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Just vote 1: NO

February 1st, 2012

The date for the Queensland election is now set. Last year, when it was clear the Bligh and Fraser were going to push on to their end with their appalling plans for privatisation, I said that I planned to put Labor last, behind the LNP. Nothing much has changed with Labor, but the choice of Campbell Newman as the LNP leader has led me to revise my views. Newman was a terrible Lord Mayor of Brisbane, pushing through a bunch of uneconomic PPP projects like the Go-Between Bridge. He’s even more addicted to hard hats than Bligh (admittedly, he’s an engineer, so I would be happy for him to wear a hard hat if he had stuck to that line of work).

So, I’m going to take advantage of the marvellous institution of optional preferential voting. I’ll give the Greens my first preference, followed by any acceptable independent or minor party candidate. Labor and the LNP won’t get anything from me this time.

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  1. February 1st, 2012 at 14:07 | #1

    Only the Greens and the ‘Katters’ will pause CSG.

    ALP and LNP are in lockstep (the media is pro-CSG and is desperate to bury it as an election issue).

  2. QuentinR
    February 1st, 2012 at 16:19 | #2

    Voting “marginal” is the way to go – whomever is in, in your local electorate, vote them out. That’s the only way to ensure maximum expenditure in your electorate during the next term, as the new incumbent tries their hardest to get re-elected. Blue, Red, Green – doesn’t matter – vote Marginal!

  3. Chris Warren
    February 1st, 2012 at 16:49 | #3

    Anyone who puts Labor and the LNP in the same boat is either just posing or loosing their grip on reality. Only Abbott will benefit if LNP takes Queensland. In this eventuality, voters who played silly trendy games with their ballots will have to wear the blame.

    You should always, “put Hansonites last”, and “Labor before Liberals”. If people cannot distinguish between a LNP agenda and a ALP agenda, then I don’t know how they even find their way to work each morning.

    That is what the preferential system is for. You should mark all the squares as this ensures you ballot does maximum work throughout the count.

    Voting people out, just because they are an incumbent, is asinine.

  4. February 1st, 2012 at 17:01 | #4

    Chris Warren,

    Could you illustrate with a few major points of distinction between the ALP and LNP for the next term of a Qld government?

  5. Chris Warren
    February 1st, 2012 at 17:33 | #5

    @Megan

    I generally expect people do their own work, but I’m willing to help you get started.

    Start here: http://www.qld.alp.org.au/

    Then see how you go from there.

  6. Charles
    February 1st, 2012 at 19:30 | #6

    So yo don’t get a say in which is the best of the worse. And what advantage does that bring?

  7. Ross
    February 1st, 2012 at 20:36 | #7

    So…Chris….it’s almost as asinine as voting out the incumbent…it’s because tina.
    Hansonites last…absolutely! Labor before Libs …no matter what the former have done to their support base, as the good Prof has highlighted? Looks like Tony Abbott has some able supporters in Qld, and they’re not all on his side of politics.

  8. February 1st, 2012 at 21:14 | #8

    Chris Warren,

    I’ll assume you were being asinine with that throw-away and pointless link, but, to “help” you:

    http://lnp.org.au/

    You stated:

    “Anyone who puts Labor and the LNP in the same boat is either just posing or loosing their grip on reality.”

    I asked you for some examples to make out some bases and justification for that blanket statement. Now that you have both websites at your disposal, perhaps you can illustrate your original point?

  9. Chris Warren
    February 1st, 2012 at 22:35 | #9

    @Megan

    Blimey, what horrors await Queenslanders with the Libs.

    Excessive gaols, a fractured public school system, disruption of Carbon Tax, destruction of Wild Rivers, huge cross subsidies for coal, more waste, and the destruction of sustainability criteria for house sales, and on and on.

    I assume you cannot read, or did the dog eat your homework?

  10. Chris Warren
    February 1st, 2012 at 22:38 | #10

    @Ross

    The alternative is to pay a lot more attention to preselections and branch structures. This applies to all parties and all States (except the ACT).

  11. Fran Barlow
    February 1st, 2012 at 22:47 | #11

    Were I in QLD, I’d be doing much the same as PrQ.

  12. Chris Warren
    February 1st, 2012 at 23:06 | #12

    @Fran Barlow

    The property investors, big coal miners and financiers are relying on people like you. Exhausting your vote plays into the hands of Tony Abbott.

  13. February 1st, 2012 at 23:36 | #13

    Never mind Chris Warren,

    I made the mistake of assuming that you were serious.

    Do you really now want me to go and do your homework for you? Where do you think we are, Bolt’s blog?

    I would have been happy to honestly discuss/debate how close to identical the ALP and LNP are on on all of those items, but if that is all you’ve got I wish you’re party well in oblivion.

  14. February 2nd, 2012 at 00:20 | #14

    Obviously I meant to wish “your” party well in oblivion.

    While I’m here:

    Qld has the highest prison population per-capita in Australia. The Prisons have been privatised under Labor.

