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Three cheers for Senate Micro’s

We have discussed this issue at length on The Senate-Rage! post. I’ve taken those thoughts a bit further in an Op-Ed in The Australian today. There are no comments allowed there so here is a thread for further thoughts and feedback on our new Senate and whether we need to revamp the system. This is my first purely political op-Ed. I find it surprising that almost no one, on any side of politics, is speaking out for the little guys and the disaffected voter. Bob Brown (former Greens senator) calls it a “scandal” of “legally induced frauding”, that “must” change, so I know I am onto something. He thinks Liberal voters don’t know the difference between “liberals” and “liberal dems” and that “Stop The Greens” might fool Green supporters. How stupid are the voters. Really?  — Jo

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Three cheers for micros

UNLEASH the sanctimony! Practically everyone on all sides of mainstream politics is not pleased with the success of the micro-parties in the Senate election. For goodness’ sake, car-loving, sports-crazy Australians may have elected car-loving, sports-mad senators. Is that so bad?

The not-quite-elected souls have barely uttered a word in public, but apparently this is such a disaster we need to remake the Senate voting system. Not so fast, I say. This is a beautiful representative democracy at work.

There are cries that no one should be elected on 0.22 per cent of first preferences – but if only first preferences count, why do we number the rest?

About 23 per cent of Australians placed a mini or micro-party first in the Senate list. Does it matter that they peppered their first vote across the board, and it gradually coalesced into a quota? Shouldn’t they have some representation?

Those with God-like insight say ignorant voters “accidentally” voted the wrong people in. How arrogant. Possibly many of those 23 per cent would prefer any of the candidates in the top half of their list to the standard political players. A guy that rebuilds cars for a hobby is probably better connected to their reality than a Monash graduate in Marx and Evgeny Pashukanis such as Adam Bandt. Parliament was once full of people without doctorates in international politics. Somehow it worked.

How about some respect for citizens who want a senator more like them than a suited lifelong career apparatchik? The 23 per cent vote for non-mainstream parties translates to about seven seats out of 40. Where is the injustice?

The choice of anyone-but-a-major party is still a choice, and most are conservative, right-leaning or libertarian, which matches the swing at this election. It hardly looks random. The commentariat patronisingly complains that above-the-line voters had no idea where their preferences went, but the minor parties were more likely to preference parties with similar policies.

People choosing a “sports” or “motoring” or “liberal dem” ticket probably made a calculated bet that their votes would end up with a non-major, non-politically-correct candidate, which appears to have paid off.

Perhaps the problem is not with the Senate system but with the four major parties that seemingly don’t cater to nearly a quarter of the population.

The media complains that the voters couldn’t know who they were voting for. Whose fault is that? It practically excluded the micro-parties before the election, when voters were looking for information. Yet after they won, the ad hominem attacks began in prime time almost before the candidates had spoken. In comparison, the ABC has still hardly covered aspects of Julia Gillard’s past under investigation by police.

The ABC’s priorities speak volumes. We see Ricky Muir camping in an old YouTube video after the election – but were never told before the election that that the Motoring Enthusiast Party promotes civil liberties and personal responsibility and dislikes the nanny state.

When like-minded people split into many one-issue parties, they are competing the only way they can – effectively advertising their policies through the ballot paper. What chance have they got, – unless they are sponsored by a billionaire? Is it so bad that they cluster into groups that preference each other? If the media gave them half a chance, disaffected citizens wouldn’t need to do a calculated punt.

As for claims that the small players are gaming the system, the large players get tax funds, donations and free media access, and they set the rules. They can work to keep the smaller players out. Aren’t they the gamers?

For real gaming, if a minor party called themselves, say, the Small Tax Party, then funnelled votes to the Greens, that would be dishonest. But if the media were doing its job, this trick would be exposed.

As it happens, the Australian Sports Party wasn’t far behind the Democrats in Western Australia on first preferences. Would anyone be whining if the Democrats had won a Senate seat?

It remains to be seen how these Senators perform, but let’s judge them by their performance and their popularity. People who call it a lottery ignore that voters may well have got what they wanted, unlike the voters of Lyne and New England in 2010.

The outrage is out of proportion. None of these micro-parties will hold the balance of power by itself. They will have to compete, and that will limit the wheeling and dealing.

Shame on all the Liberal commentators who want to keep out the competition. How unliberal.

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Rating: 8.8/10 (81 votes cast)
Three cheers for Senate Micro's, 8.8 out of 10 based on 81 ratings

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172 comments to Three cheers for Senate Micro’s

  • #
    Brian G Valentine

    If the Greens had their way, they would outlaw every other political party as Communist Russia did.

    They play the “democracy” game because they are forced to. Their only response to losing is how they despise this game.

    Anybody who would vote for them is right out of their mind, voting nothing but misery upon themselves.


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      Chistery

      If the Greens had their way, they would outlaw every other political party as Communist Russia did.

      As bad as they are, that is not true. They do however want proportional representation in the lower house so there 10% primary vote equates to 10% of the lower house seats. They also want to lower the voting age to 16 to capture young school-aged idealists who know little of what the Greens really stand for.


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      • #
        Roy Hogue

        They also want to lower the voting age to 16 to capture young school-aged idealists who know little of what the Greens really stand for.

        I could not vote until I was 21. When the voting age was lowered to 18 I shuddered because by then I knew what a foolish voter I had been at 21. My opinion then and now is that we should have raised the voting age to about 30 and I’m not kidding. By then most people have begun to know their backside from the proverbial hole in the ground and have also begun to build a career and accumulate assets for their benefit and the benefit of their children that they have an interest in protecting. That real world position makes them much wiser about how the country, their state, county and city should be run.

        You don’t necessarily abandon your ideals as you grow older. But I think you do change some of them by adopting much better ideals that better serve everyone, including yourself. I know for sure that I did.

        The right to vote has to be tempered with the responsibility to vote wisely. I was not moved by the argument that if I’m old enough at 18 to fight and die for my country then I’m old enough to vote. That connection was a non sequitur and still is.


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          gary turner

          “I was not moved by the argument that if I’m old enough at 18 to fight and die for my country then I’m old enough to vote.”

          It seems we (the succesfully rebelious North American colonies) once kicked George Ⅲ’s butt for taxing us without allowing us the vote.

          I’d say the argument is backward. If you’re not old enough to vote, you can’t be sent to war.


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          • #
            Mark D.

            It seems we (the succesfully rebelious North American colonies) once kicked George Ⅲ’s butt for taxing us without allowing us the vote.

            I’d say the argument is backward. If you’re not old enough to vote, you can’t be sent to war.

            No problem with that Gary, but lets add: you can’t vote unless you’re paying taxes.


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          • #
            Roy Hogue

            Gary,

            I thought what I wrote would be very controversial and I’m surprised — and grateful — that it wasn’t.

            I see the logic in your argument and at face value it looks good. But here’s my take on it.

            I was a 22 year old married man celebrating anniversaries by the month when my notice to report for a draft physical arrived. If you want to rain on someone’s parade, that’s the way. But I went as required and was also given a battery of aptitude tests. I did well enough to catch the eye of a recruiter who called me with an offer I couldn’t resist. Enlist for 3 years, get through basic infantry training and then get through the course at the Army Security Agency school and I’d be guaranteed a position a lot more in line with my interests and abilities; or, take the chance of being drafted for only 2 years and be an infantry soldier (I might not have been drafted since it was basically a lottery).

            I jumped at that chance. And those 3 army years taught me things I might never have learned or would have taken much longer to figure out and they literally jump-started the rest of my life. But at the time I was just taking what looked like the better deal and still voting foolishly.

