But aye, there’s the rub! (Apologies to His Bardship). Most Indie contestants were campaigning on one, or perhaps a few specific issues that attracted sufficient support from their electorates, together with the last nine years of almost indescribable neglect of the succession of incompetent LNP governments, which provided such rich pickings!
Source: Welcome to The New Teal – » The Australian Independent Media Network
When the LNP Dirt Brigade can call on their MSM media propagandists to turn one tree into a forrest, it becomes extremely evident the case of Kimberly Kitching of their level of desperation. Kitching never uttered any complaint or called for this level of publicity but the LNP’s own polls indicated Scott Morrison needed something to take the attention away from the shellacking the LNP was about to experience in South Sustralia.
Kitching’s death was weaponised for the purpose of political deflection and gained the equivalent and undeserved front page attention the death of Shane Warne did for that purpose. It’s not that it lasted over a week but it actually kept the Labor victory in SA off the front pages. It shows the unequal battle the ALP always faces in an election but also the degree to which Scott Morrison and the Liberals have fucked up this past not 3 but 9 years.
Think of it this way: If Steven Marshall had had an unexpected victory, what would have been the reaction? People would have said it showed again how wrong polls can be. The result would have inserted a discount into assessments of Anthony Albanese’s chances. SA Labor’s win will be a psychological boost for the federal Opposition, and a further dampener on the government’s mood.
Source: SA result is boost for Albanese, but he’s struggling with Kitching allegations
At a broader level, a functional democracy depends on common appreciation of basic facts. Yes, we can debate how to respond to climate change, but the genuine debate is only possible if we first accept the evidence that the climate is changing. If truth is seen as unattainable, anything goes. And if politicians ultimately do and say whatever they want, why bother engaging with politics at all?
As we have also seen recently, in times of crisis, mutual trust between government and the public produces greater compliance and better outcomes for everyone. Lies poison this trust. From this perspective, then, we should not accept lying politicians, and the media is well advised to hold our elected representatives to account. And if our Australian study is anything to go by, how our politicians deal with truth may end up affecting voters at the ballot box in May.
Source: We know politicians lie – but do we care?
Phillip Morris donates to the NP
Year after year, political parties receive tens of millions of dollars in “dark money”. This week, The Centre for Public Integrity, published research showing over $1.38 billion (29.5%) of political party funding since the 1998-99 financial year is of unexplained origin. In the 2020-21 financial year, some $68 million (38.6%) of party income was of unexplained origin. You won’t see who has been funding this year’s federal election as the donations data only happens once a year. By the time the February disclosures come along they are already at least 7 months old. We won’t see this until next February.
Source: AEC cracks down on Twitterati, lets breaches by major political parties slide – Michael West Media
Minor far-right parties like Clive Palmer’s UAP are poised to assist in the re-election of the Morrison Government through the disciplined distribution of preferences in Outer Suburban Areas where financial stresses have frustrated the delivery of affordable housing dreams. In the Outer Brisbane South Electorate of Forde, the combined vote for One Nation, the UAP and Fraser Anning’s Conservative National Party approached 20 per cent of the primary vote and was highest in the most disadvantaged polling booths.
Alternative economic options are difficult to promote in more disadvantaged electorates where many residents are under siege from financial pressures of mortgage payments or high rentals. These stresses have generated a fair share of scepticism about national politics and the relevance of the old two-party divide in Australian politics.
Electorate profiling of constituents has become so intricate that political insiders in the federal LNP can exploit these financial and social tensions in Australian households to make use of the outrageous levels of opportunistic political communication from both federal LNP and minor far-right parties who are offering a disciplined distribution of preferences to the Morrison Government.
Source: Delivering more of the same for the LNP’s New Suburban and Coastal Resort Heartlands in Queensland – » The Australian Independent Media Network
Morrison is grateful
“Our objective in the last election was to ensure Bill Shorten did not become prime minister,” he said when asked about the point of spending so much money on a seemingly doomed ambition.
Source: Unvaxxed billionaire Clive Palmer promises most expensive election campaign ever
No complaints were heard when Clive Palmer spent $$$
Escalating Coalition criticism of the ‘Voices Of’ independent movement is “attacking democracy”, one of the drive’s key supporters has claimed, as yet more senior ministers complain about its growing traction.