    Public schools have been infiltrated by the Scripture Union on the watch, and with the ‘blessing’, of the ALP over the last 15 years or so. Don’t see anything about keeping our schools secular from the LNP.

    Wild Rivers! You mean “Wild Rivers”, not anything to do with protecting our natural waterways such as the Traveston Dam proposal over the Mary River (I’ll never forget the video of Beattie fronting the crowds and stating: “The deal has been done”, and the crowd yelling back, “yeah, but with who??”).

    Huge subsidies for Coal?? Didn’t the outgoing Bligh Government just sign up for a billionty dollar coal railway out of the Gallilee Basin? Is the LNP going to put a stop to that? Is it to get children from Biloela to Gladstone for school or medical treatment?

    But I digress, YOU were going to tell US how it is silly to “put ALP and LNP in the same boat”, please have a go at it.

  15. Chris Warren
    February 2nd, 2012 at 08:26 | #15

    @Megan

    Disagreeing with this or that policy is not relevant. Winging about ALP privatised gaols is not focussing on the difference with LNP policy to increase sentances.

    Winging about a railway out of the Gallilee Basin is not focussing on what will happen under a LNP.

    Ignoring the policy on Climate Change Tax is just disingenuous on your part.

    Winging about Traveston Dam is not focussing on the Wild Rivers LNP policy.

    Your diversions are not helpful. You do not understand your own question.

  16. may
    February 2nd, 2012 at 14:12 | #16

    testing.

    winging?

    whinging.

  17. Fran Barlow
    February 2nd, 2012 at 15:19 | #17

    @Chris Warren

    The property investors, big coal miners and financiers are relying on people like you. Exhausting your vote plays into the hands of Tony Abbott.

    It’s hard to imagine how. For years, left-of-centre folk have adopted your policy. The results have been almost the opposite of what left-of-centre folk have wanted. With the arguable exception of Tasmania (which has a different system) we have had an unbroken string of right-of-centre governments at state and Federal level. The right of the ALP has had the party in a death grip, aided and abetted by people sometimes identified as non-aligned or “left” — Gillard being the most prominent example of this “left”. This has hollowed out the party so much that the absurd Abbott is now widely considered electable at Federal level and at state level the ALP was routed in NSW and may well suffer a similar fate in QLD, to an LNP whose leader is not even in Parliament. The very political fragility of the ALP in the face of forces its repulsive and at times vacuous rightwing policies enabled is now advanced by you as an argument to keep enabling the right to do more of the same. My reluctance to do so is characterised by you as “playing into the hands of Tony Abbott”, when the results of the last 35 years or so of your policy are that Tony Abbott and his wing of the boss class have never been better placed to win an election at either state or federal level. It’s rather sad that you can’t see that. Even when the policy “works”, the results are poor. People are demobilised and the drift is to the right rather than in favour of inclusive governance.

    It’s hard to go past that quote from “Gloria Clemente” in White Men Can’t Jump here:

    Sometimes when you win, you really lose, and sometimes when you lose, you really win, and sometimes when you win or lose, you actually tie, and sometimes when you tie, you actually win or lose. Winning or losing is all one organic mechanism, from which one extracts what one needs.

  18. Chris Warren
    February 2nd, 2012 at 17:22 | #18

    @Fran Barlow

    Why do we get these people who deliberately misinterpret others.

    How on earth can anyone suggest that I:

    advance vacuous rightwing policies to keep enabling the right to do more !!!!!!!!!!!!

    Crazy, nonsense. This is just trot-speak.

  19. Graeme Bird
    February 2nd, 2012 at 19:58 | #19

    “Just say no”

    You guys might like to belittle the Reagans. But I like the simplicity and the lack of extreme government force that went behind Nancy Reagan’s “Just say no” campaign against drugs.

    “The date for the Queensland election is now set. Last year, when it was clear the Bligh and Fraser were going to push on to their end with their appalling plans for privatisation….”

    JUST …. SAY …. NO.

    It doesn’t matter how good privatisation could be in theory (just say no), that is not the point. Everytime you privatise (just say no) to raise funds, you are ipso-facto, setting up a cronyist market (just say no), and hobbling the ability of us to have a functioning (just say no) market down the track.

  20. paul of albury
    February 2nd, 2012 at 20:53 | #20

    Chris, sometimes you need to think of the longer term. All Labor has given us for at least 35 years is a slightly nicer version of Liberal policy. (Under some governments better managed too) The Labor left is captive to the right – what’s implemented comes from the right’s wish list. So all they can offer is being nicer than that nasty Mr Rabbit, but they’ll end up doing much the same anyway. And as long as we keep getting sucked in, nothing will change. We’ll go to hell a little slower but we’ll still be going in the wrong direction.
    I’d prefer a Labor government to the Libs, but sooner or later you reach a point where you need to stop encouraging people who con you, even if there’s pain involved in the adjustment.

