Archive for the ‘oppose’ Category
It has been floating around for a while, but to see AusFailure National Tantrum show up in the Sydney Morning Herald – where it may well be read by a quarter of a million Sydneysiders – certainly brings a grin that goes from ear to era.
The article is here, and this is the National Tantrum, as penned and painted by awesome Indigenous artist, didge guru and all round kickass mofo Adam Hill (not the whitefella, the other fella.)
AUSFAILURE NATIONAL TANTRUM
Australians all let us remorse
For we are blind can’t see
We’ve golden soil that we all spoil
Our home washes into sea
Our land abounds in racist gits
Of whom we really can’t bear
In history’s cage recompense the slaves
Do Australians really care?
In painful strains that left a sting
Do Australians really care?
It is now almost impossible to believe that the first official act of the Rudd Labor Government was to sign Kyoto. Barely a year after that act, now reduced to almost empty symbolism, Kevin Rudd and his climate change and environment ministers – Penny Wong and Peter Garrett – must own responsibility for a complete surrender on Australia’s carbon reduction. Against all economic, scientific, and even best political advice, Australia has announced a target of 5% carbon emission reductions by 2020, with the possibility of aiming for 15% reductions if other nations work harder.
With this 5% target, Australia has very deliberately given a gift to cloistered anti-action interests the world over. Up until 2007, the argument by opponents of climate action was that to move without commitments from China, India and America would be unproductive and disadvantageous. Now, forced into action globally, major corporations and lobby groups will certainly resist credible targets of 20% or more by pointing to Australia.
Professor Ross Garnaut has consistently described climate change as one of the most diabolical policy problems possible. Australia, however, even after clear warnings about disappearance of water sources, destruction of the Great Barrier Reef, and economic impacts on crops and ecosystems has just created a similarly diabolical problem for the world. We have not just waved a white flag on massive biodiversity loss and global suffering. We have ensured that those who think nothing of worsening the situation will be well-armed at post-Kyoto negotiations in Copenhagen next year.
The only reason to create the possibility of a 15% target barely makes any sense. It does mean that the Rudd Government can aim to come through the financial crisis and their first election as incumbents before doing something that will upset corporate lobbyists. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t have that long. The major climate talks ate the end of next year will certainly be distorted by this inept move. And to think that any developed economy will try to move toward a 25% target in order to get Australia to aim for far less than that is simply narcissistic.
Disgusted. And angry. And ashamed. The most energy-resource rich nation on Earth has just thrown the planet in the ‘too hard’ basket.
Amazingly, business groups are already complaining that the target is too high!!!
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Peter Anderson says reducing emissions by 5 per cent will be difficult for the business community when it is also dealing with a financial crisis.
“There are transition costs involved, there is a need for investment in technology and all of that involves costs, particularly at a time when the focus of the business community is on trying to get through the storm that we have around us,” he said.
These greedy sociopathic pigs don’t grasp the fact that chemistry and ecology don’t stop because their Christmas bonus is a bit light. To think, the Rudd Government has copped out on climate change to keep people like this happy is to wonder when democracy became the tool of the few rather than the servant of the many.
A real bloody disgrace.
In a landmark ruling, the US Supreme Court today slashed the damages bill against Exxon for the 11 million gallons of oil their drunken captain poured into a pristine Alaskan ecosystem just 20 years ago. Deciding that “the people” – as in of the, by the, and for the – of the original jury were brain damaged for originally awarding $5 billion in punitive damages against the company, Justice David Souter today pissed mightily in the faces of victimized communities, environments, and species for generations to come.
He found that Exxon should only have to pay $500 million in punitive damages, seeing as the company had already paid $507 million in damages to directly compensate communities of Prince William Sound for economic losses.
$500 million totals about $15 000 for each of the 33 000 claimants, and 4 days worth of Exxon’s profits last year, Read the rest of this entry »
I support terror.
