pissed off voting public.

    Both major parties have some hard work to do. I’m mightly pissed off with them both. F@#$ing useless tossers the lot of them.

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  • #
    AC

    Two points (that someone may already have made)

    Firstly if the swing from Labor to the Greens represents the protest over the abandoned ETS and the Greens can only muster 20% of the vote (or less) it would suggest to me that support for the ETS is arguably no more than this 20% and that the there is in fact nearer 80% against it.

    Secondly Labor finds itself terribly exposed to the Greens on its left while fighting the Libs on its right. Given that it is really only global warming that is propping up the Green vote I would suggest that it would now be in Labor’s interest to start pushing a more sceptical line on global warming in order to remove this prop to the Greens vote and reduce the Greens back to the irrelevancy they really deserve. This seems to me the only way they will be able to get their left constituency back into the Labor camp. To keep backing an ETS is just to keep giving them oxygen.

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  • #
    AC

    Maybe I can link my first point of my post at number 44 to the point made by Ross at number 36. A 68% to 26% in NZ is a similar sort of result

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  • #
    janama

    I think it’s wonderful – It’s like “everyone back to square one”

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  • #
    john of sunbury

    Jo you have nailed what I despise about modern Labor – true intent is deceitfully hidden behind a benign veneer. The sheeple are managed with smoke and mirrors, and soothed with false claims of community consensus. (And they lie!)

    “No scruples, no principles, no integrity” …. absolutely true!

    Keep up the good fight.

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  • #
    John Brookes

    I think Mr Rabbit will form a government, which will turn out to be a total shamozzle, and he will be thrown out in an election in about 18 months time. His failure to raise new taxes will lead to either increased deficits, or depression – take your choice.

    Of particular interest will be his climate change policy, which consists (as far as I recall) of planting 1 million trees and giving lots of money to farmers for doing what would do anyway.

    His other policies are slow broadband and giving money to people who don’t need it.

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    wes george

    Brace yourselves, because here’s the sort of thing we can expect in the next year now that the Internationale Greens have been encouraged:

    http://news.scotsman.com/scotland/Climate-protester-breaches-RBS-Gogarburn.6487098.jp

    And here’s our new national anthem if the ascendent Greens can form government with the Lobotomites:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvXBNnpHFDI&feature=fvst

    A bit triumphalist, you say? You don’t know the meaning of triumphalism until you watch Bob Brown strut over the next few weeks.

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    cohenite

    wes and others; unfortunately The Climate Sceptics managed to only receive a tad under 19000 votes Australia wide:

    NSW: 6,388 votes, 0.20%, 0.0140 quotas
    VIC: 3,514 votes, 0.14%, 0.0101 quotas
    QLD: 3,424 votes, 0.18%, 0.0126 quotas
    WA: 1,195 votes, 0.14%, 0.0095 quotas
    SA: 3,675 votes, 0.45%, 0.0318 quotas
    TAS: 605 votes, 0.22%, 0.0156 quotas

    The NZ option of litigation is looking like the best option of avoiding the msm lockout of AGW dissenting views.

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    Roy Hogue

    Ross @36,

    I note your statement that

    14,000 for these polls is quite high

    and I have no trouble believing it will go higher in the not too distant future. As Democrats here have found out the hard way, widespread anger can force rethinking of what they do. I know I’m repeating myself but there is no more devout coward than a politician afraid of losing a vote

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    Phillip Bratby

    See the Wall Street Journal, 22 August 2010 for a good summary. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703461504575442693926568832.html.

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    Roy Hogue

    Phillip Bratby @52,

    I hope the Wall Street Journal is not being over confident.

    Roy

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    MadJak

    Labor sure got a thumping.

    I would suggest labor need a leadership spill to pick up labors chances before the next election. Oh wait a minute, they already had a bloodless coup didn’t they? Oh well, try a couple more times whoever you are in the labor party. I think 3 is a lucky number ;)

    One thing it for sure, someone is going to be cow towing to the greens to get things through the senate. I think the whole AGW debate is going to get white hot very soon.

