Category Archives: Federal Election 2016

JOHN AUSTEN. Road spending incurs billion dollar new debts annually – nobody notices (Repost from 27 June 2016)

It’s traditional that election time in Canberra brings out the road lobbies who ask for ‘all that extra cash’ which governments raise from fuel excise to be ‘put back into our roads’. The problem is that the facts no longer … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KEATING. An appreciation of Ian Marsh.

Ian Marsh who passed away last week, was a highly original thinker with the genuine curiosity of a true intellectual. Ian liked to describe himself as one of the last ‘Deakinite Liberals’. This apt description reflected: Ian’s contributions to industrial … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. What our next Prime Minister should do on asylum seekers.

The following is a repost from 22 June 2016 – before the recent election. After the election, our new Prime Minister should arrange an urgent meeting with the leaders of the three other major parties to negotiate a sensible and … Continue reading

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PETER DAY. The Parable of the Good Muslim

  Some right leaning Christian politicians and commentators were not satisfied when a wise man told them you should love your neighbour as yourself. “And who is my neighbour,” they asked. The wise man replied: A conservative Member of Parliament … Continue reading

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TONY SMITH. A major madness

  It is only the most naive among us who equate democracy with majoritarianism. The ‘Brexit’ plebiscite certainly returned a majority in favour of Britain leaving the European Union, but the distress caused by the decision shows that the plan … Continue reading

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The election campaign’s other big lie: the Coalition hasn’t delivered ‘export agreements’.

  Pearls and Irritations has carried many articles about the exaggerated claims for free trade agreements.  That exaggeration continued during the election campaign. One of the five pillars of Malcolm Turnbull’s ‘plan for jobs and growth’ was the alleged benefits … Continue reading

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MARK TRIFFITT & TRAVERS McCLEOD. Stability will only be found through ideas and democratic renewal

  On Saturday, Australia’s political system crossed a line. From the normal messiness of democracy into fragmented incoherence. From voter unrest to potential revolt. The implications are clear for anyone who wants to see. Instability is no longer a one-off … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. What the major parties ignored in the election?

  The election seemed more about avoiding some key issues than a contest of values and ideas. Because so many key issues such as refugees were avoided, it is not surprising that so many voters, about one third, turned their … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Economy, Federal Election 2016, Foreign Affairs, Health, NBN, Politics, Refugees and asylum seekers | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

LAURIE PATTON. NBN: The Internet is for everyone

  According to Twitter, #NBN ranked fifth out of the ten issues most mentioned on the #ausvotes hashtag. Ahead of immigration, marriage equality, super, jobs and tax cuts. So it is timely that we look at how we are going … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. How about a spill of the Canberra Press Gallery?

  After the election the media is telling us how ‘Malcolm Turnbull’s authority has been shattered’; ‘Turnbull faces big Senate hurdle’; ‘numbers don’t stack up in the Senate for a joint sitting on union crackdown’; ‘Turnbull faces angry back bench’; … Continue reading

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KLAAS & AAFKE WOLDRING. Has Australia now become ungovernable?

  While the final outcome of the 2016 election will have to wait for a few days, a Hung Parliament or a Government with a narrow majority seems likely. The outcome for the Senate will take longer but will be … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. This is not the way it was meant to be.

  In a singularly petulant and graceless speech in the early hours after election night, Malcolm Turnbull said he thought he would be returned to government. His surly but defiant supporters – those of them who had not already gone … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Privatisation of Medicare has been underway for years.

In this blog before the election, I highlighted the risks to Medicare in many posts.  See links below: John Menadue. Privatisation and the hollowing out of Medicare. David Pope. Medicare – Eaten out from within. Ian McAuley. Bill Shorten is … Continue reading

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KAITLIN WALSH. Come on down Malcolm! Because YOU are The Biggest Loser

  If revenge is a dish best served cold then surely schadenfreude is best when tasted hot and fresh. As when viewing the tattered remnants of the Turnbull camp following Saturday’s election.

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JOHN MENADUE. Conservatives have set the gold standard in scare campaigns.

After following politics and elections for over 60 years, it is quite extraordinary to see the Liberal party complaining about the Medicare scare campaign. In a downcast and confusing speech on election night Malcolm Turnbull spoke of the ‘well funded … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. A hung parliament could be a good thing.