Despite the Coalition claiming the movement is a “front” for Labor or the Greens, most of the independent candidates say they’ve never been a member of any political party, and some have links to the Liberals. Ms Daniel, a former ABC journalist and former TND columnist, said she had voted for her opponent, Mr Wilson, in 2016. Allegra Spender, taking on Dave Sharma in Wentworth, is the daughter of former Liberal MP John Spender. Mr Holmes a Court said he was unsurprised the Voices campaigns largely came from Coalition seats. “They’re growing out of frustration at the representation they’re getting. I’m not surprised people in non-government seats aren’t energised enough to start a campaign,” he said. “This is a movement from the centre. It’s spot fires of people who are pi–ed off. If Labor was in power, I’m sure this movement would be targeting Labor seats. They’re pushing against people they think are doing a bad job. “[Mr Morrison] should be asking, ‘Why did these groups start up and why are people disaffected in heartland Liberal seats?’” Mr Holmes a Court said Climate 200 would look to support between 12 and 20 independent candidates, and hoped three to five would win
Source: ‘Attacking democracy’: Independent MPs hit back at Coalition
Put it another way. The very things the Labor party represents and supports Multiculturalism, Individual decent living conditions, Freedom, and Democracy are the very qualities that tie its arm behind its back. It’s why the US Democrats and Labor in the UK, aren’t the parties of extremes but centerist. In a Democracy, major parties should be prepared to lose and currently Labor seems to be the only party that accepts that. It’s why they aren’t the party fighting to divide and fragment the nation. The LNP on the other hand promote culture wars aren’t anti Independents who are divisive, forced into transactional arrangements to form unstable coalitions and we’ve seen just how that’s worked for the LNP. The ALP haven’t joined One Nation, Clive Palmer’s AUP and any other stand alone Independant.
Unfortunately, divide and conquer is the historic truism that’s lead many Dictators and would be autocrats to pyrrhic and short lived victories in the past. Their politics tends to appeal to emotions, religious beliefs and culture rather than logic and rationality drawn from the data collected our material existense. An educated Australia or electorate isn’t in their interests.
To put it in a broader context, the independent lovefest comes down to a reassertion of the fact that the Labor Party is not accepted as fully legitimate. Decades of neoliberalism have undermined its ability to project a vision of the national interest that is equally valid as that of the corporate/politically conservative interests in Australia, where those interests include the media. Labor always fights with one hand tied behind its back – and until they prove otherwise, the independent candidates are simply another manifestation of anti Labor sentiment. What we really need is to do whatever it takes to elect a majority Labor government that will actually do something about the challenges we face.
Source: Independents are not the answer to our problems – » The Australian Independent Media Network
When a minority uses fake culture wars to blindside an election. It didn’t work in Warringa did it? The biker surfer volunteer fire fighter lost by a country mile.
Australia – a nation of self-proclaimed straight shooters – has been hijacked by a pack of fabricated larrikins and bona fide bullshit artists. For a quarter-century, Australia’s conservative establishment has profited from pitting working-class battlers against the inner-city elite, coalmines against universities, larrikins against feminists and gays, patriots against Aboriginals, Muslims and asylum seekers.
Source: Larrikins, bogans and bullshit artists: is Australia ripe for a blue-collar revolution? | Australia news | The Guardian
Former Liberal MP Craig Kelly has joined Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party so he can access a war chest of funds to more widely share his controversial views over the handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Source: Craig Kelly joins Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party for ad spend
Could progressive Independents be the way of the future? The opportunity to reduce the influence of party politics and all the politicking that this entails, and return Australia to the people? If more of the calibre of Dr Helen Haines can be encouraged to enter Australian politics, then we can look forward to an Australia of Dr Haines’ goal of “high quality, safe and (an) enjoyable healthy life.”
Source: Helen Haines: Could progressive Independents be the way of the future? – » The Australian Independent Media Network
86 View all comments Nationals MPs fear a ruthless reshuffle of their federal cabinet posts to reward those who voted for Barnaby Joyce to lead the party, amid Labor scorn that he will join a cabinet taskforce on women’s safety.
Source: Nationals MPs fear ‘vindictive’ reshuffle of cabinet posts rewarding Barnaby Joyce backers
When it comes to thinking, progressives do it better than conservatives do. Progressives embrace novelty, nuance and complexity, while social conservatives struggle to process complex tasks.
Source: Right and Left: The choice between dumb and dumber
In Australian politics today, the neoliberal consensus seems unshakable. But the experience of the Curtin and Whitlam Labor governments shows the potential of progressive populism to deliver social change — a potential we can also glimpse in the recent growth of the Greens.
Source: Progressive Populism Has Transformed Australia Before — It Could Do It Again
Is adversarial politics damaging our democracy?