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    pattoh

    Mr. Cohenite

    I think it would be a useful exercise to go through the Green votes electorate by electorate & plot them up.

    The fluff media has a habit of publicising the average income by postcodes. By investigating the commercial activities within those electorates, it should be possible to either empirically gauge in dollars & cents or socially gauge in jobs & community & population dependence on the said activities.

    Further enlightenment perhaps by comparison of the electorate ratio of Greens to the income/dependence on the industries which have suffered or will suffer as a result of the policies they champion. I do not think you will find too many electorates with a high percentage of Green first preferences away from the capitals & sea change destinations.

    I wonder how long the Greens’ deluded, self satisfied comfort will last when they discover the exchange rate has a direct impact not only on the price of Volvo parts & iPod batteries but also on the price of food (& Chardonnay) when we are too precious to produce it any more.

    Do you reckon there could be a market for T shirts emblazoned with a triangle with a big pineapple poking through it?

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    janama

    The swing to the coalition is directly related to the radio coverage of The Alan Jones morning show and the Ray Hadley morning program, i.e. Queensland and NSW.

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    wes george

    Hey, Cohenite. 19,000 votes for a brand new single interest party is pretty amazing, mate! Congratulations! Bit disappointing by the WA numbers though. The CS party would have done better but a carbon tax was a non-issue in the campaign until the last day Gillard surprise revival.

    - – -

    John Brookes @ 48 illustrates the kind of economic illiteracy the Australian people just rejected. Sure, John, history shows failure to raise taxes in a global recession leads directly to economic depression. Not.

    In fact, what history really does show is that by lower taxes the economy will expand and the resulting larger economy will ultimately yield larger tax revenues even at lower rates! The way to curb the deficit is to simple stop wasting money, not raise taxes.

    Economist Milton Friedman on the four ways to spend money:

    1. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money.

    2. You can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost.

    3. I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch!

    4. I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get.

    Governments spend money the fourth way. So it’s little surprise we end up with a $900,000 toilet block at the local school or schemes to blow 45 billion bucks on a fiber network that will be obsolete before it is finished.

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    Harry the Hacker

    “45 billion bucks on a fiber network that will be obsolete before it is finished”

    Whilst I don’t agree that a govt funded fibre net should be built (I think it should be funded by market demand), the thing about fibre is you CAN shove gigabits down it without changing the actual fibre. This stuff about it being obsolete is just politicial spin bullshit.

    The Abbott wireless network REALLY WILL be obsolete because you can’t magically shove more stuff over wireless (just ask anybody with poxy @#$%#@$ wireless LAN in their home.)

    Fibre will last a really long time with more bandwidth available through change of exchange equipment or improvements in the backhaul capacity. With wireless we’ll never get more than a few megabits (never, ever, ever). Its a stupid response to a stupid current mess.

    [BTW for those who want to pick a bone... I have some vague idea, I'm in the techno business, this kind of stuff has been bread-n-butter for a decade or 2. And thats argument from authority :) ]

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    Mark

    Harry the Hacker:

    Yeah, well I’d like a Ferrari but can’t really afford it either. The vast majority have greater and more important needs to satisfy. The ability to download movies in minus 3.7 secs is very low down on my priority list.

    Personally, I’m very suspicious of this “gummint” and their hellbent pursuit of this network.

    You might be in the techno business but how can you absolutely rule out advances in wireless technology over time? Plain fact is, you can’t!

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    pattoh

    Hey Harry there would not be just a teensy bit of self interest there would there?

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    MadJak

    Harry@58 – working in the same sector I agree with you 100% on this one.

    I will say this, the labor $43B is BS too – it can be done for a fraction of that. They just chose that number because that’s what was left over from the telstra sale.