The use of fear, intimidation, the threat and the actual act of violence to further a political, ideological, or religious aim, message, or belief.
5 years on, and Iraq is just getting warmed up.
So many bombings and beheadings and mass graves that if less than 60 people die, nobody notices.
Unless one of them is an American, or an English, Israeli, or Aussie,
Saddam – an amateur.
Killed 5000 civillians and got hanged for it.
Used chemical weapons.
That he got.
From my daddy.
Hee hee hee.
I killed 3, 4, 5 hundred thousand civilians and got re-elected.
Not like my daddy.
Hee hee hee.
So let’s look at what I’ve got.
Tax money for life? Yessirree.
Impeached? Not likely!
Gunned down? Not yet…
And I’ve sure got this military-industrial complex all up in this bee-yatch.
No American President can ever back down again.
I’ve killed too many parents and children.
Not for the House of Bush.
Not for my sidekicks – a Dick and a Con and a Robber(the ‘t’ is silent).
But in the name of the US People.
Vengeance ain’t mine ‘cause I have nothing to avenge,
Nobody wronged me ‘cept Barb when she gave birth,
But revenge will be my legacy.
Global hatred as intergenerational equity.
That ain’t me talkin’.
That ain’t even me writin’.
Have too much trouble with them words as big as Texas.
So Happy Birthday Iraq War.
We Won, but you – you’re five!
Don’t get lonely though, li’l camper.
I know our wonderful toys have killed your sons and daughters.
So we’re going to get you a sister!
I think her name’s Irene?
It’s just spelt kinda different.
This has been a preemptive strike in the name of the March 19 Iraq War Blogswarm…..
Last train to Lhasa, originally a gorgeous piece of thoughtful music by Banco de Gaia, now a worthy way to reflect on yet another struggle for independence that has turned into bloodshed and brutality unleashed.
Mixed reports, almost impossible to confirm because of the Chinese regulation of Tibet, have emerged claiming anywhere from 10 to 67 protesters dead in the latest actions – the commemoration of the 49th anniversary of the events which forced the currently exiled Dalai Lama to flee Tibet. Probably a good time to brush up on the International Tibet Independence Movement if you’re not familiar with the struggle.
While it would be great to see the world reject China’s soft support for the slaughter in Burma and direct support for the slaughter in Tibet by boycotting the Olympics, it would suck for all the athletes, and it would be inordinately hypocritical. The US seems to export far more misery globally than China sews domestically, but where’s the outrage against America’s longstanding foreign policies which are responsible for the deaths of millions, even during the past couple of decades?
Grrrrrrrrrr. Enjoy the video played loud – the song is beautiful. The shorter version below has a collage of stunning and disturbing pieces of footage not included in the longer form above.
Tasmania – where blokes are blokes, and trees are nervous.
A state where everything is above board, but Royal Commissions – the highest level of independent inquiry into allegedly corrupt use of authority – are practically banned. Oh Tassie – thank goodness for you, the one place on Earth where destroying forest ecosystems defies physics, biology and chemistry to fight global warming. How? Buggered if I know, but some big blokes with beetroot-blood pressure and friends running chainsaws seem to have worked it out.
Barely a week ago, Paul Lennon – the spectacularly inept Premier of Tasmania and occasional dinner-buddy of Gunns’ CEO John Gay – made a baffling announcement. In response to Professor Ross Garnaut’s analysis of the climate change issues and options facing Australia, Lennon declared that once and for all it was time to get the facts straight about Tasmania’s forests.
This was baffling for two reasons.
Firstly, Lennon and his colleagues in government, industry, and small-minded lobby groups have spent decades arguing that old growth grows on trees and should therefore be woodchipped as quickly as possible lest it get out of control. This argument shifted in the ’90s toward the need for human-led forest management for the good of forests, because without humans, forests are incapable of cutting themselves down. The latest model is two-pronged – logging prevents bushfires (just like abortions prevent cancer) and clearing forests makes room to plant more trees and therefore fight climate change (yes, they are that stupid). In essence, these people have deemed themselves the source of all forest facts. By calling for someone intelligent and with no connection to forestry cash to disseminate facts, Lennon risked undoing decades of half-assed but ubiquitous propaganda.
