Category Archives: Democracy

NSW votes.

Well the people of New South Wales have sent a clear message to the out going Labor Government.
The last time I wrote here was just after the Federal Election in November last year and the Federal Labor Party narrowly got into government with the now famous hung parliament.
New South Wales Labor has suffered an overwhelming loss and has lost power.
What will this mean for New South Wales?

Well that is hard to know. The Liberal Party have not given us a lot of information on what the plan for NSW. They certainly have a big job ahead of them to bring NSW back to its previous standing as the “Premier State” and the leading state economy in Australia.
With a predicted majority of 66 seats in the lower house the Liberals will have a lot of power but will they get the same power in the upper house.
As we saw with the Howard Federal Government, such absolute power is a dangerous thing. As Labor have said in their campaign, such great power is like a blank cheque. Lets hope that they don’t get a blank cheque or if they do that they use it wisely.

Kristina Keneally while retaining her seat has stepped down as leader of the Labor party. I guess it is understandable. No one wants to be Opposition Leader after being Premier. So what will this mean for the next Labor leader and who will take on this poisoned chalice. Only time will tell.
I am sure there will be plenty happen in the coming months and hopefully the Liberal Party will step up to the plate and put things right in the state of New South Wales.

Polling Botths closed, now the counting begins.

So voting has now finished in The Australian Federal Election and I haven’t bothered writing about the election campaign at all. I guess this is a sign of how uninspiring I have found the whole thing.

It isn’t that there weren’t many things to write about, the media has been busy with all the happenings but I have never seen such a child like slanging match in any election before this one.

Instead of telling us what each of them will do if they are in power the Liberal and Labor parties have continually criticized each other.

It is a sad time in Australian politics when the only way you can tell the difference between the two major parties is by the fact that they don’t want you to vote for the other party.

The Greens ran a campaign based on asking people to vote for them as a protest vote. Well how can a vote for a party with unrealistic policies that are far from what mainstream Australians want. Things like no power generation from fossil fuels to no fishing at all. Their radical policies don’t give any real alternative to the major two.

The one thing for sure is it will be a close result.
My biggest fear is that who ever wins, the devil will be in the detail.

Voting, Backstabbing and Politics.

During the events of the last few days I have been amazed at how many comments have been made by people concerning their disappointment in not being able to vote Kevin Rudd out or Julia Gillard in. The other comment that has perhaps not surprised me as much is that people have felt that Julia Gillard has betrayed Kevin Rudd. Well I don’t really agree with either of these statements and I believe I have good reasons for this.

Whether you agree with me or not I would you encourage you to read on maybe you will see my point by the end maybe you won’t. Either way I would like to hear your thoughts so why not leave a comment.

Anyway onto my my opinion in regards to these statements.

Voting for the Prime Minister.

The simple fact is that in Australia we don’t vote for the Prime Minister. We never have and probably never will.
The way it works is people in an electorate vote for who they want as their local member. Now you can vote along party lines or for the person who you think will do the best jobs, that is up to you to decide. The party with the most people elected as local representatives will become the governing party and in effect the Government. At the moment this is the Labor Party. The members of this party get to decide who will be their Parliamentary Leader. This is usually done before the election. It is this Parliamentary Leader who is given the title of Prime Minister. The party gets to choose who this is and not the voting public.
So why have people gotten so up in arms about wanting to have the chance to vote for the who they want as Prime Minister instead of the party choosing. I don’t really know why they think this way but what I think they are really reacting to is the way the leadership spill happened. If people had have been asked whether they would prefer Kevin Rudd as the Prime Minister or Julia Gillard, I think they would have chosen Julia Gillard. Certainly polls this morning would seem to suggest this to be the case.

Today’s Newspoll, in which voters rate her as a better Prime Minister by 53 per cent to Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s 29 per cent.
Labor’s primary vote has also jumped under Julia Gillard from 35 to 42 per cent while the Coalition remains unchanged at 40 per cent.
And in the two-party preferred results Labor now sits at 53 per cent to the Coalition’s 47 per cent.

I would suggest that the shock of the leadership spill is wearing off and people are starting realise that the sky is not falling even though they didn’t get to choose the Prime Minister themselves. Certainly voters seem to be warming to Julia Gillard.
So while we all play a part in voting for the Government, and some may cast their vote along party lines because they like the proposed Prime Minister that it will produce. We have no real ability to actually vote for the Prime Minister. I would actually say that people who vote along party lines are wasting their vote because if the candidate put up by the party you vote for is a complete idiot , why would you want them to be your local representative. Unfortunately this does seem to happen from time to time just take a look around at some of people in Parliament.

