Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


Judgment Day: Abbott triumphant. Rudd concedes, won’t recontest Labor leadership

At 10.15pm Tony Abbott claimed victory, saying:

My friends… thankyou; thankyou so much. I can inform you that the government of Australia has changed for just the seventh time in 60 years.

The Coalition has won 13 seats clearly with 10 seats still in play and the ALP is at the lowest level in more than 100 years.

So tonight for the last time in this campaign it is my honour to address you, the people of Australia.

I acknowledge Kevin Rudd’s service to the people of this nation.

Looking forward to forming a government which is competent, trustworthy, and which purposefully and steadfastly and methodically sets about delivering on our commitments to the Australian people.

Something very significant has happened today … today the people have declared that the right to govern this country does not belong to Mr Rudd or to me or to his party or to ours but it belongs to you, the people of Australia.

It is the people who determine the government and the prime ministership fo this country … and you will punish anyone who takes you for granted… and that’s as it should be.

In a week or so the GG will swear in a new government; a government that says what it means and means what it says’ a government of no surprises and no excuses; a government that understands the limits of power as well as its potential. And a government that accepts that it will be judged more by its deeds than its mere words.

The carbon tax will be gone, the boats will be stopped, the budget will be on track … and the roads of the 21st century will finally be well under way.

Australia is under new management and is once more open for business …

Kevin Rudd conceded at 9.40pm, saying:

My fellow Australians, my fellow Queenslanders and fellow members of the great ALP:

Today we have fought the good fight as the great ALP.

Tonight is the time to unite as the great Australian nation.

Whatever our politics we are first and foremost Australian … and the things that unite us are greater than the things that divide us.

This country can manage its differences peacefully … that is why this is such a great country.

Unity out of diversity… the great Australian miracle.

A short time ago I telephoned Tony Abbott to concede defeat. As PM I wish him well now in coping with the stresses and strains of high office.

I take responsibility

I gave it my all.

Despite the prophets of doom we have preserved our Federal Labor Party as a viable fighting force for the future. And despite the pundits we appear to have held every seat in Queensland.

Ben Chifley’s light on the hill still burns bright across Australia. It is a flame that cannot be extinguished.

and he said he would not be recontesting the leadership of the ALP … saying he had retained Labor as a fighting force … and it was time to unite under a new leader.

ABC Live overview 10 per cent counted: Coalition 61, Labor 27. ABC calls it for Nikolic in Bass, Whiteley in Braddon. Wilkie in Denison. Adams in big trouble in Lyons. Julie Collins keeps Franklin for Labor. Rudd is also back. 30 per cent counted: Coaltion 70, Labor 47. Palmer to win seat. 43 per cent: Coalition 73, Labor 51. 50 per cent: Coalition 73, Labor 52. (Final prediction: 88, 58). 60 per cent: Coalition 81, Labor 54 (Final prediction: 89 – 57). Adams gone. Independents likely to hold Senate balance of power. 70 per cent: Coalition 88, Labor 54 (Final prediction: 91 – 55, 1 Green (Bandt), 3 Other).

Dr Kevin Bonham, working for Mercury, here ‘Wilkie is winning easily’. Confident calling Braddon: Liberal (win). Ditto Franklin: Labor retain. Calling Denison: Andrew Wilkie (IND) retain. The Liberals can’t make second from here. I have been holding off on calling Lyons. It’s not quite dusted. Hutchinson’s lead is down to 51.7:48.3 and this is quite a diverse electorate. Firstly on Tas Senate before I check Vic – the Senate calculator is up at http://www.abc.net.au/news/federal-election-2013/results/senate/tas/ and on current figures the Palmer United Party has a chance of gaining a Senate seat in Tas off its superb primary vote result in the state. The Wikileaks Party of Assange is on slightly less than 1% in Victoria. The ABC calculator is currently showing a close race for the last two Tas Senates seat between the Greens, Liberals and Palmer United. While Palmer United currently “beat” the Liberals it’s not by a lot, and also the PUP team are at risk from below the line leakage. Long way to go there. The Greens are tracking up towards a quota. I believe Whish-Wilson will retain. Lyons is over now. You don’t write Dick Adams off while he has any chance but CALLED: Hutchinson (Lib) elected. Yes the Liberal vote is falling off the trailer in the Tas Senate as the larger urban booths come in. It is a really messy situation to project but PUP are looking much better in the last half hour. Looking very clear Labor and the Greens will not have a blocking majority and the Coalition will be able to pass whatever it can get enough support from what could be a very messy crossbench from. But I think most of the balance of power Senators will not be lefties. They will get a lot of stuff through: For Dr Bonham’s final comments, click here!x

• Mercury wrap: Labor punished, Wilkie’s vote surges as Greens support slumps

TASMANIAN voters have swept Labor members from three of the state’s five seats, delivering the ALP a punishing result, most starkly in the state’s North and North-West.

The swing against Labor was 10 per cent throughout Tasmania, far exceeding the national swing and reflecting predictions made by exclusive Mercury ReachTEL polling as far back as June.

The major ALP casualty was the 20-year member for Lyons Dick Adams, who suffered a personal swing of more than 12 per cent as he was dumped from his seat by Liberal challenger Eric Hutchinson.

With more than 70 per cent of the vote counted in Denison last night, popular independent MHR Andrew Wilkie was easily re-elected after a 16.5 per cent surge in his support and a corresponding drop in the vote for his rivals from Labor and the Greens.

But Mr Wilkie will no longer play a key role in providing support for a government, thanks to the Coalition’s comfortable win in the national poll.

Mr Wilkie said Labor was the author of its own defeat.

“I think people expected a lot more from the Labor Party over the past six years,” he said.

“And so be it. Let them learn a lesson when they are in government again.”

As expected, the seat of Braddon fell to the Liberals’ former state MP Brett Whiteley, who enjoyed a 7.7 per cent swing on primary votes to unseat Labor’s Sid Sidebottom.

Bass fell to Liberal Andrew Nikolic, with an 8.17 per cent swing on primary votes.

The only good news for Labor in Tasmania was that of Julie Collins in Franklin.

Well-known Hobart City Councillor Marti Zucco secured a creditable 6.25 per cent of the primary vote for the Palmer United Party on its first outing.

Across the state, the Greens recorded a large slump in their vote in the first election since the departure of founder and former leader Bob Brown.

Full story, Mercury here

ABC wrap: Liberals triumph after Labor bloodbath in Tasmania

Sky News: Minor players set to hold power in Senate …

Tony Abbott’s new coalition government will be forced to negotiate with minor parties and independents that will hold the balance of power in the Senate.

As the Liberal leader claimed a lower house victory, the party’s Senate representation looked set to fall short of the 39 spots necessary to give the coalition an upper house majority, despite collecting additional seats in Saturday’s poll.

‘It was always mathematically impossible for the coalition to win control in the Senate,’ Victorian Liberal Senator Mitch Fifield told ABC television.

‘The best that we could hope for is that the Labor-Greens alliance be denied control of the Senate.’

He said it appeared ‘possible’ that upper house marriage would be broken, handing the balance of power to other independents and minor parties from July 1, 2014.

In a Senate makeup described as ‘interesting’ by political commentators, South Australia was on track to return Senator Nick Xenophon, and possibly his party’s second candidate, Stirling Griff.