Secondly, for any non-Greens member of Tasmanian parliament, let alone the bug-eyed, frothing, rabidly pro-Gunns Premier to call for a setting aside of nonsensical argument and the genuinely independent presentation of clear, firm, scientifically credible facts about the environmental impacts of logging is simply unheard of.
But today everything is back to normal. Thanks to our good progressive friends at GetUp, we can see Lennon’s message for what it was. Thanks largely to his timing, it was just another hot, steaming, cow chip of media distraction from a sociopathic Tasmanian bureaucrat. GetUp has just circulated the following release:
You may have missed it, but the Tasmanian Government last week unbelievably signed an agreement handing over Tasmania’s forests to the Gunns pulp mill for the next 20 years – in the very same week Professor Garnaut warned them of the dire climate change consequences facing us.
If we don’t act now, bulldozers will start clearing land for the mill that will contribute 2% of Australia’s greenhouse emissions – at a time when we’re being told we need to drastically cut our emissions. But unfortunately Australia’s forests were largely left out of Garnaut’s recent interim report.
We have only one opportunity to put them in the picture. A proper assessment in his impending Climate Change Report of our native forests’ climate change value may just sink the mill project. Click here now to sign the petition asking Professor Garnaut to examine the full climate impact of this mill madness and the logging of Tasmania’s native forests:
There’s a real risk the Garnaut report won’t include a comprehensive assessment of native forests – despite new research finding the stopping of deforestation a “large, immediate and perishable opportunity”* to massively reduce emissions. Costing out the real value of native forests will not only prove Tasmania’s trees would be better left in the ground but make this teetering project financially unviable when Gunns realises they will have to pay for the carbon embedded in our forests.
Native forests are invaluable sources of carbon storage – and it costs nothing to leave them in the ground. But 80% of the 4.5 million tonnes of wood needed to supply the pulp mill each year will initially come from Tassie’s native forests – permanently destroying forests that can hold 10-20 times the amount of CO2 than plantations.
A proper assessment of their climate change value will undoubtedly make the arguments in favour of the mill, whose climate change impact has never even been assessed, untenable. Take action to protect nature’s lungs before the bulldozers move in:
Long story short, Lennon can dance naked down the main street of Hobart wearing wattle in his hair and singing about how he loves the freaky forest critters and their precious wooded homes because he has already pushed through the legislation guaranteeing that they will all be turned into dioxinated mulch.
What visionary leaders he, his state Labor Party, and their big-L small-minded ‘opposition’ are.
Many people may have missed it, but Kyoto in its current incarnation is the best hope for global climate action. Even supposedly progressive governments in supposedly first world countries still treat Kyoto as though it’s too hard, but it is riddled with perverse incentives.
For example, emissions from international shipping and air traffic are not included on anybody’s scorecard at the moment – even though these vapours are as damaging as those of any American cattle ranch or any Chinese coal plant. More directly, Kyoto rewards the cutting down of trees that were planted before the 1990s by recognizing the carbon uptake potential of new trees planted in their place – which means that governments have incentive to replace 600-year old eucalypts with water-intensive saplings.
Add in the fact that Tasmania’s forest ecosystems are administered by people you wouldn’t trust to look after a goldfish, and all the big environmental research, studies, reports, and recommendations look less and less like progress, and more and more like good ways to feel proactive about doing less than nothing.
ed: read this here if you like, but I would recommend this version. Celsias has grabbed a copy and done a beautiful job of the layout. It’s worth spending time there, is what I’m saying. Anyway…
Round Two for Sea Shepherd’s Operation Migaloo
By Captain Paul Watson
The Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin is refueled, repaired, re-supplied, re-crewed and re-energized to depart from Melbourne on Valentine’s Day bound for the Southern Ocean to intervene against the on-going massacre of whales by the outlaw whaling fleet from Japan.