  We have been warned time and time again about hung parliaments and the chaos that follows. The media which is so often more concerned about politics and personalities than good governance, joins in the chorus about the risks of … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE: ‘Plan for a strong new economy’

  As a voter in the prime minister’s electorate of Wentworth, I have received two letterbox drops from Malcolm Turnbull on a 5-point plan for economic growth and jobs. This 5 point plan is the centre piece of Malcolm Turnbull’s … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Economy, Federal Election 2016, Foreign Affairs, NBN, Politics, Taxation | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

IAN McAULEY. Brexit – retreat to isolationism and discontent of those left behind.

The Brexit vote has given the media a cornucopia of stories – dissent in the British Conservative and Labour Parties, the possible breakup of the “United” Kingdom and turmoil on financial markets. These, however, are distractions from two serious issues … Continue reading

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LESLEY RUSSELL. It is disingenuous of the Coalition to claim it has no intention of privatising Medicare.

The election campaign battle over Medicare should come as no surprise. It echoes disputes during previous campaigns and have their origins in ideological divides that date back to well before Medicare was founded and have persisted through the subsequent political … Continue reading

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JENNY HOCKING. Parakeelia and Political Trust

  If trust is at the centre of this election campaign, then journalists are looking for it in the strangest places. The 7.30’s Leigh Sales finds it in the ‘knifing’ by both leaders, Bill Shorten and Malcolm Turnbull, of a … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Saving Medicare.

  In an earlier article in this blog, I outlined how Medicare is under threat but not for the reasons outlined by Bill Shorten. The threat is the erosion of Medicare from within by the power of vested interests and … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Trust and Distrust.

  So at long last, next weekend, the voters get to choose, not that it’s much of a choice: which putative prime minister do they least distrust? The least few days of the campaign of degenerated into a screaming match … Continue reading

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KAITLIN WALSH. Don’t trust anyone over 30. The division that transcends race, gender and religion – and why a #SSM plebiscite could become our #Brexit

  The increasing vitriol between the Boomers and (mostly) Gen Y has singed more than a few nose hairs in recent years. You’d be well advised to approach any discussion between active combatants with full hazmat gear. And now the … Continue reading

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LINDA SIMON. The national scandal in Vocational Education and Training (VET).

Redesigning VET FEE-HELP In late April the Federal Government released a discussion paper entitled ‘Redesigning VET FEE-HELP’. It had become apparent that continuing legislative changes put through the Federal Parliament were not enough to prevent the behaviour of some private … Continue reading

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. Foreign policy issues during and after the July 2 Election

  The Turnbull Government and the Shorten Opposition have focussed on domestic issues in the election campaign.  This is understandable but in the longer term the Government elected on the 2nd of July will need to address the greatly changed world … Continue reading

Posted in Australia and Asia, Defence/Security, Federal Election 2016, Foreign Affairs, Politics | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

DAVID POPE. Medicare – Eaten out from within.

  This cartoon by David Pope was published in The Canberra Times. I posted this cartoon on social media today, with links to your blog article. The cartoon was, in part, inspired by your posts. Too often, a good thousand words is worth … Continue reading

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ARTHUR CHESTERFIELD-EVANS. Medicare- Did the Liberals try to abolish it?

  This is a current question with Shorten claiming that the Liberals are trying to privatise it and Turnbull calling this a Labor lie. What is the truth? The answer is in the history of Medicare funding. Medibank was set … Continue reading

Posted in Federal Election 2016, Health, Politics | Tagged , | 2 Comments

LYNDSAY CONNORS. The schools funding question that Turnbull needs to answer

  ‘The quality of a student’s education should not be limited by where the student lives, the income of his or her family, the school he or she attends or his or her personal circumstances’. This is the statement of … Continue reading

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FRANK BRENNAN SJ. How to Stop the Boats Decently after the election

  In her valedictory speech on 17 June 2013 after 20 years in parliament Judi Moylan reminded us: If we are committed to stopping the deaths at sea, in this most intransigent of political arenas, our parliament must find a … Continue reading

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HUGH MACKAY. It’s time for a national conscience vote

  Whatever this ill-conceived double-dissolution (double disillusion?) election is about, it is clearly not addressing the issue that, more than any other, is redefining what it means to be Australian.

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