Leave a comment on the election campaign

I’ve been charging around campaigning a lot in the last few days, so I haven’t had much time to add any substantive updates to this blog. I thought I would have an open thread where you can leave your comments and thoughts about the election campaign and issues. So if you have any views on what the candidates have been talking about (or not talking about), the media coverage, the possible results – whatever you like, feel free to leave a comment here.

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  1. Do we really need two fishing parties in Queensland? I have talked to members from both of them and they are just as crazy as each other. Is there some kind of internal politics going on here? Or is it preference farming.

    I haven’t met shooters party people. Are they in the same boat?

  2. Al I can say is good luck Andrew. The Democrats (who I was a member of for a few years) are sadly gone this election, with the hopeful exception of your good self. What I would like to see is a double dissolution election some time later, following the Greens turning out to being totally unreasonable, and Democrats getting back in then.

    I’ll still vote for Lyn first preference, though they’ve gone the split ticket, making me have to vote below the line to ensure my vote doesn’t end up with the Libs. Disappointing.

    As for the wider election, Howard is gone, it’s plain to see, and the Libs will self-destruct in an orgy of vindictiveness. Howard: apres moi, le deluge.

  3. And back to the disillusioning,which is a constant,more constant than the Greens adverts on line at the SMH. So I turn on the radio, to hear Granddad J.W.Howard proclaim tough love for drug users, non presciption..heroin etc. with convictions and on Centrelink payments. And then to the Sydney M.H. and the figure of 60% of all Northern Territoreans on regular marijuana use.Ah! Far out man! Seeing,I have been unfortunately watching the drug use figures spiral everywhere in OZ, the attitude of Howards,uncosted, and the figures for dopesmoking are the boring end of a long observation,if accurate,plus add booze,toss the babies out and drink the bathwater..and compare all these habits with the general non-N Territorean. So like a thousand blogs ,the endless day and nights of druggery are amounting..and shit….Have I seen a few things myself…to try to avoid as much as possible the problem and the people..and the media and government tandem thematics.You can get hair loss from illegal drug use man!? Some of those media people look a bit smoke circled without a Tesla device creating a bigger smoke ring. No doubt this week ,we will here the Howard lot have never ingested, and hard love is the only solution,whilst herbalism in other forms,perspiring and proper diet,interesting education,home economics and other matters as real needs and as good diversions to the problems..will remain ego thought processes. Granddad Howard knows best.Whereas,if hard love is tried,I dont think, the unfolded will be a Child Of the Universe..who has a right to be here. However, I suppose the Police of the NT. could with hard love in operation,disallow their legal obligations as enforcers of law to be put on the backburner,and arrest without charge,to get people to eat..shower sleep..and be worthy critical of even them, citizens. Cold turkey without money sounds somewhat like a lot of policing,more so than now..there is a limit to turning beer bottles into competing local orchestras.

  4. Personally, I am totally fed up with the smart little jibes that are more personal than political. In fairness, it seems to be coming more from the liberals than labour and i just wish that these so called politicians would stick to the issues, rather than the childish behaviour, not to mention the obvious scare tactics with strategically placed advertising. I can’t help but feel that the australian public are being treated like mushrooms…and we all know how they’re grown! It really worries me that our society is becoming quite divided at a time when so many people are struggling for financial survival, let alone the many problems that arise from this. You would think that people who run this country would at least start behaving like grown, mature adults instead of a bunch of little schoolboys wanting to get one up on each other. And now we have the ‘go hard’ on convicted drug users. That really shows just how ‘aware’ this government really is when it comes to issues such as these. Did they even consider a steep increase in crime rates as a result? And how will centrelink get access to people’s criminal records? Are they going to be provided by state police departments? What’s the next step…have welfare frozen if you get caught with alcohol? Use a little cheapo makeup or after shave? It seems that the powers to be are actively using the press to pass judgement on others but scream long and hard when judgement is passed on them! I am pleased that so many of the people I talk with are voting democrats…and so am I!

  5. Judging from media reports, no candidate from any party has discussed “peak oil”. Apparently they think we can just keep pumping it out forever. Setting aside that whole “climate change” thing, infinite oil might be nice, but is in fact not so.

    At some point this is going to bite us on the bum, really hard.

  6. I too am very concerned about the Greens having the balance of power. The only concession is a possible double dissolution election in the future.

    I wish more people would see the value of voting for the minor parties. It would certainly be a different Senate if we had more parties represented and the major parties did not have a majority.

  7. I mentioned peak oil at a community forum hosted by Sustainable Jamboree. Can’t say it got an immense amount of media coverage though.

    I guess the media will only report something if they rhink the public are interested in it. Perhaps we need to convince the public that we are interested in things like our oil, water and electricity use as well as public transport and creating a fairer society.

