Election 2016: Older Australians are dissatisfied with politics

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A national poll has revealed that Australians over 65 are dissatisfied with the state of Australian politics, however, even though they distrust politicians, they still believe in the democratic process.

The Ipsos Poll, conducted by the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis (IGPA) in conjunction with the Museum of Democracy at Old Parliament House, surveyed over 1200 Australians about their impression of Australian politics. Of the 1200 surveyed, 163 were aged 65 or older. Results of the study showed that older Australians thought the standard of honesty and integrity in our political system was not only low, but also decreasing.

When Australians aged 50 and over were asked to rate the standards of honesty and integrity of elected politicians, 29.3 per cent said they were very low, 40.4 per cent said they were somewhat low and 8.1 per cent said they were somewhat high. No older Australians gave a ‘very high’ rating. And almost half of all respondents aged 65 and over believe the Government runs the country with giving priority to interests of big business over those of the people.

But even though older Australians say they are distrustful of politicians, they are still more likely to be politically engaged.

The results also showed that older Australians are more sceptical of the standard of politics than younger generations. According to Professor of Governance and IGPA Director Mark Evans, this lack of trust boils down to how Aussies view the political decision-making process.

“The evidence suggests that they simply don’t like the norms and values of contemporary politics,” Professor Evans told SBS. “The politics are too adversarial, self-serving and disconnected from the needs and aspirations of everyday Australians.”

Dr Max Halupka, also of the IGPA, believes the short story is that older Australians are confident in democracy, but not in the politicians involved in the system.

“You can feel really quite confident in a democratic process but disenfranchised with the way in which it’s utilised,” said Dr Halupka.

Paul Versteege from the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association claims that the reason for older Australians’ discontent with politics is that it’s all just more of the same.

“It is the feeling when you talk to older people generally, they’ve seen it all before,” Mr Versteege said. “They’ve seen governments come and go, especially the last two governments have been changing leaders.”

Read more at www.governanceinstitute.edu.au

Opinion: It’s little wonder we’re critical

It’s little wonder older Australians are distrustful of our political system. They’ve seen it all before: governments come and go with very little accomplished by the changing of the guard. And looking at the current leadership options on the table, there’s very little to sway a voter one way or another, other than life-long political allegiance.

I mean, it’s even becoming more difficult to spot any significant differences between the two major parties. Just look at Budget 2016/17 for example: the Coalition attacks Labor for proposed policies it says won’t work, then, weeks later, introduces these same policies as its own.

Ripping the rug from under superannuants certainly did nothing to boost the standing of politicians. And taking from those who can least afford it whilst ensuring that the wealthy are well looked after would seem a sure-fire way to pit older Australians against politicians.

The last two governments have had mid-term leadership changes. The current political climate is nothing short of a pantomime. Policy backflips, political infighting and mutiny, MPs leaving politics in disgrace or disgust, name-calling and recurrent scandals over the misuse of taxpayer money – it’s no surprise that Australians see our political system as a bit of a joke. Having a 24-hour media cycle highlighting this behaviour probably doesn’t help either.

I imagine that, as distrustful as we are of politicians, most of them, at some stage, got into the game to make a positive difference. Sadly, though, that optimism is, more often than not, crushed by the weight of the party line and political manoeuvring.

Malcolm Turnbull shows promise and is confident of re-election, but his need to pander to his conservative colleagues is doing his reputation as a fresh leader more harm than good. Bill Shorten sat in the background for a half term allowing Tony Abbott to shoot himself in the foot, which, at the time, may have turned out to be a politically savvy move, but now he has his work cut out for him, because he is up against a leader who, by all accounts, is more popular than his predecessor. In other words, Bill will need all his campaigning experience and political manoeuvring to pull off a win in Election 2016. He certainly put his best foot forward in his Budget 2016/17 rebuff, but can he be counted on to lead the country?

And what of our other options? Well, after its own leadership shake up last year, the Greens are see-sawing between alliances to the two majors, and the Independents are basically seen as a constant source of parliamentary instability.

