Home > Oz Politics > The miracle of democracy Part II

The miracle of democracy Part II

August 26th, 2010

Given the election campaign we have endured, the only just outcome is that both sides should lose. Amazingly, this is, more or less, what happened.[1]

fn1. A bit of esprit d’escalier on my part. But thanks to the slowness of counting, I can get my thrust in before it’s too late

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  1. TerjeP
    August 26th, 2010 at 23:22 | #1

    The ALP have gone from government to limbo land.
    The opposition have gone from opposition to limbo land.

    I think the ALP have lost whilst the Liberals have won. Clearly.

  2. Chris Warren
    August 27th, 2010 at 02:04 | #2

    TerjeP :The ALP have gone from government to limbo land.The opposition have gone from opposition to limbo land.
    I think the ALP have lost whilst the Liberals have won. Clearly.


    Most sentient beings realise that this election handed the Greens the so-called “win”. The patchy swing away from labour was in a normal range overall (2.2%).

    So Abbott only has to keep his 3 political cousins onside for Confidence Motions and Supply.

    So, stuck with a Mad Monk, we at least are saved by the Senate.

  3. Alice
    August 27th, 2010 at 07:51 | #3

    So you hide behind DLP and are really LNP Terje? You couldnt even make up your own mind and neither could the rest of the voters.

  4. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 27th, 2010 at 09:02 | #4

    Terje, congratulations on getting 235 voters supporting your ideas but you are really blowing in the wind saying the L-NP won. Unless you know something others don’t the Coalition has buckleys chance of getting the magic number of 76.

  5. Alice
    August 27th, 2010 at 09:20 | #5

    Abbott is starting to show his flakiness now – he “doesnt trust Ken Henry’s Treasury”. This is despite Ken Henry being originally appointed by the Coalition. Two or three possible reasons

    1. because Godwin Grech is absent on sick leave.
    2. Because Abbotts numbers are lousy and dont add up
    3. because Abbott is such a flake he thinks the only good public servant is a dead public servant

    Why would the independents even have the gall to ask the great emporer Abbott to prove his numbers by asking for public sector scrutiny? Dont they know whjo he is?

    Oh and now…only now…Abbott apologies to Wilkie for calling him a flake and trying to have him thrown in jail.

    The training of Mr Abbott begins…..lesson 1 – how to become a nicer person.

  6. Tony Abbott for PM
    August 27th, 2010 at 09:39 | #6

    Why would anyone trust the Treasury? The public servants have NFI. One only has to look at Treasury’s commodity price projections to see that we might as well have monkeys in there crunching the numbers.

  7. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 27th, 2010 at 09:42 | #7

    Tony Abbott for PM, what commodity price projections are you talking about?

  8. Alice
    August 27th, 2010 at 09:50 | #8

    @Tony Abbott for PM
    Why would anyone trust the treasury? Well Gillard and the independents and the Greens dont have any problems trusting treasury TAPM. I guess that makes Tony Abbott the odd man out (very odd)…hmmm makes you wonder how things might have gone for the Coalition if Turnbull was still in power. Cant imagine Turnbull making half the gaffs Tony Abbott has. Its not too late to change. We in the electorate are rapidly become used to leadership revolving doors. Almost as fast as broadband.

  9. Alice
    August 27th, 2010 at 09:59 | #9

    @Tony Abbott for PM
    Ahhh I see TAPM says “The public servants have NFI.”
    Now I know why Tony Abbott doesnt trust Treasury. Its reason number 3 so he can appeal to dimwits. Big mistake thinking Australians on average are that dimwitted. Even the independents must now be starting to think he is slightly mad.
    Let Tony Abbott put his shonky numbers on the table under the scrutiny of the same Treasury that costs for other parties in the interests of ALL Australians.

    Or does Abbott have something to hide? (reason no 2)

    I hope the liberals dont send that hapless private accounting firm, Horvath, out of business by getting them mixed up in Tony Abbotts rabid “anti treasury anto public service” paranoia.

  10. Jill Rush
    August 27th, 2010 at 11:08 | #10

    I don’t think anyone reasonable can understand why Tony Abbott wouldn’t send his policies to treasury for costings as the pressure of the election has now receded. His failure to do so has certainly caused the independents who through electoral serendipity have the upper hand. Abbott has shown that he would be very difficult to work with for the next three years as he showed when he was in government.

  11. Alice
    August 27th, 2010 at 11:19 | #11

    Looks like “the force from the North” isnt going to take no for an answer on the numbers Jill.


    Of course the independents should have access to budget costings of both parties – so should Treasury and Treasury should have the right to say “yes these are feasible or no they are not”. The trouble with the Coalition is they think they using a private accounting firm to hurriedly throw some numbers together (which raises serious questions about the way they are prepared or not prepared to work with our government structures).

    The independents need these costings and they should be examined by Treasury because it is they who are making a decision on who will govern this country, not Tony Abbott.

  12. Jim Rose
    August 27th, 2010 at 12:47 | #12

    abbott is showing far more spine than gillard, who is conceding everything up-front including the next election data(!) to keep to treasury benches.

    abbott is playing the long game, knowing that if a minority government of whatever party falls, the public will want to turn to a strong leader.

  13. Alice
    August 27th, 2010 at 13:34 | #13

    @Jim Rose
    The long game could be a very short game for Abbott. None of the independents want another election and neither do the Greens. I think they have the power here Jim Rose -every one of them that is not part of the red team or the blue team. Abbott is just covering up for the fact that he doesnt want to have his underwear exposed over his dodgy numbers. He has messed up big time (so whats new about that?). Abbott was found time and time again in the election to be just making numbers up. Country people wont get the national broadband or better health and education services for country people if they go with Abbott. They will just suffer more “stripping” and more “privatisations” and less “public investment” and more “free market” ideology. Abbott doesnt even like government or its services, – so how is he going to deliver what people in these independent electorates want?

    In short – he isnt.

  14. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 27th, 2010 at 14:28 | #14

    Alice, if the latest reports are correct there could be three bye-elections as a result of candidates being disqualified but not another national election as Abbott is falsely suggesting.

  15. Alice
    August 27th, 2010 at 14:33 | #15

    @Michael of Summer Hill
    Where did you get that info Mosh? I cant find anything about it…
    Also it looks like JRs “strong leader”s spine just turned to jelly and his “playing the long game” just got very short. Abbott has agreed to hand his costings to Treasury for the independents.

