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Monday Message Board

June 29th, 2009

Its time once again for Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. As usual, civilised discussion and no coarse language.

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  1. Donald Oats
    June 30th, 2009 at 23:16 | #1

    C.L. :Donald, you say ‘political party’ where ‘the Opposition’ will suffice. Leaks favouring the Opposition occurred regularly during the Howard years. You think Kevin’s DFAT contacts didn’t tip him off to anything? Come off it. We’ve seen where this leads in another Labour-led polity.

    No CL, ‘the Opposition’ won’t suffice. I said ‘political party’ because I meant exactly that. Political parties should not be treated like football teams; footy fans are loyal to a fault and cannot be reasoned with when an umpire’s decision goes against their team. Political parties should not be given this sort of blind worship, yet for some reason people do this anyway.

    While we are on the subject of politicians and politics, I’ll let it be known that the practice I hate and loath is the one where a politician makes an election promise, only to ditch it or water it down once in power. I detest lies of that sort for the simple reason that it makes voting on policy a meaningless act – the winning party will just ignore the inconvenient election promises, referring to them as ‘noncore’ in Howard’s case, and we’ve yet to discover what Kevin Rudd calls them.

    That should be clear enough, CL.

  2. ken n
    July 1st, 2009 at 07:39 | #2

    DO: It’s not correct to call a broken promise a lie. How bad it is depends a bit on whether the politician intended to honour the promise in the first place.
    Even in the fairly grubby world of Australian politics, I believe that promises are seriously intender when made. What happens is that, in government, they discover facts they did not know or likely unintended consequences – in other words, reality strikes.
    I’d rather governments then break promises, preferably with a frank explanation, that stubbornly do something that does not make sense.
    The grocery price proposal was just about unworkable so it is no loss. And remember that during the election campaign inflation was the fear – the RBA increased interest rates.
    The current tax cuts should almost certainly have been cancelled. Quite soon the government will need to make substantial tax increases to help get the budget back in balance and these cuts will make those increases greater – and cause greater political damage to the government, I suspect.
    Keating had the courage to repeal his LAW tax cuts.

  3. Chris Warren
    July 1st, 2009 at 09:17 | #3

    CL

    You have 11 claims to substantiate. Just setting up smoke does you no justice.

    You now have a twelfth…..

    It was an enormous vote of confidence.

    What evidence? Looks like he was being moved to a quango to keep him out of the mainstream??

  4. Donald Oats
    July 1st, 2009 at 10:49 | #4

    It is a lie when they say that if elected we will do A, and they don’t provide any caveat. To convert it to a statement that isn’t a lie, simply requires the politician to say we will do A, if the circumstances B prevail.

    Now some election promises are pretty low level in terms of impact if they are or aren’t implemented. Other election promises however, are what set one party apart from another. Misleading, lying, “being economical with the truth”, concealing, or whatever you want to call it, on big issues it potentially affects a person’s vote. A couple of examples of truthfulness versus lying: a) Howard said that he would never ever introduce a GST. The statement he made in May 1995 was unequivocal, absolute, no wiggle room, no get-out-of-jail-free card, rock solid clear statement on the Liberal party not ever putting up a GST. A stupid statement to make, unless it is to assist in encouraging voters back to the Liberal fold.

    John Howard could have said that we will present a GST as an election commitment, should the time come that a GST is preferred, otherwise we won’t present a GST.
    Ken n, this is the kind of thing that I am directly calling a lie. It is in fact an unnecessary lie. I wish both major parties (and journalists involved in the politics) would provid the people with a more informative view about policy prior to the election.

  5. Alice
    July 1st, 2009 at 12:14 | #5

    CL – getting rid of Howards stacking of the public service (right throughout) with sympathetic political cronies instead of on public service merit IS long overdue.

    If ever there was a period of stacking of the publice service and handing out of public service salaries to mates and friends…the little bloke excelled himself.

    Its clean up time now…and as for Grech – he so conveniently unwell and incommunicado now. Godwin Wretch.

  6. ken n
    July 1st, 2009 at 12:21 | #6

    DO – would you rather that a government do something that does not make sense or no longer makes sense, just because they have promised it? I would not.
    A lie is an intentional false statement of fact, not a broken promise. A broken promise might be morally as bad as a lie but it still isn’t a lie.
    I’ve always thought the accusation about Howard and the GST was a bit of a bum rap. He was foolish to make such an unequivocal statement after the 1993 election, but I am sure he sincerely believed it. If he had then gone ahead and introduced it in his first term, that would have been a serious breach of promise. But he subsequently made it a clear policy in the 1998 election campaign. Times and circumstances change and i don’t think we can complain about a policy reversal which has been clearly set out before an election.

  7. July 5th, 2009 at 12:52 | #7

    I thoroughly recommend “The Web of Debt” by Ellen Brown. There can be little doubt that most of the world’s economic problems are due to the fact that, from the 18th century, at least, the global banking cartel has usurped from sovereign nations such as Australia, the right to issue the means to enable the exchange goods and services (i.e. money) amongst their citizens.

    This view is solidly backed by copious quotes from a large number of credible historical figures including Benjamin Franklin, US President Abraham Lincoln, Otto von Bismarck, US President Theodore Roosevelt, US President Woodrow Wilson etc, etc.

    In the 18th century, the governments of American colonies assumed the right to issue currency. This facilitated great prosperity until the British Government and the behest of private Bankers, outlawed the practice, causing the colonies to descend back into poverty. This resulted in the American War of Independence. However, the US government never fully regained the right to issue currency. This right was usurped by the private banking cartel known as the “Federal Reserve”. This caused nearly all the economic problems and indebtedness with which the US economy has been subsequently afflicted.

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