In January we discovered that we can stop the whalers by finding them, pursuing them, and harassing them. We initiated an international incident and we shut down the slaughter of the whales for more than three weeks. Most importantly for the first time ever this issue was dramatized in the Japanese media and it is escalating into a costly embarrassment for the Japanese government.
There is no question that the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society pushes the envelope on this issue. Someone has to and we don’t mind the constant stream of abuse and name calling. If governments don’t have any respect for us, we have even less respect for governments. Read the rest of this entry »
How Greenpeace Cashes In on the Suffering and Death of the Great Whales
The Other Whaling Industry
By Captain PAUL WATSON
On board the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin.
“It does not matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.”
– Dr. Patrick Moore, President of Greenpeace Canada 1981
As the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society struggles to borrow and raise enough funds to return to the Southern Ocean, we feel incredibly frustrated by the fact that tens of millions of dollars have already been raised to defend the whales yet this money is not being spent for that purpose and it will not help put fuel in our tanks to resume our defense of the whales.
Enough is enough. The Greenpeace fraud about saving the whales must be exposed. For years, I have been tolerating their pretense of action and watching them turn their ocean posing photo ops into tremendous profits from whaling. And now they say they can’t return to the Southern Oceans with their ship the Esperanza because they don’t have the budget for it and because they are going to direct their energies into lobbying for change inside Japan.
Yet they still continue to collect money to save the whales. Greenpeace has booked all online advertising in the major Australian and New Zealand newspapers. Their ads are splashed across the internet from Google to MySpace. Send money, send more money. Television ads, millions of pieces of direct mail.
Greenpeace International raised 127 Million Euros last year. Greenpeace Australia has about 18 million dollars in the bank. Greenpeace USA sits on tens of millions of dollars. Yet they claim they do not have the budget to return to the Southern Oceans yet they also claim they stopped the whalers for two weeks in January, and if such a claim is true then they should go back and stop them again.
But they will not. They have surrendered the Whale Sanctuary to the whalers yet the ads keep popping up and the contributions keep flowing into the Greenpeace coffers. It is incredibly frustrating to see stories about Sea Shepherd’s successful interventions against illegal Japanese whaling usually sprinkled with criticisms by Greenpeace about our methods. And right beside these articles pops up an ad asking the public to send money to support Greenpeace. Even if Sea Shepherd wanted to invest in these ads, we cannot because Greenpeace has booked all the ad space for three months.
Greenpeace makes more money from anti-whaling than Norway and Iceland combined make from whaling. In both cases, the whales die and someone profits. We continue to receive reports from people who have received highly emotional appeals from Greenpeace for money to save the whales including appeals to help refuel their ship.
This is simply out and out fraud. Read the rest of this entry »
In a dramatic move earlier this evening, Terry Davis, the boss of Coca Cola‘s Australian division, announced that the frequently maligned multinational would throw financial weight behind the battle for whale protection in the Australian seas off Antarctica.
Tasmanian brewer Bluetongue Beer was recently purchased by Coca Cola Amatil. During last year’s whaling season, the company donated $250 000 to Sea Shepherd, enabling the group to acquire and operate remote communications equipment, as well as airing the following commercial in Japan. Read the rest of this entry »
‘Peter Garrett needs a comb as much as Tasmania needs a pulp mill’.
This is a new campaign targeting Environment Minister Peter Garrett …
PEOPLE are asked to send a plastic hair comb or a picture of a hair comb, with or without an anti-pulpmill message to Environment Minister Garrett.
Nothing abusive or insulting please.
The aim of this campaign is to draw attention to Garrett’s refusal to acknowledge the proposed pulp mill and the clearing of native forest in Tasmania as a critical environmental issue.