  16. Jim Rose
    August 27th, 2010 at 14:34 | #16

    @Michael of Summer Hill
    where are these reports?

  17. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 27th, 2010 at 14:45 | #17

    Sorry Alice, I gave you a bum steer there are now four L-NP candidates who may be disqualified. You can read it all vexnews.com. Have to go.

  18. Alice
    August 27th, 2010 at 15:18 | #18

    If the independents think they can get a stable government with Abbott (unstable) well how about Abbott + Fielding (double snake in bag trouble).
    Poor Steve Fielding. He has been hanging around Heartland institute as a denialist for so long that he doesnt even realise he has scrambled eggs between his ears and he only polled 2.6% of the vote.

    The pleasantries and the eating of humble pie by both red and blue team leaders towards the independents was starting to sound like music to my ears..(wow – civil nice polite listening caring politicians – how strange!!)..until ……..

    …. like an ugly scary little Jack in the box, up pops Fielding with 2.6% of the vote in his electorate who wants to block supply if Labor get in???.

    I guess this must be the part where they bring on the clowns.

  19. Alice
  20. Tim Macknay
    August 27th, 2010 at 16:05 | #20

    I wouldn’t get too excited about the impact of those potential candidate disqualifications. When this has happened before, the usual result is that the disqualified candidate wins the by-election more comfortably that they did the first time round.

  21. Chris Warren
    August 27th, 2010 at 16:06 | #21

    Michael of Summer Hill :Sorry Alice, I gave you a bum steer there are now four L-NP candidates who may be disqualified. You can read it all vexnews.com. Have to go.

    This is a likely outcome. The office for profit disqualification includes public servants, who must resign from their office to contest parliamentry seats (they then get reappointed if unsuccessful).

    But byelections may replace like-for-like, so the problem still exists.

    If the number of Representatives was odd (say 151), a hung parliament would never arise because the Speaker would have a useful casting vote.

    So the needed reform is to increase the House of R. by 1.

  22. Tim Macknay
    August 27th, 2010 at 16:10 | #22

    So the needed reform is to increase the House of R. by 1.

    Heh. Chris, they tried that trick in Tasmania years ago. The result: both parties on even seat numbers, one independent and a hung parliament. The Tasmanian parliament still has odd seat numbers, but that didn’t stop the most recent Tasmanian election resulting in a hung parliament. The only way to a void a hung parliament is for the voters to give one side a majority.

  23. Alice
    August 27th, 2010 at 16:10 | #23

    @Chris Warren
    I dont think there will be any movement on that one Mosh.

  24. Andre
    August 27th, 2010 at 16:17 | #24

    The current chaos and uncertainty means “no stable government”. But I thought everything was running fine. This is the best possible outcome, with the Politicians on their best behaviour. No bullying and unilateral decison making. This is free market politics at its best. This short string won’t last for long however, especially if we have three indies doing what Rudd/ Gillard and Swan practiced.

  25. Chris Warren
    August 27th, 2010 at 16:56 | #25

    Tim Macknay

    Heh. Chris, they tried that trick in Tasmania years ago. The result: both parties on even seat numbers, one independent and a hung parliament. The Tasmanian parliament still has odd seat numbers, but that didn’t stop the most recent Tasmanian election resulting in a hung parliament. The only way to a void a hung parliament is for the voters to give one side a majority.

    People tend to use “Hung Parliament” too loosely. An odd number of seats can never produce a hung parliament unless a member is disqualified – bringing the numbers down to even.

    A hung parliament is when no grouping can get a majority. ie no Bill can pass, and a new election is needed.

    In Tasmania, it was hung, until a workable coalition emerged (and partly because of odd numbers).

    We only have a hung parliament if the 3 stooges, split, 2 for ALP and one for Liberals.

    So, unless this split occurs, I see no true hung parliament.

    The mad monk is back, or we are back to the polls (as a deliberate tactic by the rightwing).

  26. Chris Warren
    August 27th, 2010 at 17:21 | #26

    This is what Crickey is saying ……..

    Privately, independents back Labor. The gang of three plus the Green will support Labor to form a stable government. They have stated behind closed doors that Tony Abbott will not be able to serve in the ‘public interest’ in such an arrangement. Never thought I would hear these words about a Liberal government. To verify ask Tony Winsor and Bob Katter about comments made after the Press Club address around green energy industries for rural communities and who has offered funding to develop it…

    I completely discount this, but if true, I may even renew my Crickey sub.

    If false, then no more Crickey for me.

  27. August 27th, 2010 at 17:36 | #27

    Hi Alice.

    I’m still alive, just saying in the background, waiting for Armageddon.

    BA Santamaria laughed at the wasted energy on Australian politics when he stated to Phillip Adams that the levers of economic policy had been given to international banking elites in the early 1980s.

    Why JQ wastes his time is beyond me.

  28. Alice
    August 27th, 2010 at 18:10 | #28

    waiting for Armageddon…..arent we all? Shouldnt be too long.
    The slimy hands on the levers are there still.

  29. rog
    August 27th, 2010 at 18:44 | #29

    Julia Gillard was looking a bit tired and deflated tonight, the race is still on and now that both parties are in limbo land Abbott has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

  30. Tim Macknay
    August 27th, 2010 at 19:27 | #30

    People tend to use “Hung Parliament” too loosely. An odd number of seats can never produce a hung parliament unless a member is disqualified – bringing the numbers down to even.

    Sorry Chris, I don’t agree. On the contrary, I think you’re now seeking to impose an artifically narrow characterisation of the term in order to rescue your argument. It is perfectly reasonable, and in line with ordinary usage, to refer to the current federal situation, or the Tasmanian situation immediately after the last Tasmanian state election, as a hung parliament. My point stands: having an odd number of seats in the house does not prevent hung parliaments.

  31. Chris Warren
    August 27th, 2010 at 20:39 | #31

    Tim Macknay

    An odd number of seats will always allow one group to get a majority, even if only by the speaker casting a vote.

    So if you get supply and can pass bills – there is no hung parliament.

    It is only hung, if the groupings cannot be formed – eg intransigent independents who abstain, flip-flop and so on.

    A 75-75 standoff, with the speaker voting, so that supply does not pass, is a hung parliament and must go back to the polls.

    Or supply not passing because the speaker does not vote, because the decision is resolved in the negative, also hangs parliament, so back to the polls.

