JoNova

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The DRAFT(?) petition the Convoy will carry to Canberra is available

UPDATE #2

The final petition will be released NEXT WEEK. Thanks to commenters for feedback here, it’s been very useful and passed on to all the people that matter. It’s been decided that the petition will be redone. The preferential voting point has been dropped and I think the rest of the petition will be carefully reconsidered too. Time is short, so that’s a shame, but Mick Pattel wants to do this properly. And oh my goodness, but the plans for this Convoy are becoming bigger than Ben Hur. You should hear behind the scenes! They are looking for 4 or 5 ovals in some towns in order to accommodate the trucks and cars and caravans… HUGE! — Jo

The Convoy to Canberra protest is generating a massive response. Organizers have been astounded at the number of cars and trucks joining in. Gobsmacked!  It is shaping up to be a historic event! Remember, even if you can’t drive the whole way, you can show you support and join the convoy just for an hour, especially at the start to send them on their way! :-)

The cover of the petition is copied below for people to read. Please download the full copy, print off and distribute [or if you are not happy with it, go to the just grounds site and ask to change it, like I did].

The petition is to be given to the convoy leaders of the Coalition of Industries Convoy of No Confidence in the Federal Government. It must have real signatures – the future is in your hands now.”

Download the full petition here.

Post or give to the Convoy Leaders.

The home site for the Convoy is Just Grounds.

03/08/2011 update: Due to high demand – for those people who are not members of Just grounds Community and still wishing to RSVP for the Convoy – please email  the following only;

Your name;

Your Convoy route;

Number of people  / or vehicles;

For example; Cate Stuart, Convoy number 1, 2 people, travelling in a truck

Email your rsvp to tullochard@bigpond.com please insert in the subject box “Convoy RSVP

UPDATE:

I’ve added DRAFT to the title! I hope we can tighten this up! Sigh, Yes, this was posted in a hurry for discussion, half-read, as I left to speak tonight, clearly it would be better with a rewrite. In the 2 minutes I had to spare after reading Brookes comment #2 (thanks John) I posted this comment at Just Grounds: “Can we drop part 4 of the petition! We don’t need to conflate different issues. Preferential voting is not to blame here. If the media had grilled Oakshott and Windsor and the Greens — people could have voted more accurately.”

The problem is the lack of real media scrutiny, not the voting system. When politicians lie, no voting system works.

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272 comments to The DRAFT(?) petition the Convoy will carry to Canberra is available

  • #
    brc

    So – if we can’t join the convoy, are we supposed to download the petition, print it and send it somewhere? Instructions are a bit unclear?

    00

  • #
    John Brookes

    You are attacking preferential voting? You’ve got to be kidding.

    00

  • #
    Police_state

    Well it’s good stuff – no preferential voting hey – the totalitarian rump of the sceptics movement aka The Tea Party and Hansonite old guard now lecturing our governor-general what to do. What anti-democratic fascists [snip... preposterous name-calling from anonymous cowards is only left on display here to show how desperate someone is to stop this movement.]

    00

  • #
    Adam Smith

    There’s a mistake in the first paragraph. Government’s don’t pass legislation,the Parliament passes legislation. Also, the current government is not a coalition government, as only Labor MPs have ministries, hence it is a minority-Labor Government.

    There is a problem with Point 2, because what the Parliament will pass isn’t a tax, it is an Emissions Trading Scheme where the Government sells permits, initially at a fixed price and then from July 1, 2015 at a semi-market price (I write “semi” because there will be low and high limits to the price.)

    Point 4 is mistaken, because the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters reviews every election, including the voting method. I believe that a dissenting proposal in the current report is to introduce optional preferential voting (what in the recent (rejected) UK referendum was called the “alternate vote”.

    The bottom section contains mistakes as well. There is only a “Liberal National Party” in Queensland. In the other states they are separate parties that aren’t necessarily in coalition with each other, e.g. S.A. In fact, the 1 W.A. National MP is not part of the federal coalition, he sits on the cross bench and does not attend National partyroom meetings.

    Asking the Governor General to dissolve parliament is akin to asking Australia to be turned into a dictatorship. The G.G. can only dissolve parliament on the advice of the Prime Minister, which they can only reject in extremely limited circumstances.

    So in summary, this petition demonstrates an astonishing lack of understanding of how Australia’s system of government has worked for 110 years and is essentially based on the assertion that any minority Labor government is invalid, even though if the Coalition was currently in power, it too would be a minority government.

    00

  • #
    The Black Adder

    Adam Smith at #3.

    There’s a mistake in your first paragraph…..

    “There will be no Carbon Tax under a Government I lead ! ”

    Duhhh…..

    00

  • #
    Wayne, s. Job

    Adam Smith, it matters not if these people have a lessor understanding than your self of the system.

    If you have any understanding of the Australian common sense it is as the film the castle depicted it is the vibe. This government are totally un Australian in their thinking and actions and that is why so many citizens are prepared to march on the capital.

    This mob in power have threatened business leaders and now newspapers with retribution, they are a disgrace to Australia.

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  • #
    Adam Smith

    Adam Smith, it matters not if these people have a lessor understanding than your self of the system.

    Well it does actually because Australia is a constitutional democracy that operates based on rules and laws, and not at on the whims of public opinion.

    If you have any understanding of the Australian common sense it is as the film the castle depicted it is the vibe.

    The Castle is a FICTION film, it may be nice to see the Kerigan’s win their High Court case, but that has nothing to do with the fact that Labor currently has confidence on the floor of the House of Representatives, and is thus the duly elected government.

    This government are totally un Australian in their thinking and actions and that is why so many citizens are prepared to march on the capital.

    OK, so you just asserted what you think is “un-Australian”, now explain to us what you think “Australian” means?

    This mob in power have threatened business leaders and now newspapers with retribution, they are a disgrace to Australia.

    They are the democratically elected government. I defend the right of peaceful protestors to campaign against the government, but that doesn’t mean there should be another election (at a cost of $150 million) every time a mob protests against the government.

    00

  • #

    I wish you the best of luck with your endeavors. I would have done it a bit different in that I would have focused on a single issue, thereby not diluting the strength of the message (the opposition will merely try to drive a wedge in the front by exploiting differences between the different grievances).

    God Speed – Australia may be the last haven for democracy since the northern hemisphere seems hell bent on socialism.

    00

  • #
    Adam Smith

    God Speed – Australia may be the last haven for democracy since the northern hemisphere seems hell bent on socialism.

    Which northern hemisphere countries have recently embraced socialism?

    00

  • #
    Wayne, s. Job

    Further to the previous comment, being old, precariously so, until recently I had no knowledge of computers. I then found Apple and lo and behold even an idiot such as myself can operate a computer.
    Then I found the web this is the first time in history that events and ideas can be a world wide instant thing. To get back on subject it is also the first time in history that people can find the truth.

    Politicians can no longer hide behind a wall of secrecy spin and deceit for a long enough period for people to forget their indiscretions. Thus they are in a bind as the lies do not work for the spread is too wide.

    The internet must be kept free of government for it is the last freedom of speech we have and a real true form of democracy. The NBN is the control of the internet by government that will fail with new wire less technology. They are so early twentieth century spin and lies that people are laughing at them and hold them in contempt. Thus in my later years I join a protest like the hippies of my youth and go with out comforts or a shower for an undisclosed period to show my lack of confidence.

    It is getting serious and our country is in peril of control by stupid, this will end in tears unless we end it soon.

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  • #
    Adam Smith

    To get back on subject it is also the first time in history that people can find the truth.

    Well, I think this is a bit of exaggeration. Important institutions such as public libraries, public schools, universities (with fair fees), the printing press have all helped the general public become better informed well before computers were affordable.

    The NBN is the control of the internet by government that will fail with new wire less technology.

    Untrue. The NBN is owned by NBN Co. which initially will have all its shares owned by the government, but after that it will be privatised.

    Consider this though, at the moment most people’s internet connections pass at some point through Telstra’s network, which has a virtual monopoly over land-line access.

    If you are so worried about a government monopoly owning the NBN, why aren’t you worried also about a private monopoly owning the copper phone network?

    It is getting serious and our country is in peril of control by stupid, this will end in tears unless we end it soon.

    No, Australia is a robust democracy that has lasted as a federation for 110 years, and shows no signs of collapsing at all.

    Your hatred of the current government is clouding your judgement of Australia’s strong democratic traditions.

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  • #

    Adam Smith @7 – Recently? The Good ole USA. Nationalization of 18% of the private sector is socialism, regardless on how you couch the euphamisms.

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  • #
    Wayne, s. Job

    Adam Smith
    If you do not understand what it means to be Australian you do not understand freedom and the implications of freedom. When the government tells oldies like me to take a dog to bed to keep warm, that is the worst form of government. Turn off the lights the heating and take a dog or two to bed ,you idiot, you support this mob. Public opinion is around 70% against their BS as is the polls it is too hard for you to understand that they are public servants elected to represent the people. They lied for god sake to get into government.

    Then are trying to screw us, what part of most people are p@ssed off don’t you understand.

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  • #
    theRealUniverse

    I wont be distributing much as there are Green energy ludites near where I work!
    Bit will it achieve the result? We would hope so. So many of these things end up in the waste basket of history which is where this Labor Gov should end up! Good luck to the convoy!

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  • #
    Pete H

    John Brookes:
    August 4th, 2011 at 8:11 pm
    “You are attacking preferential voting? You’ve got to be kidding.”

    Just possibly the Australian voters are objecting to their Premier lying to them. Remember her doing that Brookes? I guess you are in some safe job and not a farmer or coal miner or anyone of the other people in industries about to be farmed out to Asia etc!

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  • #
    Pete H

    John Brookes:
    August 4th, 2011 at 8:11 pm
    “You are attacking preferential voting? You’ve got to be kidding.”

    Just possibly the Australian voters are objecting to their Premier lying to them. Remember her doing that Brookes? I guess you are in some safe job and not a farmer or coal miner or anyone of the other people in industries about to be farmed out to Asia etc!

    Sorry Mods, slight slip on my email address!

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  • #
    incoherent rambler

    JB preferential voting sucks and compulsory voting is worse.

    If someone cannot be bothered to vote, fine. They represent a donkey vote.
    Optional preferences would be marginally better, i.e. if I cannot have my chosen candidate then I get a second choice.
    But the usual case is that I do not want ANY of the candidates other than my choice. Majority rule is corrupted by preferential voting. It often elects the person with the least primary votes. Insane!

    The 30% primary vote that the ALP currently gets would change to 10% without compulsory voting. Removal of preferential voting would see the removal of green scourge.

    10

  • #
    memoryvault

    It is truly sad to see the organisers of this rally are not prepared to learn form those us who were doing the same things twenty years ago – with better results.

    A pointless, unenforceable petition ultimately means a pointless rally.

    It is a pity that so many good people are going to expend so much energy to accomplish absolutely nothing at all.

    And it could have been so much better.

    00

  • #

    I must say I agree with the thrust of much of what Adam Smith has said, (though there are a couple of mistakes of his own).

    The petition reads like someone with some legal experience has written it, but it is very amateurish bordering on embarassing.

    This pettition should be immediately withdrawn and rewritten. There is time as I assume most of the signatures will be gathered along the route to Canberra.

    Adam, the petitioners are not asking the GG anything. They are asking parliament to ask the GG. This is not dictatorship, unless one believes 1977 was a year of dictatorship in Australia.
    It is not only the Prime Minister who can ask the GG to dissolve parliament, afterall, it wasn’t Gough Whitlam who asked GG Kerr in 77, it was opposition leader Fraser ‘after a vote of no confidence’ triggered by the ‘Labor’ senator planted by the Queensland Premier.

    00

  • #
    MattB

    You forgot to complain about the MRRT.

    00

  • #
    Joe V.

    Adam @ #8

    Which northern hemisphere countries have recently embraced socialism?

    Socialism is already locked in to the system in Europe.
    The UK last year kicked out Labour, only to end up with Carbon Cameron and his Liberal poodles , in a ConDemocratic coalition that panders to the unelected EU.
    So while the people may not have embraced it, Socialiam is rather Embracing them, though I think Monckton has another word for it.

    Speed – Australia may be the last haven for democracy since the northern hemisphere seems hell bent on socialism.
    Which northern hemisphere countries have recently embraced socialism?mbracing’ them the proletariat didn’t embrace it,

    00

  • #
    Police_state

    The sceptic movement needs to position itself carefully. Alignment at rallies with the Australian Tea Party movement is nothing short of disturbing. [Only to those who want big-government :-) ]. And those who are winging their way to Canberra in convoys should not think they have a monopoly on patriotism or concern for this country. Don’t think that others of us may have some investment in those country cenotaphs.

    When you are denied a free and fair vote every 3 years – it is then time to get the guns out. Until then suck it up – we have our democratic rules and traditions and what you voted for.

    [What we voted for was No Carbon Tax. And people in Oakshott and Windsors electorates voted for a conservative. -- JN]

    00

  • #
    Norma

    Excited when I read the story, terribly disappointed when I read the petition.
    Keep it simple – carbon tax only. The other bits are a distraction.
    And regarding the double dissolution, the requirements for a double are very restrictive, and I’m pretty sure the GG would not have the power to order one. Check Antony Green’s site.
    Try again, please?

    00

  • #
    Adam Smith

    Adam Smith @7 – Recently? The Good ole USA. Nationalization of 18% of the private sector is socialism, regardless on how you couch the euphamisms.

    This makes no sense. Federal government spending as a proportion of GDP in the U.S. is 23%. That’s a couple of percent higher than the long term average, but doesn’t count as socialism.

    00

  • #
    Adam Smith

    If you do not understand what it means to be Australian you do not understand freedom and the implications of freedom.

    So you are unable to define what “Australian” means, because other countries like the U.S. and the U.K. believe in “freedom” too.

    Again, what does it mean to be “Australian”, because saying it means “freedom” is too broad.

    When the government tells oldies like me to take a dog to bed to keep warm, that is the worst form of government.

    I’ve never heard the government say this, but hey I’m sure you can back up your claim with a reference.

    Public opinion is around 70% against their BS as is the polls

    Again, you are misguided in thinking that Governments should simply do what is popular. If that was the case, Australia would still have a protected economy with high tariffs, a regulated banking sector, a fixed currency, the government would still own Qantas, Telstra, and the Commonwealth Bank, and our economy would have higher unemployment, lower growth and higher inflation.

    00

  • #
    Adam Smith

    I guess you are in some safe job and not a farmer or coal miner or anyone of the other people in industries about to be farmed out to Asia etc!

    Um, explain how the Australian coal industry can be exported to Asia without digging the coal up and selling it to countries in Asia?

    00

  • #
    Adam Smith

    JB preferential voting sucks and compulsory voting is worse.

    I believe that we should use optional preferential voting in federal elections, as they do in NSW and QLD state elections.

    To be absolutely correct, we don’t have compulsory voting, we have compulsory *attendance*, there is no law against leaving the ballot paper blank, and no way to police it.

    If someone cannot be bothered to vote, fine. They represent a donkey vote.

    I don’t know what you mean. If someone doesn’t vote, then their vote isn’t counted.

    Optional preferences would be marginally better, i.e. if I cannot have my chosen candidate then I get a second choice.

    I agree with this, if the voter doesn’t want to give a candidate any preference they shouldn’t have to.

    Majority rule is corrupted by preferential voting. It often elects the person with the least primary votes. Insane!

    Be careful confusing democracy and majority rule, they mean different things. Although we elect MPs based on who gets the most votes, democracy doesn’t simply mean doing whatever the majority wants at the expense of the minority, that’s majoritarianism. Democracy means that both majority and minority opinions are respected, that’s why we have an Opposition that in parliament gets to speak for as long on every debate as the Government.

    The 30% primary vote that the ALP currently gets would change to 10% without compulsory voting.

    Do you have any evidence for this claim?

    00

  • #
    Joe V.

    Adam Smith is dead right. The Petition needs to be constructed with the help of someone experienced in such matters, to avoid the Govt. dismissing it on a technicality.
    While the real power of this convoy is in mobilising grass roots support and enthusiasm & in putting the wind up ALP pollies in marginal seats, if the petition isn’t coherent, consistent & constructed to achieve a clear purpose, then the pollies will use it to divide & splinter the whole movement.

    How many protests have self destructed , when asked:- well what is it you want.

    I believe Jo may know someone with experience of petitioning parliaments.

    00

  • #
    Adam Smith

    Adam, the petitioners are not asking the GG anything. They are asking parliament to ask the GG.

    The parliament has no authority to ask the G.G. to dissolve parliament. The G.G. can dissolve the Parliament ON THE ADVICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER. That’s it. The Parliament can pass as many motions asking the G.G. to dissolve the Parliament, but they will all be ignored because the Parliament simply has no authority to request elections.

    Therefore the request in the petition is a load of nonsense.

    It is not only the Prime Minister who can ask the GG to dissolve parliament,

    This is wrong. Only the P.M. can ask the G.G. to dissolve parliament.

    afterall, it wasn’t Gough Whitlam who asked GG Kerr in 77, it was opposition leader Fraser ‘after a vote of no confidence’ triggered by the ‘Labor’ senator planted by the Queensland Premier.

    You need to re-read your history of the dismissal. On November 11, 1975, the Governor General sacked the Prime Minister, and thus along with it all of the Labor ministers, he then appointed Malcolm Fraser Prime Minister, and Fraser then used the Double Dissolution trigger bills accumulated during the period that Whitlam was P.M. to ask the G.G. to dissolve parliament, which he did. In fact, Fraser LOST a motion of no confidence in the House of Representatives, but instead of resigning (which is what a PM should do in that circumstance) he went to the G.G. and requested an election which was granted!

    And your assertion that there was a confidence motion in the Senate is completely wrong, because governments are formed in the House of Representatives! The Senate can’t perform a vote of no confidence on a Government, because the Senate has no role in determining who has confidence on the floor of the House of Representatives.

    So again, your history is wrong and your understanding of the conventions of our system of government are wrong. The parliament can only be dissolved when the P.M. requests the G.G. do so. The Parliament has nothing to do with it.

    00

  • #

    All my sympathies are with the protestors. I loathe this government. But it would be wise to consider all the points made by Adam Smith. Please give more thought to the petition’s complaints and demands: the garbled verbiage of point #3 (re the media), the accusation of a “failure to examine” our electoral system, and the dangerous request to the GG to dissolve parliament on her personal assessment of national mood, rather than acting on advice from a legitimate PM. A government has been formed. It’s woeful, but it’s our government.

    I know that calling a tax by another name – excise, permit, levy etc – doesn’t make it less of a tax. And of course I’m not convinced by Adam Smith’s smoothe-and-soothe wordplay on that subject. We need to scream down this carbon dioxide tax. But the guy is doing us a favour by forewarning us of the likely responses. These people who are so awful at governing and managing are great at pettifogging and spinning. It’s what they’ve done all their lives. Don’t try to match them in that area. Let’s just get in their faces with a peaceful but unforgettable protest.

    00

  • #
    Adam Smith

    Speed – Australia may be the last haven for democracy since the northern hemisphere seems hell bent on socialism.
    Which northern hemisphere countries have recently embraced socialism?mbracing’ them the proletariat didn’t embrace it,

    What a load of crap. Maybe you should go to North Korea or Cuba, or Laos and have a look at what socialism is actually like?

    Your mock outrage simply ignores the plight of all the people who actually do suffer under socialist tyrannical governments. Your problem is you take all the freedoms you enjoy every day for granted.

    00

  • #
    Adam Smith

    I know that calling a tax by another name – excise, permit, levy etc – doesn’t make it less of a tax. And of course I’m not convinced by Adam Smith’s smoothe-and-soothe wordplay on that subject.

    There is an extremely important difference between a carbon tax and the government’s actual policy of an ETS, and that is the government sells permits which become the property of the company that buys them.

    If a new government wanted to shut down the ETS, it would have to compensate all companies for all the ETS permits they have bought, and – according to the constitution – it would have to do it “on just terms”. In practice that would mean handing out about $7.5 billion to the biggest polluting companies to get the permits back. The only way to do that would be to increase other taxes or borrow money, which are both politically unpalatable options.

    For this reason, once the ETS passes the parliament later this year, no government will ever repeal it, because doing so would require handing out billions worth of compensation.

    Of course I understand why the Opposition is calling the ETS “a carbon tax”, because nearly everyone hates taxes. But it is important to understand that since the government’s policy is an ETS, it makes it almost impossible for it to ever be repealed, and certainly it couldn’t be repealed until early 2015 at the earliest. But then people will be sick to death of hearing about the carbon price and about ten million people will simply be enjoying the fact that the first ~$21,000 of their income will be tax free.

    00

  • #
    LOL in Oregon

    Ok, I’ll bite:
    who are the sock puppets “Adam Smith” (and friends) who seem to seek to sow confusion?

    There seem to be entirely too many, rapid fire posts as if the person was being paid to muddy things up. In my view, their “comments” are not “incorrect” but they aren’t useful or helpful,
    nor do they seem to under stand real people.

    Must be a newbie provocateur,
    don’t worry, the bosses will make sure the person gets experience
    as they try to figure out how to use this newfangled thing – “the internet”.

    00

  • #
    george

    Norma @ 23
    You said

    “Excited when I read the story, terribly disappointed when I read the petition.
    Keep it simple – carbon tax only. The other bits are a distraction.”

    Touche.
    As an unashamedly right-of-centre dude I have to agree with JB and AS, on balance.
    This ought to be about the carbon (dioxide) tax, the nonsensical machinations behind same, and nothing else – I cringed when I read the “petition”, too much One Nation/Pauline/redneck LCD memories.
    Very embarassing and extremely unhelpful – the basic cause is just, however the peripherals as stated in the petition are rather irrelevant.
    This should be a conceptual/thematic undertaking, not one related to matters constitutional.
    And I do recall one R.S.Courtney stating in these hallowed halls that his stance on the subject matter is not at all related to personal political inclinations…

    AS @ 32

    “the first ~$21,000 of their income will be tax free.”

    Not so fast…wait until the increasing clean-green-renewables bills start biting ;)

    00

  • #

    Adam Smith, thank you for explaining how what appears to be a mere destructive tax is an ineradicable destructive tax. I’m assuming “actual policy of an ETS” involves forking out money to government and not getting specifically priced goods or services in return. Where I come from, that’s a tax. Call me shallow.

    00

  • #

    I’ve added DRAFT to the post title. (My wishful thinking possibly).

    I hope we can tighten this up! Sigh, Yes, this petition was emailed to me 10 minutes before I had to leave tonight to speak. I posted in a hurry for discussion, half-read. Clearly it would be better with a rewrite. In the 2 minutes I had to spare after reading Brookes comment #2 (thanks John) I posted this comment at Just Grounds: “Can we drop part 4 of the petition! We don’t need to conflate different issues. Preferential voting is not to blame here. If the media had grilled Oakshott and Windsor and the Greens — people could have voted more accurately.”

    The problem is the lack of real media scrutiny, not the voting system. When politicians lie, no voting system works.

    So Norma, Baa Humbug, PhilJourdan: I agree with you. Thanks to Adam and others for proof reading assistance ;-) . I’ve emailed those I know who are connected with the organizers to ask them to rewrite it. Memoryvault – you are too hard, you know most of the benefit of this convoy is in the media sensation it could potentially be, and the pressure it adds for ALP members to fix their own party. A slightly clumsy petition is not going to change that, but it would be better if we could sharpen it up.

    But hey, it’s proof we are the true grassroots eclectic collection that we are.

    00

  • #

    There is an extremely important difference between a carbon tax and the government’s actual policy of an ETS, and that is the government sells permits which become the property of the company that buys them.

    If a new government wanted to shut down the ETS, it would have to compensate all companies for all the ETS permits they have bought, and – according to the constitution – it would have to do it “on just terms”. In practice that would mean handing out about $7.5 billion to the biggest polluting companies to get the permits back. The only way to do that would be to increase other taxes or borrow money, which are both politically unpalatable options.

    For this reason, once the ETS passes the parliament later this year, no government will ever repeal it, because doing so would require handing out billions worth of compensation.

    Exactly: Stage 1 — the TAX — is awful, and the trading scheme that’s coming is so much worse. That’s why we have to get rid of it at the tax level, before it hits the billion dollar compo payments.

    The giant financial houses of the world know that they will have won if they succeed in getting the trading scheme. They make money on every deal, buy or sell, as the brokers, and even if the govt changes it’s mind, big financial players will make money for nothing as well.

    Greens are being the useful idiots for the true power game in town. If only they knew.
    My posts on exactly this point:

    Climate money: Bigger money moves in

    Sub-prime carbon is coming

    Tax versus Trade

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  • #

    Adam Smith:
    August 5th, 2011 at 12:10 am
    This makes no sense. Federal government spending as a proportion of GDP in the U.S. is 23%. That’s a couple of percent higher than the long term average, but doesn’t count as socialism.

    NATIONALIZING Private enterprise is the definition of socialism. Your response makes no sense. The government took over 2 of the big 3 Auto Companies, Several of the Largest Banks, and the health Insurance industry (I only counted the latter in the 18%). Control does not mean spending. As the spending will be off the books for the moment. You either are woefully ignorant of the USA, or are deliberately being obtuse as to what is socialism. In either case, either educate yourself or find your own strawman. The facts as I have presented are a matter of public record, and therefore easily obtainable to anyone doing even a rudimentary search of the web or government records.

    And your figures are off. It is over 26% (and growing).

    00

  • #

    Adam Smith:
    August 5th, 2011 at 12:33 am
    What a load of crap. Maybe you should go to North Korea or Cuba, or Laos and have a look at what socialism is actually like?

    Your answer is stupid. You are saying that no one can be hot “because it is hotter in Libya”. That is just plain stupid. The countries you mention call themselves socialist, but totalitarian dictatorships is more like it (and perhaps you meant the eventual destination of socialism).

    Your mock outrage simply ignores the plight of all the people who actually do suffer under socialist tyrannical governments. Your problem is you take all the freedoms you enjoy every day for granted.

    Your histrionics mock the loss of freedom every one faces. Your answers are ridiculous. Just because I have a carrot does not pre-empt anyone else from having a carrot, but by your logic, it must be so.

    No one that I have read here has stated that all socialist nations are tinpot dictatorships. Perhaps you should learn the difference.

    00

  • #
    Kneel 8250

    24Adam Smith:
    August 5th, 2011 at 12:10 am

    This makes no sense. Federal government spending as a proportion of GDP in the U.S. is 23%. That’s a couple of percent higher than the long term average, but doesn’t count as socialism.

    US Federal Government spending as a portion of GDP has traditionally been 16% to 18%. Under the current Administration it is 26%.
    That is more than a couple of percent in anyone’s language.

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    Joe V.

    Adam Smith @ 31
    Yes, that what you quote was a load of extraneous text, that somehow attached itself to the end of my post at #21.
    It was the residue from some cut & paste that I hadn’t deleted.
    I tried to use the preview before posting, but I’m still all thumbs with this IPhone thingy.
    Sorry for letting it distract from the substance of my comment preceding it @#21.

    I take your point too that referring to the EUSSR as Socialism does a great disservice to those who really have & are suffering under socialism.
    I believe people apply it to the EU as a portent of what’s to come if we don’t wake up though.
    Vaclav Klauss who did suffer under Soviet socialism (though perhaps not as those in Cambodia) draws parallels with that system and what he sees in the EU , while taking pains to avoid cheap comparisons, which I think is what you’re alluding to.

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    Bob Malloy

    Jo, Im not looking for an argument here, however your comment at the bottom of Police States post @22,

    “What we voted for was No Carbon Tax. And people in Oakshott and Windsors electorates voted for a conservative. — JN”

    Agreed the majority voted for parties that excluded a carbon tax in their platform, I have no knowledge of how open Windsor was in his electorate about supporting a price on carbon, however the people in “LYNE” are mostly conservative voters and must have been asleep or just too lazy to ask questions not to know Oakshots stance on pricing carbon.

