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

Economy

Is there really anyone to vote for?

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“If voting made any difference then they wouldn’t let us do it” – Mark Twain

If you believe that a possible change of government in Tasmania in the forthcoming election would dramatically improve politics in this state then you desperately need a reality check. Insofar as a functional democracy goes it is becoming increasingly obvious that there is now very little difference between the major parties regarding big business influence within state politics.

While Labor has recently displayed some welcome initiatives regarding the pokies, one wonders will it just be more rhetoric? Time will tell!

Crystal-ball gazing with hope of a brighter political representation come March 3 may lead to bitter disappointment. Though on a positive note, if ever there was something to look forward to on election night it would the invariable purging of dead wood in parliament, as there are always some out-dated politicians that retire or fail to be re-elected.

Incumbents at Risk – Analysis from K.Bonham, W.Bowe and R.Herr.

Lyons – Barnett & Shelton
Bass – Courtney & Dawkins
Braddon – Jaensch & Rylah
Denison – Archer & Ogilvie
Franklin – Street

Dead wood is well represented in the above list!

The well resourced and influential have always ruled, and the pokies debate is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to reflecting on how business operates within this State. Wealthy developers, corporate, and resource extraction industry influence is what dictates mainstream political party policy. The removal of political donations (quid pro quo), and the establishment of a credible anti-corruption commission is the only sure means towards any form of change.

Our current political system is programmed for inequality.

Our governance is designed to create poverty through a classed system and the inequitable distribution of wealth. This cataclysm of our unstable western democracies sees 90% of wealth being shared amongst 1% of the population. This is because the system is engineered to transfer wealth upwards.

The elected party system

Progressive views within the mainstream political parties may be voiced, but rarely considered. Virtually no individual can get through a pre-selection process without pledging allegiance to basically toeing the party line. This essentially means agreeing to everything the power-brokers demand. So where can an alternative voice be heard in such a dogmatic system whereby party discipline is the rule. This conformity invariably leads to a highly conservative coterie, and represents exactly how we are mostly governed.

Independents

An Independent voice can only come from an independent member. Such elected representation is notably lacking in Tasmania, if not the world. Whilst an independent politician may not be progressive, only a truly independent one would not be aligned to, or supported by influential or vested interests. This rarely occurs.

In the case of many independents that have become elected (particularly in the senate), once they have established themselves and gained momentum they invariably form a party, which means they are no longer an individual independent.

Democracy, Trust and Legitimacy

Credibility for politicians is forever elusive and questionable, and in general, Australians view most of their rhetoric they espouse with suspicion and disdain.

Dr Simon Longstaff AO. The Executive Director of St James Ethics Centre has detailed a pledge for politicians that should be committed to before entry into an office of parliament.

I promise that:
In the pursuit of power, I will:
Act in good conscience;
Enable informed decision-making by my fellow citizens;
Respect the intrinsic dignity of all;
Refrain from exploiting my rivals’ private failings for political gain; and
Act so as to merit the trust and respect of the community.
In the exercise of power, I will:
Respect the trust placed in me by the people through the ballot box;
Abide by the letter and spirit of the Constitution and uphold the rule of law;
Advance the public interest before any personal, sectarian or partisan interest;
Hold myself accountable for conduct for which I am responsible; and
Exercise the privilege and discharge the duties of public office with dignity, care and honour.
https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Senate/Powers_practice_n_procedures/pops/pop63/c05

The re-emerging UTG ethic

“We, citizens of Tasmania and members of the United Tasmania Group, united in a global movement for survival, moved by the need for A New Ethic that unites humanity with Nature to prevent the collapse of life systems of the Earth, concerned for the integrity of the physical landscape, all living species and humanity and the value of cultural heritage, and rejecting any view of humans that gives them the right to exploit all of nature”. UTG – A New Ethic.

Many Tasmanians may have forgotten about, or if young, be unaware of the United Tasmanian Group. The UTG was founded back in the 1972 when the Lake Pedder flooding debacle was in full swing.

Based of the fundamental lack of ethical principles in political parties these days, the UTG has released an update version of their founded ethics. –

http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/images/uploads/UTG_New_Ethic.FINAL_.Electronic_.pdf

The possible re-emergence of the UTG as a political party currently represents the only hope for a principled philosophical change within our election voting options. If the UTG ethics were to be adopted by a progressive community it would most likely see the end to the directionless and out-dated Tasmanian Greens party.

Unfortunately the UTG has not been at the stage of presenting itself before the people on this election, but the future beckons. Meanwhile the current political representation standing before us compared to the UTG principles are all looking like lifeless sausages at the end of a conveyer belt. That scenario offers little hope towards some form of inspiring progress post March 3

The challenge ahead for the UTG will never be ethical policy, it will be finding sound representatives to uphold them and present it as a political force on the floor of parliament!