    Anyway, the three stooges may join the Liberals on condition that Abbott is removed as Leader.

    I wonder what phone calls Malcom Turnbull has been making and receiving?

  32. Jim Rose
    August 27th, 2010 at 20:47 | #32

    the house cannot do anything until it elects a speaker who only has a casting vote.

    a 75:75 stand-off would result in new election because the house is unworkable.

    one of the independents would then change sides to avoid that instability, but then if he changes back, then the speaker resigns, and the show goes around and around.

  33. Alice
    August 27th, 2010 at 22:44 | #33

    20 20 …my dear friend…Ive been missing you. Yet here you are…reincarnated with even better sight ahead of time.

  34. Alice
    August 27th, 2010 at 22:55 | #34

    Fancy B A Santamaria having that sort of 20 20 vision so long ago…

    You know the Coalition puts B A Santamaria and Bob Katter is the same “too hard” basket dont you…like mad uncles.

    I dont know why any of us waste our time. We are just pawns in the game of politics for the ubermensch. Its still BHP and their like and the banks that dictate what goes on here. They just got a prime minister thrown out…and the dept of Premier and Cabinet in NSW only just telephoned the Department of Environment to ask why they were upsetting BHP by asking for 20 million instead of 1 million to clean up a mess BHP made…

    Oh shame, shame….. less we upset the ubermensch. Bow and crawl and wait for Armageddon.

    Thats all we can do.

  35. Alice
    August 27th, 2010 at 23:54 | #35

    May as well have some background on B A Santamaria

    “Late in his life he began to write passionately against the dangers of “monopoly capitalism” and was consistent in his view that this represented as great a threat to civil society as communism. ”
    He wrote throughout the 1990s, in The Australian newspaper and elsewhere, that the debt-based monetary system, credit creation and the private ownership of major banking institutions were all fundamentally deleterious to good order and government, and that international investment banks based in New York, London and Frankfurt had taken effective control of the levers of Australian economic policy since the 1970s.

    He was also concerned about the consistent contractionary economic policies pursued in the “pro-market” 1990s, which in his view had produced a long-term decline in real wages, which had in turn forced mothers into the workforce, and had then led to the breakdown of the family unit. Late in life, he continued to believe that the power of the “market” was the greatest threat to the survival of the family and, more broadly, of Western civilization in the late 20th century.

    So – a balanced man? (if somehwat more religiously conservative than most? Some weaknesses can be forgiven). Maybe Santamaria would have seen the GFC coming had he been alive (died in 1998). Others who live now and lead still have NFI what went wrong.

    Oh and Packer gave him editorial space – can we imagine Murdoch doing the same today?

  36. Chris Warren
    August 28th, 2010 at 04:57 | #36

    Jim Rose :the house cannot do anything until it elects a speaker who only has a casting vote.
    a 75:75 stand-off would result in new election because the house is unworkable.
    one of the independents would then change sides to avoid that instability, but then if he changes back, then the speaker resigns, and the show goes around and around.

    Actually the speakers casting vote is a convention.

    If the tellers are in control, what is to stop a speaker, leaving the chair and walking 5 yards, get counted, return to the chair, and then ask for the results?

    When tellers are counting, then no other business is transacted.

  37. Ikonoclast
    August 28th, 2010 at 08:37 | #37

    J.Q. posted two topics about the “mirade” of democracy or so I thought. After the first post, I thought it was a typo for mirage. After, the second post, I have finally figured out the word is miracle. On my screen, the typefont runs the c and l into a d.

    Hang on, I thought, maybe mirade is still the right word. And indeed I find that mirade comes from mirar or its various forms in Latin, Portuguese, Spanish etc. Mirar means to look and mirror is an obvious derivative.

    Ah, I thought “the mirror of democracy”! This is telling me something now. We have not democracy but some distorted reflection of it.

    But then I found the best translation. The Kurdish “mirar”means the carcass of a dead animal.

    I think we need proportional representation in the lower house. Going on their total vote, the Greens deserve to hold about 12 seats (is my maths right?) and thus the balance of power in the parliamant.

    The gang of three would be relegated to the irrelevance they deserve. It will be a complete travesty if they hold the balance of power.

  38. TerjeP
    August 28th, 2010 at 10:25 | #38

    Terje, congratulations on getting 235 voters supporting your ideas

    Thanks MOSH. We improved on last effort in Bennelong by about 200%. And I didn’t even realize that many people even knew about the LDP so I’m quite pleased. Strangely a far larger number voted for us in the senate.

  39. TerjeP
    August 28th, 2010 at 10:34 | #39


    Alice – I know next to nothing about the DLP. And in terms of Tony Abbott versus Julia Gillard I’m not hiding from the fact that Tony is the lesser of two evils. He has been quite good in his opposition to new taxes and no worse than the ALP on issues of same sex marriage, drug liberalisation, property tights etc.

    As for the senate it does seem clear that we are returning to a more conservative (little “c”) era.

  40. Fran Barlow
    August 28th, 2010 at 10:43 | #40

    Ikonoclast asked:

    I think we need proportional representation in the lower house. Going on their total vote, the Greens deserve to hold about 12 seats (is my maths right?) and thus the balance of power in the parliamant.

    It is. Assuming 11.4% of the vote that would be 17.1 seats — round down to 17. With 38.4% the ALP would get 57.6 — round down to 57 — thus a total of 74

    The Liberals (30.3%) would get 45.45 (round down to 45). The LNP QLD with 9.28% would get 13.92 seats (round down to 13). The Nats with 3.76% would get 5.64 (round down to 5)

    Abbott total = 63

    Assuming one set the threshhold at 3%

    Seats remaining = 13 … these could be distributed to the 2PP winner in each seat not allocated otherwise.

    Depending on the

  41. Alice
    August 28th, 2010 at 10:55 | #41

    I dont think Tony Abbott is the lesser of two evils Terje – (there are also three evils)

    Tony Abbott clearly found some inspiration in B A Santamaria (a man with some incisive ideas yet with some shortcomings also?). However, given this homily below it may have been more B A Santamaria’s religious conservatism and his political gift to the liberals, that inspired Tony Abbott than Santamaria’s ideas on the economy; the economy not being TAs strong point.


    Yet B A Santamaria also refused to give Tony Abbott a preselection reference but not for the reasons TA ascribes above, I suspect, which are somewhat self serving with a drift of narcissism.