    From a 2010 post by yourself:

    Mr OAKESHOTT, Federal Independent Member for Lyne (Port Macquarie NSW), on 27 May in the Australian Parliament, talked about the failure of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. He couldn’t criticize anything we skeptics have said, so he went for the evidence-free ad hominem (copied from the Hansard record of Parliament):

    “I take this opportunity to raise the issue of the smoking guns that I have seen over the last six months. I smelt a rat in the shift that I saw and what looked to be—to their credit—a very well organised and very well-funded campaign from the likes of JoNova and Viv Forbes.”

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    Jo@37…

    Preferential Voting in itself is not wrong and in fact it gives people more chance to get their opinion heard.

    On the site, Just Grounds, we have fought many inequities; the banning of live exports, the carbon dioxide tax, property rights especially the cases of Peter Spencer and the Thompsons.

    In Australia we have two major party blocs – for argument’s sake here, let’s call them A and B. Let’s then say that my bonnet bee is the “Ill-treatment of Daisies In outlying territories (IDIOT).” I can form a group called the idiots.

    I can then gain signatures from other like minded people and get myself a voting group.

    At a By-election or a General Election, with the preferential voting system, I can say to my fellow IDIOTs, cast your first vote for me and then your second vote for whomever, say party A or Party B.

    It’s a very big chance that the IDIOT group won’t get a representative voted in, but there is a record of the interest in Daisies and that person’s vote is still counted in the democratic process.

    The trouble with Preferential voting, is the lack of understanding of the voting public. No-one has to follow a party’s How-to-vote card.

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    memoryvault

    Jo Nova @ 36

    Memoryvault – you are too hard, you know most of the benefit of this convoy is in the media sensation it could potentially be, and the pressure it adds for ALP members to fix their own party.

    Okay, let us take it from the top. With the petition the way it is, the only “media sensation” is going to be buckets of ridicule. The bigger the rally, the more ridicule. Think of the media’s reaction to Pauline Hanson but on steroids.

    The petition states it is from the National Road Freighters Association. Fine. That means any signatures on it of people who are not members of the National Road Freighters Association are automatically invalid and count for nothing.

    The petition is to the Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives, and ultimately asks that same House and Members to cast a vote of no confidence in themselves. Good luck with that.

    The first point on the petition refers to the temporary banning of the live meat trade to Indonesia. This was a knee-jerk decision made by the Minister for Agriculture, and had nothing to do with Parliament. The absolute most anybody could ask would be for JuLIAR to sack Joe Ludwig as the Minister responsible.

    The third point has something to do with a “media inquiry” though exactly what, I’m not sure. Whatever, since there is no legislation before the House on such a matter, it is pointless petitioning the House (or anybody else) about it.

    The fourth point is basically a complaint about our preferential voting system. Can someone direct me to the public outcry over our current voting system? Somehow I must have missed all media coverage. I, for one, could not sign this petition on this point alone. For all its faults our current system is a whole lot better than some other systems.

    That leaves us with Point 2. For a start it’s not “a carbon tax”. It is various pieces of legislation designed to impose a cost or price structure on the generation of carbon dioxide. Second, there is absolutely no requirement on any government (those with a majority in the House of Representatives) to go to an election over each and every piece of legislation they choose to introduce.

    The ONLY relevant point is that an overwhelming majority of Australians do not want a cost/price structure imposed on the generation of carbon dioxide and that is what the petition should be about.

    It is pointless petitioning the House not to pass the legislation: JuLIAR and the Greens have the numbers in both houses. Anybody who thinks (as Jo does) that somehow “pressure” can be applied to sitting Labor Members to cross the floor and vote against the legislation, simply has no idea how the Australian Labor Party works. Not going to happen – simple as that.

    One cannot simply petition the GG to “dissolve both Houses” and call for new elections. The GG CANNOT simply “dissolve” Parliament – there has to be a trigger. Such a trigger does not exist in this case, nor is it likely to.

    As I have written many times before, a legislative bill passed by both Houses of Parliament nonetheless does not become law until it is granted Royal Assent by the GG. The GG does not have to automatically grant Royal Assent. The GG can also send the legislation back to the Parliament for reconsideration on the grounds that it does not appear to represent the Will of the People.

    The ONLY thing that can be petitioned for in this case is for the GG to withhold Royal Assent on the grounds that the bills relating to cost/price structure on Carbon Dioxide do NOT represent the Will of the People – that is, they do not represent the will of the majority of Australians.

    If enough Australians were to sign a petition to the GG to that effect and hand it over to Abbott, Joyce or somebody in Parliament prepared to present it to the GG on behalf of the Australian people, only one of two things could happen:

    Either the GG would return the legislation to Parliament for a rethink, which effectively means voiding it, or

    The GG would grant the legislation Royal Assent.

    To all intent and purpose this would amount to the Ruling Class (GG and the Parliament) telling the “ruled” (the rest of us) that we no longer have any input into how we are ruled. In effect it would be the same as telling us we have no say in our political system whatsoever.

    I am not sure what would happen after that, but there are countries that have had violent uprisings and the forcible overthrow of governments for less.

    I believe our GG and our Parliament would think long and hard before they decided to effectively tell the Australian people to collectively “go stuff yourself”.

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    1DandyTroll

    OMG don’t be daft to draft a statement without the flying spaghetti monster in the windowsill, you’ll add like a, in round number, take or leave a few, bazillion perfectly unruly kids and teenagers to the procession. Never forget about the only ones that’ll give even the CIA a nightmarish headache. :-p

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    Bob of Castlemaine

    It is essential that the petition follows the KISS principle and emphasises what most people consider as the most fundamental issue, the fact that the 2010 election was stolen by Gillard on the basis of her lies concerning the the carbon dioxide tax. If support for the petition is to be maintained the objective should be stated in simple terms that all can agree to, a request to parliament (aimed at ALP members) to reject the carbon dioxide tax.
    The concept of an Australian Republic had good support in principle but the 1999 referendum was lost essentially because the main question was too detailed. This petition could lose support if it seeks to address too many grievances, no matter how legitimate, against this government.
    In essence if the carbon dioxide tax protest is successful it will be akin to removing a base row card from the precarious stack of cards that is the Gillard government.

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    perturbed

    I agree that #4 needs to go.

    The language of the request in part 2 could be tidied up, but for all of “Adam Smith’s” muddying of the waters, it’s very clear what is being asked – for Gillard to either stand aside and let Abbott have a shot, or go to the GG and request a double dissolution to give her a clear mandate.

    A protest movement may demand whatever it pleases. The Government is at liberty to say yea or nay, but if it says nay when the electorate prefers yea then it shall suffer grievously at the ballot box.

    This government is one by-election away from a fall. Everyone should be encouraged to check that their electoral enrolment is up to date RIGHT NOW. That way at least we can pull GetUp’s fangs and not suddenly have a few hundred thousand vacillating left-wing morons dumped into the mix. This time around we should ensure that they couldn’t say they weren’t warned, and the court can throw their and GetUp’s case out.

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    memoryvault

    The Australian Constitution – Section 58

    When a proposed law passed by both Houses of the Parliament is presented to the Governor-General for the Queen’s assent, he shall declare, according to his discretion, but subject to this Constitution, that he assents in the Queen’s name, or that he withholds assent, or that he reserves the law for the Queen’s pleasure. The Governor-General may return to the house in which it originated any proposed law so presented to him, and may transmit therewith any amendments which he may recommend, and the Houses may deal with the recommendation.

    The only hope for any of this to have any effect at all, is a petition to the GG requesting that the various bills in question NOT be granted Royal Assent based on the fact that they clearly do not represent the Will of the Australian People.

    Evidence of this (which should be stated in the petition) is that in the last federal election 150 “representatives” of the Will of the Australian People were elected to the House of Representatives.

    Of those 150, 147 ran on platforms explicitly excluding any form of imposition on the price of carbon. Only one elected member ran on a platform expressly supporting such an imposition. What two were thinking on the subject (Oakeshott and Windsor) is not clear.

    Therefore 147 out of 150 – 98% – were elected on the basis of NO imposition on the price of carbon. It is therefore abundantly clear that the expressed WILL of the Australian People is NO imposition on the price of carbon.

    The petition MUST be to the GG, and MUST be based on the above for it to have a hope in hell of being anything other than a very expensive publicity stunt.

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    John Brookes

    I think socialism is when society takes responsibility for anything, rather than leave it up to the individual. So the fact that we have a legal system is socialism – as opposed to a private arrangement where people sort out disagreements between themselves. Defence is another socialist ideal, a communal organisiation to defend the country rather than leaving it to individuals.

    By this definition, all nations are socialist, it is simply the degree that varies.

    Of course, if you are commenting on a blog, then all nations that are more socialist than you want them to be are socialist!

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    Adam Smith

    As I have written many times before, a legislative bill passed by both Houses of Parliament nonetheless does not become law until it is granted Royal Assent by the GG. The GG does not have to automatically grant Royal Assent. The GG can also send the legislation back to the Parliament for reconsideration on the grounds that it does not appear to represent the Will of the People.

    This is nonsense. The Governor General gives assent to bills on the advice of Prime Minister! If a Governor General ever refused to give assent to a bill that has been passed in identical form by both houses of parliament, they should be sacked.

    The only hope for any of this to have any effect at all, is a petition to the GG requesting that the various bills in question NOT be granted Royal Assent based on the fact that they clearly do not represent the Will of the Australian People.

    Australia is a representative democracy, if they pass Parliament, then that means the bills represent the will of the Australian people, thus withholding assent would be an affront to Australia’s democracy and system of government that has served us so well for 110 years.

    Evidence of this (which should be stated in the petition) is that in the last federal election 150 “representatives” of the Will of the Australian People were elected to the House of Representatives.

    And those representatives debated and passed a bill to introduce an ETS, hence the will of the people is being observed.

    Of those 150, 147 ran on platforms explicitly excluding any form of imposition on the price of carbon.

    Completely untrue. Gillard conducted an interview with The Australian 2 days before the last election, the opening line of the story is as follows:

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

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/julia-gillards-carbon-price-promise/story-fn59niix-1225907522983

    What two were thinking on the subject (Oakeshott and Windsor) is not clear.

    Oakeshott and Windsor have long supported pricing carbon, and have campaigned on the issue, AND have repeatedly won election with that has part of their policy platforms.

    Therefore 147 out of 150 – 98% – were elected on the basis of NO imposition on the price of carbon. It is therefore abundantly clear that the expressed WILL of the Australian People is NO imposition on the price of carbon.

    This is an absurd way to think about representative democracy. Julie Gillard didn’t campaign on handing over an extra $16 billion over the next ten years on hospitals, but that’s what she announced she would do this week.

    But more to the point, if you want to play this game on what politicians were and weren’t elected on, what about the 16 Coalition Senators elected at the 2007 election that are still in parliament who were elected on a policy platform of introducing an Emissions Trading Scheme? They have already voted against an ETS twice (even after their party leader agreed to support it!) and are set to do so again. Why aren’t you calling on the Governor General to demand that those Senators support the new ETS?

    The petition MUST be to the GG, and MUST be based on the above for it to have a hope in hell of being anything other than a very expensive publicity stunt.

    If anyone tries to petition the Governor General in this way, at best what you will get is a letter saying that the G.G. has no role in the day to day political affairs of the nation, and that if you want certain actions on a particular policy, what you need to do is send a petition to politicians.

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    memoryvault

    Adam Smith @ 50

    This is nonsense. The Governor General gives assent to bills on the advice of Prime Minister! If a Governor General ever refused to give assent to a bill that has been passed in identical form by both houses of parliament, they should be sacked.

    All of your comments regarding the law and the constitution are simply reiterations of what is accepted as “convention” and have NO basis in actual law.

    What the Constitution says on these matters:
    On who LEGALLY appoints (and can therefore “sack” the GG:

    2. A Governor-General appointed by the Queen shall be Her Majesty’s representative in the Commonwealth, and shall have and may exercise in the Commonwealth during the Queen’s pleasure, but subject to this Constitution, such powers and functions of the Queen as Her Majesty may be pleased to assign to him.

    On who is actually the “government and exercises the “power” of government:

    61. The executive power of the Commonwealth is vested in the Queen and is exercisable by the Governor-General as the Queen’s representative, and extends to the execution and maintenance of this Constitution, and of the laws of the Commonwealth.

    On WHO legally appoints who:

    62. There shall be a Federal Executive Council to advise the Governor-General in the government of the Commonwealth, and the members of the Council shall be chosen and summoned by the Governor-General and sworn as Executive Councillors, and shall hold office during his pleasure.

    67. Until the Parliament otherwise provides, the appointment and removal of all other officers of the Executive Government of the Commonwealth shall be vested in the Governor-General in Council, unless the appointment is delegated by the Governor-General in Council or by a law of the Commonwealth to some other authority.

    On WHO decides WHAT:

    5. The Governor-General may appoint such times for holding the sessions of the Parliament as he thinks fit, and may also from time to time, by Proclamation or otherwise, prorogue the Parliament, and may in like manner dissolve the House of Representatives.

    Perhaps Adam, you would like to post some references from the actual Constitution supporting your nonsense that:
    The Prime Minister appoints and can “sack” the GG

    That the GG gives “assent” to bills based on the advice of the PM.

    That there IS actually a position of Prime Minister allowed for in the Australian Constitution.

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    BTW see Carbon Tax Convoy of No Confidence on its way to Canberra I’m going to capture links to what media coverage there is on this to see if the MSN pick up on it or not.

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    Adam Smith

    All of your comments regarding the law and the constitution are simply reiterations of what is accepted as “convention” and have NO basis in actual law.

    The only occasions that the Governor General of Australia has withheld assent to a bill is when THE PRIME MINISTER HAS TOLD TO G.G. to do so!

    What the Constitution says on these matters:
    On who LEGALLY appoints (and can therefore “sack” the GG:

    Dear oh dear! The Queen appoints the Governor General ON THE ADVICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER. If the Prime Minster asked the Queen to revoke the G.G.’s commission, she would do so immediately because SHE ACTS ON THE ADVICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER!

    On WHO legally appoints who:

    The federal executive council is SELECTED BY THE PRIME MINISTER, who are then appointed by the G.G. based on the P.M.’s recommendation!

    Perhaps Adam, you would like to post some references from the actual Constitution supporting your nonsense that:
    The Prime Minister appoints and can “sack” the GG

    I never made this claim. The Queen appoints the G.G. on the advice of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister can sack the G.G. simply by telling the Queen to end the G.G.’s commission. Here is Quentin Bryce’s commission, which at the bottom isn’t signed by the Queen at all, it is SIGNED BY THE PRIME MINISTER!
    http://www.gg.gov.au/content.php/page/id/14/title/commission

    That the GG gives “assent” to bills based on the advice of the PM.

    Correct! That is how our system has worked for 110 years. In fact, if the parliament passed a bill that, for whatever reason, the Government didn’t want to become law, the PM could simply refuse to pass on the bill to the G.G., so it couldn’t receive royal assent, of course this would be an extremely risky thing for a PM to do, because it would be rejecting the will of the parliament.

    That there IS actually a position of Prime Minister allowed for in the Australian Constitution.

    Well it depends on what you mean by “allowed for”. The Constitution doesn’t say there is a Prime Minister, but it doesn’t say there can’t be a Prime Minister.

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    J Knowles

    It would be quite possible these days to have on-line referendae. The wording would have to be concise and to the point but it would be cheap and might steer our so-called “elected representatives” back on track. Most people have a Tax File Number and access to the internet.
    I agree with the sentiment here that we must not dilute the carbon dioxide tax message.

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    Is it wise to alienate support for the convoy by urging things that are unrealistic, unfocused, or in breach of constitutional convention, or even of the constitution? Adam Smith may well have entered this forum (with a clever nickname to balance off his government leanings and/or connections?) for the purpose of sowing doubt among supporters of the protest. The question for us is: is he right on many points?

    Adam Smith is very prepared and knows how to mix spin with solid argument. I detect a certain professionalism. One could contradict him, but it would be far more valuable to take his valid points, study his spin – especially the well rehearsed juggling of ETS and tax definitions – and thank him for his contribution. He is clever and prepared, and I, for one, do thank him.

    The good news: someone has been at more than usual pains to defuse the convoy support. Someone REALLY doesn’t like the convoy.

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    The format for making a petition to the House of Representatives is found here:

    Standing Committee on Petitions

    http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/petitions/petitions.htm

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    memoryvault

    Adam Smith @ 53

    Remember Adam, we are supposed to be debating the actual law as it is written in the Constitution.

    The only occasions that the Governor General of Australia has withheld assent to a bill is when THE PRIME MINISTER HAS TOLD TO G.G. to do so!

    Show where in the Constitution it states that the GG can only grant or withhold Royal Assent on the PM’s say-so.

    For that matter, show me where in the Constitution this all-powerful position of PM is even defined.

    The federal executive council is SELECTED BY THE PRIME MINISTER, who are then appointed by the G.G. based on the P.M.’s recommendation!

    Again, Adam, the Constitution states that the executive is appointed BY the GG. Section 62 doesn’t even mention a PM

    I never made this claim. The Queen appoints the G.G. on the advice of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister can sack the G.G. simply by telling the Queen to end the G.G.’s commission. Here is Quentin Bryce’s commission, which at the bottom isn’t signed by the Queen at all, it is SIGNED BY THE PRIME MINISTER!

    Again, convention, not law. Show me where in the Constitution there is anything remotely supportive of your statement.

    Or again, show me where there is even a mention of a “PM”.

    As for Quentin Bryce’s Commission, go back and READ it dunderhead. Right at the top it states very clearly and explicitly WHO it is from, and WHO it is to:

    ELIZABETH THE SECOND, by the Grace of God Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth: To Quentin Alice Louise Bryce, Companion of the Order of Australia,

    The second paragraph grants Letters Patent. Are you now going to claim that the PM has the power to do this?

    Finally, look at “who” OFFICIALLY signs it:

    Given at our Court
    at Balmoral Castle
    on 21 August 2008

    By Her Majesty’s Command,

    Are you going to now debate that KRudd has a court at Balmoral Castle?

    Correct! That is how our system has worked for 110 years.

    Conventions Adam, NOT law. No GG has ever refused Royal Assent in the past because the situation as it exists now has never existed before. That is WHY we have a GG and WHY they have what are called “Reserve Powers”.

    Well it depends on what you mean by “allowed for”. The Constitution doesn’t say there is a Prime Minister, but it doesn’t say there can’t be a Prime Minister.

    No, and the Constitution doesn’t say there can’t be a flying spaghetti monster either. Which doesn’t matter a hoot until somebody like you comes along and starts claiming that this non-existent being has the “power” to make and break GG’s, to “demand” that Bills be given Royal Assent, and so on.

    What you have blurted, over and over, have been the “conventions” the “gentlemen’s agreement” by which the system works most of the time.

    However when something happens that doesn’t fit the conventions, then it is back to the rule book.

    That is the situation we could have here – IF the organisers of the rally handle it right.

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    memoryvault

    Mosomoso @ 55

    Is it wise to alienate support for the convoy by urging things that are unrealistic, unfocused, or in breach of constitutional convention, or even of the constitution?

    If the convoy people proceed with the petition in its current form, they will not need any “help” in alienating support.

    As for Adam Smith; if you care to go back to the original “convoy” post on July 28, you will see that for nearly a week his sole purpose here was to try and prevent support for the rally. Having failed at that, he is now working overtime to try and ensure any petition is ineffectual.

    And yes, he is very good at it, and yes, judging from various comments in posts such as yours, he is succeeding.

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    Adam Smith

    It would be quite possible these days to have on-line referendae.

    Bloody hell, hand over your Tax File Number before you can vote, what ABJECT LUNACY!

    We live in a democracy, not a police state!

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    Adam Smith

    Show where in the Constitution it states that the GG can only grant or withhold Royal Assent on the PM’s say-so.

    It doesn’t. It is a Westminster convention that the crown, or the crown’s representative (the G.G.) acts on the advice of the Prime Minister.

    For that matter, show me where in the Constitution this all-powerful position of PM is even defined.

    The PM is not ALL POWERFUL. The PM is PM because they are the leader of the party or parties and independents that has confidence on the floor of the lower house. That is a convention that has served us well for 110 years.

    Again, Adam, the Constitution states that the executive is appointed BY the GG. Section 62 doesn’t even mention a PM

    On the advice of the Prime Minister. The G.G. appoints the PM based on whether or not they have confidence on the floor of the lower house.

    You are so near but so far!

    The second paragraph grants Letters Patent. Are you now going to claim that the PM has the power to do this?

    Never made such a claim. The Queen appoints the G.G. based on whoever the P.M. tells her to appoint. Provide me with an example in our 110 year history of the Queen refusing to appoint someone G.G. that was nominated to the position by the PM.

    As for Quentin Bryce’s Commission, go back and READ it dunderhead. Right at the top it states very clearly and explicitly WHO it is from, and WHO it is to:

    And who signed the document THE PRIME MINISTER!

    Also, you shouldn’t revert to abuse simply because you are wrong.

    Conventions Adam, NOT law. No GG has ever refused Royal Assent in the past because the situation as it exists now has never existed before. That is WHY we have a GG and WHY they have what are called “Reserve Powers”.

    And the G.G. NEVER WILL refuse granting royal assent when directed to do so by the PM. If a G.G. did this, they would be denying the will of the parliament, and thus the will of the Australian people, and the only sane response by the PM would be to sack the G.G. by telling the Queen to end the G.G.’s commission.

    Which doesn’t matter a hoot until somebody like you comes along and starts claiming that this non-existent being has the “power” to make and break GG’s, to “demand” that Bills be given Royal Assent, and so on.

    You’re in a dreamland. The Prime Minister has the power to sack the G.G. Any sane constitutional scholar accepts that fact. The only person that the P.M. can’t sack is the Queen, because the Queen is the crown because the constitution says so.

    However when something happens that doesn’t fit the conventions, then it is back to the rule book.

    You’re astonishing, you are saying the G.G. should become a dictator by refusing to give assent to bills duly passed by the parliament simply because you don’t like that make-up of the Parliament.

    You are pretending to be a democrat, but what you actually want is a dictatorship that defies the will of the parliament and the will of the people, simply to acheive your political objectives.

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    memoryvault

    Adam Smith @ 60

    Conventions, conventions and yet more conventions Adam, and nary a reference to the actual rule book to be found anywhere, so not really worth the effort of going over for a third time. I’ll just stick to your parting shot:

    You’re astonishing, you are saying the G.G. should become a dictator by refusing to give assent to bills duly passed by the parliament simply because you don’t like that make-up of the Parliament.

    Nowhere does the constitution grant the GG the power to “refuse” anything “simply because you don’t like the make-up of the Parliament”.

    Back to where all this started – Section 58 of the Consitution:

    When a proposed law passed by both Houses of the Parliament is presented to the Governor-General for the Queen’s assent, he shall declare, according to his discretion, but subject to this Constitution, that he assents in the Queen’s name, or that he withholds assent, or that he reserves the law for the Queen’s pleasure. The Governor-General may return to the house in which it originated any proposed law so presented to him, and may transmit therewith any amendments which he may recommend, and the Houses may deal with the recommendation.

    The GG is perfectly within her rights to return the Bills to the Parliament with the recommendation that since the legislation does not appear to currently have the support of the majority of Australians, it might be better held-over until the current Parliament had sought a mandate from the people for the proposed legislation – in other words, an election.

    Under the circumstances prevailing at this particular time and in this particular instance, that is, a government attempting to pass overwhelmingly unpopular legislation that the government itself gave an undertaking NOT to pass in the life of the current Parliament, Quentin Bryce would immediately become something of a national hero, and it would be a brave PM indeed who attempted to have her sacked and replaced by someone more cooperative in defying the WILL of the electorate.

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    I don’t know what to make of the Constitution after it was changed by the Australia Act [without a referendum].

    John Howard was even proposing at the last Constitutional referendum that he be allowed to sack the Governor General – the Queens representative by giving him/her three days notice in writing.

    So you ask yourself who is the real head of State?

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    val majkus

    Good on them for doing a petition! I agree with Jo that the gesture is the main thing. I must say when I see the word ‘whereas’ and ‘whereby’ I do tend to shudder. but in this case in my view that is what makes it from the people

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    memoryvault

    Kevin Moore @ 62

    For the purpose of this discussion the Australia Act 1986 is irrelevant.

    In effect it closed a loophole that theoretically allowed the British Parliament to make laws for Australia, and
    Prevented legal appeals from Australia to the Privy Council, and
    Granted to State Premiers some of the powers that Adam Smith keeps trying to claim the PM has in relation to GG: – that is the direct appointment and removal of State Governors, and removal of the power of the state Governor to withhold Assent from legislation.

    Yes, John Howard wanted the power to “sack” a GG. But he didn’t get it, regardless of how much Adam Smith whines to the contrary.

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    Adam Smith

    The GG is perfectly within her rights to return the Bills to the Parliament

    And it will never happen, because the G.G. gives royal assent to bills on the advice of the Prime Minister.

    If a G.G. repeatedly refused to give assent to a bill, the P.M. would sack them by instructing the Queen to revoke the G.G.’s commission. The P.M. would then appoint a new G.G. that would give assent to the bill.

    with the recommendation that since the legislation does not appear to currently have the support of the majority of Australians,

    Fantasy land nonsense! The Parliament represents the people, that is why it has the authority to pass legislation, and is why the G.G. gives royal assent to it.

    it might be better held-over until the current Parliament had sought a mandate from the people for the proposed legislation – in other words, an election.

    The Governor General can not dissolve parliament without the P.M. requesting an election.

    The only circumstance where parliament is dissolved without the P.M. requesting an election is where the parliament lapses due to constitutional reasons, but that has nothing to do with the G.G. dissolving parliament.

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    Adam Smith

    I don’t know what to make of the Constitution after it was changed by the Australia Act [without a referendum].

    The constitution wasn’t changed by the Australia Act. The EFFECT of parts of the constitution was changed by the Australia Act.

    John Howard was even proposing at the last Constitutional referendum that he be allowed to sack the Governor General – the Queens representative by giving him/her three days notice in writing.

    The Prime Minister can sack the Governor General WITHOUT giving any notice, simply by telling the Queen to end the G.G.’s commission.

    So you ask yourself who is the real head of State?

    The Queen of Australia:

    Australia’s Head of State is the Queen of Australia, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

    http://www.dfat.gov.au/protocol/Protocol_Guidelines/15.html#151

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    Adam Smith

    Yes, John Howard wanted the power to “sack” a GG. But he didn’t get it, regardless of how much Adam Smith whines to the contrary.

    You’re completely wrong.

    The G.G. is appointed by the Queen, but the Queen acts on the advice of the PM, hence the G.G. can be sacked simply by the PM directing the Queen to end the G.G.’s commission.

    There is no way that this request would be refused, because that would amount to the Queen meddling in Australia’s political affairs.

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    memoryvault @ 64

    I’ll have to vault over your memory and inform you of facts relating to The Australia Act that negate some arguements here.

    The Australia Act relegated the Monarch and thus the Governor General to ceremonial roles. So there is no point in considering an appeal to the G.G.

    State Governors can no longer withold assent to a bill.

    And these changes were made without a referendum.

    Also in early copies of the Australian Constitution there was no mention of political parties,but somehow the wording crept in.

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    Adam Smith

    Yes, John Howard wanted the power to “sack” a GG. But he didn’t get it, regardless of how much Adam Smith whines to the contrary.

    The Queen revokes the commission of Governor General Peter Hollingworth. It is signed at the top by the Queen and at the bottom by the Prime Minister:
    http://www.ag.gov.au/portal/govgazonline.nsf/9D6C15F368826412CA256D420060586A/$file/S178.pdf

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    memoryvault

    Adam Smith @ 66 and 67

    It would be nice if just once Adam Smith, you could actually debate the points instead of creating strawmen to knock down instead of addressing what was actually stated.