The minor party Greens, what is their future?

Do the Tasmanian Greens remain a realistic alternative to the disillusioned Lib/Lab voters? Based on their present representation the answer to that question goes wildly begging. This once influential political group has seen its supporter base decline dramatically from a height of 5 elected MHAs to the present 3, and is predicted to lose another at the forthcoming election.

Considering there is a general growth regarding public awareness towards social and environmental issues across the state, then why is a so-called progressive political party losing its support base?

Uninspiring and inept leadership may be part of that answer, yet notably there is a perception that the Greens were impotent in cabinet. This has disillusioned and frustrated many of their traditional voters, particularly conservationists.

The highly unproductive 4 years of the McKim/O’Connor alliance with the Giddings government essentially stalled momentum, as their positions in a parliamentary cabinet exposed the party to never ending compromises, and acquiescence.

Have the Greens learnt from that experience? – Certainly not!

Despite the Greens being shafted by Labor at the eleventh hour prior to the last election, Cassie O’Connor subsequently announced that the only way forward for the Greens in politics was to be part of government cabinet. That blinkered statement sent shock waves reverberating through the Greens supporter base. It was a folly she as a leader with any aspiration for credibility will never recover from.

The state Greens party was primarily founded on conservation and social issues, though the alliance with Labor in Cabinet saw too much of that fragmented.

History shows us that any political party who undermines their own constituency soon becomes a spent force. The Liberal Gray-government, and the Australia Democrats suffered the consequences of such action. So will the Greens recover? Without new leadership that prospect seems unlikely.

Without question the current Greens representation in Parliament is by far better for democracy than no alternative voice at all. Without the likes of the Greens, there would be a lot less dissent and challenge to poor policy and planning, and very few debates, pertinent questions and progressive bills would be put before the parliament.

The Greens have always maintained a broad range of progressive policies. Many of those policies have at a later date, been adopted by proceeding governments. The task for the Greens is to find a process to encourage other parties to support them in the house because the Greens representation in Cabinet proved to be a monumental failure.

The ability to influence policy is clearly lacking in the present Greens representation. Their dilemma is to continue down the same misguided path, which will perpetuate ongoing disillusion, and a weaker support base, or they can attempt to be overtly vocal and influential on the crossbench if they obtain the opportunity.

With the current leadership, the Greens seem to be destined to wallow around rock bottom for some time yet. Like many aspects in life we often need to hit our low point before we rise to prominence, though for the Tasmanian Greens they may, however, descend to a nadir.

It seems magma awaits!

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*Ted Mead is completely disillusioned with our political and governance system, of which he doesn’t see a solution whilst anyone can be elected through the aid of financial resources donated by the vested wealthy. Ted is of the belief that very few politicians represent the views and aspirations of the community, state or country they are supposed to represent. Meanwhile the ongoing redistribution of our national resources continues to be funnelled away from the crown or public, and increasingly to overseas investors. When it comes to voting, then it seems that gullibility, stupidity and naivety has hit an all time high. Ted claims that the egalitarian and fair go for all policy of the Whitlam/Labor era has vanished into the darkness, as it appears we are no longer the lucky country, and have now sunk to become the dumb country.

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40 Comments

40 Comments

  1. Chris Harries

    March 1, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    Simon, #39 … the MLC was not a party person and his view and his preparedness to do anything barely differed from the others.

    Re your crusade to minimise party influence – it would be good to think that strategising through much more. If you ever write anything up on that score I will be happy to comment or assist in the thinking.

  2. Simon Warriner

    March 1, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    re #38 … Michael, your experience demonstrates entirely my point. You cannot fix a problem by relying on those whose flawed nature created it. Those who are tied by their party allegiances cannot, as you so clearly point out, see their way clear to doing what is needed to sort out the problems we have created for ourselves.

    I am a fan of the poster found on office walls of the frog halfway down the bird’s throat with its hands around the bird’s neck. The fight ain’t over ’til it’s over, and it has only just begun.

    Defeatism won nothing, ever.

  3. Michael Stasse

    March 1, 2018 at 11:31 am

    Thanks Chris. Re your “Incidentally Simon, I took the same proposal to a Liberal minister and a Labor shadow minister and got much the same responses. Tasmania is not greatly at risk from climate change and we may even stand to benefit financially from it. All of them mentioned the viticulture industry as evidence of this positive potential” so I ask does that include invasion by fruitfly …?

    Nearly 20 years ago, when I was still a Queenslander, I visited our minister for the environment regarding the Peak Oil conundrums we are already starting to face.

