Category: Election

This election – you do have a say – » The Australian Independent Media Network

1-11 boxes all to be numbered with your order of preference. Place your choice FIRST and the ASSHOLES  LAST. It’s your VOTE AUSTRALIA make it WORTHWHILE!!!!

Government is about making decisions that impact the lives of Australians in a fair, equitable, transparent and compassionate manner. If you are over 18, voting is compulsory in Australia. So when you go to cast your vote this week, consider this: No political party controls your ‘preferences’, you do. Follow the instructions on the ballot papers you are given and you will cast a valid vote. If a Coalition Government is so bad why has Morrison been part of one for almost a decade and do we really want to have three more years of a Government that is more concerned with staying in power than demonstrating accountability and transparency? Maybe that’s one reason why many Australians have lost faith in the political system. What do you think?

Source: This election – you do have a say – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Election preferences: do you need to think strategically before voting in the lower house? | Australian election 2022 | The Guardian

Posters for the independent candidate in Kooyong,  Monique Ryan

With prominent independents creating unusual contests in some seats, voters may be confused about how to allocate preferences. But there is a simple solution

Vote RYAN 1, and the  LNP 11,  UAP 10.  The rest is yours to choose. Vote LNP 6 above the Line in the Senate

Source: Election preferences: do you need to think strategically before voting in the lower house? | Australian election 2022 | The Guardian

Election 2022: Labor integrity commission’s retrospective powers to stretch to 15 years

Shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus said there was no time limit on what Labor’s proposed integrity commission could investigate.

Labor expects its proposed national integrity commission will examine alleged misconduct from as far back as 15 years, with both former and current politicians eligible to be investigated under a broad definition of corruption.

Unlike the Coalition, Labor has promised to create an integrity body with retrospective powers, meaning it could examine decisions taken before the commission came into being.

Source: Election 2022: Labor integrity commission’s retrospective powers to stretch to 15 years

Undecided voters award Albanese victory in third and final leaders’ debate

Undecided voters in marginal seats have named Anthony Albanese the clear winner of the third and final leaders’ debate which was a more sedate affair than the previous ‘shouty’ match.

The Final Showdown on Channel 7 on Wednesday night included a ‘pub test’ of 160 voters who scored Mr Albanese 50 per cent and Mr Morrison 34 per cent while 16 per cent remained undecided.

Meanwhile A YouGov poll of 19,000 voters commissioned by The Australian shows the Coalition heading for defeat, with Labor winning 80 seats and the Coalition reduced to 63. Seven seats would go to independents and one to the Greens.

Source: Undecided voters award Albanese victory in third and final leaders’ debate

Frydenberg says Morrison government won’t state minimum wage figure By Angus Thompson

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and independent Kooyong candidate Monique Ryan handing out flyers at the Hawthorn pre-polling booth on Monday.

Frydenberg says Morrison government won’t state minimum wage figure

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has refused to say what his government believes the minimum wage should be, saying it “has not been our practice and that is not our policy”.

Frydenberg, who is in danger of losing his Melbourne seat of Kooyong next Saturday to “teal” independent Monique Ryan, told ABC radio this morning that the government’s strategy was to drive higher wages with a tighter labour market.

Source: Election 2022 LIVE updates: Anthony Albanese, Scott Morrison clash in final leaders’ debate; Australia minimum wage debate continues; Port of Darwin China sale worth $20m; Josh Frydenberg distances himself from Katherine Deves

Women voters help Labor extend Newspoll lead to 54-46

Events have handed Scott Morrison a political gift.

Morrison is who he is, and he will be given the sack yet again. But remember, he believes he’s ” been chosen” so the unpredictable still lies ahead within the Liberal Rabble.

One thing is for certain the ALP will be handed a poison chalice, and a decade of mess to clean with the commercial media still barking and chasing the money it feeds off. They still be dancing to the tune of those who have the bulk of it. The ALP will only have a short time to prove themselves and must SAVE THE ABC, et up an integrity commission, and create secure jobs transitioning to clean energy. The must revitalize our global reputation not just their domestic one.