            We’re all born ignorant but we also have the capacity to do something about it. Society needs to put the right incentive on people to step up and take responsibility for themselves and to their country. Military service is one good way to apply that incentive. I don’t like sending anyone off to risk their lives in combat. But it is possible to serve and to learn valuable lessons from that experience, even before you’re allowed to vote.

            And now I’m probably really controversial.


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            • #
              gary turner

              I belatedly considered that. Heinlein, in Starship Troopers posited that citizenship came only to those who had served.

              Let me alter my argument to say those who are not eligible to vote may not be conscripted. Otherwise they are free to enlist voluntarily.

              Better, I think.

              cheers,

              gary


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              • #
                Roy Hogue

                We’ve had an all volunteer military in the U.S. for a long time already. Whether or not it’s serving us well is more than a bit controversial. But reinstating the draft is a hot potato that no one in politics has the nerve to even talk about.

                Heinlein was a sharp thinker with an engineering degree that served him well as an author and he wrote some of the best sci-fi I’ve ever read. He has no competitor except Larry Nivin in my view. I will readily agree with both you and Heinlein that citizenship and service have a direct connection.

                Cheers!

                Roy


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          Robert of Ottawa

          I’d say 24. The brain has matured by then, even if its owner hasn’t.


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      • #
        Brian G Valentine

        As bad as they are, that is not true.

        Yeah. Read their manifesto. How would they implement that if anybody else had a say in it.

        Bob Brown is nothing but a scummy little Stalinist and the rest of his “movement” belongs right in the sewer.


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      • #
        Robert of Ottawa

        The left always wants to lower the voting age because, the younger they are, the more stupidly idealistic and vulnerable to propaganda they are.

        PR, of any form, is a really bad system. Did you notice the riots in Brasil? The country has mandatory voting, as Australia, with perfectly formed PR. The result?

        No one can vote in or out a government or person; votes are meaningless. All the same players get around in rooms after the election and divvy up the spoils amongst themselves as they decide who gets what. Unelected people can hold government positions. The opportunity for corruption is obvious.

        The folks in Brasil were demonstrating their powerlessness – and they have PR!

        First Past The Post enables the populace to Kick The Bums Out. FPTP = KTBO

        I feel strongly about this, so don’t get me going :-)


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    • #
      Peter Miller

      Voting Green just means that you are really not in touch with the real world. The concept of being green was long ago been hijacked by the ecoloons and professional activists and morphed into something which is rightly ridiculed by most thinking people.

      The idea of a myriad number of minority parties in an upper house in parliament is an intriguing one. “Capital Punishment for Caravaners” would be my favourite – getting rid of these people who: i) block roads, ii) are the world’s most inconsiderate drivers, iii) blight the landscape with their sad, cheek by jowl, parks/sites, and iv) bring no economic benefit to the communities they visit.

      Bad idea? Compared with green ecoloonism, whose ultimate goals are energy poverty in a vegetarian, carless, thought controlled, society, I think not.


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      • #
        Robert JM

        You need to get stuck behind horse floats more often, they may caravaners look like hoons!


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      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        No so, Peter.

        For the year ended June 2011, visitors using caravan parks and campgrounds spent around $1.31 billion in Australia, generating employment for around 10,650 people.

        In Western Australia alone, 508,000 or 10% of total domestic visitors stayed in a caravan park or commercial campground. They stayed for a total of 3,431,000 nights. A further 291,000 or 5% of the domestic overnight visitors stayed in a caravan or camped on private property for a total of 1,539,000 nights.

        http://www.tourism.wa.gov.au/Publications%20Library/Infrastructure%20and%20Investment/Caravan%20and%20camping/The_Brighthouse_report_June_2012_v2.pdf


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        • #
          Peter Miller

          Not so Sam,

          These sad people load up with supplies before they head off to their destination and spend little in the local communities in which they stay/camp.

          I also noticed you were comparing apples with pears – Australia versus Western Australia

          A total of 4,970,000 visitor/nights/year – that’s 13,616 per day in Western Australia.

          The staff to room ratio in a typical hotel is usually around 1.5:1.0, but there are also suppliers to consider, which would increase the figure by around 50%.

          Assuming rooms are shared, that means approximately 14,000 would be employed in hotels in Western Australia, if these people did not use caravan parks and used hotels instead. I guess the figure for the whole of Australia would be 4-5 times greater, or circa 60,000. So saying Australian caravan parks employ around 10,650 people just means caravaners are a significant contributor to the nation’s unemployment figures, as well as being inconsiderate horrors on the highways.

          Hence the need to have “Capital Punishment for Caravaners.”


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  • #
    George McFly......I'm your density

    Congratulations Jo…..very well done and I agree that if you are upsetting Bob Brown you are probably on the right track!


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  • #
    Geoffrey Cousens

    Great insight,Jo,however the “is that so bad” bit reminds me of a sheik,when asked if he wanted Australia to be Muslim,said:”would that be so bad?”.


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    • #
      Backslider

      Most Muslims are kind, respectful and devout people. No, it would not be so bad. Do you have any idea of what most of them think about all the terrorists?


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      • #
        Ian H

        I am an atheist. Sharia Law mandates that I be killed. Yes it is that bad.


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        • #
          Rereke Whakaaro

          Don’t confuse the religion with the legal system, they are two very distinct things.

          Most muslims are quite accepting of Atheists, Buddists, Christians, and Druids. Especially when the latter have money to spend.


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          • #

            Not in a Muslim country. You can get kicked out for singing Christmas carols. The people are fine, but it’s not the people who are in charge in Muslim countries. There is no democracy there. Recently a woman was jailed for 16 months for being raped and reporting it.

            http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2013/07/21/wwf-partners-with-country-where-rape-victims-are-jailed/

            So it’s not the religion you need worry about, it’s the fanatics that would come with it and take over.


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            • #

              Commenting about a subject you obviously know little about.

              Turkey is a muslim country. I used to sing (try to) xmas carols with the kids of American Officers. They even gave me presents to take home.
              Indonesia, Malaysia etc no probs with religions other than Islam and no probs with atheists (like me)


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              • #
                Kevin Lohse

                Depends when you were doing it and where you were. Turkey has a strong secular movement based on the politics of Kemal Ataturk. If you were in a area governed by these people, life would be more relaxed.


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              • #
                Bob Malloy

                Indonesia, Malaysia etc no probs with religions other than Islam and no probs with atheists (like me)

                Not always the case in Indonesia.

                Churches Burned over Indonesia’s Blasphemy Case

                Two churches were burned and another destroyed Tuesday as thousands of angry Muslims demanded the death sentence for a Christian man convicted of blasphemy against Islam.

                Antonius Bawengan was sentenced to five years in prison by a local court in Temanggung, Central Java, for distributing books and literatures that allegedly spread hatred against Islam. The sentence is the maximum penalty for the crime.

                The crowd was furious Tuesday with the “mild” verdict and attacked the court while chanting “kill, kill” as Bawengan was led away under heavy security, according to Fides News Agency.


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              • #
                llew Jones

                Turkey under Ataturk was secularised. Though that is now under threat from Turkey’s Islamists Turkey does not yet suffer from the violent religious intolerance of most of the Arab countries subject to an Islamic culture that is essentially theocratic in nature.

                eg Christians forced from Muslim Arab communities and countries and the present tension and violence against the Coptic Church in Egypt.

                I suspect that the respect shown by many leftists for the Muslim religion in Western countries stems from the notion that all cultures are equal. One canno0t help but have doubts in light of events in the Middle East and North Africa.(If all cultures are equal perhaps Abbott should inform the boat people from those equal cultures of that great leftist truth as a cheap way of stopping the boats).