By 11pm (AEST) Saturday the SA state swing against the ALP had passed 15 per cent, meaning preferences could determine the return of a second Labor senator or that of Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

Nova Peris will become Australia’s first indigenous woman in parliament with her on track to win a Senate seat in the Northern Territory.

In Queensland, the Palmer United Party looked likely to collect a Senate seat with a 10 per cent swing pushing number one candidate, former football player Glenn Lazurus, close to reaching the necessary quota.

The party, making its political debut for billionaire businessman Clive Palmer, is also a chance of picking up a Senate ticket in Tasmania, where it saw a seven per cent swing.

In NSW, One Nation candidate Pauline Hanson or the Liberal Democrats remained a chance.

etc ..

Guardian Australia wrap: Tony Abbott declares Australian election victory for Coalition

The Poll Bludger, William Bowe (Crikey Live Blog) … and they’re off! Scroll down from intro for live updates

• Key Questions: * What happens with Wilkie? * Is Dick Adams still with us? What about the other Tas Reps seats? * Does Sophie Mirabella lose Indi (Victoria)? * Does Rudd hang on to his own seat? * Does Adam Bandt survive in Melbourne? * What is happening in the Senate, especially to the Greens in WA and South Australia? * What happened to Wikileaks?

Politifact Australia: Presenting the TOMmies: the best (and worst) of the 2013 election campaign

Other Open Mouths …

Christine Milne: Greens return to Canberra with increased numbers

ABC: State Liberals declare Labor’s federal defeat a slap in the face for Labor’s state Greens deal

Rodney Croome: Marriage equality advocates encouraged by election result

Bryan Green: Coalition urged to do the right thing by Tasmanians

Michael Mansell: Aborigines seek early meeting with PM elect on land returns

• Bob Burton’s picture essay of Judgment Day:









Bob Burton

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Leonard Colquhoun

    September 10, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Given that many Labor MPs, together with other interested persons, have resumed dissing ex-PM Rudd in the strongest terms available in polite society, and mindful that, just last week, they were urging We the People to vote for MHR / PM Rudd, here are two suggestions for dealing with that, shall we say, anomaly:

    (i) bring unbearable pressure on him to resign his HoR seat (even if it means losing the consequent by-election); or

    (ii) expel MHR Rudd from the Party (there must be a score of grounds for doing so), and so remove the noxious influence which they are now whingeing so loudly and publicly about.

  2. George Harris

    September 10, 2013 at 11:47 am

    David, (#65), you are correct in your first paragraph, and you are correct in your second where you say Putt, Milne and Brown could not have been more underwhelmed by Pullinger and Bayley (isn’t that how he spells it?) by April of 2013, but you have to realize that the World Heritage Committee had not sat by that stage, it was clear there was opposition to it, and the evidence given at the LegCo Select Committee of Inquiry was still fresh in people’s minds. The ENGO negotiators had been in the room for more than two years, and had not only been exposed to much detailed information, but had to debate it at close quarters. That is much different from the offices on piers above the Hobart waterfront where Christine Milne’s perceptions and expectations carry her beyond the prevailing reality. The negotiators knew they could not challenge or reject the amendments made by the members of the Legislative Council on April 16 without losing the entire forest agreement, and with it any scope of achieving the WHA extension in June. If the extension was not supported by the state government, there was no way it would succeed in Phnom Penh, and everyone else knew it. What happened next was disgusting. A 21-point ‘Letter of Commitments’ was signed by the state government, and supported by Tony Burke, which effectively subverted the intent of the MLC’s. The ENGO’s and others debated it all night on Monday April 29, finally agreeing to support it at around 7.00 am on the morning the amended Bill came back to the House of Assembly. Despite repeated challenges, Bryan Green refused to table the 21-point letter, and the Bill was passed without the parliament seeing it. The MLC’s have since debated the first Durability Report, but there is a trigger causing further consideration before anything other than the WHA reserves can proceed. Does this mean the WHA extension areas are secure? No. The WHA can be reversed by the same process that created it, a ‘Minor Boundary Adjustment’. There is nothing to stop the incoming federal government proposing such a thing by February next year. Meanwhile, can harvesting occur in the proposed reserve areas, and indeed the newly extended WHA? Yes. Here is an extract from Hansard of the LegCo debate on Thursday, August 29, and these words can stand alone:
    [3.19 p.m.]
    Mrs TAYLOR (Elwick) – Mr President, an inquiry, however short and sharp, cannot produce what is not able to be produced in the short term. I do not believe that at this time we can get the absolute clarity that the member for Windermere wants before he supports the continuation of this process right now. The work has not yet been properly done. Yes, let us urge that we get the full knowledge of whether the designated coupes or the contingency coupes contain the specialty species timber quantities as soon as possible. Probably we are all pretty sure that Mr Denman is right, that it is not there. But we have clearly been told that the information is still being worked on. Furthermore, for me, the issue is not about where the special species timbers are not, but where the special species timbers are and how they can be accessed. The amendment standing in my name addresses that. By the way, I do not believe that I can take all the credit for that amendment, even though it stands in my name. If it had not been me, someone else in this House, I hope, would have moved a similar amendment. It is important to remind members that it was carried unanimously so everybody can take the credit for it.

    The amendment standing in my name provides for the special species timber quota to be achieved by taking it from wherever in the whole of the state if necessary. The current state and federal governments may not support the intent of this amendment but it is law, whether they like it or not. The current governments, both state and federal, have a use-by date in the not-too-distant future and the people of Tasmania will decide whether to abide by this law.

  3. Chris Harries

    September 10, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Whilst understanding the general distress expressed in these commentaries, may I suggest that if Bob Brown, Christine Milne and Adam Bandt are the flies in the ointment, then Rubert Murdoch is nearly as bad.

    During the past few months I’ve been wondering if Murdoch’s strident, unrelenting campaign to unseat Labor and install a Coalition government would relax after the election (after all isn’t this all about losing out on the NBN rollout deal?), and so revert to a less partisan coverage of news.

    Not so. Have a look at The Australian’s headlines during the past few days and nothing has changed. Every headline. Every editorialised article. judicious choice of letters-to-editor. As the owner of too much media in Australia, if Murdoch doesn’t let up in the next three years Australia faces the prospect of being reduced to a permanent one-party state – or at least until the old man dies.


    On the issue of above-the-line voting fracas, subsequent to the last federal election I made a submission to the Senate Standing Committee arguing the need for reform of this rather abhorrent preferencing system, but was disappointed to find that I was the only person in the whole of Australia to have done so. The problem here is that as soon as the election climate goes off the boil interest in the electoral system withers away almost instantly. Maybe this time the flaws in that system have become so exposed that something will be done.

    But back to the real culprits…..

  4. Mark Duffett

    September 10, 2013 at 4:26 am

    So, Luca (#3) and Russell (4#), you’ve helped get the Palmer Senate candidate up over a Liberal. Is that really what you wanted?

  5. David Obendorf

    September 10, 2013 at 3:27 am

    It is clear to everyone that a substantial schism opened up between the ENGOs and the Australian Greens leadership over their prosecution of the forest deal and their agreement to a weakened amended TFA legislation in April this year.

    As Peter Henning highlights the politically selected ENGO negotiations went off-message on a number of occasions over ‘a pulp mill’, Gunns-FT compensation pay-outs and the decision to back Ta Ann to the hilt. Peg Putt, Christine Milne and Bob Brown could not have been more underwhelmed with Messrs Pullinger and Bailey by April 2013. Of course TWS’ previous ENGO negotiator had agreed to ‘a pulp mill’ in the Statement of Principles and yet was acting as TWS Campaigner for ‘No Pulp Mill’ national donation drive for that organisation.