    To my amazement he KNEW everything I was telling him, and even had the same books on his bookshelf that I did. He basically told me the system was incapable of dealing with it, and that he himself had given up. And he was one of he smartest and nicest politician (ALP) I have ever met.

    I tell you, we are SCREWED …

  4. Geoffrey Swan

    February 28, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    #19 … thanks Claire… my vote will go to Rosalie because I am in the seat of Franklin… but if I was in Braddon Craig Garland would definitely get my vote.. what a great little video of passion.

  5. Geoff Holloway

    February 28, 2018 at 11:06 am

    Simon #31 … Yes, it is a strategy but it is based on Marx´s analysis of the class structure of society, and it works because people see class all around them everyday and they identify with particular classes. All Marx did was point out the socio-economic structure of modern society and hypothesised that the polarisation between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat would lead to the next stage in development of society. It was not his ‘intent’ but simply an argument about how society develops. Some Marx-inspired theorists argue that Marx was wrong because he did not address the cultural basis of class (eg, Gramsci, Bourdieu). Class position determines many things, including mortality and morbidity, and life chances and voting patterns to name a few.

  6. Chris Harries

    February 28, 2018 at 10:37 am

    Good Simon (#32) … I think we are largely on the same page.

    An eye opener for me last year was going to see an independent Legislative councillor about a proposal to create a parliamentary inquiry into the impacts of climate change on Tasmania’s rural sector.

    Though the MP understood and agreed with climate science his three responses were:

    1: The government would ignore such an inquiry because it’s not possible to verify any link between calamitous weather events and climate change. (Would he say the same about smoking and health?)

    2. The focus shouldn’t be on the negative. Tasmanian farmers overall may benefit from an ability to grow a greater variety of crops.

    3. (This one knocked my socks off). “We legislative councillors have to act like as if we are magistrates. We have to be totally neutral on sensitive subjects like climate change or we will lose credibility in the eyes of government. If I openly declared my hand on this issue I would lose the ability to influence.”

    So much for his independence, I thought. His lips are tightly sealed.

    Incidentally Simon, I took the same proposal to a Liberal minister and a Labor shadow minister and got much the same responses. Tasmania is not greatly at risk from climate change and we may even stand to benefit financially from it. All of them mentioned the viticulture industry as evidence of this positive potential.

    Basically, I detect a high level of complacency about climate risk, though there is some concern that marine heat waves are causing harm to fisheries production.

  7. Simon Warriner

    February 28, 2018 at 6:58 am

    re #31 … Geoff, the dichotomy of left /right is a blatant and very old application of the divide and conquer strategy. That was Marx’s intent. It persists to this day, despite the supposed “left” having moved to the centre right in many cases, because the powerful forces farming humanity like sheep use it to manage discontent by presenting an illusory choice.

    Their media arm is playing it up all the time for exactly that reason. It gives a means for the sheeple to vent frustration at the way things are run, but it’s credibility as a way of determining the affairs of nations is rapidly eroding as its inherent flaws and failure to generate needed change become exposed.

    The trick is going to be finding a way of removing it, and those who are using it, and replacing it with something better without falling into the revolutionary trap and winding up with the same individuals still in charge under a slightly different set of puppets.

  8. TGC

    February 28, 2018 at 2:53 am

    There is just so much dreaming and unrealism in debates about the value of ‘independents’.
    With some reservation, I support the approach to ‘independent politicians’ of the contributor at #30 .. and in other posts.
    The ‘reservation’ is that the contributor is too cautious. The reality is that in a Lower House .. people’s assembly .. within our ‘democratic’ processes and systems, electing ‘independents’ is a complete waste of a vote, and trying to drum up ways and means of getting ‘independents’ into parliament .. such as at #32 and elsewhere .. is a waste of time.

  9. Simon Warriner

    February 27, 2018 at 11:34 pm

    Chris, your observations on the weakness of “independents” are quite correct. (And, I agree that changing the current laws would be very hard, especially without changing the nature of the parliament. That is why I keep jumping on those who suggest such sillyness)

    There is a way to address the issue, and that’s by developing an organisation that takes stewardship of the “independent” brand and acts to strengthen and protect it without impinging on the independence of decision making of those standing or elected. It’s definition of “independent” is a little different to the current one, and it requires the voter to sacrifice something to gain something else of greater value – and that does not seem to be that popular at present.

    It will require a real sales effort, but what worthwhile endeavor does not?

    I have some thoughts about how that might be done and what it might look like that I will be sending to Linz for Monday next week.

    I could stand for election myself, but if I can persuade others that they should support independent political aspirants to get elected and assist them to be the best representatives if elected, then I will have amplified my influence on the system. I have no intent on imposing my ideas on the policies of, or the outcomes that get decided by those independents, I just want the process that determines the outcomes and policies to be sensible, transparent, free from corruption, and durable.

