Come Monday: the Big Issue Edition

In providing a comment on reb’s seminal post A Message to Gillard: There is no Rational Argument Against Same Sex Marriage I mentioned that to a gay nephew of mine there was no political issue greater to him than having the right to marry another man.  He will vote for the political party that promises and delivers that right.

He doesn’t focus about the issues that concern me.  Neither does he focus on the issues that concern you.  He takes a position on human rights (eg boat people or Indigenous issues) but he couldn’t care less if the Home Insulation scheme was a success or a dud.  Or the BER for that matter.  He sensibly doesn’t listen to the political bickering that goes back and forth between the major parties.

I respect his opinions.  I also respect his conviction.  And I admire his passion.  I’ll never be able to fully share his sufferance yet he knows that I am trying my best to understand and until I can stand in his shoes I might as well be an ignorant outsider.

Neither can I truly appreciate how an Aborigine feels, or a refugee, or someone who has been standing on the dole queue for an eternity, or a single mother or an infirmed person.  I’m sure none of them give a damn about whether the Home Insulation scheme was a resounding success or a failure.  And they probably don’t give a damn about what the papers say as the media only skirts around important issues anyway.

I have found that many of the issues that are important to people go unheralded in today’s political and media environment.  There is this unhealthy pretence that the majority needs satisfying (at the expense of the minorities).  Everybody in power or within grasp of power wants to be a damn populist.

In a way I’m like my nephew, however I probably take an interest in a broad variety of issues, neither of which I have seen satisfactorily addressed.  But if someone were to ask me what was the singular most important issue I expect from a government, any government, what would it be.  I’d say Indigenous health.  That is my big issue.  Nobody else needs to understand why I place it an number one or how I think the way I do, but I’d like to think that my position will never be challenged, and nor will my nephew’s.

And nor will reb’s, Pip’s, Patricia’s, Min’s or Feral’s.  We each have our own big issue.

So, dear reader, I ask you to share with us what your big issue is.  What is the sole issue that directs your vote?  What is the issue you keep that you feel is ignored in the political circus?

This is not a bashfest.  It is your message to the politicians.

123 comments on “Come Monday: the Big Issue Edition

  1. In my imaginings that there be no issues at all irrespective outward appearance, color ethnicity nor who they choose to love and be loved by.

    That all be treated with fairness and an open heart.

  2. My big issue is a combination of the following which are inter-related:

    1. The new-found conservatism of the formerly socially progressive Federal Labor party and its dramatic lurch to the right.

    2. The interference of religion in politics, and the government and the opposition both pandering to conservative religious lobby groups.

    3. The continual perpetuation of discrimination against, and marginalisation of, minority groups by the Govt, whether they be racial minorities, the disabled, asylum seekers or gays and lesbians.

  3. Well Miglo, I’d agree that (in my mind) the single significant issue involves indigenous policy. Honesty is the political process is pretty fundamental too.

    But I won’t post my own observations now, other than saying that there needs to be a strong focus on short term remedial policies in indigenous communities, and the longer term. I think advocates of indigenous issues tend to look too much to longer term solutions, and politicians tend to seek shorter term politically expedient policies.

    It’s a bad combination and not much changes as a result.

    Other than that, I think the ALP is unable to attract the activists and committed these days. It isn’t a party that appeals to (young) people who think. It is tired.

    The political activists that were oriented to the ALP (even 15 or 20 years ago) now go to the Greens. The ALP is just seen as a party to reinforce the status quo, a party that seeks office for the sake of it.

    The ALP does not get a feed of potential parliamentary talent through its membership or via external organisations (other than the monopoly of the affiliated unions).

    I think the problems are more deeply entrenched than simply the ALP policy settings.

  4. Utter crap ToM. Same old guff you always trot out on the ALP.

    Let’s do your trick of look over there.

    You want to see a real tired party in action then look at the Liberals. They are still stuck in the past, cannot come up with one thing original, not a single thing, and are so bereft of talent and policies they can only be negative, which is the laziest way of engaging in politics and a sure sign of tired party.

    No surprise you continue to flog the same old dead horse whilst ignoring the real problem of both the Liberals under Abbott and the right wing media.

  5. To add to Reb’s Point 3. And this includes discrimination via neglect.

    In some ways this can be worse than overt discrimination as it is difficult to complain about and to appreciate a ‘nothing’ or a ‘not enough’. And governments do the same to indigenous communities as well as to kids with wheelchair ramp, well shucks then you can’t come to this school. Not enough chairs in the classrooms..not needed in indigenous communities as not all of the kids come to school regularly anyway.

