Election 2010

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Election 2010 - the good , the bad, and the ugly

Alex Fein writes:

When this election was first called, I was worried that Yaron might spontaneously combust from sheer excitement. Instead, he has simply written a comprehensive guide to every political party – major, minor, and batshit crazy – that will contest the Senate election.

We’ll present them here as a series.

Yaron Gottlieb writes:

Ok, I will admit it – I am a troubled soul.

I listen to parliament on the radio.

I vote below the line in the senate.

I knew about the redistribution in the Victorian electorates and that Caulfield will not be in Melbourne Ports after this election as soon as the information was released on the AEC website due to compulsive checking. According to some political insiders, I knew before Michael Danby, federal member for Melbourne Ports.

I will be dedicating the next few posts to reviewing the elections and the parties involved. Not just the ‘big three’, but every party and independent that is running in the senate elections in Victoria.

I will give each of these parties or individuals a grade:

A – A force for good and positive for the country.

B – Reasonably positive for the country with some minor reservations.

C – Harmless.

D – Force for bad and evil.

E – Super-villain.

In this post, I’ll begin with the two major parties (Labor and Liberal).

Labor: D

It isn’t just that they have gone with the American spelling of their name which should be reason enough to vote against them. The Labor party, at both the state and Federal levels, are extremely good at encroaching on our freedoms.

•  In South Australia, just prior to the last election, people commenting on blogs or anywhere else online in political matters had to identify themselves by name. By law. The South Australian Labor government made any anonymous (comments without a full name and postcode) online political statements illegal.

•  In Victoria, our Myki public transport ticketing system will enable the police to track the movements of commuters without warrants or any other checks and balances.

•  In NSW state Labor seems to be using the state as their own private play thing. Often, government business feels more like organised crime – just not so organised.

•  Federally, Labor is proposing an internet filter with a secret blacklist of unacceptable sites. Government determines what is on the list and are not compelled to inform anybody of their actions. When Wikileaks published the leaked list, it too found itself on a revised blacklist. When polling revealed that the filter was a certain vote loser, the party put the proposal on hold (not cancelled, just on hold).

•  The Federal Government also had the brilliant idea of compelling ISPS to store and make available to government the internet history of every Australian. This information will then be available, most likely without without checks and balances, to an unnamed group – possibly just the police or maybe to politicians as well.

We have no idea about the details because when the document was released under a Freedom of Information request, 90% of the document was blacked out. The reason given by the government was that discussion on the topic “may lead to premature unnecessary debate and could potentially prejudice and impede government decision making“.

Then there is Labor’s style.

They made a big show of the moral obligations that climate change demanded of them before scrapping various plans (such as the ETS) as soon as polling showed them as electorally problematic.

I won’t bore you with the stories of wastage, since such stories also exist about the other side of politics and are amply demonstrated by many Howard era policies.

An example of a very specific Labor style of climate change mismanagement unfortunately affected numerous Australian businesses while doing the environment very little good.

Over the past three years, numerous companies have had to contend with extreme uncertainty surrounding the pink batts scheme, that was introduced, then scrapped with a reintroduction promised, before being canned for good.

Then there were the rebates on photovoltaic solar panels that were also scrapped. Solar hot water units experienced a similar treatment.

Instability is the biggest barrier to good governance, and with the government willing to change things so often it bodes very poorly for the country as a whole.

Liberals: B

Now there is probably a fair bit of teeth gnashing and shouting at the computer screens as people look at the mark I give the Liberals compared to Labor, but let me explain myself.

I do not agree with everything that is Liberal party policy. Not even close.

A short list of things that I would like to see done differently would include the environment, water, policies regarding gays and lesbians, asylum seekers, education and regional infrastructure. And this list was made without thinking too hard. I’m sure if I put some effort into it I would come up with many more elements I object to.

Pragmatically speaking, though, there are only two parties with a chance of governing the country. The chances of finding a perfect fit, in terms of policy, is almost nil.

I would be surprised if the candidates themselves believed in all their parties’ policies n totality. At least the intelligent ones.

Australian democracy is about finding the best fit, and not about discovering your perfect match.

My vote will eventually boil down to two factors:

1) Personal freedoms: the Liberal Party has come out against the internet filter. This alone positions it as far more likely to guarantee personal freedom than Labor.

2) Stable government: the Libs proved under Howard that they were able to govern effectively and stably for 11 years. I may not have liked a number of their policies, but Australia was not subject to the daily whims of the prime minister, the party factions, or party pollsters. At least not publicly.