    Santamaria’s reason…

    “it wont do any good”

    Santamaria may have also overlooked that there are three possible oppressors of people, not two as in communism or the unfettered free market, the latter which he came to see as an oppressor later in his life. To me, policy, as far as possible should be situated equidistantly as far as possible from all three points of a triangle which concede an an excess of power to any one of the three potential oppressors of man: these potential oppressors that to some degree we all have to live with and therefore cannot ignore or deny.

    the state, the free market and religion.

    Tony seeks to deny the power of the state, yet embraces greater power to the free markets and religion.

    Not ideal Terje and not the lesser of three evils.

  42. Jim Rose
    August 28th, 2010 at 11:31 | #42

    @Chris Warren
    australian constitution section 40: Voting in House of Representatives.

    Questions arising in the House of Representatives shall be determined by a majority of votes other than that of the Speaker. The Speaker shall not vote unless the numbers are equal, and then he shall have a casting vote.

  43. August 28th, 2010 at 11:35 | #43

    Oops [it is not from



  44. August 28th, 2010 at 12:51 | #44

    Good grief … the entire page has gone italic just because I failed to close mine … oh well …

  45. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 28th, 2010 at 13:18 | #45

    Terje, Tony Abbott’s christian values are not supported by the more progressive Catholics. The world has changed since BA Santamaria came onto the scene and is all but a distant memory. Since the 1950s I have seen many changes within the Catholic church and the more progressive Catholics wouldn’t want to go back to the outdated traditions. The Catholic Church does not support Abbott’s strong stance against ‘asylum seekers’ and if anything he is acting like an agnostic.

  46. gerard
    August 28th, 2010 at 13:43 | #46

    Alice – I know next to nothing about the DLP. And in terms of Tony Abbott versus Julia Gillard I’m not hiding from the fact that Tony is the lesser of two evils. He has been quite good in his opposition to new taxes and no worse than the ALP on issues of same sex marriage, drug liberalisation, property tights etc.

    Like so many “libertarians”, another simple Tory hack who likes to pretend to be something slightly more sophisticated. You’ll never need a script for RU486 I imagine.

    Wouldn’t have thought you’d support the government doling out $50,000+ of public money every time a woman on a six-figure salary has a kid. I guess it’s the economic conservative belief that somebody with a five-bedroom mortgage needs a bit more help from the public purse than most. But the fact that the unemployed woman gets nothing would probably seal the deal for you.

  47. TerjeP
    August 28th, 2010 at 13:49 | #47

    MOSH – is there a difference of policy between the Libs and ALP towards asylum seekers? I must have missed it.

  48. Alice
    August 28th, 2010 at 13:51 | #48

    @Fran Barlow
    Fran have you sent the whole thread listing to the right? I hope this restores the balance.

  49. August 28th, 2010 at 14:19 | #49

    One of the other “miracles of democracy” are the many minor parties and independents that elongate the Senate ballot paper. In NSW there were 32 groups and 84 candidates. I wonder why bother when group gets less than 1% of vote, appreciating the difficulties inherent in promoting the various causes. It seems to me some threshold needs to be established, but how I am not sure consistent with allowing minority opinion to be expressed and the potential for the development of new political parties. While it is easy to vote above the line; it is equally easy to make a mistake given the size of the paper.

  50. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 28th, 2010 at 14:54 | #50

    Terje, I’m glad you asked that question for few here are a few asylum seekers facts:
    MYTH 1: We no longer have children in detention.
    FACT 1:
    • The Federal Government has broken one of its key 2007 election promises as there are still children in detention.
    • As of the 22nd July 2010, there are 651 children in immigration detention.
    MYTH 2: We no longer have many asylum seekers in detention centres, now that there is a Federal ALP Government.
    FACT 2:
    • Australia has as many people in detention now as we did under the Howard Government.
    • As of the 25th of June 2010, Australia had 4,116 people in detention.
    MYTH 3: It makes good financial sense to keep Christmas Island open to process asylum seekers.
    FACT 3:
    • The Gillard Government has committed to spending $973.6 million dollars on Christmas Island for the next 5 years.
    • That same amount of money would fund the entire budget of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre for the next 540 years.
    MYTH 4: The Gillard Government invests an equal amount of money in caring for asylum seekers in the community as it does to keep asylum seekers in detention.
    FACT 4:
    • For every $1 the Gillard Government gives the Red Cross to care for community based asylum seekers, it will spend $30.41 dollars to keep asylum seekers in detention centres over the next 4 years.
    • That’s $1.441 billion dollars on detention compared to $47.4 million dollars to the Red Cross Asylum Seeker Assistance Scheme
    MYTH 5: Australia is being flooded by asylum seekers coming by boat and has lost control of its borders.
    FACT 5:
    • In the last 34 years (from 1st January 1976 to 19th May 2010) we have had a total of 23,540 people come by boat to Australia seeking asylum. That’s an overall average of 692 asylum seekers a year.
    • At this rate it would take 145 years to fill the MCG once with asylum seekers coming by boat. etc etc etc

    You can read the rest at http://www.asrc.org.au/media/documents/myth-busters

  51. Alice
    August 28th, 2010 at 15:54 | #51

    @Michael of Summer Hill
    Well done Moshie. Shamefully there is no difference in the policies towards asylum seekers of both the Coalition and Labor. They need to get themselves to New Zealand for some professional development sessions who could teach them both a lesson and has already earned the respect of the international community for its humane response to asylum seekers there.
    The government (s) both prior and present are wasting obscene amounts of money on these immoral detention policies, money that could be much better spent elsewhere giving people decent health services for example.
    Let the people in detention out to work and add some value here. There is no value to anyone in detaining them. If they can release prisoners and monitor them, they can do the same with asylum seekers.

  52. Ron E Joggles
    August 28th, 2010 at 18:21 | #52

    An off-the-subject comment to Michael of Summer Hill – I was there!

    Summer Hill I mean – amazing place. I flew down from Cape York Peninsula to visit a leathergoods factory – stunned by the littered wasteland of Martin Place. Felt a little more at home when I saw a demolished building, and raw sandstone exposed in the excavation.

    I caught a train to Summer Hill, narrow streets and little old clay brick buildings leaning against each other – half expecting to see a hobbit emerge from a low doorway.

    Spent a couple of hours in a long, low and dark factory crowded with cheerful migrant workers and amazing Heath-Robinson machinery. I’m glad that Australia still has such anachronisms.