  6. I don’t think that I have any one issue that leads me to vote Labor. There are a range, including but not limited to nation building, environmental awareness (yes, they could do better), and fairness in the work place. The last is probably the one that has had a longer impact on me. Which is why headlines like this are good to see.

    ‘Fair Work says community pay gap gender-based’

  7. I was going to nominate Indigenous disadvantage as the prime issue that drives my vote but I thought it might have been too broad, so I settled on Indigenous health. I realise that can be very broad as well, and at the root of its source is Indigenous disadvantage.

    I’ll expand on this later.

  8. Miglo – ”ToM, I doubt very much that that is the big issue deciding your vote.”

    That’s probably true, I’ve voted informal for the past few elections.

    If there are 7 candidates, I vote 1, 2, 3 for some of the minor parties and independents. ALP and Liberals both get 5. Then Greens, and if there is a Family First candidate – they get last.

    I’ve be told that this is irresponsible, I’m quite comfortable with my irresponsibility.

    Adrian though, seems very confused about the topic of this thread, his comment was entirely off the subject.

  9. Adrian though, seems very confused about the topic of this thread, his comment was entirely off the subject.

    But ToM, he was only walking down your path. You blazed the trail.

  10. I will vote for whichever party promises disclosure. We need to know what the government knows about extraterrestrial presence on our planet. We are not alone, why deny it? We are not as afraid of the truth as you believe we are.

  11. For myself it has to be the Greens as these are the only party which sees things in their entirety each piece a part of the one. And they are certainly the only party who seem to care a great deal about the environment, that people, jobs and the environment do not have to be contradictory.

  12. Roswell, I would have to agree. Communication is power..and this is what is happening now…I think that we are on the brink of seeing alternative opinion venues including the blogs becoming a very formidable voice and quite soon too.

  13. You’re too late Migs. Some of us have brought our own.

    You expect me to hang around here dying of thirst for your Canberra “opening hours?”

  14. Miggly Piddly,

    I don’t need any encouragement. I’m sampling a very full bodied shiraz this evening.

    I expect a full report on my desk first thing in the morning!!

    Hang on, did I just say that, or think it, are there people watching, can they hear me……?

  15. I’m sipping on a coffee at the Coolangatta Airport. Shortly bound for Canberra and civilisation. And some cold weather apparently.

  16. Do they have toilets at this airport or do I have to pee on the side of the road like Queenslanders do?

  17. Migs, facing the departure gates, turn left and it’s up near the end. Do I have to do everything around this place!!

  18. ‘…the majority needs satisfying (at the expense of the minorities). Everybody in power or within grasp of power wants to be a damn populist.’

    Democracy – is it a mistake?

  19. El gordo democracy is by definition a state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges. It therefore becomes undemocratic to not cater for the needs of minorities..see definition, it’s the equality of rights and privileges and therefore it becomes an obligation of society and of governments to allow this equality to happen.

    A majority to be satisfied at the expense of minorities equates with “might is right”.

  20. Well stated Min, and it’s good to see people who understand what democracy is and why it’s the best system though flawed.

    But even in our democracy it is actually are small minorities that calls most of the shots, and that is big business, the Christian Lobby and Church and the wealthy top 5% of the population.

    So how come those who say the majority rules have no problem with powerful minorities not just influencing government but getting laws and policies implemented that favour them at the expense of the majority.

  21. Adrian, because the powerful minorities proport to be ‘representative’ of the majority or to know what’s best for ‘everyone’. The holier than thou’s, the egotists, the opportunists. And you can guess where the Christian Lobby, the greedy/wealthy and the just plain stupid fit in.

    And precisely said re “why it’s the best system though flawed”. Democracy commences with the premise of equality and it is the only system which does.

  22. These figures might be a bit out; 50% of Americans are Christians, 38% atheists; 2.5% Jewish and the balance made up of other religions. Guess who the Christian governments pander too? The Jews of course.

    George Bush Snr is on record as saying that to be an atheist is unpatriotic.

    Silly, huh?

  23. On the subject of Justice.

    HUNDREDS of thousands of social and community service workers have been grossly underpaid for years compared to their public sector counterparts, and gender discrimination is partly to blame.

    This was the finding yesterday of Fair Work Australia, the national workplace relations tribunal. The decision could pave the way for a pay rise of as much as 30 per cent.

    More than 200,000 non-government workers employed in sectors funded by federal and state governments – including childcare, job recruitment, aged and disability services and aid agencies – will be affected by the decision, hailed by unions as a historic victory.

  24. “Democracy commences with the premise of equality and it is the only system which does.”

    I’ll pull you up on that if I may.

    Both Socialism and Communism have as their core philosophies equality, they badly fail in its implementation.

    Wikipedia (my bold): A primary goal of socialism is social equality and a distribution of wealth based on one’s contribution to society, and an economic arrangement that would serve the interests of society as a whole.”