Those who despise adversarial politics find it to be contemptible, a damaging affliction on our political system. They resent the stifling impediments it places on governing, on governments carrying out what they promised the electorate they would do. They see it as focused on ‘winning’, on gaining a political advantage, rather than telling or establishing the truth, or contributing usefully to the discourse. It sets the teeth of the electorate on edge, which ‘turns off’ in despair. Voters would prefer politicians to be open and upfront, more focussed on the good of the nation, less willing to corrupt the usually-worthy principles that brought them into politics in the first place. At least our PM and Opposition leader are now cooperating well during the COVID-19 crisis.
What can we ordinary citizens do?
We might be able to bring about change if we, who pay our politicians’ wages via taxes, raise our voices against the use of exaggerated, depreciatory, derogatory and dishonest language by politicians, commentators and columnists. While the media might miss the theatre and the ‘newsworthy’ copy adversarial politics provides, the public would applaud a more measured approach, free from adversarial behaviour – so wasteful, so unproductive, so distasteful. We could write to our parliamentarians individually. Responders to this piece may have other suggestions. Sadly though, if history tells us anything, any change for the better is probably a vain hope.
via Is adversarial politics damaging our democracy? – » The Australian Independent Media Network
Bouyed by the success of Bernie Sanders on an International level the Greens have an opportunity to influence the very direction of Australian politics (ODT)
It’s flagship policy is a Green New Deal, articulated along similar lines to those in the United States and the UK, which aims to address the crises of work, inequality, and the climate at the same time.
In theory, conditions seem favorable to turn this around. Even before the pandemic, continent-spanning bushfires transparently linked to climate change devoured 20 percent of our forests and killed at least thirty-four people. Prior to the worst recession since the 1930s, the Liberal–National Coalition government presided over stagnant wages and 3.2 million people living in poverty. Racism and xenophobia were already on the rise — in the last month anti-Chinese and Asian racism has spiked.
While Australia has so far escaped runaway coronavirus infections, the crisis has pushed millions more into poverty and housing insecurity. Excluded from the JobKeeper scheme, millions of casual and migrant workers are particularly vulnerable.
via The Australian Greens Must Democratize Their Party Structures
Given the extent of money flowing into Labor’s associated entities, questions remain to be answered by the AEC as to the destination of the payments made by these entities.
What is also clear is that the money flows in a circular fashion between the various Labor branches and associated entities. One can’t help drawing a comparison with the way laundered and dirty money is put through a casino ‘washing machine’ to be legitimised. One thing is clear, the lack of transparency in our political donations system is disturbing. One can only imagine what the most recent AEC disclosures prior to the last election will reveal, or not reveal.
But what has all this union money achieved? One only has to look at Labor’s support for the gas sector and mining in Qld and NSW (come on down Joel FitzGibbon) and draw your own conclusions.
Until the political donations process in this country, particularly through ‘associated entities’ is made publicly accountable, we can only guess as to the extent our politics is being influenced by vested interests.
via Australian Labor, the CFMEU and its secret money – » The Australian Independent Media Network
Lendlease walked away from its contract to rebuild the Sydney Football Stadium in July, leaving a giant hole in the ground and a state government scrambling to fill the construction void. The contract was worth $729 million but, in a retirement villages tax rort, the company has claimed far more than $729 million. Michael West reports on how Lendlease plays fast and loose with taxpayers.
via Lendlease tax boondoggle bigger than the hole it left in Sydney Football Stadium – Michael West
Shut your collective trap, and go and do your jobs.
He makes a fair point. Politicians in Canberra, including many of Morrison’s colleagues, have been obsessed for years by internal ideological divisions and personality clashes rather than their actual job of serving the Australian people.
Rewind to 2012 and it was Julia Gillard saying the same thing: “What do people want government to do? Talk about themselves, or deliver results? Well I want government to deliver results and that’s what I’m doing as prime minister,” she said (before the talking to themselves crescendoed and blood was spilled.)
via ‘Politics off the front page’ is part of Scott Morrison’s bid to dial down the volume | Sarah Martin | Australia news | The Guardian
This morning, the Financial Review had a piece titled ‘Tax cuts are no handout to the rich’. Well, of course, they would say that, as their whole purpose as a media publication is to write pieces that are of interest to those with money or interested in money.
What really grated, though, was this tweet which the Liberals also flogged:
Unless the full tax cut package is passed, high income earners risk losing out to the “silent thief” of tax bracket creep, according to new analysis.