    I don’t miss BA Santamaia though.

  53. Tony Abbott for PM
    August 28th, 2010 at 19:18 | #53

    @Michael of Summer Hill

    Clearly this is not the case. If you were in fact involved within the Catholic church you would reailse that it remains strongly conservative in it’s views.

  54. Ron E Joggles
    August 28th, 2010 at 19:40 | #54

    Reminiscence is a wonderful thing. An old friend who grew up droving in what is now Katter country was recalling the year his father was killed – he was thrown from his horse and broke his neck. “It was 1922, I think….yes, the last year we shot teddy bears.”

  55. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 28th, 2010 at 19:49 | #55

    Tony Abbott for PM, I have no idea what you are on about for the Catholic Church has always been sympathic towards asylum seekers. If you read their Media Release dated May 28, 2010 a number of Catholic bishops question the Coalition’s proposed policy changes on refugees and asylum seekers saying that a return to the Pacific solution would show a lack of appreciation of the ethical issues related to migration and that the announced changes which require asylum seekers to be processed overseas if the coalition was to win government is a ‘backward step’ as the period of temporary protection visa would essentially limit familiy reunion wrights.

  56. Alice
    August 28th, 2010 at 19:51 | #56

    The last known physical specimen of a California grizzly was shot and killed in Fresno County in 1922.

    Do you mean this teddy bear Joggles or are you talking about something else completely different? Please explain.

  57. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 28th, 2010 at 20:07 | #57

    Ron E Joggles, how old is your mate if he was droving in 1922?

  58. Alice
    August 28th, 2010 at 20:10 | #58

    @Michael of Summer Hill
    I smell a rat Moshie.

  59. August 28th, 2010 at 21:53 | #59

    The hung parliament gives the rest of us a chance to open up the political discussion. Lets not forget that the independents are still politicians, but, they are likely to create some space for negotiation where well organised voices can intervene. This is what i argue in:

  60. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 29th, 2010 at 00:42 | #60

    Amanda Tattersall, unless social movements have traction, bringing about social change from the grass roots level is very difficult but it can be done. All the best.

  61. TerjeP
    August 29th, 2010 at 07:24 | #61

    MOSH – whilst the ALP still put asylum seekers in detention their policy isn’t exactly the same as that of the Liberals. The Liberals, whilst also harsh, at least managed to use that harshness as a deterent. The ALP are harsh without much benefit at all. And because the ALP are less effective more people experience the harshness. However the ALP have got the issue off the nightly news as ALP leaning journalists leave the issue alone.

  62. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 29th, 2010 at 08:17 | #62

    TerjeP, the asylum seekers issue is turning out to be a farce as Australia slowly moves away from its obligations under the UN convention. And considering the small number of asylum seekers coming to country and the fact regional Australia is crying out for workers then the policies of both major party’s do not make sense and need to be reassessed.

  63. Ron E Joggles
    August 29th, 2010 at 08:21 | #63

    Sorry, Michael & Alice, that stuff was entirely irrelevant, and obtuse. Stimulated by thinking about the city/country divide that looms so large for us. The old drover died 20 years ago in his 80s – teddy bears are, of course, koalas, whose pelts fetched a good price.

    Alice, re your comment on “Rural lawmakers hold key”, as a Labor man, it distresses me that Qld’s Labor govt is similarly despised. It amazes me how many people they have running around up here in new 4WDs, to no effect.

    My Aboriginal countrymen are re-acquiring their homelands, but not in a way that benefits them. Instead of families regaining title to their traditional estates, communal title is granted over vast areas to collectives involving several families who often contest each others rights.

    No one gets to own a block, build a house, or establish a business – economic activity continues to decline, except of course the massive mineral resource developments on the west coast of the Peninsula, but few locals participate in that.

    Federally-funded “ranger” programs employ a handful of people spasmodically on ineffective environmental projects, while most Aboriginal people remain mired in disfunctional community housing, required to participate in welfare-to-work programs that provide the same old “gammon” training in horticulture & basic computing that they all did a decade ago, with compulsory & demeaning interviews fortnightly with Centrelink & Job Services Australia.

    All in the knowledge that none of this is remotely likely to prepare anyone for a job, and that there will be no jobs, so long as State & Federal policies are resolutely opposed to subdivision of vast rural holdings, development of small enterprises & the growth of remote communities, under the misapprehension that this is the best way to manage the environment.

    I could go into the problems with the Pearson-mandated authoritarian Welfare Reforms that both Labor and the Coalition have subscribed to, and the fundamentalist US education program that has the experienced teachers up in arms, but I think I’m beginning to sound hyserical.

  64. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 29th, 2010 at 08:52 | #64

    Ron E Joggles, without knowing all the facts I can only take your word as to what is happening in Nth Qld. However, the last thing Australia needs is a repeat of forcefully removing indigenous people from their ‘country’ and sending them to Palm Island.

  65. Alice
    August 29th, 2010 at 08:55 | #65

    Ron E – I think this is the essence of the problem. Good on you for saying so.

    “so long as State & Federal policies are resolutely opposed to subdivision of vast rural holdings, development of small enterprises & the growth of remote communities”

    Its both Labor and Liberal Im afraid. Too many Labor voters are assuming that Labor today is stilll the more caring party or “the party for the people”. This vote, this hung parliament says one thing to me. People cannot tell the difference between the Labor Party and the Liberal Party.

    I find it interesting that in many other policy areas both major parties pursue the politics of mindless de-regulation yet with Aboriginies and their land they want you to function as a “co-operative or collective”. Its odd isnt it?. It isnt gelling at all and it doesnt seem to be working. Maybe there is another agenda – to ensure that at some point the “co-operative” falls apart and the land can then be sold in one great swathe…to who? Large miners?

    Oh I am black with both major parties now REJ.

    This is not so different to what Bob Katter is complaining about. If he still had the jobs and businesses in his electorate maybe your people would have somewhere to work instead of those demeaning fortnightly Centrelink interrogations.


    Thank goodness someone is complaining about it instead of raving on in zombie mode about the benefits of free trade and deregulation like Liberal and Labor . The farmers, many nationals (except Joyce and his rollover mates), the independents, the consumers and the greens are together on the matter of firms like Woolies and Coles. So where are Labor and Liberal? Heads in sand – stuck in campaign headquarters living for their immediate parties’ power and not the Australian people.