There are the 2 addresses for people to post to:
Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600
PO Box 249
Maroubra NSW 2035
If you happen to be combing the internet from overseas, just stick ‘Australia’ in before the postcode.
You’ve got to give it to Counterpunch – when it’s good, it’s really, really good. This article by Robert Weissman just sent me headlong into a whole world of fresh juicy goodness.
Annie, who is a former colleague and good friend, casually mentions at the start of The Story of Stuff that she spent 10 years traveling the world to explore how stuff is made and discarded. This doesn’t begin to explain her first-hand experience. There aren’t many people who race from international airports to visit trash dumps. Annie does. In travels to three dozen countries, she has visited garbage dumps, infiltrated toxic factories, worked with ragpickers and received death threats for her investigative work. Her understanding of the externalized violence of the corporate consumer economy comes from direct observation and experience.
You may remember the wonderful piece of animated activism, The Meatrix. If you don’t, do check it out – highly worthy. Anyway, Free Range Studios – who produced The Meatrix – have now produced The Story of Stuff which basically maps out consumption culture from the mining of minerals to the incineration of consumables.
This is a particularly important matter in the development of national environmental law in Australia. Having only just got word of this decision handed down 4 days ago (my bad…. grr), here is the press release on Bob Brown’s site.
Forest absurdity – appeal to Rudd, Garrett certain, High Court likely
30th Nov 07
Greens leader Bob Brown has called on the Rudd government and Environment Minister Peter Garrett to read and take action to rectify the absurdity of today’s Federal Appeal Court’s decision on Tasmania’s Wielangta forest and to nullify the Regional Forest Agreement.
While the appeal bench ruled 3-0 that section 38 of the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act exempts logging from environmental law, it left intact Justice Marshall’s finding that logging had a significant and unacceptable impact on the endangered species.
“It’s a case of the law intends to protect endangered wildlife but if Canberra and Hobart ignore logging which endangers their existence, they can,” Senator Brown said.
“I will ask both Prime Minister Rudd and Peter Garrett to put the Howard years of indifference behind and insist these habitats be protected as the law intends. I have also asked my barristers to weigh up the obvious grounds for an appeal to the High Court – this nation’s natural heritage depends on us taking action,” Senator Brown said.
With all the changing of the government and Kyoto-ing and promises of apologies to the Stolen Generations, this decision slipped straight through and I should think it was also neglected by most major newspapers – which is a huge mistake. The overturning of Justice Marshall’s interpretation of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act in the first Wielangta Case is a significant setback for checks and balances needed to prevent monopolistic forestry departments running amok in the most irreparable manner possible.
More on this in the next few days – definitely.
Despite a constant spray of rain, over ten thousand Tasmanians turned out for today’s midday rally in Franklin Square, Hobart. Author Richard Flanagan – whose piece in The Monthly moved Geoffrey Cousins to campaign against the pulp mill in Malcolm Turnbull’s seat of Wentworth and Peter Garrett’s seat of Botany – made a stirring speech which has been reproduced in full at Tasmanian Times. Here’s a taste, but you should really read the whole thing:
And if, in the end we have all other avenues denied us, if we are left with no other alternative, if it takes standing on the road to the pulp mill site and placing our bodies between their machines and our home, we will stand there, in peace and with pride, united against hate and greed, joined in our love for our island. And if we are arrested and thrown in jail, then we will go to jail in our tens, we will go to jail in our hundreds, we will go to jail in our thousands, and Paul Lennon will have to build seven new prisons to house all the people who will come and who will keep on coming before they even attempt to pour the foundations of one new pulp mill.
If it must be, I will stand on that road to the pulp mill. Raise your hand if you will stand there with me, raise your hands so Kevin Rudd can see he was wrong, raise your hand so Peter Garrett can see that people care, raise your hand so John Howard can see this matters, raise your hand so that ANZ, Perpetual, AMP and the Commonwealth Bank can see that will have to deal with the fallout of the biggest civil disobedience campaign in Australian history since the Franklin River blockade if they do not take action now.