    Communism has a variety of definitions but in the end it’s goal is to produce what is good for the society as a whole by rule of the working class rather than the rich controlling wealth.

    Democracy at least partially works in equality implementation because the working class who make up the bulk of the population get to regularly have the power to oust governments that pander to the wealthy and instil governments that pander to themselves. It fails though when in reality the parties of choice all pander to the wealthy whilst making placating noises or throwing bribes to the working class. This is exacerbated when the wealthy also control the media that most of the working class get their political information from to make their voting choice.

  25. Mobius, I must be psychic 🙂 I was going to correct that comment but then hoped that you would pick me on it. You have not disappointed 😉

    As you point out democracy, socialism and communism all start off with the premise of equality and so it’s really just a matter of administration. Democracy via the rich, powerful and influential and socialism via a political hierarchy who in turn become influential, powerful and I dare say ultimately rich. Therefore there is not a great deal of difference and the way to be able to maintain a fair and just society must be via the Rule of Law and hence the importance of the separation of powers. Socialism/communism, military rulers and all forms of autocracies fail in this regard, hence the superiority of democracy and hence the need for all democracies to fight to maintain the independence of the courts.

  26. This applies to all political parties.

    Honest politicians who are not bribed, coerced or influenced by anyone or anything or money.

    Honest politcians who tell the truth rather than skirt issues.

    Honest politicians who actually do act the way they expect of the other side instead of beiung one thing in government and another thing in oppostion.

    Honest politcians who actually have policies which are good for the people as a whole not some the selected few.

    Honest politcians who lead by example in the areas of tolerance, forgiveness and kindness.

    A political party that will actually stand up to big business duopolies and chop them down so that small businesses can survive unfair competition.

    Our world seems to have become bitter, twisted, hysterical and nasty in so many ways.

  27. The uprising in the Middle East has the promise of democracy and the people are ready, despite their many differences.

    A cynic might say they will fall back into chaos, followed by another dictatorship, but I’m optimistic because of tweeter, blogs, facebook and the mobile phone.

    These emergent democracies offer a wonderful test bed for political scientists to test a few theories.

  28. el gordo

    There is already religious tension erupting in egypt between christians and muslims with buildings and churches being burnt to the ground so I truly have my doubts.

    Under the parliamentary enquiry into a new multiculturalism policy The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils request was that Muslims be granted legal pluralism. So in fact they want to be treated separately from all other australians and australian law. This pretty much proves to me that they do not wish to live by our laws, but simply want to live in this country while living by their individual religious laws.

    So much for the Islamic community claiming that the majority of them want to live and become true aussies when their representative federation wants to separate muslims from the law of the rest of australian citizens.

    There should be no “legal pluralism” for any religion and to request such, shows a determination against secular multiculturalism, not a commitment to embrace it.

  29. Shane re: “This pretty much proves to me that they do not wish to live by our laws, but simply want to live in this country while living by their individual religious laws.” ….Catholics too plus religious fundamentalists who want to ban abortion, make contraception available only under stringent condtions and therefore wish to impose their religious beliefs on the rest of us.

  30. just hd a stroke’typingis difficult2 issuesfor me

    1. the loming failure of thedemocratic experiment nder te perversion of big dollars and corrupt media

    2the abandonment of reason and rationality which characterises almst every position espoused by the enemies of civilisationwrt agw etc.

  31. A cynic might say they will fall back into chaos, followed by another dictatorship

    History has many good examples of this and in each case the dictatorship ruled the media. Your point about power of the social media could be valid.

    Mind you, I hear that an Iranian blogger was shot recently in an attempt to suppress social media in that country.

  32. Pterosaur,

    What a delight to see you. We heard about your stroke and best wishes were left for you here at the Café.

    Don’t worry about your typing, old mate, you’re doing well. I hear it’s good therapy and helps get those little fingers working, albeit the progress can be tediously slow.


  33. pleased to see you..have been thinking of you and wondering how you were faring. Thank you so much for contributing.

    To some extent the wealthy have always been able to influence and distort public opinion, but in my opinion it’s becoming considerably worse in the last decade…however, I think that it’s going to come back and bite them on the bum with the advent of well educated Australians seeking contra opinions..enter the blogs and other media.

    It’s rapidly becoming clear that a good portion of people now get their ‘news’ online or the tellie but get their opinion from venues such as the blogs. I can see a time and it’s coming up quickly where the MSM will become even less relevant as people who want facts reported accurately will be avoiding the MSM and instead will be giving their Press Releases to other venues.

  34. pteosaur, I’m very sorry to hear you’ve had a stroke, best wishes for some improvement soon.
    “big dollars” are at it again. This time it,s Big Tobacco throwing their weight around in lock-step with the “corrupt media”.

