My political wish list for 2013

A guest post by John Lord.

I started to compile my own political wish list for 2013 and then thought it might be fun to ask others to add their thoughts. I could be accused of being biased and idealistic, however, I truly believe we can raise the political standards through social media. So how about some serious thinking and let’s see where it takes us? You can be seriously funny if you want but let’s keep it intelligent and in keeping with the need for a better political system in this great country.
These are mine.

  • That Mr Abbott would stop walking out of press conferences when he is asked serious questions, or indeed, that more serious questions are asked of him.
  • That as in the USA elections some ‘fact finder’ sites might emerge during our election year and expose any lies and misinformation.
  • That the truth come out in the Ashby/Slipper case (and that the mainstream media encourage it) and that our democracy would be placed ahead of conspiratorial party politics.
  • That the election will be a contest of policies and ideas and the means to implement them.
  • That the electorate might awake from its malaise and see that this is a very important election for the future of Australia and that politics in some way or another affects their very being.
  • That the fourth estate as the custodians of the public’s right to know might act responsibly and report fact and not just express biased opinion.
  • That the media in general might make an attempt at balanced political news reporting.
  • That the media might start questioning the Opposition about its policies without using the excuse that they have none. They have a policy for climate action for example: ssk them about the cost and how it will work.
  • That the question of equality of marriage might again come before Parliament and Mr Abbott might give his party members the right to think for themselves.
  • That the asylum debate might become a humane one and not remain the political football that it is.
  • That Mr Abbott and his party address the Prime Minister with respect instead of continually saying ‘she’ or ‘her’ or other condescending remarks.
  • That the Opposition stop lowering the standards expected in the House of Parliament.
  • Other things on my mind are an Australian Republic, Gonski and the National Disability Scheme and whether we can afford them.

This is where I stop because I am interested in your thoughts.

Feel free to add to my list or comment on any of them.

Truth

28 comments on “My political wish list for 2013

  1. 1. That voting in all elections be a freely made personal decision, rather than an imposition. Ballot Papers should also include a part for protest votes where “I do not consider that any of these candidates, have the requisite knowledge, skills, and attitudes to become a part of our governing body” – Tick.
    2. Yes to a Republic – but Australia is not sufficiently politically literate and mature yet for such an important step, so its better to retain the British connections and constitutional controls for the time being;
    3. That personal taxation is reduced as a matter of crucial and urgent importance so that Australian workers can retain a majority of their earnings. Cut political waste of taxes in such areas as gifts of money to other countries, subsidising the incomes of other countries, reducing the number of politicians and reducing their incomes/expenses;
    4. Zero population growth to improve the quality of life of all current Australian residents who are suffering the daily consequences of poor infrastructures and protecting the Australian natural environment and wildlife from the rapid encroachments of urban sprawl;
    5. Restrict the act of marriage to heterosexual couples for the reproduction and upbringing of children in a natural environment;
    6. Rescind the ratification of the UN Asylum Seeker and Refugee Convention until such time as the UN fulfil their responsibilities under the Convention i.e. the provision of sufficient UN Processing Centres to meet the needs of asylum seekers and refugees, so that a small group of countries do not have to finance and provide such facilities, thereby subsidising those other countries who do not participate.

  2. Ragnvald, I disagree with four of your points:

    #1 Voting should remain compulsory. You still have the informal voting option. However, I believe informal voting is irresponsible and I would encourage people who cannot stomach the major parties to vote independent or green.
    #3 Taxation could be improved by increasing the rate on corporations and wealthy individuals, as well as a super-profits tax on mining and banks.
    #5 Your suggestion to restrict marriage is just silly, and smacks of discrimination against gay couples.
    #6 Stick to our UN obligations by closing Manus Island and nauru, and doing all processing onshore, and remove detention centres, replacing them with community housing.