Labor has increased its lead over the Coalition in two new polls as early voting centres open across the country on Monday, two weeks before the federal election. The Australian‘s Newspoll released on Monday shows Labor rising one point to 54-46 per cent on a two-party preferred basis (compared to 53-47 per cent a week before). Support for Labor is at 39 per cent, with the Coalition slipping to 35 per cent.

Source: Women voters help Labor extend Newspoll lead to 54-46

Cutting through the accusations and acrimony to get to the facts of the second leaders’ debate – ABC News

The exterior wall of Darwin Port with signage in red and white and a truck in the background.

The second leaders’ debate on the Nine Network last night was full of accusations and acrimony. Amidst the shouting and over-talking coming from both Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese, it was easy for the facts to get lost. You’re probably wondering how close some of the things that were said came to being correct. RMIT ABC Fact Check has you covered.

Source: Cutting through the accusations and acrimony to get to the facts of the second leaders’ debate – ABC News

Scott Morrison confirms $500,000 payment was not for Alan Tudge’s abuse which means it had to be for the sexual assault complaint against Josh Frydenberg – Kangaroo Court of Australia

Scott  Corporal Schultz Morrison also said ” I don’t know anything about that”

Scott Morrison and Senator Anne Ruston, who is the Coalition campaign spokesperson, have both stated the $500,000 that will be paid to Rachelle Miller is a for a separate matter other than the ones that were the subject of the Thom Inquiry which means it has to be for the alleged sexual harassment / sexual assault by federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

Source: Scott Morrison confirms $500,000 payment was not for Alan Tudge’s abuse which means it had to be for the sexual assault complaint against Josh Frydenberg – Kangaroo Court of Australia

The Australian Federal Election Offers a Choice Between Disaster and Disappointment

Anthony Albanese has taken on the role of Biden in this Election 2022, allowing the Trumpish Rumplestiltskin  Morrison whose been electioneering for these last 3 years to reveal who he really is. Imagine if he was debating Tanya Plibersek or Penny Wong  the true Morrison would stand out in greater relief.

Scott Morrison is widely disliked, and his conservative government is divided, incompetent, and mired in corruption. Despite this, the Labor opposition’s platform is one of the most timid and conservative in memory.

Source: The Australian Federal Election Offers a Choice Between Disaster and Disappointment

Only two weeks to go – » The Australian Independent Media Network

When did our Elections become so Presidential, so American. Who turned it into a leadership and media battle?

It is time to ask yourself who you want to wake up with, again. Three years ago, we faced this decision with the disastrous reigns of Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull still fresh in our memories. While our elections are about individual members in individual electorates, the system has gradually become more presidential. The result may be that people vote for the local candidate if they like the leader of his or her party.

As for Labor, there is a powerful team. The likes of Penny Wong, Jim Chalmers, Kristina Keneally, Tanya Plibersek, and the find of the election, Jason Clare are all showing what they can do. It appears impressive.

 

Source: Only two weeks to go – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Where’s Tanya Plibersek? More like where’s Alan Tudge | The Canberra Times | Canberra, ACT

Albanese then stepped in with a very pointed question of his own. “I’ve got my education spokesperson [Plibersek] here. Who is Scott Morrison’s education spokesman?” Advertisement Ad It is a good question no one can quite seem to answer.

Source: Where’s Tanya Plibersek? More like where’s Alan Tudge | The Canberra Times | Canberra, ACT

Independent ABC Must Declare Who They’ll Side With After The Election! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Frydenbergs most recent slogan “Keep Josh” makes him  sound more like an Independent who no longer wants to be seen as part of the  Losing Team. He should declare which side he’s on. It doesn’t sound as if he expects to win this election or see Scott kept.