Betrayer: Julia or Kevin?

So who betrayed who, Julia or Kevin.
Now while the leadership spill was quick I don’t think you can really call it unexpected. Certainly media speculation had been rife in the weeks and months leading up to the spill The Labor Party was not doing well in the polls and Kevin Rudd didn’t seem to be doing anything to correct the situation. In fact it was his determination to keep carrying on with policies that didn’t make sense to popular thinking that was causing much of his downturn in the polls. The mining tax was a perfect example of this, standing stubbornly steadfast not willing to negotiate, this did not fare well with voters.

So where do I see Kevin’s betrayal.

Well it starts at the end of last year when the Government had a double dissolution trigger and the plan amongst senior Labor members was to use that trigger in the beginning of 2010. Well at this time was when Kevin’s childrens book came out and of course Kevin Rudd was feeling very chuffed with himself and couldn’t be bothered about any double dissolution. He was riding high, Labor was still doing well in the polls and he had so much else to do. Why should he call an election. Why indeed.

Well he should have called an election then because they had agreed to take such action. It would give them a mandate for the plans they already had. Aside from Labor already doing well in the polls they had a very good chance of wining a double dissolution election, history has shown us this.
Instead he put together his Kitchen Cabinet or Gang of Four, which did no end of damage to him amongst his own junior ministers especially. He introduced his mining profits tax and held his non negotiable position creating a feeling of uncertainty and fear that the Opposition was able to capitalise on.
Mostly Kevin Rudd was not the same “Kevin 07″ who had won them the election. Where was the all knowing, all caring man of the people. He had disappeared and in his place was a stubborn, dictatorial meany who yelled at people just because they bought him the wrong dinner.

All this was leading the Labor Party to a certain election loss and Kevin Rudd would not listen to his party members.
I am sure that Julia Gillard and others tried to talk to Kevin Rudd and bring things back on track with him at the helm but this didn’t make any difference.

So what choice did the Labor party have. To push ahead with Kevin as their leader and almost certainly loose the election or to take a chance and put someone in the Prime Ministers seat who could lead them to victory. They had to act and they had to act soon. Time was running out. Kevin Rudd had left them with no choice.
That is why I say that Julia Gillard did not betray Kevin Rudd. Quite the contrary, she had tried to keep him in the job, she was happy to keep going as Deputy Prime Minister, but it came to a point where she was out of alternatives and she was the best person to take on the Prime Ministers role. I am sure that despite her ambitions that this was not the way she would have liked to gain that position, not the way the first female Prime Minister was supposed to come into being.
So it was in fact Kevin Rudd who betrayed Julia Rudd and the Labor party by not acting in the parties best interests, by keeping decision making within the narrow confines of the Gang of Four and by not being the Kevin who won them the election and becoming the Kevin who was going to loose them the election.

It is Kevin’s Rudd’s actions that have created this situation and it is Kevin Rudd who could have avoided it all Julia Gillard just did what she felt she had to do.

Kevin bows out as Julia takes the helm.

As you all know Julia Gillard has been voted in as the leader of the Federal Labor Party and as such Australia’s first female Prime Minister.

Kevin Rudd has had his say and Julia has made her first speech as PM.

Kevin Rudd’s speech was one full of emotion with tears seeming to be just below the surface. He outlined his achievements, as expected, thanked the Australian people and the Labor Party for their support during his time as Prime Minister. He also confirmed that he will stand as a candidate in the next election.
Like I said Kevin Rudd’s speech was full of emotion with his family standing behind him in support. At one stage he joked that “What I am less proud of is the fact that I have now blubbered.” Perhaps if had done a bit more blubbering and shown a bit more human emotion he would not be in this position now. It worked for Bob Hawke so it was worth a go.

On to Julia’s speech which of course is quite important for the future of the current Government and an historic moment.
She paid tribute to her parents and the hardworking values that they taught her. It was these hardworking values that were to set the mood for the rest of her speech.

I won’t go through the whole speech here. There are plenty more places where you will be able to read about that.
What I thought were the biggest things to come out of her speech were her wishes to focus on leading a hard working Government focused on providing quality services for the people of Australia. but some of the big changes in direction will come with Julia Gillard “throwing open the Governments doors” to the mining companies to negotiate on the mining tax issue.
Julia will halt the Governments advertising campaign on the mining tax and asked the mining companies to halt theirs as well. Although she would not say it in questioning, she did seem to indicate that everything was negotiable including the previously non-negotiable 40% tax rate. This could be the one thing that makes the biggest difference as it has been the biggest weapon used against them in recent weeks and has done a lot of damage.