  3. Silkworm #1. You give no reasons for your views. Forced voters already protest by voting for the minor parties.
    #3 – And who do the corporations and wealthy individuals pass the tax on to in increased consumer prices which then bring a bigger bonus for the government with GST.?.
    #5. That has long been the accepted definition of marriage, for the reproduction of children and their continuing upbringing. There has never been discrimination in that.
    #6. Our obligation is firstly to ensure the UN undertakes its responsibilities in these matters, and not to expect a small number of nations to unfairly and injustly have to shoulder them for them. The suggestion you make has encouraged people to get into unseaworthy boats and for many hundreds to lose their lives. There are le3gitimate means to apply for entry to Australia, including by seeking asylum here, they should be encouraged to use them and not to try to jump the queue of those awaiting entry by those means and reducing the available places for those awaiting entry..

  4. #6 There is no queue Ragnvald but no matter how many times you show there is no queue it still doesn’t stop people and the shock jocks saying there is.

    #5 No it hasn’t. Howard changed the definition, that’s how recent it has been in this country.

    Not bothering with the other specious points.

  5. “Yes to a Republic – but Australia is not sufficiently politically literate and mature yet for such an important step.”

    Oh that’s a doozy considering that Australians are considered amongst the most politically astute people in the Western world. How to put down you fellow countrymen in an air of arrogance.

    I suppose it’s those like you who will deem when Australia is mature enough and by what measures do you make that judgement?

  6. 1. That Gillard answer honestly when next asked about the avalanche of documents and statements from various people setting out what she did in The AWU Scandal.

    2. That the electorate gets a transparent financial statement on the Mining and carbon taxes revenue to date and projections based on the impact on Australians with the EU carbon trades tanking.

    WRT Miglos wish that “That the fourth estate as the custodians of the public’s right to know might act responsibly and report fact and not just express biased opinion. That the media in general might make an attempt at balanced political news reporting.

    The so called Fourth Estate includes this blog…Let’s hear it for the biassed opinion, group thing and mindsets of many here!!

  7. Treeman, the fourth estate refers to the mainstream media. The fifth estate is independent media.

    We’re no quite to the fourt estate status yet. 😳

    And by the way, this IS a left wing blog site.

  8. ME – #6 – then who are those thousands (est. over 100,000) people in Indonesia, nay inj UNHCR centres awaiting entry to Australia?. Long term holiday makers?.

    #5 – John Howard didn’t define marriage – LOL. It has existed for thousands of years and has always had that definition.

    Australians `politically astute’?. – LOL. They cannot even elect `politically astute’ leaders – as Miglo is so frequently telling us and I have very great difficulty in disagreeing with him/her on the subject. Except that I am not so coarsely pejorative in my comments regarding them.

  9. #6 They are refugees who supposedly jumped the queue from the camps of the countries or neighbouring countries they fled from.

    Instead of waiting nice and orderly like in the horrid conditions of those camps they ordain to either leave the camps or not go into the camps in the first place and head directly to known people smuggler areas to get to a country of destination. Australia is not the number one preferred destination but a small number end up in S.E Asia and those are the ones you talk about.

    One of the main reasons that people in refugee camps in or next to the countries of persecution or war leave to go on perilous journeys instead of staying and being processed in those camps is because of the corruption, bullying and protection racketeering that goes on in those camps, so the wealthier and most corrupt, sometime criminal elements, get processed first. These can end up in Australia through the normal humanitarian intake immigration system, whilst desirable immigrants are left languishing behind or are in squalid camps in Indonesia and Malaysia being punished there only to be punished again when they come here by boat.

    So Indonesia and Malaysia aren’t queues at all. This Federal government wants to turn Malaysia into an orderly queue under a regional framework, but the opposition won’t allow them to as the opposition is too scared that will succeed and they would rather see people suffer and in peril than allow this government to succeed.

  10. ‘That the asylum debate might become a humane one and not remain the political football that it is.’

    The Ord River Concentration Camp would take the pressure off joolya in this election year.

  11. #5 Sorry you are right, Howard enshrined that in law in 2004, that’s what he changed.

    But that definition has not been exclusive for thousands of years and has changed over time as well. Different societies have had different definitions.

    Who is to say what is right and what is wrong. Plus the definition can be just as easily removed from the Act as it was put in by Howard.