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              • #
                Sean McHugh

                Baa Humbug said:


                Indonesia, Malaysia etc no probs with religions other than Islam and no probs with atheists (like me)

                A driver in Malaysia told me that citizens have to be either Muslim, Christian or Buddhist. Atheism isn’t recognised and Islam is favoured. He told there used to be employment and financial incentives to convert to Islam.

                In Indonesia, a requirement of Corby’s parole is that she be actively religious.

                Don’t know about the ‘etc.’.

                The left would have you believe that it is the West and only the West that discriminates. It’s la-la-land rubbish.


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            • #
              Rereke Whakaaro

              I agree with Baa Humbug,

              I have lived and worked in a number of Muslim countries, and as long as you respect where you are, and abide by the local customs, Ramadan, for instance, they generally don’t care what religion you pursue.

              Brits complain about Muslims going to Britain and living in ghettos, and not fitting in with the local society. But Brits also go to work in Muslim countries, because the pay is considerably higher, where they live in gated compounds, and refuse to fit in with the local society. Hello?

              And yes, women get raped in muslim countries. A woman I worked with in Washington DC got raped, and the guys who did it got off because they had a smart lawyer, they were supposedly Christians. It happens, but you cannot claim that religion is causation. You get randy thugs in all countries with any religion.


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              • #
                Geoff Sherrington

                While working in Iran, I was chased on foot by several workers from a construction site, malice evident. Another time, an armoured personnel carrier pulled up in the square nearby our building. For no apparent reason, the soldiers started firing a 30 cal into the crows around. Further, our Iranian manager, MBA Harvard, was machine gunned and lost the use of his right arm despite us getting him quickly to a British hospital. Our Iranian colonel lectured us on our first day “Last night we used the death sentence on 6 Korean workers who were too friendly with our women.” (That talk was as good as Viagra works in reverse; our Iranian secretaries were really beautiful, but untouchable).
                This was 30 years ago. The anti-infidel undercurrent existed then. Have not been back since.


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            MemoryVault

            Most Muslims are quite accepting of Atheists, Buddists, Christians, and Druids.

            Of course they are. Most of the time Sunni Muslims are too busy killing Shiites, Shiites are too busy killing Sunnis, and the various Shiite Sects are too busy killing each other, to bother the rest of us much. Except of course, when they start taking pot shots at each other on our streets, and firbombing each other’s businesses and homes, as has been increasingly happening in Sydney and Melbourne of late.

            Killing each other is what they DO, in case you hadn’t noticed.

            That’s precisely what it has all been about in Libya, Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and just about everywhere else in the Muslim world, where a strong dictator hasn’t taken control. It’s a religious sectarian war, started over a relatively trivial matter in the 600′s, that’s now been going on for over 1,300 years, with no sign of abating or resolution.

            And now, thanks to the West’s experiment with feel-good multiculturalism, we’ve allowed that unending, ancient religious war to be exported to Australia, Canada, America, England, the Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands, and much of the rest of Europe.

            .
            I’m sorry Rereke and Backslider, I wish it were different, I really do. But I know of no place in the western democratic world that has allowed Muslim migration, where they haven’t eventually reverted back to their old, sectarian hatreds and fighting, no matter how kind, respectful and devout they started out to be.


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            • #

              MemoryVault,

              if only people would actually realise this.

              It has absolutely nothing to do with Democracy.

              It’s Shia versus Sunni, and that’s all it is across the whole of the Middle East, and nearly all of Northern Africa and moving South.

              Hamas – Sunni.

              Hezbollah – Shi’ite.

              Muslim Brotherhood – Sunni.

              Syrian Government – Alawite, a sect of the Shi’ite.

              Syrian rebels – Sunni.

              Etc etc etc.

              These people make the Protestants versus the Roman Catholics in Northern Ireland look like a small time spat over tiddlywinks.

              Even worse than The Serbs versus the Croats.

              Look across the whole of the Middle East and spreading, and each Country is controlled by one Muslim faction or the other, and the ONLY fighting is amongst each other.

              The media spreads the story that it’s just about democracy, hence a clueless public has no real idea what it really is all about.

              When their Great Satan, the U.S. steps in, they stop fighting each other and fight the U.S.

              The second the U.S. leaves it’s back to fighting each other.

              When they asked a warlord in Afghanistan how soon after the U.S. left would they start in on each other, the reply was ….. the following morning!

              There are no winners here, as everybody loses.

              We should not be picking sides here.

              Let the UN sort it out, because that’s what they were set up to do.

              Tony.


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                FijiDave

                This should clarify things for ya, Tony:

                The chart is a spin-off of the most amazing letter to the editor ever written, which appeared in Thursday’s Financial Times. It also explained the entire Middle East, in a few short sentences. Here they are:

                Sir, Iran is backing Assad. Gulf states are against Assad!
                Assad is against Muslim Brotherhood. Muslim Brotherhood and Obama are against General Sisi.
                But Gulf states are pro-Sisi! Which means they are against Muslim Brotherhood!
                Iran is pro-Hamas, but Hamas is backing Muslim Brotherhood!
                Obama is backing Muslim Brotherhood, yet Hamas is against the U.S.!
                Gulf states are pro-U.S. But Turkey is with Gulf states against Assad; yet Turkey is pro-Muslim Brotherhood against General Sisi. And General Sisi is being backed by the Gulf states!
                Welcome to the Middle East and have a nice day.
                KN Al-Sabah,
                London EC4, U.K.

                Found it here


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              • #
                Dave

                Tony & FijiDave,

                That chart is out of date, he’s done a new one after a couple of days.

                Version 2 is here.

                All solved.


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              • #
                Manfred

                As I understand it, the “battle” those that those who chose to fight divides into a ‘near’ war and a ‘far’ war. The ‘near’ war is intra-religious, occupying their attention and focus in an overwhelmingly dominat fashion. The ‘far’ war lies against the infidel West et al. and is of considerably lesser immediacy or interest.


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              • #
                Andrew McRae

                We should not be picking sides here.

                So very true, Tony. But in the manner of Trotsky, “You may not be interested in War, but War is very interested in you.”

                Abbott has already made the phone call and received his instructions.
                “But Mr Abbott also said the United States would have Australia’s strongest support if military force was required.”

                I could say more about the real reason for the violence in Syria, which has nothing whatsoever to do with religion, but that’s a topic for another day.


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              • #
                Bulldust

                Wait … so you are saying it is badies against badies? All makes sense now :-)


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              • #

                Tony with respect, we know how the UN will deal with it. They will send in more diplomats and UN security to do absolutely nothing as is their usual thrust.


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          Backslider

          Sharia Law mandates that I be killed.

          Most Muslims would disagree with that. Most however would agree that you are a bigot.

          You live in a country where its lawful to kill babies. Do you agree with that?


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          Roy Hogue

          After all is said and done I can only say that Islam has been at war with The United States since the bombing of the Kobar Towers in 1974. That’s a long time in which we failed to realize the full importance of events, even after more acts of terrorism. By far the most egregious act was carried out on September 11, 2001.

          As far as I’m concerned there was never a provocation sufficient to justify such barbarity. It’s simply taking out someone’s anger on the “other” that they don’t like or blame for something. It’s barbarity written in great big 10 foot high red neon letters.

          I can’t answer the question as to whether Islam itself is responsible or just specific radical Islamists. But I can plainly see a long history of Islam’s intolerance for anything not of Islam. So I give as much benefit of the doubt as I can and stay watchful, as does the entire country, even under the bungling hand of Obama. I would advise everyone to do the same. Wrong assumptions are very painful.


