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Seeing Red About The Election

I was drawn to this book because the news reports about it made me feel ill. As a female senior Cabinet Minister who's just toppled the Prime Minister attempts a mandate for what she's stolen, the daughter of the ousted PM has published a novel based on someone doing what Julia did to her Dad. Is she a new Nostradamus?

If everything from a political leader's mouth comes from an arsehole, why not vote for an egg? Get a giggle from the Sunny The Egg campaign ad on Youtube and you'll be in the mood for Jessica Rudd's Campaign Ruby. It's a lightly humorous easy-read, and if it was film you'd call it a "chick-flick". Underneath the flippant veneer is an Election Campaigns For Dummies, a lesson for the less-politically-tragic of us on how predictable politicians' paths can be. Where Mungo MacCallum's Advice To A Young Politician was a primer on how aspirants to The Lodge should plot their courses, Jessica shows us the media circus and the scripting that are presented to us in the weeks before someone's given the keys to Kirribilli.

Given that the fiction in this book so closely correlates with our current political reality, there's one major aspect which Miss Rudd appears to have gotten badly wrong. She's believed that because of the Global Financial Crisis this election would be fought in a campaign centred on economics. The proverbial "elephant in the room" has not been given any oxygen by either Abbott or Gillard through the use of a simple ploy. Julia's asked to discuss it, Tony's declined, so neither's given anything away. The elephant's still there, but both opponents ignore it so steadfastly that it appears to be non-existent. An underestimated and very broke voting public, however, will see the pre-mentioned pachyderm quite clearly, and this can't be doing any good to anybody's "cred-factor" in the slightest. Do either realise how cynical they're making the Australian population become? Miss Rudd, through her protagonist's role as an investment banker come Liberal economic advisor and spin doctor, based her plot on what should have happened but didn't

I'm still a hundred pages from the end of the book. The election's round 48 hours away. While reading I've been listening to Julia invoking Kevin in the Brisbane show last night,. "If Kevin was here tonight," says she " he would be saying that he's come off a sick bed to campaign for the re-election of my Government – he doesn't want to go back." I found myself asking "Go back to where, Julia? Back to when he was the popularly elected Prime Minister about to campaign for his second term?" If Kevin's tears on the day of the leadership spill are anything to go by, he'd go back without a second's hesitation.

I used to think elections were about voting for people and believing in policies. It seems now that the reason we vote is to oppose what we don't want. Given such a negative karma, can such a sick form of democracy do anything but deteriorate? Maybe Mark Latham's right, and we should reply to the blank pages we've been given with blank ballots? It would send a clear message that we're tired of this game and don't want to play any more. Many would argue (as I've done often) that non-participation revokes the non-voter's right to a political voice. I can't help but wonder, though, what might happen if eighty per cent of Australian voters told our would-be elected leaders to stick this form of democracy up their backsides.

I await the ending of both Campaign Ruby and the campaign of Labour's redheaded Brutus with great eagerness to learn how closely one reflects the other.

PS The "Brutus" tag comes deliciously from the book, and I've just realised where Jessica got the name "Ruby" – the two monikers share the first three letters.


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We had an election

Well, we had an election about nothing, we got the only result we could have.


Marilyn Shepherd , Well, we had an election about nothing, you could not be more wrong, Labor and Gillard are incompetant and the electorate have told them so.

Gillard took the electorate for fools in the last week of the campaign by promising a rail link to Parramatta and saying that we could wake up on Sunday with Work Choices.

She must have thought she was addressing a union meeting.

She is obviously a very intelligent lady but was told what to do by the union hacks and faceless men.

The one thing that does show up is that a vote for The Greens is a vote for Labor.

As for the Greens win in Melbourne this will be another one-off like  Michael Organ who won the 2002 Cunningham byelection and then got tossed out..

The electorate saw through Maxine McKew and tossed her out, she was a complete waste of time.

With The Greens holding the balance of power, working people are going to do it tough but the asylum seekers an people smugglers are going to continue to get their freebies.


It would take at least eight to 10 years to create a professional security force of the size and competence Nato envisaged, Sultanzoy said. The idea it could be done faster was mere wishful thinking. "Desertions are very problematic. They are estimated at about 8,000 to 10,000 a year. For the police it is higher. Drug addiction among the police is a big problem. How can you learn to be a good policeman if you are stoned all the time?"

Some experts thing it may take up to ten years to train the Afghan army but Ms Gillard thinks it can be done in two to four years.

Ms Gillard extended her sympathies to the families of the soldiers.

"Obviously as a nation we have lost two very brave men, and there are families in this nation today who have lost two men they loved very much," she said.

"There are many who will be mourning the loss of their comrades, and on behalf of the nation as Prime Minister I send them my goodwill as they struggle with this news."