  21. paul of albury
    February 2nd, 2012 at 21:28 | #21

    And then I look again at the Libs and ask can I really not do everything to keep them out. It’s a difficult decision – I think everyone has to make up their own mind. You Queenslanders don’t have an upper house so there’s no protection by betting each way but it also means real left parties are even more disadvantaged. (Sorry for arguing with myself but that’s what comes of the dilemma of rewarding a bad choice or bearing an even worse one)

  22. Fran Barlow
    February 3rd, 2012 at 06:28 | #22

    @Chris Warren

    Why do we get these people who deliberately misinterpret others.

    You don’t outline how I’ve misrepresented you, still less why the reprepresentation is unfounded, so at this stage, the representation stands.

    How on earth can anyone suggest that I: advance vacuous rightwing policies to keep enabling the right to do more !!!!!!!!!!!!

    Rhetorical. You ought to explore that question directly rather than appeal rhetorically to others for solidarity.

    Whatever policies you advance, your bottom line is that you will support the ALP against the LNP regardless of how reactionary they are, which is a textbook example of “enabling”. It does remind me of those people who stay with radically unsuitable partners in the hope that one day, they’ll change and become suitable and that their underlying goodness will emerge or because the person has low self-esteem and figures they can’t survive socially on their own. This never happens of course because the things driving their unworthy conduct persist and are unchallenged, and the unsuitable partner can see that their “victim” sees no other options.

    That is very much like the relationship between the bulk of the left and the ALP. They can always, like an abusive partner, adduce the lack of options, the lesser evil, or some such to demand loyalty, and of course, the left, desperate for some sort of recognition that we are their true allies, gets played every time. Yet as we have seen here and in the US and UK, the big winners from this game are the right.

    That’s not ‘trot speak’. That’s just obvious.

  23. Chris Warren
    February 3rd, 2012 at 07:15 | #23

    @Fran Barlow

    Why would anyone pretend that some outline is missing? but then quote the outline?!!!!

    Everyone should support the ALP against the LNP – except Coalition supporters.

    What “textbook”????

    Only fools exhaust their votes.

  24. Chris Warren
    February 3rd, 2012 at 07:38 | #24

    @paul of albury

    I agree, and by running third parties/candidates you in fact address this problem.

    However third parties, in the short-term, may give Abbott a free ride, if their votes are insufficient for their own victory and then exhaust.

    This means all these “super-conscious”, “pure”, “righteous”, know-it-alls, go missing in action.

    In the long run, third parties have every right to expect that they will attain government. But this will never happen if the other parties encourage their own members to exhaust their votes.

    The Nuclear Disarmament Party would never have achieved its successes if the Liberal and Democrat voters threw away their latter preferences.

    If a third party candidate is excluded – all the papers are distributed at full value, all the way down to the final preference. The only ballots that are distributed at reduced value are the next preferences from elected candidates.

    These votes generally run right down party tickets (so-called block votes) but then impact on whoever gets the remaining seats, and usually the choice is something akin to the Fred Nile or Family First nutter vs some progressive “independent” maverick.

    In a tight contest, the last candidate is often the crucial one for who takes government.

    Only fools exhaust their votes.

  25. rog
    February 3rd, 2012 at 10:56 | #25
  26. may
    February 3rd, 2012 at 12:13 | #26

    fed govt?

    the complaint of constituents “why did she lie?” being trotted out begs the question of why have the representatives asked this question not use the opportunity to clarify a position that is shrouded in confusion?

    the whole “leadership crisis”of gossip and personalities veils governance successes such as the wickenby effort reported in todays fin.

    the media stacked deck makes for a picture remarkable for lack of information neccessary to make an informed opinion.

    a bit like the current state of the duomarket grocery business where items disappear and it’s home brand or nothing.

    though in the media case the info isn’t there in the first place.

    just an opinion.

  27. rog
    February 3rd, 2012 at 18:31 | #27

    For what it is worth I think it’s entirely media driven. Placing faith in the media is such a poor investment.

  28. Charles
    February 3rd, 2012 at 20:27 | #28
  29. Dan
    February 3rd, 2012 at 22:46 | #29

    Yeah, it’s just stupid media hype.

    I’ve never said this before, and I doubt I’ll ever say it again, but Labor’s strategists simply aren’t that daft.

  30. Sam
    February 4th, 2012 at 13:13 | #30

    The Wild Rivers legislation is the only reason I will not follow JQ’s example. Yes, it was probably a cynical deal done to appease a minority sectional interest, but it also happens to be very good policy. There’s not much daylight between the two major parties on most issues, but on questions of “development” vs “conservation,” the LNP will be reliably terrible. The ALP can sometimes fail to dismay.

  31. February 5th, 2012 at 00:26 | #31

    The only thing that could save the federal Labor government is backlash against unpopular state governments (as occurred in 1990 and 1993). Consequently, while I am often sympathetic to Chris Warren’s position that one should always use one’s vote as much as possible, including putting the lesser of two evils ahead of the greater, I certainly disagree with his claim. “Only Abbott will benefit if LNP takes Queensland.”

