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Discussion in 'Politics' started by Scotty, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. Scotty David Codey (61)

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    Things seem to be heating up the world of politics.

    Debate over an ets, and whether in fact it is required (a lot of info on the net regarding 'climate gate'). If more scientist are proven to have made false assumptions, or to have massaged data, then the government hanging their hat on this issue could be their undoing.

    Issues regarding wasted spending, and continued wasted spending on school buildings, despite the threat of recession passing (which wouldn't have been a bad thing anyway, just that the media hypes it too much at it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy).

    A website rating schools that has some support but also a lot of critics.

    Our government imposing restrictions on internet content with a system that doesn't seem to do what is required of it, yet forgetting that it is meant to be doing something about internet speeds across the country.

    A fantastic idea in implementing a total review of the tax system, that now seems to have gone by the wayside, making some think it was just spin to get businesses and higher earners on side. I hope something comes of the review, because that could be one of the most useful things this government does, but I have my doubts.

    And all of a sudden, the golden child of Australian politics is being questioned as to his validity as a leader, and not just a marketing/image guru. More and more emails going around questioning Rudd and his actual relevance to our future, more and more people getting sick of his spin and lack of substance (something I got sick of during the election - but I admit we needed a change away from Howard - I just wish it wasn't Rudd).

    A email I received today on politics (obviously written by a Liberal supporter, but all points are pretty valid, despite the weird skin thing):

  2. Ash Michael Lynagh (62)

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    I find Rudd a huge disappointment. But as for Howard.outside of his gun reform in the first term, he was disingenuous as the rest (see Tampa affair, for instance) and just as bad as Rudd, or worse. To be fair to the Rudd government, they've had to contend with the GFC. But really, they've struggled to really do anything of note, and when they've tried, the Senate has destroyed them. I severely doubt they will really have done much in their first term.

    Of course that email is a one sided view.

    One of my huge beefs.

    When Howard campaigned against Keating, he ran the "debt truck" which included public + private debt. Howard ran a campaign on reducing debt (both). Howard + Costello decreased public debt (based on a huge resources boom), and ignored infrasctructure. Meanwhile, they allowed private debt to spiral, and private debt is now way over 100% GDP - in fact, housing debt alone in Australia is over 100% of GDP. Howard was more than happy to sell private Australia into debt. Just as Rudd is too, just as Abbott is. I love how we haven't learnt from the GFC, we think we are immune.I could rant on this for hours.

    I could also talk about how Howard was increasing spending AND cutting taxes - bizarre for a staunch conservative. Of course, G W Bush did the same thing, but then G W Bush was and is a first class moron and arguably the worst president in the history of the US. Or how ironic it is that the Liberals oppose means testing welfare, which should be in favour of their conservative princibles too. Oppostion parties typically are ornary bastards who oppose everything, and the Liberals are that right now. Whenever the current Labor says up, they say down. Useless.

    Getting on to Abbott, if he wins I fear for the country. He's fighting down his religious fundamentalism now, but if he gets into power.I fear what will happen. Disturbingly, under the Howard government religion was permeating Australian politics more and more, in fact, the Attorney General, Phillip Ruddock (another much hated Howard minister) wrote an essay on why the church should be more involved in running the country. One thing to remember, Hawke was the last openly and outspokenly atheist politician in a high position in Australia. I doubt we'll get another for a while, unfortunately.

    Of course, I could also talk about Barnaby Joyce, but he's doing a good enough effort of making himself look like an idiot right now.
  3. Scotty David Codey (61)

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    When did that happen?

    My issue with Rudd is that he is like Lote Tuqiri - he talks the best game in the world and consistently fails to deliver. Howard of course also did this, but no more than most politicians do. Rudd has taken the politics of politics to a new level in this country. Almost to an American type rhetoric level.

    I share your views on Abbott's religious beliefs, and not wanting them to permeate our government.

    PS How much can a government do to restrict private debt without appearing to be socialist/communists?
  4. barbarian Nick Farr-Jones (63)

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    I predict Rudd will be re-elected purely on the fact that he hasn't totally fucked the country up in his first term. Abbott will make it close, but since Labor seemed to have weathered the GFC (how much of that was because of their policies is highly debateable) they will pull through with a decreased majority in the lower house. We are fairly tolerant of our leaders, and the last one-term PM was McMahon (?) in the early 70s.