    There is a general agreement in the community, locally, nationally and internationally, that party politics sucks, but there is very little in the way of avenues for the community to get involved in changing the system other than to buy into party politics. What I am proposing changes that.

  10. Geoff Holloway

    February 27, 2018 at 10:46 pm

    The main reason why “you won’t be able to magically disappear parties” (Chris Harries) is because all Western politics is based on the dichotomy of Left vs Right, probably due to Marxian class analysis of capitalist society (political economy) and we have not managed to move much beyond that.

    The major political parties continue to represent and promote the class dichotomy. The United Tasmania Group (UTG) tried to change this when Dick Jones famously said in the 1970s that UTG was “Neither Left nor Right but in Front”. Despite environmental or Green politics having spread across the world since then the Left-Right dichotomy still persists. The Left say this is because Marx was correct but, as Max Weber pointed out (published posthumously in 1922) Marx’s analysis was simplistic. However, the political dichotomy persists to this day.

  11. Chris Harries

    February 27, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    Simon, #29 … you’ve read me incorrectly again. I’m certainly not against independents per se. They sometimes have great value in getting past party caucus rooms and such. But there are two important riders:

    1. There is an inexorable tendency for independents to gravitate to become quasi parties or collectives (like the Jacqui Lambie Network) and then turn into formal parties – that is, if they survive at all.

    2. Not all independents are independent. This was classically the case re Leg Councillors in Tasmania who notoriously inhabited the most undemocratic House in the Westminster system. Independent in name but beholden to hidden interests all the same. My point is that there’s nothing sacred in the term independent.

    I don’t write off the value that progressive and authentic independents can provide, but you won’t be able to magically disappear parties. They naturally aggregate, and as political reps find they need allies of like mind. This happens either above board or below board.

    There would be some scope for political reforms that would limit the official role that formal parties currently play in politics, such as money that is provided for their staffing etc. Such laws would be very hard to enact, but go for it, Simon.

    Here in Denison we are lucky to have a good independent, Andrew Wilkie, as our Rep.

  12. Simon Warriner

    February 27, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    re #24 … No Chris, that is most definitely not what I was saying. I was just seeking to clarify something before I responded. Unfortunately that response will have to wait while I go Smithton and pick my son up so he can do his driving test tomorrow.

    However, I will observe that there is nothing simple or simplistic about the idea that independent politicians have much to contribute to the task of improving the functioning of our governments.

    That you choose to write it off as such is interesting on several levels. More on that when I return.

  13. Mike Bolan

    February 27, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    #26/27 …

    Complex systems adapt to their surroundings according to their structures and it seems that the Western political/governance systems have all adapted to the pressures on them by denial, obfuscation, inaction and fantasy (among others).

    As far as I can see, the effect is to drive the members (individuals) of those systems to insanity where war somehow leads to peace and prosperity; representation means virtually no communication with voters; and stability means constant uncertainty about policies and practices (e.g. climate).

    These features sound remarkably like Orwell’s 1984 world – probably for the same reasons (actions totally divorced from real world needs).

    So we must believe the official stories rather than the evidence of our own senses.

    Rebecca White probably has no choice but to obey Labor power brokers (I think politicians have to swear an oath of allegiance) although I’m hopeful that she’ll realise that the parties are a large part of our problem.

  14. Ted Mead

    February 27, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    #25 – Trevor – You are entitled to your opinion, but if you knew anything about me then you’d know lack of courage or conviction is not in my nature!

    Some people are simply not cut-out for a career in parliamentary politics, even some of the most astute ones I know don’t claim it was their main vocation in life, and in their political after life, many would claim it was not the greatest moments of inner contentment.

    Personally, enjoyment and inner happiness in life is my goal. I am only politically active because I want to change myopic attitudes, particularly towards the preservation of our precious environment.

    Whilst I admire the altruistic that enter politics for a cause, such a commitment should not come at the cost of one’s personal happiness. If that eventuates then it is a lost cause in all matters!

    The gift of being happy lies from being immersed within a happy environment.

    For me being amidst nature far outweighs being in a chamber of delusion and negativity!

  15. Chris Harries

    February 27, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    I’ve meet up with Rebecca twice and have been impressed with her respectful and open manner, her willingness to listen and her ability to pick up threads of technical arguments very smartly.

    That said, I suspect she would meekly follow her Party’s direction no matter what. Offsetting that, there has been a clearing out of some of Labor’s old guard and it has a much more balanced line-up of candidates than in years of old.

    This may all bode well in the coming decade. But we can’t foretell.