    A curse on Woolies and Coles and a curse on both governments that allowed Coles and Woolies and other behemoths to rob us all blind and get away with it. As for those people holding Coles and Woolies shares in their super funds worrying about their $$ dividends….they are too stupid to realise they have paid for their own dividends probably ten times over this year… every time they shop they pay a premium for their dividends. Every time their children or grandchildren shop they pay for them too.

    Good on Katter. Someone has to say something. But do Liberal or Labor listen? Will they change? No – they are the identical twin parties of economic destruction.

  66. Jim Rose
    August 29th, 2010 at 10:09 | #66

    a key recommendation of the ACCC groceries inquiry was that all levels of government reassess the zoning and planning laws having regard to the likely impact of a supermarket on existing competition between supermarkets in that area.

    do you support that recommendation?

  67. Alice
    August 29th, 2010 at 11:00 | #67

    Jim Rose – the ACCC is part of the problem. They dont have enough teeth and what teeth they have they arent willing to bare. This was the weakest report (by King, Martin and Samuels). The ACCC is part of the problem by giving the green light in the past to a string of mergers in the past that enabled Woolworths, Coles and metcash to get to the point of total domination (probably did that under the market worshipping Howard government – it wouldnt surprise me).


    What did it achieve – unit shelf pricing? Woop de doo.

  68. Derick at home
    August 29th, 2010 at 11:08 | #68

    Policies and election campaigns from both Libs and Labs aimed at marginal electorates has set aside most Australians who will be now subjected to government of the bogans, for the bogans, by the bogans.

  69. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 29th, 2010 at 16:07 | #69

    TerjeP, if the Coalition think the Greens are extreme and the Independents flaky, then Labor is in a good position to form a minority government and cannot see any of the Independents and/or Greens jump into bed with Abbott.

  70. Alice
    August 29th, 2010 at 16:20 | #70

    I dont know when Terje is going to realise that more people are coming to the conclusion that the Coalition itself is flaky with all this pro market liberal freedoms and deregulation they seem to put their faith in….what is worse is that Abbott cant even control his feral troops.

    Alby Shultz, for example – who is he? What possible right does he think he has to phone Tony Windsor and abuse him? How many more like that are there in the Coalition? Well – there is Steve Fielding and Barnaby Joyce (and I bet Barnaby isnt as popular as Katter is).

    There must be some people in the country starting to question the extreme right nutcases in the liberal party. However old habits die hard. It might take a while yet. Either country people move right and accept the indignities coming their way from the free market and stingy governments (re services) or the LNP abandons its free market worship and its hatred of public services and moves left, but until that happens there will be no joy lost between country people (ie traditional nationals) and city slicker liberals.

    Oh and the Cockroach does what she does best…sits on the fence and try to hose it down


    I wonder if Tony Windsor thinks of Alby Shultz as one his mates now?? Personally Id write him off as an ignorant block headed fool.

    To the independents – be warned and be afraid. Be very afraid.

    As for Derick – he seems to be implying that people that live in marginal electorates are all boguns? I dont know where Derick lives but that electorate must vote one way every time. Id call that bogun.

  71. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 29th, 2010 at 17:10 | #71

    Alice, Abbott is at it again lying through his teeth. This is what he said this morning ‘Look, I think that whether you’re a country Liberal, a National Party member or a rural independent, you’re basically articulating the discontent of rural Australia. The one third of Australians who don’t live in metropolitan areas I think quite understandably feel that they’ve been neglected by city-centric politicians and particularly by a city-centric Labor Party. Now, essentially, they’re speaking the same language and I think the Coalition is very well placed to respond to those concerns’. What a lot of bull.

  72. Alice
    August 29th, 2010 at 18:07 | #72

    @Michael of Summer Hill
    As if Abbott really cares about the people that live in the country? Only enough to visit “the bush” and say “I really like the bush” – hes probably tarvelling in a great big four wheel drive with bullbars for the city traffic…

    the great neglector wants to show sympathy now???

  73. TerjeP
    August 29th, 2010 at 18:50 | #73

    MOSH – you’re assuming that the only good government is one that passes legislation.

  74. Alice
    August 29th, 2010 at 19:09 | #74

    @Michael of Summer Hill
    Dont worry Moshie – all these independents are a wake up to Abbott, except I might suggest, Oakeshott – he is too young not to be affected by the smear campaign of the nationals against him. Im not sure he has a tough enough hide.

  75. Donald Oats
    August 29th, 2010 at 19:11 | #75

    @Michael of Summer Hill
    Too right! Meanwhile the tail end of the coalition rump was berating at least two of the independents that Tony Abbott needs. I was waiting with giddy anticipation that a journalist would ask Tony exactly how a coalition can provide a more stable government than they claim Labor can, when they bully and berate the independents that they categorically need, if they are to form a government? What will happen at the first sign of differences of opinion on a policy matter – will Banana 1 (aka Barnaby Joyce) and Banana 2 (aka Warren Truss) go over and (metaphorically) belt seven shades of colour out of their independent colleagues? Threaten them by sending them a pair of red budgy smugglers in the post, the Liberal equivalent of the live rifle round in the letterbox? Who knows.

    Finally, did anyone else see the following two articles in the Australian last week? I read this one in a coffee shop: “Mining investment to hit record” [Aus pg 4 (Fri 7th Aug 2010)] and I’ll quote three excerpts:

    The mining industry is planning to lift its investment this year by 60 per cent to a record $55 billion, despite the government’s mining tax.


    …the prosperity from the mining industry is spilling into other industries, which are also planning a 10 per cent increase to their capital spending this year.


    The furore over the proposed mining tax had no effect on investment plans, with miners now expecting to invest $6 billion more this year than when they were last surveyed in April, just before the tax was announced.

    [My boldface font in the quotes.]

    So, as the boldface text in the above quote indicates, the big miners already knew that they had a big BIG year in the making, before the mining tax was announced. The whole quote implies that the big miners had no intention (or very little, anyway) to withdraw from capital expenditure decisions, whether a super profits tax was decided upon or not. At least that’s my jaundiced reading of it. Maybe its all poor choice of words combined with my lack of basic comprehension of the facts, hmm? No need to reply to that!