This Australian summer, the Japanese whaling fleet will once again be trying to kill up to a thousand whales in the Antarctic. The difference this time is that Japan has added the endangered and iconic humpback to the menu.
Kevin Rudd and Peter Garrett have promised that Australian naval vessels shall be used to interfere with and board any Japanese vessels breaking international or Australian law. Attorney-General Phil Ruddock, on the other hand, has again sought to derail legal action by Humane Society International by more or less dismissing legal action against Japan as futile.
Captain Paul Watson and his fleet helped to prevent the deaths of over 500 whales in Antarctic waters last summer. And they’re back, apparently with even faster intercept capabilities.
“We are obsessed with stopping the Cetacean Death Star, that viciously cruel killing machine otherwise known as the Nisshin Maru, and her ruthless fleet of hunter/killer boats armed with their explosive deadly blunt harpoons,” said Captain Watson. “Because if we kill the whales, the sharks, the seals, and the sea turtles, we will destroy the very foundation of life in the oceans-and in so doing, we will destroy humankind.”
“I did not establish the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society as a protest organization,” said Captain Watson. “I have not gone to sea over all these years to simply bear witness to the atrocities that whalers continue to inflict upon the most gentle and intelligent beings in the seas. We are sea cops-operating legally under the guidelines of the United Nation’s World Charter for Nature, which allow for the enforcement of international conservation law by non-governmental organizations in international jurisdictions.”
The Shepherds will again be enforcing international law this summer although there is a slim chance that they may receive commendation rather than criticism from the Australian government this time around.
Supporters are welcome to donate food (vegan), equipment, and finance. There are also opportunities to volunteer as crew, with part of the fleet currently docked in Tasmania.
Visit seashepherd.org for information, or contact the Melbourne Sea Shepherd office.
… and Reuters news service are douchebags.
How great is this story : Hoax bacteria study tricks climate skeptics!!
Some utter legends went to the effort of setting up this fake website for the non-existent “Journal of Geoclimatic Studies”. They published this report which details how ocean bacteria emit more than 300 times the carbon dioxide produced by human activities and that therefore man-made global warming is a myth.
Of course, it’s possible that the ‘creators’ were seeking to further fuel the pro-skepticism propaganda leech-pit, but I can’t help thinking that this profound introduction was written with tongue-in-cheek and middle finger raised high:
We have also taken the unprecedented step of making the paper freely available on our website: something we have been reluctant to do in the past because of our severe budgetary constraints. We hope that even if the paper is dismissed and ignored by those who subscribe to the “consensus” position on climate change, the truth will eventually seep out. We accept that this is not the best route for scientific discourse to take, but none better appears to be available. We publish in trepidation, but in the knowledge that it is the right thing to do.
That intro + context = cheeky satirical genius!
Climate skeptics jumped on the report as the ultimate vindication, the smoking gun, the undeniable proof – one emailed the report to 2000 contacts proclaiming as much. Stupid bloody greenies, trying to save trees and radically alter the future of human progress when all they really need to do is kill the oceans (more than we have already, of course).
Only thing is that, yes, it’s a prank. But it’s a constructive prank from which people should gain wisdom and insight, as opposed to the destructive hoax still being played out by ignorant knuckle-monkeys like James Inhofe. Doubt, profiteering and delay continue to be the real hoax.
Somehow, though, Reuters frames this outstanding piece of activism as an affront to climate skeptics. A more appropriate title would have been “Hoax bacteria study proves that climate skeptics are f#$&ing tools, period“.
The LOL pols piksha pool is still happening over at Flickr groups, get belligerent – like these cunny funts.
I luuuurve the Joe Hockey picture – perfect combination of an ICHC meme, an already funny photo, political sensibility, and a fat-joek. And wud ju luk at thee splelink! Iz shawking. Wee needz an edjumakashun rebolooshun fore shore!
