Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Napoleon has landed

For four years he has been getting himself ready to run the country.

First he entered into an "unholy alliance" with Murdoch - for Ruperts' media to promote Tony and diss those opposite at every opportunity.

More recently he has done a secret deal with the ABC and SBS - "to not cut their funding" - presumably in exchange for their favourable on-air treatment of him and the Libs.

I can only guess that he has done similar deals with "free to air TV and Pay TV".  All designed to make our new Prime Minister - look Napoleonic in the eyes of their audiences.

It looks to me that he is starting a bit of a look and feel makeover to create a right little Napoleon.

His Cabinet is comprised mainly of old white male has-beens left over from the Howard implosion of six years ago and he has abandoned a raft of important things that governments ought to do.  Too many to list - but for example there is no science minister.  No friggin science minister fer chrissakes.

Not to mention that there is just one female in his Cabinet.  Where will the voices of reason come from?

Doesn't he appreciate that most of our basic services rely on heavy duty science.  Health for example can't function in the 21st century without serious science underpinning its technology.  Building roads and bridges requires serious science in the form of proven structural design and integrity.  Even a node terminated NBN requires science to make it work.  Everything in a modern community relies on science.

Does he even know that?

Not to mention his obsession with removing the carbon price - This is a criminal act - and shows just how deep this new government is in the pocket of big coal.

All this has only just started - but I fear that these few examples are just the tip of the iceberg of what we are going to have to get used to over the next three years.

It will probably get worse as the luddites wade through their "Commission of Audit" - looking for their pet hates to defund or abandon.  Lookout "Medicare, Public Schools, Universities, Pensions" - these are the things that Napoleonesque has-beens despise.

I suppose that this is the price you pay Mr and Ms Australia for not being engaged with politics.  Good luck.

France managed to get rid of theirs way back in February 1821 - I suspect we have a whole population to educate before we can get rid of ours.

And Tim Dunlop says it all much better than I ever could.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Federal Election 2013 - Electorate of Grey

Next Saturday - 7th September Australians are voting to elect a new Government.

There are actually two different elections - one for the "House of Representatives" and one for "The Senate".

In the "House of Representatives" voters are required to award their preference from 1 to (potentially) 8 against the names of the candidates whom they prefer.  We must place a number alongside every candidate on the Green coloured Ballot Paper.

There are some interesting characteristics about the "House of Representatives" vote.

* No matter who you actually vote for and who you want to win, usually one of the candidates from the two major parties will get elected - due to our preferential voting system and;

* If any party gets more than 4% of the vote then they will collect $2.48 for every first preference vote that they receive.

I don't like either of these characteristics and will be voting to minimise the effect.  Usually Grey is won by the Liberal Party - last election they got over 55% of the distributed vote and that resulted in Rowan Ramsey being elected.

Here is how I propose to vote in the "Electorate of Grey" - there are 6 candidates - so I need 6 numbers ;-)

 3   Ben Browne - Australian Labor Party
 1   Kristian Rees - Palmer United Party
 5   Cheryl Kaminski - Family First
 2   Alison Sentance - Australian Greens
 6   Rowan Ramsey - Liberal Party
 4   Greg Fidge - Independent

My three key considerations are: first preference to Palmer United Party - because they will be "lucky" to get 4% of the vote - this protects my $2.48.  Put Liberal Party last - because they will win the seat - but not with my help they won't.  And I can't stand Family First - they have no prospect of winning but get my second last spot.

"The Senate" is a different story and it's a difficult ballot to understand - almost as though it was designed to confuse.

The white Senate ballot paper is large and unweildy - with a range of characters trying to become a Senator.  Remember that each state elects 12 Senators for six years with half of those (a Half Senate Election) each 3 years.

There are 2 Liberal, 2 Labor, 1 Independent and 1 Green Senators up for election in 2013.  Of particular interest to me is that Cory Bernardi is one of the Liberal Senators seeking re-election.  This guy is a first class wingnut and shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a parliament - and that will be guiding my decision.

Because the Liberal Party will likely win the "House of Representatives" election - I am looking for a party who can work with "The Senate" to stop the Liberals from destroying the joint.  There are essentially two approaches - firstly try to elect as many independents as possible - or secondly to go with The Greens.

I am wary of independents - because we have seen what the Liberals did to them last time.  Should they dominate in the Senate then the Liberals will attempt either to destroy them or to buy them off.  I don't want that - so I will be going with "The Greens in the Senate".  Ok it will cost me $2.48 - but that will be worth it ;-)

So that is my voting strategy on September 7th.  I encourage you all to think about yours and adopt a similar approach - or at least one that makes sense to you.

Good luck to you all.