    The other interesting story was “NBN wins regional backing”, by Guy Healy [Aus pg 21, (Wed 25-08-2010)], in which some attempt to explain the costs and benefits are made. While the broadband bandwidth argument continues, I couldn’t help noticing in David Jones’s electrical section just how bandwidth hungry entertainment appliances are becoming. Take a couple of wall mounted flatscreen TVs, one for the adults, one for the bedroom of the kid(s), add a couple of laptops such as a work one and an entertainment one, throw in a few mobile phones and one or two PS3s (PlayStation 3 gaming console), and a fully broadbanded computer for the kid(s)’s MMPGs (Massively Multi-Player Games) and what have you, and that’s some serious data movement in the evening. Did I mention 3D TV? Gave that a try too, and finally after all these years of promises, it has arrived in usable, immersive (sort of) form. Certainly, it is easy to drop into the suspension-of-disbelief mode that carries a person in a movie or game. The depth sensation is great, so I think a lot of the new games next year will incorporate the 3D-HD imaging – wow! 3D video conferencing, 3D technical graphics for data visualisation, remote robotic surgery (which does occur now, BTW, hard though it is to imagine) given 3D map of the “client”, and so forth.

    I think that the coalition have missed the boat on the NBN; the miners seem to have lied with regards to their expectations of the impact of a super profits tax, and to have used a national campaign of “shock” ads to perpetuate false information, knowingly. Aren’t the listed mining companies in breach of their continuous disclosure requirements, if they fail to notify shareholders of information with potentially material effect, information that would have contradicted their ad campaigns? Seems fishy to me, smells a lot like AWB.

  76. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 29th, 2010 at 19:43 | #76

    TerjeP, I don’t have to assume anything for Abbott is just a born liar.

  77. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 29th, 2010 at 19:51 | #77

    Donald Oats, that foul smell is coming from the neo-conservative illywackers bulldust.

  78. Chris Warren
    August 29th, 2010 at 19:56 | #78

    This seems a particularly good article ……


  79. Jim Rose
    August 29th, 2010 at 20:17 | #79

    @Chris Warren
    antony green’s political and constitutional history is sound and well-researched indeed.

    his constitutional speculations are poor. He says:

    “Q: Could any agreement with the independents fix the term of Parliament.

    Yes. The current term could be fixed simply by passing legislation fixing the date of the next House election. The dates of future elections could also be fixed. However, none of these dates could be constitutionally entrenched without a referendum. Legislation fixing an election date could be passed, but it could equally be removed by the passage of repealing legislation.”

    Incorrect. the constitution is specific about dissolutions of the house and general elections:

    “Section 32 – Writs for general election

    The Governor-General in Council may cause writs to be issued for general elections of members of the House of Representatives.

    After the first general election, the writs shall be issued within ten days from the expiry of a House of Representatives or from the proclamation of a dissolution thereof.”

    Green also ponders in response to Q: Would there be another Senate election?

    “No. The Constitution does not explicitly state that another half-Senate election cannot be held, but it is implicit in the fixed term of the Senate that the Senators elected last weekend must take their seats in July next year. There cannot be another half-Senate election until after July 2013.”


    “Section 7

    The Senators shall be chosen for a term of six years, and the names of the senators chosen for each State shall be certified by the Governor to the Governor-General. …

    … Section 13 – Rotation of senators

    … The election to fill vacant places shall be made (in the year at the expiration of which) within one year before the places are to become vacant”

    the election! not elections, and the writs are issued by state governors as are the certifications of who is elected!!!!!!!!!!!

  80. Alice
    August 29th, 2010 at 20:48 | #80

    @Donald Oats
    Not just the Miners either Don – but Woolworths and its eleven straight years of bumper profits. Profit up to 2 billion from 1.84 last year…and the Govt and the ATO think Paul Hogan and Strop Cornell are the only ones worth impounding??

  81. Alice
    August 29th, 2010 at 21:16 | #81

    @Ron E Joggles
    Ron E – Pearson was the liberals idea of an aboriginal reprsentative. You should know that Pearson is no more than the Howard govts pet to introduce even harsher policies. Shame on Pearson.
    The problem of course is the liberals they cant show their true colours. They are really too unpalatable for the ordinary person – hence they used Pearson to be their mouthpiece. Pearson, the new Benelong.

  82. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 29th, 2010 at 21:32 | #82

    TerjeP, one only has to look at Abbott’s track record to see that he continuously changes his mind from one day to the next and is not fit to be the next PM.

  83. Alice
    August 30th, 2010 at 06:47 | #83

    Mosh – another Coalition loose cannon calls Oakeshott’s pregnant wife saying “tell him its the Devil”

    The liberals have really lost it – some of their membership are obviously stark raving…. Imagine what it would be like for the independents if they do decide to go with the liberals. At the moment they are supposedly being courted by LNP. They are really having trouble keeping up appearances.

    If this is the coursthip the marriage will be hell.

  84. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 30th, 2010 at 07:41 | #84

    Alice, reports indicate the Nationals want to have a ‘say’ in any decision affecting their electorates and the matter is so serious that the marriage with the Liberals may end in divorce if the Independents are given any favoritism.

  85. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 30th, 2010 at 08:12 | #85

    Alice, it seems the Crook will sit in the cross benches as the Truss might give way because of Abbott’s indecisiveness.

  86. Ken Fabos
    August 30th, 2010 at 08:23 | #86

    Some of the membership of all parties are stark raving – strong tribal loyalty overwhelming all rationality. Sometimes the more outrageous and nonsensical behaviours and arguments are the stronger the declarations of loyalty. Having them on your side can be more hindrance than help but pulling them back to within more reasonable bounds no doubt poses a great dilemma for the more reasonable members who want to ‘take the fight’ to their opponents rather than get embroiled in infighting.
    I still think that a large part of the LibNat’s climate denialism is about avoiding any serious confrontation that could split off a big chunk of their most loyal supporters who previously had their denialist views fully supported by a history of the Right opposing action on that issue. Turnbull might get away with crossing the floor but most will fall back into line even if they are well informed and consider it serious. Just not serious enough to risk that kind of infight.

  87. Alice
    August 30th, 2010 at 08:24 | #87

    @Michael of Summer Hill
    Well Mosh – Katter wants some tariff walls up and so do I. Id like to see a large pair of garden shears put into the hands of the ineffectual bumbling ACCC when it comes to Coles, Woolies and Metcash as well.