    Let’s hope that [i]at least[/i] the nominated 122,000 ha of WHA extension is permanently reserved before Messrs Abetz and Abbott step in.

    As predicted the legislated peace deal [TFA Act] is at risk of being unpicked by the Liberals. Perhaps Christine Milne can convince Tony Abbott otherwise.

  6. TGC

    September 10, 2013 at 1:20 am

    It’s really not all that complicated: a high unemployment rate: a major industry effectively shutdown (forestry): social engineering on a scale and at a ‘speed’ which is unnerving to many people: the “we know what’s best for you”: the uncompromising attitude in favour of the environment at the expense of a balanced economy that has substantial industries at its base.

    People no longer want a hair-shirt society.

  7. Tim Thorne

    September 10, 2013 at 12:42 am

    #60: A considered and perceptive contribution. I would suggest that the Greens, whilst an important component of the opposition to the headlong rush by contemporary capitalism towards destruction, can not provide any kind of answer on their own. This is so because of the reasons Peter has outlined, and also because of their concentration on parliamentary politics.

    They are also hampered by the diversity of ideologies within their membership. This could be a virtue, but the more a party perceives the need to present a united front to the mass media, the more it is a problem.

    The Syriza movement in Greece is a more successful model. It has developed from a loose grouping of social, union, environmental and political bodies into a single party, but only in recent months, only after achieving a very high profile in a relatively short time while still a loose grouping, and only after strenuous and prolonged open discussion. Some, but not all, of the Greek Greens are part of it, as are some, but not all, of the far left organisations.

    In the context of the Abbot regime it is imperative that we cooperate to promote an alternative vision. Syriza has shown us that this can be done without losing our political identities, and, more importantly, that it can more effectively be done when no organisation claims to own exclusive rights to leadership in the struggle.

    OK, so Syriza was born out of the ordinary people’s response to extreme austerity measures. Australia is not yet there. But watch this space.

  8. Ben Quin

    September 9, 2013 at 11:58 pm


    As a student studying politics, I was challenged with the ethical question, “who will you cast out of the life-boat”.

    The scenario was a ship-wreck, with a mixed crew of survivors able to clamber aboard a life-boat. But another storm strikes, threatening to sink the boat with the loss of all souls unless two are cast overboard. I was the appointed leader. I had to decide.

    The lifeboat crew included a geriatric professor who had discovered a cure for cancer, but had not yet published the research; a mother and new-born child; a rich and powerful industrialist, who promised untold riches for her deliverance; a young man of no particular note but strong and willing, a good lifeboat crewman; a gifted artist whose work inspired millions; and me, who could not be discarded as I was the only one capable of steering the boat.

    Perhaps I have forgotten details of the actual cv’s and there were three or four others aboard – but you get the idea.

    As Peter Henning implies at the end of his post 60, to be challenged on ethics demands a core belief.

    In a country within a world where fresh water reserves are squeezed almost dry; where dangerous squalls are gathering at every point on the horizon, and above and below it; is it to be God, Gaia or Greed that will provide the new foundations for our national ethos?

    This election result augers badly for the meek. I doubt they shall win their promised inheritance. More likely, they will be the first cast overboard.

  9. Peter Henning

    September 9, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    #59 “Lively” you reckon? The mind boggles!

    Actually, one aspect of the Greens dilemma reminds me of what is happening to the long-time doctor at the Essendon Football Club, Bruce Reid. Reid has been charged by the AFL with bringing the game into disrepute, even though he warned Hird and others about the dangers associated with the “supplements” program. The point here is that the AFL concluded that Reid didn’t go far enough in exercising his professional responsibilities, and now Reid’s whole professional career and reputation as a GP is on the line.

    To draw an analogy with the behaviour of the federal Greens since 2010 – including the whole federal leadership, including Brown and Milne – they all endorsed the establishment of the roundtable in 2010, they all endorsed the shonky undemocratic process right through all its bizarre convolutions, and they only started to get cold feet when they saw that the ENGOs committed to working for Ta Ann and they saw that the Legislative Council amendments would shaft basic democratic rights to protest.

    Just like Reid, they acted too ambiguously, tokenistically, and too late. Their professional conduct is highly questionable, their integrity has been shattered and they stand exposed before the court of public distrust.

  10. Peter Henning

    September 9, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    #58 David, thank you for your considered response. I would go back before 2010 in identifying the range of issues. It is true that many of those matters became more manifestly open with the establishment of the Bartlett-McKim alliance, and especially with the creation of the forestry roundtable in May 2010. But the essential elements, the foundations, were already there.

    The shabby behind the scenes secret meetings, the backroom deals, the hierarchical structure and top-down decision-making culture were already firmly established. Anyone who asked questions well before 2010 was told to shut up and was bad-mouthed. The notion of “engagement” with those outside the tent – or even within it if they questioned the policy direction of the established “leadership” – was non-existent well before 2010.

    The point I would stress is that the Greens political culture is inimical to “engagement”, or “reflection and re-engagement”, as you put it. The other side to this coin is that the collapse in electoral support, not just in Tasmania, is most unlikely to be a temporary separation, but rather a permanent divorce. The example of Denison cannot be underestimated. Nor can the collapse of the senate vote.

    A serious question is whether the Greens are following the same path as the Democrats, from the high point of 2010. Brown can’t be emeritus leader for much longer, and after Christine Milne goes, although she’s less popular than Brown, the Greens vote is likely to slide further.

    The key problem with the Greens is that they have consistently failed to establish authentic socio-environmental-economic connections. Their electoral success up to 2010 was partly due to a similar long-term failure of the ALP to build their own social-environmental base – with the exception of Hawke, but that’s another political story, and it was short-lived

    The Greens try to articulate a social agenda, but it doesn’t work because their actions contradict the rhetoric and the stated policy positions, creating a sense they are dilettantes and opportunists. It’s a bit like the ALP losing its base support by demonstrating they are more interested in personal careerism than issues which affect real people.

    Disaffected? No. Disenfranchised is a better word. How do you reflect on those things if the fundamental conviction is not grounded? I don’t think it’s possible.

    Maybe the Greens need a cross between a Jack Mundey and a Bob Brown? They’re certainly not going anywhere else but backwards until they develop much stronger levels of trust with people they simply don’t (can’t) engage with.

  11. Chris Harries

    September 9, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Ah David,

    You’ve been aggrieved about this for as long as I’ve known you, about 25 years and I do genuinely feel for you.

    The amusing thing I find about this political resentment thing is that is being cordially shared across the polar divide, fellow blogsters George and Leonard and Robin and Peter Henning and Bazzabee…. all saying much the same albeit all with slightly differing motivations. What common thing is it that drives us all to blog about politics?

    Would be nice to invite you all around to dinner sometime so we could all have a lively conversation over a few bottles of wine.

    Cheers, Chris

  12. David Obendorf

    September 9, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Peter Henning, you must be more disaffected than I? I read the political tea leaves and you obviously read them as well … I’m always up for engagement on these important issues.