    I have been disappointed with Rudd, as he seems afraid to make really tough decisions. He has skirted the refugee issue, the whaling issue, the global warming issue, the economy, anything of substance really. As such he has never really put his foot in it, but what is his legacy? Ceiling insulation and school halls, neither of which were desperately needed. Useful, maybe, but worth the money? I don't know. Being in the minority in the senate hasn't helped, but the only bill that has been really thrown back in his face was the CPRS, which was a weak effort anyway.

    Whilst I am not sold on Abbott as PM either, at least he calls it how he sees it and is unafraid to make tough calls. The religious side doesn't appeal to me, neither does the fact he has returned Ruddoch, Bishop and Andrews to the shadow cabinet. I would prefer Hockey as leader, and I suspect he may get the nod sometime in Rudd's next term.
  5. Ash Michael Lynagh (62)

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    The Rudd government has been trying to means test a few things, off the top of my head I can think of health insurance and baby bonus. Health insurance is the big one they are fighting over right now.

    Agree completely on Rudd talking a better game than he actually plays.

    Regarding your PS - yes, it's hard. Very much a consumer cultural thing, so long as you have banks and lenders willing to lend who can source money. The absolutely stupid belief that we could be a consumer based economy and stimulate growth through debt is insane - look at where it got the US. The worrying thing is that the saving rate of Australians is very low, so over 2/3rds or so of money borrowed here is sourced from overseas. The banks are willing to lend to almost anyone, some of the stories I have seen firsthand from people with huge mortgages + credit card debt scares me. The underlying thing I always wonder is why do the banks continue to lend to them? The only real way to control private lending is very tight banking regulations, which all got thrown out the door in the 90s (and Obama is trying to re-enact a modern version of Glass-Steagall, good luck to him).

    I guess what stung me with Howard was the hypocrisy and the disingenuousness of his actions - although that sadly is so common from politicians now from both major parties. Howard gladly lumped the private debt in with the public debt to make Keating look worse. But although Howard had zero net public debt (he still had gross public debt mind you - about $20bn? or so) when kicked out of office, the private debt had ballooned unbelievably when compared to public + private debt amount he used about Keating. Sadly, the public and private debt and interest rates and so on is just something Joe Blow doesn't understand - and hence you get typical lying politicians like Swan and Hockey scoring cheap shots off each other with the interest rates, although what they are saying is complete and utter BS and they know it (but the average punter doesn't). It sickens me.

    Although many just look at the public debt, I think a high private debt can also be very very terrifying. And during the GFC, a lot of governments did a great job in making private debt public.
  6. Ash Michael Lynagh (62)

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    Ceiling insulation was such a farce. All of a sudden every dodgy tradie and his dog bought up every cheap (and usually ineffective) bat they could find and dished out quotes of just under $1500. I know of some people who got insulation put in like that and it was useless because the quality of the bats was just so bad, and they didn't realise. Not to mention, you would see the dodgiest looking guys driving around in beat up utes and cars pulling trailers of crap bats around. The whole insulation crap was simply a gift to tradies in work.

    The FHOB was another rubbish Rudd policy too.

    In saying all of those, scarily enough, I still prefer Rudd. Abbott and co are just too far right for me, and as you said, idiots like Andrews (how the hell he didn't get into deep shit for his bungling of the Haneef visa is beyond me - cancelling it was surely illegal now everything is known), Bishop and Ruddock. Plus Joyce as finance minister. Just look at the mess Joyce put himself in in the last 2 or 3 days.

    For all the talk of Rudd being socialist, the guy for me is very centre-right and the Liberal party have correspondingly shifted further right. At least Turnball was a moderate I could perhaps see myself voting for.

    At the moment, I might keep throwing my votes at the Greens in the hope they'll do the old Democrat slogan of "keep the bastards honest", but really, the Greens need to step up and be more than a protest party.

    The polictal landscape in Australia is fucked, and has been for a long time. As someone who actually listens to Quenstion Time on and off on the radio when driving home, to me the politicians are little more than spoilt brats arguing in a schoolyard.
  7. cyclopath Phil Waugh (73)

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    Funny you mention this, Ash, but I was almost side-swiped by just such a van today. And that was exactly what I thought - "Gee, that guy looks dodgy!!" We are currently renovating, and my builder was telling me some horror stories about problems with dodgy batt installations. 1 guy died 'cos he was up there all day without enough fluid in 65deg heat (didn't know how hot it would be and too stupid to rehydrate), 1 guy died from electrocuting himself going through power cables while installing batts. Another caused a fire by blocking a ceiling fan which overheated and set fire to the roof. And so on.