So it’s pretty clear that the independents have certain candidates more worried about them than the Labor Party which is why I find their whole strategy about as clever as Barnaby Joyce running on a platform of: “I’m so into family values that I have two families.” The first difficulty any independent has is getting noticed. If I were to run in Kooyong, I’d be lucky to attract a handful of votes but if Josh were to say publicly that you shouldn’t vote for me,

I’d probably get more votes than if he ignored me. Similarly, Timmy Wilson’s dummy spit about Zoe Daniel’s signs means that I know who’s the “Voices Of” candidate for Goldstein even though I’m not in that electorate.

Let’s be real, it’s thanks to the Libs that Monique Ryan is being interviewed here, there and everywhere. It’s thanks to the Libs that a large number of the people in the endangered electorates know who the teal candidate is and what they stand for.

Source: Independent ABC Must Declare Who They’ll Side With After The Election! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Election 2022: Higgins MP Katie Allen sends how-to-vote cards preferencing anti-vax, pro-Putin UAP candidate

Ingram SpencerKatie Allen in her Tesla, specially branded for the campaign.

Higgins MP and potential future frontbencher Katie Allen has been forced to execute a monumental backflip after issuing how-to-vote cards preferencing a United Australia Party candidate who has since gone bad. Very bad.

After last week’s ballot draw, Allen’s office reported UAP candidate Ingram Spencer to the federal police for allegedly acting aggressively towards people and “scaring everyone”. Days later, he was arrested for allegedly using a carriage service to harass someone and placed behind bars ahead of a first court hearing later this week.

So imagine the surprise among Higgins’ Liberal members and broader constituents when tens of thousands of them received Liberal how-to-vote cards instructing them to preference Spencer, a QAnon-following Vladimir Putin admirer, ahead of Labor and the Greens.

Source: Election 2022: Higgins MP Katie Allen sends how-to-vote cards preferencing anti-vax, pro-Putin UAP candidate

The Dirty Election: how the cards are stacked in favour of Scott Morrison – Michael West

Albanese and Morrison

To get to the point, Labor may be streets ahead in the polls but Scott Morrison is now in his element. His government is a shambles but, with the three major media houses backing him, and the ABC and others truckling to their daily news agendas, Anthony Albanese will have to win this thing, not wait for Morrison to lose it. The propagandists of News Corp will run hard for Morrison. Already, according to their questionable Newspoll, the gap has narrowed sharply. Sure, they want a contest, it sells their propaganda sheets, but given all the subsidies and favours which Rupert Murdoch, Nine Entertainment and Seven have wrung out of the Coalition they will be surely be barracking for the Coalition and bagging Labor till the cows come home.

Source: The Dirty Election: how the cards are stacked in favour of Scott Morrison – Michael West

More lying, rorting, taunting Coalition capers with Josh, Bridget and Sussan

Vote 1 Monique Ryan and Vote Frydenberg LAST! or Vote 1 ALPs Peter Lynch 2 Monique Ryan and Frydenberg LAST. In the Senate  VOTE 1 ALP and  LNP LAST

1. WOULD-BE PM JOSH FRYDENBERG First, the polls indicated the would-be PM will likely lose his seat — to an Independent, no less!

Source: More lying, rorting, taunting Coalition capers with Josh, Bridget and Sussan

Election 2022: Coalition promises voters $833m a day as it outspends Labor during the campaign

In just four weeks, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has promised more than $23.3 billion worth of projects, including funding for the Wanneroo BMX club.

Morrison’s Circus is banging the freebie drum and playing Grasshopper in an effort to attract a swarm of camp followers to help create an increasing plague. The ALP have in the meantime been planning and beavering away putting together a plan to save SS Australia from sinking from rising debt, inflation, insufficient wages, and robber barons. Oddly enough but unlike Trump and Morrison, they do want Australia to be Great Again.

The Coalition has promised $833 million a day to electorates around the country since the week of the March 29 federal budget as it goes on a spending spree to hold on to power at next month’s election. From large-scale dams that have yet to be judged against a business case, to BMX courses and footpaths in must-win seats, the Coalition has announced $23.3 billion in projects in the four weeks since the budget at an average of eight election sweeteners a day.