    That said this is why I am currently disaffected by the Greens:

    1. The Greens Party locally and its MPs have become an image of the main parties in operation and function. They want money and supporters but are driven by internal silo-thinking [Top-down stuff!].
    2. Their version of a ‘power-sharing Parliament’ and a ‘new political paradigm’ in April 2010 was pure propaganda or rhetoric… it didn’t eventuate.
    3. The Greens MPs ability to engage with constituents changed appreciably after they took up the reins of Government power with a tired and corrupt State Labor Party organisation. [Did they think they could [i]change[/i] or influence Labor?]
    4. The Greens leadership plan alienated so many individuals that used to support them even former Greens MPs no less… the forest deal was a driven ideological battle plan and they needed ordinary Green troops to show solidarity with the ENGO signatories yet they presumed those troops were indentured devotees to [i]their cause[/i]. Little wonder this wagon-wheel became unstable.
    5. The Green vote in tasmania last Saturday was a shocker – in the 5 electorates and the Senate their vote collapsed. They haven’t realised the anger that their leadership team in Tasmania has generated amongst ordinary Tasmanian voters that support their basic political philosophy but see the Greens propping up and appeasing a very mediocre Labor mob. Those voters are disaffected by their performance the last 4 years; those lost voters that gave them their buffer in at least 4 of the 5 Tasmanian electorates.
    6. Bob Brown hasn’t retired, he was pivotal in the Greens Party preference deals and that’s where relations publicly strained with other progressive candidates that decided enough was enough. If that’s the way for the Greens winning power politically then I predict it will disaffect more and more prospective voters.
    7. Go back to the essence of the Green philosophy and rely on leaders and MPs that are genuine and listen; that actually say what they mean and mean what they say and have moral courage.

    I say again, time for reflection and re-engangement. Thank you TT!

  13. Leonard Colquhoun

    September 9, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    Another point, el pilko (Comment 53): Spanish needs the “¿” because, according to some linguists, it does not have clear enough ways of signalling at the start of a written sentence that a question is on the way (of course, tone of voice and facial expression would make it clear in speech).

    English uses expressions like “Did you . . .?” “Was she . . .?” and “Have they . . .?” in written sentences. In Shakespeare’s day, asking questions was similar to many other languages: “He came last night.” / “Came he last night?”

  14. hugoagogo

    September 9, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    #42 and 45. Here it is in Japanese: その?

  15. Chris Harries

    September 9, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    As bitter we may get about the failure of politics, from my perspective it is always put on too of a high pedestal. And that’s a problem in itself because it distracts from other methods of social change.

    The predicament of the human race is exactly that. A monstrous predicament. A predicament is a problem that has no solution. No neat set of policies can remedy society’s ills. How many ways do we need to say that?

    Politics can be used to help explain the predicament, and to support social change, but it can’t fix the cultural malaise that we live with. Our civilisation, built on a foundation of greed and unsustainable growth, is too far beyond the tipping point. Its momentum is unstoppable, but is still egged on by the general populace.

    I haven’t been involved directly in politics for some 17 years but I do know the Green MPs in there quite well and I am aware that they work their butts off, and, like many of us out here, they wake up each day worried like hell about the state of the world and what to do about it.

    As for the power sharing arrangement, though they’ve got some good initiatives up, it is questionable whether or not that experiment was ever worth trying. Sharing of government by opposing philosophies is not a pleasant thing, the dominant partner rules the roost, the minor partner marginalised but sworn into an unseemly solidarity.

    The Greens’ main failure has been a failure to continue to project economic vision, because without that the ever popular mantra that environment and jobs are irreconcilably opposite sides of the coin will always wins out. Robin Halton’s view (# 41) is not just a right wing view it is the majority paradigm: “Jobs, jobs, jobs is the most important issue with the economy, above all else is to get the country moving again.”

    Well before the state election it would be illuminating for the Greens to deliver a straight summary of what has been achieved during this period. There have been some policy gains, but when pitted against the price that has been paid…. many will question if it was worth all the hard work and anguish that is endured by themselves and concerned onlookers.

    A learning experience, all the same.

  16. George Harris

    September 9, 2013 at 11:59 am

    re #47, yes, Chris, your troubles will be over. In fact, the troubles of being in parliament and pretending to be a government will be over, and the Greens can get back to doing what they have always done, which is being a pain in the arse to everyone. It is just that some people will have to stop being nice to them, and the rest of us will continue as we are… that is, continuing to dislike them. Let’s face it, they couldn’t cut it, and they had more than half their loopy supporters against them, and failing to understand what government actually is. The one big anomaly for me is why Terry Edwards and others are continuing with this stupid forest deal when so many in the industry, and displaced from it, feel it is a croc of shit, and their voting intentions are quite clear. The Hodgman train is rolling down the tracks towards them, and I cannot see anything stopping it. Those of us with little left to lose might have to get on board to see what we can get back, and the way I sense the mood on the ground, anyone who goes back to protests in the forest will …

  17. el pilko

    September 9, 2013 at 2:34 am

    #49 Muchas Gracias Señor

  18. Peter Henning

    September 9, 2013 at 1:42 am

    #44 You omitted to mention the senate. From memory back in 2010 it was about 20%, now it’s 11%, well short of a quota in its own right.

    Time for reflection? Who is going to do the reflecting – apart from staring in the mirror? Surely you saw the euphoria at the election of Adam Bandt. It was surreal stuff, like people on party drugs. You know, masters of the universe on Wall Street circa 2006. High fives about self delusion… or the hope of keeping the ship of unrepresentative swill in the senate alive and well.

    I don’t think you see what is happening, or you don’t want to see. This is not about some sort of confected divide between “Tasmanian Greens” and “federal Greens”, for goodness sake. It might suit you to want to believe it, and to propagate the idea, and I’m sure the “federal Greens” like your differentiation, but it doesn’t wash.

    Those votes aren’t coming back, believe you me. They’re gone forever. The Greens have blown their brains out, and any convoluted attempts to somehow distance the federal Greens from the Tasmanian Greens has already been demonstrated as a hollow exercise which people aren’t going to buy.

    To try to sell such nonsense won’t fool anyone, and the more such distinctions are promoted the more foolish and abjectly dysfunctional, disingenuous and dishonest the Greens will appear to be in the public domain.

    Re-engagement? No way. You just don’t get it mate.

  19. Claire Gilmour

    September 9, 2013 at 1:10 am

    What happened with the Greens Federally in Tas is a direct reflection of what they have done in the state. It’s like a poker hand of cards … they thought they were on a winner based on the last election … but they pretend(ed) their 1-5 cards were …

    1. The 10 card … They jumped into bed with labour – they made many innuendos that they wouldn’t support Labor, but they did, they sold out. Many people weren’t happy with that. Simple fact.
    2. The jack card … along the way they ignored many of the grass roots – apparently hierarchy rules, bugger the rest.
    3. The queen card … they bought an ex labor in to make, (undo!) a king – and by god it worked! No wonder Denison has gone to Wilkie.
    4. The king card … McGreen tried to become a law unto himself – hail me and all my words alone, all you smurfs!
    5. The ace card … it’s sitting up the butt crack of the smart arses the same ol’ group of green media spinners who try to tell the smurfs what is best for them, rather than listening to what is REALLY going on in the real world … ignorance is apparently bliss in dark holed up places !