  16. TGC

    February 27, 2018 at 11:26 am

    #5 … “I must say state Labor under Rebecca White is much more promising that it has been under several of its former leaders.” Why?
    But having queried that I think #5 (elsewhere) is right to caution us about getting too carried away with attacks on ‘politicians’ – even the prolific Ted Mead has strenuously declined an invitation to stand for Parliament offering some pretty pathetic reasons why he lacks the courage. His approach appears to be ..’I will stand for Parliament so long as there is no-one else in there… others are not to be trusted’

  17. Chris Harries

    February 27, 2018 at 10:50 am

    Yep, sorry Simon (#22) that was a typo. I meant it to type bees knees. (Bloody self-correcting software.)

    The Leg Council by tradition has prided itself on being a house of Independents, though this was used as a sort of camouflage for not exposing who you really were. It was mostly occupied by conservative identities – if you bothered to look around to find their connections. I was using that example to demonstrate that the populist notion of ‘independent’ as good isn’t necessarily progressive.

    I must say that in more recent times the Leg Council’s matrix has changed to become more balanced and the major parties have both managed to get reps elected there, so voters have a better idea who and what they are actually voting for.

    Simon, if you are saying you don’t understand what I mean by systemic problems, then that exemplifies the point I was making. There are problems in politics that go beyond the sum of the parts. If we just focus on the current incumbents, as if they are the main problem, then we’ll be doing the same thing forever and a day. We’ll just get another batch as time goes by and nothing much will change. Politicians are just human beings like you or I.

    Look to a platform of systemic reform and we stand to make some headway. I think a maximum of two-year terms would help, to name just one example, but don’t just focus on that.

    Here we have an election under Hare Clark, arguably the best and fairest electon system in the world, and Big Money weighs in and buys a result. Are we happy with that situation? Who is to blame for it? Cassy O’Connor? Will Hodgman? Rebecca White? None of these, its completely legal. It’s systemic corruption. It’s one clear example that the market dominates and controls what we call parliamentary democracy.

  18. Mike

    February 26, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    Why not vote for yourself for a change?

    After all, if you are not smart enough to lead yourself – then you are also not smart to decide who else should be leading you.

    Either way, you shouldn’t be voting!

  19. Simon Warriner

    February 26, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    Chris, could you please explain what you mean? Maybe it is the day out in the sun, but I cannot for the life of me work out what you are trying to say here:

    “Nor is a simplistic idea that independents are themes knees”

    I suspect a typo, but who knows?

  20. Geoff Holloway

    February 26, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    The reformed UTG is aware of the issues raised by the commentators above, and some of these issues have been recognised for a long time.

    Back in 1911 in his book ‘Political Parties’ German sociologist Roberto Michels came up with the ‘iron law of oligarchy’ – and this problem is particularly significant when a group moves from social movement mode to organisational mode to participate in institutionalised politics – something clearly a problem within the Tasmanian Greens.

    One of the ways to try to counter this is the ‘direct democracy’ model, but that is unstable and inefficient and so internal elites develop. I have written two sociological theses on these issues.

    UTG tries to address some of these issues by using the sociocracy method of conducting meetings. We are also looking at networking models, such as the REDE Sustentabilidade in Brasil, which is essentially a Green party, and Alianza Verde in Colombia. We still have a long way to go …

  21. Chris Harries

    February 26, 2018 at 6:42 pm

    #16 [i]”My greatest fear in becoming an independent and isolated politician in the house of assembly is that one would become part of system that one could utterly despise, and so instead of changing a negative paradigm, one becomes part of it.”[/i]

    There you’ve hit the nail right on the head, Ted.

    I don’t besmirch everyone in parliament with the outright cynicism because politics is an awful career for anyone who wants to do good. And although it’s a good fun sport to bite all their ankles, we ought not to get too smugly opinionated – for if any of us were elected we would then become targets for outrage.

    Most citizens have little conception of systems and so the public tends to vent nearly all their spleen on incumbent individuals, rather than on system reform. Nor is a simplistic idea that independents are themes knees. If so we would really love the Leg Council. We can also see the inexorable conversion of independent groupings into parties. Like the Nick Xenophon group. Like the so-called Jacqui Lambie Network. What is that if it’s not a party?

    Interesting that the original green party titled itself as the UTG. In the 1980s it stood under the banner of ‘Green Independents’. By the early 1990s it became a fully fledged party.

    Democracy will always be a messy and inefficient game, but there are better and worse parliaments in the world. We ought to aspire to best practice at the very least. But this requires smarter reforms than just cycling candidates in and out of parliament. Those people in the cauldron will be mostly replaced by another set of MPs in 10 years time and we may barely be able to tell the difference. Lots of water will go under the bridge in the next ten years.