    Blackmail dangerous to your health

    It’s not often you read a blackmail letter written by the CEO of a major company on the front pages of the Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun and Adelaide Advertiser. But that’s what happened today.

  35. Min

    As far as I am aware the other religions and lobbyists are wanting a law to apply to all of us and not just their selective believers making their particular religious followers immune from the laws of the whole country.

  36. Pterosuar

    So sorry to hear about your stroke.

    Welcome back and don’t worry about the typing. I type like I only have three fingers most of the time 🙂

  37. Min

    What I also don’t understand is why the Islamic group would put that proposition up at a Multicultural Enquiry which is all about living as one in one country under one law.

  38. A lot of my comments are submitted via the tiny keyboard on my iPhone. My fingers seem as though they are 3 inches wide. Thank God for the auto spell checker.

  39. Shane, I’m still trying to catch up on the news but is this what you mean..

    Attorney-General Robert McClelland has offered an emphatic no to requests for the introduction of sharia law in Australia.

    In its submission to the parliamentary inquiry into the government’s new multiculturalism policy, The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils has called for Muslims to be granted ‘legal pluralism’.

    Attorney-General Robert McClelland stomped on the request.

    ‘There is no place for sharia law in Australian society and the government strongly rejects any proposal for its introduction,’ Mr McClelland told AAP.

    I cannot see a particular problem with this – there are always going to be religious zealots who wish to impose their views on all of society “their way the only way”. As per these Islamists there are also many religious people who believe that society would be Heaven on Earth but if only their religious tenets were strictly adhered to. And the Catholics and other Christian religions are no different in this regard. Many religions believe that The Law should reflect their own particular beliefs.

    We are a secular nation, the answer was No.

  40. Min

    Yes that is what I am talking about.

    I acknowledge there are religious zealots in all religions.

    My problem is that is was The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils that requested the law. Not a few zealots, but the federation of councils representing muslims in Australia.

    While almost all religions belive theirs is the only way. I have been witness to any other religion in Australia requesting that all of its followers be subject to laws outside the laws of the country. This is not something that true multicultural supporters could even consider and therefore it seems to me that the federation wants the muslim community of australia to be segregated when it comes to law.

  41. Shane, same as other religions..the Catholics can ask for the banning of contraception, the Islamists can ask for the introduction of sharia law. There is no difference..these are ‘ideals’ based on a religion. Ask all one likes, TUFF.

    And Cardinal Pell wields no influence on Australian politicians….

  42. Min

    Is the catholic religion petitioning for the banning of contraception in Australia at the Multiculturalism Enquiry ?

  43. Min

    Once again my concern is not the asking. My concern is the request that it only apply to one segment of the australian population.

  44. Shane re “Is the catholic religion petitioning for the banning of contraception in Australia at the Multiculturalism Enquiry ?” Clearly they are not. However there are many lobbyists and Catholic politicians Abbott as an example wishing to impose their religion on others, and of course when Abbott was Health Minister he banned the morning after pill due to his religious beliefs.

    But importantly “My concern is the request that it only apply to one segment of the australian population.”.

    There are many things in Australian society which apply to only one segment of the Australian population – special laws applying to women, children, indigenous people. It would seem that the Sharists were attempting to have this same idealogue applied to themselves. The answer is yes, you can apply the law in your own society but that it cannot be imposed as a Rule of Law on Australia and nor can your religious laws conflict with Australian law.

    The No from Attorney-General Robert McClelland was emphatic, that there will be only one law in Australia – not Sharia, nor Papal decree.

  45. This email is too good not to share:

    In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bag because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

    The woman apologized to him and explained,
    “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”

    The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. The former generation did not care enough to save our environment.”

    He was right, that generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

    Back then, they returned their milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

    But they didn’t have the green thing back in that customer’s day.

    In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks.

    But she was right. They didn’t have the green thing in her day.

    Back then, they washed the baby’s nappies because they didn’t have the throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 240 volts – wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

    But that old lady is right, they didn’t have the green thing back in her day.

    Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house – not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a hankerchief, not a screen the size of the state of Queensland. In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn’t have electric machines to do
    everything for you.

    When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

    Back then, they didn’t fire up an engine and burn petrol just to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised by working so they didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

    But she’s right, they didn’t have the green thing back then.

    They drank from a bubbler when they were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. They refilled their writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

    But they didn’t have the green thing back then.

    Back then, people took the tram or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or rode the school bus instead of turning their mums into a 24-hour taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And they didn’t
    need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

    But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful the old folks were just because they didn’t have the green thing back then?