    What was never discussed was the fact that having decent Broadband in the bush will relieve pressure off the main cities. i form one would move into the mountains in a heartbeat if the bandwidth was there to allow me to. That would be one more family moving into the country and two less cars on the city motorways.

    It was about the only bone of contention I had, but the liberals ran a fantastic campaign overall, I thought.

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    When I was exercising a lot in the eighties, I remember a sports-drink executive admitting that simple water was the best hydrator for the body, but his business hadn’t found a way to charge for it. Within a few years, companies did succeed in making money from selling ordinary water, starting with “mineral” claims and then ditching all that for pure marketing. A tap and a sky blue label was all they needed.

    Those of us who have observed Big Government over the decades may have joked about a tax on thin air, without believing that even the most intrusive of governments would ever achieve it. And never at our drunkest and most flippant would we have imagined a tax on one component of thin air, and that such a tax would be a serious threat to the survival of the industrial West.

    Taxing is like selling. Find something that is super-abundant and put a price on it. Then just add plenty of marketing and pseudo-science. If the punters get restless, you may have to send in Judith Curry, to tell ‘em it’s all been a misunderstanding…but they’ll still have to pay!

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    Ian Hill

    I spent eight hours handing out How To Vote cards for The Climate Sceptics at Adelaide’s largest polling booth, with the help of my sons. Between us we handed out about 800 cards. A total of 16 votes went to TCS from about 4000 cast. That’s right on the 0.4% state average. That electorate also had a lower house candidate for TCS and he received 26 votes at that booth.

    Overall the reaction to TCS was better than I had anticipated. A few voters wished us luck. Many people had never heard of us and either gasped or giggled when they saw the name. It does need to be changed! One bloke said “that’s thrown a spanner in the works” which I took as a positive sign. Quite a few respectfully declined to take a card.

    Some of the other party’s helpers said they agreed with our position, notably the Liberals and Family First. I wasn’t inclined to strike up a conversation with Labor or the Greens and vice versa. The presence of The Australian Sex Party helpers caused quite a stir at the start although they disappeared after a while and returned later in the day. They did provide some comic relief, as it were!

    I came away with the impression that many people agreed with our policies but preferred to vote Liberal. On reflection, about 20,000 votes Australia wide is a good result as nearly every one would be carefully considered.

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    cohenite

    Wes, Pattoh, Ian and others; here are the senate breakups state by state; Rhiannon got in on the back of Coalition preferences:

    http://www.abc.net.au/elections/federal/2010/guide/snsw-results.htm

    If the coalition had given their preferences to TCS, as they had been requested to, we would have had some senators.

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    wes george

    Well, Harry & Madjak, you got a point…

    But think of the problem like this – Imagine if in 1990 the Australian government saw the potential of the coming “information highway” and decided to spend 45 billion dollars to build it with the technology of the day. How would that have worked out?

    The future of communication technology is subject to versions of Moore’s Law (including Butter’s Law of Photonics). It’s quite likely that some new paradigm shifting technology is already in the tubes. Say, for instance the development of grapefruit size geosynchronous comsats cheap as chips so that hundreds even thousands could be put into low Earth orbit over Aust. in single launch. They could form a cloud network connected to each other by laser beams. Could get terabit/sec connections to the ground via multi-spot beam or combine hybrid with local fiber without digging a 50,000 km ditch zigzagging around the bush at a tenth or even a hundredth the cost. Just guessing. But the history of technology adoption supports my position that with the cost of data transmission in total freefall, today’s best hardware will be tomorrow’s gold-plated junk.

    You couldn’t magically know the future of technology beyond a single decade in 1990. With technological evolution continuing to accelerate, you can’t build the network required in 2020 in 2011. So while one cannot predict the precise innovations that future technologies will deliver one can be sure that whatever we know today will be an obsolete paradigm by 2025.