    I’m not sure what I would do with my preferences were I in Queensland, but there is no question that an LNP victory is the best hope of saving the country from Abbott. That said, a landslide such as the polls currently predict might be worse for Labor’s federal prospects than a modest LNP win.

  32. rog
    February 5th, 2012 at 04:53 | #32

    Let’s just pretend that the media reports factually and another coup is nit only on the cards, it does happen. The most likely outcome, due to loss of independents and other destabilising events, would be a snap election. It’s highly unlikely that the ALP would be returned leaving an Abbott govt to repeal NBN, carbon tax, MRRT and anything else of meaning.

  33. Chris Warren
    February 5th, 2012 at 08:45 | #33

    @Stephen Luntz

    Yes, others may benefit as well. It would be a general gain for the right.

  34. Nero
    February 5th, 2012 at 17:28 | #34

    In a way, Chris Warren is right.

    In 1996 many Australians thought that nothing could be worse than the government of Paul Keating which had privatised QANTAS, the Commonwealth Bank, the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories and retirement income, floated the dollar, dismantled the tariffs, and in general deregulated the economy so that subsequent Australian Governments could do little to protect us from corporate greed.

    John Howard proved them wrong.

    Still, we are supposedly a democracy.

    In a democracy it should be possible for the people to be represented by politicians better than with the likes of Keating, Howard, Bligh or Newman.

  35. James
    February 6th, 2012 at 18:29 | #35

    @Chris Warren

    Your basic argument here is that if the disaffected left should not let their vote exhaust so that the less offensive party can be elected. This merely moves the battle for swinging voters directly to the disaffected right, and we have all seen where that goes over the longer term.

    When Labor can no longer take the left vote for granted then hopefully they will be inclined to fight for their vote. This may take several swings of the electoral pendulum, but eventually a government will be formed that places social justice on par with economic injustice. There is no structural reason to prevent a just society from being rebuilt when the alternative has been exhausted, merely the political necessity. In the end it is up to voters to stop elections being fought exclusively over the agenda of the swinging right.

  36. Chris Warren
    February 6th, 2012 at 19:07 | #36

    @James

    How does ensuring “that the less offensive party gets elected” supposedly “merely moves” voters to the right?

    There is no logic here.

    Academics and various pundits have, for decades, misrepresented Australian politics as a “Tweedle-dee, Tweedle-dum” dynamic and self-relish the own imagined profundity. They just copy the standard criticism of V. Gordon-Childe.

    Anyone watching Fraser, Howard, and Abbott, plus having heard the extremism of Minchin, Katter, and Tuckey, etc would realise that the choice is between chalk and cheese: in essence – either: free market capitalism (sound economy, unsound society) or; welfare state capitalism (sound society, unsound economy).

  37. James
    February 6th, 2012 at 20:06 | #37

    @Chris Warren
    I’m sorry Chris, but what may be chalk and cheese to one person may well be no more than a variation on cheddar to another.

    While the parties are not the same, the general direction has been to wind back the welfare state, not necessarily always by direct dismantlement. What the Liberals do or undo with relish Labor quietly leave in place unless absolutely forced to act, as in the case of WorkChoices.

    This is why we have no effective social housing, the blatant susbsidisation of the middle class through negative gearing, private educaton, health insurance and superannuation, and a refugee policy straight out of John Howard’s handbook.

    I’ve come to the unfortunate conclusion that my local Labor member actually likes the idea of Australian’s killing people in Afghanistan. How is Katter going to top that?

  38. Chris Warren
    February 6th, 2012 at 20:38 | #38

    @James

    There is no evidence that any local member actually likes the idea of Australian’s killing people in Afghanistan.

    This is fantasy.

    You do not come close to addressing problems of winding back the welfare state etc by exhausting your vote. You enable them to make matters worse.

  39. Fran Barlow
    February 6th, 2012 at 22:18 | #39

    @James

    When Labor can no longer take the left vote for granted then hopefully they will be inclined to fight for their vote. This may take several swings of the electoral pendulum, but eventually a government will be formed that places social justice on par with economic injustice. There is no structural reason to prevent a just society from being rebuilt when the alternative has been exhausted, merely the political necessity. In the end it is up to voters to stop elections being fought exclusively over the agenda of the swinging right.

    Very much so. Those in the ALP favouring social justice and equity (assuming they exist) — not to speak of good environmental policy — have no leverage while those who do favour such policies offer a blank cheque to the party. The man from Strocchiverse admits this openly in the other thread, and in this respect, he’s not wrong.

    Social progress demands a willingness to take risks, to suffer casualties and setbacks in order to secure longterm benefit. Progress towards equity is not a smooth curve but rather a series of advances and setbacks in which those favouring equity have to duke it out with those favouring privilege, including against those allowing others to say of them that they are on our side of the barricades.

    This makes sense when you think about it. What possible reason could the privileged have for surrendering any part of their class power without losing a knock ‘em down and drag ‘em out conflict? If they think we are scared of loss, the advantage goes to them. We have to show them that we are willing to fight until they hurt more than we do.