    If a G.G. repeatedly refused to give assent to a bill,

    Strawman. Where in any of my posts have I written anything about the GG doing anything REPEATEDLY?

    the P.M. would sack them by instructing the Queen to revoke the G.G.’s commission.

    Already covered, repeatedly. Where, in the Australian Constitution, the Westminster Act, The Coronation Act or the 1688 Bill of Rights – in fact anywhere – does the authority reside for the PM to INSTRUCT the queen to do anything? Once again you are referring to a convention, NOT law.

    The Parliament represents the people, that is why it has the authority to pass legislation

    I think, in this particular case, the Parliament does NOT represent the WILL of the people. Either that, or every opinion poll conducted since the announcement of the carbon legislation has either been wrong, or the results have been fiddled.

    The Governor General can not dissolve parliament without the P.M. requesting an election.

    The only circumstance where parliament is dissolved without the P.M. requesting an election is where the parliament lapses due to constitutional reasons, but that has nothing to do with the G.G. dissolving parliament.

    Another “strawman” argument. Please indicate where, in my above post, I suggested that the GG should “dissolve parliament”?

    I never even suggested that the PM would have to call an election if the GG sent the legislation back for “consideration”. The PM could simply let it lapse. There is nothing in either the Constitution or the conventions to suggest the PM would HAVE to call an election under the circumstances I outlined.

    The Prime Minister can sack the Governor General WITHOUT giving any notice, simply by telling the Queen to end the G.G.’s commission.

    Once again, please direct me to what piece of legislation or other legal document grants the Australian PM the power to TELL the Queen what to do.

    The G.G. is appointed by the Queen, but the Queen acts on the advice of the PM, hence the G.G. can be sacked simply by the PM directing the Queen to end the G.G.’s commission.

    There is no way that this request would be refused, because that would amount to the Queen meddling in Australia’s political affairs.

    Once again, where, legally does the PM obtain the power to “direct” the queen to do something?

    Besides, what if the queen simply was not available to take JuLIAR’s call for a while? As I understand it, this is pretty-much how she handled the 1975 crisis when Gough was frantically trying to get hold of her. You see Adam, that’s the problem with “conventions”.

    Thet only apply if people are prepared to play along with them. THAT is why we have written laws as well.

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    Adam Smith

    The Australia Act relegated the Monarch and thus the Governor General to ceremonial roles. So there is no point in considering an appeal to the G.G.

    EXACTLY! At the very best the G.G. will send the main petitioner a letter encouraging them to petition members of parliament.

    It may even include a civics lesson on the G.G.’s actual role in Australia’s system of Government, which doesn’t include defying the will of the Parliament.

    Also in early copies of the Australian Constitution there was no mention of political parties,but somehow the wording crept in.

    What do you mean “somehow the wording crept in”? The text of the constitution can only be changed via a Section 128 referendum!

    The amendment you are referring to was added in 1977 in a referendum where the Fraser government closed off the loophole that it had exploited in order to block supply. It forced state parliament’s to nominate replacement Senators from the same party, whereas the NSW and QLD Premier’s had nominated independents:

    The amendment changed this procedure (the replacement of Senators) by providing that:

    a state legislature replace a senator with a member of the same political party, and
    the new senator’s term continue until the end of the original senator’s term.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_referendum,_1977_%28Senate_Casual_Vacancies%29

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    memoryvault

    Kevin Moore @ 68

    The Australia Act relegated the Monarch and thus the Governor General to ceremonial roles. So there is no point in considering an appeal to the G.G.

    The Australia Act largely relegated the Monarch and the states Governors to largely ceremonial roles. The GG however, still holds the “Reserve Powers” of Head of State.

    In posts 48 and 51 above I pasted various sections of the Australian Constitution. They are taken from the Constitution as it stands TODAY, not how it was in 1985 prior to the Australia Act.

    You can be like Adam Smith and pretend all you like that these are not the written laws of the land, or that they are somehow “superseded” or “over-ridden” by conventions.

    They remain nonetheless, the written law of the land, and will remain so until changed by the Australian people at referendum.

    No mere “convention” can change that.

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    UPDATE #2!

    The final petition will be released NEXT WEEK. Thanks to commenters for feedback here, it’s been very useful and passed on to all the people that matter. It’s been decided that the petition will be redone. The preferential voting point has been dropped and I think the rest of the petition will be carefully reconsidered too. Time is short, so that’s a shame, but Mick Pattel wants to do this properly.

    And oh my goodness, but the plans for this Convoy are becoming bigger than Ben Hur. You should hear behind the scenes! They are looking for 4 or 5 ovals in some towns in order to accommodate the trucks and cars and caravans… it’s HUGE!

    The AFP and some town councils are being supportive and helping to make sure this is done well. But everyone is scrambling to deal with the massive demand. — Jo

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    Adam Smith

    Strawman. Where in any of my posts have I written anything about the GG doing anything REPEATEDLY?

    Well the ETS is 5 different bills, so it would have to be repeatedly.

    Already covered, repeatedly. Where, in the Australian Constitution, the Westminster Act, The Coronation Act or the 1688 Bill of Rights – in fact anywhere – does the authority reside for the PM to INSTRUCT the queen to do anything?

    Because that is how the Queen ACTS on the advice of the Prime Minister! This is how our system has worked for 110 years!

    I think, in this particular case, the Parliament does NOT represent the WILL of the people.

    The parliament BY DEFINITION represents the will of the people, that is how it has the authority to make laws.

    Either that, or every opinion poll conducted since the announcement of the carbon legislation has either been wrong, or the results have been fiddled.

    Australia isn’t governed by OPINION POLLS, it is governed by a constitutional government and a parliament that has the authority to make laws on behalf of the populace.

    Again, your desire for a G.G. led dictatorship is clouding your judgement.

    I never even suggested that the PM would have to call an election if the GG sent the legislation back for “consideration”.

    The House would send it back with a note demanding it receive royal assent, if the G.G. didn’t do so, the P.M. would write to the Queen instructing her to revoke the G.G.’s commission.

    Once again, please direct me to what piece of legislation or other legal document grants the Australian PM the power to TELL the Queen what to do.

    1) The 110 year old convention that the Prime Minister is the democratically elected head of the Australian Government
    2) The convention that has existed since the the Statute of Westminster that the Queen doesn’t mess with Australia’s political affairs.

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    Adam Smith

    You can be like Adam Smith and pretend all you like that these are not the written laws of the land, or that they are somehow “superseded” or “over-ridden” by conventions.

    I never made such claim.

    I simply pointed out that if a G.G. refused to give royal assent to a bill that was properly passed by parliament, they would be sacked by the Prime Minister.

    No one has explained how the Queen would simply ignore the Prime Minister and leave the G.G. in the position. If that is the case, then you are essentially saying the G.G. could turn Australia into a dictatorship and get away with it.

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    memoryvault

    Adam Smith 74 and 75

    Well the ETS is 5 different bills, so it would have to be repeatedly.

    First a strawman and now a slither – you know damn well what you meant in the original post.

    Because that is how the Queen ACTS on the advice of the Prime Minister! This is how our system has worked for 110 years!

    The parliament BY DEFINITION represents the will of the people, that is how it has the authority to make laws.

    So if the parliament decides to alleviate housing prices, and pressure on infrastructure by passing a law stipulating all people with blue eyes are to be rounded up and shot, this BY DEFINITION would represent the will of the people , and parliament would have the authority to make such a law.

    And nothing could be done about it?

    And you think I live in a dreamworld?

    The House would send it back with a note demanding it receive royal assent, if the G.G. didn’t do so, the P.M. would write to the Queen instructing her to revoke the G.G.’s commission.

    Convention, Adam Smith. Nothing more – not backed up by any written law.

    This is how our system has worked for 110 years!

    Again, convention. It’s also how the system worked for 74 years until Kerr defied “convention”. Then it went back the written law.

    The House would send it back with a note demanding it receive royal assent, if the G.G. didn’t do so, the P.M. would write to the Queen instructing her to revoke the G.G.’s commission.

    Once again, please direct me to what piece of legislation or other legal document grants the the Parliament or the PM the power to TELL the GG what to do.

    If that is the case, then you are essentially saying the G.G. could turn Australia into a dictatorship and get away with it.

    The “Reserve Powers” essentially provide the GG with the power to:

    – dissolve Parliament (under certain specific circumstances which demonstrate the the parliament has become unworkable and/or no longer represents the WILL of the Australian People), or
    – return legislation back to Parliament with or without recommendations, for further consideration, if the legislation appears to run counter to the “laws and customs” of the people, or does not represent the WILL of the people.

    It is a bit hard to imagine a workable “dictatorship” within those confines.

    Colloquially the “reserve powers” are known as the “powers of veto”. They don’t in effect, give the GG any power to do anything positive (pass laws etc). They only give the GG the power to send everything back to the drawing board – that is, back to the people, for a final decision.

    This hardly constitutes a “dictatorship”.

    Rather, it ensures a level playing field.

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    Joe V.

    Has anyone thought, what comes next ?

    While this convoy is truly something marvellous in itself, if the Government just holds it’s nerve until this huge rollercoaster passes, what next ?

    How to keep all that momentum rolling, beyond Canberra ?

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    Adam Smith

    So if the parliament decides to alleviate housing prices, and pressure on infrastructure by passing a law stipulating all people with blue eyes are to be rounded up and shot, this BY DEFINITION would represent the will of the people , and parliament would have the authority to make such a law.

    No! This would be unconstitional, and the Clerk of the House and Clerk of the Senate would instruct the Speaker and President of the Senate to disallow debate on a bill without advice of its constitutionality.

    Convention, Adam Smith. Nothing more – not backed up by any written law.

    Wow, big deal. There is no written law that says Australia has a Prime Minister either.

    Again, convention. It’s also how the system worked for 74 years until Kerr defied “convention”. Then it went back the written law.

    Yes, and he was wrong to do so, because Whitlam had confidence on the floor of the lower house.

    Once again, please direct me to what piece of legislation or other legal document grants the the Parliament or the PM the power to TELL the GG what to do.

    The simple fact that the PM is the democratically elected Head of Government of Australia, which has the authority to tell the G.G. to assent to bills.

    – dissolve Parliament (under certain specific circumstances which demonstrate the the parliament has become unworkable and/or no longer represents the WILL of the Australian People)

    This is only partly right. The G.G. can only dissolve parliament when requested to do so by the Prime Minister.

    – return legislation back to Parliament with or without recommendations, for further consideration, if the legislation appears to run counter to the “laws and customs” of the people, or does not represent the WILL of the people.

    This is absolute fiction. The G.G. assents to bills at the request of the Prime Minister. In 110 years the G.G. has never withheld assent unless the PM has asked them to do so, and more to the point what the hell do you mean by “laws and customs of the people”. Acts of parliament are laws of the people!

    It is a bit hard to imagine a workable “dictatorship” within those confines.

    Your assertion that the G.G. can pick and choose which bills they assent to without the ability of the PM to sack them is an argument in favour of a dictatorship and isn’t something I will ever agree with.

    Colloquially the “reserve powers” are known as the “powers of veto”. They don’t in effect, give the GG any power to do anything positive (pass laws etc). They only give the GG the power to send everything back to the drawing board – that is, back to the people, for a final decision.

    This is complete fiction. The G.G. can’t dissolve parliament without a request from the Prime Minister to do so. You are just making things up.

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    “And oh my goodness, but the plans for this Convoy are becoming bigger than Ben Hur.”

    Bloody wonderful. Congrats and good luck to all organisers and participants.

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    memoryvault

    Adam Smith @ 78

    Every one of your points is a rehash of the “convention” argument and all have been addressed previously.

    “Convention” CANNOT and DOES NOT usurp the written law. “Convention” in this case translates into “convenience”, nothing more. The written law remains the written law and will ALWAYS overrule “convenience” when the time of testing comes.

    In an entire day’s posting you have never offered anything more than “convention”.

    The law remains the law, as stated in my posts at 48 and 51. If you are willing, or able, to post anything from the actual LAW which supports your position, post it, and I will consider it and respond to it.

    In the meantime simply responding to your repeated statements of what constitutes “convention” would appear to be a complete waste of time. You are obviously here on a mission to convince Australians that they are the “governed” and must, within the bounds of “convention” accept their lot, with no avenue of protest or redress outside of “convention”.

    I have no idea if we have, in fact reached that point. If we have, if we have reached the point where Australians really feel they are limited in their protests against those who govern them to the confines of “conventions” dreamed up by the very people who govern them, quite often in direct contravention of the written law, then all is lost and we truly have become serfs in our country.

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    Adam Smith

    Dear oh dear. Memoryvault doesn’t understand adult answers, so he needs the kids version:

    The Governor-General is appointed by the Queen; by convention she appoints the person recommended to her by the Prime Minister. The Queen can also sack the Governor-General, which by convention she would do if the Prime Minister requested it.

    http://encyclopedia.kids.net.au/page/pr/Prime_Minister_of_Australia

    I have no idea if we have, in fact reached that point. If we have, if we have reached the point where Australians really feel they are limited in their protests against those who govern them

    There is only ONE limitation on political protest in Australia. It must be PEACEFUL.

    “conventions” dreamed up by the very people who govern them, quite often in direct contravention of the written law, then all is lost and we truly have become serfs in our country.

    The conventions of our system of government have served us well for a bit over 110 years. If you suggest junking all of those conventions, simply because you don’t like the current government, then it is YOU that is a threat to our democratic institutions and traditions, not the government that you are protesting against.

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    memoryvault

    Adam Smith @ 81

    Dear oh dear. Memoryvault doesn’t understand adult answers, so he needs the kids version:

    Sorry Adam, but the “kids” version is the conventions.

    The “adult” version is the written law.

    The written law is as per my posts at #48 and #51, copied directly from the Constitution.

    Until and unless you can post something to contradict the written law, then the written remains the written law. And conventions remain mere conveniences.

    I made neither the laws nor the conventions. They are what they are, and written law overrrides “conventions” always, until and unless the people can be convinced that the “conventions” replace the law.

    Which is exactly what you are trying to do. You would appear to be part of somebody’s “damage control” unit, working overtime to convince people there’s basically nothing they can do, and they just have to wear JuLIAR’s carbon legislation.

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    Adam Smith

    Sorry Adam, but the “kids” version is the conventions.

    The “adult” version is the written law.

    Oh OK, so that means, according to you, Australia doesn’t have a Prime Minister, or in fact any other ministers.

    Whatever.

    I made neither the laws nor the conventions. They are what they are, and written law overrrides “conventions” always, until and unless the people can be convinced that the “conventions” replace the law.

    None of this explains why a Prime Minister wouldn’t sack a Governor General that refused to give royal assent to bills properly passed by the parliament.

    Which is exactly what you are trying to do. You would appear to be part of somebody’s “damage control” unit, working overtime to convince people there’s basically nothing they can do, and they just have to wear JuLIAR’s carbon legislation.

    Yes, it is simply a fact that if the Clean Energy bills pass the parliament they will be given royal assent by the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister.

    Your assertion that for the first time in 110 years the G.G. will withhold assent is fairy land nonsense, and is a dishonest peddling of false hope.

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    Andreas

    The Governor-General isn’t just there to cut ribbons and make rousing speeches and whatnot, all while toadying up to the Prime Minister, if that was all they’re good for we could simply do away with them and save the money and the bother. The whole point of the position is as a final bastion, in times of crisis when governments and Prime Ministers lose their way, part of their role is surely to hold the Prime Minister to account. In pleasant times the convention may be to follow the advice of the Prime Minister, but at a time of crisis convention goes out the window, simply because crises are not conventional (thankfully). I don’t think it’s a bad thing that a Governor-General intervenes if the Parliament passes legislation that is manifestly against the will of the people, I don’t know if the carbon tax qualifies though. Certainly it is troubling and seemingly undemocratic when a promise is made not to do something before an election, and then immediately after the exact opposite is pursued.

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    Joe V.

    It took 11 days of people peacefully & persistently filling the streets to turn the Government of Czechoslovakia in 1989.

    Not so easy when the capital isn’t in one of the major population centres ‘though.

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    JMD

    There is only ONE limitation on political protest in Australia. It must be PEACEFUL

    Is that written in the constitution, or are you just making that up?

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    Adam Smith

    The Governor-General isn’t just there to cut ribbons and make rousing speeches and whatnot, all while toadying up to the Prime Minister, if that was all they’re good for we could simply do away with them and save the money and the bother.

    I’ve never claimed that the G.G.’s job isn’t important, but you are ignoring that the most important job a G.G. has is appointing a Prime Minister based on which party leader can guarantee the G.G. confidence int he floor of the House.

    That is the G.G.’s MOST important job, most of the other parts of the job is performed by the G.G. simply following the advice of the P.M. such as, for example, giving assent to bills passed by the Parliament.

    The whole point of the position is as a final bastion, in times of crisis when governments and Prime Ministers lose their way, part of their role is surely to hold the Prime Minister to account.

    No, this is a massive exaggeration of the Governor General’s role. John Howard’s government was behind in every opinion poll published from late 2006 up until the 2007 election. John Howard’s government had “lost its way” and was unpopular in the electorate. But it was not the G.G.’s job to sack the Prime Minister and make Kevin Rudd Prime Minister when John Howard still had confidence on the floor of the lower house, that is what ELECTIONS are for.

    In pleasant times the convention may be to follow the advice of the Prime Minister, but at a time of crisis convention goes out the window, simply because crises are not conventional (thankfully).

    Australia is not in a period of constitutional crisis. Julia Gillard has confidence on the floor of the House of Representatives, while Tony Abbott doesn’t.

    I don’t think it’s a bad thing that a Governor-General intervenes if the Parliament passes legislation that is manifestly against the will of the people

    Well that means you don’t believe in democracy, because the legislation the parliament passes reflects the will of the Australian people.

    But if you think the current G.G. will break 110 years of tradition by intervening into a political debate, then you are in dreamland.

    I don’t know if the carbon tax qualifies though. Certainly it is troubling and seemingly undemocratic when a promise is made not to do something before an election, and then immediately after the exact opposite is pursued.

    Gillard said that she WOULD introduce a price on carbon in this parliament 2 days before the election.

    But more the the point. John Howard never mentioned WorkChoices during the 2004 election campaign. Why didn’t the G.G. intervene and with-hold royal assent on the WorkChoices bills? Which were rushed through parliament in just 1 month?

    The reason is because THE GOVERNOR GENERAL ACTS ON THE ADVICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER, and it would be grossly inappropriate for the G.G. to intervene, even after WorkChoices greatly contributed to Howard losing the 2007 election.

    That’s how our system works. If people don’t like what a government has done, they will vote them out at the following election. We don’t ask the G.G. to become a temporary dictator by becoming the arbiter of what should and shouldn’t be given royal assent.

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    Adam Smith

    Is that written in the constitution, or are you just making that up?

    We don’t NEED a right to peacefully protest in the constitution as it is a NATURAL human right that everyone is BORN with that doesn’t need to be conferred to us, and can’t be taken away, by any government.

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    JMD

    We don’t NEED a right to peacefully protest in the constitution

    So you’re just making it up. I figure you’re making most of the other stuff up to.

    Give it a rest.

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    Andreas

    If all the Governor-General did was act on the advice of the Prime Minister then what is the point of their existence in the first place, why not simply go the American route and have the head of state and the head of the executive the one and the same person. They are two separate people precisely so the Prime Minister is held to account, that obviously doesn’t involve using their reserve powers if the Prime Minister is simply behind in the polls, it’s for extreme circumstances. If the Parliament turned Nazi and passed laws to shoot all Jews on sight, and the Prime Minister was “Yep, great, nothing wrong here, sign on the line!” we can be sure that the Governor-General would be quickly looking to the Constitution – the actual LAW – to find out precisely what their powers are, not merely obsequiously following what convention dictates. In any event, I don’t really consider that the carbon tax is so opposed by the electorate that it warrants the Governor-General’s interference, and I agree with you that is almost certainly dreamland that she would interfere.

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    Adam Smith:
    August 5th, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    and the only sane response by the PM would be to sack the G.G. by telling the Queen to end the G.G.’s commission.

    First let me thank all those from Australia in educating me on the Australian Constitution. It has been very enlightening. But when I ran into this statement by Adam, I had to comment.

    Sorry Adam, the PM does not TELL the Queen anything. At best he can request. It is up to her to decide what to do. That is the price of a monarchy.

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    Adam Smith:
    August 5th, 2011 at 4:39 pm
    If a G.G. repeatedly refused to give assent to a bill, the P.M. would sack them by instructing the Queen to revoke the G.G.’s commission. The P.M. would then appoint a new G.G. that would give assent to the bill.

    You are attempting another strawman. No one is alleging or promoting “repeatedly”. But I think Memoryvault has an excellent point. Given that Gillard is governing against the will of the people, it seems, with even a quick reading of the constitution, that the GG can return the bill. A nice way to stop lying politicians. not to say it will happen, and no one is demanding it happen “repeatedly”, but if they have the power and never use it, then it is not a power.

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    Wayne, s. Job

    Thank you Jo for helping to sort out the petition it needs to be succinct. The troll Adam has actually succeded in shooting himself in the foot by helping the cause. A large thank you to Memory vault for distracting him. James Dillingpole has a new definition of the five types of troll and this Adam is a perfect example of one of the lesser species of troll.

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    Adam Smith:
    August 5th, 2011 at 9:48 pm
    We don’t NEED a right to peacefully protest in the constitution as it is a NATURAL human right that everyone is BORN with that doesn’t need to be conferred to us, and can’t be taken away, by any government.

    Tell that to Wen Jiaboa, Fidel Castro, Little Kim, Mummar Gadhafy, Bassar Assad, or even the ruling Junta in Egypt!

    If you do not enshrine it in your basic documents, it does not exist.

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    Julia Gillard is unquestionably sly, weak and incapable. She is also, unquestionably, the Prime Minister of Australia, until she, her caucus or the electorate decide otherwise. Her party has been able to form a government.The CONVENTIONS which guide and limit the GG in this regard are only conventions…but crucial to the secure functioning of our polity. There may come a time when convention needs to be violated. Now is not that time.

    On a brighter side, the very professional effort put in by “Adam Smith” on this thread indicates to me that some people are VERY nervous about the Convoy. The Fairfax commentariat and the blow-dries of the MSM aren’t giving it much oxygen, but the Murdoch press may be biding its time for some for some payback. It’s such a naughty world!

    These Convoy demonstrators aren’t the whiney fashionistas who picket Jewish chocolate shops. These are the people who fight bushfires and sandbag during floods. I wouldn’t want them mad at me.

    Roll on to Canberra, Rubber Duckies!

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    memoryvault

    Adam Smith @ various

    Adam, below I am going to repost the various sections of the Constitution – which is the ultimate LAW of the land in Australia – that relate to the powers and responsibilities of the GG.

    Three simple questions for you Adam, before I go to bed.

    1) – Where and how, and in what document, are these provisions in the Constitution – the ultimate law of the land – superseded? – And by whom?

    2) – If they have, in fact, as you claim, been LEGALLY superseded, WHAT exactly are they still doing in the Constitution – the ultimate “law of the land”? Why haven’t they been expunged from the record, since, according to you, they simply no longer apply.

    3) – If these rules, written into our Constitution, can simply be side-stepped by politicians deciding to ignore them in favour of “conventions” as you claim, why don’t the politicians simply invent some new “conventions” that would also run counter to the written rules of the Constitution.

    For instance like doing away with elections, or denying women the vote, or allowing the Commonwealth to seize property without just compensation, or denying a particular religious or political group freedom to express their views?

    The written RULES in the Constitution regarding the Governor General:

    Section 58 – When a proposed law passed by both Houses of the Parliament is presented to the Governor-General for the Queen’s assent, he shall declare, according to his discretion, but subject to this Constitution, that he assents in the Queen’s name, or that he withholds assent, or that he reserves the law for the Queen’s pleasure. The Governor-General may return to the house in which it originated any proposed law so presented to him, and may transmit therewith any amendments which he may recommend, and the Houses may deal with the recommendation.

    Section 61. The executive power of the Commonwealth is vested in the Queen and is exercisable by the Governor-General as the Queen’s representative, and extends to the execution and maintenance of this Constitution, and of the laws of the Commonwealth.

    Section 62. There shall be a Federal Executive Council to advise the Governor-General in the government of the Commonwealth, and the members of the Council shall be chosen and summoned by the Governor-General and sworn as Executive Councillors, and shall hold office during his pleasure.

    Section 67. Until the Parliament otherwise provides, the appointment and removal of all other officers of the Executive Government of the Commonwealth shall be vested in the Governor-General in Council, unless the appointment is delegated by the Governor-General in Council or by a law of the Commonwealth to some other authority.

    Section 5. The Governor-General may appoint such times for holding the sessions of the Parliament as he thinks fit, and may also from time to time, by Proclamation or otherwise, prorogue the Parliament, and may in like manner dissolve the House of Representatives.

    Off you go Adam: Three simple questions –

    1) – When were these LAWS superseded, in what document, by whom, and how?

    2) – If they have been superseded, what are they still doing in the Constitution?

    3) – If the written Constitution can just be simply side-stepped by “conventions”, how come we don’t already have a Dictatorship that has ALREADY side-stepped the protections of freedom and democracy enshrined in the Constitution?

    Off you go Adam. Please, just for once, please try not to just quote existing “conventions” again. People have grown tired of it.

    And for the sake of your own credibility, try not to slither.

    I know for someone like you that’s hard, but hey, sometime you just have to take a stand.

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    Joe V.

    How did it go 6 years ago, when there was a smaller convoy:-
    Convoy to Canberra ?

    And last year:-
    Safe Rates Convoy ?

    It seems convoys are nothing new to Ms. Gillard.

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    Adam Smith

    If all the Governor-General did was act on the advice of the Prime Minister then what is the point of their existence in the first place

    Because ONLY the Governor General has the power to make someone Prime Minister.

    why not simply go the American route and have the head of state and the head of the executive the one and the same person.

    Well that is an option that should be considered, but it isn’t how our system works, and a system like that would require some kind of a mechanism for the legislature to dismiss the Head of State and Government.

    They are two separate people precisely so the Prime Minister is held to account, that obviously doesn’t involve using their reserve powers if the Prime Minister is simply behind in the polls, it’s for extreme circumstances.

    Yes, but apparently some people here think the Governor General should pick and choose what legislation they give assent to, irrespective of the wishes of the Parliament and Government.

    In any event, I don’t really consider that the carbon tax is so opposed by the electorate that it warrants the Governor-General’s interference, and I agree with you that is almost certainly dreamland that she would interfere.

    Of course not, the people here encouraging the Governor General to interfere ultimately are against democracy and representative government.

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    Adam Smith

    Sorry Adam, the PM does not TELL the Queen anything. At best he can request. It is up to her to decide what to do. That is the price of a monarchy.

    WRONG! The Queen starts and ends the commission of a Governor General on the strict advice of the Prime Minister. The Queen has absolutely no say in who is appointed, whoever the Prime Minister tells the Queen to appoint becomes the Governor General.

    Here is the government gazette showing the termination of Peter Hollingworth’s commission as Governor General. It clearly shows the Queen’s signature at the top (Elizabeth R., which means Elizabeth Regina) and Prime Minister John Howard’s signature at the bottom:
    http://www.ag.gov.au/portal/govgazonline.nsf/9D6C15F368826412CA256D420060586A/$file/S178.pdf

    If the Prime Minister has no role in hiring and firing the Governor General, why does this ‘end of commission’ document have the Prime Minister’s signature on it?

