Category Archives: Social

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.

Western Sydney Twitter debate. What a joke.

Did you watch the Penrith Twitter debate involving Kristina Keneally, Barry O’Farrell and Lee Rhiannon among others. Well you didn’t miss much.
It was meant to be a chance for the people of Penrith, in Sydney’s west, to ask questions of politicians in the lead up to upcoming by-election in Penrith.

I believe this is the first time a debate like this has been tried on twitter and I hope it is the last. What a waste of bandwidth.
It was confusing, disjointed, crowded, unorganised and without any form at all. Maybe this was the point of using this medium, to allow an uncensored and unmoderated open debate on issues concerning people. Well I don’t think this was achieved.
The reason I think this medium was chosen was perhaps a badly thought out attempt to connect with the people (surely not from NSW politicians) but I really think it was just a lazy way to do a bit of electioneering.

A word of advise to anyone considering doing this again don’t.
It doesn’t work and unless twitter comes up with a better tool for this type of discussion it won’t work. Stick to the good television debate or the bear pit of the NSW Parliament.

Did you watch the Penrith Twitter debate ?
Let us know what you thought. Leave a comment.

Is Australia ready for a female P.M.?

A recent Newspoll survey has found that an increasing number of people would prefer Julia Gillard as the Labour Party leader over Kevin Rudd.
So could Australia be ready for a female Prime Minister? It shouldn’t really matter whether a person is male or female, black or white. It should only matter whether they are qualified to do the job, we all know that human nature won’t let this be so and there is this barrier that exists whether we like to admit or not.
Julia Gillard has already come out and said that she will not be challenging for the leadership and I would imagine that it wouldn’t be a good move before the next election. Perhaps she will wait until some time after the election. Perhaps if Labor loose, and this seems to be increasingly likely, the Julia will become leader. If they win, will Kevin Rudd give up the Prime Ministers job. I don’t think that will happen willingly.
So it looks likely Julia Gillard’s options will be to take up the Opposition Leaders position if they loose, or a leadership challenge if they win.
Whether she is actually able to do the job. Well I don’t know. I guess you can only know after she is given a chance.
Either way if Australia does get a female Prime Minister I hope is because they are the best for the job at the time and not just because they are a woman.

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.

Letterman’s Palin Joke and the Liberal Bubble.

By Harrison, on June 20th, 2009

David Letterman is a pale shadow of his former edgy self… all of those years of hosting his own show have worn him down until he’s reduced to taking cheap (and safe) shots at people like Sarah Palin. In the little bubble Letterman lives in it’s okay to mock Conservatives because everybody he knows thinks the same way. If Letterman had any “edge” he would have made a joke about Obama’s daughters. For some reason, in yet another apology issued by Letterman he is still fixated on his joke not being about Palin’s 14 year old daughter. According to a story in the Associated Press:

Fair game because she's a Republican.

On Monday’s edition of “Late Show,” Letterman explained that the risque joke thought by some to have targeted Palin’s underage daughter, Willow, was actually referring to 18-year-old daughter Bristol. The name of the daughter wasn’t mentioned in the joke, which was part of Letterman’s monologue on last Monday’s show.

It was “a coarse joke,” “a bad joke,” Letterman told viewers. “But I never thought it was (about) anybody other than the older daughter, and before the show, I checked to make sure, in fact, that she is of legal age, 18.”

So in what passed for American talk show humor it’s okay to joke about an 18 year old girl getting raped by a baseball player but if that girl is 14 it’s in poor taste? It seems as though Letterman figured Palin and her family would be a decent punching bag and there would be no fallout… seems as though, like a scolded dog, he slunk off into the corner:

“I feel that I need to do the right thing here and apologize for having told that joke,” he said. “It’s not your fault that it was misunderstood, it’s my fault that it was misunderstood.”

He apologized to both daughters, “and also to the Governor and her family and everybody else who was outraged by the joke,” he said as the studio audience applauded. “I’m sorry about it, and I’ll try to do better in the future.”

What Letterman has shown is that, aside from sitting there with his sarcasm he really doesn’t have any other kind of act. I think this incident shows that Letterman should be ushered into retirement as he has no edge and no ideas… he’s just plain nasty. Would he want his children to be mocked with the possibility of being raped by A Rod?

Been a long while since you’ve been funny.

Now that we have a Democrat in the White House it is getting more and more difficult for Liberal comedians to make their jokes. Bill Maher, who started on late night TV with his show Politically Incorrect on ABC is now reduced to attacking Republicans even though they lost the elections. There are other “safe” topics for a Liberal Hollywood comedians to mock such as NASCAR fans and people who go to church but even these have become tiresome. But they refuse to go on the attack against Liberals with the same vigor they did when a Republican was in office.

What is even more unsurprising about this entire incident with Letterman and Palin is that feminists have not really come out to condemn his attacks. I think NOW added a link to their website naming Letterman as being “bad” but imagine the outcry had Letterman talked about Michelle Obama. We’d be hearing from Al Sharpton, NOW, and every other crackpot feminist out there. But, with Palin… nothing.

Somehow, because Palin isn’t a Democrat I guess she doesn’t enjoy the same type of “sisterhood” other women enjoy. What this entire episode has exposed, for perhaps the 5 millionth time, is that Democrats, who claim to “celebrate diversity” only embrace others who buy organic produce at Wholefoods and not Walmart.