Source: Election 2022: Coalition promises voters $833m a day as it outspends Labor during the campaign

Federal election 2022: Will wage growth play into the polls?

Scott Morrison campaigning in Tasmania this week. He attacked unions over the shutdown of Sydney’s network even as it was clear the state government had shut out its workforce.

This is what is meant by the expression ” Wagging the Dog”. A totally manufactured and produced hi-viz photo shot accompanied by a totally fabricated fact, a lie about the NSW train strike on TV and in the media. Solely designed to turn Morrison’s dwindling chances of an election win around. Morrison and his team must have watched the 1997 movie “Wag the Dog” starring Di Niro and Dustin Hoffman who showed them how to come back from the dead.  It was about a failing President’s (PM) election chances needing to be  turned around in 11 days by the application of Fake News. Morrison has been mirroring the same tactics to a tee. Should anyone of Morrison’s media production team reveal the truth they too might go the way of Dustin Hoffman in the end.

Scott Morrison campaigning in Tasmania this week. He attacked unions over the shutdown of Sydney’s network even as it was clear the state government had shut out its workforce.

Source: Federal election 2022: Will wage growth play into the polls?

Michael Pascoe: Beware the promises in next election budget

Given current polling and the vaccination schmozzle, the odds are favouring the government hanging on to the benefits of incumbency as long as possible, hoping the vaccine bungles will fade, the shots work, peace breaks out over our internal borders, and the promises of opening up start to look more credible. That would mean a repeat of the 2019 timetable – an April budget ahead of a May election. Given the government’s denial, dissembling and deflection over blatant and systemic corruption last time, fasten your seat belts for even more rorting of the public purse for political purposes.

Source: Michael Pascoe: Beware the promises in next election budget

The GOP Conspiracy Mentality Will Only Become More Dangerous When They Lose Power | Washington Monthly

Screenshot_2020-10-27 The GOP Conspiracy Mentality Will Only Become More Dangerous When They Lose Power Washington Monthly

One of the more remarkable developments of the last few years has been the conservative movement’s reliance on outlandish conspiracy theories even as they maintain control of most levers of governmental power. It’s deeply unusual in a modern democratic society, but much more typical in totalitarian developing countries. And it bodes very ill for what is likely to happen to the Republican Party after it inevitably loses power.

The GOP Conspiracy Mentality Will Only Become More Dangerous When They Lose Power | Washington Monthly

Presidential debate as it happened: Trump, Joe Biden clash over North Korea, Amy Coney Barrett and coronavirus

A quieter Trump and a well-drilled Biden faced off in the last presidential debate.

With just 11 days left until election day, US President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden faced off in Nashville, Tennessee, for the final presidential debate. The debate was divided into six 15-minute segments: fighting COVID-19; American families; race in America; climate change; national security; and leadership. It was moderated by NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker. Welker was the first black woman to serve as the moderator of a presidential debate since Carole Simpson in 1992. The election will be held on November 3 but early postal voting has already begun in some states. Voter turnout is expected to reach record levels year, with some experts predicting that the number of people voting either in person or by mail could exceed 145 million.

Presidential debate as it happened: Trump, Joe Biden clash over North Korea, Amy Coney Barrett and coronavirus

Creeping Plutocracy after ‘Citizens United’: How US Election Spending skyrocketed to the GDP of some whole Countries

https://www.juancole.com/images/2020/10/Screen-Shot-2020-10-16-at-11.48.55-PM.png

Currently Trump is out of noney

The 2020 election cycle is forecast to smash previous spending records, with the Center for Responsive Politics estimating it will cost US$11 billion. That would be comparable to the 2019 GDP of Equatorial Guinea or Chad.

