Conservatives in the country

This morning the ever brilliant Possum Pollytics posted a graphical analysis of how each booth in Australia voted at the last federal election. Having grown up in the former National Party stronghold of New England, and lived here in Albury for over a decade now I was unsurprised to see a swath of Liberal blue across the inland regions of our country.

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Continue reading “Conservatives in the country”

Malcolm can’t take a trick

Poor, poor Malcy. When he was booked in to appear on Insiders this morning the polls in Queensland were confidently pointing to his cousin Anna Bligh and the ALP copping a hiding on Saturday. I have no doubt that Malcolm would have been salivating at the thought of being able to declare that the Queensland election was a rejection of Kevin Rudd and the entire ALP platform.

Instead, the LNP couldn’t get any traction in South East Queensland and the ALP were comfortably returned. Turnbull really didn’t look like a happy camper this morning, he recited his standard lines, “jobs, jobs, jobs”, and my current favourite “We made a bad law less bad so that it will destroy fewer jobs”, but he didn’t even seem to be convincing himself.

On the bright side for Malcolm, the next state elections aren’t due until early 2010 and he won’t be depending on Lawrence Springborg to carry the flame for Australia’s conservatives next time around.

What choice does he have?

Yesterday, in response to this post about Malcolm Turnbull, and my bitching about his substance free politicing, Lee asked in the comments, “What choice does he have?”. So here are a couple of policies that Malcolm and the Libs can have for free, courtesy of Dave from Albury.

  1. Oppose the National Net Nanny proposed by Stephen Conroy.
  2. This should be an easy one for the Liberal Party to sell. National scale internet filtering will increase costs and reduce performance of every internet connection in Australia, that’s bad for the Libs business constituency.

    Mandatory filtering is a free speech issue, does anyone want the Federal Government deciding what we can and cannot see? This will play well with the large pool of Coalition voters who are still convinced that the ALP are secretly planning to institute communist rule, despite failing to do so during the Whitlam, Hawke or Keating governments.

  3. Shareholder Reform. Make it easier for shareholder resolutions to be included at companies AGMs
  4. Today, one hundred signatures of current shareholders are required for the lodgement of a shareholder resolution to a companies AGM. Bearing in mind how difficult companies often make it to get access to their share register, it is incredibly difficult for anyone who is not already part of a large organised group to put a resolution to their fellow shareholders. Changing this to something like the US model, where all that is required is a $2000 holding, would encourage shareholders to have a greater say in how companies are run. This goes further than Turnbull’s limp wristed remuneration idea as it would allow shareholders to make their feelings known on a range of business practices, eg environmental or ethics policies. Surely this would be a boon to the ‘shareholder class’ that we ‘aspirational’ Australians are all supposed to be joining?

That’s just two policies, both of which fit in with the Liberal Party’s commitments to individual responsibility and a strong free market. They each require careful explanation, which is why I suspect there is no chance that they will be presented to the public any time soon.

Speaking from both sides of your mouth

When a conservative politician tells you that they’re concerned about the underprivileged, or people adversely affected by the budget don’t believe them for a second.

CHARITY workers again face being stripped of their family tax payments after the Opposition blocked budget legislation containing changes to salary-sacrificing laws.

Given the choice between helping people or using the last week of their Senate majority to frustrate the government, it should surprise no-one that the Coalition went with the latter option.

Don’t believe a single word from these weasels when they claim to care about “ordinary Australians”, they don’t give a shit about anyone. They don’t give a fuck about social equality, they don’t care if pensioners freeze or if carers starve, they’d rather throw tantrums about being kicked out of office than do anything to ensure people’s welfare.

So next time you see a clip of Brendan ‘Emo Man’ Nelson pleading for the welfare of one section of the community or another, just remember that his colleagues would throw them all under a bus if they thought they could get away with it.

Update: Unsurprisingly, this story doesn’t appear to be getting a run at all on news.com.au or The Australian’s web site.

Malcolm Turnbull, an unacceptable choice.

There has been up to this point a fair amount of support for Malcolm Turnbull, not only from Liberal Wets, but also from Labor supporters who see him as a more reasonable alternative to guys like Brendan Nelson, Nick Minchin and Tomás de Torquemada Tony Abbott. Turnbull, it seems, earns a little bit of lefty cred because of his support for an Australian Republic and because John Howard hated him, but don’t forget that these characteristics are also shared by our laziest ever Treasurer, Peter Costello and I certainly don’t see anyone lining up to hang out with Pete. Let’s take a bit more of a look at the man who would be king. Continue reading “Malcolm Turnbull, an unacceptable choice.”