    If the US has “carve up” provisions in its competition laws and the EU has “carve up” provisions in its competition laws – what are we doing ruling those provisions out from our competition laws? (not listening to Fels)

    That ACCC grocery report from Samuels et al was just so weak – they just rambled on “oh we think there is… just enough… competition in the sector – and then the quantum leap pf faith required – ” and many other Australian “big names”. Yet we are expected to believe the ACCCs assumption that it will (quite when is not indicated).

    Maybe the ACCCs assumptions are just plain wrong – based as they are on the market models. Maybe the weak competition is all non price. Didnt they read the ologopoly chapter? I think the consumers and blind Freddy can see this far better than the ACCC who is working its own faulty assumptions (competition no matter how weak, always parlays itself into price effects) into the judgement process.

    The ACCC – a body that exists to convince everyone everything is fine in the grocery sector and the sector only needs a little transparency bandaid (unit shelf pricing) when it really needs major invasive surgery.

    If the Nats had any sense (in very short supply due to spending a lot of time giving up their constituents concerns to party with Lib power brokers – eg B1 and B2) they would ditch the liberals and form a Coalition with the Greens and Independents.

  88. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 30th, 2010 at 08:28 | #88

    Alice, I should also stress the Crook does not trust the Abbott after losing one trillion dollars.

  89. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 30th, 2010 at 08:36 | #89

    Alice, on a more serious note countries can and do put up tariffs in support of local manufacturers. One need look no further than the USA and how the government supports the local ethanol industry over imports.

  90. Alice
    August 30th, 2010 at 08:45 | #90

    @Michael of Summer Hill
    Is there any one of the independents that trusts Abbott? Windsor doesnt, Katter doesnt, and Oakeshott doesnt trust the nationals. Wilke doesnt and Brandt certainly doesnt and now you tell me Crook doesnt.

    If there is no trust why would they go there except for their own individual political futures (and once they go there they will get mugged into silent irrelevance anyway by the libs bully boys – like the nats have been for years /decades).

    Well – its anyone’s guess. I think the independents must be starting to feel like it is they who are now wedged but they are not alone. We are all wedged between a rock and a hard place by red team blue team and the ugliest of all – media team.

  91. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 30th, 2010 at 09:03 | #91

    Alice, all this nonsense about the L-NP and Independents patching up their differences in the short term is total bulldust. Once you have a very serious fallout as is the present case it will take a very long time to build bridges and trust each other, if ever.

  92. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 30th, 2010 at 09:36 | #92

    TerjeP, this is for you and all your Libertarians who think the USA is some sort of role model. The US government imposes a tariff of 54 cents per gallon on the importation of most ethanol.

  93. Alice
    August 30th, 2010 at 11:40 | #93

    Its the right trend in the libs that is causing all the problems. The Nationals constituents seem to actually want Greens policies (better government services in regional areas, some industry protection, some publicly funded infrastructure development to support their regions). Yet they keep voting for Nationals who roll over and prostrate themselves to the free market pro private sector nuts in Liberals.

    The whole situation becomes nutty when one party (libs) seems to be going against everything a large section of their own party (nationals) wants.

    So the Nats and regional people cut off their own noses to spite their face and side with the liberals?.

    Yet it gets even more crazy. Look at Anna Bligh for example. She is up there in QLD facing a monumental backlash for her own privatisation programme, as is NSW State Labor, and is now in “defend the coming state election mode” –

    It wont help – the backlash against Blighs “liberal policies” went to the heart of the federal election. Yet the poor QLDers dont seem to realise that Bligh has in fact committed to core liberal policies (with her privatisation agenda which QLDers clearly dont want by a huge majority). So they will vote LNP in the coming state election and get the very same monster anyway.

    None of it makes one ounce of sense to me.

  94. Jim Rose
    August 30th, 2010 at 13:07 | #94

    over the next three years, all is needed is one MP from whom ever is in government to go crazy or embittered and the whole horse-trading starts over again. The WA Nats MP is already in that position.

    Howard controlled the senate in the late 1990s with the help of harradine and a labour rat.

    I hope the boy MP from QLD does not let power go to his head. he is several years away from getting into a pub without being asked his ID.

  95. Alice
    August 30th, 2010 at 13:34 | #95

    @Jim Rose
    JR the media is cranking up the “independents cconstituents want Abbott”: campaign. The polls run by Team media are just plain lies when the liberals have a young liberal network that spams these polls and the money to do it. Its all bull as Moshie says.

    The Murdoch media are doing their level best to interfere in our political process (and in the US where the billionaires are bankrolling the teaparty movement). The libs are feral and are acting like bullies (whats new?).
    It gets worse by the day for the lies, threats and obnoxious tactics but hey…where are they all coming from?

    Team Liberal.

    Now take a look at where the independents really got their votes and what their constituents really want them to do


    Dont open a Murdoch rag and dont believe a word the Australian media says. On the other hand if you are hearing about feral idiots in Liberals who act like complete bullies then that is likely very true (Shultz, Heffernan).

    Are we hearing about any Labor politicians abusing and berating the independents JR??


    JR – Thats because your people in the liberal party are I.N.S.A.N.E. Would you trust them with guns right now? No way.

    Its so obvious all the libs want is another election. Thats because no one wants to work with them except the media.

  96. jquiggin
    August 30th, 2010 at 14:50 | #96

    Alice, I’ve been too busy to get on to this, but I would like to remind you to post only one comment per thread per day. To get some symmetry, I will make the same request of Jim Rose.

  97. Alice
    August 30th, 2010 at 15:11 | #97

    Oops – sorry JQ. Will do. I will take a break. Election antics driving me mad. Lucky for me JQ you have been off running – (and havent noticed till now). JR you and I are on detention and guilty as charged (although I admit Im more guilty than JR lately).

  98. August 30th, 2010 at 15:21 | #98

    The day that I think that the US as it is currently governed is any sort of role model for a libertarian is the day that I start to think any number of ridiculous things. It is much closer to (although obviously not actually there) some sort of social democratic utopia than a liberal / libertarian one.

  99. paul walter
    August 30th, 2010 at 16:15 | #99

    JQ. sounds like a parallel to the ABC with their “balance” policy.
    For everything true (Alice) we must apply a similar amount of BS (J Rose)..

  100. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    August 30th, 2010 at 20:14 | #100

    Michael of Summer Hill :TerjeP, this is for you and all your Libertarians who think the USA is some sort of role model. The US government imposes a tariff of 54 cents per gallon on the importation of most ethanol.

    The USA a role model? Don’t be so efen stupid.

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