  22. Claire Gilmour

    February 26, 2018 at 11:35 am

    Vote 1 Craig Garland in Braddon …
    https://vimeo.com/257269157?outro=1

  23. Tony Stone

    February 26, 2018 at 11:24 am

    It’s only a few days before the election and as yet in my area, no one has a clue who is actually running outside those who have splattered their signs everywhere, and these are all from the lib/lab.

    If we are lucky we may get a hung parliament and a new election. If that happens and we want change, we need to be ready and put forward lots of independents with real workable policies that the people will enthusiastically grab.

    As others have stated, what hold people back is the reality they may end up just a figure drowning in a cesspool of corruption and nepotism.

    Then you have to get the right people who have no vested or ideological agenda and have the same aim – a viable, sustainable, low cost future.

    Next is getting known by the people which is a big ask when you are competing against multinationals and huge amounts of money and advertising.

    Those running would certainly not get support from the print media in Tas – and probably very little from airwave media.

    So it would have to be a grass roots campaign, using social media and communities spreading the word.

    I reckon it could be done, but it would need to be organised and kept quiet until a election is called, and then it would be a surprise to the incumbents and they would not be ready or prepared to combat it.

    Surprise would be the only way it would work. Give them any time at all and the incumbents would unite a make it very difficult to get the people’s ear.

    The policies would have to be integrated to each other, so the people can see the whole picture and not the fractured ad hoc policy on the run that we see from the incumbent parties.

    The most important aspect of policy would be to provide them in such a way that the people can visualise the positive impact on them as a whole package, and they can see will work for them.

    With everything falling apart around us, including the parties.the most important aspect to get a win would be for the people to see a group of independents working together for the good if Tas and not for the good of the corporate world or deranged ideologies but for all the people, environment and viable future.

    The mistake Tas first or another start up party makes, is to try to grab the spotlight as soon as they can. This give the incumbents lots of time to infiltrate, undermine and fracture the party. Not hard to do when you have the resources of the state and corporate world backing you.

    So surprise is the only way to get it done. To suddenly spring up out of nowhere, with real workable policies from people who have the actual experience and knowledge to get them implemented. This would be indefensible by the party system.

  24. George Smiley

    February 26, 2018 at 12:09 am

    Would be happy to vote for a united party of independent minds like you guys, but not if you were dumb enough to imagine the (dumb) silent majority would support you for your moral integrity rather than the usual dumb lies about good things coming to the ever- expanding pool of dumb people.

  25. Ted Mead

    February 25, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    #15 Chris … We have to admire the likes of Norm Sanders who was elected into parliament under the Democrats banner but was in essence a true MHA independent. Overt yes, with a touch of loose cannon in him, he embraced the Tasmanian parliament in those dark days which were much dimmer back then than now.

    I think Norm stood by his non-conforming guns always, and for that I admire him for being that flamboyant politician we needed at the time.

    Years after Norm left Tasmania the Greens approached Peter Cundall to stand. Peter’s response was something like “I wouldn’t be part of that cesspit for quids”

    I guess Peter’s statement reflects that anyone who could be a useful advocate for progression may not be inclined to consider a vocation as an elected politician, and since then Peter’s voice was well exercised through the media across the nation so he didn’t need to pursue what the Greens had hoped for him.

    Frankly, I couldn’t imagine, within the current uninspiring political environment, to pursue a vocation in the Tasmanian parliament. Being surrounded by such myopic and insular energy I would consider a retrogressive step in my personal development.

    My greatest fear in becoming an independent and isolated politician in the house of assembly is that one would become part of system that one could utterly despise, and so instead of changing a negative paradigm, one becomes part of it.

    Parliament isn’t for everyone, but if one is committed to a cause there often sees no other way to pedal onward.

    The senate seems the only means of being an effectual independent.

  26. Chris Harries

    February 25, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    Let’s keep in mind that if any of Phil, or Ted, or Michael, or Russell or Simon or Tony, or John or Peter or Mike or Geoff or myself (the above posters to this story) were elected to state parliament then it would be we who were sitting in the cauldron, being pointed at and stirred.

    From my perspective the problems of the world are so deep seated and deplorable and intractable that the human predicament is now beyond political resolution. Many people decried Obama’s inability to turn things around and he was about as articulate and able as any politician around.

    In every jurisdiction voters mock and jeer incumbents, and for good reasons, but nobody knows how to get elected and just click their fingers and turn capitalism on its head or control the media barons or stop money buying public opinion. These days, most political power resides in the market place, not in our parliaments.

    Still … we need movers and shakers in there. I still reckon we should cajole Ted to stand next time around, just to keep the pot on the boil.