  40. James
    February 6th, 2012 at 22:49 | #40

    @Fran Barlow

    I like you perspective. Politics is not a short term compromise or a few elections lost, but a long term fight for seriously important issues against seriously dangerous and capable rivals. To this end a long term strategy of infiltration, education and engagement are necessary.

    I sometimes think most on the left are too nice to keep this up for the long haul; I certainly am not nearly as engaged as twenty years ago, so a bit hypocritical if calling others to the fight.

    As for @Chris, when someone remains quiet when given the chance to speak up against injustice, then one must only assume that they are for it. Or is it fear that keeps them quiet? If the latter is the case, whom do they represent?

  41. February 6th, 2012 at 23:36 | #41

    Chris Warren, you’ve got James on a technicality there.

    You win.

    He said he had “come to the unfortunate conclusion” that his “local Labor member actually likes the idea of Australian’s killing people in Afghanistan”.

    You, quite rightly point out that there is “no evidence” to support, as a question OF FACT, his conclusion.

    At least one post-Howard ALP MP, in a public forum, advocated the use of torture. That is a fact.

    You can be as cute as you like about whether anyone actually “likes” torture, but advocating it is the same as advocating the continuation of what we are doing in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan etc…

  42. Chris Warren
    February 7th, 2012 at 08:05 | #42

    @Megan

    Why bait and switch attention to “torture”?

    The claim was something completely different. As you have not provided any evidence for your claim, it has no relevance, and does not justify exhausting ballot papers. In any case, you may have reinterpreted comments for your own convenience.

    You may like to reflect on the fact that during the Vietnam War it would appear that most of the ALP and coalition, Catholic Churches, and the media, all can be categorized as supporting killing in Vietnam. None can be categorized as liking the idea of killing.

    Anyway, how does exhausting your vote constitute a reasonable response to Australia’s involvement in unjust wars. If all the demonstrators against Vietnam exhausted their votes, in 1972, Whitlam would not have been elected.

    Probably half of the ALP supports Australia’s deployment of troops in Afghanistan. But only blogging propagandists would rewrite this as “liking the idea of killing”, as if this somehow justified their own killing of their ballot papers.

  43. Chris Warren
    February 7th, 2012 at 08:12 | #43

    @Megan

    James’ position is even worse.

    His evidence is:

    …when someone remains quiet when given the chance to speak up against injustice, then one must only assume that they are for it.

    How do you get liking killing from that???? This sounds like trot-speak to me.

    So it’s all James’ assumption, and fanciful extrapolations from assumptions. And this is how they decide to exhaust their votes.

    Political lemmings.

  44. Fran Barlow
    February 7th, 2012 at 08:25 | #44

    @James

    I sometimes think most on the left are too nice to keep this up for the long haul; I certainly am not nearly as engaged as twenty years ago, so a bit hypocritical if calling others to the fight.

    I doubt it has much to do with being too nice. I suspect it has more to do with the desire to see one’s efforts marked by measurable success. Shortcuts and work arounds which seem to promise a degree of gratification are very appealing as the alternative to a prolonged struggle where a clear path to victory is unclear, and where one fears that casualties may lead to demoralisation in the ranks. In addition, left|sts, quite as much as rightwingers, want to be able to claim some of the credit for good things they have been involved in. We are also aware that justice deferred is justice denied. The temptation to set aside process and focus on any end that seems within our reach now can be hard to resist. The paradox is that if this entails bad compromises — those which disempower people and keep the processes and structures that deny inclusion and social justice hidden from general view, then in the end, these can defer the day when major breakthroughs for the marginalised are achieved.

    It seems to me that coherent left|st politics entails reconciling good ends and good process, so that the former never comes at the expense of the latter. It entails de-emphasising the role of individuals, and focusing on the enagement of the working population as a whole. That, it seems to me, is the way to avoid falling into the corrosive embrace of the boss class and its sockpuppets.

  45. Dan
    February 7th, 2012 at 08:43 | #45

    I just posted a link germane to this discussion on the Republican idiocracy thread.

  46. Sam
    February 7th, 2012 at 09:09 | #46

    @Chris Warren
    I don’t like your use of the term “trot speak.” It brings to mind Stalin’s effective campaign to silence dissent and acquire absolute power even in Communist parties far from Russia. If “trot speak” means diversity of leftist opinion, and the challenge of orthodoxy (as you seem to intend it), I’m all for it.

  47. Paul Norton
    February 7th, 2012 at 09:41 | #47

    I seldom disagree with JQ and I will not forgive Bligh for her disgraceful performance over the Tegan Leach case, but bearing in mind (a) Wild Rivers, (b) civil unions, (c) the fact that the worst authoritarian and bigoted elements in Queensland always slip the leash when they think the State government is on their side and (d) the fact that the malevolence of Coalition/National/LNP governments’ imagination always exceeds what the Left believes possible, I would be preferencing Labor second-last and the LNP last if I were enrolled in a seat where my vote might matter.