Ms Gillard said Australia needed to stay the course in Afghanistan despite a number of recent deaths and said the mission to train the Afghan army should take between two to four years.

Whoever is PM on Monday needs to rethink our role in Afghanistan.

Ask the question would you send your sons and daughters to fight this tragic war?

If you answer no then why do we ask the mothers, fathers, wives and children of our service community to put their loved ones in harm's way?

Two Australian Soldiers killed not a political issue?

The Defence Force has confirmed two Australian soldiers have been killed and two others wounded by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

Private Grant Kirby, 35, and Private Tomas Dale, 21, were killed when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off while they were overseeing an Afghan army patrol in the Baluchi Valley.

Two Australian soldiers killed today in Afghanistan and our political leaders have refused to even discuss the role of Australian troops in Afghanistan, during the election campaign.

When will we have the guts to say enough is enough!

The ALP and Liberals should form a coalition and let the Greens become the true opposition.

They are the only major party who has a policy of withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Walking Away

Walking away is a bit irresponsible. There is a wrecked society, wrecked by us and our intervention. Wrecked in the first place by the United States sabotage of the Soviet-oriented and Soviet-supported government. Left in chaos. Successful in sabotage, the Americans walked away.

The Soviets were the good guys. The government they supported created a brief goldent age, particularly for women, in Afghanistan. They protected minorities from the endemic racism.

The Americans were the bad guys, the black hats, who wrecked, left a void for warlords, and walked away.

Oh, but this time it's okay, this time we've put a strongman in charge, a Pashtun thug who is above the law, a new Saddam Hussein. Of course!  Whew!  All fixed!

So fine, Australia, walk away, advance fair, and fuck Afghanistan.

I've already made a suggestion which would see foreign troops withdraw to new national borders, which would confine the Taliban to the Pashtun homeland where they could be left alone for other Pashtuns to handle or be handled by. It's not Paradise, there's plenty of Islamic fanaticism in the North.

But if our troops just controlled the borders of the Pashtun and Persian homelands instead of roaming around looking for Taliban they'd be doing an essential work in relatively very safe and controlled situations, and would have rescued an oppressed people.

I could respond to the outrage now being expressed that two Australians died and two were wounded and that we don't have the "guts" to walk away.

Private tragedies for the particular four families concerned, but less than the road toll, and what can I say to compare those two deaths and two injury cases with the frightfulness of life and copious death in Afghanistan? More than four people involved, there.

It doesn't take guts to walk away, John. You have the wrong word. The correct words are "cowardice" and "treachery".

We shouldn't have gone in the first place, but now it's too late to change our minds, and wander off. The job's not done.

And I don't mean arming and training the next generation of Taliban.

Cowardice and treachery

Michael, you think walking away is "cowardice or treachery".

Do you think the Australian effort has any real effect on the final outcome?

Eventually the US will cut and run. Their debt is out of control they can no longer pay for their overseas adventures.

It is only a matter of time before they withdraw, when they go, we will have to go as well.

In the mean time how many Australian soldiers will be killed and maimed  just to save face?

No, like Vietnam and Iraq we cannot win and to stay will only cause even more damage.

Comparing Australian killed in action to the road toll is disgusting.

We have as a nation put our troops into harm's way. It is time we had the courage to admit our mistakes.


John: "Do you think the Australian effort has any real effect on the final outcome?"

Good question. Important one. Someone needs to answer it.

"Comparing Australian killed in action to the road toll is disgusting."

Let's try to look at the matter temperately, and attempt to gain a rational perspective regarding what admittedly are tragic events.  Road deaths are also tragic events. Less noble, certainly, but for that reason a good perspective. A death with a death is a fair comparison. One can quibble, one got into his car for his own pleasure and the other was sent by the government into a dangerous situation (but after thorough training), etc. etc., but let's not. The job of the soldier is to kill or be killed. Nasty, but that's it.  They chose that career, to be killers, voluntarily. That's not a criticism; to fight for your country is a noble task, but that's what it entails. That's where the nitty-gritty is. The fact that one man died for his country and the other had a prang does not make it disgusting.

We seem to accept road deaths as normal. Let's not accept the deaths of these soldiers, and the injury cases, as normal, but let's notice that fact, and calm down.

Toxic superman

While I sympathise with your views, Michael, the problem is that our presence inflames the situation and makes it worse. As long as we are there, we are aggravating the situation.

I believe the coalition of the willing should pay for an independent UN force to run the country for five years and then hold elections. The UN military should be composed primarily of Muslims.


Jay, that's not a bad idea. But it may not be without problems. "Primarily of Muslims" may not be any better, may be worse, in confronting a Taliban critical of the corruption of Islamic societies other than themselves.

The UN forces might become a primary target of the Taliban for that reason.

Maybe easier to fraternise, maybe not good, maybe desertions.