  27. Simon Warriner

    February 25, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    re #12 … nice analogy.

    re #11 … nope, but I have vivid memories of 16 years of Labor mendacity and it will take one hell of a lot more than Rebecca White spouting soothing words in soothing tones to get past that.

  28. Ted Mead

    February 25, 2018 at 7:39 pm

    # Peter … I think you represent a fair portion of dissolutioned ex Green voters.

    What could make the difference or not to a Liberal Majority in the final cut may come down to preferences flowing to Liberals.

    I would imagine that there are very few Green or ex Green voters giving their # 2 vote to the Liberals, but you just never know with a poorly educated and dupable society.

    Despite Labor’s history there is a glimmer of hope that Bec White may tackle some controversial issues, but in the event of her being elected to the position of premier I doubt she’d want to take the poisoned chalice of Forestry.

    If Labor pursues the ongoing financial and environmental mayhem of Forestry over health and education, then she will just be carrying the eternal flame of lost for a cause Tasmanian governments.

    It seems only about 10% of voting punters see the Pokie issue as their decider, and if that’s anti, it may be enough to get Labor over the line.

  29. john hayward

    February 25, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    The problem is that the Tasmanian stew has not been stirred for so long that it has dried up and become something like a salt flat.

    John Hayward

  30. Peter Black

    February 25, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    #5 … A valid comment, Chris.

    ‘I must say state Labor under Rebecca White is much more promising than it has been under several of its former leaders’

    I feel the Lady wants Labor to start afresh from the dirty past, and by her Pokie policy she has more balls than weak Hogman and the test of his sold-out Pokie hypocrite Christian crew.

    For that reason, my vote goes to R White and the Ladies on her ticket.

    I have only voted Tas Labor once, about 32 years back. Fritz Robertson. He was Green, before the Greens.

    Since then my vote was always Green,but not after the last round of those 2 gits who liked their Minster seats.

    The Lady deserves a chance.

    Question to all who comment and read here … Do you want the Liberals to win ?

  31. Geoff Holloway

    February 25, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    Thank you for the vote of confidence in UTG Ted! We will try to meet your expectations!

    We recognise some of the challenges, including what I call the ´10% barrier´ – currently 12% across Tasmania. This barrier occurs across Australia and many other countries in the world. After 46 years of Green politics we are yet to work out a solution, which is somewhat surprising given climate change and other issues.

    There is a UTG general meeting this Sunday to take the next step. Regards, Geoff Holloway (Co-convenor of UTG).

  32. Mike Bolan

    February 25, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    Sound observations, Ted. For some hope and a positive view of the future, you might try the Liology Institute which has a number of complex systems folks devising a sustainable future (not the meaningless ‘sustainable’ used by our governments but genuine sustainability.) And that future has a plan, objectives and better yet, billion of dollars in investment. Trouble is that it won’t fly with the West because it’s BRICS and therefore threatens the authority of the great Satan. Sigh.

    On the election I suspect I’d be tempted by White, if that’s an option, because she has a brain and is capable of figuring all this out. As to the rest … it’s independents of informal, I suppose. Can’t see Will, or Rene, or Michelle etc etc ever challenging the unsustainable status quo.

  33. Simon Warriner

    February 25, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    re #5 … lets not forget that not voting also kept Hillary Clinton out. Trump certainly has his flaws, but she had a history.

    Every election cycle the dross gets worse. That is because only people who do not understand the danger of the conflicted interest inherent in being a party politician become party politicians. It is a flaw that compounds because people who do understand the dangers see the crap it creates and will have nothing to do with being political representatives, even for parties whose political ideals they support by being members. You are clearly smart enough to be able to understand how that, rinsed and repeated over the years, has brought us to where we currently stand, Chris.

    That is why that paradigm needs to be challenged. I propose that a way to create that challenge is the formation of an organisation that promotes the value of independent representatives, supports those who put themselves forward with training and generic promotion, and assists them in their work by developing and making available to elected independent representatives tools that enable them to work efficiently and effectively. That organisation has absolutely no role to play as far as policy is concerned and this is the bit that seems to defeat the minds of most people.

    In order to get good policy and good governance, those doing the governing need to approach the task with open minds and consider all perspectives, then work to deliver outcomes that deliver the greatest good for those being represented. Where short, medium and long term outcomes conflict, then that needs to be seen, understood and any compromises clearly communicated to those in the firing line. A supportive organisation providing policy direction will always end up limiting the range of perspectives considered, whether that is its intent or not. Individuals are always free to lobby their independent member with their positions and I certainly would encourage that, If they and others feel strongly enough they might form a lobby group, and they might engage in activity designed to amplify their voice, and I would hope any independent representative was smart enough to recognise that for what it was and weigh the representation accordingly.