We are constantly told we need a surplus and we can’t afford to “waste” money. The Government has no money to help the homeless, raise Newstart, raise the pension or support community legal services — in fact, they are always looking for “savings” in these areas. Savings being the euphemism for cuts.
But the Government does have money to spend on tax cuts for those on high wages and big business.
Now, if everyone in Australia is supposedly equal, how can a Government justify giving wealthier people more money when we have people who are homeless, starving and living in abject poverty?
Worse. When this issue is raised, it is called “politics of envy”.
via Politics of envy: Feeding the rich in an entitled society
Get real we are Australians not Chinese first (ODT)
Chinese-Australians have had enough of the political tokenism displayed by all sides of politics.
We are not political cannon fodder and we no longer want to serve as cash cows and walking ATMs at fundraising dinners. We’re tired of having candidates in non-winnable seats. We want to be recognised for our commitment to Australian democracy.
My advice to Bill Shorten and Scott Morrison to take a step away from WeChat and show some genuine interest in our community’s concerns.
via Chinese-Australians have had a gutful of politicians’ tokenism
Remember Abbott No cuts to Health Education and the ABC he simply looked at the cmera and didn’t blink because he knew we’d buy it. Wake up Australia!! (ODT)
Barnaby Joyce expressed the strategy well, in a since deleted tweet this week:
‘There is no umpire in the political debate. There’s no rule book. What you get away with wins.’
Bullying, lying, cheating, smearing — and that’s just what Barnaby did before the last New England by-election, as you would have read here on IA. What an example for the nation — and his children.
As the late Bob Ellis, one of this country’s most lauded journalists, speechwriters, writers, playwrights and auteurs wrote in these pages, just a few years ago, the Right love to win by cheating. And so they do. And usually win.
And with a compliant rightwing mainstream media behind them – more so now Fairfax has been swallowed by Nine – the Right have a chance of deluding the populace into voting against their own interests again. Such is our lot.
EDITORIAL EXCERPT: How to make no friends and influence elections
So, as “The Financial Review” warns Bill Shorten about class warfare and the politics of envy, I have to laugh. Yes, its readers will all tut-tut and tell themselves that it’s big business that creates wealth and taxation is theft so shouldn’t we get a refund on the tax we don’t pay, the people struggling with their bills have already decided that something needs to change. Labor aren’t starting a class war; they’re simply describing it and suggesting that maybe we need to start looking after some of the wounded who’ve been ignored till now.
via The Appeal Of Donald Trump, The Political Bones Of Peter Dutton And Other Carcases! – » The Australian Independent Media Network
When we thought we’d removed the idiots from the field we still find we have the greatest of them all left. (ODT)
As a wrecking ball, the Liberal Party has no further to look than Dutton. A man who manages to sail under the media radar by rarely making himself available to media scrutiny unless it happens to be a weekly love-in with Ray Hadley on 2GB or a scripted interview on Sky-After-Dark.
Even as the dust was settling over the leadership debacle Dutton declared that he had no regrets about bringing on a week of drama that had split the Liberal Party and halted Parliament. He continued to describe himself as a “better person” and a “person of greater strength and integrity to lead the Liberal Party” than Malcolm Turnbull.
You be the judge !
via Political Wrecking Ball for Hire : Tried and Tested works every time ! – » The Australian Independent Media Network
All the old political players are still in power. Donald Trump is President of the United States. And in Australia, we have our own wannabe Trumps and populists of the Right — people like Pauline Hanson, and Liberals like Tony Abbott, Peter Dutton and even Scott Morrison.
The big story in Australia last year was the Liberal Party dumping Malcolm Turnbull as its leader and Scott Morrison becoming Prime Minister. Morrison is now the PM because he is not Dutton. That is hardly a recipe for success.
The Morrison Government takes Australia from bad to worse
Under Australia’s two party preferred political system we see alternate parties denigrated by the left and right to keep them suppressed. Two party preferred, not three party preferred is the war cry. We see alternate political parties denigrating the left and right to try to carve their way into a position of political power. From where I stand, political parties are not working for democracy, they are working for themselves and once again, the financial elite. So, it’s time to change the system.