  8. It has to been hard in Townsville to even find information as to whether Andrew Bartlett is standing for the Senate this election. A lot of us would just like to know the Democrats are alive and well – who is standing – and what are the main things they stand for. Have heard that Andrew Bartlett has been a good senator and is genuine in his commitment to a number of causes.

  9. I sincerely hope that you will be re-elected as Queensland’s senator on Sunday morning, Andrew. You have done wonderful work on behalf of many powerless members of Australian society—people with diabilities, refugees, Indigenous Australians, abused women and children to mention just a few so GO ANDREW! However Australia needs the Australian Democrats in our Federal Parliament so I’m hoping that people in every state and territory will take extra time and vote below the line on the Senate ticket.

  10. From what I’ve heard, the media simply aren’t interested in the Senate race. And I’m guessing the Greens (and possibly Family First and all other small parties) are probably equally as frustrated as the Democrats.

    The focus on just one contest is both annoying and misses a lot of the full depth and interest of an election campaign. Go the blogs!

  11. The mass media are indeed absymally stupid. After all, the makeup of the Senate in the past decade or two has determined whether we’d have the GST, WorkChoices, mandatory detention of refugees, go to war in Timor, Afghanistan and Iraq, and so on and so forth. Given the same House of Reps and a different Senate over that same time, we’d see a very different Australia today.

  12. I remember when I used to work for Democrat Senator John Woodley, the Senate and the Democrats used to get attacked regularly for being obstructionist.

    What most people didn’t realise then – and probably don’t realise now – was that the Coalition used to vote with the goevernment in the Senate on a great many issues. Similarly, since the Coalition won government in 1996, Labor has voted with them in the Senate on a great many issues.

    It has been only on a few issues that the government and opposition have not been on a single mind, allowing the Democrats to exercise a responsible balancing role. As Bretlyn points out above, I am also concerned about how the Greens would use such power.

  13. You know, just once — once — I’d like a whole election campaign where both major parties avoided resorting to FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) advertising: the kind that doesn’t say why you should vote for them; merely why you shouldn’t vote for The Other Guys.

    Frankly, it’s depressing: it adds nothing to the campaigns; it’s childish; it doesn’t fill me with confidence that our democratic systems work; and it’s a massive waste of their funds. If just-voting-one was a legitimate vote for the federal house of Representatives, then that’s precisely what I’d be doing right now (and it wouldn’t be for either of the two major parties).

    I don’t mind campaigns which highlight flaws in a competitor’s policies or products, provided they also highlight how those flaws are addressed in one’s own policy or product. Unfortunately we see so very little of that from either major party, and even the minors seem to get involved in that to some degree.

  14. I really do wish Senator Bartlett get into the Senate. One of the things I appreciate most is the blogs I learned a lot from.

    My main concern is lack of human face of the Howard government.

    The recent revelation by Crickey that the Exclusive Brethren cult got the permission to vote in the seat of Bennelong made me sick.

    We cannot possibly call ourselves a democratic country unless:
    1. We have independent PRE-Selection process
    2. All Australian children have equal access to high standard education.
    3. Both politicians and bureaucrats have to be accountouble to the public.
    4. Centrelink should be abolished (half a million mistakes is a half a million too many)Liberals totally stuffed Social Services.
    5. Unemployment benefits should not be treated as a ‘government handout’. In many countries it is treated as a compensation for the government inability to provide jobs.
    6. Current employment figures are wrong!!!! What is the current definition of an ’employed’ person?
    7. Inflation figures are wrong. Why HECS, petrol prices, parking and other fines are not in the ‘basket’? What is in the basket should be in public scrutiny all the time.
    8. Every 30 minutes an Australian child gets seriously abused and yet, both major parties are blabbering about would be terrorist attacks and border protection. What about child protection for a change?
    9. Australia has never suffered from war; that is why many our politicians do not even imagine a horror they create helping somebody else’s children, wives and husbands to be murdered. Mr. Howard blabbering about killing embryos?
    A morbid joke.

  15. I agree Iain, the latest round of ads from the Coalition are particularly baffling – don’t vote for Rudd because then Labor will have all the toys – state and federal.
    Even their non-negative ads – like the giant billboards up everywhere – don’t say anything positive. At least, nothing substantive “Working To Get More Done Locally” -it’s just a string of vaguely positive words wrangled into a sentence that doesn’t reflect reality or any policy.
    Unless they mean they’re working to get more votes locally.

  16. I’m with you Iain. But I know why political parties run negative campaigns: because they work.

    No matter how much people say they don’t want them, the experience of many elections here and overseas has shown that they work.

    Sad, isn’t it?