  48. Chris Warren
    February 7th, 2012 at 09:50 | #48

    @Sam

    Diversity does not mean provocative misinterpretations of comments for ones own political convenince.

    Diversity does not mean bait and switch.

    Diversity does not mean splitting the labour movement into dozens of fragments.

    Trot-speakers ALWAYS try to take refuge by using vain and irrelevant allusions to Stalin (or “torture” and so on, and on, and on).

    Trot-speakers ALWAYS camouflage their sectarianism as supposedly mundane and innocent “diversity”.

    You get diversity within the movement not outside the door from newspaper sellers.

    There is no logic to challenging orthodoxy without cause. This is the muck of Munckton and Windschuttle.

    No one likes the term trot-speak, but you do not deal with it by hiding.

  49. Fran Barlow
    February 7th, 2012 at 11:24 | #49

    @Chris Warren

    Your account of “trot-speak” is entirely arbitrary, and ironically therefore, rather like the approach Stalin took to the business of marginalising all of his opposition, Trotskyist or otherwise.

    Your specifications are at best circular, a kind of “true scotsman” test.

    Really, stripped of your handwaving, ‘trot-speak’ simply covers those claims that you find inconvenient yet aren’t able to dismiss without careful argumentation of a kind you are either unable or unwilling to mount. Epithets are a good deal easier, and may well afford you the dissonance you need to keep feeling as if you have something useful to say.

  50. Chris Warren
    February 7th, 2012 at 19:02 | #50

    @Fran Barlow

    Certainly not arbitary – it only applies to one or two, who generally self-identify by filling their posts with Stalin-esque references.

    All such claims are inconvenient. In the long run they boost the right.

  51. Fran Barlow
    February 7th, 2012 at 19:42 | #51

    @Chris Warren

    Certainly not arbitary – it only applies to one or two, who generally self-identify by filling their posts with Stalin-esque references.

    You described my post as, inter alia ‘trot speak’ without there being any “stalinesque” references or even any “appeals to diversity” (your other criterion).

    You are going to need other criteria if you want to continue characterising my posts as ‘trot-speak’.

  52. Sam
    February 7th, 2012 at 21:43 | #52

    @Chris Warren
    It’s hard to avoid references to Stalin when the other side is calling one a Trotskyist. During the purges, every opinion contrary to the party line was labelled Trotskyist, even if it was the previous party orthodoxy rescinded from yesterday. Do you think Internationism has no lessons to learn from history post-1920?

  53. Chris Warren
    February 7th, 2012 at 22:22 | #53

    Fran

    trot-speak does not mean always using such debased logic, but generally this is where they end up.

    Example;

    … rather like the approach Stalin took …

    .

    QED.

    Sam

    You may find it hard. Others do not.

    Please do not falsify comments. No one is calling anyone a Trotskyite. Anyone can use trot-speak without necessarily being a Trotskyite. You have reinterpreted a comment for your own convenience and then criticised the reinterpretation.

    Presumably there are trotskyites who do not use trot-speak? Well, we should at least allow the possibility?

  54. Sam
    February 8th, 2012 at 00:26 | #54

    @Chris Warren
    Pure semantics. And you haven’t answered my question.

  55. Chris Warren
    February 8th, 2012 at 08:11 | #55

    @Sam

    Maybe injecting diversionary disruptive questions based on 1920 (!!!!) is a form of trot-speak?

    Suffice it to say, modern arguments either supporting or opposing ballot suicide, are not based on such anachronistic errors.

  56. Nero
    February 8th, 2012 at 09:58 | #56

    If those who founded the Australian Labor Party at the end of the 19th century were here today, they almost certainly would not take Chris Warren’s advice to uncritically support existing ‘Labor’ governments only because they feared worse from the alternatives.

    They would fight within the Labor Party for change or they would set about building a decent alternative from the ground up. The latter is what they did in their own time.

    If neither is attempted and the only choice on offer to Australian voters remains between current ‘Labor’ governments and the L/NP alternatives then Australia’s political future is very bleak as Australia learnt to its cost after 1996.

  57. Chris Warren
    February 8th, 2012 at 10:52 | #57

    @Nero

    How does filling in a ballot paper represent critical or uncritical support?

    Presumably those in the Labor Party will NOT exhaust their vote, so the issue only relates to those NOT in the Labor Party. No-one has suggested that people in the ALP should exhaust their votes.

    There are attempts to build alternatives – Progressive Labour Party. See:

    members.iinet.net.au/~jgowland/plp/plp.html

    http://www.progressivelabour.org

    But these initiatives are not based on exhausting their votes.

    If those who founded the ALP were alive today, the ALP would not be so similar to the Coalition.

  58. Chris Warren
    February 8th, 2012 at 10:53 | #58

    @Nero

    How does filling in a ballot paper represent critical or uncritical support?

    Presumably those in the Labor Party will NOT exhaust their vote, so the issue only relates to those NOT in the Labor Party. No-one has suggested that people in the ALP should exhaust their votes.