    Another technological trend that was first identified by Buckminster Fuller in the 1960′s is “ephemeralization.” This is the trend for technology to evolve towards doing more with less and less physical infrastructure. For instance, today’s GDP weighs, (yes, weighs in kilograms) much less than it did in 1960, but its value is many times greater. The computer I am typing this on costs about $2,000 dollars and weighs 4kg. In 1990, similar computational power would have cost $80,000 at least and weighed maybe 250 kg sans CRT.

    What we need is a just-in-time, practical, market-based approach to the adoption of technological solutions in response to a rapidly evolving situation rather than a Soviet-style centrally planned closed system that imagines the future as a static, known sum.

    In other words – let visionary investors shoulder the risk rather than our taxpayer-funded government, you know, the one that can’t even install pink bats without burning down the house.

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    wes george

    Cohenite:

    “If the coalition had given their preferences to TCS, as they had been requested to, we would have had some senators”

    Wow. That’s pathetic on the part of the guileless coalition. On the other hand, it should strongly encourage the TCS to hang tough. The next election might be sooner than we think and – like the Laborites learned with Steve Fielding – the Coalition might learn to allocate their preferences to friend rather than foe. ;-)

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    pat

    look what google has as the top news grouping in a search on “climate change” today:

    Citizens’ assembly is dead, but climate issue remains‎
    Sydney Morning Herald – Adam Morton – 10 hours ago
    Whoever forms government, finding common ground to get a climate change policy … He has not indicated that climate change would be a major issue in …
    Australia’s second climate change election‎ – Crikey (blog)
    Take to streets to get action on climate change‎ – Capital Times

    unbelievable…as always.

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    MadJak

    Wes,

    I agree that any investment in infrastructure must have a realistic return on investment. Spending the taxpayers money deserve much higher levels of scrutiny on this front too. Of course the current mob really didn’t do any of this, which has muddied the waters significantly.

    Do I trust the current govt to do a good job with this? definitely not, i would rather the coalition was doing ti to be perfectly honest.

    I understand where you’re coming from, however there is one point that is being missed out on here. If you always hold off on investing technology because it’s always going to get better or cheaper, you will never get any benefit from any of the technology.

    With Fibre to the home I think even $43b is actually very cheap because the ROI isn’t just about getting us geeks happy. The real ROI comes at the secondary and tertiary levels – i.e. in not having to invest more into the urban fringes of the capital cities or the way it can help boost the country areas (who do need a shot in the arm).

    The key thing worth remembering here is that the key shifts in technology tends to come from countries that have already invested in good technology to start with, so I guess it comes down to do we want to lead or do we want to follow?

    Now WRT to Wireless being the future, well, there are some serious issues there. Have you seem what a 3G network connection is like during a thunderstorm? It’s not good -especially if you’re reliant on that network to make a critical call for help. It’s a decoy -just like labors decoy rambling on about esurgery etc. All very nice to think about, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

    That’s my 2c worth. Once again, I state that $43B is much more than it should cost, and that this figure was pulled pout of someones proverbial.

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    Chris in OZ

    Harry the Hacker:
    August 23rd, 2010 at 11:36 am

    I agree 100% ! The upper bandwidth limit of fiber optics is unknown, and will only be limited by the speed of signals in the electronics at each end of the fiber.

    To Mark:
    August 23rd, 2010 at 11:48 am

    “You might be in the techno business but how can you absolutely rule out advances in wireless technology over time? Plain fact is, you can’t!”

    Yes he can, unless you can go out and break some fundamental laws of Physics.

    The only way to get more bandwidth out of wireless, is to increase the frequency and then wireless signals start to behave like light, won’t go around corners and any obstacle in its path will create a shaddow. Then to overcome that problem, you will need towers spaced at less than 50 meters appart and still not get full penetration into the landscape.

    I too spent 50 years in communications.

    .

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    Bulldust

    Ahh good to be back in Oz, and good to have missed teh last two-and-a-half weeks of political spin doctoring. I see the major parties got the result they deserve, which means neither has the ability to govern in their own right.