One could still make an argument for voting Independent, but will that get us to where we need to be? We could justify it by saying it’s good to have outside viewpoints in the Senate to keep the two major parties honest, but when policies don’t make it through to legislation time after time, what is the point of giving a vote to an Independent?  It is worth mentioning though, that with solid leadership, more Independent MPs in the House of Representatives and the Senate could be good for keeping the majors in check.

Put simply, there is no clear choice for voters in Election 2016, so we can only hope that, in the next couple of months, we see some promising, progressive proposals that put people in front of big business and the wealthy. Or at least some sign of strength and solidarity that allows us to feel that our country is in good hands.

Until then, buckle up for the Election 2016 campaign roller-coaster, which will undoubtedly be packed with more of the same playground antics, fear-campaigning and political panto. Unless, of course, someone rises above the fray. One can only hope.

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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442 Comments

Total Comments: 442
  1. 0
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    When there is no clear choice the why change?

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      But there is a clear choice. What planet are you on?

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      The very clear answer to your right wing post Frank is that the current government is intent on one thing and one thing only: to give the wealthy ongoing tax cuts under the guise of stimulating the economy. The reality is that this is nothing more than a transfer of wealth from poor to rich. Tax cuts are never free!

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      Paulo it may help you if you read Leon’s article. Particularly the opinion piece.
      ” Put simply, there is no clear choice for voters in Election 2016,”

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      MICK, you have just cost me $50. I bet my wife that you would be the first to post today and you were only the 3rd, you must speed up MICK.
      I also bet her that you would post more than anybody else so my $50 should be safe.
      I also bet that you would use your favourite words troll, bigot, what drugs are you on and also you would accuse Frank of being right wing.
      Please don’t let me down MICK.

    • 0
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      Frank did you mean to write “why change” instead of “the why change??, that doesn’t make any sense.

    • 0
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      Misty, he meant “then” not the, a simple typo, you are just trying to be clever.

    • 0
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      Misty, it happens to others as well. You need to check spelling before enter. I often don’t, too many distractions here.
      I typed “THEN WHY CHANGE?”

      stan, the cat is out of the bag. MICK and a couple of others usually get the heads up email on advice of a new article a good 30 minutes before other posters. Leon was obviously not at the last staff meeting.

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      Frank
      YOU seem to be the one with the ‘heads up’ duh! (Leon…. staff meeting???!!!)

      Good one Frank…. when YOUR choice of political party:
      – has STUFFED up Australia’s chance at the best NBN and has given us absolute rubbish to replace it;
      – has FED the wealthy;
      – is in the process of handing over our country and OUR wealth over to foreign corps;
      – have total disregard for the average Australian that has put more money in the coffers and built this country;
      – have taken away services and benefits from our own that need help or have worked and contributed all their lives, to put in the pockets of the wealthy;
      – not to mention that the economy is totally stuffed with interest rates reflecting the true amount of trouble Australia is now in; and
      – has increased our govt debt two fold but not delivered on mic at all let alone economic growth;
      – can’t budget;
      – have no policies, except disjointed and badly or not at all thought out on liner Corporate Wish Lists as their policies;
      – all they have going for them besides TOTAL MISMANAGEMENT, is that the FOREIGNER mega corp BOSS, Rupert Murdoch, is willing to print ANYTHING to KEEP the foreign big boys political representative, in govt. for long enough to get through the things these parasites want for themselves, out of Australia.

      WHATEVER you do Frank…. don’t compare them to the previous govt.
      and the fact that LABOR made Australia’s ECONOMY, during the GFC, the BEST IN THE WORLD; gave us AAA credit rating (first time ever); had Aust. currency included in the international mix (first time ever); was one of the most egalitarian nations in the world; one of the LOWEST Govt. DEBT in the world; BEST NBN; and

      COULD STILL KEEP WITHIN THE BUDGET and PROVIDE SERVICES AND BENEFITS TO THE PEOPLE WHO PAID THE MOST IN TAXES!!!

      SO, you reckon that we leave YOUR lot in Govt, then Frank and that there is little difference in the two major parties.

      IN YOUR DREAMS FRANK….. your lot are derelicts with their snouts deeply embedded in the corporate provided pig trough…. leaving Australia in a disastrous state.