Creeping Plutocracy after ‘Citizens United’: How US Election Spending skyrocketed to the GDP of some whole Countries

Election 2020 sees record $11 billion in campaign spending, mostly from a handful of super-rich donors

Total spending in the 2020 federal elections is projected to set a new record of almost US$11 billion by November. When adjusted for inflation, that’s over 50% higher than 2016 election spending. This year’s federal election spending – for the presidency, the Senate and the House of Representatives – is on track to be double what it was in 2008.

The real challenge for American democracy is where this money comes from.

Election 2020 sees record $11 billion in campaign spending, mostly from a handful of super-rich donors

California Republican Party Admits It Placed Misleading Ballot Boxes Around State – The New York Times

State officials in California have ordered an investigation into more than 50 deceptively labeled “official” drop boxes.
Fake Republican Drop Box

Government officials say the receptacles are illegal and could lead to voter fraud, but the party says it will continue the practice. State officials in California have ordered an investigation into more than 50 deceptively labeled “official” drop boxes. State officials in California have ordered an investigation into more than 50 deceptively labeled “official” drop boxes.Credit…Mike Blake/Reuters By Glenn Thrush and Jennifer Medina Oct. 12, 2020 The California Republican Party has admitted responsibility for placing more than 50 deceptively labeled “official” drop boxes for mail-in ballots in Los Angeles, Fresno and Orange Counties — an action that state officials said was illegal and could lead to voter fraud.

California Republican Party Admits It Placed Misleading Ballot Boxes Around State – The New York Times

We Can’t Ignore Rural Voter Resentment

Political scientist Katherine J. Cramer has studied the changing political attitudes of rural Wisconsinites — a group that helped put Donald Trump in the White House. “Rural resentment” may not get much attention, but it’s a real and powerful force in US politics.

We Can’t Ignore Rural Voter Resentment

The Pennsylvania GOP Is Undermining Its Own Vote-By-Mail Reforms For Trump

If there are enough delays in counting votes, the state could run up against the December 8 “safe harbor” deadline to submit Pennsylvania electors to the electoral college — a situation that could allow for a Republican power play, according to a recent report by Barton Gellman in the Atlantic. “According to sources in the Republican Party at the state and national levels, the Trump campaign is discussing contingency plans to bypass election results and appoint loyal electors in battleground states where Republicans hold the legislative majority,” Gellman reported. “In Pennsylvania, three Republican leaders told me they had already discussed the direct appointment of electors among themselves, and one said he had discussed it with Trump’s national campaign.”

The Pennsylvania GOP Is Undermining Its Own Vote-By-Mail Reforms For Trump

The Despicable Acts of Cheating During Last Night’s VP Debate | The Smirking Chimp

When it came to cheating, there was also the in-your-face choice of a woman moderator, an obvious advantage to Ms. Harris, also a woman. Susan Page, the moderator, is a journalist, drawn from the main stream media (aka fake news). Her bias was obvious as she consistently attempted to interrupt Mr. Pence when he talked well beyond the two-minutes allotted for the answer to each of her questions, most of which Mr. Pence chose to ignore, veering off into tried-and-true platitudes about the American people and how lucky they were to have his boss looking after them so capably and with such loving concern. You just can’t say what needs to be said to praise the man sufficiently in just two lousy minutes so it was his duty to ignore the agreed-upon rules in the interest of the truth, which the American people deserved to hear. Didn’t they? Sure, they did.

The Despicable Acts of Cheating During Last Night’s VP Debate | The Smirking Chimp

Pence-Harris debate gives Trump no relief: a Biden victory is in reach

Senator Harris during her debate with Vice-President Mike Pence.

The President is on steroids, but we are way beyond mere October surprises. No, America is now into shock therapy to jolt American voters into retiring Trump – and the lightning bolts keep coming.