In the next post some of the better smaller parties will be assessed.

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12 Responses to “Election 2010”

  1. Dalia says:

    So the Labor party is just like this site – big on censorship and unwanting of genuine debate. And how exactly does an analysis of the election fall within this site’s mandate to discuss issues of the Australian Jewish Community.

    Once again Alex you want to have your cake and eat it too. And I am sure you have a trillion justifications for why my accusations are unfair and unwarranted. Id like you to list them all, with your usual venom and acidity.

    Smiles :)

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    • Yaron Gottlieb says:

      What has the site ever done to you? Did alex kidnap your goldfish when you were a little girl?

      Please point to one instance when we have blocked a comment that was not threatening or abusive (and even some that have).

      As for the mandate, this is a topic that has direct consequences for all Australians, Jewish and not.
      And since we set the agenda and it is not fundamentally harming anyone what is the danger of going off message for a few posts.

      And just a little hint – putting a smiley face at the end of a note when you have accused someone of censorship and stifling debate does not make things all better

    • Alex Fein says:

      What an utterly bizarre comment, Dalia. It is quite divorced from reality.

      As Yaron correctly pointed out, this is a site about matters concerning Australian Jews. The current election campaign affects us all.

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  2. dalia says:

    OMG – you two are soooooo predictable!!!!!!

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    • Yaron Gottlieb says:

      Yes, and if you took time to read the blog predictability is a good thing.
      Random rants are not as good.

  3. melina smith says:

    respect please, alex deserves better than some of the deragotary comments above ,or people will leave this site and move onto better things.

    cheers melina

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  4. David says:

    Unbelievable article! You are calling the Australian Labor Party: a party that regularly attracts over 40% of the popular vote of average Australians, a party that regularly holds government of Australia and a party that has produced such politicians as John Curtin, Ben Chifley, Bob Hawke a “Force for bad and evil.” I guess that means all followers of the ALP are then followers of a “Force for bad and evil.”. What hope is there for us then. We may as well all move to Israel!. Seriously, I am removing you from my favorites tab

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    • Yaron Gottlieb says:

      Firstly John Curtin and Ben Chifley have not run for parliament for a fair few years. At least not since they died.

      We should not vote for parties based on what they were, rather then what they are. The Liberal Party is a vastly different beast to when Bob Menzies and Harold Holt were around. I would not vote for either party based on who used to be there.

      I am not making any statement here about the voters for Labor – there can be many reasons for people to vote for them, typically because the parties have an ability to put a smoke screen up so thick that average voters cannot see through it.

      Liberals are not immune to these stunts either, but on the balance I feel that they are the better of the two parties.

      I am sorry that you feel the need to remove me from your favorites tab, but if the trigger for this is one disagreement in the political sphere then I would suggest that it might be a bit of an over-reaction.

  5. David says:

    Like all politicians you did not answer my accusation
    a “Force for bad and evil.”???

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    • Yaron Gottlieb says:

      I am not a politician and to prove it I will give you a straight answer to your question. Buried in a 5000 word essay.

      For me a political party moves from incompetent to evil when they begin trying to impose on our freedoms, especially freedom of expression and open discussion.

      This is what the Labor party want to do with their internet filter. Create a list that will leave what we can look at the discretion of the government.
      And then there are the technologies that Labor governments around the country are putting into place, such as those that were described in the article.

      These measures cross the line between governance and imposition, a in my opinion has elements of evil.

      Feel free to disagree, I will not filter you.

  6. It is a pity that those of you who run this blog are so orientated that you are unable to see the wood for the trees.

    The Secular Party does not believe in some imaginary male being who has supposedly invented the Jewish people about 6000 years ago, the Christian people about 2000 years ago and the Muslim people about 100 years ago.

    Secular politics in Australia is supposed to be a separation of “church” and state, but it isn’t, and there are too many standing for election who bring their religious affiliations into their parliamentary activities and responses.

    It is difficult to understand how, in 2010, people are still supporting this mythical male who is all knowing, all seeing and all embracing.

    Time to grow up, everybody!!

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    • Yaron Gottlieb says:

      Well I’m glad that is all settled, Mannie.
      Obviously calling something mythical or real is considered proof when dealing with a party of rationalists.

      Simply saying that they Jews made it up, and that the Muslims made it up 1300 years after they were established proves the point beyond reasonable doubt.

      Incidentally could the Secular Party please claim the pixies in my garden as real, cos I would really like them to be, and it seems like you have the power.

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