    What a winning hand they have delivered … essentially halved the Green vote. The polls were so on target of what actually eventuated Federally. For the Greens to try and pretend they are not lost in the wilderness does nothing to give any confidence that they will decently look at being truly representative State wise. To try and blame all other external influences, ie GFC, jobs etc is a ruse, it is ignorance in the extreme. They decided to become part of the power, so essentially part of the problem.

    That’s why Wilkie won, he listened, he acted, he fought fairly and squarely, he did his best to deliver. He wasn’t a dictator. Many lessons to be learnt.

    SO how is the science of political school going …?

  20. Tim Thorne

    September 9, 2013 at 1:08 am

    There has been remarkably little scrutiny of the role played in this election (as in several previous elections) by Independent Liaison Pty Ltd and its operator, Glenn Druery, the “preference whisperer”.

    Independent Liaison appears to have been set up originally by STW, a giant advertising company run by one Michael Connaghan, a member of the Liberal Democrats, which party was established originally by the Centre for Independent Studies. CIS itself began in 2002 with funding from Shell, Philip Morris, BHP ICI and other big corporations, some of which do not wish to disclose their financial contributions to it. CIS promulgates an extreme neo-Liberal philosophy.

    Independent Liaison, as well as advising and assisting the many micro-parties of the political right, works for such companies as Eromanga Uranium, AMP and Emirates.

    Druery himself has been instrumental in setting up many of these parties and has stood as a candidate for some of them.

    An informed electorate is essential for a healthy democracy. It seems we are nowhere near sufficiently informed.

  21. Leonard Colquhoun

    September 8, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    Comment 45: Help, as the song goes, is on the way.

    Open this site – http://www.typeit.org/ – click on – Spanish – and Roberto’s your tío!

  22. Steve

    September 8, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    44; Thanks for the figures David. As you say; time for reflection. More than half the Greens supporters deserted them. Serious stuff.
    Personally I feel that a lot of this is due to unrealistic expectations. The fact that a few Green politicians got voted in isn’t going to instantly right all the wrongs in the world and the fact that things went on much as before is also not the fault of the few Greens who were elected.
    Even a majority Green Government wouldn’t change much. Chris’s excellent comment at #30 sums up the situation. For those with an historical bent, Machiavelli also summed it up many years ago!

  23. Chris Harries

    September 8, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Yes, the Tas election has every prospect of going like the Senate with a variety of church based and right-of-centre groups vying for seats. A Clive Palmer seat in Braddon would almost be a shoe-in.

    Depending on the numbers at the end of the count, the Libs would quickly abandon the ‘no minority government’ policy if there was half a chance of governing with one of those supporting groups.

    And then all your troubles will be over, folks!

  24. A.K.

    September 8, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    This thread is a good example of why our political system has failed and why it won’t change. Within the week of the election, reality has been forgotten and the discussion has returned to who is a better destroyer of the future. Once again the fanciful ideologies have taken quick control and every faction is hoping the other will fail, when their track record proves they always fail the people in determining a sustainable equitable and equal future. None of them have a real plan, no direction and just the same failed mantra’s they always produce, and each time the clones accept as a new approach.

    One mantra is jobs jobs jobs will come from this new inspired government, yet no mention where they will come from when we have an open door trade policy, destroyed manufacturing and food industries, a mining boom which does nothing but take lots of money out of our system and into the hands of the already rich ideologically driven elites.

    When you think about it, it’s the peoples fault we are in this position, they vote for the status quo, expect it all to be done for them and never formulate a plan forward that they can follow, no matter what the political system does.

    As for the greens claiming everything under the sun caused their lose of support, hilarious denial of reality. The facts are clear, it was their focusing on disruptive, fracturing social and refuge agenda’s which turned the people off. Along with the desertion of their supposed prime objective, a decent environmentally sound future, for deluded power and control they are incapable of handling. They also have nothing plans, just empty spin like their lib/lab ilk, next federal election, the greens will disappear because they have no viable direction or methodologies of worth for this century.

    Now the federal election has gone the expected way, the next agenda is the Tasmanian election. Easy to see the outcome of that, no different to the federal one. The people have no choice, there will be no organised attempt to change our direction by forcing change upon the political system to make it really democratic and representative of this century. None of the parties have decent policies on any subject, other than lets cut, burn and dig it up, whilst privatising everything we own so the pollies have nothing to do but waste our money. What’s the bet we end up having a toll Midlands highway and many other roads within 3 years, they hand them over to big business and the rail line will be abandoned so more and bigger trucks can be put on the roads. As it is our future is being taken away from us by foreigners, with the full support of the federal and local political and bureaucratic system.

    Maybe what’s needed is an on line party, which develops it’s policies on line between members and open to all resident Tasmanians. It would be a good start to introduce online referendum voting down the track. If something is not done to change our direction and methods of approaching the future, no matter who is in control, we’re stuffed.

  25. Pilko

    September 8, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    #42 (ii) Correctamente.

    Struggling to type upside down question marks though my friend. Help?

  26. David Obendorf

    September 8, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Some Green voter stats on the election with about 80% of the vote counted in each Tasmanian electorate:

    BASS – 2010 election 8,734, down to 4,322
    BRADDON – 2010 election 6,937, down to 2,813
    LYONS – 2010 election 9,078, down to 4,290
    FRANKLIN – 2010 election 11,813, down to 6,809
    DENISON – 2010 election 10,237, down to 4,234

    STATE-WIDE 46,799 down to 22,468 voted Green.

    … and there was no [b]Andrew Wilkie[/b] in Bass, Braddon, Lyons, or Franklin to explain the dramatic loss of the Green vote across Tasmania.

    Green preferences substantially returned Labor’s only member returned on Saturday, [b]Julie Collins[/b] in Franklin.

    Time for reflection before March 2014.

  27. Peter Bright

    September 8, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Robin Halton at #41 writes ..

    [i]”Andrew Wilkie will be there as another Independent advocate to ensure Tony does not go overboard from time to time[/i]”.

    That’s not what I want.

    I want him to go overboard and stay there.

  28. Leonard Colquhoun

    September 8, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Re Comment 32’s “?que?” to “Great to have three Tasmanians in the House!”.

    (i) depends, doesn’t it, on which meaning of “Tasmanian” is used?

    (ii) to write “?que?” correctly (or should that be “appropriately”?), go to http://spanish.typeit.org/ and write it as Manuel and Mercedes would: “¿Qué?”

    (The site has about 20 other languages as well.)

  29. Robin Halton

    September 8, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    #37 Claire Gilmour, thanks Claire I did not phrase it very well, as I was aware the Bill Shorten was the man I was referring too!

    So his mother in law is retiring, despite what you say, I remain unsure about Shorten in politics in particular as the potential leader, we need to see a lot more of him first, he actually appears to me as a sort of dark horse!
    I must admit he did a pretty good job as an advocate and organiser during the Beaconsfield Mining rescue some years back.

    Thanks for your Wilkie support, Andrew will be there as another Independent advocate to ensure Tony does not go overboard from time to time, Denison is fortunate to have a person of his calibre as a referee in the Federal Parliament.

    #38 Pete Godfrey, Pete dont lose too much sleep its not the end of the world, the politics was predictable on Saturday.
    Tony Abbott now needs to get on and lead better than Labor.
    Labor messed up internally no such thing has happended so far in the Liberal ranks, I dont recall anyone pulling the sword on Abbott.
    I agree that Job, jobs, jobs is a most important issue with the economy, is above all else to get the country moving again, benevolence can follow.