    My thoughts are these… if the libs get Hasluck (which they currently lead by less that one tenth of the informal votes – that’ll teach people to draw Mickey Mouse on the ballot papers) then I think the odds will favour the Libs forming a minority with 3 independents.

    Were I PM Abbott in the first few months I would put up some direct action Green policies (e.g. tackle salinity, over fishing, the Murray etc) and watch the Greens sh*t themselves in the senate as they try to decide whether to support policies that actually coincide with the supposed party alingment or whether they show their true (red) side and reject them on political grounds. If the latter, then all Green cred will be lost with the electorate.

    The worst case scenario is Labor forming a minority government with the Greens in the balance in the senate (which I believe occurs next year when teh seats change over).

    Shame the Democrats are not around today… BTW I found this web site the other day and was somewhat amused:

    http://www.convictcreations.com/history/primemine.htm

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    pattoh

    Mr Bulldust

    How do you think either colour of minority government will be able to slip the Murray Darling Basin Report past either Bob Katter or Mr Bant?

    My bet is that Bob Katter will find a soapbox in Mildura.

    Bob Brown will probably not choose to join the debate there but go to Adelaide to have a cuppa with Penny Wong.

    One thing for sure; we live in interesting times.

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    MattB

    Cohenite in #64. I’m afraid your preference analysis does not add up. In NSW the 2 libs and 2 labour got in straight up as both parties got in excess of two quotas. Then a lot of minors got knocked out, and at the stage of the Climate Skeptics getting knocked out not a single Liberal preference had been distributed.

    In fact when the 3rd LIb/Nat Senator was elected, of the 50,000 odd votes surplus that were redistributed only 41 went to the Greens. (down at COunt 33).

    So basically in your post at #64: “Rhiannon got in on the back of Coalition preferences” is absurdly incorrect.
    and “f the coalition had given their preferences to TCS, as they had been requested to, we would have had some senators.” is similarly a completely off the planet remark. You seem to know a bit about climate science, but you clearly know nothing of the process of redistributing votes in the Australian Senate.

    So in case anyone is unsure and is about to send nasty emails to the Coalition – hold back – there is nothing they could have done to help a party with 0.2%, and I repeat 0.2%, of the primary vote, achieve quota in the NSW Federal Senate Election

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    Mark

    MattB:

    Your assessment is correct. Once the major party surpluses are exhausted down the list, minor groups are excluded from the bottom up. With a mere 0.2%? Yep, Buckley’s.

    Some years ago in the NSW Upper House, an Outdoors group got a candidate up by doing deals with numerous small parties. He had almost bugger-all primary votes but got elected with flows from the bottom up. All to no avail though; got kicked out for rorting parliamentary priveleges.

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    Mark

    Chris and Harry:

    To my knowledge, no cost benefit analysis has ever been done on the NBN. Again, the attitude from some people is that because they think it’s a great idea then we should just do it and to hell with the financial consequences. Sounds a bit like climate alarmism, doesn’t it?

    I’ve heard other knowledgable spokesmen on the media who say differently about wireless. They say that the soon to be launched Intel satellite will yield large improvements to a great many users for much lower cost.

    There’s also the matter that the capacity of this network will be choked down when overseas connections are made. All in all, yet another socialist pipedream at a time when the country is heavily indebted.

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    Mark

    What drove my blood pressure up was the Libs preferencing the Green candidate in Melbourne. What were they thinking (or smoking)?

    I might loathe Labor, but Greens!!!

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    george

    Mark, from another site. Warped thinking on the part of the Liberals if this was their rationale, but nonetheless…

    From an ideological perspective, it makes no sense for the Libs to preference the Greens in Melbourne on their how-to-vote cards.