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          • #
            PhilJourdan

            it should not come as any surprise. While nations have been created and started since 1974, Palestine remains a basket case. Why? instead of building they want to destroy. And they are doing a good job. Muslim extremists found it was easier to destroy than to build. So no nation, and starving people (which funnels more suicide bombers to them).

            The ultimate extension of their acts is a complete breakdown in civilization and mass extinction. In that they serve the green purpose well. If any were smart enough to realize how they were being used there might be a backlash. But after 40 years, it does not look likely.

            I guess some people are just born to be pawns.


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            • #
              Roy Hogue

              It’s really easy for the unscrupulous to take advantage of anyone with a grievance or unresolved problem. All you do is feed the grievance instead of providing actual leadership. You need look no farther than what’s happened to the U.S. Civil Rights Movement to see how easily it was co-opted to suit personal gain. Indeed, the president of The United States is a masterful practitioner of the art. I can only hope it gets him before it gets me.


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      Andrew McRae

      Geoffrey’s trolling level: EXPERT.


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      NoFixedAddress

      I do not have any idea of what ‘ordinary’ muslims say about the terrorists…. How can I when they do not speak out because they will be killed.


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        Rereke Whakaaro

        Have you asked?

        I have, and without exception, they complain that the terrorists are bad for business. Most Muslims come from countries with histories built on commerce conducted by small to medium trading companies.

        Business is conducted on trust. Once you have formed an opinion on someone, or some group of people, then that impacts your degree of trust, and whether you want to do, or even be seen to be doing, business with that person. The Muslims I know, are not afraid to speak out about this. In fact, it is hard to shut them up, once they get going.


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    Considerate Thinker

    Do we detect some annoyance that this may be a true litmus test of the mind of the electorate, that the usual preference games didn’t work out as the numbers people though they would, at least with a clear majority in the lower house Tony Abbot has a compelling mandate to present to Senators along with his proven ability to work (hands on consultation, while learning the issues ordinary Australians are concerned about) in common contact with people from all walks of life in his voluntary work, the bike rides, surf lifesaving and pure politics, surely this is an indication that he will be able to establish a two way learning process, that will auger well for the next six years of Australian Political reality.

    It will be interesting to see democracy and humility work hand in hand for a better deal for all Australians – not a bad thing at all.


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    RoHa

    “How stupid are the voters. Really? — Jo”

    Very. Most of them vote for politicians.


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    MemoryVault

    .
    By far the most outrageous gaming of the electoral system in this country, is the issue of “how to vote” cards.

    At the moment the Electoral Act forbids the presence of any “how to vote” material in polling booths. Simply changing the Act so each candidate lodged a single “how to vote” card, on an AEC supplied predetermined template, which was then copied and placed on a board with the cards of all the other candidates in each polling booth, would mean that at the very moment a person went to vote, ALL candidates would be on a equal footing, as far as informing the voter was concerned.

    Of course that’s not what happens. Instead we destroy a forest or three, and an army of people spend all day handing out “how to vote” cards for each candidate. Or, at least for the candidates of the major parties. They are the only ones who can raise the manpower. And you would be surprised how many of them are NOT enthusiastic volunteers from the party, but are rather just paid laborers for the day.

    You can bet quids David Leyonhjelm did not have people handing out LDP how to vote cards at every polling place, in every suburb and town across NSW, from 8.00 am in the morning until 6.00 pm at night. But you can bet the house that the major parties had most of them covered for the entire day.

    This rort has been going on since the year dot. Time and again Private Member’s Bills have been introduced at both state and federal level, only to be voted down by the majors working in concert. That includes Liberals, Labor, Nationals, Country, Greens and the Democrats in their day.

    .
    Any politician of whatever political flavouring, currently clamouring for “electoral change”, while still supporting the how to vote card rort, is a bloody hypocrite. Given the immensity of the waste involved, any so-called “green” politician or “green” journalist who supports this practice, is an out and out lying, devious [snip].

    Brownshirt Bob especially so.
    [MV please keep it seemly - you keep on ending up in the sin bin, waiting for a passing Mod to come and haul you out -Fly]


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    ROM

    Perhaps Jo this article is an example as to why I am seeing quite a lot more mentions of this, your site in the international climate blogs.
    You have once again looked at a subject from a very different angle to the consensus angle of so many of the increasingly politically insider commentariat and from the politically correct and zealous in keeping their status and position in and others out of the very limited, deliberately so, access to the political party power structures.

    And you are right in your analysis and defence of those newly elected Senators.

    Frankly you have really dug the knife in and given it a damn good twist to all those politicals and an arrogant commentariat who have shown themselves to nothing but arrogant, ignorant, bigoted and biased in their denigration of those elected senators and therefore contemptuous of the good sense and nouse of the ordinary Australian citizen.

    Full kudos to you.

    As Mao Zedong was quoted as saying, to paraphrase; “Every now and then you need a revolution to destroy the old entrenched power structures and create the new structures
    Unfortunately Mao’s method involved a lot of guns and much suffering with little compassion or respect for people as individuals but his maxim holds i believe

    And Yep! I had a copy Mao’s “Little Red Book”
    But i suspect that doesn’t mean a damn thing for anybody under about 50 years of age.


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      Sceptical Sam

      Hey ROM

      I’ve just noticed that the outside of your head is green with a little red tongue on the inside (well, most of it – there’s just enough poking out to tell).

      You’re not a new breed of watermelon are you? What, with your little red book and all, hidden away with your CD’s, hey ROM?


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        ROM

        As that long gone, very famous Chinese General Sun Tzu says in the Stratagems in his classic, the Art of War,

        If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. -


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      Jazza

      Yes!
      Read the transcripts of the interviews with TV and radio hosts that Abbott has done and learn how either they are all fed the same script beforehand–which I DOUBT in this case,cos Tony’s not Rudd or Gillard with the hands of Mc Tiernan or Hawker up the back—- or they all hear the first meme and then run the same script with slight order variations–
      Either way, the website Tony Abbott MP reads like a written echo chamber!

      I wrestled with the Senate paper and voted below the line-whew! what a task, but I was true to LABOR & GREENS last on my voting papers.I think most people followed above the line and had no idea what a money making “science” has been made of the Senate format of vote counting.
      Nevertheless,I think the Senate will in the main be workable after July 2014 and Abbott will be able to negotiate most of his policies through there.
      Maybe it is shallow,but I’d leave it alone,not clear Coalition mandate in its own right– that is what I was voting for, or hoping for a second best to a full Labor Green wipeout–I think we have it
      Now if the question is about voters understanding what happens to their vote– different ball game, as I think only a minority do , so maybe Abbott should do some educating away from the leftie education amchine!


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    Climate Realist

    Hi Jo,
    I’ve been a watcher & follower for quite some time. First post though. Boy do you (and others) have the academics hopping, about your views on Climate Change and the recent elections.
    keep up the good work.


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    Danielle

    Douglas Adams did say that anyone who wants to be a leader probably shouldn’t be and so perhaps a lottery selection method would be best. Go the senate lottery!


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    Konrad

    The solution is simple. Ban above the line voting and change the law to allow voters to place as many or few numbers as they like against lower house candidates. Change the law to allow voters to place as few as 6 numbers against upper house candidates.

    At present, voters are forced to fill in over 100 numbers to have their vote considered formal if they vote below the line. This is difficult and time consuming and presents a disincentive to voting below the line.

    Two very simple rules are all that is needed -
    1 or more numbers for the lower house.
    6 or more numbers for the upper house.

    Trying to get agreement from politicians would of course be next to impossible. This more democratic system where voters take full control of their preferences would destroy Labor and Greens.