Pence-Harris debate gives Trump no relief: a Biden victory is in reach

Permissible Influences: Israel and the Australian Elections – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Foreign Interferance from the Chinese… No Way!! Israel your welcome but pls shut the door quitely on your way out!! (ODT)

The Labor leader has had to spring into action to douse any electorally damaging flames. Shorten, on a visit to the seat of La Trobe in Melbourne, assured gathered journalists that Wilson and Senator Lines had “reconfirmed” their support for the official pro-Israeli Labor line. Zionist Federation president Jeremy Liebler could rest easy: “Good on Bill Shorten and Chris Bowen for swiftly clarifying that Ms Parke’s views are inconsistent with Labor’s approach to Israel, and I’m confident the party leadership will issue a similar response to Josh Wilson and Sue Lines.” Ignoring the substance of Senator Lines’ remarks, Liebler put it down to hostility against the Jewish community “having a dialogue with the Labor Party”. Again, never mention the lobby.

Much of this, sadly, comes down to keeping up, and in, with the voters. Crude calculations figure. Votes from Palestinians and their supporters are insignificant and few; votes from Jewish voters, highly prized. The inner-city Melbourne seat of Macnamara, held by Labor, is of interest, given its slim margin and the retiring, pro-Israeli Labor MP, Michael Danby. To that end, negative comments on Israel are not so much niggles in electoral strategy as bombs waiting to go off.

Permissible Influences: Israel and the Australian Elections – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Wentworth Mystery: The Baffling Case Of The Missing Malcolm – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The desire for Malcolm’s presence is one of those strange paradoxes. If Turnbull is not that good at politics, he’s hardly needed, but if Turnbull can help boost the votes by campaigning, it begs the question: Why did you dump him?

via Wentworth Mystery: The Baffling Case Of The Missing Malcolm – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Queensland poll shatters the Coalition’s city-country myth

George Christensen (centre) at Parliament House with other federal Nationals MPs.

While a Galaxy poll published on Friday suggested Labor’s Annastacia Palaszczuk would hang on thanks to a 52-48 lead, the idea that One Nation would cut such a swathe through the Liberal-National Party, while crashing itself, has caught many off-guard.

Mr Christensen aside, probably the two unhappiest people on Saturday night were the LNP leader Tim Nicholls, and Ms Hanson, whose party looks to have secured just a single seat – that of Mirani.

via Queensland poll shatters the Coalition’s city-country myth

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An election fought over policies? No, this isn’t fantasy – The Drum (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

As the debate took a turn towards unicorns this week, the strangest development might be the fact we now have a Government and Opposition with genuinely different economic policies that they’re prepared to fight an election over.

Source: An election fought over policies? No, this isn’t fantasy – The Drum (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Hillary Clinton Won 6 Out of 6 Coin Tosses Last Night. Here’s How Statistically Improbable That Is

The Iowa Democratic caucus vote count was so close last night, that at least 6 precincts were decided by flipping a coin — an obscure procedure in the Iowa caucus bylaws.

Source: Hillary Clinton Won 6 Out of 6 Coin Tosses Last Night. Here’s How Statistically Improbable That Is

Money Men Say, Voters Move Over, It’s Not Your Election! | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

David Brooks is a worried man. Like many establishment Republicans, the conservative columnist for The New York Times sees the barbarians pouring through the gates and fears for both his party and the republic. Hail, Trump! Hail, Cruz! It’s enough to send a sober centrist dashing through the Forum in search of a cudgel.

Source: Money Men Say, Voters Move Over, It’s Not Your Election! | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

Why would anybody want to re-elect this government? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Voters must have an intense dislike of asylum seekers. The latest Morgan Poll is great for the government, which sees them leading the opposition 56.5/43.5. Taking away personalities (ie, disregarding that many people obviously like Malcolm Turnbull), it really is hard to see what the government has going for them. If re-elected, they will make…

Source: Why would anybody want to re-elect this government? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Has Abbott found his 9/11? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The Syrian refugee crisis has become the story of the week. The images of hundreds of refugees streaming off ferries, dozens in unseaworthy vessels, and endless lines walking along rail-line tracks toward Germany in search of a new life, have flooded our television news services. In Australia, particularly on social media, the debate is in…

Source: Has Abbott found his 9/11? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

ABC cuts: had Abbott been honest about his true agenda, he would have been unelectable

Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull

Privatisation and cuts to respected public services might be the agenda of the Coalition government, but it’s certainly not that of the Australian people

My dad used to make us watch the ABC news every night. As a child, I hated it. It was always with a certain amount of resentment that I watched afternoon cartoons give way to the “youth programming” I could bear, if not understand. But the news was a step too far into a bleak space. Dad was stern on this point. “If you don’t watch the news, Van,” he’d admonish me, as I wriggled and whined, “you don’t know what’s going on”.