  46. Miglo, back to your original question about the big issue.
    This is one of many but deserves much more attention.
    Deaths in custody. The stats., on Aboriginal deaths in custody is an absolute disgrace.
    Does anyone know why billions of dollars are spent on a foreign company being given the contract to run prisons and detention centres?

  47. What’s this?

    A discussion about Catholics I hear?

    Well apart from their eternal misery and self-loathing, you’ve really gotta luv ’em.

    “Quick death approaches! Put on the funny gold hat!”

  48. Reb, I must admit that I was turned off Catholism when my cousins kindly advised me when about 7yrs old that I was going to rot in Hell because I wasn’t christened. At that point in time I thought, Stuff You. I thought that God was kinda nice bloke because he made all this good stuff such as nice people, nature and How Dare religion try to warp and twist things around just for their own selfishness. And then I turned 8yrs…

  49. “And then I turned 8yrs…”

    Priceless Min, and yet there are so called “adults” who still believe the fairytale.

    It’s beyond me. All I can say, is that I’m glad I don’t live in the USA where allegiance to god is practically part of their political process.

  50. Miglo, big problem with spell checkers is that they are not rational and they can’t check syntax. They can spell OK but they will often let you down when it comes to understanding the rationale of a particular policy or argument and helping you present a decent looking document for publication. Poor spelling immediately undermines the credibility of an otherwise good argument. Add to that bad grammar and potential readers just click off and go elsewhere. I am sure you can think of some examples of what I mean.

  51. patriciawa, a friend sent her son a message saying his brother had been adopted. What she actually said was accepted, into university…. it took a few more messsages for recipient to calm himself.

  52. Reb, for me..religion is an attempt to make sense of things developed at a time when through lack of understanding of the science people attributed human traits to things which seemed to them, miraculous.

    Yet there are things beyond heaven and earth, things extra-earth, things psychic which are here just waiting for us to understand them. I suspect that this is so.

    And yet religions would take the miraculous, the creation, the being, the essence of ‘us’ down to the lowest common denominator…power and control.

  53. Migs, you want to start a debate about the Reformation? I’m up to it if you are. Blog Notice: WARNING. A couple of historians get talking, it could get dangerous.

  54. Indeed Migs, Historians Can Be Dangerous..sounds a goer 😉 maybe throw in a bit of sex, drugs and rock and roll.

    Sorry, I’m teasing. I would of course love a topic pertaining to anything to do with history. This is my passion as I think that without knowledge of the past then one cannot understand the present. The Stolen Generation is an example, the media are able to rubbish the whole idea due to ignorance of history.

  55. Reb

    Honestly your hatred on one particular religion still amazes me. Your muted silence on the reason why I commented on religion in the first place demonstrates your singular hatred of one faith and one religion in particular. That is why I will never ever again discuss or debate the issue with you, but respect your opinion.


    You seem to once again be generalising my concern. Lets remove the work Catholic, which I used because you used it in your example and replace it with Buddhists.

    Irrespective of whatever other religions are requesting a particular religion wanted their own laws to apply to their own relious members separate from the rest of the community to be enshrined in our law. Can you please advise me of another group that has requested a law or exemption to apply to their followers only within australian law.

    I am well aware the government said no.

    I am also well aware of the attempt at segragation of one section of our community under law by their federation representing the total of their religion in this country.

    If it was the catholics doing something like this I would be just as angry.

    Can you please show me where a Papal Decree request to the Government of Australia to apply laws to the catholic community solely of the rest of the population was attempted.

  56. Shane, you are right these Islamists made an application to have Sharia law work alongside the Common Law. The answer was no. And it would be the same answer for the Buddhists or the Sanyassins or the Callithumpians.

    I did use the example of Catholicism but also other fundamentalists. The Pope of course does not seek directly to have Catholic ideals written into Australian law however priests (and hence Rome’s representatives) do seek to influence Australian law as do the fundamentalists – the Christian lobbyists in Canberra.

    My opinion is that all people are entitled to their own beliefs, Islamists, Jews, Catholics and as Australian citizens are also entitled just the same as everyone else to put forward applications and as often as they wish. In putting forward the application the Sharists were exercising their democratic right. And the answer was No.

  57. “your hatred on one particular religion still amazes me”

    Oh, well. At least I deserve points for being consistent.

    “Lets remove the work Catholic, which I used because you used it in your example and replace it with Buddhists.”

    Well that’s not really a very good example.

    You see, according to Christianity, there is only ‘one true God’ and that is the Christian God, all other “Gods” as worshipped by other religions are abominations. At least, that’s what the Christian Church teaches.