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      Truthseeker

      Konrad,

      Just like I said in the previous thread on this topic, optional preferential voting is what is required here. I would keep the above and below the line options for the senate, but just have the same optional preferential voting for above the line as well. That means the end of the back-room deals and the control of a vote goes back to the voter. You would have to choose between above the line or below the line voting. I can see the argument for the minimum of six preferences for below the line senate voting in the main States.


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        Andrew McRae

        It doesn’t entirely end the backroom deals because your ballot must create a Preference function that is fully defined over the whole domain of candidates. That is the only way it is possible to determine whether you liked Candidate A better than Candidate B for all possible combinations of A and B. Otherwise all the parties you preference may be eliminated and from that point your preference for remaining eligible parties is undefined – a literally meaningless vote. The preference flows supplied by the party’s group voting ticket (ie back-room deals) would still take over from your ballot ordering after your last-numbered candidate is eliminated. The more you number (or the more popular your preferences) the less likely it is that the back-room deals will take over before someone you explicitly preferenced gets elected.

        Another minor problem is that it becomes more complicated to assemble a voter’s complete (below-the-line) candidate preferences from the above-line boxes because the below-line ordering of individuals supplied by the party GVT has to be added in the order of the voter’s above-line- numbering, which is not as simple as looking at which party has a “1″ and using their GVT for the voter’s entire preferences. Pretty sure they use computers to do the preference flows already so it’s no big deal.

        Can’t think of any other problems though. Your optional preferential above-the-line system would cut the number of boxes to fill out by about a factor of 5 and would keep the favoured minor parties in the count for longer before they are eliminated (or elected). The advantage of your suggestion over Konrad’s is that it makes it even easier to put the Greens last :-) since you just have to enumerate parties, not individuals.

        If a party has candidates who will vote differently to the party policy, you would still have to vote below the line to express an ordering of candidates from the same party different to the ordering supplied by that party.


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    • #

      There is one common thread in us all, we are inherently lazy.

      Bearing this in mind the AEC should consider which is the best way to get the results which accurately represent the electorates wishes in the fastest possible time instead of the current system which had me filling in 82 numbers below the line on my Senate ticket (and yes I voted for the little guys as well).

      I think your proposal has merits but I do think a FPTP system would also be as effective requiring only 1 vote anywhere on the sheet.


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    Mr Geoffrey Valentine

    Thank you Joanne for exposing the impudent outrage of the major party’s to the election of mirco-partys to the Senate. The Senate is the most representational house in Australia and now even more so. Wake up LNP and ALP you do not appeal to nor speak for everyone.


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    David Wood

    It’s said that the original intention of our founding fathers was for the senate to represent the interests of the states. Seems to me that the operation of the senate has been a good example of the law of unintended consequences, because the senate has rarely ,if ever,achieved that lofty ideal. It has either been a rubber stamp when the government parties controlled the senate, or a house of NO when the government has not had control.
    It can hardly be said to be representative when there is such a huge disparity between the value of a vote for the senate in Tasmania and NSW, for example.
    Perhaps the senate should become a ‘house of review’ which can point out what it sees as problems with proposed legislation, and ,like the Lords in England send bills back to the lower house with recommended but not binding changes. The lower house would then be able to enact legislation, either with the amendments proposed by the senate, or unchanged if it so decided.
    Then it wouldn’t really matter how the upper house was elected, since it would only be able to delay legislation by up to say a year, during which time senators could expose whatever they thought to be the “failings’ of the proposed legislation.


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    J.H.

    What’s to stop major parties from setting up hundreds of micro parties themselves?…. Especially the incumbents who can plan the set up of their own,then call a snap election and wrong foot everyone at a months notice if they need Senate control?

    Yes I know, once elected as Senators, the winners would become untouchable free agents under no ones actual control for six years, thus it would be still like herding cats…. However, it would be foolish to think that the major parties won’t participate in this activity, they’ll have too, because everyone else will be.

    …. And anyway, who cares if the ballot paper is twelve meters long with a thousand parties on it. As long as it’s democracy right?

    But, I suspect you are right Jo. Just let the thing roll along and see what it evolves into…. Any attempt to change it would probably end up being run by Socialists and Statists. Before you knew it only “special” people would be eligible for Senate elections.


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  • #

    Micro parties can sometimes raise the questions the mainstream do not want answered. But then they may also remind some on the left how little difference there is between them and say the crackpots.


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      Graeme No.3

      Under the packaging laws passed by Labor, Galloway’s opinions should be available only in a plain olive green package, not displayed on any counter and definitely not available to anybody sane.


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    Geoff Sherrington

    Hi all, I’ve just come from some appearances at the University blog “The Conversation” where there is a string of bitter to vicious posts about the electoral outcome. It’s not my place to say this, as I have only 211 votes here before preferences, but can we avoid name calling and bitter expressions of political preference so that we are seen to be more civilised than TC?
    Jo, slap me if I’ve exceeded authority.


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      Geoff, good point. Just email me the ones you notice that we haven’t moderated. Please…


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      Manfred

      Brave fellow.
      What passes for ‘informed’ academic conversation amongst that crowd is little more than arrogance personified within an ivory tower. I was directed to it as a source of iinformed debate and discourse. It took very very little time to surmise that this was not the case.


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    Graeme No.3

    Jo,
    I thought your article this morning was very good.


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    JMD

    everyone on all sides of mainstream politics is not pleased with the success of the micro-parties in the Senate election

    Disappointed already hunh? I could say I told you so but I’m sure there will be much bigger “I told you so’s” than this.


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      MemoryVault

      JMD,

      I’m starting an online course in remedial reading comprehension.
      Would you like me to pencil you in for a spot?


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      AndyG55

      I’m rather happy actually. Getting rid of any of the Green senators is a MAJOR PLUS !!!


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      Roy Hogue

      Disappointed already hunh? I could say I told you so but I’m sure there will be much bigger “I told you so’s” than this.

      JMD,

      Even an American unfamiliar with Aussie politics can tell you your, “I told you so,” is just more of your failure to make any meaningful contribution to this blog. If you act like a child you’ll be treated like a child.

      Boo! Hiss! :-(


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    Richard111

    Heartening to learn that a democratically run election produced a result that appears to satisfy the majority of the populace.

    Here in the UK this is unlikely to happen. The democratic system of one man one vote has been usurped by leftist governments. Example 1: electoral constituency boundaries have been ‘adjusted’ such the 1 labour vote has the electoral power of 2 conservative votes. Example 2: Largess heaped on the unproductive members of society ensures they vote accordingly. Example 3: unrestricted immigration with immediate voting rights plus income and housing as for example 2. This last ensures that ever larger areas of the UK are able to vote in ‘other ethnics’ that within the next generation the UK will no longer exist as an independent country (courtesy of the EU, signed up to by previous leftist government). And it seems older members of society have abandoned their votes in disgust, look up voter turn out over the last five general elections. I could go on and on but the point is that ‘democracy’ is no longer applicable in what is currently termed the ‘United Kingdom’.

    Because of all of the above I believe that the chances of the UK getting an honest IN/OUT referendum on the EU are virtually NIL.


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    handjive

    And, the people complaining about the election of the micro-parties are strangely quiet about a certain party “parachuting” un-elected representative swill into the senate. Hypocrites.


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      Safetyguy66

      Spot on HJ, the crap flows in many directions.


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      J.H.

      Ah yes, the hypocrisy of the Tribal Laborites knows no bounds….. As long as they benefit, all is “fair” and good. It is only unfair if the advantage goes elsewhere. They are such logical people the Labor Supporters.

      The only problem I can see with the micro party bloom in the senate contest, is that the ballot papers are going to become bluddy ridiculously big and the print exceedingly small.