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    Adam Smith

    Given that Gillard is governing against the will of the people

    Gillard is not governing against the will of the people. Gillard became Prime Minister when she became the leader of the Australian Labor Party, and was able to confirm to the Governor General that she had the confidence on the floor of the House of Representatives. After the 2010 election, Gillard demonstrated to the Governor General that she had retained confidence on the floor of the House of Representatives, and is thus the democratically head of the Australian government.

    it seems, with even a quick reading of the constitution, that the GG can return the bill. A nice way to stop lying politicians. not to say it will happen, and no one is demanding it happen “repeatedly”, but if they have the power and never use it, then it is not a power

    No, this would turn Australia into a quasi-dictatorship. The Governor General gives royal assent to bills at the direction of the Prime Minister. The Governor General does not withhold assent from bills on a case by case basis. The Governor General respects the will of the parliament.

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    Adam Smith

    On a brighter side, the very professional effort put in by “Adam Smith” on this thread indicates to me that some people are VERY nervous about the Convoy.

    Why would anyone be worried about the convoy? Peaceful protest is a fundamental right in any proper democracy.

    I just hope the convoy people don’t get their hopes up and think that the Governor General will start withholding royal assent from bills properly passed by the parliament. It simply won’t happen. THere are people here who are essentially creating false hope.

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    Sean McHugh

    Why is the preferential voting system fairer?

    Just say, hypothetically, a political group called the Latte Taliban sets itself up and appeals to 10% of the Australian population – not so far fetched. Say there is so much outrage that 20 different western-value parties are set up against it. Without preferential voting, assuming an even distribution of votes among the western-value parties, the Latte Talibans would win, even though 90% of the voters would prefer any party but.

    The preferential voting system isn’t only used in politics. I recall a band I was in using it to choose a name. Each member put in his preferences in numerical order. It has been used at my work for choosing a venue for the Christmas party. It was even used by the Muppets when they were trying to decide what song to sing. No one agreed with the first favourite, but everyone agreed with the second favourite.

    Preferential voting is the more democratic system and that should be what we want. Just keep in mind that when you vote, you can (and should) choose your own order of preferences.

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    Adam Smith

    1) – Where and how, and in what document, are these provisions in the Constitution – the ultimate law of the land – superseded? – And by whom?

    Where does the constitution say that Australia has a Prime Minister?

    2) – If they have, in fact, as you claim, been LEGALLY superseded, WHAT exactly are they still doing in the Constitution – the ultimate “law of the land”? Why haven’t they been expunged from the record, since, according to you, they simply no longer apply.

    The 110 year history of the Commonwealth of Australia shows that Governor Generals give royal assent to bills passed by parliament on the advice of the Prime Minister.

    According to the constitution, the Queen can withdraw assent for any bill within a year of the Governor General giving it royal assent. Why has the Queen never done this in 110 years? If you can answer that question, you’ll also understand why the Governor General will never withhold assent from a bill.

    3) – If these rules, written into our Constitution, can simply be side-stepped by politicians deciding to ignore them in favour of “conventions” as you claim, why don’t the politicians simply invent some new “conventions” that would also run counter to the written rules of the Constitution.

    That is not my claim at all. I am just explaining that the Governor General gives royal assent to bills on the advice of the Prime Minister. That is what has happend for 11- years, and will never change.

    For instance like doing away with elections,

    What are you talking about!? No Government can do away with elections because the Constitution mandates a limited term for the life of the House of Representatives. If the Prime Minister doesn’t request an election in the specified time, the term of the House lapses and there is AN AUTOMATIC ELECTION created by an AUTOMATIC dissolution of the house.

    or denying women the vote,

    There is nothing in the Constitution that guarantees women the right to vote, but taking away voter’s rights for only women would require repealing the anti-discrimination act.

    or allowing the Commonwealth to seize property without just compensation,

    There is a specific constitional clause in section 51 that requires compensation “on just terms”.

    or denying a particular religious or political group freedom to express their views?

    The Australian Constitution doesn’t have any explicit protection for freedom of speech. There is a narrow right to a free political voice. It would depend on the nature of what the religious group is saying. If they are expressing hatred for other individuals, it is quite possible that such speech won’t be protected.

    Off you go Adam: Three simple questions –

    1) – When were these LAWS superseded, in what document, by whom, and how?

    They have been supercooled by the 110 year history of Australia that demonstrates that Governor Generals assent to bills on the advice of the Prime Minister.

    2) – If they have been superseded, what are they still doing in the Constitution?

    Well what about the clause that says the Queen can revoke assent to bills. Are you seriously saying to me that the Queen could wake up tomorrow and revoke, say, this year’s budget, because it was passed by a minority government?

    3) – If the written Constitution can just be simply side-stepped by “conventions”, how come we don’t already have a Dictatorship that has ALREADY side-stepped the protections of freedom and democracy enshrined in the Constitution?

    Because the Governor General operates on the advice of the Prime Minister. The Governor general doesn’t pick and choose which bills they are willing to assent to, that would be a dictatorship.

    I know for someone like you that’s hard, but hey, sometime you just have to take a stand.

    There’s no reason to revert to abuse when you have lost an argument.

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    memoryvault

    Adam Smith @ 98

    Because ONLY the Governor General has the power to make someone Prime Minister.

    So the position of Governor General only exists in the Constitution to appoint a person to a position that doesn’t exist in the Constitution?

    Surely you can do better that that, Adam Smith.

    a system like that would require some kind of a mechanism for the legislature to dismiss the Head of State and Government.

    Yes, it’s called the “Reserve Powers” and they are invested, via the Constitution, in the position of the Governor General. It is WHY we have one.

    Yes, but apparently some people here think the Governor General should pick and choose what legislation they give assent to, irrespective of the wishes of the Parliament and Government.

    We are talking about a government now intent on enacting legislation it gave an undertaking to the Australian People NOT to introduce in the life of this Parliament. This may be in accordance with the “wishes” of the “Parliament and Government”, but it is demonstrably NOT the wish or WILL of the Australian People.

    Of course not, the people here encouraging the Governor General to interfere ultimately are against democracy and representative government.

    What? By exercising the reserve powers which exist for exactly this purpose? The People should have no say? Having been lied to in an election they should now just roll over and take it up the rectum? Why do you think the Constitution creates the “Reserve Powers”.

    Oh sorry – I forgot. According to you a group of politicians got together and decided, WITHOUT a referendum, that those “powers” no longer apply.

    They have been “superseded” by unwritten, unenforceable, unaccountable “conventions”.

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    Adam Smith

    Preferential voting is the more democratic system and that should be what we want. Just keep in mind that when you vote, you can (and should) choose your own order of preferences.

    I think Optional Preferential voting would be a better system.

    If a voter only wants to mark one candidate they should be allowed to do so, or if they want to mark half the ballot, or all of the ballot, it should be left up to the voter.

    I don’t like the existing system for federal elections where a voter MUST number every box in order to make their ballot formal, even if that means giving a preference to a candidate that they wouldn’t ever consider giving their first preference to.

    I also think that attendance at elections should be voluntary.

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    Adam Smith

    So the position of Governor General only exists in the Constitution to appoint a person to a position that doesn’t exist in the Constitution?

    Yes. You’re learning! Well done!

    Yes, it’s called the “Reserve Powers” and they are invested, via the Constitution, in the position of the Governor General. It is WHY we have one.

    I have never denied that Governor Generals have reserve powers.

    But you still haven’t accepted that the Prime Minister could tell the Queen tomorrow to sack the G.G., and she would follow the P.M.s advice, because the Queen acts on the advice of the Prime Minister.

    We are talking about a government now intent on enacting legislation it gave an undertaking to the Australian People NOT to introduce in the life of this Parliament.

    You’ve made the same mistake that the petition document on this page makes. You just asserted that Government’s enact legislation, but they don’t, the PARLIAMENT passes bills, that are then given royal assent by the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister.

    What politicians say during election campaigns isn’t directly relevant to the operation of parliament. For example, the Howard government never mentioned WorkChoices during the 2004 election campaign, but it rammed the WorkChoices bills through parliament in just 1 month. As much as I disagreed with that legislation, it would’ve been an absolute misuse of power for the G.G. to withhold assent from those bills.

    What? By exercising the reserve powers which exist for exactly this purpose?

    Stop making crap up. The Governor General’s reserve powers DO NOT EXIST to deny the will of parliament by withholding assent from bills!

    Robert Menzies laws to ban the communist party were unconstitutional, but the Governor General didn’t withhold assent from them no the grounds that those laws would’ve meant that the government could say that ANYONE was a communist, and then have them detained.

    Having been lied to in an election they should now just roll over and take it up the rectum? Why do you think the Constitution creates the “Reserve Powers”.

    What absurdity! There is nothing in the Constitution that says “politicians must not lie”.

    You are basically saying that the Governor General should thwart the legislative agenda of the person it has assigned to Government, simply based on the G.G.’s personal feelings about legislation!

    You demonstrate a hatred for Australian democracy and a desire for the country to be turned into a dictatorship.

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    “Why would anyone be worried about the convoy?”

    Oh, I dunno. I’m a suspicious type. You say you’ve participated in this thread to save some people from false hope. A very admirable motive. I’ve read your posts, and will certainly be alert to the danger of false hopes.

    And since, as you say, nobody has a reason to worry about the Convoy…let’s roll!

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    Adam Smith

    You say you’ve participated in this thread to save some people from false hope.

    I made no such claim. I simply pointed out that the Governor General will never withhold royal assent from properly passed bills of the parliament simply because they receive a position requesting they do so. The importance of the Parliament as a fundamental institution of Australian democracy is more important than any petition.

    The only times the Governor General has withheld royal assent from a bill was when asked to do so by the Prime Minister.

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    Andreas

    Apparently Adam thinks that democracy is simply the process of voting in a bunch of pollies who can then do whatever the hell they like for three years, irrespective of what the people who voted them in think. Hell, why doesn’t parliament vote themselves billion dollar pay rises, it’s all legit and democratic because they’ll be accountable to the electorate at the next election so it’s all fine, and the GG will simply sign on the line with the PM’s wink and nudge. Democracy at work, no problem apparently.

    No. The Governor-General isn’t there to be a rubber stamp, nodding in sleep-like agreement, they are there to be a check on the executive’s power.

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    Adam Smith:
    August 5th, 2011 at 11:35 pm
    WRONG! The Queen starts and ends the commission of a Governor General on the strict advice of the Prime Minister. The Queen has absolutely no say in who is appointed, whoever the Prime Minister tells the Queen to appoint becomes the Governor General.

    Strawman alert again! Nice how you say I am wrong, and then do nothing to prove it. Again, what I stated was:

    Sorry Adam, the PM does not TELL the Queen anything. At best he can request. It is up to her to decide what to do. That is the price of a monarchy.

    All you did was then rant about who signed a letter. You have yet to prove how anyone can TELL the Queen what to do (strongly suggest, beg, plead, whine, cry, cajole, but not TELL). Nice strawman, but you are still WRONG.

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    Adam Smith:
    August 5th, 2011 at 11:38 pm
    Gillard is not governing against the will of the people.

    Strawman alert #2 (you have a nasty habit of that). I did not say she was not legally elected. I said she is GOVERNING against the will of the people. You can have a majority government do that (usually not long, but that is beside the point). Please respond to what I say, not what you want me to say. you are WRONG again.

    No, this would turn Australia into a quasi-dictatorship. The Governor General gives royal assent to bills at the direction of the Prime Minister. The Governor General does not withhold assent from bills on a case by case basis. The Governor General respects the will of the parliament.

    Strawman #3 – no it will not. that is the law as it stands. You just do not like the exercise of the law as it stands. It will not change Australia as the law exists (it is not being created). The GG can respect everything and reject nothing. Or he can reject what he/she wants. If it gets too confrontational, guess what? The Constitution has a means to REMOVE the GG at the PLEASURE of the Queen. Again, debate what I SAY not what you want me to SAY.

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    Adam Smith:
    August 5th, 2011 at 11:40 pm
    Why would anyone be worried about the convoy? Peaceful protest is a fundamental right in any proper democracy.

    Whether you are or are not is up to you to decide. But this duck has flown the coop. The fact you scurried over here (where you had not been before – or at best an occassional reader) along with MANY others who are for AGW indicates they fear the convoy and are trying a disinformation campaign to stop it.

    Think and stop personalizing.

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    memoryvault

    Adam Smith @ 103

    Where does the constitution say that Australia has a Prime Minister?

    Slither, slither, slither. It doesn’t. So how came this person – The Prime Minister – a position which YOU acknowledge doesn’t legally exist within the legal framework of the Constitution, nonetheless have the power to override the quoted sections of the Constitution with regards to the Governor General?

    The 110 year history of the Commonwealth of Australia shows that Governor Generals give royal assent to bills passed by parliament on the advice of the Prime Minister.

    According to the constitution, the Queen can withdraw assent for any bill within a year of the Governor General giving it royal assent. Why has the Queen never done this in 110 years? If you can answer that question, you’ll also understand why the Governor General will never withhold assent from a bill.

    Convention. Yawn. And your point is . . .

    That is not my claim at all. I am just explaining that the Governor General gives royal assent to bills on the advice of the Prime Minister. That is what has happend for 11- years, and will never change.

    Convention. Again. Boring. And try telling Gough Whitlam it “will never change”.

    What are you talking about!? No Government can do away with elections because the Constitution mandates a limited term for the life of the House of Representatives. If the Prime Minister doesn’t request an election in the specified time, the term of the House lapses and there is AN AUTOMATIC ELECTION created by an AUTOMATIC dissolution of the house.

    The Constitution also mandates all the powers of the GG I described in my post at #98. And yet you are quite comfortable proclaiming these powers no longer exist because of “conventions”. If the powers of the GG no longer exist because you and some politicians decided that was to be the case, then what is to prevent you and some politicians deciding we don’t “need” the elections mandated in the Constitution?

    The WRITTEN rules either apply in toto or they don’t apply at all Adam Smith. Choose now, for time is running out.

    They have been supercooled by the 110 year history of Australia that demonstrates that Governor Generals assent to bills on the advice of the Prime Minister.

    I see. The written laws can be “supercooled”. How interesting. Laws can be “supercooled”. We don’t actually NEED people to vote on them or anything so clumsy.

    Tell me, which of our written laws do you think we should “supercool” next, Adam Smith?

    Well what about the clause that says the Queen can revoke assent to bills. Are you seriously saying to me that the Queen could wake up tomorrow and revoke, say, this year’s budget, because it was passed by a minority government?

    Slithering Adam. Not even close to an answer to the question.

    Because the Governor General operates on the advice of the Prime Minister. The Governor general doesn’t pick and choose which bills they are willing to assent to, that would be a dictatorship.

    Yes, and it would equally be a dictatorship if the GG simply rubber-stamped the demands of the Prime Minister. That is why the GG has the “reserve powers”. And we covered the role of the GG earlier. The GG has no power to decide or enact ANYTHING. ONLY to ultimately put the decision back to the Australian People by way of an election.

    Tell me Adam Smith: – Why are you so afraid of that happening?

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    Adam Smith:
    August 6th, 2011 at 12:17 am
    I made no such claim.

    Adam Smith:
    August 5th, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    I just hope the convoy people don’t get their hopes up and think that the Governor General will start withholding royal assent from bills properly passed by the parliament. It simply won’t happen. THere are people here who are essentially creating false hope.

    There are either 2 Adam Smiths, or one with a serious schizophrenic problem.

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    Brc

    Sorry Adam but you’ve dropped the ball. The question was asked where the constitution was overwritten by convention as the law of the land and you blathered on about side issues again. Answer the question or admit defeat. Simple as that. If the gg acted in accordance with the law but against convention there isn’t jack that could be done about it as the law is the law. This may well be unlikely but it isn’t impossible.

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    Adam Smith

    Apparently Adam thinks that democracy is simply the process of voting in a bunch of pollies who can then do whatever the hell they like for three years, irrespective of what the people who voted them in think.

    I made no such claim! Governments must obey existing laws, parliamentary protocols and of course, the Constitution!

    Hell, why doesn’t parliament vote themselves billion dollar pay rises, it’s all legit and democratic because they’ll be accountable to the electorate at the next election so it’s all fine

    The Australian Parliament is the sovereign law making body of the Commonwealth of Australia. There is nothing in the Constitution that would stop politicians passing an Act to pay themselves a billion dollars a year more than they are currently paid. That is the power the parliament has, unlike, say a school board, the parliament of Australia has this actual power to make laws.

    No. The Governor-General isn’t there to be a rubber stamp, nodding in sleep-like agreement, they are there to be a check on the executive’s power.

    Wrong. The Governor General is not a “check on the executive’s power”. That’s a reasonable description of the Senate, in particular the Senate’s committee system.

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    Adam Smith

    All you did was then rant about who signed a letter. You have yet to prove how anyone can TELL the Queen what to do

    The Queen starts and ends the commission of the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister. That is how our system has worked for 110 years. If the Queen refused to appoint the person the Prime Minister nominated to Governor General, it would be consider an enormous meddling in Australian political affairs, which formally ended with the statute of Westminster.

    (strongly suggest, beg, plead, whine, cry, cajole, but not TELL). Nice strawman, but you are still WRONG.

    There’s no need to get abusive simply because you’ve lost the debate.

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    Adam Smith

    So how came this person – The Prime Minister – a position which YOU acknowledge doesn’t legally exist within the legal framework of the Constitution, nonetheless have the power to override the quoted sections of the Constitution with regards to the Governor General?

    Because the Prime Minister is the head of government, and is elected by the people, whereas the Queen is unelected and unrepresentative of the populace. The Queen is the Queen simply because the Constitution says so, whereas the Prime Minister is the Prime Minister because they have the confidence on the floor of the House of Representatives. The Crown may have the power to sack the PM, but the PM has authority to tell the Queen who to appoint as G.G. because the PM, unlike the Queen, is the democratically elected head of the government.

    The Constitution also mandates all the powers of the GG I described in my post at #98. And yet you are quite comfortable proclaiming these powers no longer exist because of “conventions”.

    Yes, the Governor General gives assent to bills at the direction of the Prime Minister. I agree. You are learning!

    Yes, and it would equally be a dictatorship if the GG simply rubber-stamped the demands of the Prime Minister.

    WRONG! Unlike the Governor General, the Prime Minister faces re-election about once every three years. (This also explains why the Prime Minister is able to sack the Governor General, because the Governor General isn’t elected and can’t be dismissed by the voters).

    The GG has no power to decide or enact ANYTHING. ONLY to ultimately put the decision back to the Australian People by way of an election.

    The Governor General has no power to dissolve parliament unless requested to do so by the Prime Minister.

    If the Governor General could dissolve parliament, then they would do so simply to stop the Parliament from doing its job of passing bills, which are given royal assent when the Prime Minister direct the Governor General to do so.

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    Adam Smith

    Sorry Adam but you’ve dropped the ball. The question was asked where the constitution was overwritten by convention as the law of the land

    Well in many places. For example, the text of the constitution says that the Queen can withdraw assent for an Act 1 year after it has received assent from the G.G.

    But the Queen can only act on the advice of the Prime Minister, and thus that provision of the constitution is defunct.

    It’s astonishing that some people here think that the Governor General’s powers are greater than that of the Queen when the G.G. is simply the Queen’s representative.

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    Adam Smith:
    August 6th, 2011 at 12:41 am
    The Queen starts and ends the commission of the Governor General on the ADVICE of the Prime Minister.

    Well, I am glad to see you admit your are wrong (by confirming what I said). I capitalized the key word for you. Advice is not telling anyone. Advice is a suggestion that can be ignored. The rest of your response is fine and dandy. However, you have to either start understanding what you write, or stop trying to create strawmen. It probably works on AGW boards, but not here.

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    Adam Smith

    Simple as that. If the gg acted in accordance with the law but against convention there isn’t jack that could be done about it as the law is the law. This may well be unlikely but it isn’t impossible.

    Incorrect. As I explained earlier today, if a Governor General ever refused to give assent to a bill that was properly passed by the parliament, the Prime Minister would simply direct the Queen to end the G.G.’s commission. The Prime Minster would then direct the Queen to appoint a new G.G. who would give assent to the bills.

    Our system of government isn’t based on the principle that the Governor General can simply over rule the will of the Prime Minster, parliament and people.

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    memoryvault

    Adam Smith @ 116

    I made no such claim! Governments must obey existing laws, parliamentary protocols and of course, the Constitution!

    Unless, of course, we are speaking about the powers embodied in the position of the Governor General by the Constitution.

    As has been explained several times by Adam Smith these laws have been “supercooled” by some as yet unknown and unexplained chemical process (for it sure wasn’t a legal one), and supplanted by a process of “conventions” – IE – whatever the politicians decide is in their best interest.

    However, rest assured that the process of “supercooling” laws in other areas of the Constitution WILL NOT HAPPEN.

    Adam Smith said so.

    Don’t you all feel so much safer now?

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    There’s no need to get abusive simply because you’ve lost the debate.

    #1 – where am I abusive?
    #2 – You PROVED me right! How did I lose by winning?

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    Adam Smith

    Well, I am glad to see you admit your are wrong (by confirming what I said). I capitalized the key word for you. Advice is not telling anyone. Advice is a suggestion that can be ignored.

    The Queen can not ignore the advice of the Prime Minster. The Queen must appoint whoever the Prime Minster wants to be G.G. to that position. The Queen would also end the commission of the G.G. as soon as the Prime Minster requests that they do so.

    The Queen can not ignore such a request by the Prime Minster, because the Prime Minister is the democratically elected head of the government.

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    Adam Smith

    Unless, of course, we are speaking about the powers embodied in the position of the Governor General by the Constitution.

    Yes the Governor General gives assent to bills on the at the request of the Prime Minster. That is how our system has worked for over 110 years.

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    Adam Smith:
    August 6th, 2011 at 12:48 am Sorry Adam
    Well in many places. For example, the text of the constitution says that the Queen can withdraw assent for an Act 1 year after it has received assent from the G.G.

    But the Queen can only act on the advice of the Prime Minister, and thus that provision of the constitution is defunct.

    You have a serious comprehension problem. If it is the CONSTITUTION, it is the ULTIMATE law of the land (by definition) as long as it is not a DICTATORSHIP (which you claim you are not). You are therefore incorrect again. Please, go back to preventing “false hopes”. You suck at legal and logic.

    BTW: While I truly admit my ignorance of Australian law, I do know one thing. The Queen can act whenever she damn well pleases. She is not restricted by any other person. She can dissolve parliment if she so choses. Of course that could start a revolution, so she is discrete in exercising her powers. But that is the way of a Monarchy.

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    Adam Smith:
    August 6th, 2011 at 12:52 am

    The Queen can not ignore the advice of the Prime Minster.

    Best take that up with your government. Apparently she can. Whether she does or not is another matter. However, if you do not like it, there is the USA where we do NOT have a monarchy. As long as YOU do, you have to deal with it. So deal with it. This discussion has gone on enough. Man up and admit you are wrong. And go apologize to your Queen for your Abusive statements.

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    memoryvault

    Adam Smith @ 124

    The Queen can not ignore the advice of the Prime Minster. The Queen must appoint whoever the Prime Minster wants to be G.G. to that position. The Queen would also end the commission of the G.G. as soon as the Prime Minster requests that they do so.

    The Queen can not ignore such a request by the Prime Minster, because the Prime Minister is the democratically elected head of the government.

    Reference to just one legal document that supports and legalises this view please?

    Just One Adam, and then I will leave you alone.

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    Andreas

    You make less and less sense. Governments must obey the existing laws indeed, but if all the Governor-General does is sign new laws while staring vacuously at the ceiling as you suggest then Parliament can indeed do whatever they like, change the existing laws, make whatever new laws they care to dream up, vote themselves the contents of the Treasury, mandate the wearing of pantaloons on one’s head on weekdays, whatever. Three years of party before the electorate gets to have its say, wooo!

    Adam’s democracy would be interesting indeed. A thousand times no. The Governor-General is not a puppet with the PM’s or Parliament’s hand up it’s backside, the Constitution provides them with their own discretionary powers. These are not dictatorial, but limited, sufficient to act as a check on the executive’s power.

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    Adam Smith

    You have a serious comprehension problem. If it is the CONSTITUTION, it is the ULTIMATE law of the land (by definition) as long as it is not a DICTATORSHIP (which you claim you are not). You are therefore incorrect again. Please, go back to preventing “false hopes”. You suck at legal and logic.

    There is no need to be abusive simply because you have lost the debate.

    BTW: While I truly admit my ignorance of Australian law, I do know one thing. The Queen can act whenever she damn well pleases.

    WRONG! While the Queen is the Queen of the UK by birthright, she is only the Queen of Australia because the Australian Constitution says she is. The Queen’s actions are subject to the constitution, and the 110 year old convention is that she acts on the advice of the Prime Minister. There isn’t ONE example in the history of Australia where the Queen has acted contrary to the wishes of the Prime Minister of the day, because it simply isn’t her role to interfere with Australian political affairs. This includes the Queen appointing two different Governor Generals who were former politicians!

    She is not restricted by any other person.

    WRONG! The Queen can not act in ANY way that is unconstitutional!

    She can dissolve parliment if she so choses.

    WRONG! The Queen can not dissolve the Australian parliament! The only person that can dissolve the Australian Parliament is the Governor General, and she can only do it when requested to do so by the Prime Minister!

    Of course that could start a revolution, so she is discrete in exercising her powers. But that is the way of a Monarchy.

    The Queen has absolutely no power to dissolve the Australian Parliament.

    You are simply demonstrating your ignorance and misunderstandings.

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    Adam Smith

    Best take that up with your government. Apparently she can.

    WRONG! The Queen acts on the advice of the Australian Prime Minister. Which for 110 years has involved doing whatever the Prime Minister requests.

    Whether she does or not is another matter. However, if you do not like it, there is the USA where we do NOT have a monarchy.

    I’m perfectly happy living in Australia thank you very much.

    As long as YOU do, you have to deal with it. So deal with it. This discussion has gone on enough. Man up and admit you are wrong. And go apologize to your Queen for your Abusive statements.

    I can make as many abusive comments about the Queen as I like and there is absolutely nothing that you or the Queen can do about it.

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    Adam Smith

    Reference to just one legal document that supports and legalises this view please?

    Every single letter appointing and ending the commission of Governors general for the last 110 years.

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    memoryvault

    Andreas @ 129

    Right on Andreas!!

    The position of GG exists for a reason, and that reason is to prevent Parliament acting against the “laws and customs” of the people, or against the WILL of the people.

    The “conventions” Adam Smith keeps referring to are not THE LAW; they are the KY jellie that makes everything go smoothly when there isn’t a problem.

    Now we have a problem.

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    Adam Smith:
    August 6th, 2011 at 1:02 am
    There is no need to be abusive simply because you have lost the debate.

    Always with the negative waves Moriarity, always with the negative waves!
    Just because you say something does not make it a fact. I have lost no points or anything yet. You have, by your own words, proven you lost. I merely accentuate your mistakes.

    WRONG! While the Queen is the Queen of the UK by birthright, she is only the Queen of Australia because the Australian Constitution says she is.

    Again, debate what I SAY, not what you want me to say. I made no comment on how she was Queen of Australia. Another Strawman.

    WRONG! The Queen can not act in ANY way that is unconstitutional!

    Uh, bright boy – the constitution is NOT a person.

    WRONG! The Queen can not dissolve the Australian parliament! The only person that can dissolve the Australian Parliament is the Governor General, and she can only do it when requested to do so by the Prime Minister!

    And who appoints the GG? Follow the logic adam. She wants to disolve it, she tells the GG. he does not, she appoints another. She CAN do it. I doubt she would (unless you get Charles on the Thrown and then all bets are off as he is a real whack job).

    Again, debate what I SAY, not what you want me to say. You are getting tiresome here.

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    Adam Smith

    You make less and less sense. Governments must obey the existing laws indeed, but if all the Governor-General does is sign new laws while staring vacuously at the ceiling as you suggest then Parliament can indeed do whatever they like, change the existing laws, make whatever new laws they care to dream up, vote themselves the contents of the Treasury, mandate the wearing of pantaloons on one’s head on weekdays, whatever. Three years of party before the electorate gets to have its say, wooo!