  30. Mike Adams

    September 8, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Jobs, jobs, jobs. I know I’m not alone in refusing to use the automatic check outs at Coles and Woolies.
    Very definitely it’s Money, money , money. And if uncertain ask the retrenched check out staff.

  31. David Obendorf

    September 8, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    For Denison – claimed as ‘one of the Greenest electorates in Australia’- to only have 4,500 individual votes wanting to give a high profile Green candidate Anna Reynolds their primary vote in an elecorate of 67,000 should be a serious wake-up call for the Greens Party – State and federal.

    The Greens vote dropped from 19% or 12,300 voters in 2010 to around 8.0% on Saturday. Near enough to 8,000 previous Green No. 1 voters decided to change their Green ballot paper to another candidate.

    The question for [b]Christine Milne[/b] and more acutely for [b]Nick McKim[/b] and [b]Cassy O’Connor[/b] to ask is how can the Green Party re-engage with tens of thousands of disaffected 2010-Green voters across Tasmania?

    There was a [i][b]’Plan B'[/b][/i] for this highly controversial forest deal but the forest gate to dialogue was shut and even the ENGO gatekeepers on the deal are happy be on patrol.

    Time for reflection!

  32. Pete Godfrey

    September 8, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I look at it all in a different way, to me it is only a very small percentage of people who decide who gets to sit in the big seat.
    The rusted on voters won’t change it is only 10 to 15 percent at the most of the voters who decide who warms their backside on the throne.
    It is this small percentage that the media especially aim their campaign at. Those who can be swayed, I am sure that a lot of study goes into what will work and what issues to plug the most.
    Pandering to emotional issues such as Asylum seekers and jobs.
    When the “jobs, jobs, jobs ” mantra is used we should all turn our brains on because it actually should be translated as ” money, money Money”.
    Under the Howard regime I was ashamed to be an Australian where a fair go was no longer our way, under Mr Rabbitt I am more ashamed. That a man who is actually unelectable as PM gets to become PM just shows me that the bullies always win.

  33. Claire Gilmour

    September 8, 2013 at 11:54 am

    (35 – Robin) Bill Shorten is married to Quentin Bryce’s (Australian Governor General) daughter, not Albanese.

    Wouldn’t it be somewhat controversial if such a leader of a political party, a potential Prime Minister and the Governor General were so closely related?

    As a friend pointed out, often it is usual for ‘sacrificial’ style leaders of a party to be initially put in place after losing an election, the preferred leader sitting it out until closer to an election. Bill Shorten is a smart man, he’s played his cards well, he’s not likely to play his ace until quite sure of winning. If he doesn’t take the reins now, his mother-in-law retiring as GG will likely spell Shortens tilt at the leadership.


    Oh and congratulations to Andrew Wilkie.

  34. Chris Harries

    September 8, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Yep Andrew (#34),

    But it’s not just that politics has chronic systemic failures. That has always been the case, but in the past 25 years we have seen a major shift of political power and authority away from our parliaments and transferred to the market place. It is the Market where most decisions about society are now determined.

    Although politics has a theoretical role in determining the nation’s political agenda, it is the more powerful market players who now decide most national policy, whether directly or indirectly.

    In this past term we’ve seen this really blatantly, as the mining industry (working had-in-glove with a liberated media) campaigned effectively against Labor’s mining tax and carbon price, and so has successfully seen Labor tossed out of office.

    Abbott now has a very strong mandate to remove both of those policies. He made no bones about the Coalition’s stand and it can’t be said that voters were unaware. This is what the Australian people voted for and obviously want.

    To some extent we can think of voters as being mere victims of the persuasive forces that tell them what to think. But that would malign the public’s intelligence a little bit too much. I believe in large part Australian society has become more self absorbed and indulgent and much less tolerant than it used to be. We see that clearly with the refugee issue.

    We will see the pendulum swing the other way in time. US citizens became so ashamed of their bumbling leader George Bush that they subsequently swung right across the spectrum and elected a black progressive in Barack Obama. But note that even he doesn’t have the political power to enact the more progressive policies that he believes in.

    The general degradation of politics that everyone is deploring these days stems I believe stems from the substantial transfer of power away from politics and into the market place. Anyone who wishes to have influence in where society is going heads straight to the Market these days, not into politics.

  35. Robin Halton

    September 8, 2013 at 10:02 am

    Saturday’s election has been a much needed morale boost for the entire State, we should be, “well almost” jumping with joy.
    Three well deserved Liberal seats, the change was urgently needed and Mr Wilkie who I strongly support in Denison was re elected.

    Berne Black- Franklin failed to fully capitalise on her vote, billboards everywhere and on buses, this ” Hello rock star video” she needs to mature. Mature voters needed to be treated as such, not as juveniles.

    Julie Collins as a pure State survivor for Labor Rep can only hope that the post Rudd-Gillard-Rudd reformation will be successfull.
    The first warning signs are that Albanese / son of a gun, son in law of the GG is not a good restart combo strategy for a new Labor!

    Unfortunately, Greg Combet has walked, great pity Stephen Smith is bowing out, who would have been my 1st choice for Labor leader.
    From the stayers, Plibersek, Bowen and Burke my choice is Plibersek who I believe would stand proud as Aust’s 2nd female PM, always knows her subject, straight foward, reasonable and commands the attention and trust when she has made any public announcements as a Minister within the R-G-R government.

    Bowen is a figure with good credentials too but not Burke who is hated especially in Tasmania for setting about destroying the remaining forest industry with bribing the state with Federal handouts which has now created somewhat of a future land management “fire storm” over the TFA now that we have installed a Liberal PM who will dismantle the TFA.
    Labor needs to reform itself as a decent opposition.

    The Greens have also taken a well deserved hiding apart from Rosalie Woodruff who scored well and may be the answer to defeating failing State Greens leader Nick McKim at the next State election.

    Apart from Mc Kim, Supreme Green goddess, Milne is the other part of the blame for poorer Green vote, her days are numbered as Bandt of the Inner Melbourne seat appeals to and is surrounded by a younger well educated audience focusing on Uni Education and Climate Change.

    By promoting a more up to date Bandt to the Green leadership would dramatically improve their chances for respect and place within a modern and more challenging Parliament.

    I feel reasonably confident with the Liberals win, it had to happen given Labors R-G-R internal problems as public trust had been lingering for some time.

    I only hope that Tony Abbott has chosen Joe Hockey as the right choice for Treasurer for this new Liberal government.
    So far I am not impressed with Hockey’s performance but I could be wrong!

  36. Andrew Ricketts

    September 8, 2013 at 3:08 am

    Re No 30: The systemic failure to be trustworthy?

    Are you sure that is a problem of the system?

    Bishop suggests they will do as they are told. They always have – the Libs. Must have reconciled that with their representative role????

  37. Leonard Colquhoun

    September 8, 2013 at 2:31 am

    Good point in Comment 31 about “Conservative folk will always try to repress such historic reforms, but they can’t stop them happening”, and nothing is more “conservative” than once-revolutionary or radical regimes which have ossified.

    The example which should spring to mind straight away is the Soviet Union, especially in its inertly moribund post Brezhnev stage, when “conservative folk” in the CPSU and its Politburo & apparat opposed General Secretary Gorbachev’s attempts at reform; another thoroughly ossified state is Castro’s Cuba; and one not so well known to us is Mexico under the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) during 1929–2000, where revolution became literally an institution.