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    Bob Malloy

    Listening to ABC radio in the wee small hours of the morning, Tony Delroy covered the election process of the senate on Thursday morning, and what could be changed to reduce the opportunity of micro parties being elected on small primary votes. This was followed by Rod Quinn rehashing the subject this morning.

    Those ABC listeners are just so helpful when it comes to minimising the chance of micro parties from progressing through the count. Suggestions included a minimum primary vote of 2.5 to 5% before you can progress, first past the post or make it more expensive to register to run, oh and the fall back that people don’t understand the preferential system.

    Rod had a guest, Tom Clement from Geeklections to give an expert view, when on a couple of occasions Tom suggested that changing the system might be undemocratic rod comes up with a comparison to supporters of teams that fail to win a football comp just need to suck it up, so should the voters that give their first votes to micro parties not eliminated in the early rounds. Rod closes by calling those from micro parties that look like being elected as so called unrepresentative swill.


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    Dave

    Final Senate Makeup Maybe????

    Major Parties
    Coalition: 34
    Labor: 25
    Greens: 10

    Micro Parties I call all this group micros.
    Nick Xenophon Group: 1
    Palmer United Party: 1
    Family First party: 1
    Democratic Labor party: 1
    Australian Sports Party: 1
    Liberal Democratic Party: 1
    Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party: 1

    The micros now have 7, ALP/Green United 35, Coalition 34.

    It’s going to be interesting as for any bills to get through, the Coalition will need at least 5 of the 7 micro parties.

    Has anyone registered the Australian Micro Party – AMP?


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    Rereke Whakaaro

    … for any bills to get through, the Coalition will need at least 5 of the 7 micro parties.

    Or a double dissolution?


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    Eugene WR Gallun

    Being an American I am not that familiar with Australian politics — but I would suggest that support for these minor candidates was a way of saying — none of the mainstream politicians, no matter what party, are worthy of my vote. Better to take a step into the unknown then stay with the untenable.

    I hope the new crowd in power will totally wipe out the recent past returning sanity to government. In America we are seeing a slow purging of the Republican party of its lefties (we call them rhinos — Republicans (h) In Name Only. The Democratic party in America continues its march into leftest lunacy and the destruction of all common sense values. Big government is a blood sucker draining the vitals of the people.

    Better stop — this is turning into a rant. Really enjoy coming here and reading what you put up. Thankyou.

    Eugene WR Gallun


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    Peter C

    Gosh Jo,

    Another brilliant article published by the Australian, and on a new subject. The more I read your stuff the more I like it!

    It seems that all the micro partys likely to be elected, including PUP, are against the Carbon Tax, so I don’t mind that outcome at all


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  • #

    Bob Brown is being a little precious about his One Vote One Value campaign.

    Votes needed per Quota at half Senate election. (6 per State and 2 per Territory)

    NT – 30,068
    TAS – 44,376
    ACT – 69,312
    SA – 122,993
    WA – 132,841
    QLD – 277,491
    VIC – 369,464
    NSW – 506,170

    So, for Bob to be elected in Tasmania, he only needs 8.77% of the vote that gets a Senator elected in NSW.

    1 Vote for Bob = 11.4 votes for a NSW Senator.

    And Bob wants it tweaked even further in the favour of The Greens when he asks for proportional representation, effectively meaning that the Micros are out of it altogether.

    Thank heavens he’s inconsequential now.

    Incidentally, has anyone heard from Christine Milne since election day?

    Tony.


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      AndyG55

      As for Bob’s one person one vote global meme..

      Ummm, Bob, what is the population of China and India ???

      the guy is the worst kind of nutter.. one that some people actually bother listening to !!!


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      Robert JM

      If anything the greens marginally benefited from the preferential voting in the senate. Overall they would have got the same number of seats as 1st past the post with internal preference but the % margin of primary vote (7.5% to 6.3%) where they lost out to Liberal in NSW was much less than in SA where XEN and LAB (11.3% & 8.3%) lost to GRN and FF (6.9% & 3.7%). especially when they picked up PUP preferences in SA


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    Manfred

    Very OT, apologies to all!
    However, it seems that Voyager 1 has left the building.
    One bids her farewell. She carries the imagination and vision so characteristic of an earlier time.
    I’m raising a glass to those who had and held the vision. May their kind be seen once again.


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    Sunray

    Thank you Jo, for an informative, accurate and honest article and I hope Australian gives you a weekly or better invitation.


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    Dave

    A blast from the past:

    Shouldn’t Hutt River Province also be given a senate seat, or at least the deciding vote in the event of a senate stalemate.

    I think it’s time to start recognising micro KINGDOMS also.

    Prince Leonard George Casley of Hutt River Province could also be Prime Minister of 75 square kilometers and a senator. Maybe Clive would object with this suggestion.

    The Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party would like his cars.


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    Brad

    I couldn’t agree more with this article.
    I voted 1 for the AMEP, AFTER I looked up their preferences online and decided for myself that I was happy with where my vote would end up if the AMEP missed out.
    I also LOVED the fact they put GREENS LAST on every ticket.


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    Tom in St. Johns

    Excellent article. It actually sums up the condescending attitude that the US elites and those in major party leadership have towards anyone who might challenge their power and their way of life. I would love to have an opportunity to have a meaningful vote for a senator here in Michigan.


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    Jarryd Beck

    Maybe someone could inform me on what happened in Lyne and New England in the 2010 election. I keep seeing Joanne make references to it and I have no idea what happened.


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      Jarryd – apologies. Lyne was the electorate of Rob Oakshott, and New England was Tony Windsors. Both were and are very conservative electorates, there was outrage when both these men voted in a Labor government. Gillard won the election only because these two men chose to support her, an option their electorate would probably never have voted for.

      From the post on Saturday: “Robb Oakshott was the turncoat representative who held a conservative seat but voted in a socialist deceitful government in 2010. He knew he could not stand for election. Yesterday 50% of his electorate voted National. Only 25% voted for the Greens or Labor. (After preferences, 65% of his electorate is conservative, 35% left-leaning.)
      Tony Windsor was turncoat number two. Yesterday 54% of his electorate voted for the National’s Barnaby Joyce. On two party preferred, 71% of the votes went to the Nationals, 29% to Labor.”


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        J Martin

        Staggering. Surely that shows that the Australian electoral system isn’t quite there yet and needs to be tweaked somewhat.

        Hopefully neither man has since been elected and never will be.


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    Maverick

    Well done Jo.

    the disaffected voter. Bob Brown (former Greens senator) calls it a “scandal” of “legally induced frauding”, that “must” change, so I know I am onto something

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    NoFixedAddress

    I think Jo’s point regarding the media not bothering to interview micro parties is the crux of the matter.

    And don’t forget that Bob Brown initially represented a micro party!

    If we really wanted to be ‘fair’ about it then the AEC would have a section whereby every candidate standing for Parliament, whether the House of Representatives or the Senate, would have their own section where they stated, at a minimum, their reasons for standing and contact details.

    Added to that, every ‘party’ no matter the size should be able to post their ‘platform’ at least a month prior to an election.


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    PhilJourdan

    I find it somewhat amusing, somewhat calming, but very ironic that the power elite want to attribute voter preference to stupidity. In 2000 in Florida, they claimed the Florida voters were too stupid to fill out a ballot as well (and cost Gore the election). None of the power elite could fathom that perhaps people just did not like the big parties and really did vote for the other guys.

    13 years later, the same story unfolds half way around the world. In a way it is like climate science. They claim to know it is a mistake but offer no proof. But they will never accept the facts as they are.


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    Sean McHugh

    Jo said:

    For real gaming, if a minor party called themselves, say, the Small Tax Party, then funnelled votes to the Greens, that would be dishonest. But if the media were doing its job, this trick would be exposed.

