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)
Obviously Andrew Bolt hasn’t the inside rail when it comes to what’s going on in politics. While he flounders with “unnamed conservatives” and “rumours” the Fairfax papers don’t and aren’t afraid to name those men Bolt prefers to keep hidden (ODT)
Abbott still suffers from the wounds inflicted on him when Malcolm Turnbull toppled him as prime minister in September 2015, which means the pain from the past shapes the Liberal Party’s looming decision over its future.
via A showdown is looming between Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull
If Turnbull moves further Right they will definitely lose the next election this was a vote for the ALP Right because there was no other alternative. Had the ALP been further Left than they are now the margin would have been even greater. So bring back Abbott for the left’s sake. (ODT)
The result in Longman (and Braddon, and Perth, and Fremantle and Mayo) is a repudiation of Turnbull and the Liberal party who have thrown everything at Shorten over recent weeks and vastly outspent the Labor party. As prime minister, having put his leadership squarely on the line, his position as leader is now untenable and if he places his future in the hands of his colleagues we can expect him to be dumped and that will give us Peter Dutton and the Abbott rabble followed closely and inevitably by the demise of the Liberal party.
via Quō vādis Malcolm ? – » The Australian Independent Media Network
Australians said an Emphatic “No” to the LNP’s Drift Back to Abbott’s Right-Wing White Pacific Dream. This was a “No” to Right-Wing Drift of Turnbull’s LNP Policies, Media Influence and intrusion, IPA Lobbying and benefiting of the few who only believe in the “me” and not the collective “we”who make up this multicultural country called AUSTRALIA that was also a proud global team player. (ODT)
Labor has secured a major victory over the Turnbull government in a marathon political contest across five byelections, gaining ground in key seats in a show of strength ahead of the next general election.
Labor held its four electorates while the Coalition failed to regain one of its old strongholds, in an outcome that dashed government hopes of turning the tables on its rivals.
via Labor wins and Coalition reels in Super Saturday byelections
A Victorian ReachTEL poll for The Age, conducted July 5 from a sample of 1,500, gave Labor a 51-49 lead. Primary votes were 39.4% Coalition, 35.4% Labor, 10.5% Greens, 3.6% One Nation, 2.8% Shooters and 3.5% undecided. The Victorian election will be held on November 24.
via Victorian ReachTEL poll: 51-49 to Labor, and time running out for upper house reform
“Mark Latham has fallen out with everyone he’s ever worked with and Pauline Hanson has fallen out with everyone she’s ever worked with.”
And now, of course, Latham, once a man the Labor Party thought should be prime minister, and Hanson, who the Liberal Party once preselected as its candidate for federal parliament, are working together.
via Latham and Hanson: we know how this political relationship will end
Why don’t they and their parties get the message to provide a public service and not just service the public? (ODT)
But no matter how we finely slice these data, they all point to one overarching trend: citizens in democracies are expecting more from their political systems and political leaders, and they are increasingly underwhelmed by what they see.
via Australians don’t trust politicians, but the pollies don’t appear fussed – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Australians were justifiably shocked, appalled and embarrassed by the ball tampering our test cricketers attempted last month in South Africa. Somehow, better was expected of them. After all, they were playing the gentlemen’s game – cricket – where any cheating was simply ‘not cricket’.
Why then are we not even more disgusted by the truth tampering our politicians perpetrate day after day? We ought to be! But we seem to accept it as the norm. We allow them to lie to us with scarcely a murmur of protest.
The motive behind their tampering is the same: an insatiable desire to win, win, win at any cost; to utterly defeat the enemy. 2353NM expanded on this theme in his insightful piece: A Winning Culture.
via Truth tampering – a sinister political reality – » The Australian Independent Media Network
One Liberal moderate bluntly characterises the “Monash Forum”, which burst into the energy debate this week, as “the deplorables trying to give themselves a credible front”.
Whatever else it might be, the so-called forum is Tony Abbott’s latest weapon in baiting the Turnbull bear.
via Tony Abbott’s Latrobe Valley cycle timed for Turnbull’s Newspoll black day – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
The Liberal Party has no compelling alternative to Turnbull. If it did, he’d be long gone. But it has three aspiring alternatives. The most obvious is the least plausible, Tony Abbott, who, in the Easter spirit of resurrection, this week offered as a political rule that “you’re always better the second time around”. The voters don’t intend to give him the chance and neither do his colleagues.
The most plausible is Julie Bishop. Of the Liberal leadership contenders, she is the only one who could credibly improve the Coalition’s vote and win an election. She is the champion of Liberal moderates and demonstrates her star power every time she visits a colleague’s electorate to campaign for them, which she does tirelessly.
Turnbull had his chance to be a moral force when he first took the prime ministership. But when he abandoned every big cause he’d ever championed during his three decades in the public eye – the republic, climate change and gay marriage – and accepted the Abbott policy settings as a condition of taking the job, he lost every skerrick of moral authority with the people.
via Turnbull had his chance to be a moral force – now he’s just a spent one
Labor has a unifying sense of purpose around the “fairness” theme that has been Shorten’s rallying cry ever since his budget reply speech in 2014. The constant disagreement in the Labor ranks over asylum seeker policy, likely to trigger another argument at the national conference in Adelaide in July, is one of the few flashpoints in a caucus that is remarkably solid when it makes big calls on economic or budget policies. This is not a verdict on those policies; it is an assessment of Labor’s cohesion and political strength.
via Fractured Coalition lost in the wilderness