      With a new wave of GFC on the way… Aust. will be in dire straits… and certainly be damaged and a lot of people in big trouble with debts and loss of jobs.

      IF THE LIBS can’t manage Australia and have stuffed up the economy in the GOOD TIMES what the hell can we expect from them when we need strong management to step up and handle what is coming!!!!!

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      Really Frank. I notice YOU posted first…and not the first time for that either.
      I agree with Mussitate. If the current government manage to triple the deficit and removed the debt ceiling so that it could borrow on forever then there is a problem. And as I have said on many occasions follow the money trail to see who this government serves.

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      I know what you mean about the spelling Frank I too do it all the time, I must be slow today I didn’t think of the word then, sorry.

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      You have cost me $50 and I won’t forgive you even when you become PM.

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      Why change? Simple, Frank. Because we can’t afford NOT to change. At least, the struggling majority can’t. No doubt the millionaires are very happy with their $17000 a year bonus funded by struggling pensioners and low income families.

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      No $17000 a year for me and I can’t understand how anyone else is getting $17000 a year out of this budget.

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      Rainey, in case you are unaware, these are the facts.

      If you earn $1,000,000pa are you better off under Labor or LNP?

      In labor’s last year of government.
      Financial year 2012/13.
      Tax; $423,547
      Medicare; $15,000
      Total tax; $438,547.

      LNP government.
      Financial year 2015/16.
      Tax; $423,547
      Medicare; $20,000
      Budget repair levy; $16,400
      Total Tax; $459,947

      Rainey the raising of the threshold from $80k to $87k is only worth $315. You should do your own math like I do in stead of blindly repeating what you hear from Labor.
      I know I would want Labor in government if I was earning $1m pa.

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      To save you getting out your calculator, that is $21,400 better off under Labor.
      This is just another blatant example of lies, whinging and lack of political will to take action!

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      Of course there is a clear choice Frank! It’s clear that the Liberal government and the Greens don’t deserve any consideration. So it’s clear, not to vote for them.

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      Good call HS. And let’s all remember that NO MATTER WHAT THIS GOVERNMENT PROMISES all bets are off after the election. I already am hearing this with the Backpacker Tax which Turnbull pulled today. He never said it is gone. Just that he will talk with “stakeholders”. What that mean is after the election it’s back on. Just like every other promise.
      Don’t believe anything the current government says. It is absolutely not to be trusted no matter how convincing it is. A leopard never changes its spots. Nor will this bad bad LNP government.

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      Oh how you all forget 3 years is a long time in politics. I can remember the same being said of the Labor government back then.

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      Mick, do you think Malcolm might be making non-core promises?

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      Bronny: you jest! Labor kept us off the unemployment heap whilst putting money into new projects like the NBN….which your boss would never have permitted. Just that when Abbott was elected the bastards could not get out of funding the NBN, so they butchered it and we now are paying more than the original sound project cost. Turnbull!
      If I had to remember any bad bad governments then the current one is at the top of the list: lies coming like drops of rain, new taxes on average citizens at every turn and money sent to the rich + deficit tripled in 2 years of government.
      Yeah, let’s have an honest conversation. Something which is not possible from the trolls who post on this website.

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      LOL MICK, you are really funny mate. Did you happen to notice Labor’s projected unemployment rates in the forward estimates? Given the booby traps of Labor’s spending commitments well into the future I think the Abbott government did very well to have us in this position.
      Labor are the wreckers!
      LNP are the Fixers!

    • 0
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      ‘fixers’ is one word for it…..

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      If that’s true, Frank, heaven help us, because the LNP couldn’t do a better job of wrecking if they rallied every criminal and corrupt dishonest person in the world to help them destroy the economy.

      NOTHING this LNP has done has the capacity to fix ANYTHING. It has tripled the deficit, left battlers much worse off, reduced demand and consumption, slashed the interest rate, increased unemployment, and destroyed hope and confidence.

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      That is true Rainey. Frank, always the man with his foot in his LNP mouth has for once been truthful above. “LNP are fixers” – yeah, they fix the game to their own advantage.
      I am still waiting for the deficit which the LNO has triple to be fixed. I am still waiting for the NBN which Turnbull butchered to be fixed.
      I am still waiting for public money paid to private schools which is more than their public counterparts to be fixed.
      I am still waiting for the get out of tax clause for multinationals to be fixed.
      I am still waiting for Offshore Tax Havens to be fixed.
      I am still waiting for the promises (lies) made at the last election to be fixed.