In the wake of the extraordinary cuts to the ABC and SBS this week, I can only imagine that the architects of this savage attack on our national broadcasters – the Coalition government, its supporters in the Murdoch press and the conservative “free market” think tanks – were told by their own ideological papas the exact same thing.

My dad plonked me in front of the unbiased, articulate and meticulous news reporting of the ABC because he was educating his daughter in how to be a good citizen. By closing ABC news outlets, firing journalists and nobbling independent journalism, the Coalition affirm not only their preference for corporate news but destroy alternatives to the corporate news worldview. Citizens “knowing what’s going on” in the era of climate change, expenses scandals and “on-water matters” is precisely what the Coalition are trying to head off.

Independent and autonomous by charter, the ABC is consistently recognised as a trustworthy brand. Relentless academic scrutiny of the national broadcaster shows that, even with former Liberal party staffer Mark Scott as director, its journalism is balanced and responsible. The Coalition’s neurotic sensitivity to political criticism have tempted them to believe their own propaganda, decrying responsible journalism as “ABC bias”.

Their language game is the dead giveaway that this is no mere budget cutback: according to Malcolm Turnbull, ABC journalists “who work hard every day to report the news objectively and without partisan bias or self-interest will feel very let down” by Quentin Dempster’s appearance at the weekend’s rally to defend those very journalists’ jobs. Andrew Robb chipped in, too: “The ABC … has been a protected species for a long time, has to make its share and its contribution”.
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Their rhetoric is so egregious because they know the ABC can’t engage in its own political defence.

Of course, the Murdoch papers are cheering on the Coalition’s attacks: Rupert Murdoch’s media baron father Keith was complaining about the competition a national news service provided to his corporate interests as far back as the 1930s. Corporate media serve corporate interests, which are indivisible from the Abbott government’s interests under their “open for business” mindset. They’ve been happy to shed the Australia Network to create a market for a new Sky-owned “Australia channel”, because national broadcasters – like state enterprises, welfare, environmental protection, universal healthcare or accessible education – are founded in community values the Abbott government doesn’t share and is isolating, starving and weakening.

The “budget emergency”, like so many other Coalition campaign slogans, was long ago exposed as a fairytale. The Coalition flagrantly spends on its own preferences: the useless Direct Action pay-the-polluters scheme, the derided school chaplains program, the diesel rebate to wealthy corporations. All are of greater priority to this government than autonomous journalism and sanctioned, independent critique.

It might be the agenda of the Coalition, but it’s certainly not that of the Australian people. Australians oppose the privatisation of services like the ABC. The Coalition’s work is not popular: as we watch the shredding of beloved programs and the sacking of trusted journalists – let alone what’s happening in healthcare, climate policy and universities – the internecine carnage of the Gillard and Rudd years will increasingly look like a bygone golden age.

Bill Shorten needs to articulate the rage and betrayal felt in the electorate. If Labor and the Greens can rise above their inner city gang wars and share a respectful stage the way that Shorten and Adam Bandt did at the weekend’s “save the ABC” demos, there is a chance not only to remove Abbott’s government at the next election, but to serve the interests of the vast majority of Australians. At this point, Shorten barely needs to get out of bed in the morning to provide a more cohesive alternative to the government. With a policy platform that articulates what the Australian community actually wants, he’d be unbeatable.

Abbott lied about cuts to the ABC, SBS and everything else because he would have been unelectable had he campaigned on his true agenda. To pretend otherwise is as disingenuous as the prime minister himself. Save the ABC.