    Nice but it won’t happen, especially with the TV media, especially with the ABC. They are not part of the solution but deliberately part of the problem.

    Appended to every party election ad should be the order of their preferences. That requirement would probably work to a degree but even then, there are so many [deleted by author] out there who are just waiting for the footy.


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    • #

      I think preferences ought be printed on sheets at each polling station.


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      • #
        NoFixedAddress

        and posted on the AEC website


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        Bob Malloy

        Jo, each polling booth is supposed to have a list of each party’s preferences, interested voters need to ask to see it, I believe it is in the form of a booklet.
        This method falls short in the fact that it is neither advertised and the time it would take to read through all the options. I have heard of people who took the opportunity to ask and found not only was there not one available when they asked, they were met with bemused looks by unknowing staff. Your suggestion of sheets readily availabe for all to read makes too much sense.


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    graphicconception

    Which reminds me …

    We have a lot of Muslim weather in the UK.

    Sometimes Sunni but mainly Shiite!

    I’ll get me coat …


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    Roy Hogue

    After reading the last few threads and particularly this comment by MudCrab, I’m very grateful that those who wrote the U.S. Constitution kept things simple. It seems like the more I learn about your Australian system the more ignorant I become. For me it’s just go down the ballot and find the candidate I like for each office and put my mark there. Any other political calculus I go through is for me to worry about and cannot be manipulated by anyone. The result of the election, except for president, is strictly determined by who gets the most votes.

    It also confirms the wisdom of not making comments where I don’t know what I’m talking about.


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      PhilJourdan

      Roy, being a fellow American, it was confusing to me at first as well. But the more I looked into it and talked to Aussies, the more it became efficient and understandable.

      Here, if no candidate wins a majority of the votes, they have a run off (or it goes to the Congress in the case of the President and VP). There, they count the votes. No one gets a majority of 1s, then they count the 2s. So no run off. You are basically voting for your run off candidate when you vote for your main one.

      Not exactly the same (as there is more campaigning and strategizing in a run off), but it is efficient and saves time and money.


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    Bite Back

    I’m beside my self with joy at seeing the bite finally being felt by the bad guys. I wish it was also being felt by the bad guys here in USA. But you have made a grand start, Australia. :-P


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    J Martin

    Ah yes, the delightful complexities of the Australian voting system.

    Yes it is too complicated, and I am sure that many peoples votes go where they never intended.

    But then you guys do at least have some sort of democracy, unlike us in England who have a system which is essentially an elected dictatorship, often elected by a minority. The UK system certainly isn’t democracy.


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      Manfred

      Little wrong with first past the post, if only the elected MP’s actually worked for their electorates and voted in a manner consistent with advancing the interests of their electorates!

      The Parties hijacked the original ideal. The various alternative systems of representation may create a far more troublesome situation, where the balance of power is held by a very small minority – eg. The Greens. The result is an undemocratic disaster.

      Leadership over consensus anyday.


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    Mike of NQ

    Jo, I agree with your argument about micros in relation to the senate. But do your views cross-over to the lower house? It certainly annoys me that Clive Palmer is 10,000 votes behind Ted O’Brien on primary votes but still may win. In Kennedy (where I live) we have Noelene Ikin who really does represent the people, especially in regional areas. Noeline beat Bob Katter by 7,000 votes in the primary but will still lose. And than there is Kevin Rudd who lost on primary to the respected Dr Bill Glasson – I know I would prefer the good doctor when compared to a sanctimonious, conniving, back stabbing show pony like Kevin Rudd. Just saying!


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    handjive

    The level of technology available for disgruntled voters played a part as well.
    With the internet and voting tools like Below the Line & clueyvoter and others, concerned voters had access to information unlike never before.


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    Neville

    Good column Jo,well done.

    BTW

    Bob Tisdale has a new book release coming up.

    Here’s a video preview. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/13/a-video-preview-of-climate-models-fail/#more-93755


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    Michael

    Some one has to form a No policies party- Would you want a group of people with extremely limited knowledge and judgement to decide everything- solutions require more than a one person or even group forming a committee to solve everything. The party forms a framework in order to solve the problems. All other parties are either produce talkfest or an idiot derived solutions- coming up with preconceived ideas only delays solutions. Obviously the general public believes in magic- difficult problems are easy to solve.


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      ianl8888

      Your moral vanity is on display – again

      You have not replied to a single hard post from TonyOz on base load power. He uses direct, hard, simple numbers. You just wave your arms and pretend to intellectual superiority

      You dismiss hard, peer-reviewed geological evidence of rapid climate change in earlier Eras as “inappropriate” without justified integrity

      The point of the micro-Senate vote is not redneck stupidity (as you sneeringly impute) but a large NON-LEFT vote

      Got it ?


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        Umm Ian,

        different Michael here. This isn’t Salvador Dali.

        I feel sympathy for all those real Michael’s who come here to Joanne’s blog now, because Salvador has given their name a bad name.

        Tony.


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      Would you want a group of people with extremely limited knowledge and judgement to decide everything-

      You have inside information about the limits of their knowledge? Do you think candidates chosen for their affiliations or past loyalties to particular major party factions possess more wisdom and knowledge than these “groups of people”?

      As far as judgement is concerned, proof of the pudding is in the eating. The fact that these people ventured into politics in the way that they did AND SUCCEEDED shows good judgement on this particular occasion, giving one confidence that they may show similar good judgement in the future.

      On the other hand, the last 6 years has proven without a shadow of doubt that the many in the Labor party (both within and without the parliament) lack good judgement, (think leadership changes, think the illegal immigrant farce etc). Considering you think good judgement is a pre-requisite for a candidate, one must presume you did NOT vote for Labor and will not vote Labor until they start showing some good judgement consistently.

      On the other other hand, Tony Abbott and the LNP have shown good judgement going back to the fateful day they rolled Malcolm Turnbull right the way through the way they handled being in opposition.
      One may assume that you Michael, having put a premium on judgement, voted for the coalition.

      Welcome to the fold you nutcase right-winger you :)

      solutions require more than a one person or even group forming a committee to solve everything. The party forms a framework in order to solve the problems.

      Michael is stating here that in order to fix problems, one needs to form not just a committee, but a party of committees who don’t fix a problem, but form a framework that will help in fixing a problem.

      Hey Michael, you don’t happen to be an employee of that bastion of problem solving, quick decision making epitomy of efficiency and effectiveness called the United Nations do you mate?

      I fear you lack good judgement on this one Michael and I will not take seriously anything further you post until you start demonstrating some good judgement. :)


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      AndyG55

      “Would you want a group of people with extremely limited knowledge and judgement to decide everything”

      NO.. that’s why the Lab/greens HAD TO GO !!!!


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    Keith Littler

    A breath of fresh air, Jo, a balanced opinion. It is incredulous that in the years prior to the election, mainstream media went out of their way to sensationalise and paint a picture of ALL motoring enthusiasts as nothing more than urban terrorists tearing up the bitumen in the dead of the night. After the Formation of the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party and our announcement to contest the federal election, we were denied media time by most, and were even notified by ABC television (by mail) that we would not be given air time to state our case other than if we managed to make it on to a news/current affair programme. After our unforseen success at the polls, we found ourelves under seige from the media and have been the subject of considerable hate-rants from many sectors; and now they are upset because we are exercising our right to not speak with them. Media democracy at it’s best…


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      Keith, good on you for getting into the game rather than sitting on the sidelines. Yes, those most “compassionate and caring” about a few select subgroups of society are the same ones happy to denigrate, smear and namecall any group not on their fashionable list. Hypocrites to the end.