    Like lots of attitudes, conservatism can be positively beneficial or negatively reactionary.

  38. Pilko

    September 8, 2013 at 12:30 am

    Andrew Nikolic on Twitter 2 hours ago (in response to a question about being elected to the Lower House) – “Great to have three Tasmanians in the House!”


  39. Chris Harries

    September 7, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    Leonard (#24),

    There’s no need to use put downs. Of course I agree with you, slavery didn’t ever end altogether. I was citing examples in history where great transitions had occurred, and it did back then.

    The reason that same sex rights is a live issue around the world right now is because that particular transition is occurring at this moment in history.

    Conservative folk will always try to repress such historic reforms, but they can’t stop them happening. Slavery is no longer justifiable. In most places, women are enfranchised and can be elected. Left handed children accepted as left handed. Australian Aborigines have a status above that of fauna (their legal status until 1967). In time it will be seen to be unfair to discriminate against anybody owing to their natural sexual orientation.

  40. Chris Harries

    September 7, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    No politician or party should be immune from criticism, but we armchair blog writers should all take time aside from time to time and think what we would do if we were hypothetically elected to parliament.

    If elected the most well intentioned and committed of us, including the most cynical of activists, would find out in no time at all that their best of intentions would founder and the electorate would be chastising them for having their snouts in the trough or lacking in intelligence, or letting down their constituents.

    To take climate change as an example, it is as easy as pie to write up a set of policies that would mitigate carbon pollution. The easy peezy bit is the policy bit. It is getting policy reforms through the political mire that is the almost impossible ask.

    As an exercise, please have a go and think through a viable strategy for foiling the Murdoch media empire and the vested interests that speak through corporate media and the paid consultants and the inertia of public bureaucracies, and elected people who represent moneyed interests….. Then think ‘What would my strategy be to counterfoil all that?’

    Anybody who thinks they could snap their fingers and everything would neatly fall into place is a very deluded person. But frustration understandably leads people to think that way.

    That’s not to say that reformist politicians (of whatever politician persuasion) do everything right. They need to be answerable to the people as much as anybody. But in our criticism we need to give credit where it is due, not just lamely transfer our sense of disempowerment onto others who are having a go.

    Politics rarely does anything good unless there is strong traction in the community driving it along. This means we have to balance legitimate political criticism with a rational sense of what the community thinks. One problem we have there is that Australian society, owing to its wealth, is a very conservative, comfortable society and is not hanging out for reform. We have to factor this hard fact of life into our reckoning.

    No politician or party should be immune from criticism, but let’s take due regard of the systemic failure of our decision making system. It is a barrier that very few in politics ever get on top of.

    If you go through this mental exercise and believe think that you are one of those rare beings, then please do us a favour and get yourself elected!

  41. john hayward

    September 7, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    With his customary soaring eloquence, Abbott declared that Australia was ” “under new management” and “open for business”, presumably of the “big” variety.

    The Labs, meanwhile, kept hope in a nosedive with talk of new leadership centred on a number of true believers, i.e. Shorten, Bowen, Butler, Clare, seemingly recruited from the used car industry, or possibly the Libs.

    John Hayward

  42. bazzabee

    September 7, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    I have often said both here and in other forums be-careful what you wish for you just might get it. Tragically on this occasion the nastiest of this nation will rejoice at the defeat of the poor, the marginalized and the refugees, LGBT people and the environment I do not. And if you think I’m wrong just wait and see the political tsunami that will flood over Australia in what may well be the next six possibly nine years.

    Both Labor and the Greens need to take a long a very long, hard look at themselves. Because the self righteousness and all too often bloody minded intransigence of one and the pointless petty public brawling of the other resulted in both being so severely punished by the majority at the polls yesterday.

  43. George Harris

    September 7, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    Pete, (#7), you have finally written something I like, and can encourage. The thought of you not voting cheers me up. Thanks!

  44. Peter Bright

    September 7, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Now that the Australian people, in their gross political ignorance and overwhelming stupidity, have voted for Abbott & Co to ruin the country, I perceive that it’s not because Julia Gillard or Kevin Rudd did anything terribly wrong, or that Tony Abbott and his cruel narcissistic mates did anything really right, but rather that the Australian people failed themselves in not bothering to reason rationally enough to detect the awful underlying realities of these times.

    This election was built on platforms of lies, deceit and hate.

    Australians in their incredible foolishness have just elected President Murdoch.

  45. William Boeder

    September 7, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    What will become the fate of the 2 Greens changelings that fell into bed with the Labor Party, (the Cassy and Nick try-outs) will they now be shown the door and be told to flee from their frolicking folly of fooling with and feeding from the humble taxpayer?

    Someone must ask each of them to not forget to hand back the keys to their perks and their limousines, I would suggest this could be tasked to the new leader of the opposition Bench.

    Furthermore will this election outcome cause any bother to this State’s Governor, in his having to familiarize the new team to better understand the complex conduction of Tasmania’s bi-lateral Justice system.

  46. Leonard Colquhoun

    September 7, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Re Comment 21’s “when African slavery was abolished (200 year go)”: slavery continues across the Maghreb in north Africa, where most of the current estimated 27,000,000 slaves live.

    Understandably, Western focus has been on the trans-Atlantic plantation slavery, because of our links, however distant, to slave trading by western European maritime nations, together with continued slave-labour in post-colonial plantations in the Americas.

    But African slave trading has been going on for over 3000 years, with most of the market being Arab / Middle Eastern states; moreover, and this is crucial for balance and context, very little of this North African slave trading could have been maintained without the willing participation of Africans and their local leaders. Lack of local participation by locals and their leaders is the main factor why Berber slave-raiding on the Atlantic coast of England, Spain, Portugal and France did not become slave-trading.

    More context, please, and less pseudo-righteous cultural self-flagellation, please.

  47. Tim Thorne

    September 7, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Re #16, it is more important to work on cutting the strings than on changing the puppets

  48. Simon Warriner

    September 7, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    re 21, I am not entirely convinced that we live in ” a greedy society that lacks compassion for others”.

    We live in a society run by forces that are directing us in that direction. What is required is something to counter that force. The usual suspects on this site will promote the Greens as that force, but in my view, and the view of a great many others, they fail at the test of conflicted interest, and between lust for power and devotion to dogma, are no answer to the problem of how we govern ourselves in a manner that gets the best from all of humanity.

    Democracy has its flaws, but it beats the alternatives. All we have to do is focus on making it work. Taking it back to its roots and making sure everyone gets a voice is a bloody good start, and the structure of our current system allows us to do it. All we have to do is point out the manifest and many failings of political parties and promote an alternative. I suggest an early start, because an Abbot Government will throw up a sizable audience.

  49. Chris Harries

    September 7, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Robert (#18),

    Can’t agree more on the relative importance of issues. There’s can be no social justice in a ruined world, and that’s what we face if action is not taken on climate change especially (but not exclusively).

    All the same, I think it is totally wrong to suggest that the Greens and Penny Wong, Greg Combet and others didn’t work their hearts out on climate change issues. They did. The forces that are preventing reform in that space are stupendously powerful.

    Nor is it a good idea to relegate issues such as gay marriage and asylum seekers as relatively inconsequential. These issues all highlight symptoms of a greedy society that lacks compassion for others – future generations included.