From Just Politics..?

Yes Sarah. This Was a Mistake!

How many of you take your kids to work? I sure there are some but not many. It is not something that normally happens. You are at work to do your job, not look after your children. I am sure there are some parents who have their kids visit work at some time to see where mum or dad work, and while most bosses probably don’t mind, I bet they would if it interrupted the operations of the workplace or broke long established workplace rules.

Well in the Australian Federal Parliament this week one parent thought she would give bringing her child to work a go.

Sarah Hanson-Young, a Greens Senator in the Australian Federal Parliament, bought her two year old daughter, Kora, into the Senate chamber during a division. A well known rule of the Senate is that no strangers are allowed in the chamber during divisions. Well no matter which way you want to put it, children are strangers in the senate and do not belong there at certain times. That is it. It is a rule of the workplace so why knowingly break it?

Of course the Senate President, Senator John Hogg, had no real choice but to instruct Senator Hanson Young to have her daughter removed from the chamber. This is a rule of this workplace and it is also a place where decisions are being made that affect all Australians. This is no place for children.

Senator Hanson-Young was not very happy with this action saying “The way this was handled was a mistake.” Well yes Sarah it was a mistake. You should not have taken your daughter to the chamber at this time. You know this, or at least you should.

There are plenty of other times that I am sure members of parliament can take their children on a little tour of their workplace. The Australian Parliament does not sit every day and one of these many non sitting days would be a great time to take Kora to have a look at where Mummy works. No one will be bothered. No rules will be broken. No one will get upset. Yes the ensuing hassle did upset the poor little girl who could reportedly be heard crying from the senate chamber during the division.

Greens Leader, Senator Bob Brown, said “I don’t know of any employer that’s going to say you can’t have five minutes with your child.” Yes you may be right Bob. There probably aren’t many who, if your family turned up to say hello would be happy for you to say a quick hello and then get back to work. I am also quite sure they would not be very happy if you bought them into an important meeting, or onto the factory floor or did anything else to disrupt the workplace or broke workplace rules.

Well this is exactly what happened in this situation. The workplace was disrupted and rules were broken.

NSW opposition spokeswoman Pru Goward, a former sex discrimination commissioner, told ABC radio that children in workplaces can be “very distracting”.

Yes that is right they can. That is why people don’t normally take their children to work.

Senator Brown said this morning that Kora had provided a “pleasant diversion” for those nearby after a hard week. Senator Brown, You are involved in important work here. Save your “diversions” for when the work is done, please.

There is also a childcare centre about 500 metres from the Senate Chamber. It is a very nice childcare centre and would have been a wholly better place to leave Kora whilst important work was taking place in the chamber.

Senator Hanson-Young was accused of using her daughter in a parliamentary stunt. Of course she denies this and I am willing to believe her as I would hate to think that any parent would use their child in such a pointless stunt.

The Senate is due to debate on this issue on Monday. This is a terrible waste of parliamentary time and hopefully commonsense will prevail and it will be made clear that children do not belong at work when work is supposed to be done.

Hopefully all members of parliament will make sure they are aware of the rules and do their best to abide by them so that no undue disruption occurs in the future.

And Sarah. I hope you have learnt from your “mistake” and this doesn’t happen again. After all you were elected to do your job as a Senator, not to amuse your sweet little girl during important meetings. You will also be able to avoid a repeat of the “most humilating moment of your life.”

(Not) Having a Gay Old Time

Republished with permission from Just Politics?

Advocates of gay marriage were none-to-pleased by democracy in action. They sought redress from the courts (as Liberals often do) when the people don’t vote the way they should. The court did not actually take a stand on gay marriage but rather on the ability of the people to amend California’s constitution through propositions. The court did uphold the gay marriages that took place when they were legal, before California voters overturned the legislature.

I do feel sorry for the gays who seek marriage but can’t say as though I’m upset that a proposition that recieved a majority of the votes was upheld. In typical Liberal fashion, however, it was painted as a tyranny by the majority. Tough. I have to live with the many propositions that are passed in California with which I disagree and, because I live in San Francisco, have to deal with many of their stupid attempts to limit my freedoms such as the overturned handgun ban that recently cost San Francisco $800,000.00.

I’m not sure if gays were more upset that they could not wed or that a majority of voters didn’t want them to legally marry. After all, even if you do live in California, not everybody is okay with gay marriage.

Activists will put a proposition of their own on the ballot next time around seeking to overturn the last one. Maybe they will succeed, maybe they won’t. While I do empathize with their plight I am pleased that the law was upheld. And, had gay marriage been approved by the voters and had people sued to overturn that I would still have been in favor of the law being upheld.
There are some haters to be sure.

Unfortunately, many who are against gay marriage are none-to-nice about it. While I understand their religious beliefs might preclude them from advocating same sex marriage, it does not sit well with me that some have chosen to express their feelings in the form of hatred and anger.

We will see whether Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court, if she is confirmed, would uphold the law in general or whether she would bring her “unique life experiences” or whatever that garbage means to bear in her decisions.

As I’m sure time will show, the media will not portray this as the upholding of the law but, rather, some soft and squishy ideas about freedom and human rights. Those are issues, but not the central ones.

One thing is for sure today and that is that even in a Liberal state such as California not every idea goes down smoothly.