    There are attempts to build alternatives – Progressive Labour Party. See:

    members.iinet.net.au/~jgowland/plp/plp.html

    progressivelabour.org

    But these initiatives are not based on exhausting their votes.

    If those who founded the ALP were alive today, the ALP would not be so similar to the Coalition.

  59. Nero
    February 8th, 2012 at 12:35 | #59

    Chris Warren asks: “How does filling in a ballot paper represent critical or uncritical support?”

    In fact, I agree that you should not allow your vote to be exhausted (and, hence, disagree with JQ, although I am not gong to lose any sleep over it). If I were to vote in Queensland’s optional preferential election, I would leave the L/NP off altogether and probably (with enormous misgiving) give my last vote to Labor.

    It seems to me that your posts gloss over the terrible misrule that Australia has suffered at the hands of “Labor” Governments since the 1980′s. An example is:

    Anyone watching Fraser, Howard, and Abbott, plus having heard the extremism of Minchin, Katter, and Tuckey, etc would realise that the choice is between chalk and cheese: in essence – either: free market capitalism (sound economy, unsound society) or; welfare state capitalism (sound society, unsound economy).

    Firstly, I take exception to your acceptance of the myth that neo-liberalism is good economic management.

    Having lived under the misrule of Keating prior to 1996, Australia was anything but a ‘welfare state’ at the time — not as nasty as under Howard’s subsequent rule, but still a nasty place to live if your weren’t wealthy.

    The choice between Labor and L/NP is not between “Tweedledum” and “Tweedledee”, rather it’s between the ‘Labor’ ‘good cop’ and the L/NP ‘bad cop’.

    The ‘Labor’ ‘good cop’ could not have attempted to use mercenary strikebreakers to break the MUA in 1998, as the L/NP ‘bad cop’ did, without creating an enormous political crisis that would have threatened its own rule of the Labor Party. That is why re-election of the ‘Labor’ ‘good cop’ would have been preferable to the election of the L/NP ‘bad cop’ in 1996, not because the ‘Labor’ ‘good cop’ is any more a true friend of the unions than the L/NP.

  60. Dan
    February 8th, 2012 at 13:11 | #60

    Obviously a Labor government is preferable to an LNP one in the same way that receiving a Chinese burn is preferable to having one’s fingernails pulled out with pliers. You wouldn’t vote for it, but if you had to choose…

  61. Chris Warren
    February 8th, 2012 at 13:27 | #61

    Huh?

    I do not gloss over issues with ALP policies since the 1980′s. This is not a factor in ballot suicide. Do you gloss over Fraser??

    I do not accept some vague myth of neo-liberalism? This is falsification.

    Splitting hairs over Tweedledum and good cops is laughable.

    If you look at the different outcomes with minimum wages between Howard’s Harper and under Gillard you will see who benefits workers more.

    Harper gave zero FMW increase. And if people do not use their vote sensibly we can easily end up back there.

  62. Fran Barlow
    February 8th, 2012 at 15:44 | #62

    @Chris Warren

    The trouble with your response is that I didn’t mention or allude to Stalin until you raised Stalin in response to Sam. you’d already defined my earlier Stalin allusion/diversity– free post as ‘trot speak’. After you made it an issue, I noted the similarity of your approach.

    Your challenge is to show how the term ‘trot-speak’ in this context contributes anything beyond your antipathy to commentary those critical of the ALP from a leftwing perspective. It’s clearly a piece of ill-defined all-purpose abuse, scarcely more impressive than insults hurled by children in the playground at one’s mother.

  63. Nero
    February 8th, 2012 at 15:48 | #63

    Chris Warren, it sure seems to me that you have glossed over the serious deficiencies of Labor that have so harmed this country, particularly the poor, since the 1980′s. I see little acknowledgement of them in your posts. Perhaps you have spoken out against them elsewhere?

    If so, could you show us where?

    When you wrote,

    “either: free market capitalism (sound economy, unsound society) or; welfare state capitalism (sound society, unsound economy),” it seemed to me that you were accepting the myth that neo-liberalism (‘free-market capitalism’) is good economic management (‘sound economy’)”

    … can you explain why you don’t think that that is how those words would be interpreted by most?

    You rightly object to the “Tweedledum”/”Tweedledee” analogy that is often use to describe Labor and the L/NP. I propose a different analogy, the ‘good cop’/'bad cop’ analogy.

    How is that splitting hairs?

    What is wrong with my analogy?

    Where have I disputed that it would be a lot less unpleasant to be ruled by ‘good cop’ like Gillard than by a ‘bad cop’ like Harper?’

    Obviously, Canadians are now worse off under Harper than his predecesor Paul Martin as lamentable as Martin, no doubt, must have been.

    Nevertheless, the sorry record of Canada since 2011, Australia from 1996 until 2007, Victoria and NSW since 2011, etc., is surely proof that just expecting the public to go on returning ‘Labor’ to office, no matter how poorly they have ruled, simply because more informed people know the alternative to be even worse, will not stop those ghastly alternatives from from eventually forming government.