    The gender debate is a lively debate that’s happening all around the world and can be likened to those times when women gained the vote (100 years ago) or when African slavery was abolished (200 year go). It’s that moment in history and the Greens as a progressive reform voice had to be part of it.

    But accept your point that the importance of climate change was suppressed in the political fray.

  50. Mark Jones

    September 7, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    #18, I agree and the defunct Tas Integrity Commission seems to be another big issue very much neglected by the Tas Greens. See what its three yearly review in October reveals.

  51. Mike Harris

    September 7, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Liberal Democrats polled so well 2.29% as a result of being confused, on such a long ballot paper, with the Liberal Party?

  52. Chris Harries

    September 7, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Though it may be debatable the extent to which this election was a victory for Rupert Murdoch, a question in my mind is whether or not he will now back off or whether his agenda is to lock in a one-party state that forever serves his interest.

    Contrary to that view is one that says his total agenda in campaigning for the Coalition was built around one issue: his Foxtel Corporation lost out in its bidding for a profitable slice in Labor’s NBN rollout.

    If that is the case, then one expect he will now be duly rewarded by the new incumbents in Canberra, as the NBN roll out is modified, and we may see a reversion to a less partial press for the next little while?

  53. Richard Brown

    September 7, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Rudd or abbott it makes no difference..They are both puppets on strings and in it together…Im sure the two of them are best mates..
    It amazes me how many take them so seriously and believe things will change for the better..They put an idiot in power to confuse the population even more thats all..

  54. Joan Emberg

    September 7, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    A very disappointing reflection of Australian society in which empathy and compassion seem to hardly exist. Horrifying!

  55. Kade

    September 7, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    What a sad predictable joke – on the electorate. The best one can say is, “This too shall pass”. Wake me up in three years time – if there’s anything left worth saving.

  56. David Obendorf

    September 7, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Pete Godfrey, your position resonates with many, many citizens. The difficulty with political parties is that they rely on a guru leader and a strict-rigid party structure to mount their public campaign.

    Flexibility and receptivity become more difficult as political parties bask in their transparent time of power. Everything grows older, ages, and even gets sick and dies; rejuvenation is needed.

    Parties that switch off from their constituency of prospective votes(not their paid up members) I compare to a rotting foundation that suddenly collapses underneath those that stop a dialogue with ordinary, common-sense, no bull-shitting individuals.

    Time for constant reflection, engagement and listening; isolation, arrogance and ignorance won’t work.

  57. David Obendorf

    September 7, 2013 at 3:19 am

    Hearty congratulations to Andrew Wilkie for his great support for Denison richly rewarded with a ~17% increase in his primary vote and good preference flows from Liberal, Green and Labor voters.

    The Australian Greens vote across Tasmania halved from 16.8% in 2010 to 8.2% – lowest in Braddon on 4.8% and highest in Franklin on 12.1%.

    Rosalie Woodruff Greens in Franklin will likely stand in the state election in March 2014 for the Greens.

    Three Labor seats fall to the Liberals – Bass, Braddon and Lyons. Labor retains Franklin on Rosalie’s Green preferences.

    Peter Whish-Wilson likely to retain a Senate seat for the Australian Greens – well done Peter. The last Senate seat is a tussle between the Liberals and the Palmer United Party.

  58. Snowy

    September 7, 2013 at 1:39 am

    Or, Pete Godfrey (#7), you could move to Denison and vote for Wilkie.

  59. john hayward

    September 7, 2013 at 12:57 am

    This has been a very satisfying election if you confined yourself to matters of schadenfreude. Most of the losers richly deserved it, even if the winners were frequently worse.

    That a party could handily win through cruelty to the helpless, contempt for the environment, through dumping foreign funds into to a jobs-jobs pork barrel, and through prioritising the profits of multi-national extraction industries provides takes much of the tragedy out of its eventual consequences to the gormless electorate which elected them.

    John Hayward

  60. Simon Warriner

    September 6, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    Re 8, which is exactly why they have made voting compulsory. It props up the very wobbly illusion of having a mandate to do whatever their puppet masters want.

  61. Merk

    September 6, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Hi Pete – as the saying goes, it doesn’t matter who you vote for, a politician always wins…

    Regardless of the microscopically small influence one vote may have, it still implies 100% consent to be governed. The more people vote, the stronger the mandate for the political class to tell us how to live our lives.

    Vote 0 for devolution of power from Canberra.

  62. Pete Godfrey

    September 6, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    I voted this year but am thinking it will be my last year of voting.
    I can not in all honesty see myself voting again.
    How can I in good conscience vote to give someone a job when I know that they are:
    1 Lying to me about their intentions.
    2 Have no qualifications for the job
    3 Have no intentions of doing what they say
    4 Have no licence
    5 Will put the interests of their party first before the electorate.
    To me I would be knowingly giving someone a job that they are incapable and unwilling to do to the best of their capabilities.
    So I am going to join the ranks of conscientious objectors. I have decided to refuse to pay any fines as well, as I don’t believe that we can be forced to vote for liars, cheats and criminals.

  63. Mike Adams

    September 6, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Having seen the overwhelming preponderance of Liberal publicity in both Bass and Lyons virtually since the declaration of election day, I wonder why no interviewer has ever asked Mr Abbott, ‘Which concerns are sponsoring your campaigns?’ ‘By how much, individually?”What consideration will you give to these donors in the future?”Would you be prepared to set a legally enforceable limit on election candidates’ spending?’
    As a friend noted today: ‘We’ll get the best politicians that money can buy.’
    And as realist Americans have seen over the decades, the Presidency goes to the candidate with the most money.
    Outside our polling booth today the Liberal support team of three were backed by 30 posters wired to the fence, three coreflute ones, were distributing ‘How to vote’ leaflets, and were wearing ‘Nicolic’ tee shirts. There was no Labor presence nor any Green one either.
    If the state is able to set a limit, why does the Commonwealth not do the same?

  64. George Harris

    September 6, 2013 at 7:06 pm

  65. Russell

    September 6, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Re #3
    I did hours of research into each and every Party and Independent, and The Pirate Party preferences have pretty much got things right if you care about the planet, its future and a fair society – except I put Labor and Liberal down at the bottom.

    I printed this out and took it with me.


  66. Luca Vanzino

    September 6, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Normally one of the joys of an election is the opportunity to vote ‘below the line’on the Senate ballot paper and to put Erica last. Alas, at this half Senate election, this little pleasure has been denied.

    At 51 years of age, this is the most difficult election in which I have had to vote as there are so many obnoxious political partys with so many abhorrent policies. This has made voting ‘below the line’ a vexed choice.

    None the less I have put the Liberals last…because they should know better than to have promulgated the policies that they have put forward since the mid 90’s.

  67. Russell

    September 6, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Whether Liberal or Labor gains control makes no difference to the downward spiral of mainstream Australian politics. I’m, hopefully, only interested in which minority Parties and Independents hold the balance of power and what they can do to dismantle the current system.

    The Senator Online Party has the best policy of all where the public votes online as to whether any Bill passes or not (this is true democracy), thus rendering the “Party system and loyalties” dead and irrelevant.

  68. Karl Stevens

    September 6, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    The voters are going to choose who they think will do the best job of managing the continent of Australia. Sir John Kerr’s wife once told me ‘who knows what darkness dwells in the hearts of the electorate’. Years later that darkness has become a known for me. Its called ‘stupidity’ and we have always harvested it in abundance.

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