    It was one of Gillard’s failures that she didn’t do so but upheld the Act as it stood.

  12. Rangvald and,

    #5 – John Howard didn’t define marriage – LOL. It has existed for thousands of years and has always had that definition.

    Wrong actually. Marriage, and I am speaking of the British version has changed and a lot throughout the years. More recent definitions are under the Marriage Acts of various common law countries and these include coercion, mentally incapable of understanding the commitment undertaken, under age marriage (for centuries the age for girls was 14, raised to 16 in 1961 and then 18 in 1991 under age discrimination provisions), prohibited relationships meaning blood ties. None of the above with the exception of blood ties were historically part of the contract of marriage. However, in Australia other than above and similar were there ever any state-based restrictions on marriage (Note: there have always been religion based restrictions such as the banning of divorcees marrying, but not law-based)..that is, based on race or color and nor was the gender of the parties ever mentioned. That is, until John Howard came along.

    Howard had been made aware that a number of countries plus a number of states of the US were legislating to legalise gay marriage. It had also been mooted that the Territories might also legislate such as the Northern Territory had done on euthanasia. Therefore John Howard under considerable pressure from the far right wing, Conservative Christian lobby decided to insert into The Marriage Act 1961 a clause stating that a marriage was between a those of the opposite gender only. This therefore and for the first time in Australia’s history, was it specified that opposite sex people were not able to marry.

  13. Ragnvald, legal marriage is described in the Marriage Act. Howard altered the Act in 2004 to deny homosexual couples the right to marry.

    http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/BN/2011-2012/SameSexMarriage

    For reasons I don’t understand, the PM is opposed to same sex marriage, and has refused to re-amend the Act.

    She seems very uncomfortable explaining her opposition to same sex marriage and I must say I find her reasoning on the matter pretty lame.

    However, she has given government MPs the right to register a conscience vote. Liealot has not extended the same freedom to Liars MPs and until he allows Liars MPs the right to a conscience vote, i don’t see much hope of same sex marriage getting the official nod.

    It really gives me the tom tits when idiots snivel about having to attend a polling booth every three or four years. People are dying around the world fighting for the right to turn up at the ballot box, that so many in this country whinge and whine about.

    Ditto the clowns who moan about having to pay tax, when they drive around on their tax dollars every day, their children go to the schools that tax dollars pay for, fish off jetties that their tax dollars maintain, launch their boats from public boat ramps to go fishing, use public toilets, go to public hospitals populated by nurses, doctors, pharmacists, specialists,ancillary staff, porters,cleaners, kitchen staff, clerical workers. The list goes on and on

    They use medicare, public transport, public telephones, parks, museums,art galleries, libraries, sporting facilities and public beaches.

    They go to public entertainment venues, festivals, universities, tafe colleges.

    They call the cops if their house is burgled, if they have an accident, if their car is pinched, if they are the victim of violent crime, if someone needs to be rescued. They expect the cops to keep them safe from violence, to control unruly crowds.

    They call the fire brigade when there’s a fire.

    They register their vehicles, get married, get divorced, have babies,

    They expect the armed forces to defend them in times of peril, to participate in rescue operations, to assist when there are natural disasters.

    All of these public infrastructures have to be administered by public servants.

    The whingers want all the public infrastructure, but don’t want to contribute to the cost. However, they’re the first to cry that there are no free lunches, except for them.

    As for my wish list, I’ve taken my inspiration from Treetroll wrt the dishonesty and corruption in the opposition.

    1. That Liealot comes clean about his role in setting up the Get Pauline Hanson slush fund.

    2. That Liealot admits that he not only lied to the AEC wrt the above slush fund, but that as a government MP, he also lied to the Parliament about it.

    3. That Liealot comes clean about his and the other grubs in the Nopposition shadow ministry’s role in the Ashby/Slipper scandal.

    4. That Liealot finally admits to misuse of his Parliamentary travel allowance to promote his outdoor dunny paper.

    5. That Liealot and the Liars barrackers will finally admit that the so-called AWU “scandal” has as much substance as utegate and emailgate.