  17. Zen, while I agree with much of what you say, I must protest about your statement that ‘Australia has never suffered from war’. I remind you of the losses Australia suffered in World War I. According to the Australian War Memorial ‘From a population of fewer than five million, 416,809 men enlisted, of which over 60,000 were killed and 156,000 wounded, gassed, or taken prisoner.’ My grandfather was one of these.

    If you mean we have not had a war on our soil, that’s not entirely correct either, because the first inhabitants of this land had a savage war waged against them, and many suffered in World War II from Japanese bombing.

    I do agree, though, that at present I wonder about our leaders – whether they would be able to cope with the horrible decisons asked of a leader in wartime.

  18. togret,
    By comparison: the city I was born was carpet bombed by Americans. (90% of houses totally in rubbles); the big city I was brought up – 90% in rubbles; we were invaded (on air, land and sea) by two huge armies and the country was divided by two superpowers (Germans and Soviets).Our capital was 80% destroyed). After one bombing I spent three days under the rubble with my mum. Our regular army was completely destroyed so the troops joined the Home Army. After the war, Home Army officers and soldiers were treated as terrorists and war criminals; many of them perished in Siberia. Most of them were murdered by the NKVD (Soviet ‘Security’).
    After the war, the whole nation was out in the streets trying to rebuild roads and buildings. As a child I was removing bricks from the streets every day. Five years after the officially declared end of the war in 1945 heavy fighting was still going on as we tried to get rid of the Soviets. Unfortunately, all Eastern Europe was sold in Yalta to the Soviets by the “Einsteins” of the West: Roosvelt and Churchill although we were helping Brits in Tobruk and Monte Cassino and we did help them to win the war by cracking the the Enigma code.
    20 million people were killed during the war; the countries were plundered by the Soviets: cattle, furniture, jewelry, paintings, horses, anything, even wrist watches were grabbed, pregnant women raped and then had their throats and stomachs slit by the Red Army troops.For many months I was living in a dug hole with my mother and three other women with babies in the fields, far from town so the hordes could not spot us. We, babies were fed with turnips dug out of the frozen fields in snowy winter.

  19. zen: yes, indeed, many have suffered from war and famine, illness and harsh climates through the ages since humans first appeared. Nevertheless, Australia has suffered from war – the suffering of others does not diminish the validity of our suffering. I took issue with your use of the word ‘never’.

  20. Here! Here! For Togret and others.But let us not forget that the militaristic attitude is as close to being a military as can be.At times Howard,resting on some dubious qualities of inherited genetics has sent this country down a particular road..again..may we pull back quickly and thoroughly whilst not forgetting what may eventuate as we do.Which isnt a moral excuse for being anywhere,but, a very troubling problem still.Saluting the flag by numbers, means I suffered long and hard as a young person growing up,which was deemed due respect for soldiers dead and fighting..yet,did they really get the consent and approval of my parents for such indoctrination!? No!?

  21. What is it with retiring Liberals? There was Peter Reith and Tampa, and now Jackie Kelly and the fake pamphlett.

    Howard should do more than dissociate himself.

    He should demand Kelly’s immediate resignation from parliament to reinforce the message that her behaviour is totally unacceptable.

  22. Abacus: Let’s hope the electors turn on Ms Kelly’s would-be successor savagely … I am sickened by both this stupid, desperate, despicable ‘stunt’ and her sttitude. She clearly has no respect for either integrity nor the electoral process. This is where the notions “Born to Rule” shows up- they think that winning at any cost is their destiny. Don’t hold your breath waiting for her to be repudiated by Howard.He seems to have a soft spot for her.

  23. togret, I wish I could be confident that voters will respond appropriately.

    I live in an adjoining electorate, & I have more than an inkling that the race & religion issues will resonate with enough voters there to make a difference.

    As will interest rates, and today we were letterboxed with a card proclaiming ‘interest rates will always be higher under Labor’, with an accompanying graph of rates from 1983 to the present.

    It’s quite dishonest: data from Howard’s years as Treasurer are notably absent. And the fact that interest rates were contemporaneously high under Thatcher & Reagan, and fell following changes of government, is also missing.

  24. I can hardly wait until Saturday night. It would be really good to see Howard lose his own seat!


    I think we should all vote below the line and carefully check the ballot paper when we are finished.

    As Togret pointed out recently, lots of people make a hash of the numbering.

  25. OK. Tomorrow we go to the polls and this poll is a vital one. We all know that. Tomorrow we vote for the future of our children, because EVERY portfolio affects our children… education, housing, childcare, health etc. What’s my point? We must have a workable senate with a balance of power so that never again can it be so abused, and people in government who practice wisdom and compassion. We haven’t had that! We need Andrew Bartlett returned to the senate and democrats elected into the lower house this time. That’s my prayer tonight. Thanks Andrew! You really are a champion of all peoples.

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