    On the other hand, Buddhism is much more relaxed when it comes to other religions. You won’t find any teachings from Buddha that Buddhism is the only true religion and all others are evil/satanic…

  58. Personally, I think for every bad thing done in the name of religion, there has been just as much good done. I don’t necessarily blame religion per se for these things, but more mans nature. But I do think religion can heighten these aspects, both for the good and the bad.

    Having said that, here is an example of the bad. (yes, just an excuse to put up more Iron Maiden 😉 )

    As we kill them all so god will know his own.
    The innocents died for the pope on his throne.
    Catholic greed and its paranoid zeal.
    Curse of the grail and the blood of the cross.

    Templar believers with blood on their hands.
    Joined in the chorus to kill on command.
    Burned at the stake for their soul’s liberty.
    To stand with the Cathars to die and be free.

  59. “that is my belief also.”

    I disagree. I think there has been infinitely more harm done in the name of religion than any perceived measure of good.

    Give or take the odd soup kitchen.

  60. I understand this Reb and most definitely understand where you are coming from on this issue.

    I am thinking of Father Damien who worked with the lepers of Molokai, the good priests and nuns who cared not for their own lives but who over the centuries worked in the hospices. Also those who defied and today still defy governments to stand up for human rights.

    Do these people make up for things such as the Spanish Inquision, the wars conducted in the name of religion, the apologists for child abuse? My response would be No they do not. However, these evil things are not to do with religion these things are to do with power and greed and individuals who choose to use religion as their excuse.

  61. Love it 🙂 Julia on Sky for the occasion of the NBN rollout in Armidale said that when she was a girl that her mother insisted that she learn to type because every girl should have this skill..just in case they don’t get married. And that this is how far we’ve progressed, as Julia expressed.. a long time since she had those lessons on the Olivetti manual typewriter.

  62. Min

    I will agree with you on seeking to influence politicians because I have no doubt that Cardinal Pell seeks to influence Tony Abbott.


    I also agree that religion has actually caused more harm than good.

    But I also believe that the catholic religion of fire and brimstone and retribution is a thing of the past in most respects. You will also find that the church no longer considers other religions or beliefs an abomination.

  63. Shane re the Catholic religion. Maybe a thing of the past, but it’s certainly gone backwards since Pope Benedict XVI with only tiny steps taken compared with the papacy of John Paul II. My favorite quote from JPII is “The future starts today, not tomorrow. ”

    Which just goes to show that religion does not exclude one from being a humanitarian.

  64. The issue of same-sex marriages, and indeed same-sex families, doesn’t seem that complicated to me: a discrimination- and gender/sex-blind State charged with registration of the status of the union, and that registration of union’s legal incidents; all superfluous ‘wedding’ and ‘ritual’ baggage ejected back into the private sphere, from whence it should never have become attached to the State, and from which it should forever be denied making claim on the State, because those additional matters are ones of, and for, private conscience and choice; it’s not about some (radical) extension of ‘traditional’ marriage/family law to same-sex marriages/families, then, it’s about repealing intrinsically- and historically-defective law.

    By corollary, and for consistency’s sake, on the exercise of private conscience and choice as those relate to religion, freedom to religion, freedom from religion, and freedom through either and/or both (bearing in mind that the calculable array of goods and bads for historico-real, and abstractive counterfactual, scenarios very often includes latent and patent religion-on-religion and anti-x-religion ‘conflicts’, and any such persistent antipathies don’t interest me, for reason given) would seem ideal.

    Which brings me to my not-so-big issue: if some nominal issue is said to be so ‘contentious’, quite often on residual religio-moral grounds and attendant claims and counter-claims, that it requires a ‘conscience vote’ in some representative assemblage, then it’s precisely the sort of thing which representatives would be better not substituting their consciences and choices about, and is precisely the sort of thing where the field should be vacated, whether it requires a yay or nay vote to make that ‘neutrality’ happen, in favour of direct exercises of personal conscience and choice by citizens on their own behalves; howsoever unlikely it is that ‘conscience votes’ are likely to proceed in such fashion, given ‘representatives’ are charged with ‘voting’ per their consciences, and necessarily per whatever ‘baggage’ is carried in by them on the day.

  65. Min

    I agree, the election of Pope Benedict XVI was a retrograde step with the more conservative hardliners getting their way.

    The slow demise of the church as it fails to modernise and adapt to change is becoming more evident.

    The removal of Vatican II and the liberalisations and modernisations it was encompassing is a totally wrong move. They only need to look at the churches the young are migrating towards to know that decision is a death sentence.

    The young want modern services and songs. The church was embracing such under Vatican II until the church was once again dragged backwards.

    I was raised a catholic under the strict guidance of my grandmother prior to my father remarrying. I do not blame my grandmother as she knew no different. I have attended enough masses and expositions and stations of the cross and benedictions and been an altar boy to last my whole life. I matured form the loyalty factor many years ago and question so much of the faiths doctrine.