Is there any way of planning around that, or is it suck it and see?

I think I'd rather use Fijians.

Libs dressed as Greens

The Queensland Labor Party has made a formal complaint to the electoral commission after discovering Liberal National-Party supporters dressed in T-shirts with Greens slogans at polling booths in the seat of Ryan.

ALP state secretary Anthony Chisholm says some LNP supporters are handing out flyers at The Gap and Toowong in Brisbane to capture Greens preferences.

Mr Chisholm says Labor will pursue legal action, but in the short term have asked the electoral commission to order the removal of the people apparently dressed as Greens supporters.

The LNP will stop at nothing to gain power. With dirty tricks like this, the LNP should be disqualified for vote rigging.

The liberals are showing their true colours and it is certainly not Green!

My day at the polling booth a preview of tonight's fun

Hi just came back from the polling booth at Hambleton Primary School, located in the small town of Edmonton just on the outskirts of Cairns, Far North Queensland.

It was quite hot in the tropical sun, (eat your hearts out you Mexicans). Plenty of sun tan lotion required with all parties sharing drinks and lotion.

The Edmonton booth covers two very large Queensland electorates Kennedy and Leichhardt.

We had a mix of characters including two male models done out in cowboy boots and akubra hats (it is Katter country).

We had several people from GetUp handing out score cards on the political parties. The Greens had a perfect score in all policy areas followed by the ALP and trailing well behind the Liberal National Party.

We also had a large turn out of  Fishing and Lifestyle party supporters.

(The smell of the One Nation party lingering on.)

Consensus at the booth was Kennedy would go to Bob Katter, Leichhardt to Warren Entch (LNP) and a senate place for Greens.

Interesting times with a hung parliment with Katter and other independents holding balance of power and Greens controlling the senate.

Selling fraud

It seems pretty clear to me that an off-shore processing centre breaches article 32 of the refugee convention. (Cannot remove a refugee forcibly from their territory). If so, then both leaders, in their race to the bottom are quite willing to lead Australia into committing fraud (again). Another Gitmo, and for the same reason: evading the law. At least the Americans had the excuse that they gave into their fear of terrorism.

There is, of course, one ethical way out of this dilemma, and that is to withdraw from the convention. However, letting others see us without our make-up would be too embarrassing. Much better to commit fraud.

What really does this tell us about the people we are selecting as leaders, and of ourselves?

Prime Ministership.. I'm as qualified as Tony!

For some reason (partly pre electoral jitters, partly insomnia induced by the break-in theft of my laptop while I slept last weekend) I've only managed four hours sleep since Wednesday.  Yep I'm tired, but plenty of energy to do stuff for a while yet.  Nothing stronger than Tony'd 80-per-cent-lemonade-light-beer-shandy  (which made him appear a wimp when countered by Gillard's full-strength sttout) has passed my lips.

Cancel the election, I'm yer man.

Christopher Pyne will be sleeping easily tonight, having lost his Australian Democrat opponent. Channel Seven found out he had a conviction for attempting to procure a fifteen year old boy. The Dems, learning of the conviction just before Seven rang yesterday, have already taken their posters down in Pine's electorate of Sturt.  Nothing so grubby as something Piyne a-cleaned...

He won't get a spot in my Cabinet, unless behind glass as a taxidermed trophy.. 


It can't mean much because Labor is no worse than the other Westminster system force, the Coalition. The political blood from Turnbull and others surely provided the dye for the budgie smugs. 

Labor is capturing the mortgage belt from the (non ALP) right at the expense of longterm supporters on the left who have headed Green, which has a policy agenda that requests that the promises of 2007 are kept. In previous elections it hasn't occured that Labor is standing on a fairly reasonable economic record, paradoxically it's the Abbottites that look boofish, having been consigned by Stiglitz, the"gang of fifty" economists, and Glen Stevens who is starting to become irked at the voodoo economics of the coalition, over the successful stimulus program that has seen us avoid the worst of a global malaise.

The petulance of their debt scare campaign is matched by the irresponsibility. The petulance of opposition refusals to provide policy costings, however, is an affront to the Australian public.

But the irresponsibility is matched by some parts of the media and press, highlighted by particular the buying off of Latham by Nine was crass and the result, involving Gillard, a nasty piece of televison.

Labor has not covered itself in glory, with its evasiveness. It may not laud neoliberalism like Abbott and his fruitcakes, but they have not given any real sign that they have backed off sufficiently from neoliberalism to comfort many out here in the boondoggles. It is in slightly better condition for government and normally you'd say that they'd be safe.

But the situation is aggravated by the unpopularity of several state Labor governments and when the opposition finds the switch to direct the resentment against state labor in NSW and QLD on to the feds, fed labor is going to be very uncomfortable.

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