    YES! That is actually right! WITHIN the restrictions of the constitution, the Australian Parliament has enormous powers to make all sorts of laws. That is what is meant by having a sovereign parliamentary democracy! The fact politicians DON’T give themselves the contents of the treasury is because it is blatantly obvious they would be voted out at the following election. But you have finally realised exactly what powers the parliament has, and they are enormous. In fact, the powers of the Australian Parliament are far superior to, for example, the powers of the U.S. President who can’t really spend much money without congress approving everything.

    Adam’s democracy would be interesting indeed. A thousand times no. The Governor-General is not a puppet with the PM’s or Parliament’s hand up it’s backside, the Constitution provides them with their own discretionary powers. These are not dictatorial, but limited, sufficient to act as a check on the executive’s power.

    I never claimed that the Governor General is the PM’s puppet. I actually made a different claim. The Governor General over 110 years has shown that they ALWAYS follow the wishes of the parliament by giving royal assent to bills properly passed by the legislature.

    No one has explained why it is just a coincidence that the Governor General has only ever withheld assent from bills at the Prime Minister’s request.

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    Adam Smith

    The position of GG exists for a reason, and that reason is to prevent Parliament acting against the “laws and customs” of the people, or against the WILL of the people.

    What constitutes the “laws and customs” of the people is an inherently political question that can only be resolved by parliament.

    The Governor General will simply give assent to whatever bills the Parliament passes.

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    Adam Smith

    Again, debate what I SAY, not what you want me to say. I made no comment on how she was Queen of Australia. Another Strawman.

    This explains why you don’t understand how the Queen’s powers are limited in the Australian constitution in ways that they aren’t limited in the UK.

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    memoryvault

    Adam Smith @ 132

    Every single letter appointing and ending the commission of Governors general for the last 110 years

    .

    Slither, slither, slither.

    Where’s the reference to the legislation?

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    Adam Smith

    And who appoints the GG? Follow the logic adam. She wants to disolve it, she tells the GG. he does not, she appoints another. She CAN do it. I doubt she would (unless you get Charles on the Thrown and then all bets are off as he is a real whack job).

    The Queen of Australia can not dissolve the Australian Parliament. Arguably she could’ve done so before the statute of Westminster, but that was passed in I think 1931. Since then only the Governor General can dissolve the Australia parliament, but only at the request of the Prime Minister.

    Again, debate what I SAY, not what you want me to say. You are getting tiresome here.

    What you say is nonsense which doesn’t make any constructive contribution to the debate. You need to actually go and read about Australia’s constitutional history before lecturing people about it.

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    Adam Smith

    Slither, slither, slither.

    Where’s the reference to the legislation?

    There’s no reason to be abusive simply because you’ve lost the debate.

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    memoryvault

    Adan Smith @ 140

    There’s no reason to be abusive simply because you’ve lost the debate.

    And ultimately that’s your answer to the questions I posed regarding the sections of the Constitution quoted at post #96?

    Slither, slither slither.

    Tell me Adam Smith, how do you deal with the carpet rash on your belly?

    I have no idea who it is that you are crawling to or for, but from the comments it’s pretty safe safe to assume you are failing.

    I’m off to bed.

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    Adam Smith

    And ultimately that’s your answer to the questions I posed regarding the sections of the Constitution quoted at post #96?

    Slither, slither slither.

    Tell me Adam Smith, how do you deal with the carpet rash on your belly?

    I have no idea who it is that you are crawling to or for, but from the comments it’s pretty safe safe to assume you are failing.

    I’m off to bed.

    This entire post is abuse, which strongly suggests you know you’ve lost the debate, but also it is against the rules of this forum.

    Debate the issues instead of the person, else everyone will just ignore your posts.

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    Andreas

    Adam @ 135

    Are you mad? Why why why, Adam, would politicians WANT to be voted in again at the next election if they could vote themselves the contents of the treasury, one term would be all it takes to fill their pockets and run, bugger being re-elected. “Oh no, they’re going to vote me out, I only have the several billion dollars I looted from the treasury, whatever shall I do now”.

    The threat of us voting politicians out is a useful tool, yes, but on its it is not enough to hold them to account because they can do massive damage in just one term, that’s why the Governor-General is there as a last resort. Their power in this regard is mostly preventative, the possibility of them exercising their reserve powers keeps the parliament in check (as well as the fear of lynching…). We can be grateful that in 110 year the Governor-General has not had to step in, but just because they haven’t so far doesn’t mean the power does not exist. And who can say what craziness may occur in the future, I’m sure the Germans did not predict the rise of Hitler and Nazism, one day we may be grateful for the provisions in the Constitution permitting their interference.

    @ Memoryvault

    Slither, slither indeed!

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    Adam Smith:
    August 6th, 2011 at 1:13 am
    This explains why you don’t understand how the Queen’s powers are limited in the Australian constitution in ways that they aren’t limited in the UK.

    What does that have to do with anything? We were discussing Australia. I said “person”, you said Constitution. The Constitution is a fine thing, but it is not a person. No one calls it a person. So you are again trying to construct a strawman to defeat.

    Even though you quoted me telling you to debate what I SAY, you continue to avoid doing that very thing. As far as I know, the only one mentioning the UK is YOU.

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    Adam Smith:
    August 6th, 2011 at 1:15 am
    The Queen of Australia can not dissolve the Australian Parliament

    This is getting monotonous. Please show where ANYONE said that the Queen EVER dissolved the Australian Parliment? Strawman!

    Just because you CAN do a thing, does not mean you HAVE to do a thing to prove it. That is why the USSR/USA did not destroy the world, even though everyone admitted they had the capability. STOP constructing strawmen. I will not allow you to get away with it.

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    Adam Smith:
    August 6th, 2011 at 1:15 am
    There’s no reason to be abusive simply because you’ve lost the debate.

    Quit lying. No one has been abusive. Answer his question or admit you are wrong.

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    Sean McHugh

    Adam Smith @ 105 said:

    Sean McHugh @ 102 said:

    Preferential voting is the more democratic system and that should be what we want. Just keep in mind that when you vote, you can (and should) choose your own order of preferences.

    I think Optional Preferential voting would be a better system.

    I think it should be one system or the other, not a bastardisation.

    If a voter only wants to mark one candidate they should be allowed to do so, or if they want to mark half the ballot, or all of the ballot, it should be left up to the voter.

    I don’t like the existing system for federal elections where a voter MUST number every box in order to make their ballot formal, even if that means giving a preference to a candidate that they wouldn’t ever consider giving their first preference to.

    Then I think you still don’t really understand preferential voting. Even with the parties that you dislike, there are levels of dislike. The preferential system allows you some say in that too when voting. You can look at it the other way around. If it helps, think of your ballot paper as a disdain form where you put the biggest numbers against the candidates or parties you dislike the most.

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    Tel

    What constitutes the “laws and customs” of the people is an inherently political question that can only be resolved by parliament.

    That statement is complete rubbish, very often constitutional matters get kicked across to the courts to decide. Just recently we had a constitutional challenge on the tax rebates.

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    The Socialist Elite

    George Orwell wrote:

    “There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person would believe in them.”

    Are the intelligentsia promoting climate change “usefull idiots”?

    It appears that the wild eyed fanatics who believe so strongly in the Communist Ideology have no concept of the evil nature of its philosophy and by their naivety and fanaticism are workng themselves into a position which prescribes their own demise.

    What happens to them when they have outlived their usefulness – the Gulag or shot?

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    Adam Smith

    I think it should be one system or the other, not a bastardisation.

    Optional preferential IS one system. It is used in QLD and NSW for state elections.

    Then I think you still don’t really understand preferential voting. Even with the parties that you dislike, there are levels of dislike.

    I understand the compulsory preferential system perfectly well thank you. But I don’t see why a voter should be forced to give any preference to a candidate that they don’t think deserves it.

    The preferential system allows you some say in that too when voting.

    Optional preferential voting IS a form of preferential voting!

    You can look at it the other way around. If it helps, think of your ballot paper as a disdain form where you put the biggest numbers against the candidates or parties you dislike the most.

    And that is a reason why compulsory preferential voting is bad. It makes voters think about who they hate the least, instead of just allowing them to walk into the voting place and preference candidates that they like.

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    Adam Smith

    That statement is complete rubbish, very often constitutional matters get kicked across to the courts to decide. Just recently we had a constitutional challenge on the tax rebates.

    WRONG! The Governor General’s reserve powers are non-justicible, which means the High Court can’t make judgements on their constitutionality.

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    Adam Smith

    It appears that the wild eyed fanatics who believe so strongly in the Communist Ideology have no concept of the evil nature of its philosophy and by their naivety and fanaticism are workng themselves into a position which prescribes their own demise.

    Who are you accusing of being a communist, and why do you think that constitutes a rational debating point?

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    Adam Smith

    Are you mad? Why why why, Adam, would politicians WANT to be voted in again at the next election if they could vote themselves the contents of the treasury, one term would be all it takes to fill their pockets and run, bugger being re-elected. “Oh no, they’re going to vote me out, I only have the several billion dollars I looted from the treasury, whatever shall I do now”.

    What the hell are you going on about? I simply pointed out that if the parliament passed a bill awarding all politicians $1 billion, then that would be a valid law of the land. The Parliament, like all Westminster-style parliaments, has enormous power to make laws for all sorts of things. The Australian parliament simply needs to follow the constitution and of course political pressures!

    The threat of us voting politicians out is a useful tool, yes, but on its it is not enough to hold them to account because they can do massive damage in just one term, that’s why the Governor-General is there as a last resort. Their power in this regard is mostly preventative, the possibility of them exercising their reserve powers keeps the parliament in check (as well as the fear of lynching…). We can be grateful that in 110 year the Governor-General has not had to step in, but just because they haven’t so far doesn’t mean the power does not exist.

    I have never disputed that the Governor General has reserve powers, including the sack the Prime Minister. But what people here ignore is that 1) The Prime Minister can sack the Governor General, by telling the Queen to revoke the G.G.’s commission and 2) The Governor General has never withheld assent from a bill that has properly passed both houses of the parliament.

    And if people think the Governor General will withhold royal assent from the Clean Energy bills, they are in absolutely dreamland.

    And who can say what craziness may occur in the future, I’m sure the Germans did not predict the rise of Hitler and Nazism, one day we may be grateful for the provisions in the Constitution permitting their interference.

    You may have started this post with a modicum of a point, but comparing the current Australian government to the rise of Hitler and Nazism is a load of extremist nonsense that is offensive in the extreme.

    You may not like the current government, but it is the valid democratically elected Government of Australia, and thus any bills the current parliament passes will be given royal assent and will become the law of the land.

    Oh, and you may like to think about this. It is still Coalition policy to introduce an ETS by 2020:
    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/opinion/editorial/general/the-right-gets-it-very-wrong/2249557.aspx?storypage=0

    His (Abbott’s) determination to roll back the carbon price, for example, means that Australian industry and consumers will face another five years of policy uncertainty.

    Were he to deliver on his threat, Australia could face the prospect of a carbon price being introduced in 2012, removed in 2015 after a double-dissolution election, and then introduced again around 2020. Even the Opposition Climate spokesperson, Greg Hunt, has referred to the Coalitions direct action scheme as being an interim measure.

    Do you really think Australia should enact and ETS, have the ETS repealed sometime in 2015, only to enact one on a bipartisan basis in 2020?

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    memoryvault

    Adam Smith @ 155

    First Adam Smith says:

    What constitutes the “laws and customs” of the people is an inherently political question that can only be resolved by parliament.

    To which Tel replies (quite rightly):

    That statement is complete rubbish, very often constitutional matters get kicked across to the courts to decide. Just recently we had a constitutional challenge on the tax rebates.

    To which Adam Smith replies:

    WRONG! The Governor General’s reserve powers are non-justicible, which means the High Court can’t make judgements on their constitutionality.

    Which neatly subsitutes the GG for the original subject matter which was the “laws and customs”, and so has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with his original post that Tel commented on!!

    Slither. slither, slither.

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    Adam Smith

    Which neatly subsitutes the GG for the original subject matter which was the “laws and customs”, and so has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with his original post that Tel commented on!!

    Slither. slither, slither.

    There’s no need to be abusive because you are wrong.

    No one has explained why the Governor General of Australia has never withheld assent for a bill unless instructed to do so by the Prime Minister.

    No one has explained why the Prime Minister can’t sack the Governor General, by telling the Queen to do so.

    There’s lots of abusive posts and comparisons of the current government with Nazis, but very little appreciation of how Australia’s system of government actually works.

    And all those saying that the Governor General will hold assent from the Clean Energy bills if people simply protest enough are simply being misleading and are spreading false hope.

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    memoryvault

    Adam Smith @ 153

    The Prime Minister can sack the Governor General, by telling the Queen to revoke the G.G.’s commission

    So now we are back to insisting that the PM can TELL the queen what to do

    The Governor General has never withheld assent from a bill that has properly passed both houses of the parliament

    Plus another dose of “convention” thrown in for good measure. The fact that it has never happened before doesn’t mean it can’t happen in the future.

    THAT’s what Section 58 of the Constitution is about.

    When a proposed law passed by both Houses of the Parliament is presented to the Governor-General for the Queen’s assent, he shall declare, according to his discretion, but subject to this Constitution, that he assents in the Queen’s name, or that he withholds assent, or that he reserves the law for the Queen’s pleasure. The Governor-General may return to the house in which it originated any proposed law so presented to him, and may transmit therewith any amendments which he may recommend, and the Houses may deal with the recommendation.

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    Adam Smith @ 152

    One should only debate a problem when they have a solution and when they aren’t a direct contributor to the problem.

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    Adam Smith

    So now we are back to insisting that the PM can TELL the queen what to do

    YES! Because the Queen does what the PM tells her. That is how our system works. Find me ONE example from the last 110 years of the Monarch at the time refusing to do something that the Australian Prime Minister has advised.

    Plus another dose of “convention” thrown in for good measure. The fact that it has never happened before doesn’t mean it can’t happen in the future.

    So you are asserting that the Governor General is going to over-turn 110 years of convention on the ETS bills!

    You are in dreamland mate, and you are just spreading false hope.

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    memoryvault

    Adam Smith @ 155

    No one has explained why the Governor General of Australia has never withheld assent for a bill unless instructed to do so by the Prime Minister.

    Errhh – maybe it’s because up to now there’s never been a situation where a minority government that was elected on a firm undertaking NOT to do something, is nonetheless now going to do it, and there is a vast convoy of people descending Canberra with a “not happy Jane” note (petition).

    No one has explained why the Prime Minister can’t sack the Governor General, by telling the Queen to do so.

    Because the PM cannot TELL the queen to do ANYTHING. He can only ask. How she responds is entirely up to her.

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    Adam Smith

    One should only debate a problem when they have a solution and when they aren’t a direct contributor to the problem.

    Yes I agree with you that there is no solution, because the Governor General will not withhold assent from any bill that is properly passed by the Parliament.

    You’ll all just have to live with the ETS, and enjoy the income tax cuts you get in return.

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    Adam Smith

    Errhh – maybe it’s because up to now there’s never been a situation where a minority government that was elected on a firm undertaking NOT to do something, is nonetheless now going to do it, and there is a vast convoy of people descending Canberra with a “not happy Jane” note (petition).

    Sorry but this just sounds like you are completely consumed with your own self importance. The Governor General won’t junk 110 years of convention just because some people drive some trucks to Canberra.

    John Curtin was the Prime Minister of a minority Labor government during WWII from 1941 before he won a massive landslide in 1943. If the G.G. was ever worried about the potentially precarious state of Australia’s Government he would’ve dissolved that parliament and called an election.

    But that didn’t happen, because Governor Generals can only dissolve parliament when the Prime Minister asks them to do so.

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    memoryvault

    Adam Smith @ 158

    Find me ONE example from the last 110 years of the Monarch at the time refusing to do something that the Australian Prime Minister has advised.

    In 1930 King George V initially refused Prime Minister Scullin’s nomination of Sir Isaac Isaacs as GG.

    He did eventually change his mind and Issacs became GG. Nonetheless, you asked for an example, and one exists.

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    Adam Smith

    Because the PM cannot TELL the queen to do ANYTHING. He can only ask. How she responds is entirely up to her.

    WRONG, WRONG, WRONG and WRONG!

    The Queen unquestioningly accepts the requests of the Prime Minister of Australia. The Queen has absolutely no role in messing with the internal political affairs of Australia.

    Time and again all you do is demonstrate that you have absolutely no idea how Australia’s system of government works. You are actually a pretty good argument for why we need civics classes.

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    memoryvault

    Adam Smith @ 161

    Governor Generals can only dissolve parliament when the Prime Minister asks them to do so.

    And who said anything about dissolving Parliament?

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    Adam Smith

    And who said anything about dissolving Parliament?

    FINALLY! You are starting to learn.

    The Governor General acts on the advice of the Prime Minister, which includes giving assent to bills passed by the parliament.

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    Andreas

    Adam Smith @ 153

    No one is comparing the current government to Nazis, what utter nonsense, I am saying the GG has the power within the Constitution to withhold assent to legislation voted through the Parliament at their discretion in extreme circumstances, they are not simply a robot. My point was that no one predicted the rise of Nazism, and no one can predict what crazy schemes our own Parliament might attempt to implement against the will of the Australian people in the future, that is why the GG has the capacity to withhold ascent. You seem to think it a fine thing that politicians could vote themselves billion dollar pays rises if they so wished. Craziness. The GG would use their powers within the Constitution to prevent it.

    Do I think the carbon tax is such an extreme case that it justifies the intervention of the GG, likely not, it’s not manifestly against the will of the people.

    End communication.

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    memoryvault

    Adam Smith @ 163

    Time and again all you do is demonstrate that you have absolutely no idea how Australia’s system of government works. You are actually a pretty good argument for why we need civics classes.

    Trust me, Adam Smith, I know how our system of government works. And, yes, accepted conventions do play a very large part. But they are only “conventions” and carry no actual legal weight whatsoever, and are entirely unenforceable by anybody.

    When push comes to shove all that counts is the WRITTEN law.

    And the WRITTEN law says:

    Section 58 – When a proposed law passed by both Houses of the Parliament is presented to the Governor-General for the Queen’s assent, he shall declare, according to his discretion, but subject to this Constitution, that he assents in the Queen’s name, or that he withholds assent, or that he reserves the law for the Queen’s pleasure. The Governor-General may return to the house in which it originated any proposed law so presented to him, and may transmit therewith any amendments which he may recommend, and the Houses may deal with the recommendation.

    Section 2. A Governor-General appointed by the Queen shall be Her Majesty’s representative in the Commonwealth, and shall have and may exercise in the Commonwealth during the Queen’s pleasure, but subject to this Constitution, such powers and functions of the Queen as Her Majesty may be pleased to assign to him.

    Section 61. The executive power of the Commonwealth is vested in the Queen and is exercisable by the Governor-General as the Queen’s representative, and extends to the execution and maintenance of this Constitution, and of the laws of the Commonwealth.

    Section 62. There shall be a Federal Executive Council to advise the Governor-General in the government of the Commonwealth, and the members of the Council shall be chosen and summoned by the Governor-General and sworn as Executive Councillors, and shall hold office during his pleasure.

    Section 67. Until the Parliament otherwise provides, the appointment and removal of all other officers of the Executive Government of the Commonwealth shall be vested in the Governor-General in Council, unless the appointment is delegated by the Governor-General in Council or by a law of the Commonwealth to some other authority.

    Section 5. The Governor-General may appoint such times for holding the sessions of the Parliament as he thinks fit, and may also from time to time, by Proclamation or otherwise, prorogue the Parliament, and may in like manner dissolve the House of Representatives.

    Now, until and unless you can provide some formal legal document or reference that establishes that the above sections of the Constitution no longer apply, or are “overruled” by convention, they remain the law of the land.

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    Adam Smith

    —I am saying the GG has the power within the Constitution to withhold assent to legislation voted through the Parliament at their discretion in extreme circumstances, they are not simply a robot.

    No such extreme circumstances will exist in the current parliament.

    My point was that no one predicted the rise of Nazism, and no one can predict what crazy schemes our own Parliament might attempt to implement against the will of the Australian people in the future, that is why the GG has the capacity to withhold ascent.

    The Parliament DOES occasionally enact crazy policies, for example WorkChoices and privatising Telstra when it still had a monopoly over the fixed line phone network. But that doesn’t mean it is the G.G.’s job to step in and start blocking things that the democratically elected parliament has debated and passed.

    You seem to think it a fine thing that politicians could vote themselves billion dollar pays rises if they so wished. Craziness. The GG would use their powers within the Constitution to prevent it.

    Don’t put words in my mouth! Of course it wouldn’t be “fine” for politicians to do this, but it would be LEGAL, because the parliament has the power to do that. The Australian Parliament has far more power to spend money on things than even the President of the United States, who needs congressional approval for all domestic spending.

    Do I think the carbon tax is such an extreme case that it justifies the intervention of the GG, likely not, it’s not manifestly against the will of the people.

    And that’s my point too. The people here like memoryvault making baseless assertions that the G.G. will even CONSIDER withholding assent from the Clean Energy bills, let alone actually doing it is spreading false hope and is tricking people.

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    Adam Smith

    Trust me, Adam Smith, I know how our system of government works. And, yes, accepted conventions do play a very large part. But they are only “conventions” and carry no actual legal weight whatsoever, and are entirely unenforceable by anybody.

    No you don’t understand at all. You don’t understand that there hasn’t be ONE case of a G.G. withholding assent from a bill without being told to do so by the Prime Minister.

    You also don’t understand that what is passed by the parliament is reflects the will of the people and thus it will be respected by the G.G.

    You also don’t understand that you are spreading false hope by even saying that the G.G. will THINK about withholding assent from a bill.

    You are ultimately making assertions that the current Government isn’t the valid government of Australia, even though it is the G.G. herself that invited Julia Gillard to form Government.

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    memoryvault

    Adam Smith @ 168

    And that’s my point too. The people here like memoryvault making baseless assertions that the G.G. will even CONSIDER withholding assent from the Clean Energy bills, let alone actually doing it is spreading false hope and is tricking people.

    Actually, Adam Smith, I have made no such assertion. This thread started out as commentary on a proposed petition on the carbon legislation. The initial draft was basically a petition to the Parliament to pass a vote of no confidence in itself.

    It is pointless petitioning Parliament because JuLIAR has the numbers, and she has stated what she intends to do. It is even more pointless petitioning Parliament to sack itself.

    The ONLY petition that would have any form of legal basis within the Constitution would be a petition to the GG asking that the legislation be sent back to the parliament for reconsideration.

    Do I think the GG would actually do it?

    Probably not. But at least the petitioners would have presented a lawful petition that had a legal basis, and provided a legal remedy, rather than a piece of paper which was a complete waste of time for all concerned.

    Sometimes one doesn’t have to win the battle to win the war. I am generally credited as the person who started the anti-ID card movement in 1986. We employed tactics similar to what I have outlined here.

    Did Parliament nonetheless pass the ID Card legislation?

    Yes.

    Did the GG give Royal Assent?

    Yes.

    Do we have compulsory ID Cards as proposed in the legislation?

    NO!

    Why, because our efforts caused such a stink the government of the day never had the guts to implement the legislation.

    I believe, handled correctly – especially with the convey – that we could achieve a similar outcome today.

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    Study “Adam Smith”. He encapsulates what Labor is good at. The shrewd mix of spin, fact, indignation, detail, argument, put-down…Labor has been doing this – and paying people to do it – for years. He is persistent and cannot be out-bored.

    I happen to agree with much of what he says, and therein lies his forte. Labor knows that when venturing into hostile territory, it needs to talk the language of the natives. How often do we hear them refer to “the markets”, and “bringing certainty to business” etc. Even the Greens know how to trot this stuff out now. One of the worst things about the present government is its deplorable IR, yet, thanks to the spinning expertise of Labor, we are still mired in regret over WorkChoices, as if that was the big IR issue.

    Calling himself “Adam Smith” on a site like this is like me visiting a leftist website and calling myself “George Orwell”. It shows shrewdness and forethought. He has since managed to change the subject from the Convoy to constitutional convention, and is prepared to let this thread trail out for several more kilometres of verbiage.

    I do appreciate the intelligent points made by Phil, memoryvault and others, even though I’m a fan of convention. I don’t want to boss anyone, but if we continue to discuss the GG and the constitution, in long entries with lots of cut-and-paste, “Adam Smith” will not have come here in vain.

    I think the Convoy is a bloody marvel. Like others, I’ve made my own brief criticism of the petition, and Joanne says that revision is underway. By all means continue the discussion in the same vein, if the mods allow, but I’d LOVE more positive ideas and info about the Convoy. Of course, the shift in subject may not be welcome to “Adam Smith”, though he will find adequate words to deny my inference.

    Rest assured, he will find words!

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    Bush bunny

    First past the post as in UK has lots of disadvantages for Australia. I work on state, local government, and Federal elections as a campaign committee member or volunteer, and polling station scrutineer and I don’t think people understand the preferential two party voting system.

    You have primary votes the 1 you place for your first choice. Then 2 -
    6 or for how many candidates in that electorate. However, it is usually a two candidate horse race from the first or three candidate in the case of a strong Independent. For example usually in large electorates it is between the ALP or Libs or National party candidate. Before counting is to commence the polling station AEC officers will open a sealed envelope and say ‘Two party preferred is the Independent and National candidate
    that’s if no Lib is standing too. If there is an ALP or Greens their
    votes are counted too. And then usually they give their 2nd preference to each other and then their third preference to the 2 PP candidates.

    However those that put 1 to either the 2 PP nominees their second preference is now voided. As they did last election, some of the National party members reckoned they put the Independent as their second preference? It didn’t count or you will be double dipping. Get my gist?

    As in the last election, some primary votes are so close then the candidate gets in on preference votes.

    UK wanted to bring that in too, but their voting system is not compulsory like in Australia and the voters must be registered to vote.
    But it wouldn’t fair well there as it does in a lower population of voters like in Australia with our voting system.

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    Bush bunny

    No I think the two party preferential system should stay. I gives those who support the minority parties a chance to register their preferences.
    That’s democracy for Australia.

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    JMD

    He is persistent and cannot be out-bored

    You got that right. On the subject of the constitution does anybody know or care that the constitution still specifies that state governments can only tender gold or silver in payment of debt?
    Though paradoxically the constitution states that the federal government can determine legal tender.

    Nevertheless, application of the gold & silver clause was tossed out at the first opportunity. I don’t know if it has ever been challenged in the High Court but I doubt any challenge would get past the front doors.

    The constitution doesn’t mean squat unless there is a will & a means for the people to enforce it.

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    JMD @ 174

    As George Bush said: “It’s just a piece of paper.”

    If you have forgotten where you came from you haven’t got a clue where you are going. We have to go back to the past – to the basic foundations on which this nation was built. “Humbly relying on the blessings of almghty God” as it says in the preamble. That is the foundation stone from where one proceeds.

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    JMD

    Sure Kevin but if the government can disregard the constitution at its convenience & no person can challenge it, then it doesn’t mean anything.

    That’s why I asked Mr Smith above about the limitation on public protest.

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    There were tens of thousands of Red Shirts protesting in Thailand and the government brought out their policy enforcers [police]and shot a few of them. They still haven’t achieved what they wanted. I wonder if it will ever get to that stage here?

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    Adam Smith

    However those that put 1 to either the 2 PP nominees their second preference is now voided. As they did last election, some of the National party members reckoned they put the Independent as their second preference? It didn’t count or you will be double dipping. Get my gist?

    This ISN’T an accurate explanation of how preferential voting (which is essentially instant run-off) voting works in Australia.

    After all the primary votes have been counted, the candidate with the lowest number of first preference votes is excluded first, and then the preferences are distributed. Then the candidate with the second least first preference votes is excluded, and their preferences are distributed. This process continues until one candidate has 50% + 1 of all of the formal ballot papers.