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      As has been said so many times.

      It’s not OUR ABC.

      The people at the ABC think that it’s THEIR ABC.

      I also notice that the one voice of reason at the ABC who may have actually been seen as supporting the Coalition, well less a supporter of Labor than the rest of them anyway, Chris Uhlmann has announced that he is leaving the ABC to concentrate on making a Documentary ….. about the ALP, and the Rudd Gillard period of the last 6 years. Whitewash or Expose? Sometimes, his subtelties slide right over the top of the heads of some of the Labor people he has interviewed. I always like watching him.

      I can also be relatively certain that no one here watched the very last thing on the ABC coverage on election night. I’ve always looked forward to Antony’s call of the card, and while it was as good as it always was, it was spoiled utterly, as the ABC’s new preferred talking head, Annabel Crabb did the commentary while Antony gave the details, and her snide comments get up my nose sometimes.

      Then after more than an hour, Red Kerry came on to wrap up and bid goodnight. Last thing he mentioned was that this was it for him. No more election campaign coverages for him. Pity. As much as I disliked his outright Labor favouritism, I can see people like Crabb taking coverages like this over as the ABC moves away from perhaps hard journalism to more like what we see at The Drum.

      Will we see a new broom sweep through the ABC, or just more of the same? My bet is more of the same ….. for a while anyway.

      And Keith, good on you.

      Tony.


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      AndyG55

      Keith, I assume you are a member of this party :-)

      In which case I heartily congratulate you and your party. WELL DONE. :-)


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    I’m certain that this will surprise a lot of readers here.

    I’ve found over the last number of years that the Australian electoral process is a difficult thing to explain to those friends I have in the U.S. and the readers in the U.S. who follow the Blog I contribute at, and in fact, it is even somewhat difficult for Australians to understand.

    Compulsory voting and preferential voting are usually the most difficult to explain.

    There are some older followers of Joanne’s Blog here that can remember back to the mid and late 60′s and even further back, when that preferential voting was roundly detested by the left side of politics because the Coalition would run Liberal and Country Party (now The Nationals) candidates in most, if not all seats. Then there was the DLP as well, when they were quite strong.

    A lot of those preference flows helped the Coalition, and Labor would always grumble, mainly about the unfairness of it all.

    Fast forward to 2013 and this election, and here I’ll concentrate on the House of Representatives only.

    The current standing is that the Coalition could win 92 seats, and it was predicted to be lower, hovering around 89 for most of last week, but as Pre polls, Postals, and Absentees roll in they are quite strongly favouring the Coalition, so it now stands at the following.

    Coalition – 92
    Labor – 54
    Green – 1
    PUP – 1
    Katter – 1
    Ind – 1 (and here, the Overview predictor has tentatively given that Sophie Mirabella will get up, even though the individual State counting gives it to the IND)

    That’s with preferences flowing as predicted.

    So then, let’s look at a possible result with First Past The Post (FPTP) voting. This was a relatively simple exercise, and while some may think it would take ages, it actually took me under an hour to do. Now most electorates are still counting up those extras, but even so this result is accurate. Only 3 electorates are close with those extras still coming in, and all 3 of those still favour the Coalition, as will those extras. Both Palmer and Katter are well behind on the primary vote, and both of those seats have the LNP well ahead.

    Here’s the result with just that FPTP.

    Coalition – 104
    Labor – 44
    Greens – 1
    Independent 1 (Andrew Wilkie only)

    Breakdown by State and Territory, and in brackets the change with FPTP

    ACT – 2 Labor (no change)
    NT – 1 each to Labor and Coalition (no change)
    Tas – 3 Coalition, 1 Labor, 1 IND (no change)
    SA – 6 Coalition, 5 Labor (no change)
    WA – 12 Coalition, 3 Labor (no change)
    QLD – 27 Coalition, 3 Labor (Labor minus 3, Katter Minus 1, PUP Minus 1. Both Swan and Rudd lose their seats here)
    VIC – Coalition 22, Labor 14 Green 1 (Labor minus 5)
    NSW – Coalition 33, Labor 15 (Labor minus 2)

    That FPTP result shows a Monster landslide win to the Coalition.

    So, preferential voting is swings and roundabouts really. Without it, Labor would have been smashed.

    So, for those of you who may have arguments with others about preferential voting, point them at this result to show that Labor is indeed fortunate that we do have it in place, because without it, there would be considerably fewer Labor MP’s.

    Tony.

    PostScript: Source – Live Results Overview


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      AndyG55

      The main reason for that is that the Green split the left wing vote with Labor, whereas the right wing parties are a coalition that generally don’t field competing candidates

      I still think optional preferential isn’t a bad idea. Would probably stop a lot of the junk that goes with preference deals. Maybe even make voters engage their brains a bit more too.


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      Having read over my Comment, I can see a slight ambiguity if the State count I have placed in block quotes.

      Where I have the wording in brackets after each State and Territory count, that change is for FPTP and referring it to the latest actual preference distributed count for this election, and not with respect to the earlier situation prior to the election.

      Tony.


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    Matty

    Regarding Islam: There are 57 Muslim countries in the world, their combined GDP is equal to Germany. Their contributions to modern science is negligible, and when the Israeli’s did a partial withdrawal from Gaza(former Eyptian territory)they left behind the worlds best desalination plants. What did hamas do?? They ripped out every bit of copper and sold it.


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      J Martin

      The coalition faced similar problems in rebuilding Iraq. Getting power stations back on line and installing power lines to cities, only to find that thieves kept stripping the power lines of the copper cable in order to make a fast buck. The destructive overall effect on society and the economy being many (thousands ?) of times worse than the small gain the thieves would have made. Too high a proportion of some societies seem to be stuck in a medieval time loop.


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    bananabender

    The Senate doesn’t represent anyone because it can’t create legislation. The House represents the people people and the Senate is meant to represent the States.


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    Geoffrey Cousens

    Surely the small parties,fiercely representing their special interest causes, clutter up the whole system,wasting much time,costing lots and stubbornly stonewalling progress until their,often stupid,demands are met,just as the greens did with the co2 tax.
    Abbott is fervently anti-abortion,however he does his best to shut up about it and maintain order and progress.
    Brown’s frothing is farcical,I must say.


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    J Martin

    The Australian electoral system with its propensity to allow the emergence of new parties is growing on me. I always fancied being an elected dictator. I think I should move to Oz and start The Elected Dictatorship Party. I reckon I should do better than Labo(u)r at least.


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    bananabender

    Anyone who thinks Tony Abbott is going to reform the economy is going to be very disappointed. Abbott is a Democratic Labor Party man at heart – a big spending socialist with a 1950s Catholic social outlook.


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      Michael

      Even if he is, that’s nothing to do with reforming the economy (that’s all about microeconomic reform) – he could reform the socialism so its not so big state- it mostly pays for ludicrous number of “public servants” in Centralink and other places rather giving money to deserving people. Centrelink’s rules are ludicrous junk built up by the Democrats and others- putting in the good parts of Catholicism before it lost its way- help yourself and the government(church) will help you . He could ditch big government regulation some of which he says he is going to rollback away just go a bit further. He could reform the defence so it has a clear purpose- first time ever since the second world war.


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    Mattb

    On this note it is sad to see that for the 1st day the ABC’s count is reporting that Wayne from the Sports Party look slike not getting a seat. The key moment is when Shooters and Fishers sneak ahead of the Australian Christians in Count 21, with the Christians preferencing shooting and hunting over playing sports (lol even Jesus only needed 2 fish!).

    The PUP get the Gig, and also the Greens drop out. but this one will go down to the wire I think.


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