      Funny how this government “fixes” things. The truth is that the only thing this government fixes is the system so that it can be re-elected. That one will not be happening.

  2. 0
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    What amazes me most about this article is that the authors seem to suggest that the current crop of politicians are any different to those of the past. It’s always been the same, the liberals when in power stock the larder, then labor gets in and spends what’s in the larder and a bit more besides and the circle continues. Looking around the world the system seems to work better than most other places.

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      Dim, I think many of us share that view and it’s possibly the reason we always seem to put the Coalition into the job when we’re in trouble.
      On July 2 either the Coalition or ALP/Greens/Independents will form government. Often I wish we had a third choice? Perhaps it is wise to vote for a minor party that has policies one can relate to?

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      Very true Dim. Politics are no longer a left versus right contest. It’s a conservative versus progressive battle. Until there is a greying of the divide there will be no reduction in the swing between starvation and glut politics. The only hope is that the independents and the smaller parties gain such influence that the major parties will be forced to change their stategies. Mick promotes that idea and I think he is right.

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      Dim: I suspect that as we age some of us begin to realise that politics is a dishonest game of self interest and vested interests. I was not aware of this when I was younger as I was too focussed on making a future.
      The current batch however are one out of the mould and I cannot ever remember any government being as aggressive, dishonest and controlling as the current one. This lot frighten me as I love freedom, but after Abbott and his cronies tried to sell off the ABC so that it could be turned into another propaganda machine for coalition governments I recognised how serious the rich were to seize total control. All Australians need to worry about where this is going and vote accordingly as the ballot box is the way we protect ourselves from dictatorships.

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      MICK, where did you get the idea that our ABC was to be sold off? I think I’ll become the troll you have accused me of being and ask for proof each and every time you make wild, unsupported, sweeping statements. When I have challenged you in the past I have provided proof of my rebuttal so in future I will ask that you provide supporting proof.

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      Old Man, it is my clear recollection, just after the LNP came to power at the last election, that the Libs very seriously entertained the idea of privatising the ABC and SBS.
      Tony Abbott was very angry at his perception of how these broadcasters treated him pre-election.

    • 0
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      OK probins01, I accept your clear recollection but seriously entertaining an idea is a world away from emotive comments like “tried to sell off”. MICK’s hyperbole is sometimes too much to let go without a challenge.

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      Fair comment Old Man

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      MICK dear boy, if politics is such a dishonest game why would you love to be a poly and why does it appear to be your life consuming hobby forever posting on it?

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      Frank I don’t know about a Labor/ Green/Independent Gov I think it is more likely a LNP/Green Alliance but then if you believe all the BS that the LNP are trying to get voters to believe who could blame you but thank God most voters know garbage when they see it and can separate fact from fiction and wishful thinking.

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      Frank

      Google ALA (Australian LIberty Alliance) and read their manifesto. They may just be the candidates you are looking for!

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      @ probins01, found these links which are at odds with your “clear recollection” although to be fair, there was a push by some Liberals to privatise the ABC. It seems that Abbott was against privatisation, not in favour of.

      http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/state-liberals-propose-privatising-abc-sbs-20130521-2jz5d.html

      http://www.
      ews.com.au/national/we-have-no-plans-to-privatise-abc-or-sbs-says-tony-abbott/story-fncynjr2-1226648278367

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      Paddles, Yes I have been following the progress of the ALA since last year. I was hoping they would get up and running. I think they will have a strong following. Everyone I know is talking about them. ALA (Australian Liberty Alliance) Have some very solid candidates and sound policies.

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      Old Man: Of course Tony Abbott wanted to sell the ABC off. He mentioned this on at least one occasion during the time the matter was in the news.

    • 0
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      Your proof MICK? I’m sorry that I can’t believe you unless you have proof. I have given you proof he was against privatising or sale, give me yours that refutes it please.