    UK wanted to bring that in too, but their voting system is not compulsory like in Australia and the voters must be registered to vote.

    It is important to be precise. Australia DOES NOT have “compulsory voting”, Australia has compulsory attendance at elections. There is no way for the AEC to stop someone from simply leaving their ballot paper blank.

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    Adam Smith

    No I think the two party preferential system should stay. I gives those who support the minority parties a chance to register their preferences.
    That’s democracy for Australia.

    It is imprecise to refer to compulsory preferential voting as “two party preferred”.

    The voting method ultimately results in a “two candidate preferred” result. The AEC nominates the likely two candidate preference count on election night simply to facilitate the fast reporting of provisional results. But on the Sunday after the election the AEC recounts all the first preference votes and on the Monday starts distributing preferences to determine the ACTUAL two candidate result.

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    Adam Smith

    Just ignore him.

    OK.

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    JMD

    Kevin @ 177

    The answer is unfortunately yes.

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    Adam Smith

    You got that right. On the subject of the constitution does anybody know or care that the constitution still specifies that state governments can only tender gold or silver in payment of debt?
    Though paradoxically the constitution states that the federal government can determine legal tender.

    That’s not what that section means at all. It means the states can’t start up their own form of currency. The only valid form of currency is what is made by the federal mint. There is nothing stopping the states paying off debt using money minted by the federal government.

    If the Australian states were allowed to mint their own money, then Australia wouldn’t be a proper federated nation.

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    Adam Smith

    Sure Kevin but if the government can disregard the constitution at its convenience & no person can challenge it, then it doesn’t mean anything.

    That’s why I asked Mr Smith above about the limitation on public protest.

    There is no limitation on peaceful protesting in Australia. I mean there may be some logistical factors, for example you can’t actually protest in the Senate or the House of representatives.

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    Adam Smith

    There were tens of thousands of Red Shirts protesting in Thailand and the government brought out their policy enforcers [police]and shot a few of them. They still haven’t achieved what they wanted.

    The red shirts HAVE achieved what they want, their candidate won the election and is the new Prime Minister.

    The problem is the Thai royal family hates the Shiniwatra family, so they will most likely work with the military to organise another coup so the opposition (which is loyal to the royal family to a fault) will return to power.

    I wonder if it will ever get to that stage here?

    What exactly do you mean? Australia is fortunate that the Queen stays the hell out of Australian affairs. It isn’t like in Thailand where the royal family frequently picks sides of politics and undermines any government that it doesn’t like.

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    JMD

    That’s not what that section means at all. It means the states can’t start up their own form of currency

    You are stupid, tendering only gold & silver in payment of debt means exactly what it says, except to the government.

    Seriously, give it a rest.

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    Adam Smith

    You are stupid, tendering only gold & silver in payment of debt means exactly what it says, except to the government.

    That’s not what it says! It says this:

    115. A State shall not coin money, nor make anything but gold and silver coin a legal tender in payment of debts.

    Gold and silver can be used to pay debts, but they CAN’T BE USED AS REGULAR MONEY!

    And that section doesn’t prohibit AUSTRALIAN DOLLARS, that is money minted by the federal government, from being used to pay debt!

    Not are you wrong on the law, you are wrong on basic English comprehension!

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    Sean McHugh

    Adam Smith @ 150 wrote:

    I think it should be one system or the other, not a bastardisation.

    Optional preferential IS one system. It is used in QLD and NSW for state elections.

    It is inferior because it compromises the resolution of the preferential system. I have given an electoral example above of why the preferential system is superior and much more representative of the people’s wishes – assuming voters are intelligent enough and not too lazy to use it. Optional Preferential voting isn’t as bad as a first-past-the-post; it’s only half as bad.

    Then I think you still don’t really understand preferential voting. Even with the parties that you dislike, there are levels of dislike.

    I understand the compulsory preferential system perfectly well thank you. But I don’t see why a voter should be forced to give any preference to a candidate that they don’t think deserves it.

    I’ll try again. If you put someone last, you aren’t doing them a favour, even though you are putting them in order of preference and as such, assigning them a preference number. Perhaps you are troubled by the nicety of the word.

    The preferential system allows you some say in that too when voting.

    Optional preferential voting IS a form of preferential voting!

    In the same way that optionally not collecting stamps is a form of stamp collecting! You would appear to be equivocating with the word, ‘preferential’, first by having it referring to preferential voting and then to the preference of not using preferential voting.

    You can look at it the other way around. If it helps, think of your ballot paper as a disdain form where you put the biggest numbers against the candidates or parties you dislike the most.

    And that is a reason why compulsory preferential voting is bad. It makes voters think about who they hate the least,

    Or whom they hate the most and whom they would hate most to see in government. As I said, it’s the same thing.

    And that is a reason why compulsory preferential voting is bad. It makes voters think about who they hate the least,instead of just allowing them to walk into the voting place and preference candidates that they like.

    Above you have have PV as bad because one has to supposedly endorse candidates/parties one doesn’t like and now you have have it as bad because it effectively has them deciding on whom to punish. The latter is closer to the way it ultimately works.

    Let’s take a scenario where there are three parties, the Extremists and Moderates A and B. Let’s assign a primary popularity of 44% to the Extremists and 28% each to the Moderates. In this scenario, without preferential voting, the Extremists would win because they would get 44% of the vote and each of the Moderate parties would only get around 28% of the vote. That would be despite 56% of the voters preferring either of the Moderate parties. With a preferential system, the Extremists would lose and one of the Moderate parties would win. This would better reflect the voters’ wishes. Now let’s look at Optional Preferential and generously have half the voters doing it properly and not just penciling a ’1′. That would give one of the Moderate parties about 42% of the vote. The Extremists, with 44%, would still win. That would not reflect the overall political preference of voters.

    Putting just a ’1′ in a box is suited to the lazy and/or those whom are suspicious of preferential voting – neither of whom are likely to understand it properly. Understanding the mechanism isn’t sufficient; one should also understand the logic, and it is quite logical. One should understanding how assigning an order (low order) of ‘preference’ to parties that earn one’s disapproval, does not require endorsing or helping them. One should also understand how the preferential system is best equipped to ensure the most popular outcome – and that is what it should be about.

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    memoryvault

    Adam Smith @ 187

    Gold and silver can be used to pay debts, but they CAN’T BE USED AS REGULAR MONEY!

    ALL official gold and silver coins produced in Australia today are stamped with a “face value”, carry the official effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse side (a legal requirement) and are redeemable at their full face value as LEGAL TENDER.

    You are so full of it Adam Smith, it tends to dribble all over the place.

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    Adam Smith

    It is inferior because it compromises the resolution of the preferential system. I have given an electoral example above of why the preferential system is superior and much more representative of the people’s wishes – assuming voters are intelligent enough and not too lazy to use it. Optional Preferential voting isn’t as bad as a first-past-the-post; it’s only half as bad.

    This paragraph demonstrates that you have absolutely no idea about the difference between compulsory preferential voting, which is what we have at federal elections, and optional preferential voting, which QLD and NSW use for state elections.

    In compulsory preferential voting the voter MUST put a preference number next to all candidates on the ballot paper (including no repetition of the same number) for the ballot to be formal. In optional preferential voting, the voter only needs to mark ONE candidate (and they don’t even have to use a number) in order for the ballot to be formal, but they can then choose to give as many preferences as they like, including the entire ballot if that is what they want to do.

    The counting method for both systems is EXACTLY the same, but in optional preferential voting the voter has far more control in how they choose to allocate their preferences.

    I’ll try again. If you put someone last, you aren’t doing them a favour, even though you are putting them in order of preference and as such, assigning them a preference number. Perhaps you are troubled by the nicety of the word.

    I’ll try again. Why should a voter be forced by the electoral act to give a candidate ANY preference if they don’t want to? If a voter simply wants to vote for ONE candidate, and not allocate any preferences, why should they be forced to hand out preferences just to make their vote count?

    In the same way that optionally not collecting stamps is a form of stamp collecting! You would appear to be equivocating with the word, ‘preferential’, first by having it referring to preferential voting and then to the preference of not using preferential voting.

    This is just mumbo-jumbo nonsense that demonstrates you have absolutely no idea of the difference between compulsory and optional preferential voting. It also suggests you have no idea how votes are actually counted in Australian elections.

    Above you have have PV as bad because one has to supposedly endorse candidates/parties one doesn’t like and now you have have it as bad because it effectively has them deciding on whom to punish. The latter is closer to the way it ultimately works.

    VOTERS should decide for themselves who they wish to preference and the reasons for preferencing them. At the moment we have a system that FORCES voters to preference candidates just to make a formal ballot.

    Let’s take a scenario where there are three parties, the Extremists and Moderates A and B. Let’s assign a primary popularity of 44% to the Extremists and 28% each to the Moderates. In this scenario, without preferential voting

    I am NOT advocating we get rid of preferential voting! I do not support first past the post voting! I support OPTIONAL preferential voting, which means each voter gets to independently choose how many preferences they give, or if they don’t give any at all. At the moment voters are FORCED to fill in the entire ballot with preferences, even if that means giving a preference to an extremist group.

    the Extremists would win because they would get 44% of the vote and each of the Moderate parties would only get around 28% of the vote. That would be despite 56% of the voters preferring either of the Moderate parties.

    This is a WRONG scenario, because you don’t know how voters will allocate their preferences. If people voting for the moderate parties tightly direct preferences, then it is possible that a moderate candidate will win.

    Now let’s look at Optional Preferential and generously have half the voters doing it properly and not just penciling a ’1′.

    What on earth do you mean “doing it properly”? Why should YOU determine what counts as a “proper” ballot? Voting should be left up to each voter to CHOOSE how they want to fill in their ballot paper, without being forced to do it in a restrictive way by the electoral act.

    That would give one of the Moderate parties about 42% of the vote. The Extremists, with 44%, would still win. That would not reflect the overall political preference of voters.

    Oh dear, what are you going on about!? In order to win a House of Reps seat, the candidate needs EITHER, 50% + 1 primary votes, OR, 50% + 1 of ALL the formal votes after the distribution of preferences! Candidates don’t win simply because they receive more primary votes than the other candidates!

    Putting just a ’1′ in a box is suited to the lazy and/or those whom are suspicious of preferential voting – neither of whom are likely to understand it properly.

    Well you have just demonstrated that you don’t understand how compulsory preferential voting works!

    If a voter simply wants to vote 1 for a candidate, then that should be their right, and they shouldn’t be coerced into filling in any other part of the ballot paper if they don’t think any other candidate deserves their second, third, fourth etc preference.

    One should understanding how assigning an order (low order) of ‘preference’ to parties that earn one’s disapproval, does not require endorsing or helping them. One should also understand how the preferential system is best equipped to ensure the most popular outcome – and that is what it should be about.

    What you are ultimately saying is that YOUR philosophy behind how to fill in a ballot paper is more important than OTHER people’s approach to doing the same task.

    Why do you think you have the right to determine the number of preferences a voter puts on their ballot. Why can’t voters simply be given the power to choose for themselves?

    Optional preferential voting works fine in QLD elections, and it has the added benefit of converting a lot of ballots than on existing laws are informal into valid ballots, which makes more people’s votes count, which is a inherently good democratic thing to do.

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    Adam Smith

    ALL official gold and silver coins produced in Australia today are stamped with a “face value”, carry the official effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse side (a legal requirement) and are redeemable at their full face value as LEGAL TENDER.

    AND THEY CAN ONLY BE MINTED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WHICH WAS MY WHOLE POINT!

    You are so full of it Adam Smith, it tends to dribble all over the place

    You’ve done it again! Whenever you lose an argument, or write something stupid, you invariably revert to abuse.

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    Bush bunny

    Adam Smith at 178 @ 179.

    Have you ever voted? Voting is compulsory in Australia if you have registered on the AEC electoral roll. One doesn’t have to if you don’t want to. You turn up on election day and your name is crossed off on that electoral roll or you can put in a postal vote (if overseas or away) or absentee vote. You can then put in an informal vote if you wish. That’s writing on the ballot paper – ‘I vote for Mickey Mouse’. Or only put a X against the candidate.
    The 2 party preferred candidates after the initial ballot counting where all candidates for that electorate are counted usually have the biggest
    voting count anyway.

    The primary vote is most important at this stage. Incidently what the Green party made a great mistake in the last State election, in some ways, they told voters to just put 1 against the Greens candidates Lower House Assembly box. (It wouldn’t have mattered in the Senate paper).

    To be successful any candidate who receives 51% of the primary vote
    is considered successful. There were only FOUR in the last Fed election! Windsor was one.

    They didn’t require preferential votes to get them in, but the rest of the candidates did! I was hoping the coalition would get in and it looked they would at one time.

    But you mention Adam that the coalition between the Greens and ALP wasn’t a reality. Well at one stage the Coalition were leading in the primary votes and the ALP were behind until Bob Brown said they’d add their votes to the ALP. Just check out Adam Brandt’s reaction. I’ll try and find the actual video.

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    fredn

    What an absolute waste of time and money. The GG isn’t going to throw out over 100 years of democracy because a bunch of nutters show up in trucks and present a miss informed, badly written document.

    You get to vote again in two years. They have made it simple, you no longer have to number every square on the senate paper to prove you can at least number boxes from 1 to 100.

    If the Liberals can get a sane leader who can negotiate to from a minority government or 50% to vote against the current minority government they will get into power, that is how it works.

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    Adam Smith

    Voting is compulsory in Australia if you have registered on the AEC electoral roll.

    You are using words in an imprecise way. The electoral act directs electors that they must fill in the ballot paper in a way that is formal, but Australia uses a secret ballot, so there is no way for this section of the electoral act to be policed. If an elector pretends to mark the ballot, but then simply deposits a blank ballot paper, there is nothing the AEC can do about it. Thus Australia doesn’t really have compulsory voting, it has compulsory attendance at elections.

    The 2 party preferred candidates after the initial ballot counting where all candidates for that electorate are counted usually have the biggest
    voting count anyway.

    The two candidate preferred count is only established once all the primary votes have been counted and preferences are distributed. What you are referring to is the PROVISIONAL count that is used on election night, just to speed up getting to the result of the election. It isn’t actually how the ballots are officially counted.

    To be successful any candidate who receives 51% of the primary vote
    is considered successful. There were only FOUR in the last Fed election! Windsor was one.

    No, it isn’t 51%, it is 50% + 1 more vote out of all the formal ballots. As soon as one candidate has received that number of votes, it is mathematically impossible for them to lose.

    But you mention Adam that the coalition between the Greens and ALP wasn’t a reality.

    There isn’t a coalition between Labor and the Greens as the Greens don’t hold any ministries.

    Well at one stage the Coalition were leading in the primary votes and the ALP were behind until Bob Brown said they’d add their votes to the ALP.

    This is NOT how Australia’s electoral system works! A party leader can’t simply decide to ADD votes to another party! What usually ends up happening (but didn’t in Melbourne) is that minor party votes end up being distributed to one of the major parties).

    At the 2010 election, the full 2 party preferred vote was as follows:
    Labor 6,216,445 (50.12%)
    Coalition 6,185,918 (49.88%)

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    Bush bunny

    Right I have got some links. Adam Smith please note these. Are you with me still Adam?

    Julia Gillard – Why Did You Lie to us? Adam Brandt answers…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SilyIcDgwg

    He talks towards the end of the clip regarding forming a government with the ALP.

    For a laugh

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/05/australian-government-prepares-for-massive-climate-distruption/#com

    This will also lead to other video clips that subscribers might find amusing.

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-election/greens-sign-up-with-labour-20100901-14jo8.html

    NOW ADAM IF YOU STILL DON’T BELIEVE WHAT I HAVE SAID, ABOUT THE GREENS
    SIGNING UP WITH THE ALP FOR POLITICAL POWERS IN government, THEN YOU ARE NOT EDUCATED or biased to the point of ignorance TO COMMENT ON THIS BLOG I AM AFRAID. NON OF US ON JO’S BLOG ARE IGNORANT AND ALTHOUGH WE HOLD DIFFERENT POLITICAL VIEWS TO YOU, WE DON’T PUBLISH CRAP.

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    Bush bunny

    Oh ADAM re the constitution. I was sent a letter I received from her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the second, when I commented that the GG appointed by the PM Kevin Rudd, stated she thought that Australia would become a republic.

    She was out of order. The Queen our Monarch has no constitutional powers in Australia or any Commonwealth country where she is considered the Monarch. And in this letter to me she mentioned this. She can’t make a political comment nor interfer into Australian constitutional
    politics.

    Tony Windsor was the person who sent this to the Queen, he supported the
    book launch written by Bruce Stephenson ‘Constitutionally Speaking’ I did the official review and attended the launch that Tony attended.

    Bruce is also writing a book that I will hope he will ask me to review.

    You are getting off the point. The Draft of the Convoy I feel should have the preferential voting clause removed.

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    memoryvault

    Adam Smith @ 191

    AND THEY CAN ONLY BE MINTED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WHICH WAS MY WHOLE POINT!

    No Adam Smith, your “whole point” was (to quote you):

    Gold and silver can be used to pay debts, but they CAN’T BE USED AS REGULAR MONEY!

    Slither, slither, slither.

    How are those carpet burns going, Adam Smith?

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    Bush bunny

    Buggar got the links wrong.

    Hang on I will try again.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/05/australian-government-prepares-for-massive-climate-disruption/#com

    now I have to find another…. hang five?

    Julia Gillard – Why Did You Lie? Adam Bandt answers.

    http;//www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSilylcDgwg.

    Now if that last one doesn’t work, just Google -Why Did You Like? Adam
    Bandt answers.

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    Bush bunny

    I am not doing well am I. Try ‘Googling’ Why did you Lie? Adam Bandt answers. The link I have is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSilyIcDgwg

    It’s there Adam enjoy. There is Adam Bandt (I wonder if that is Adam Smith you know, maybe not, one would expect an elected MP to be more
    educated on political affairs) Watch the end of the clip and see Adam
    B state he was so pleased when the ALP minority invited them to form a government, not form a government, provided they bring in the carbon tax
    and Climate change bullshit.

    Cheers folks. Check mate Adam, eh?

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    Adam Smith

    He talks towards the end of the clip regarding forming a government with the ALP.

    Agreeing to support the government on confidence and supply isn’t the same as being in a coalition government. Being in a coalition means that two or more parties share ministries, including cabinet ministries, and that all of the parties in the coalition agree to support the decisions made by the cabinet.

    I can find links too. Here is the Labor / Green agreement:
    http://democraticaudit.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/100901-Final-Agreement-ALP.docx

    It NEVER says they are in a coalition with each other, and nowhere does it say that the Greens will support all cabinet decisions, which is what they would have to do if they were in a coalition.

    NOW ADAM IF YOU STILL DON’T BELIEVE WHAT I HAVE SAID, ABOUT THE GREENS
    SIGNING UP WITH THE ALP FOR POLITICAL POWERS IN government

    1) There’s no reason to scream
    2) You are now shifting the goal posts. You have gone from asserting that Labor and the Greens are in a coalition to now simply saying that the Greens are supporting Labor in government. I assume by that you mean the Greens are supporting Labor on confidence and supply, but that is NOT the same as saying they are in Coalition, and is NOT the same as saying that the Greens somehow gave Labor all their votes.

    THEN YOU ARE NOT EDUCATED or biased to the point of ignorance TO COMMENT ON THIS BLOG I AM AFRAID. NON OF US ON JO’S BLOG ARE IGNORANT AND ALTHOUGH WE HOLD DIFFERENT POLITICAL VIEWS TO YOU, WE DON’T PUBLISH CRAP.

    I actually am educated thank you very much. There is no need to revert to screaming and abuse simply because what you have written is wrong.

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    Adam Smith

    Cheers folks. Check mate Adam, eh?

    None of what you have linked to supports the claim that the Greens are in a coalition government with Labor.

    Coalition has a specific meaning in Australian government. It means that two or more parties share ministries, but the Greens have no ministries in the federal government. In Tasmania the Greens do share ministries with Labor, and thus it is correct to call the current Tasmanian government a Labor / Green coalition government.

    At the federal level, all the Greens have done is promised the Labor government that they will support confidence motions in both chambers, and that they will support supply bills in both chambers.

    That is not the same as being in a coalition government.

    I am sorry if you can’t distinguish this importance difference.

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    Tel

    Adam Smith, aside from deftly changing the topic as pointed out #154 above, you are wrong even after your sidestep because Sir John Kerr did seek the advice of Sir Garfield Barwick before sacking Prime Minister Whitlam, thus demonstrating the High Court does have an influence on constitutional matters, and Kerr wanted to ensure the High Court was on his side before he took action. Before you attempt to sidestep once again, take note that your original position was that only Parliament matters, and clearly if the GG is taking advice from outside of Parliament then your position is just plain wrong.

    Besides that, after Whitlam was sacked, the Parliament passed a formal motion of confidence in Whitlam’s government which Sir John Kerr chose to ignore. This demonstrates that the GG does not always take the advice of parliament (although that was a very unusual event).

    At any rate, we all know the current GG will certainly not attempt to follow in the footsteps of Sir John Kerr, so we will be stuck with this unpopular government for some years to come (by which time they will most likely be even more unpopular). A landslide swing to the Liberals next election will also be a bad thing for democracy in this country because it will remove the pressure of an effective opposition… but them’s the breaks I guess. The above petition serves no other purpose than to provide record of the unpopularity of this government, and to serve that purpose the current wording is entirely adequate.

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    Adam Smith

    Adam Smith, aside from deftly changing the topic as pointed out #154 above, you are wrong even after your sidestep because Sir John Kerr did seek the advice of Sir Garfield Barwick before sacking Prime Minister

    Kerr’s discussions with Barwick were grossly inappropriate given that 1) Whitlam had explicitly told him not to talk with Barwick, thus Kerr explicitly acted contrary to the advice of the democratically elected Prime Minister, and 2) Whitlam had advised Kerr that he COULD speak to the solicitor general if he was unsure of his constitutional obligations. This acts by Kerr were extremely serious, but not as serious as his fatal mistake of actually sacking the Prime Minister.

    The reason it was inappropriate for Kerr to discuss the matter with Barwick is obvious, because if Whitlam had sacked Kerr first, it is possible that the Opposition would’ve taken the Government to the High Court, where Barwick and the other justices would’ve had to adjudicate on Whitlam’s actions. That would’ve produced an extraordinary conflict of interest.

    thus demonstrating the High Court does have an influence on constitutional matters

    The absurd claim that the High Court doesn’t have an influence on constitutional matters is something of your creation! I would never make such an absurd claim.

    But Kerr discussing his powers with Barwick WASN’T an action of the High Court,which is 1) why Whitlam advised him against doing so 2) why it was so inappropriate for Kerr to do it in the first place!

    Besides that, after Whitlam was sacked, the Parliament passed a formal motion of confidence in Whitlam’s government which Sir John Kerr chose to ignore.

    Yes, and again, Kerr was wrong to do this. But in order to sack the Prime Minister, he had to break the 74 year old convention that the Prime Minister is the leader of the party, or coalition of parties, that has confidence on the floor of the lower house, which of course is another reason why Kerr’s actions were wrong.

    This demonstrates that the GG does not always take the advice of parliament (although that was a very unusual event).

    Well this single statement demonstrates why the G.G. wouldn’t withhold assent from a bill duly debated and passed by the parliament. You yourself concede that Kerr’s extraordinary actions took place in extraordinary circumstances (the Opposition blocking supply, in direct breach of parliamentary convention), so you aren’t doing my position much damage.

    At any rate, we all know the current GG will certainly not attempt to follow in the footsteps of Sir John Kerr, so we will be stuck with this unpopular government for some years to come (by which time they will most likely be even more unpopular)

    That’s how our system works, deal with it. The Howard Government was behind in every opinion poll from late 2006 until the 2007 election, but it would’ve been grossly inappropriate for the G.G. to sack the PM just because he and his party was unpopular.

    A landslide swing to the Liberals next election will also be a bad thing for democracy in this country because it will remove the pressure of an effective opposition…

    I think you are being brave predicting the result of an election 2 years out. At this stage in 2009, Labor was leading most opinion polls by the same margins the Coalition is now, but the 2010 election produced a hung parliament.

    Oh, and we don’t have an effective opposition now. We have a rabble that just opposes everything irrespective of its merits, much like the Republicans in the U.S.

    The above petition serves no other purpose than to provide record of the unpopularity of this government, and to serve that purpose the current wording is entirely adequate.

    No, the wording is woefully inadequate as I pointed out in my very first post to this thread. Look at the very first sentence, it says “…legislation implemented by a Government…” but Government’s don’t implement legislation; implementing (or rather debating and passing) legislation is something done by THE PARLIAMENT.

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    Adam Smith @ 203

    Re the Franklin Dam case,where a dubious ruling of the High Court said that a treaty becomes the supreme law of the land [51:29]and so proving that the High Court influences the interpretation of the Constitution.

    What is your interpretation of the fact that Doc Evatt and PM Forde ratified by treaty in 1945 the complete United Nations Charter? Is the UN Charter now the supreme law of the land?

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    Adam Smith

    Re the Franklin Dam case,where a dubious ruling of the High Court said that a treaty becomes the supreme law of the land [51:29]and so proving that the High Court influences the interpretation of the Constitution.

    I have no idea what you are crapping on about here because I never claimed the High Court didn’t interpret the constitution! In fact, that is one of its major responsibilities to be the ultimate constitutional court of the nation.

    The Fraklin Dam case wasn’t a dubious ruling at all, it simply found that the federal government has the power to ensure that the states comply with treaty obligations that the federal government has entered into, and more the the point, the external affairs power gives the commonwealth the power to stop states from performing actions that would breech Australia’s international treaty obligations.

    The Attorney General Gareth Evans QC had proposed that the Commonwealth would have such power, which was later proved correct when the federal government ruled in the Commonwealth’s favour.

    What is your interpretation of the fact that Doc Evatt and PM Forde ratified by treaty in 1945 the complete United Nations Charter? Is the UN Charter now the supreme law of the land?

    That simply made Australia a member of the United Nations.

    The fact Doc Evatt was one of the people that drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is something that all Australians should be proud of.

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    Adam Smith

    The Attorney General Gareth Evans QC had proposed that the Commonwealth would have such power, which was later proved correct when the federal government ruled in the Commonwealth’s favour.

    Whoops! I meant the High Court ruled in the Commonwealth’s favour.

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    I borrowed a book from the library a few years back called The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith. In the front pages it had the cultish symbols of the Freemasons. Is this book the Bible of the proponents for World Government?

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    Adam Smith @ 205

    Why would Australia have to ratify by treaty the full United Nations Charter simply to become a member?

    In what way is Australia now bound by the signing of that treaty?

    Is it possible for Australia to opt out of its treaty obligations?

    As well as the Human Rights Charter something else you will be proud of is that Doc Evatt had a hand in the draughting of the U. N. Charter.

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    fredn

    I must say with Adam Smith as a contributor this thread is very interesting and informative.

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    Sean McHugh

    Adam Smith:
    August 6th, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    It is inferior because it compromises the resolution of the preferential system. I have given an electoral example above of why the preferential system is superior and much more representative of the people’s wishes – assuming voters are intelligent enough and not too lazy to use it. Optional Preferential voting isn’t as bad as a first-past-the-post; it’s only half as bad.

    This paragraph demonstrates that you have absolutely no idea about the difference between compulsory preferential voting, which is what we have at federal elections, and optional preferential voting, which QLD and NSW use for state elections.

    ‘Absolutely no idea’? For your statement to have any hope of being true, every statement I made in there, would need to be completely false. In the following you seem to be rebutting claims that I don’t recall making.

    In compulsory preferential voting the voter MUST put a preference number next to all candidates on the ballot paper (including no repetition of the same number) for the ballot to be formal. In optional preferential voting, the voter only needs to mark ONE candidate (and they don’t even have to use a number) in order for the ballot to be formal, but they can then choose to give as many preferences as they like, including the entire ballot if that is what they want to do.

