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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. Fran Barlow
    February 7th, 2012 at 19:42 | #1

    @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’.

  2. Sam
    February 7th, 2012 at 21:43 | #2

    @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purges, every opinion contrary to the party line was labelled Trotskyist, even if it was the previous party orthodoxy rescinded from yesterday.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?

  3. Chris Warren
    February 7th, 2012 at 22:22 | #3

    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?

  4. Sam
    February 8th, 2012 at 00:26 | #4

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

  5. Chris Warren
    February 8th, 2012 at 08:11 | #5

    @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.

  6. Nero
    February 8th, 2012 at 09:58 | #6

    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.

  7. Chris Warren
    February 8th, 2012 at 10:52 | #7

    @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.

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

    @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.

  9. Nero
    February 8th, 2012 at 12:35 | #9

    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.

  10. Dan
    February 8th, 2012 at 13:11 | #10

    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…

  11. Chris Warren
    February 8th, 2012 at 13:27 | #11

    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.

  12. Fran Barlow
    February 8th, 2012 at 15:44 | #12

    @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.

  13. Nero
    February 8th, 2012 at 15:48 | #13

    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.

  14. Sam
    February 8th, 2012 at 16:53 | #14

    @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.

  15. Chris Warren
    February 8th, 2012 at 19:31 | #15

    @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.

  16. Chris Warren
    February 8th, 2012 at 20:11 | #16

    @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.

  17. Nero
    February 8th, 2012 at 22:45 | #17

    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.

  18. Rob
    February 9th, 2012 at 14:29 | #18

    “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.

  19. Peter Kirsop
    February 11th, 2012 at 21:05 | #19

    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

  20. Chris Warren
    February 11th, 2012 at 22:01 | #20

    @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.

  21. Peter Kirsop
    February 12th, 2012 at 10:49 | #21

    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”

  22. Chris Warren
    February 12th, 2012 at 12:28 | #22

    @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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