    Rudd disappoints me hugely. He has acquired the Howard love for strutting the world stage at every envelope-opening he can, as you say talking a good fight and producing nothing. He will benefit from the ineptitude and rank ordinariness (probably not a word, I'm sure Biffo will correct me if so) of the opposition and get another term at least, much as the NSW Labor party has managed to hold power despite their being riddled with some of the most corrupt politicians in living memory. Abbott is a smart politician in the Howard mould, but not the sort of person I want in charge. Barnaby Joyce is ridiculous, Kevin "Grecian 2000" Andrews is scarcely better and it's hard to see any real brains amongst the lot.

    The tameness of the media disappoints me too. Pages dedicated to the burning issues of whether Abbott should wear budgy-smugglers, and what he thinks about pre-marital sex, but very little in the way of tough questioning to Gillard, Roxon, Wong, Rudd and co. Are they afraid that if they criticise them too much, Howard will reappear?
  8. barbarian Nick Farr-Jones (63)

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    I have a soft spot for Joyce, although I don't know if he is suited to a cabinet position like finance. He speaks his mind and is one politician I don't mind listening to, certainly above the cliche machines produced by both parties, and much like Abbott he goes for the throat. He actually seems to care about his electorate (rural Queensland, which is why we don't see eye to eye on a few issues) which is something.

    As for the Greens, don't waste your vote. Please. My pet hate is how the Greens have become trendy and Bob Brown a cult hero like Malcolm X or something. They are a party of idiots with no political nous whatsoever. I am not against the green agenda at all, and would be inclined to vote for them if they had some competent people in parliament, but sadly that is not the case. Have you ever listened to Bob Brown speak? He is the most boring, uninspiring person on the face of the earth, with the other senators not far behind. The CPRS was their big moment to shine but they removed themselves from the debate and now we have no trading scheme because of it.
  9. Cutter Nicholas Shehadie (39)

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    I'd rather vote for the Grim Reaper than Tony Abbott.

    Rudd is pure disappointment for me. Promises and no delivery. He is just Howard lite. Even so, that's far better than full fat Howard.

    I voted for the greens last time too. They have more principles than the others combined and stand on the correct side on a number of key issues.

    Scotty - the discrepancies in the IPCC report are minor. They don't go to the conclusions. In any document that long and with that many contributors you are bound to have the odd error. That doesn't mean the whole thing is suddenly invalid. Similarly with the Climate Gate story - the results that institution have supposedly fudged are replicated elsewhere so it doesn't undermine the conclusion, just the veracity of their figures.

    Most of the rest of the world has stopped debating whether to do anything about climate change. If we hadn't had the arch enemies of climate change in power for far too long I expect we probably would have too.
  10. Scotty David Codey (61)

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    Not sure what you mean by health insurance, but we are more or less already means tested via the medicare levy, which I think is a crock of shit.

    When you first mentioned it the only thing I could think of was the baby bonus, but I think you could argue that it is really welfare, or at least that wasn't its intention when Howard brought it in. Rudd is the one trying to turn it into welfare, and it annoys me no end that people don't work as hard as me are elligible for benefits that I'm not.
  11. Scotty David Codey (61)

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    Rudd has taken strutting on the world stage to a new level, but as you say will benefit from the poor performance of the opposition. I'm very disappointed that Turnbull wasn't better at politics, because I think he would have been a good leader, but ended up fighting with his instinct to do what he thought was correct, and what others were saying the best political move was. At least he would have made the hard decisions not necessarily the popular ones.
  12. rsea Darby Loudon (17)

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    The man is a popularist.

    All we heard about from late 07 to mid 08 was Rudds razor gang. He cut back everything from benefits for the elderly to funding for museums. As late as May 08 he was still looking ways to cut billions in spending but by October 08 he's pushing a stimulus package "PM Kevin Rudd goes for broke with stimulus package"

    How this guy can be taken seriously I'll never know

  13. Scotty David Codey (61)

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    Minor discrepancies? Glaciers melting within 30 years? Large swathes of the Amazon turning into Savannah? These claims have been based on either little or no scientific fact or have been grossly exaggerated. These are not minor discrepancies.

    As to the bolded bit. What rubbish. Anytime someone fudges results it most definitely undermines the conclusion, no matter if it is true or not. Both sides of this ongoing (yes it is still most definitely ongoing, and not just in Australia) debate are guilty.
  14. Ash Michael Lynagh (62)

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    Barbarian - yeah, Bob Brown is one of my huge problems with the Greens. The guy is a protest leader, not the leader of a credible national political party. I think that removing Brown as leader is one of the things the Greens need to do to progress. But for the worth of voting Green, I think it's more worthwhile them having the balance of power in the Senate as opposed to idiots like Fielding. And yes, the Greens massively dropped the ball on CPRS.