    Gee, thanks you for informing me, with emphasis, that with operational preferential, that voter can only mark “ONE” candidate. I must have forgotten that after criticising that very option several times in my last post.

    The counting method for both systems is EXACTLY the same, but in optional preferential voting the voter has far more control in how they choose to allocate their preferences.

    In practice it ends up being less control, because most who choose the optional preferential, just put down a ’1′.

    I’ll try again. If you put someone last, you aren’t doing them a favour, even though you are putting them in order of preference and as such, assigning them a preference number. Perhaps you are troubled by the nicety of the word.

    I’ll try again. Why should a voter be forced by the electoral act to give a candidate ANY preference if they don’t want to? If a voter simply wants to vote for ONE candidate, and not allocate any preferences, why should they be forced to hand out preferences just to make their vote count?

    I have explained that with examples of how the soft option can allow an unpopular party to win.

    In the same way that optionally not collecting stamps is a form of stamp collecting! You would appear to be equivocating with the word, ‘preferential’, first by having it referring to preferential voting and then to the preference of not using preferential voting.

    This is just mumbo-jumbo nonsense that demonstrates you have absolutely no idea of the difference between compulsory and optional preferential voting. It also suggests you have no idea how votes are actually counted in Australian elections.

    If you didn’t understand it (and I’m not doubting that) how did you make such sweeping deductions from it? BTW, again your use of the word, “absolutely” almost guarantees falsity on your part.

    Above you have have PV as bad because one has to supposedly endorse candidates/parties one doesn’t like and now you have have it as bad because it effectively has them deciding on whom to punish. The latter is closer to the way it ultimately works.

    VOTERS should decide for themselves who they wish to preference and the reasons for preferencing them. At the moment we have a system that FORCES voters to preference candidates just to make a formal ballot.

    Considering what is at stake, it is worth the extra effort. I think that after seeing the performance of the current abomination government, a lot more people will be putting a lot more thought into their voting. Don’t you think, Adam?

    Let’s take a scenario where there are three parties, the Extremists and Moderates A and B. Let’s assign a primary popularity of 44% to the Extremists and 28% each to the Moderates. In this scenario, without preferential voting

    I am NOT advocating we get rid of preferential voting! I do not support first past the post voting!

    With optional preferential voting, first-past-the-post, is what you can inadvertently end up getting:

    http://www.justice.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/80003/optional-preferential-voting-in-queensland.pdf

    Disadvantages of optional preferential voting

    A key issue with OPV is that it has the potential to become a de facto ‘first past the
    post’ system. This is because preferences can be quickly exhausted where a large
    number of voters choose to vote ‘1’ only. This is particularly problematic where a
    large number of candidates are contesting a seat. In such a circumstance, it would be
    possible for a candidate to be elected with only a small proportion of the vote, which
    could leave the majority of the population unrepresented.

    This is precisely the point I tried to to make to make with purely hypothetical and deliberately simplified models. In your continuance, you showed you were more interested in pedantry, ad hominem and working hard to not see that point. You excelled in all three. I believe you will continue to do so.

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    Adam Smith

    In practice it ends up being less control, because most who choose the optional preferential, just put down a ’1′.

    What the hell are you going on about? How is letting the voter decide how many preferences to allocate an example of giving them “less control”?

    Gee, thanks you for informing me, with emphasis, that with operational preferential, that voter can only mark “ONE” candidate. I must have forgotten that after criticising that very option several times in my last post.

    There is no such thing as “operational preferential” voting! If a candidate only wants to give one candidate a preference, why should the electoral act force them to allocate any other preference, let alone a preference for all candidates? You still haven’t come up with a coherent reason why they should be forced to give preferences to candidates that they don’t think are deserving of a preference.

    I have explained that with examples of how the soft option can allow an unpopular party to win.

    1) Your example simply demonstrated that you don’t understand how any form of preferential voting works.
    2) In your example, the so called “extremist” candidate received 44% of the primary vote, yet you simply asserted that they shouldn’t be allowed to win!

    Considering what is at stake, it is worth the extra effort.

    So again, you are demanding that voters simply adhere to YOUR philosophy of allocating preferences instead of allowing each voter to determine the allocation of preferences for themselves.

    With optional preferential voting, first-past-the-post, is what you can inadvertently end up getting:

    Absolute nonsense! The winner in optional preferential voting is still the candidate that gets 50% + 1 of the formal ballots. Preferences are still distributed, but they are distributed based on the extent that voters allocate them, instead of being forced to fill in all the boxes due to the electoral act.

    Again, you demonstrate that you don’t understand how votes are counted in Australian elections.

    This is precisely the point I tried to to make to make with purely hypothetical and deliberately simplified models. In your continuance, you showed you were more interested in pedantry, ad hominem and working hard to not see that point. You excelled in all three. I believe you will continue to do so.

    You simply have no point. You have just asserted that we should have compulsory preferential voting, even though that involves forcing voters to allocate preferences to candidates that they don’t approve of.

    You are on the side of telling voters what to do, I am on the side of giving voters a higher degree of choice in the way they fill out their ballot.

    The only example you provided simply demonstrated that you don’t understand how compulsory preferential voting works!

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    Adam Smith

    Adam Smith @ 205

    Why would Australia have to ratify by treaty the full United Nations Charter simply to become a member?

    http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/cotuna1945288/

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    Off-off-topic:

    Just repeating how excited I am about…

    THE CONVOY!

    Something tells me that the “invisible hand” of Labor is also excited. Only in a different way.

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    Sean McHugh

    Adam Smith:

    In practice it ends up being less control, because most who choose the optional preferential, just put down a ’1′.

    What the hell are you going on about? How is letting the voter decide how many preferences to allocate an example of giving them “less control”?

    Are you being deliberately obtuse? If the voters taking up the option and just insert a ’1′ – as they usually do – they aren’t controlling the subsequent distribution at all.

    Gee, thanks you for informing me, with emphasis, that with operational preferential, that voter can only mark “ONE” candidate. I must have forgotten that after criticising that very option several times in my last post.

    There is no such thing as “operational preferential” voting! If a candidate only wants to give one candidate a preference, why should the electoral act force them to allocate any other preference, let alone a preference for all candidates? You still haven’t come up with a coherent reason why they should be forced to give preferences to candidates that they don’t think are deserving of a preference.

    Unless you are of lower intellect, you would have known that that was an isolated typo. That can be verified by the numerous times I referred to it as “optional preferential’. That dishonest behaviour is a tell-tale of your agenda and of your likely political persuasion. As I said several times, assigning a preference number does not per se equal rewarding the party to whom you assign that preference. At the bottom end, it represents rejection. You still only seem to be only referring to voting ‘preferences’ as showing favour. You seem determined to retain that misleading perspective.

    With optional preferential voting, first-past-the-post, is what you can inadvertently end up getting:

    Absolute nonsense!

    Oh nice work. You snipped the quote that immediately followed that echoed my point. Never mind, we can always put it back:

    http://www.justice.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/80003/optional-preferential-voting-in-queensland.pdf

    Disadvantages of optional preferential voting

    A key issue with OPV is that it has the potential to become a de facto ‘first past the
    post’ system. This is because preferences can be quickly exhausted where a large
    number of voters choose to vote ‘1’ only. This is particularly problematic where a
    large number of candidates are contesting a seat. In such a circumstance, it would be
    possible for a candidate to be elected with only a small proportion of the vote, which
    could leave the majority of the population unrepresented.

    Which is what I have been saying. Note that that is from the ‘Attorney-General’s Report to Cabinet on Optional Preferential Voting in Queensland’. Queensland is one of the two states you cited as employing optional preferential voting. So which way are you going to go with this, Adam? Here are your options:

    1. Snip it again and pretend it was never there.
    2. Say that the Attorney-General is talking nonsense too.
    3. Lie and say that I haven’t primarily been arguing that optional preferential voting risks an unpopular party getting in.

    I deliberately left out 4, because I know it isn’t an option for you.

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    Adam Smith

    If the voters taking up the option and just insert a ’1′ – as they usually do – they aren’t controlling the subsequent distribution at all.

    That should be THEIR CHOICE! Again you are asserting that YOU have a better idea of how a voter should allocate their preferences than the voter themselves! That is an astonishing assumption for you to make about someone else’s vote!

    Unless you are of lower intellect, you would have known that that was an isolated typo.

    Don’t revert to abuse when you are losing a debate, it makes people think less of you.

    As I said several times, assigning a preference number does not per se equal rewarding the party to whom you assign that preference.

    So why do you propose forcing voters to do so? The voter should arrange preferences on the ballot how THEY want to, they shouldn’t be compelled to do so simply to make their actual preffered preferences count.

    At the bottom end, it represents rejection. You still only seem to be only referring to voting ‘preferences’ as showing favour. You seem determined to retain that misleading perspective.

    Again you are telling voters what their votes mean! It should be left to each VOTER to decide how and why they preference different candidates.

    Oh nice work. You snipped the quote that immediately followed that echoed my point. Never mind, we can always put it back:

    Optional preferential ISN’T like first past the post because the result is still determined by a distribution of preferences.

    You are asserting two completely contradictory things. On the one hand you are saying it doesn’t matter that voters are forced under compulsory preferential to give a full preference distribution, even if they don’t want to. But then on the other hand you assert that if given the choice, voters will stop allocating any preferences.

    You are ultimately making the assertion that voters can’t decide for themselves how they wish to place preferences on their ballots!

    Which is what I have been saying. Note that that is from the ‘Attorney-General’s Report to Cabinet on Optional Preferential Voting in Queensland’. Queensland is one of the two states you cited as employing optional preferential voting. So which way are you going to go with this, Adam? Here are your options:

    I am going to say that i don’t care what that committee thinks. It is unfair forcing voters to give preferences if they don’t want to. The QLD parliament agrees with me, because the next election will be conducted using Optional Preferential Voting!

    The federal parliament should change to Optional Preferential too else the number of informal votes will increase as people become familiar with the NSW and QLD systems.

    So, your next response needs to do the following:
    1) Explain why you think your philosophy for allocating preferences should be forced onto other voters
    2) Explain why you think it is fair for the parliament to force voters to allocate preferences, even to candidates that they don’t want elected.
    3) Explain why a ballot paper that has at least one preference marked should be considered informal simply because it doesn’t have all preferences marked, even though the voter has clearly made a judgement about the worth of at least ONE candidate. What rational reason is there to say that that shouldn’t count as a vote? And don’t simply say “because the electoral act says so”. I want a genuine reason for discounting such a vote.

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    J.H.

    Yep definately drop 4…. Muddies the waters.

    3 could certainly do with a rewrite to clarify. It’s vague.

    Otherwise, yep, I agree…… Where do I sign?

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    Adam Smith

    A beautiful set of numbers. The IMF gives Australia’s economy a high mark:

    3. The economic outlook is favorable. After a temporary setback in the first quarter due to natural disasters, activity is expected to bounce back in the second quarter. We project real GDP growth of 2 percent for calendar year 2011 and 3½ percent in 2012 on the back of strong demand for commodities and private investment in mining and liquefied natural gas. We expect employment to grow at a slower pace than in recent years but the unemployment rate should remain below 5 percent in 2011 and 2012. With the labor market approaching capacity, underlying inflation is likely to rise gradually. The external current account deficit is expected to narrow to 1 percent of GDP in 2011—due to the jump in the terms of trade—before progressively widening to about 6½ percent of GDP in the medium term, assuming the real effective exchange rate remains at its current level.

    http://www.imf.org/external/np/ms/2011/080111.htm

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    “…strong demand for commodities and private investment in mining…”

    And tell me, Invisible Hand, what might be chief among the commodities? And what, chiefly, will those private investors be mining?

    Much coal?

    I’m uneasy. You see, I’ve heard that Australian coal, when exported, is not used for decoration. I’m told it’s actually burnt, untaxed, in enormous amounts, into the very same atmosphere as the one we’re breathing now. That’s right! Not a Chinese atmosphere, or a Korean atmosphere…but one big common atmosphere. Could that be true?

    No wonder there’s a Convoy, Invisible Hand. Whoops! There I go talking about that Convoy thing again. Sorry.

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    Adam Smith

    IMF endorses the carbon price and increasing the tax free threshold:

    13. The review of the tax system released last year provides a blueprint for tax reform. We welcome the progress already made in adopting many of its recommendations, which include reducing the company tax rate, taxing some mineral resource rents, and taking steps to reduce effective marginal tax rates for low-income earners. We support the proposed introduction of a carbon price as part of a transition to a permits trading system to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. As part of this package, the increase in the tax-free threshold is welcome, as it should relieve an extra one million Australians from the need to lodge an income tax return and boost labor force participation.

    http://www.imf.org/external/np/ms/2011/080111.htm

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    “We support the proposed introduction of a carbon price as part of a transition to a permits trading system to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.”

    Since the IMF are such an analytical bunch, I assume by “carbon” they are referring to most things that live or have lived, animal or vegetable. By “price” I’m guessing they mean that government or someone else is going to start selling this carbon to someone or other. How odd. As to the implication that this will mitigate greenhouse gas emissions…I can make nothing of that.

    Perhaps they were having a sloppy language day. Maybe they meant to say Carbon Dioxide Tax. The notion that this will transition to a permits system for “emissions” then at least becomes comprehensible. Ludicrous, but comprehensible. (Invisble Hand, maybe there’s a necessary crowd-control factor in the murky wording? Saying Carbon Dioxide Tax might provoke something like – sorry about using the C-word – a CONVOY?)

    As to the hope that such a permits system, so heroically pioneered by Lehman Brothers, will not become infested by every shill, spiv, shyster, tout and stock-jobber alive…

    Oh, what the hell! Let’s party like it was 2007!

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    Adam Smith

    Since the IMF are such an analytical bunch, I assume by “carbon” they are referring to most things that live or have lived, animal or vegetable.

    No, they mean atmospheric carbon emissions.

    I’m guessing they mean that government or someone else is going to start selling this carbon to someone or other. How odd.

    No, they mean there will be a cost for putting carbon into the atmosphere.

    How odd. As to the implication that this will mitigate greenhouse gas emissions…I can make nothing of that.

    No, read a basic economics text book, particularly the section on Pigovian taxes. You may like to start here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pigovian_tax

    Perhaps they were having a sloppy language day. Maybe they meant to say Carbon Dioxide Tax.

    No, this would be a sloppy use of language, because other green house gases will be included, such as methane (CH4) for example.

    The notion that this will transition to a permits system for “emissions” then at least becomes comprehensible.

    No, this is a mistake, the permits start being sold immediately, except initially they will be at a fixed price.

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    Dave

    Adam

    No, this is a mistake, the permits start being sold immediately, except initially they will be at a fixed price

    .

    Do mean it is a mistake to sell permits immediately?

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    Adam Smith

    [Do mean it is a mistake to sell permits immediately?]
    No

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    Dave

    Adam

    And this

    this would be a sloppy use of language, because other green house gases will be included, such as methane (CH4) for example.

    Do you mean that other greenhouse gases shouldn’t be included?

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    Adam Smith

    Do you mean that other greenhouse gases shouldn’t be included?

    They ARE included, but they are measured in terms of carbon dioxide equivalent for accounting purposes (as set up by the Howard government). Methane is a stronger greenhouse gas than CO2.

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    Dave

    Adam,

    Few more! Because you have started sentences 18 times with this

    No,

    and now I am wondering if each time you say NO you mean YES!
    Is this correct.

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    Adam Smith

    and now I am wondering if each time you say NO you mean YES!
    Is this correct

    No.

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    Dave

    Hey Adam!

    Is that you Speedy having fun? Yes Minister?

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    “No, they mean atmospheric carbon emissions.”
    I wonder why they didn’t say that. (Actually, I don’t wonder. Dirrrrrty coal, belching smokestacks, steam as smoke…gotta have all that.)

    “No, they mean there will be a cost for putting carbon into the atmosphere.”
    Yep, taxes sure cost.

    “No, read a basic economics text book…”
    Like, The Wealth of Nations? Hey, it’s one thing to call yourself Adam Smith, and use “market” as a spin word for flexible compulsion, and “price” as a spin word for tax…but books like that can be dangerous, Invisible Hand.

    “No, this would be a sloppy use of language, because other green house gases will be included, such as methane (CH4) for example.”
    I see the C in CH4, but can’t see the C in N2O.

    “No, this is a mistake, the permits start being sold immediately, except initially they will be at a fixed price.”
    Silly IMF. (“We support the proposed introduction of a carbon price as part of a transition to a permits trading system…”)

    But one can juggle words forever. Here, quoting words I just wrote on another site, is why I want to see an end to this government:

    The Australian government is refusing to implement any EFFECTIVE alternative energy projects.
    The Australian government is refusing to plan for the modernisation of the coal plants which will be required indefinitely to supplement its ruinously expensive and INEFFECTIVE alternative energy projects.
    The Australian government, ravenous for cash, will expatriate coal in massive quantities, and this coal will not be used for decoration. It is even rumoured that it will be burnt in exactly the same atmosphere as the one which covers the Australian continent!
    The Australian bushland is ever more vulnerable to hot burns, and bushfires at the end of the current wet conditions and the beginning of the next drier cycle will make a mockery of any piddling emissions reductions resulting from a mere ETS. With work, money and consultation with those aboriginal people who still have a good understanding of our flora and landscape, much CO2 could be kept out of the atmosphere.

    Even if you believe in CAGW and the need to curb emissions, this government needs to go.

    Roll on the Convoy!

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    Adam Smith

    I wonder why they didn’t say that. (Actually, I don’t wonder. Dirrrrrty coal, belching smokestacks, steam as smoke…gotta have all that.)

    No, it makes sense that they are concerned with atmospheric carbon emissions as that is the problem.

    Like, The Wealth of Nations?

    No, that isn’t an economics text book.

    and “price” as a spin word for tax…

    No, a price could mean an Emissions Trading Scheme, which is what the government is introducing.

    Silly IMF. (“We support the proposed introduction of a carbon price as part of a transition to a permits trading system…”)

    No, that’s not inconsistent. Initially the permits can only be sold back tot he government, not traded.

    The Australian government is refusing to implement any EFFECTIVE alternative energy projects.

    No, the government is committing $10 billion for renewable energy over the first 3 years of the Clean Energy Act. That’s about 15 times more money the federal government has committed over the last 3 years. And during the Howard government, the proportion of electricity generated by renewable energy actually declined!

    The Australian government is refusing to plan for the modernisation of the coal plants which will be required

    No, there is no way to modernise a brown coal plant build circa 1970. They just need to be shut down. If Australia simply replaced and shut down its brown coal power stations it would cut its emissions by about 15%.

    With work, money and consultation with those aboriginal people who still have a good understanding of our flora and landscape, much CO2 could be kept out of the atmosphere.

    No, if you think this is will actually acheive more carbon abatement than shutting down a couple of brown coal power stations you’re in a Tony Abbott-like dream land.

    Even if you believe in CAGW and the need to curb emissions, this government needs to go.

    No, the Coalition’s policy of cutting emissions will cost somewhere between $4 – $9 billion a year, depending on if you take the best or worst case scenario for previous direct action carbon abatement projects.

    There is no way that politicians can outguess markets because politicians, and the economists that advise them, simply can’t evaluate all possible methods of carbon abatement. The best way to acheive abatement is simply to create a market and let the the market decide based on where companies invest.

    If you think the Coalition’s direct action policy is superior, get ready to pay higher taxes, and have less money spent on other services like health and education in order to fund the enormous costs of politicians simply throwing money at the problem.

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    “No, the government is committing $10 billion for renewable energy over the first 3 years of the Clean Energy Act…”

    One hopes that he’s not referring to Solar, Wind and Timmy’s Geothermia.

    My God, how one hopes.

    Roll on the Unmentionable. Roll on the Convoy!

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    Adam Smith

    All Ords drops 5.5%, before ending the day positive!
    http://au.finance.yahoo.com/q?s=^AORD

    You can’t keep the Oz economy down!

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    memoryvault

    Adam Smith @ 232

    According to a peer-reviewed published video by a green advocacy group (AKA IPCC “science”), even a dead polar bear will bounce a little if it has fallen far enough.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxis7Y1ikIQ

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    Adam Smith

    Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the non-sequitur of the year:

    According to a peer-reviewed published video by a green advocacy group (AKA IPCC “science”), even a dead polar bear will bounce a little if it has fallen far enough.

    Congratulations memomryvault, make sure to spend your lack of money wisely.

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    memoryvault

    Adam Smith @ 234

    And I look forward to your upbeat report on the resilience of the OZ stock market at the end of the month.

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    Wayne, s. Job

    Last night I down loaded and printed the new petition. I showed it my main man that I employ and he wanted to take it home to get a few signatures. Today he told me it will come back when it is full as it is doing the rounds. I had no idea so many real ordinary families and people were so pissed off.

    This government has a snowballs chance in hell of doing anything other than departing.

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    Adam Smith

    This government has a snowballs chance in hell of doing anything other than departing.

    Oh, well, it will get the ETS legislated and passed.

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    Adam Smith:
    August 6th, 2011 at 11:47
    WRONG, WRONG, WRONG and WRONG!

    The Queen unquestioningly accepts the requests of the Prime Minister of Australia. The Queen has absolutely no role in messing with the internal political affairs of Australia.

    You are wrong. Memoryvault pointed out where your statement is flat out false. Please, I am not an Australian, but apparently know more about your own country than you do. The last thing we need is a bunch of “ugly Australians” as Americans are doing fine in their ignorance of their country and laws.

    LEARN about your country’s governing system.

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    Adam Smith

    You are wrong. Memoryvault pointed out where your statement is flat out false. Please, I am not an Australian, but apparently know more about your own country than you do. The last thing we need is a bunch of “ugly Australians” as Americans are doing fine in their ignorance of their country and laws.

    LEARN about your country’s governing system.

    LOL! An American lecturing an Australian on their political system! What next, you’ll tell us who we should pick for our cricket team!

    If you understood anything about the Statute of Westminster, or the Australia Act, or the High Court case Sue V Hill ( http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/1999/30.html ) your baseless assertions may be worth considering, but you obviously know bugger all about Australia’s system of government and its constitution, so your opinions can be ignored.

    If you think the Crown can pick and choose which requests from the Prime Minister she accepts, then you are completely delusional. There isn’t a single example in the 110 year history of Australia’s federation of the monarch rejecting a Prime Ministerial request, and the reason is blatantly obvious, the Queen respects the Prime Minister’s position as Australia’s democratically elected head of government, as decided by the voters, and as appointed by the Governor General acting as representative for the Queen.

    More to the point. If the Monarch DID intervene in Australia’s affairs IN ANY WAY, there would be massive protests in the streets, because the Crown for 110 years has stayed out of Australian affairs, which is completely appropriate considering she isn’t elected!

    As to your assertion that “…Americans are doing fine in their ignorance of their country and laws.” Well most Tea Partyers have absolutely no understanding of their political system or constitution, as was brilliantly satarised by The Onion:
    http://www.theonion.com/articles/area-man-passionate-defender-of-what-he-imagines-c,2849/

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    Mark

    Adam Smith:

    Pretty cock-sure of yourself aren’t you? Just like all warmista, you know everything, don’t you?

    You apparently don’t know the difference between the element carbon and its main oxide. If you don’t know that, why should anyone take any of your comments seriously? Certainly, you should never venture into a chemistry lab.

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    Adam Smith:
    August 10th, 2011 at 7:23 pm
    LOL! An American lecturing an Australian on their political system! What next, you’ll tell us who we should pick for our cricket team!

    I know sad is it not? But like many Americans who are ignorant of their government, so it seems you are ignorant of yours. As for Cricket, I have an appreciation of the game, but have not discussed it here, so I have no idea of your lack of knowledge in that arena. If it is like your knowledge of your government, I dare say a trained chimpanzee would do better than you.

    If you think the Crown can pick and choose which requests from the Prime Minister she accepts, then you are completely delusional. There isn’t a single example in the 110 year history of Australia’s federation of the monarch rejecting a Prime Ministerial request, and the reason is blatantly obvious, the Queen respects the Prime Minister’s position as Australia’s democratically elected head of government, as decided by the voters, and as appointed by the Governor General acting as representative for the Queen.

    Again with the strawman. Ok, show me where I stated the Queen (or King) has EVER rejected a request from your PM? Please, show everyone where ANYONE made that statement?

    Let me save you the time. You will not find it, because no one said it. Your strawman. The Queen CAN reject whatever she pleases. That she has not done so does not mean she cannot.

    Second point from your tirade, thank you for FINALLY conceding the point that the PM CANNOT tell the Queen what to do. A request is not a command, it is a question. So you have already contradicted yourself.

    Third point – another strawman alert – show us all where ANYONE (I am including everyone to give you more chances) said the Queen does not respect the PM? Let me save you some trouble again. No one here, save you, appear to be able to read the minds of others, so NO ONE stated such malarky.

    So in one short paragraph, you have contradicted yourself, claimed clairvoyance, and claimed a statement not found anywhere on these pages (some would call that a lie).

    More to the point. If the Monarch DID intervene in Australia’s affairs IN ANY WAY, there would be massive protests in the streets, because the Crown for 110 years has stayed out of Australian affairs, which is completely appropriate considering she isn’t elected!

    {{SHOCK}} – There might even be a R-E-V-O-L-U-T-I-O-N. Guess what? It has happened before! About 235 years ago (just not down under). But again, show us all where ANYONE was talking about social unrest (you mean like the riots in London?). I am sure no one here wants them, but not wanting them does not mean they could not happen. And regardless, your acceptance of consequences of the action demonstrates you believe the action to be possible. So you contradicted yourself again, and proved what this “ignorant American” has been saying all along!

    As to your assertion that “…Americans are doing fine in their ignorance of their country and laws.” Well most Tea Partyers have absolutely no understanding of their political system or constitution, as was brilliantly satarised by The Onion:
    http://www.theonion.com/articles/area-man-passionate-defender-of-what-he-imagines-c,2849/

    Finally, do not quote a humor site to make a point to demonstrate your ignorance. The Onion is a well known humor site. It is not factual. Your ignorance of the Tea Party is apparent since you do not know what the Tea Party is, or their level of knowledge of the US Governing system (here’s a freebee for you – they score a lot higher on the competency questions than the average Joe in America – why? Because they Understand the Constitution and the laws.)

    But I must congratulate you. In one post, you conceded my points, and demonstrated you are ignorant in 2 countries! Way to go Adam! What do you do for an encore?

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    Remember that Sir Philip Game, as the Queen’s representative, dismissed a Premier of NSW, Jack Lang, though he was in sympathy with Lang on many points and there was little personal hostility between the men. Game believed that Lang was guilty of an illegality. It was a money matter involving Federal and State governments, as well as the High Court, and Game gave Lang warning of the perceived illegality and his intention to dismiss if Lang persisted. Lang persisted, Game dismissed him.

    The dismissal of a Premier, right or wrong, was no good thing. Lang’s strongly suspected intention to arrest a Governor was an appalling thing. There was even some danger of military action in 1932.

    I’m not here to critique either Game or Lang, just to suggest that we think carefully before putting any pressure on the Vice Regal authority, the constitution, or those conventions which support the constitution, however uneasily.

    Guys, we need a Convoy as a demonstration against the waste and incompetence of Labor, and the self-loathing misanthropy of the Greens.

    Game had better reasons than Kerr, and Bryce has no reason. Do we really think she should start juggling definitions of promise, commitment, tax, price etc? And retain or dismiss a Prime Minister on the strength of her conclusions about what constitutes “lying to the Australian people”?

    If an independent wavers, if someone vacates a reps seat, there is a chance of a change of government. Let’s heap on the pressure, try our luck. The amount of time and effort expended by GetUp, possibly on this site, is an indication that all the right people are dreading this marvellous Convoy.

    But leave the constitution and the GG right out of this, regardless of what technicalities and outs can be found. I’m not saying that Phil or MV are trending this way, just that some extra vigilance may be needed to keep our protests on track.

