Archive for September 2007

Blogging Holiday

September 12, 2007

I will not put up any more posts until 12 October, in order to focus on my studies.

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Read this

September 4, 2007

Read this. Its absolutely dead right about the Election Finance Bill Anti-Free Speech Bill. And remember to make your submission against the Government regulating your free speech by Friday. here are some of the best quotes:

“the Bill effectively creates a licensing regime for political speech”
Can’t get a more accurate description of the Bill than that.

Better still “the open expression of opinion on a political issue using ones own money is demonstratably not a “corrupt practice”. Nor is expressing an idea that may influence other citizens or call into question the wisdom of behind the polices of a registered political party. The United States Supreme Court has observed that “the fact advocacy may persuade the elctorate is hardly a reason to supress it”. Far from being a corrupt practice, persuasion through speech is the lifeblood of the democratic process and the hallmark of a civilized society.”
very good words, particularly the last sentence.

The muppet show

September 4, 2007

All Vic students should (if they haven’t already) read this pamphlet on what the exec has done this year. A tale of incompetence that would be hillarious if it wasn’t true. To be fair to VUWSA there are some competent members in it, and one (or in VUWSA’s case two, if not more) bad years don’t justify radically changing it, but it has far more than its fair share of incompetent people unfit for their jobs. If it ever was to become voluntary (hopefully it will when National is elected, and VSM will probably be whats needed to force VUWSA to change its ways) it would be bankrupt in months, if not sooner. Fortunately VUWSA elections are coming up, and voters can vote the current lot out. Also approaching is the AGM, which will occur in just over two months time.

John Howard is finished

September 4, 2007

Read this poll. Its all over for the Liberals in Australia, and John Howard. End of story.

Although I was reluctant to write of the Liberals previously, due the fact a comeback (like in 2001) isn’t impossible, the new margin is just a it too big this close to the election (which will probably be in November). Howard has governed Australia since 1996, with strong economic preformance. I see three reasons for the poor coalition polling despite Australia’s economic preformance (ranked in order of importance):
1) Kevin Rudd. Has a lot of similarities to John Key, and comes across as a nice, non-threatning guy. For voters who are tired of Howard, presents a fresh alternatives. Ever since he became leader, Labor has been polling descisively higher than the coalition.
2) Howard stayed too long as Prime Minister. This is closely linked with point one above. The experiences of Blair, Clark, Bush, Howard, and other western leaders show that ruling for 18 years like Menzies is not possible today. Voters tire of leaders in their third term. The fact voters flirted with latham for a long time before rejecting him should (in hindsight) have warned Howard of this. Admitedly, last year I failed to relise this, as I supported Howard staying against a leadership bid by Costello. This has really hit home after Rudd became leader. Unfortuantely it is too late now to change leaders, as it would be seen as a sign of panic.
3) WorkChoices. While this measure was hardly draconian, but the initial (pollitically stupid) absence of a no-disadvantage test (ie a rule requiring the new agreement to be no worse than the old one) led to unions convincing many voters that it was a draconian attack on workers rights, and the coalition has never managed to shake this perception of. In hindsight, WorkChoices was (politically) trying to do too much too quickly, if it was to be done at all (the later would be cowardly, politicians have a moral duty to do whats right for the country, even if it at times hurts them in the polls).

A possible forth reason would be the labor strategy of (other than on Workchoices) giving no big policy difference with the coalition, cemeting Howrds legacy (which is why I don’t worry about Rudd becoming PM) but denying any wedge issue for a comeback.