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      Labor, borrow borrow borrow, spend spend spend, it’s always bee the same. The the LNP get and do unpopular moves and the Labor know nothings get in again, we need MICK to straighten to all out, c’mon MICK dear boy.

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      Odd, Stan, that everyone accused Labor of borrowing and spending, but it was this LNP government that tripled the deficit and raised the debt ceiling.

      And the LNP is gifting huge amounts to millionaires while stripping pensioners and battling families of their lifestyle, and claiming we have to make sacrifices for the good of the nation. So why don’t those who can best afford to make sacrifices have to do so? Why do these greedy, self-serving leaners get huge, huge handouts while the battling lifters struggle?

      Sorry, you are full of it! It HASN’T always been the same. There WAS a time when the LNP behaved responsibly and moderated their neoliberal policies to give the rich less than they are currently being handed and show respect for the majority. No longer!

    • 0
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      A wise voter once said, ” the Left wing and the Right wing belong to the same Cuckoo bird”.

    • 0
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      LNP didn’t have a choice as everything they did the fix the problems of Labor’s legacy it was blocked in the Senate. Not only that Labor bought in time bombs that they weren’t allowed to diffuse either.

      Best thing the LNP did was takeaway the pension from the millionaire pensioners. Only thing the could have done better was sort out the big inequity of the house not being in the assets test.

    • 0
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      Frank and stan: run the casino elsewhere.
      Proof? Only in my memory as that one stuck. Abbott did want to sell off the ABC.
      You are pathetic stan. Labor spend, spend, spend???? Just for the mentally challenged please note that the deficit has TRIPLE under the current government and the nation is borrowing like never before. Not Labor. LIBERAL. Well you know that don’t you.

    • 0
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      Bonny, being such a NASTY person, you just can’t help harping on the huge lie about taking pensions from millionaires, no matter how many times the TRUTH is presented that:

      (a) it WASN’T millionaires affected. The millionaires are doing okay. It’s the battling savers who accumulated more than a few hundred thousand to last them through 30 years or so of retirement

      and (b) the STUPID IDIOTIC DESTRUCTIVE policy rewards spendthrifts, cheats, lazy no-hopers, manipulators, and fools. It punishes everyone who tried to save for retirement and it sends a VERY STRONG MESSAGE to the younger folk ”DO NOT SAVE FOR OLD AGE. THE GOVERNMENT WILL PUNISH YOU HARSHLY IF YOU DO. SPEND IT ALL OR PUT IT IN THE FAMILY SAFE AND CLAIM TO HAVE NOTHING.”

      Only someone NASTY and BRAINLESS could keep harping on this change being a ”good thing”. It was idiotic in the extreme, economically damaging in the extreme, cruel to those battlers hurt by it, and a massive breach of faith – evidence of MAJOR DISHONESTY by the government and proof we should KICK THEM OUT FAST.

      As to the other cruel and destructive changes they tried to make, thank heaven for a Senate that took some responsibility and blocked them. We desperately needed that help.

      And Labor’s legacy wasn’t nearly as bad as it’s painted. It was the Howard/Costello legacy that got the nation into strife – their policy of giving obscenely to the richest 20%. But

  3. 0
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    Maybe because politicians have the view that older people are a drain on the Country, never mind what they have contributed to Australia. I haven’t seen any mention by any party regarding increasing the Age Pension pittance, despite the every-day rises in the cost of living.

    • 0
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      This campaign is nowhere near over. Pensions will come up, I’m sure.

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      marls: politicians are also mainly older. I suspect they pick the easiest mark to go for. Also keep in mind that the current government may have well invented their attack on older Australians to divert attention from issues it wishes to bury: taxing multinationals, tax havens for the rich and taxing ALL Australians in a similar manner. These issues are poison to this government and focussing on something else may well be a way of taking out attention on the main game: sending more money to the already rich.

    • 0
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      marls

      If you genuinely regard the level of the OAP as a “pittance”, then I suggest that you review your lifestyle and spending choices.
      The pension is the sole source of income for myself and my wife. We live comfortably , run two cars and save money. Go figure!

    • 0
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      Well, congratulations to you Paddles. Do not be judgemental about my lifestyle, as you know nothing about it, or the challenges I have. Some things in life are not as simple as you seem to think.