    Anyway, the last time we had a dismissal, we got rid of Bib only to end up with Bub.

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    memoryvault

    Adam Smith @ 239

    There isn’t a single example in the 110 year history of Australia’s federation of the monarch rejecting a Prime Ministerial request . . .

    What a piece of goods you are.
    When you can’t slither, slither, slither your way around your untruths, you simply ignore them. Take your statement highlighted above, which you now state as “fact”. And yet at post #158 you asked:

    Find me ONE example from the last 110 years of the Monarch at the time refusing to do something that the Australian Prime Minister has advised.

    To which I replied:

    In 1930 King George V initially refused Prime Minister Scullin’s nomination of Sir Isaac Isaacs as GG.

    He did eventually change his mind and Issacs became GG. Nonetheless, you asked for an example, and one exists.

    To which you NEVER replied. Now, four days later, you want to pretend that exchange never took place, that your challenge was never answered, and so you can go on repeating your crap over and over and nobody will notice.

    I DEMONSTRATED four days ago that your statement that “in the last 100 years no monarch has ever rejected a PM request” was bovine excrement, and mosomoso has just given you another example.

    And STILL you persist.

    The slithering is distasteful enough. Your outright lying brands you for what you are – somebody with an agenda which has nothing to do with the issues being discussed here.

    Can you say “fifth column” children?

    I knew you could.

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    Adam Smith

    {{SHOCK}} – There might even be a R-E-V-O-L-U-T-I-O-N. Guess what? It has happened before! About 235 years ago (just not down under).

    What on earth are you talking about? Australia has never had a revolution, Australia was federated through a democratic process, a referendum to adopt the constitution which passed in 1900, and came into effect on Jan 1, 1901. Face facts, you know bugger all about Australia’s political history.

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    Adam Smith

    In 1930 King George V initially refused Prime Minister Scullin’s nomination of Sir Isaac Isaacs as GG.

    He did eventually change his mind and Issacs became GG. Nonetheless, you asked for an example, and one exists.

    Thank you for demonstrating that the Monarch followed the Australia Prime Minister’s request to appoint who the P.M. wanted as Governor General, thus proving my case that the Monarch follows the advice of the Prime Minister, even when they don’t want to.

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    Adam Smith

    Finally, do not quote a humor site to make a point to demonstrate your ignorance. The Onion is a well known humor site. It is not factual.

    And you obviously have no understanding of what the word “satarised” means.

    Your ignorance of the Tea Party is apparent since you do not know what the Tea Party is, or their level of knowledge of the US Governing system

    Well I have a much better understanding of the US Governing system than you, that’s plainly obvious. And I know that the Tea Party’s idea of cutting taxes and spending would ruin the US in a decade.

    (here’s a freebee for you – they score a lot higher on the competency questions than the average Joe in America – why? Because they Understand the Constitution and the laws.)

    Well 30% of the Tea Party doesn’t understand that Barack Obama was born in the United States, that’s a pretty fundamental howler for them to make:
    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/04/14/us/politics/20100414-tea-party-poll-graphic.html?ref=politics#tab=1

    But I must congratulate you. In one post, you conceded my points, and demonstrated you are ignorant in 2 countries! Way to go Adam! What do you do for an encore?

    I conceded none of your points. Your assertion that the Monarch can pick and choose which what directives from the Australian PM that they follow just demonstrates you have no idea how Australia’s political system works, and you are simply being an arrogant American by lecturing people on a topic you know nothing about.

    On top of that you don’t understand what the word “satarise” means, and are defending the Tea Party even though 30% of them don’t think Barack Obama is an natural born American.

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    Adam Smith

    The coalition’s plan to dump Labor’s carbon tax will cost $27 billion, leaked party documents say.

    Coalition documents leaked to the Seven Network show Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s promise to axe the tax, if elected, would cost $27 billion over four years.

    The coalition frontbench and senior advisers had been told of the figure in four separate meetings, chaired by shadow treasurer Joe Hockey, the network reported on Thursday.

    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/coalition-face-big-bill-to-dump-carbon-tax-20110811-1iokc.html

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    Adam Smith:
    August 11th, 2011 at 6:54 pm
    What on earth are you talking about? Australia has never had a revolution, Australia was federated through a democratic process, a referendum to adopt the constitution which passed in 1900, and came into effect on Jan 1, 1901. Face facts, you know bugger all about Australia’s political history.

    Ah! I see problem. Reading comprehension. Let me Quote what I said:

    {{SHOCK}} – There might even be a R-E-V-O-L-U-T-I-O-N. Guess what? It has happened before! About 235 years ago (just not down under).

    NO ONE CLAIMED YOU HAD A REVOLUTION. RIF my boy, RIF.

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    Adam Smith

    The Federal Opposition has confirmed a report in which leaked party documents revealed it would cost the Coalition more than $38 billion to scrap the carbon and mining taxes.

    The documents were obtained by Channel Seven and claim to show that the Coalition frontbench and senior advisers had been told of the figures in four separate meetings chaired by treasury spokesman Joe Hockey.

    The Coalition’s plan to dump the Government’s carbon tax will cost $27 billion over four years, the documents say, while plans to wind back the Government’s Minerals Resources Rent Tax would cost $11 billion.

    The documents also revealed plans by the Coalition to fund $7 billion to $8 billion of personal tax cuts, while it would also have to find another $37 billion to pay for its promises from the last election.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-11/ditching-carbon-tax-would-cost-2427b/2835546/?site=sydney

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    Adam Smith

    NO ONE CLAIMED YOU HAD A REVOLUTION. RIF my boy, RIF.

    You should avoid calling people “boy”, let alone “my boy”, it makes you sound like an arrogant American who believes in slavery.

    By the way, who do you suggest Australia should pick for the first Test against Sri Lanka?

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    Adam Smith:
    August 11th, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    And you obviously have no understanding of what the word “satarised” means.

    Very much so, but you do not. It means to take out of context and blow out of proportion. I got a better idea – why don’t we use mad magazine as an authoratative site? It is just as funny! And about as useless.

    Well I have a much better understanding of the US Governing system than you, that’s plainly obvious. And I know that the Tea Party’s idea of cutting taxes and spending would ruin the US in a decade.

    I am sorry, but you seem to be running around in circles. I have demonstrated not only a better comprehension of the US government, but of your own government! Your total come back is “No, I do”. So what is next? “Yo Mamma”?

    Well 30% of the Tea Party doesn’t understand that Barack Obama was born in the United States, that’s a pretty fundamental howler for them to make:
    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/04/14/us/politics/20100414-tea-party-poll-graphic.html?ref=politics#tab=1

    You cannot even get that right. They understand, they do NOT BELIEVE it. Given the circumstances, I do not fault them (I frankly do not give a damn). It appears you do not know the difference between “Understand” and “Believe”. I think that goes to the core of your problem. Reading Comprehension.

    And whether he was born in the US or not has NOTHING to do with understanding the Government or the Constitution. Strawman alert on that one.

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    Adam Smith:
    August 11th, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    I conceded none of your points. Your assertion that the Monarch can pick and choose which what directives from the Australian PM that they follow just demonstrates you have no idea how Australia’s political system works, and you are simply being an arrogant American by lecturing people on a topic you know nothing about.

    If you think the Crown can pick and choose which requests from the Prime Minister she

    re·quest   /rɪˈkwɛst/ Show Spelled[ri-kwest] Show IPA
    noun
    1. the act of asking for something to be given or done, especially as a favor or courtesy; solicitation or petition: At his request, they left.

    From Dictionary.com. I highlighted the pertinent words. Your statement, your words, your admission of error and admission I am correct.

    As for your other contentions, I can play that game too – when did you stop beating yoru wife? Has a lot to do with the discussion does it not?

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    Adam Smith:
    August 11th, 2011 at 10:29 pm
    You should avoid calling people “boy”, let alone “my boy”, it makes you sound like an arrogant American who believes in slavery.

    Really? I guess that just shows your ignorance: http://onlineslangdictionary.com/meaning-of/my-boy

    I only sound arrogant to you because I nailed you on your own ignorance. And “My boy” has nothing to do with slavery. Calling a man a “boy’ does. Learn the difference, or remain ignorant. I do not care.

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    Adam Smith

    Very much so, but you do not. It means to take out of context and blow out of proportion.

    Holy crap! This is NOT a definition of the word “satarised”! I shouldn’t have to do this, but it seems not only do you have no idea what satirised means, you also don’t know how to search the internet:

    sat·i·rize
       [sat-uh-rahyz] Show IPA
    verb (used with object), -rized, -riz·ing.
    to attack or ridicule with satire.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/satirised

    You cannot even get that right. They understand, they do NOT BELIEVE it. Given the circumstances, I do not fault them (I frankly do not give a damn).

    WHAT? You don’t fault 30% of the Tea Partyers for believing that Barack Obama isn’t a natural born U.S. citizen?

    In other words, you are saying you don’t fault them for believing something that is completely untrue! So not only are you an arrogant American, you also seem to think that believing in things that are wrong is fine!

    And whether he was born in the US or not has NOTHING to do with understanding the Government or the Constitution.

    No, it was just a basic test on whether or not the Tea Party are reasonable people or absolute wackaloons. It seems 30% of them are loony far right extremists, but to you that doesn’t matter, because you seem to think that facts don’t matter!

    if Barack Obama isn’t a natural born U.S. citizen he shouldn’t be the President, but you say you don’t care either way!

    So much for you having any knowledge of your own constitution!

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    Adam Smith

    I only sound arrogant to you because I nailed you on your own ignorance. And “My boy” has nothing to do with slavery. Calling a man a “boy’ does. Learn the difference, or remain ignorant.

    So by your own definition you believe in slavery because your post #250 calls someone who is a man a boy.

    These are the sorts of things that make people think you are arrogant, you know saying you didn’t do something that you obviously just did, and then lying about it.

    It is kind of like the Tea Partyers that say they hate socialism, but then say that Medicare shouldn’t be changed. They say one thing then do something else.

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    Adam Smith:
    August 11th, 2011 at 10:47 pm Very much so, but you do not. It means to take out of context and blow out of proportion.
    Holy crap! This is NOT a definition of the word “satarised”! I shouldn’t have to do this, but it seems not only do you have no idea what satirised means, you also don’t know how to search the internet:

    RIF my boy, RIF. I did not quote the dictionary, and you did not show how I was wrong. nevertheless, it is not a factual site. You lose again.

    WHAT? You don’t fault 30% of the Tea Partyers for believing that Barack Obama isn’t a natural born U.S. citizen?

    No I do not. He refused to produce his birth certicate until Trump forced his hand. Even then, the GOVERNOR of the state he was born in could not find it. Unlike the fact there is a deficit, there is nothing that is unequivicol about his place of birth. I chose to ignore it since he is the president and I do not see the value in pursuing it. That does not mean others may see things the way I do. he could have long ago laid this to rest. he chose not to. It is all on his stupidity the controversy even exists.

    In other words, you are saying you don’t fault them for believing something that is completely untrue!

    you are wrong again (you are making a habit of this). You BELIEVE it to be true. There is room for doubt as I said. It is not an issue with me, why is it with you?

    No, it was just a basic test on whether or not the Tea Party are reasonable people or absolute wackaloons.

    No it is not. I gather you are the one that conducted the UM survey that showed Fox Viewers were the most uninformed because they thought Obamacare was going to increase the deficits. The idiots there, like you, do not know what FACTS are and what OPINION is. You are entitled to your opinion, but that and $5 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

    if Barack Obama isn’t a natural born U.S. citizen he shouldn’t be the President, but you say you don’t care either way!

    So much for you having any knowledge of your own constitution!

    Your logic is flawed as well. NO ONE said anything about Article 2, Section 1. It is a requirement. However, Obama was elected. he is President. Where he was born should have mattered 3 years ago, BUT NOT TODAY. So get over it. You are sounding like a tin foil hat loon now.

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    Adam Smith

    No I do not. He refused to produce his birth certicate until Trump forced his hand. Even then, the GOVERNOR of the state he was born in could not find it.

    Wow, so you are a lying liar that lies. Obama produced a copy of his birth certificate in 2008. The part about the Governor not being able to find it is just a lie, because it is not the governor’s job to find birth certificates!

    Unlike the fact there is a deficit, there is nothing that is unequivicol about his place of birth.

    OH MY GOD! Either he was born in the U.S. or he wasn’t! He can’t be partly born in the U.S.! It seems that you are a wackaloon tea partier.

    I chose to ignore it since he is the president and I do not see the value in pursuing it.

    What an astonishing statement! If he isn’t a natural born U.S. citizen then it is unconstitutional for him to be President. You obviously aren’t much of a defender of the constitution if you think Obama’s eligibility to hold the office is just a matter of opinion!

    That does not mean others may see things the way I do. he could have long ago laid this to rest. he chose not to. It is all on his stupidity the controversy even exists.

    He laid the issue to rest during the Democratic primary. It is only wackaloons in the Tea Party that have kept the issue going for years and years, irrespective of the amount of evidence shown that proves them wrong, and yet you blame Obama himself! You are nothing but an arrogant cheap jack opportunist.

    It is a requirement. However, Obama was elected. he is President. Where he was born should have mattered 3 years ago, BUT NOT TODAY. So get over it. You are sounding like a tin foil hat loon now.

    This makes no sense whatsoever. If Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. his position as U.S. president would immediately become invalid and he would have to resign.

    You’re having a bet each way. On the one hand you are defending the Tea Party morons that say Obama wasn’t born in the U.S., but on the other hand you are saying even if he wasn’t it doesn’t matter. Well it DOES matter, because if he wasn’t born in the U.S. he would have to resign, but your intellectual dishonesty means you are unable to criticise the tea party wackaloons that don’t believe he was born in the U.S.

    So not only are you arrogant, you are also completely intellectually bankrupt.

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    Adam Smith:
    August 11th, 2011 at 10:50 pm
    So by your own definition you believe in slavery because your post #250 calls someone who is a man a boy.

    RIF my boy, RIF. read the link. First, I have no idea whether you are a man or a boy (or woman for that matter). I did not call you “boy”, but “my boy”. read the link, and RIF.

    These are the sorts of things that make people think you are arrogant, you know saying you didn’t do something that you obviously just did, and then lying about it.

    It is kind of like the Tea Partyers that say they hate socialism, but then say that Medicare shouldn’t be changed. They say one thing then do something else.

    NO one is calling me arrogant except you, and you are doing so out of a petulent fit because I pointed out your ignorance of your own countries laws and constitution. if that makes me arrogant in your eyes, so be it. I do not care what you think because you apparently do not think very well.

    As for the Tea Party, you are woefully ignorant on them, aren’t you? The ONLY people that state Medicare/Medcicaid should not be changed are idiots. It is simply unsustainable in its current form. I defy you to back up your accusation with any citations.

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    Adam Smith:
    August 12th, 2011 at 12:27 am
    Wow, so you are a lying liar that lies. Obama produced a copy of his birth certificate in 2008. The part about the Governor not being able to find it is just a lie, because it is not the governor’s job to find birth certificates!

    You sir are a petulent child. You accuse me of lying, yet you have no basis for it. I said “B-I-R-T-H C-E-R-T-I-F-I-C-A-T-E” Not a copy. That was the controversy. he then produced a scanned copy of his birth certificate when Trump called him on it. You are a sad pathetic troll who apparently not only cannot read, but cannot differentiate between a copy and an ORIGINAL.

    He laid the issue to rest during the Democratic primary.

    Apparently he did not. Since it is still an issue. Your perception of reality is fatally flawed. You cannot even get the facts in evidence correct.

    This makes no sense whatsoever. If Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. his position as U.S. president would immediately become invalid and he would have to resign.

    You’re having a bet each way. On the one hand you are defending the Tea Party morons that say Obama wasn’t born in the U.S., but on the other hand you are saying even if he wasn’t it doesn’t matter. Well it DOES matter, because if he wasn’t born in the U.S. he would have to resign, but your intellectual dishonesty means you are unable to criticise the tea party wackaloons that don’t believe he was born in the U.S.

    So not only are you arrogant, you are also completely intellectually bankrupt.

    RIF my boy, RIF. I said I did not care about the controversy. I did not say I agreed or disagreed with it. reporting the facts is not condoning or denying them, it is reporting. You asked for a report, I gave you one. RIF, dummy, RIF. it does not matter because he has been elected, and that is it. The courts have ruled that those still pursuing the issue do not have standing (that is their discretion). Again, I do not care. Your attempts at ad hominems and belittling a group of people which you have demonstrated you have no earthly clue of, is amusing, and sad. I can honestly say that you are not representative of Australians, even the more leftist ones, as they appeart to be cognizant and rational. Traits I cannot attribute to you due to your incessant strawmen, attacks, and petulent fits.

    As this article is on the Convoy IN AUSTRALIA (you know, that place that is NOT AMERICA), and you have been proven wrong with every assertion you have made, I shall not indulge your whining attacks and ad hominems further unless you want to discuss the matter at hand. I would only suggest you grow up and quit acting like a spoiled child. man up and admit you are wrong. When you do, I will have no need to call you a boy. Until then, that is all you are. A sad, frightened, viscious child, lashing out because he knows nothing better to do.

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    Adam Smith

    First, I have no idea whether you are a man or a boy (or woman for that matter). I did not call you “boy”, but “my boy”. read the link, and RIF.

    Well everyone here thinks you are an arrogant jerk, and thus reply to your posts accordingly.

    So what should Australia’s batting line up be for the first test against Sri Lanka? You haven’t lectured us on that yet.

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    Adam Smith

    You sir are a petulent child.

    This is internally contradictory. If I was a child I couldn’t also be a Sir. And if you knew anything about Australia’s political system, you’d know that Knighthoods are no longer conferred by the Australian Government.

    I said “B-I-R-T-H C-E-R-T-I-F-I-C-A-T-E” Not a copy.

    A registered copy of a birth certificate is just as valid as the original certificate. That’s what you and your Tea Party friends refuse to understand. They have a conspiracy theory which will not be altered irrespective of the evidence tendered.

    he then produced a scanned copy of his birth certificate when Trump called him on it.

    I have never seen Donald Trump’s birth certificate, therefore I refuse to accept that he is a natural born U.S. citizen. What I do know is that Trump was too gutless to run for President against Obama.

    Apparently he did not. Since it is still an issue.

    So hang on a second. Which version of you is right, the one that says that Obama’s citizenship isn’t an issue, or the one that says it is still an issue? You seem to be having an argument against yourself.

    I said I did not care about the controversy.

    So that means you don’t care about constitutional government in the U.S. You are in favour of lawlessness and anarchy.

    I did not say I agreed or disagreed with it.

    So this means you are intellectually bankrupt and can’t differentiate between facts and opinions.

    I can honestly say that you are not representative of Australians, even the more leftist ones

    I can’t honestly say that you don’t understand anything about Australia, Australians, or Australia’s political system, yet you have this arrogant habit of lecturing Australians about Australia, Australians and Australia’s political system, which ultimately just makes you sound like a tremendous jerk who gives good Americans a bad name.

    As this article is on the Convoy IN AUSTRALIA (you know, that place that is NOT AMERICA), and you have been proven wrong with every assertion you have made, I shall not indulge your whining attacks and ad hominems further unless you want to discuss the matter at hand. I would only suggest you grow up and quit acting like a spoiled child. man up and admit you are wrong. When you do, I will have no need to call you a boy. Until then, that is all you are. A sad, frightened, viscious child, lashing out because he knows nothing better to do.

    Wow, when you read things like this from an arrogant jerk / American it isn’t surprising that America has 9.2% unemployment and a bunch of right wing nutters in the House of Representatives that are holding the entire American political system to ransom.

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    Adam Smith:
    August 12th, 2011 at 12:43 am
    Well everyone here thinks you are an arrogant jerk, and thus reply to your posts accordingly.

    I will abide by a poll. Who here thinks I am an arrogant jerk. Please provide one citation for your reason. No reprecussions on my part as I am sincerely interested.

    That being asked, you are a liar. You know what you think, but I doubt you know what everyone else here thinks. You are not clairvoyant.

    And I have lectured no one. I have corrected your mistakes.

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    Adam Smith

    I will abide by a poll.

    You don’t abide by polls. When polls show that Tea Partyers believe things that are wrong, you just reject the poll by saying it doesn’t matter!

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    Adam Smith

    This Republican debate is hilarious. Pawlenty and Bachman are arguing over whether or not increasing taxes on cigarettes is a good idea!

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    Adam Smith

    At the Republican debate, the candidates were asked if they would accept a budget deal that cut spending and increased taxes by a 10:1 ratio. (i.e. $10 of cuts for each $1 of tax increases).

    None of the candidates said they would accept such a deal.

    That’s the sort of wackaloonery Obama is up against.

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    Mark

    I think if we’re going to get the full attention of this Govt we need to include the following in the petition:

    *Ban Gay marriage forever…we KNOW that children from same sex families make terrible Australians!!
    *Ban the idea of a Republic…forever!!
    *Ban the EVIL NBN…the devil’s work obviously!!
    *Ban plain-packaging for cigarettes….How on earth are our kids going to know which brand to buy FFS!!
    *Ban ALL taxes ….forever!! Make the idle bastards pay for health/education services!!
    *Ban ALL fuel subsidies….make the truckies pay the same as me for their fuel….PARASITES!!

    There…that should grab their attention….Good luck one and all!!

    [REPLY: Yes, o-so very funny Mark. Thanks for that satirical comment. The petition has been redone in any case. -- JN]

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    Bushfire Bill

    If the final form of the petition is as written above, you’re all wasting your time and money.

    To ask the Parliament to ask the Governor General to dissolve parliament and call a Double Dissolution election is unconstitutional. The petition is pointless because there are no Double Dissolution triggers in existence.

    This petition is really embarrassing. For God’s sake rewrite it, or get a lawyer to check it out before you make bigger fools of yourselves.

    Disagreement with what a legally constituted government does, with the support of a majority of the parliament, is one thing. Trying to get the de facto Head Of State to sack a government for disagreeing with what you reckon is the will of the people is quite another.

    In case you hadn’t noticed, Newspoll does not constitutionally represent the will of the people. It’s a snapshot of public opinion at one moment in time. Public opinion can change (it’s changed from overwhelmingly supporting carbon pricing in the past to not supporting it now, and I didn’t see too many on the Right complaining that the Senate had ignored the will of the people then)… and public opinion can change back again. That’s why we have full three year terms, rather than go off half-cocked every time our particular pet issue becomes popular.

    Think of it this way… the Tour de France was not decided on the third last or fourth last day when someone else was leading Cadel Evans… it was decided on the last day. Similarly, an elected government has the constitutional right to go to full term without interference from the Governor-General deciding what the “will of the people” is at any one sampling time.

    By all means put your petition in but (a) rewrite it so it’s not so embarrassing and (b) don’t expect the slightest notice to be taken of it by anyone, including the Coalition. They know it’s poorly conceived and wrongly based in law.

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    Adam Smith

    In case you hadn’t noticed, Newspoll does not constitutionally represent the will of the people. It’s a snapshot of public opinion at one moment in time. Public opinion can change (it’s changed from overwhelmingly supporting carbon pricing in the past to not supporting it now, and I didn’t see too many on the Right complaining that the Senate had ignored the will of the people then)… and public opinion can change back again.

    Well what about the 16 coalition Senators still in parliament that were elected in 2007 on a platform of supporting a price on carbon pollution. Surely they are all liars who should all immediately resign?

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    Adam Smith:
    August 16th, 2011 at 11:30 pm
    Well what about the 16 coalition Senators still in parliament that were elected in 2007 on a platform of supporting a price on carbon pollution. Surely they are all liars who should all immediately resign?

    Australia has only 31 senators? learn something new every day.

    But – the government site (http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/general/index.htm) says there are 76. Adam smith is still ignorant of his own government? {Shock}

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    Adam Smith

    Australia has only 31 senators? learn something new every day.

    HAHAHAHAHAHHA! What a howler!

    If you knew anything about Australia’s system of government you would know that only HALF of the Senate is elected at each election, unless there is a double dissolution, which there hasn’t been since 1983!

    The current Senate is comprised partly from Senators elected in 2007, and partly from Senators elected in 2010! In 2010, the Coalition had changed its policy to opposing Carbon pricing, but in 2007, the Coalition’s policy was to introduce an Emissions Trading Scheme. It is THOSE Senators that have now defied the will of the people that elected them by changing their policy position.

    Dear oh, dear, it seems you just can’t help lecturing people on things you don’t know anything about!

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    Adam Smith:
    August 16th, 2011 at 11:58 pm
    HAHAHAHAHAHHA! What a howler!

    If you knew anything about Australia’s system of government you would know that only HALF of the Senate is elected at each election, unless there is a double dissolution, which there hasn’t been since 1983!

    Actually, when researching the number, I read that when researching the number. However, that still does not explain your math. So by your logic, if a majority of the senators elected want something, they trump the ones elected 3 years previously? But that would still mean you would need 20 senators (not 16) to pass legislation.

    or, are you trying to say that some others were elected before that also demand a carbon tax, but you just failed to note how many or who? So yes, I am confused – by your math and logic. Please explain more! As I said, I love to learn.

    Dear oh, dear, it seems you just can’t help lecturing people on things you don’t know anything about!

    Really? So The Australian government site is wrong, and there are only 31 senators? Since I merely pointed out the site and the number, and I could not possible be right by your own admission. curious. When did they make you Queen of Australia so you could rewrite the laws unilaterally?

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    Adam Smith

    So by your logic, if a majority of the senators elected want something, they trump the ones elected 3 years previously? But that would still mean you would need 20 senators (not 16) to pass legislation.

    Holy crapping crap! You need 39 votes to pass legislation through the Australian Senate. If you simply READ THE CONSTITUTION you would know that!

    or, are you trying to say that some others were elected before that also demand a carbon tax, but you just failed to note how many or who? So yes, I am confused

    Well yes, it is blatantly obvious that the only thing you are sure about is that you are confused!

    In 2007, 16 Coalition Senators were elected to support the passage of an Emissions Trading Scheme through the Australian Senate. You can read the policy for yourself. Here’s an excerpt:

    Under the Coalition, Australia is at the forefront of securing an effective global response to climate change that involves all major emitters. We are using all international channels to achieve this objective, as well as leading on practical steps like the Asia-Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate, the Global Forests Initiative and APEC-wide goals (including a 25 per cent decrease in energy intensity by 2030 and a 20 million hectare increase in forest cover by 2020). As well as meeting our global responsibilities, the Coalition is committed to carefully managing Australia’s
    transition to a low carbon future. To reduce domestic emissions at least economic cost, we will establish a world-class domestic emissions trading scheme in Australia (planned to commence in 2011). We are also committed to capturing the
    opportunities from being among the first movers on carbon trading in the Asia-Pacific region.

    Here is a scan of the original policy document, see in particular page 27.
    http://australianpolitics.com/elections/2007/liberal-policy/07-10-12_AustraliaStrongProsperousAndSecure.pdf

    Many here like to say that the current government lied because they are introducing a carbon tax (actually they are introducing an Emissions Trading Scheme, as the Coalition promised to do in 2007), well if the Government lied, then the 16 Coalition Senators elected in 2007 on a policy of implementing an ETS also lied.

    Really? So The Australian government site is wrong, and there are only 31 senators?

    Stop digging mate, you screwed up, you had no idea that only half of the Australian Senate is up for each election, except in the rare circumstance of a double dissolution election.

    Quit while you’re ahead, you’re making yourself look like a dill.

    When did they make you Queen of Australia so you could rewrite the laws unilaterally?

    Holy crap! The Queen can’t “rewrite laws unilaterally”, that would be unconstitutional! The only thing the Queen can do is withhold assent, but it is likely that the High Court would interpret that clause of the constitution as deprecated by the Statute of Westminster. The Statute of Westminster is something else that you know nothing about but you will probably reply lecturing us all about it anyway.

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