    But in a tactical sense there is some perverted logic there;

    - the Libs have a snowballs of winning Melbourne anyway
    - they nominate a candidate with rather right wing credentials
    - that candidate seems to be maintaining a low profile
    - any Lib voters thus disenchanted are more likely to vote Labor than Green(??)
    - But Labor have to campaign harder to increase their own primary vote to stave off the Greens knowing that Liberal voting cards will be directing voters to Green land

    Liberal incompetence or deliberate playing-off Greens against Labor? Because…

    Apparently it`s not the only potential Green-win seat where the Liberals are preferencing Greens. As I said, tactical – if Labor wins, the Libs are no further behind anyway…but if the Greens take the seat that`s one less for Labor in the lower house. And the Libs would be working on the possibility of squeaking in at the election as a government, if only just.

    The only problem is if the Greens end up with a balance of power in the House of Reps – although that itself could cause issues for Labor in terms of having to form a coalition government with the Greens, don`t know if Labor would be too keen to go down that road, the Greens certainly won`t touch the Libs…so what happens then?

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    pattoh

    Adam(Bandt) & the Antis at a rave near you!

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    george

    Ah, our “environmentally” oriented Adam – particularly check out the last para re the Greens. The party that one out of eight Australians voted for on Saturday, dearie me…

    http://www.driftline.org/cgi-bin/archive/archive_msg.cgi?file=spoon-archives/marxism.archive/marxism_1995/95-03-31.000&msgnum=45&start=3474

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    pattoh

    I guess one good thing about the precarious political situation is that there will be no comfort in government & no rest in opposition.

    It at least presents an ideal chance to keep both sides on their toes & force policy decisions to be transparent & out in the open.

    It may just be the opportunity to drag our pollys to come out from behind the banners, buttons & sound-bites to defend their positions with valid arguments & verifiable empirical evidence.

    Clearly both sides of politics will still be maintaining a degree of “campaign mode”. As such both sitting members & opposing candidates should be open to interaction with the electorate.

    It could even be the one time opportunity to get some balance in the public debate ( in spite of the MSM )

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    Mark

    More on NBN vs Wireless BB.

    http://www.channelnews.com.au/Networking_And_Wireless/Broadband/T9T3G8H7

    NBN is an expensive crock which will be outdated within ten years the way technology advances these days.

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    Mark D.

    Mark, it is rare that i disagree with you but there is little chance that wireless will outperform fiber. You have to realize that there have been and will continue to be advancements in fiber technology too. The glass fiber is just the media. Wireless bandwidth has, by nature, continuous competition. The fiber to your house is captive and has no competition.

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    Tel

    Mark, it is rare that i disagree with you but there is little chance that wireless will outperform fiber.

    That depends very much on whether you are talking about raw speed or marketplace desirability. I agree that in raw speed, fiber will win, but speed is a diminishing return. For everyone who gushes over the importance of speed I need only point the finger at the huge popularity of the “Short Message Service” on mobile phones which is probably the slowest and highest price bandwidth (per byte) of any modern electronic communications system. SMS is popular and still growing because it is [A] low fixed (per month) cost, [B] always available and [C] portable and convenient.

    To anyone who wants to say that huge bandwidth for home movies and multimedia is the future, I just point at Foxtel cable, Optus cable and Bigpond cable all of which have been plugging like crazy to get Australian subscribers to sign up for movies at a monthly price of somewhere round the $80 mark (often with various combinations of pay-TV and Internet). People are reluctant to pay that much for entertainment, and those who want it mostly already have it from one subscriber or another. The only unsaturated areas are out on the fringes of cities and in rural areas where low population density makes it difficult to turn a profit on a cable network (and most of them get satellite Internet & satellite TV anyhow).

    However, now that Australian balance of power has fallen into the hands of three independents all from rural electorates, I’m sure they will be shaking hard to extract every penny they can do in three years — including plenty of Internet for country folks, paid for by city folks who already have perfectly good Internet. This has nothing to do with technical merits, they will take the most expensive option because it’s someone else’s money.

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    Mark D.

    Right Tel, I should have added “performance” there. I certainly wasn’t commenting on whether the fiber project was WORTH the price or really “needed” either. 56K modems used to work just fine…….