    As for Turnbull, he was always walking a tight rope unfortunately. For a while now the far right faction (Howard, Costello, Ruddock, Abbott, Minchin, etc) has been in charge of the Liberal party, and Turnbull was a moderate. As soon as power broker Minchin stepped back you knew Turnbull would be stabbed at every corner, because Minchin is not one to relinquish power.

    Hats off to Turnbull though, who is sticking to his guns and is going to cross the floor on ETS issues. But his time as Liberal leader is probably done unless the far right faction disgraces itself in some way.

    And don't write factions off, either, no matter how much they disgrace themselves. Look at NSW Liberals, the far right faction stabbed left/moderate John Brogden for a stupid drunk comment - and put far right puppet Peter Debnam in as leader and duly lost as unlosable election. Iemma campaigned on a premise based on, "Sorry we've screwed up to now, but we're going to do our best to fix it, honest!". Plus, he get the same unpopular (and undoubtably corrupt) power brokers running the party. And he won. Unbelievable. I'm desperately hoping Keneally loses, miserably, so that Obeid and Tripodi go out on their ass quickly. Thankfully, the federal Labor party had enough sense to stop Tripodi from switching to federal politics a few months back when rumour spread that he was eyeing off preselection in a federal seat. Ahhh, rant over, again. The political landscape is one fucked up place right now.

    Regarding health insurance, I think they are trying to means test the rebate for very high income earners.

    The baby bonus is a crock anyway, with record population growth it is no longer needed. What is needed is a meaningful intergenerational plan - something neither party have.

    rsea - the razor gangs made perfect sense at the time. Government spending is inflationary, and Howard liked spending (especially pork barrelling, but he liked spending everywhere). Costello preferred tax cuts (which are also inflationary) and lessening government spending, which is more traditional conservative. Anyway, high government spending, tax cuts, incomes growing quickly, large amounts of cheap credit, lowering bank regulation in the States - many inflationary pressures. Howard ignored them, and ignored the RBA's warnings, and hence RBA interest rates went up. Rudd didn't want a stigma of continually rising interest rates, and thus tried to reduce inflationary pressure from large government spending, hence the razor gangs. Made perfect sense at the time; however, no government predicted the GFC.
  15. Sully John Eales (66)

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    In Regards to Rudd doing nothing since coming into Government. Hasn't he been severely restricted by the set up in the senate? He either has to seal with the Coalition or the Greens and a bunch of idiots.

    In regards to climate change. I don't pretend to know enough to tell whether it's real or not, but I have a question to those that do and don't believe.

    Would you rather we did something now and be right or do nothing and be wrong?

    The first leads to a cleaner planet the second leads who knows where.
  16. Ash Michael Lynagh (62)

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    Sully - agree whole heartedly. I'm another whose not sure, especially at not looking at all the evidence myself. But I've been to "emerging" countries/cities which are being destroyed through polution, and other "westernised" cities like Tokyo which are disgustingly smoggy. Nothing like breathing thick, foul tasting air, or not seeing the sun at midday.

    I all for polution reduction and helping to save the environment and air we breath, regardless of climate change. So with the possible threat of climate change, I'm all for acting on the side of caution.
  17. Scotty David Codey (61)

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    Theoretically what Rudd did with the razor gangs and the later with the stimulus spending was correct, however the way both were done were very poor and not thought out, and that is going to leave some critical issues for all our future. Essentially across his term he has pulled money out of some good projects, and some poor ones, while putting a lot of money back into a lot of poor ones, and only some good ones. Inefficiency that taxpayers will be paying for over the next decade.
  18. Scotty David Codey (61)

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    I agree with that sentiment as well. But is the pollution you are seeing in those cities actually created by the release of carbon dioxide in the air? Or more likely other exhausts from cars and dirty factories.

    Clean air is what everyone wants, but we need to know what we are trying to clean out of it. Carbon Dioxide is not popular at the moment, but we need to remember that we wouldn't be here without it.
  19. Scotty David Codey (61)

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    Unintended consequences of the new fair work act.

  20. rsea Darby Loudon (17)

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    GFC wasn't coined until October 08 but US sub prime was in total melt down by the end of 07. What do they say happens when American sneezes? Rudd was still cutting spending in the billions in May 08

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