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Monday Message Board

March 30th, 2010

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

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  1. Chris Warren
    April 3rd, 2010 at 15:22 | #1

    @Fran Barlow

    How quaint;

    Having retired from over 30 years in the Commonwealth public service, I can assure Fran that any randomly selected parliamentarian will be so well served with consultation committees, briefing papers, working parties, and guidelines etc they won’t even know what hit them.

  2. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    April 3rd, 2010 at 18:45 | #2

    Hundreds of different tax rates dependng on location.

    Land rates already vary by location so it wouldn’t be anything new. You’re assuming local governments would impose income taxes where as I’m betting they wouldn’t want to complicate things for businesses lest they move. In short I don’t share your concern at all.

  3. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    April 3rd, 2010 at 18:47 | #3

    Chris – even if you were right about the risks of capture (and I don’t think you are) there would under my scheme still be a lower house of elected representatives that for executive government. The only power my senate would have would be to veto proposed legislation.

  4. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    April 3rd, 2010 at 18:48 | #4

    … that form executive government …

  5. April 6th, 2010 at 11:21 | #5

    Malcolm has announced he won’t recontest Wentworth.

    I say good riddance to him.

    Ultimately, Turnbull’s role was going to be to put a more saleable face on what was a reactionary party. While annoying Abbott (or whoever is in charge at the time of the next election) would have been of some amusement value, it wasn’t so much that I would have the slightest sympathy for him.

    He was, plainly, a lot more intelligent than the coalition incumbent. Yet he participated in the xenophobic and misanthropic hysteria over “boat people” for reasons which at best were purely opportunistic. He wailed illiterate nonsense on “debt”. Had he not been rolled, he would have been circulating guff over the insulation program. He was of course in favour of that giant scam “clean coal” and favoured the CPRS polluter handouts and pushed for even more than the CPRS ultimately offered. He had nothing to say about spending megabucks in defence procurement. He favoured continuing the Afghan adventure. He had nothing substantial to say on health.

    This was no accident because he was simply the head of an organisation that somehow thought that they only had to wait a while for normal services to be resumed and for the born-to-rule to be recover the plush leather seats. With his blockpartners — the moronic Hockey and the equally mindless spruiker Pyne fancied that he might just do it.

    So really, going back to merchant w*nking (as opposed to the political variant) is probably where he is best suited.

  6. April 6th, 2010 at 11:29 | #6

    @Chris Warren

    Having retired from over 30 years in the Commonwealth public service, I can assure Fran that any randomly selected parliamentarian will be so well served with consultation committees, briefing papers, working parties, and guidelines etc they won’t even know what hit them.

    In my process, the potential candidates would spend the two years before they were due being trained to make sense of the demands of office, getting across the usages of the PS and would be reporting on what they had learned, precisely so that those doing the deliberative voting on the merits of each could be properly informed about them. Some might well drop out when they saw what was involved and realised it was a lot harder than they had supposed and others would become excellent politicians. Best of all, everyone, failed or not, would be in a position to carry their hard-won knowledge into their peer groups, resulting in a progressive improvement in the quality of debate over public policy.

  7. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    April 6th, 2010 at 12:14 | #7

    Fran – that approach risks capture by the public service. The tail should not teach the dog to wag. In so far as things needing to be learnt they should be learnt on the job with input from more experienced peers.

  8. April 6th, 2010 at 12:38 | #8

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)

    that approach risks capture by the public service. The tail should not teach the dog to wag

    That’s a risk that one trades against the possibility of having someone in charge whose ignorance makes them fit for capture either by the same bureaucrats or by even more sinister forces, or else open to complete stupidity.

  9. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    April 6th, 2010 at 12:46 | #9

    Fran – which is probably why I wouldn’t use sortition for the executive branch but only for legislative review. And if senators sit for long staggered terms then the senate will have a body of experienced hands.

    I also feel that even if your model was a good idea it would be best to tackle reform in stages with sortition for legislative review being the obvious place to start.

  10. April 6th, 2010 at 13:10 | #10

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)

    I don’t have a fixed view about whether the executive should be chosen in this way, though I am inclined to think it a good idea. Certainly the executive would ultimately be answerable to the legislature as a whole and of course, the the demands of direct democracy. It seems likely that having executives chosen more or less by popular mandate would serve to clarify the main sets of policy options around which coalitions within the legislature might emerge and simplify the business of day to day policy development.

  11. BilB
    April 7th, 2010 at 07:43 | #11

    Here is an interesting ABC interview with transcript

    http://www.abc.net.au/rn/scienceshow/stories/2010/2857412.htm

  12. April 7th, 2010 at 11:53 | #12

    More from the teabagger fringe …

    ‘Let the violence begin’: death threats against Sen. Patty Murray

    Choice quotes:

    I hope you realize there’s a target on your back now, Wilson told Murray in a message recorded on the morning of March 22, according to an FBI affidavit. There are many people out there that want you dead. Just remember that as you are politicing [sic] for your reelection. It only takes one piece of lead… Kill the … senator! Kill the … senator! I’ll donate the lead. Now that you’ve passed your healthcare bill, let the violence begin

    I hope somebody kills you, and I hope somebody kills [the president], he said. You are signing my death warrant, so I want to sign yours

    How long do you think you can hide?… It could be a senior citizen, could be a veteran, could be a mad momma, an upset momma, [...] By your attempts to overtake this country with socialism, somebody’s gonna get to you one way or another and blow your … brains out, and I hope it does happen. If I have the chance, I would do it. [...]You low-life, backstabbing, lying, cheating politicians are going to be held accountable. And hopefully it is with your life

    Wilson admitted that he carries a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver. He said he will not “blink” when confronted. It’s not a threat, it’s a guarantee

    You would laugh if this were satire, yet the truth is stranger than satire. This is where right wing libertarianism leads.

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