Further to yesterday’s post about LOL pols on Flickr, here are some LOLitical and mediacre bits i’ve put together for your amusement/ contempt. Grab a GIMP and get busy you space-monkeyz! (it’s actually kind of soothing…)
COALition can not haz cheezburger!!! The last one was of course assembled at the all-inspired icanhascheezburger which is still the best community to visit if you wish to make sense of the origins and memetasticicization of all things LOL.
…you get the idea. Check out the LOL POLS group on Flickr. Have a rofl or may a submishn. Currently is fun, but may evolve to status of therapy over next 5 weeks.
Thanks Greens – good tip! (Do check out the Greens blog by the way – is more down to earth than other parties’ staff-maintained MySpac pages).
COALition can not haz cheezburger!!!
- 200 000 voters “missing”
- 143 000 voters “scrubbed” from the electoral roll
- 18% of young adults now blocked from voting
- public verification of rolls also now blocked.
On the day that Prime Minister John Howard finally called the election, political lobby group GetUp called foul. Check out Voting is the Best Revenge, but also consider this:
The Orwellian “Electoral Integrity Act” was pushed through by the Howardocracy last year, ensuring that an historically significant share of Aussies will miss out in 2007.
No new enrolments after 8 pm yesterday – Wednesday October 17th – a full 7 days shorter than last time. Previously, close to half a million people enrolled in this period – almost 80 000 being new enrolments. While it seemed that a similar number would miss that chance this time, there has been an additional blowout.
GetUp also have figures showing that in the last few months, 143 000 Australians have been removed from the electoral rolls. If you are one of them, you’re only going to find out on election day – when you don’t get to vote.
But that’s your own fault, surely? Well, no. According to yesterday’s media release – 4 hours before the first closure of the rolls:
the AEC has revealed only hours before the roll closes that it has actually unenrolled 143,000 Australians in recent months, many of whom are not aware of it, despite many having made efforts to correct their enrolment.
In addition to this figure, and although there may be some overlap the lack of transparency now in effect makes it almost impossible to tell, the Bulletin reported on Monday that the rolls are at least 200 000 voters short of the numbers that would be expected in line with Australia’s growing population.
That’s a lot: about 1.5% of the current roll, or enough to generate over two typically sized electoral divisions (the average enrolment per electoral division was 90,246 as of September 30).
In August, credible polling found that over 80 per cent of Australians were still unaware of any of these electoral changes. The AEC’s (Australian Electoral Commission) own research has shown that 18 per cent of eligible 18 to 25-year-olds – still close to the 400 000 people admitted by Coalition Minister of State, Gary Nairn - aren’t enrolled to vote. It’s odd, given that their $12.5 million ad spend equated Aussie democracy with grabbing a sausage. What? This didn’t inspire you to register?
These major changes – including the newly snuck-in more frequent “scrubbing” of the roll – were considered by a Senate Committee a few years ago but vigorously opposed by the AEC’s leadership at the time. Since then a changing of the guard has seen a reversal of some previously key positions held by the electoral watchdog.
For example, this link is no longer active. Before it was removed it featured this statement:
Printed copies of the electoral roll for public inspection and public sale are printed at least once during the first two years of the life of the Parliament.
The relevant page on the new AEC website, however, now states that
The roll is not available for sale in any format.
This change was legislated by Howard in 2004. Based on trends in Australian politics, this new level of diminished transparency creates, at the absolute least, an… ‘enhanced possibility in the perception of procedural risk’.
Undeniably, the Howard leadership has modelled both Party politics and national policy on the model assembled under Ronald Reagan and turbo-charged under George W Bush. There are significant differences, obviously, but super-bureaucracy as a barrier between politicians and public, fear campaigns, nationalism, religion as a political mascot – these are significant and common elements of both national governments.
It’s often said that in a democracy you get the government you deserve. Without the benefit of an accountable Senate, many Aussies now look likely to miss out on the vote they deserve.