    This means as voters we need to stop voting for policies and start voting for individuals based on their capacity to represent honestly a range of views, interests, needs and aspirations and their capacity to weigh those competing factors in the balance and design fair and workable outcomes, and to defend their decisions.

    Party politicians fail that test every single time because they come to the task with their opinions preformed.

  34. Michael Stasse

    February 25, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    The result of this election will be largely immaterial. The global economy could well be in tatters before the next one, and there may even be fuel shortages ….

    And as Tony Stone correctly asserts above, Nature bats last. She won’t be voted out, either.

    We will soon enough pay for allowing the elites to control everything.

    We need to change the way we do EVERYTHING, and nobody will do anything about it until it’s all too late, and so obvious in the rear view mirror.

  35. Ted Mead

    February 25, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    #4, Chris … I think I laid out my views impartially. I was equally critical of the Greens, though I did not advocate a No-vote for them.

    In my view there is only 2 options , namely voting for a party on principle regardless whether they produce the goods or not – or to vote informal, which brings about the Trump scenario as you have indicated.

    One of the outstanding trends we may see happening in the elections of the future if we keep have abominable representation is a vote could be cast for a person you don’t have a lot of faith in, in order to oust the incumbent you despise. Trump may suffer that fate next time around as 75 million people in the USA didn’t vote because many of them felt there was maybe nobody positive to vote for. The US democrats, in my view, shot themselves in the foot this way.

    Here’s a hypothetical: imagine that there was a chance a particularly bad incumbent in Tasmania was a high risk at the next election at losing their seat. Should one vote on principle for a preferred party candidate knowing that there’s not a snowflake’s chance in hell of them getting in, or should one place a strategic vote to remove the dead wood knowing that the future representation can only be an improvement?

    I believe this was the catalyst for the demise of the 3 Amigos.

    I say vote in principle, but there may always be circumstances to vote otherwise!

  36. Chris Harries

    February 25, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    You didn’t quite advocate to not vote on principle, Ted. It’s an attractive way to go, but that’s what got Trump in, when millions of US voters decided the system is too bad to bother to vote.

    I respect those who exercise their democratic right to not vote (accepting the necessary fine) or to deliberately deface their ballot slips, but it’s like letting go the rope in a tug-of-war. When you don’t vote, you do vote.

    The problems of politics are systemic. There are some good people in there with good intentions. Lucky we can use Hare-Clark voting system to pick and choose. (Why can’t we vote for Ted Mead?)

    Also, every election, no matter the outcome, gets rid of some dross.

    I must say state Labor under Rebecca White is much more promising that it has been under several of its former leaders.

  37. Ted Mead

    February 25, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    #2 … Maybe that layer of scum has now become an impermeable crust ….

  38. Tony Stone

    February 25, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    When you consider not one of the parties has a viable policy platform for this century, there is no one to vote for.

    Lib Lab, except for pokies, are the same – corrupt, totally indebted to their vested interests and not the future requirements.

    The Greens started off with a decent policy approach but now it is run by useless academics and ideological wankers. None of them have a clue and like the other parties, they jump on any bandwagon they think will get them votes, and not the real issues facing our future.

    We are in for 4 more years of economic and environmental disaster by the time the next election comes round. Our society may be well down the road to extinction as we know it.

    Nature is rapidly ramping up its responses to our disgusting ways of living, and to our abuse of life and the environment.

    Each year will see dramatic increases in natural attacks on human societies, which we are seeing already. Huge flooding downpours, horrendous winds and storms. The next dry year may see firestorms enveloping the country, and these will probably be in winter and not summer.

    None of the parties have addressed the future. They reside deep in the past and yet everyone will vote for them.

    Can’t say much more about human mentality when humans are prepared to vote for their demise and do nothing themselves but live in ideological empty hope, or a miracle.

  39. Russell

    February 25, 2018 at 10:55 am

    Wrong Mr Twain!

    A stew gets better with age. Politics become more rancid.

  40. philll Parsons

    February 25, 2018 at 9:46 am

    If you want change but wait for something better than the Greens to arise, you must be prepared for mediocrity for a long time.

    Labor has adopted the Greens’ position on the most controversial matter in the election – Pokies.

    Without the Greens it would still be a fringe issue in election terms even though pokies in pubs is so unpopular.

    The Liberals scuppered the last big step for Tasmania, the end of the forest wars, and they propose to do the same for communities by extending problem gambling for another 25 years.

    Many want to criticise the growth in Tourism and nothing is perfect after over 3 decades of growth, but it was the Greens who pointed out the potential.

    Without the Greens Tasmania would remain in the past, less than it can be. With the old parties you can be sure the future will be diminished.

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