Julia did recognise the part she has played in the Rudd Governments shortcomings but also claimed credit for its success.
Of course there was the compulsory tribute to Kevin Rudd.

When asked about the change in her commitment to Kevin Rudd as leader she stated that it had become more and more apparent to her that the government had “lost its way” and she had done what she could as Deputy Leader and it was time for her to move to take the leadership.
Upon being asked whether she would be living in The Lodge Julia Gillard said that should would continue to live in her house in South Australia and her flat in Canberra. Obviously there is no benefit in moving house if you may have to move again in a few months time.

Wayne Swann also spoke but really only echoed what Julia Gillard had said and created a united front for the new Labor leadership.

Tony Abbott has also had his say on the matter saying that despite the change in leadership it makes no difference. It is “the same product different salesman.” He sought to capitalise on Julia Gillard’s line that “the Government had lost its way.” He also tied Julia Gillard straight back to the failings of the Rudd Government saying that she was the “co-author” of its policies along with Kevin Rudd.
It was predictably full of the political spin that you would expect from Tony Abbott.
Highlighting the fact that Julia Gillard was not elected as Prime Minister and he stated his dissappointment that the style of New South Wales Labor had come to Canberra.

One thing That Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard both agreed upon was that they are each there to make sure that the other is not elected as Prime Minister. Well of course they are that is usually how elections work in our system.

Julia Gillard has now been sworn as Prime Minister by the Governor General Quentin Bryce.

While Julia Gillard would not be drawn on when an election would be held she did say that she would be visiting the Governor General soon to ask for an election to be held.

Certainly this election will be interesting.
How will a Gillard Goverment afect the election campaign and its eventual result?
How will Julia Gillard’s leadership change to direction and feel of the Federal Government?

Certainly Julia Gillard has a job to do. She may not have intended to “crash her head through any glass ceilings” but now that she has she will need to justify her acheivement and buckle down to the hard task ahead of leading the Country and leading the Government to the next election.

Julia wins.

Julia Gillard is now Australia’s first female Prime Minister.


Julia Gillard and Wayne Swann – Photo from ABC TV

Julia Gillard now has the job of leading the Labor Party into the next election but can she lead them to victory? Only time will tell but one thing is certain her job will not be easy.

Mike Foreshaw announced that Julia Gillard has been elected by the Labor Caucus unopposed after Kevin Rudd stood aside during the Caucus meeting. Indeed there was a lot of pressure on Rudd to stand aside and save himself the embarrassment of a messy leadership vote. Wayne Swann has also been elected as Deputy PM by the Labor Caucus.

Big changes will be needed. Changes to the mining tax. Action on the ETS. Certainly a less a less arrogant leadership style will be required.

With Julia Gillard as PM how will this change the look of Labor’s from bench. Wayne Swann is deputy PM but who else will fill the new cabinet. We will have to see who will take on Treasury and other key ministries. Certainly people the of Julia Gillard’s Cabinet will speak loud about who is behind and where her influences are.

With Julia Gillard now Australia’s first female Prime Minister is this really an important issue or is it more important that the person be right for the job.

I wish Julia the best of luck she will certainly need it.
Now is the time to see what people have to say most of all Julia Gillard.

Could Neda Be What Is Needed To Bring Democracy To Iran.

The sad and needless death of Iranian women, Neda Agha Soltan, has been viewed around the world on sites such as YouTube. It is a disturbing video and I won’t be providing a link to a video here but it is not hard find if you search on a search engine or on YouTube.



Neda Agha Soltan


While Neda is not the only person to be killed during protests in Iran following elections that are regarded by many Iranians to be corrupt, it is the most widely covered and discussed. Its impact on world wide interest on the current events has been significant.

What I think is the most tragic part of the deaths happening in Iran is the fact that these people are dying in their efforts to support democracy in their country due to the very undemocratic actions of the countries leadership and it paramilitary.

These people are protesting over what they see as the flawed and corrupt result of the Iranian presidential election held in June this year. A recount of votes has been carried out, although limited, and while some irregularities have been found they were judged by ‘independent’ electoral authorities to not have influenced the result.

The large number of people attending these protests and the sustained effort of protests so far would seem to indicate the popular wish of the people. Though popular wishes do not always mean much in a country ruled by dictators such as in Iran.

The death of Neda certainly seems to have inspired continued protests and hopefully democracy can win in the end. Hopefully with as little blood shed as possible.