    I have not attended mass since December 2004.

  66. Just a bit of info for you all regarding house prices here on the sunshine coast.

    Client purchased a unit on the Esplanade at Bulcock Beach here on the Sunshine Coast for $530,000 in 2009. Beach Front.

    Current valuation provided by a licensed valuer to the the Bank yesterday $430,000.

    An 18.86% drop in value on his investment property in 2 years.

  67. Thanks Shane.

    I’ve heard that some apartments in Surfer’s are also going for a song, in some cases new apartments are being flogged off at cost price.

    Gosh I wish I had lots of spare cash laying around.

  68. Shane,

    I was brought up with no religion mostly due to my dad’s scepticism about anything pertaining to religion. For myself it’s about a personal spiritualism. I do believe that there is a supreme being and that life and living is not random.

    I’ve been to church including Catholic with the nuns. And yet I’ve also been a spiritual channel for the Sanyassins and it is the good in people’s hearts which is where it begins and where it ends.

  69. Migs

    Looks like the unit market is really getting battered. I think there is more to come in relation to prices everwhere.

    Real Estates usualy state that waterfront real estate is immune. Well this valuation proves that to be a typical selling tool myth.

    If you had heaps of spare cash around I would still keep heaps of spare cash around for the forseeable future as a number of specialists are predicting flat property prices for the next decade. Something I believed was coming over 18 months ago.

    I am looking to purchase in Tasmania and am just biding my time at the moment watching and waiting.

  70. Shane and Migs, it had to happen due to the GFC. People are not going to be flocking here in droves from os as they previously were. It seems that Australia will have to rely on her own resources.

  71. Min

    I believe that if a person believes in God that they will be judged on how they have treated their fellow man, not by rules and regulations imposed by so called relious leaders.

  72. Min

    It was also a mjor out of kilter step in comparison to wages. People were led to believe that property will always go up and on a regular basis. Real Estate offices mushroomed all over the country between 2001 and 2007.

    the number of agents that have closed in our area alone is around 11 now.

    People are now waking up to the fact that property can rise and fall and are being much more cautious which is a good thing.

    The REI of all states still calims there is no better time to buy or sell, but as we know this is always their cry as they rely on sales and purchases to survive. It will never be a bad time in their eyes.

  73. What has always irked me about buying investment property in Qld are the excessive strata management fees and local council rates. And you might be able to answer this one Shane; is stamp duty higher for investment properties?

  74. Migs

    Yes stamp duty is higher for investment properties in all states.

    This is because the state governments give discounts to First Home Buyers that they do not give to investors.

    They also give discounts to Owner Occupied Homes that they do not give to Investors.

    In reality Investors are paying the true Stamp Duty Rate.

    Home Owner buyers and First Home Buyers simple get discounts and exemptions.

    The logic is along the same lines as Banks and their fees for home owners compared to business operators. Home owners are charged lower fees and rates becuase they are not making a so called profit from the purchase. Business borrowers are operating a business for profit.

    Property investors are buying to rent and make a profit and therefore pay full stamp duty and govt costs.

    Home buyers are buying a home to live in and not profit from rental and as such receive rebates and discounts.

    In all honesty I think it is the right thing to do.

  75. Migs

    Having said that a property investor can write off all costs against rental income and also depreciate the property. In additon they can negatively gear any loss against other alternative income and also claim all interest and fees as a tax deduction.

    Personal home owners and First home owners cannot.

  76. Have come across several important things, thanks to the ABC. Won’t flood but will start with these as they both involve Aboriginals.

    Top cop says child abuse eating away at society

    That really irks me not because I utterly detest child abuse, which I do to the core, but because the NTER was premised on child abuse but only the abuse in very specific societies.

    At the time Howard was barely pushed, but it was mentioned, on the significant child abuse in the general society and if he was so concerned about it in Aboriginal societies to engage in a military style intervention, why not do the same in all Australian societies. He fobbed this off as only he could ever fob anything off, with an absolute arrogant disdain of how dare they ask HIM that question.

    We have a senior policeman, probably on second to the AFP Commissioner, correctly stating what everyone knows and the need to do something.

    Watch O’Farrell, like the Labor and Liberal Premiers before him, quick as a bolt do nothing and talk about committees and investigations. Another broken promise and more excuses coming up no doubt.

    Victorian Govt dumps Aboriginal welcome

    Aboriginals again and another failing Liberal State Premier, though you wouldn’t know it from the media, who hasn’t time to look into the child abuse in Victoria and the failures of his government in a couple of cases but has time to get rid of a ceremony.