    If we want to prevent that from happening, we must do something to turn Labor into a party worthy of our support in its on right, or else, build an alternative that is. Nothing you have written here begins to address that.

  64. Sam
    February 8th, 2012 at 16:53 | #64

    @Fran Barlow
    To be fair, I first introduced Stalin to the thread, not Chris. I won’t accept Godwin type charges here though. It was a reasonable thing to do; terms like “trot-speak” are -to me at least- exclusively associated with Stalinized Communists. It’s practically a shibboleth for them. A Trot is simply a leftist who disputes the official line. AFAIK, no one on the left who is not deeply authoritarian would use “talking like a trot” as an insult.

    I’m actually fairly glad people as hostile to diversity as Chris Warren are not in the majority. Clowns out of power, monsters with it.

  65. Chris Warren
    February 8th, 2012 at 19:31 | #65

    @Nero

    You may need to start your own thread.

    You may also like to learn more about Australia conditions and the real environment created by Professor Ian Harper.

  66. Chris Warren
    February 8th, 2012 at 20:11 | #66

    @Sam

    Unfortunately you are a Godwin.

    There are plenty of people on the left who dispute various official lines, without engaging in the damaging sectarianism and opportunist baitings that most see radiating from the various splinter groups, expelling each other and all generally declaring themselves to be some type of Trotskyite.

    Disputing official lines does not define Trotskyites. A count of how often they introduce Stalin into unrelated discussions, does.

    No-one is hostile to diversity, but it must co-exist with responsibility.

    If you want to see trot-speak at its worse, check out Hillel Ticktin’s peculiar effort at discussing Market Socialism. In 14 pages he uses Stalin at least 42 times.

  67. Nero
    February 8th, 2012 at 22:45 | #67

    I note Chris Warren‘s failure to respond to my arguments or Dan’s.

    Chris Warren wrote: “You may need to start your own thread.”

    Why?

    In truth, I much prefer to discuss more interesting and challenging ideas in discussion forums that are more pleasant than this one has proven to be, but when ideas such as those you have attempted to put here are left unchallenged they can harm democracy and our wellbeing.

    This is one less place where such ideas have been left to stand unchallenged. That’s all I wanted from this discussion.

  68. Rob
    February 9th, 2012 at 14:29 | #68

    “The date for the Queensland election is now set. Last year, when it was clear the Bligh and Fraser were going to push on to their end with their appalling plans for privatisation, I said that I planned to put Labor last, behind the LNP”.

    Of course when it came to decision time, you returned to the fold. It really doesn’t make a difference what lame excuse you found, you’re rewarding people for doing something you don’t agree with. There’s absoloutely no reason for them not to continue doing the same kind of things. In fact, I’d be shocked if the didn’t.

    I’d also be shocked if you didn’t find a last minute reason not to support Mr Turnbull.

    The biggest difference between left and right is tolerence/acceptance levels. Right-wing electors will not put up with what they deem even slight betrayal. There isn’t any such thing as the best worst thing. A loss is much preferable to a victory without heart. It may cause an appearance of the shambolic at times, however it’s exactly this that has keep right-wing politicians much more in tune with their supporters.

    Could anyone really imagine say a first term George Bush letting down his key allies similar to a first term Obama?

    How many Labor politicans live in Liberal electrates? How many Liberal politicans live in Labor electrates?

    Who identifys and rewards their electors more favourably? I suggest leaving actions to do all the talking.

  69. Peter Kirsop
    February 11th, 2012 at 21:05 | #69

    Mr Warren, why do you say that market capitalism (by which I take it you mean the semi ? libertarian system we have in this country) is good economic policy? The good Prof rather showed that was not so good policy here http://johnquiggin.com/2011/12/14/quiggin-vs-williamson-the-home-game/
    So we have Katter who advocates protectionist policies- at least that should save manufactoring industry and no coal seam gas, -at least that should save some natural features, sometimes conservatives/economic populists -like Pat Buchanon in the USA might just be correct as well as right

  70. Chris Warren
    February 11th, 2012 at 22:01 | #70

    @Peter Kirsop

    You have reinterpreted words incorrectly.

    Market capitalism protects itself temporarily by destroying society. The supposedly sound economy market capitalists trumpet (eg Keynes and Samuelson) is based the creation of an unsound society.

    Market capitalism necessarily destroys society.

    Good economic policy is something completely different.

  71. Peter Kirsop
    February 12th, 2012 at 10:49 | #71

    Mr Warren
    you wrote “– either: free market capitalism (sound economy, unsound society) or; welfare state capitalism (sound society, unsound economy).” Can you explain what you mean so I don’t ‘reinterpret”

  72. Chris Warren
    February 12th, 2012 at 12:28 | #72

    @Peter Kirsop

    You either stabilise a capitalist economy by damaging society, or;

    you protect society temporarily by loading capitalism up with countervailing tendencies (eg debt, or access cheap goods from overseas).

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