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    Mark

    Tel:

    I will not disagree that wireless is inferior to fibre. My reservations are more the way this current bunch does things. Sometimes we might have to settle for things not quite as good but affordable. 40 odd gigabucks could fix up a lot of creaky infrastructure in this country.

    Hell, in a few years the bloody thing will be sold off for peanuts to some private group. The taxpayers will be left to continue to pay it off and as well get shafted by the new owners. I’d like to think you are right about possible savings, it would assuage my fears considerably.

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    MadJak

    Mark,

    No arguments form me WRT not trusting the wunch bunch to roll it out. Again I state Fibre to the Home can be done a lot cheaper than $43B. Just the extra infrastructure costs for the major cities is enough to pay for it. No arguments regarding a full ROI being required either.

    BTW – IMHO- most media commentary on technology is about as useless and ill informed as media commentary on AGW. It begs the question if people were that good at predicting technology, why aren’t they in the industry.

    And even the most best informed people get it wrong -examples (none are exact quotes, but enough to give the idea):

    IBM CEO – early 1960s(?) – “I can see a need for one, maybe two computers worldwide”
    DEC CEO -early 1980s – “I can’tsee this Personal Computer thing taking off”
    Bill Gates – “640KB of base Memory should be sufficient for a PC”
    Myself 1980s – “wow, 64KB of ram, thats twice what it took to put man on the moon – I’ll never need more than that”

    The point with FTTH is that Fibre is a proven technology which still hasn’t been exploited to it’s full potential. It’s going to be a long time before we have a reliable alternative which communicates faster than the speed of light. Wireless is useful for some situations, but to rely on it or of it’s promise is really bad form -particularly considering it has built in limitations from the start.

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    Tel

    56K modems used to work just fine…

    Used to?? Lots of people still use dialup modems. It’s a handy backup system for remote unmanned industrial sites when other comms might go down (better to have slow access than none at all and your fastest alternative communication is probably someone driving for two days). It’s popular with people who don’t have a lot of budget to spend (you can get a dialup account for approx $10 per month, with no quota, fine for downloading emails, checking news, weather and a few stock prices).

    When you pull into a petrol station and do that EFTPOS transaction — off it goes over dialup , which is plenty fast enough to say, “Account number blah spent $50 on petrol” plus a few security tokens to prove it’s legit.

    Plenty of applications for low-bandwidth comms, don’t knock dialup.

    The point with FTTH is that Fibre is a proven technology which still hasn’t been exploited to it’s full potential. It’s going to be a long time before we have a reliable alternative which communicates faster than the speed of light. Wireless is useful for some situations, but to rely on it or of it’s promise is really bad form -particularly considering it has built in limitations from the start.

    Of course, in terms of wave propagation, wireless communicates just a bit faster than optical fiber but both are bounded by the speed of light. In terms of bandwidth density wireless does not have any “built-in” limitations, if you want higher bandwidth density your options are:

    [1] Buy more spectrum (price controlled by government auction).
    [2] Build more towers and be careful with power management.
    [3] Do clever things with your antenna shapes (like building more towers but put the effort into the antenna rather than the tower).
    [4] Be extra-clever and switch to phased array antenna (e.g. iBurst, which can construct virtual cells where and when they are required).

    There is no real fundamental limitation to [4] even within a given spectrum space but each virtual cell consumes some processing power (i.e. more equipment) and currently Raytheon owns the patents (which won’t be the situation forever). Options for [1] keep expanding as higher frequencies become more viable and also as low-value users get kicked off (it’s a cruel world). CSIRO’s now famous wireless LAN patents may end up biting the mobile phone carriers (depending on lawyers arguing over “wireless LAN”) but this too is temporary, and at least in Australia some government deal would no doubt be possible.

    But I get back to the basic point, the real limitation on bandwidth is that people don’t want to pay for it… and all those who do want to pay for it, already are.

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