  77. Migs

    Having said that a property investor can write off all costs against rental income and also depreciate the property. In additon they can negatively gear any loss against other alternative income and also claim all interest and fees as a tax deduction.

    Exactly what I’ve been doing all these years, Shane. 😉

  78. Mobius I thought it rather odd the Vic govt dumping the Aboriginal welcome. However, I would prefer it be an option rather than a requirement.

  79. Every meeting I attend has someone recognising the traditional owners of the land. Canberra sits on Ngunnawal land. If they’re going to recognise the traditional owners at least learn how to pronounce it right.

  80. It does not have a silent G. The Ng are pronounced the same way as the ng are in the word sing – you just remove the si.

    But I do admit that the silent G version sounds better than the Nugunnawal that some people deliver.

  81. Migs, I will differ with you on this one re “an option”. At present we are at such a stage (at least in my opinion) where people are still arguing whether traditional owners are even worthy of being acknowledged.

    If acknowledgment is downgraded to an optional extra then it is likely that little acknowledgment will be given at all.

  82. Migs, as a hearing impaired person with a degenerative condition I have to practice about how to pronounce words – because of hearing incorrectly then my ability to say words likewise deteriorates. So..this is by placing the tongue on the roof of the mouth and it’s a nasal Ng.

  83. Shane, this might interest you.

    I read a report recently about house prices in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, England and Ireland which showed that in those countries Adelaide is one of the most expensive cities for property when the average property prices are put into ratio with the average wage.

    The average take home wage per family is under $1,000 a week. Compare that to Canberra where it is $2,000 a week but the average house prices in Canberra are not the double of Adelaide’s.

    Interesting indeed.

  84. Migs and Shane, just move to my area..Byron Bay and north. You too can sell your soul to buy a hammock out the back of a tin shed.

  85. At a State level I wish governments would clean out the idiots in their public service.

    I took a road to the airport the other night that skirts the city and suburbs. During the first 8 ks the road was in an open area and in 7 years of using that road I have only ever seen 2 roos. The speed limit is 80 ks an hour.

    The second 8 ks is through forest, has winding roads, a number of side roads, school bus stops and millions of roos. The speed limit is 90 ks.

    How dumb is that?

    The airport has recently been upgraded and the arrival lounge has seating for only 16 people. If that’s not bad enough, the seats don’t face the arrival doors so you have to twist your neck 90 degrees. And the arrival TV screens are strategically placed so they are out of view if you are sitting on one of the chairs in the waiting area. And naturally some prick takes your chair if you hop up to get a view of the screen.

    How dumb is that?

    The main road into Canberra from the southern states is the Barton Highway. The road is closed for a month between 8 pm and 6 am for bridge work, so those coming in to the city take the one and only alternate route. Some clown decided that the alternate route needs upgrading the very same time the highway is closed and so there is a long, bumpy stretch with a 40 k speed limit. What a great alternate route. Not.

    How dumb is that?

  86. Migs, sounds to be a lack of coordination between ACT government and local council. Some of the things that you mentioned are state/territory responsibility whereas others are local council.

    Life is full of dumbness…one for you 🙂

  87. Abbott’s negaborism is slowly unravelling and whenever he’s put to the slightest bit of scrutiny or to actually produce something equating to policy or costing he fails miserably.

    Watch his house of crooked cards slowly crumble beneath him especially whilst Turnbull is blowing on the stack.

    Hunt’s climate policy just blew out 30%

  88. Migs

    That is really interesting regarding Adelaide and Canberra.

    But what I think is hilarous is the average wage.

    Very very few of my customers are on the average wage and I suggest people get out of their office and do a walk of the street.

    They will find the majority of people on wages of between $25,000 and $45,000. Not the so called $60,000 average wage.

    Canberra could be different because every street is full of politicians or lawyers 🙂

  89. Migs

    The average wage in Australia is $64,641 per annum which is $1,243 per week.

    This equates to $31.07 per hour for a 40 hour week.

    How many in a Woolies or a Coles would be on that hourly wage.

    How many in cafes, bakerys, hairdressers.

    How many in discount warehouses, ALDI, CostCo.

    It is just a joke.

  90. Mobius, that is brilliant..from your link..

    Is there a more discredited policy on either side of politics at the moment than the Coalition’s “direct action” climate-change policy? The inability of Tony Abbott and Greg Hunt to find any independent experts who take the policy seriously —

    Migs: re local councils..sounds as if the ACT could do with one, or several.

  91. Migs, I was just going by my experience as an elected pollie..aka a Shire Councillor. In my experience local councillors are far more receptive to local problems such as the ones that you mentioned. Local councillors attend local council meetings, residents meetings and so have first hand knowledge of people’s concerns.

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