What choices do we have? Where do we turn to establish a democracy for the people by the people? If it’s not political parties, what is it? I think now is the time for a monumental social experiment. We are definitely in the mood and we are well on the way so, let’s keep pushing and flood the parliament with independents. Give independents the balance of power in both houses of parliament and we are in with a chance of knocking off elitist rule and establishing our democratic birth right.
via Feeding the Monster – » The Australian Independent Media Network
There are many reasons why the Coalition has been politically inept. John Lord examines 25 of the key areas in which they failed.
via 25 reasons why the Coalition has failed the nation
Ask Peter “the skull” Dutton, our minister for gnome affairs, whose failed messianic bid on 24 August to supplant Malcolm Turnbull as Australia’s Prime Minister is mostly responsible for the Vesuvian-strength political disruption against the Liberals in Saturday’s state election in Victoria and political rockstar Julia Banks moving to the crossbench as an Independent, severing from the Liberal Party entirely.
via For democracy’s sake, Dutton must go
So, before the media starts talking about how terribly the Labor Party performed and tries to start leadership speculation about Shorten, let’s see this for what it is: a massive wake-up call for Scott Morrison. Unfortunately for him, his speech last night suggested he intended to just keep hitting the snooze button.
via Wentworth Circus, Elephants In The Room, Jokers In The Pack And Too Many Ringmasters… – » The Australian Independent Media Network
The Wentworth byelection is the testing ground of one of the main tenets of the federal Liberal party’s thought leadership – and one that Malcolm Turnbull pushed back on during his term – that we need to attract the disenchanted rightwing vote.
The view held by some in the party is that the emergence of independent conservative parties have stolen our vote and we need to court them back. The internal counter-argument is – well, yes, but you will lose the rest of the country.
Australia is just not America, as much as some wish it was.
The Australian Conservatives have not gone off like fireworks and One Nation polls on a national average that is consistently below the Greens. Does that mean we have more environmentalists than conservatives?
via The Wentworth byelection is a vote on the Liberal party’s lurch to the right | Kristina Photios | Opinion | The Guardian
When Right or Wrong don’t matter nor what’s best for the country. Only the game and their jobs is what matters. (ODT)
Queensland Liberals have warned colleagues considering voting to refer Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to the High Court that they could send the government to the gallows early by setting up a devastating byelection in his seat of Dickson.
Ian Macdonald, the longest-serving person in Parliament, said a byelection in that seat “wouldn’t be easy to win” and the prospect of the Morrison government losing its majority should weigh firmly on MPs’ minds ahead of a likely referral vote next week
via Liberals warn colleagues: Move against Peter Dutton and you could bring down the government
Buried truth leaves a party throwing dead moggies on the table, Immigration, Climate Change, Gender etc.(ODT)
But maybe not. Back then, 5.3% ranked equal sixth lowest out of the 35 wealthy member countries of the Organisation for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD). In November 2012, Germany and Australia both had 5.3% of their workforce unemployed. Only South Korea, Switzerland, Norway, Japan and Mexico had lower jobless rates.
Today, four years into the strongest global boom in trade, jobs and profits in decades, 5.3% ranks 18th. That is in the bottom half of the table. Thirteen countries now have their jobless rate below 4.0%.
If Australia still ranked sixth in the OECD, its rate would be 3.5% and another 243,000 Australians would be off welfare and earning a salary
via A new direction: The truth about the economy they don’t want you to know
The Coalition faces the prospect of fighting a snap election with a severely depleted bank account and a raft of seats still without a Liberal candidate, compared to a cashed-up and energised Australian Labor Party.
A besieged Malcolm Turnbull said Australian voters “will be crying out for an election” following tumult over the prime ministership.
via Australians ‘crying out for election’ after leadership turmoil: Turnbull
Dutton is a reliable buffoon always guaranteed to trip up (ODT)
Network 10 on Monday night reported Mr Dutton could be in breach of the constitution, which rules ineligible anyone who “has any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any agreement with the Public Service of the Commonwealth”.
Mr Dutton’s register of financial interests shows he is a beneficiary of the RHT Family Trust, alongside his wife. The trust owns his wife’s company, RHT Investments, which runs two childcare centres in Brisbane: Bald Hills and Camelia Avenue.
Since July 2, the centres have been receiving direct financial subsidies from the Commonwealth government, according to the Network 10 report. The trust of which Mr Dutton is a beneficiary profits from the childcare centres, giving rise to a potential breach of section 44.
via Leadership twist as report claims Peter Dutton could be ineligible to sit in Parliament
He had got his National Energy Guarantee (NEG) past his colleagues by a healthy margin; for all intents and purposes, his approach on energy policy had been endorsed.
But if war teaches you anything, it is that numbers do not count in an insurgency.
Mr Turnbull is now the target of full-blown guerrilla warfare.
The insurgents may have varying endgames, but their first ambition is clear: to kill off Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership.
via Malcolm Turnbull’s opponents are waging a guerilla war to kill off his leadership – Politics – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)