    6. That Liealot admits he lied to the Australian public about the effect of the carbon price on the cost of living.

    7. That the Liars Party and their barrackers cease labelling asylum seekers as “illegal immigrants”, when they know perfectly well that people are entitled to claim asylum in this country.

    8. That Manu and Nauru are closed asap and asylum seekers have their claims processed onshore. And that the Liars cease using the plight of these desperate people as a cynical political ploy to grab government and also admit they fabricated the “queue”.

    9. That the msm will finally start doing their job and expose Liealot and the Liars for the tossers they truly are.

  14. John, I’d love to see a lot of your list happen as well – pity I don’t think I’ll live for the 100 years or so until it happens.

  15. This is approaching “on topic”, but who could imagine it..O’Farrell being a supporter of anti-discrimination and calling both Jones and Bolt to be witnesses into the inquiry.

    Bolt, who has just returned from leave, delivered the attack in response to news that he and fellow commentator Alan Jones are on a draft list of witnesses set to be called before the inquiry, which will hold hearings in early April.

    As O’Farrell notes, there has not been a successful criminal prosecution since 1989. Jones and Bolt immediately labelled this as a joke, insane and Leninist..therefore O’Farrell is clearly heading the right direction.

    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/andrew-bolt-hits-out-at-idiot-barry-ofarrell-20130122-2d45w.html#ixzz2Ih2FE8oZ

  16. Disgraceful, really disgraceful.

    Last year Abbott spent more tax payers money on expenses than the alleged AWU scandal and the alleged Craig Thompson scandal combined.

  17. John Howard didn’t define marriage – LOL. It has existed for thousands of years and has always had that definition

    always had that definition

    Really. That ignorance is astounding. And at so many levels. Firstly, the definition given to the concept of ‘marriage’ has certainly changed over time. To suggest otherwise demonstrates either a profound ignorance or an inability to do some homework. Give Wiki a glance.

    Secondly, and more importantly, it demonstrates an ignorance of the relationship between humans and ‘words’. For a start, (new) ‘words’ are created by humans (located in particular historical and social contexts) who do so to describe what they see to be ‘new’ developments. (Or whatever). The point being that ‘words’ are human creations and the ‘meanings’ given are also human creations. Words don’t create themselve and, after being created, don’t have a life ot their own. ‘Words’ are simply the playthings of humans.

    Further, these socio/cultural/historical humans often give new meanings to these same words. For example, when I was growing up, (and for most people) the word ‘haircut’ evoked images of a real person with (probably a pair of scissors or clippers) who shortened hair on a person’s head. It was what barbers did.

    Currently, these (different) days, when I see the word ‘haircut’ used, the meaning I often tend to give (depending on context) is that ‘banks’ have to suffer a loss on their investment.

    Same word (haircut) but evoking a completely different response.

    It’s what’s going to happen to the word ‘marriage’. Or have you missed the boat again?

    BTW, all correspondence will be entered into. LOL.

  18. … on my mind are an Australian Republic, Gonski …

    Gonski I agree with, but it really is the brainchild of Ken Boston (KGB) who really understood the issues and how they might be addressed. Boston understood only too well how Howard took the SES concept and redfiined it (gave it a new meaning that completely prostituted same) and then used it to promote ‘fairness’ (LOL) in educational funding.

    But I fear it will be confined to the dustbin of history.

  19. very important election for the future of Australia and that politics in some way or another affects their very being

    affects their very being . Indeed it does. But in many instances it also ‘effects’ their very being, at least in the practical sense. Paticulary true, I suspect. when comes to some (potential) NDIS recipients.

  20. “had that definition always had that definition”

    Are you sure. I believe there have been many definitions of marriage over the ages, over different cultures, over different religions.

    There has also been a great disparity between the men and women involved in those marriages.

    Inflation figures seem to be at a OK level. Economy is now 13% greater than before GFC.

    TYes, it appears we are still growing, in spite of what many want us to believe.

    I feel that many of our visitors here do protest too much. Now there is great dismay and noise over what is nothing more thanb a dfscussion papaer, where they are free to voice there dismay.

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