And it is a concern when any leader – but particularly an admirer of GWB’s – goes to an election where, by their very actions, transparency is diminished, independence of supervision has been questioned, and opportunities for enrolment are at their most restricted in Australian history.
More importantly, what can Australians now do to curtail the risk of major democratic disenfranchisement come election day?
Barns wrong on Whish-Wilson
In his October 15th column, Greg Barns, spouts about “well-informed
opinion”, “gross misinformation”, “political agendas”, and “self
interest” in the mill debate.
Mr. Barns’ fallacious spray targets Tamar Valley vigneron, UTAS
Economics and Finance lecturer, and Surfrider Foundation Australia
(SFA) – Northern Tasmania President, Peter Whish-Wilson.
For nearly two years Peter and his team of Surfriders have engaged
all parties, scrutinized the documentation, done research into
oceanography and economics, and participated in good faith with both
the (failed) state and (limited) federal assessment processes – all
in a volunteer capacity and at a high personal cost.
Thanks to Peter’s efforts SFA has facilitated overseas meetings for
Tasmanian Parliamentarians with Chilean wine industry representatives
who claim they HAVE experienced significant negative economic impacts
due to the proximity of pulp mills (check Hansard next time Greg) and
Peter HAS travelled overseas to visit pulp mill regions.
Peter does own a small Tamar Valley vineyard, which he works with his
own two hands to create gold-medal winning wine. Amongst all the
influential protagonists in this State-rending controversy – Gunns,
Gay, Lennon Labor, the State Libs, the CFMEU, Turnbull, Garrett,
Howard, Rudd, etc. – it is absurd to accuse Peter of being biased due
to “self interest”.
As a member of SFA I will continue to proudly stand shoulder to
shoulder with Peter in our efforts to inform the public of the
potential threat to our wild coastline and the dangerous game
currently being played with our marine environment by both state and
federal politicians – hiding behind their spin and finger pointing as
they plod along towards the electoral finish-line.
Just in case Mr. Barns decides to make further simpleminded
speculation about others let me state clearly for the record – I, and
millions of Australians across this nation, have a “self interest” in
our bays, beaches, and coastal waters that support a healthy marine
environment, sustainable industries, public amenity, and our health.
Dr. Thomas Moore
videos like this remind me why i made a whole category of “too good not to”
So glad this vid got pointed out to me. Creator, Dan Ilic, has a bunch of creatively deviated sproutlings just here.
<a href=”http://typingisnotactivism.wordpress.com/2007/10/13/australian-department-of-immigration-kevin-andrews-clarifies-position-on-human-rights/”><img src=”http://tinyurl.com/23828h” border=”0″/> <strong>Scoopit!</strong></a>
A co-ordinated national campaign takes aim at the ANZ bank.
WFCA (Women For Change Alliance) and TAP (Tasmanians Against the Pulpmill) will be launching their joint campaign targeting the ANZ as Gunns’ bankers and potential financiers of the proposed pulp mill, on Wednesday October 10.
Danielle Ecuyer, director of WFCA and resident of Bondi (Malcolm Turnbull’s electorate) is in Tasmania at the invitation of TAP to launch a joint “ANZ Sign the Letter” Campaign directed at ANZ’s Mike Smith.
“Huge numbers of signatures are pouring in”, said Danielle Ecuyer. “Banks like ANZ are at risk of severely damaging their reputation and losing market share, which takes years to establish”.
“I would warn any other bank that seeks to finance the mill that they too will be subjected to a similar campaign”, she said.
TAP spokesperson Bob McMahon said: “Once ANZ realizes what a risky and unsustainable business this pulp mill is they will decline to be involved in financing it. With that as a judgement why would any other bank touch the project?”
“As a community group TAP aims to put the risk back into risk capital.”
The campaign will be officially launched in City Park near the Albert Hall at 1.00pm tomorrow, Wednesday October 10th, 2007.