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      marls your post makes no sense. The OAP in Australia is the second highest in the world behind Caymans. Prices are not increasing they are decreasing. The OAP is reviewed for increase in March and September each year. The reason you haven’t seen any talk about the increase is because it’s old news that it will be increased for those who need it the most next January.

    • 0
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      Wrong Frank. You swallow all the LNP lies hook line and sinker, don’t you? And you make no effort to verify the facts.

      NOBODY who is NEEDY is getting an increase in January. The base pension is NOT changing. Deeming thresholds are being increased a little to give those fortunate with healthy savings a little more.

      A number of fortunate pensioners who have a few hundred grand in the bank will get an increase. A lot of unfortunates – including some quite needy – will be stripped of thousands. And the NEEDY get NOTHING AT ALL. NO CHANGE.

      As to Paddles claim, that’s an anecdotal and arrogant statement that pays no regard to the specific needs and circumstances of people who may have special needs through no fault of their own. I know a pensioner whose essential non-PBA medications cost $380 a month. How well would you handle that, Paddles? What if you were paying very high rent? What if you had high costs for specialist visits and disability aids? What if you had special dietary needs that imposed heavy costs?

      Chest-beating egotists who put others down without any knowledge of what they are on about are rude and offensive, Paddles. You owe Marls an apology.

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      Rainey: don’t be fooled. Frank and a number of other posters on the website are not individuals. The LNP is clearly in all out assault stage and worried that real posters on this website are not voting for it. Hence the current attacks.
      Watch the form and you’ll understand who the protagonists are.

  4. 0
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    They make the Mafia look good!

  5. 0
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    Yes we’re dissatisfied!
    Why wouldn’t any Australian feel dissatisfied, disenfranchised and ignored, having to suffer endless political platitudes and 3 word slogans!
    There is no democracy anymore!
    All we have is an endless rotation between tweedle dumb and tweedle dumber, both of which are ruled by corporate interests and the unions, closely followed by the dumbest, manipulated by socialist environmental extremists on the left!
    True democracy is the discussion of a wide range of ideas, to come to an agreed position of government by the people and for the people, not for special interests with deep pockets!
    I honestly believe that the PM’s cynical move to try and exclude independents and minor parties from the Senate, has presented Australians with an ideal opportunity to change the status quo, if we have the courage to vote for real change!
    Could we end up with a hung parliament?
    Absolutely! But it is not as bad or unworkable as the major parties want us to think, in fact it’s closer to true democracy than they want us to be!
    If we ended up with 20 or more independents and minor parties on the cross bench in the lower house, and significantly more than that in the Senate, we would actually be close to a proper democracy, rather than just having a choice between two bad policies!
    Here is how we can do it:
    Lower House – number all boxes on the paper, but place the LNP, Labor and Greens last, with your choice of independent or minor parties at the top. Don’t follow any how to vote cards!
    In the Senate – EITHER number 1 to 6 boxes of your choice above the line, EXCLUDING the LNP, Labor and the Greens, OR number at least 1 to 12 boxes of your choice below the line, EXCLUDING the LNP, Labor and the Greens. Again, do NOT follow anyone’s how to vote card. Make your own choices!
    We have the opportunity for a unique and peaceful democratic revolution folks, let’s make it happen!

    • 0
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      Hear! Hear! Though I don’t thin you should include the Greens, unless you now consider them a major party. They are at least forcing needed changes on several fronts, particularly in rattling the major parties’ cages.

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      Great idea, but can’t work, you end up with the minor parties or independents actually running the country, so you have a small section of the elected members making the decisions for the majority of voters, not sure how that is closer to true democracy. I have often voted independent in the past where there has been a worthwhile candidate, unfortunately in most cases it has been a wasted vote even when they have been elected, the major parties freeze them out.

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      Hold the phone! Ricky Muir come back! We now want you for the top job and you can choose Jackie Lambie as your deputy with Glen Lazarus as treasurer. Yep I can see that working if I squint hard. lol

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      Paulodapotter, I include the Greens because they consider themselves to be a major party.

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      Dim: you totally miss the point with minor parties and Independents. Ask yourself why the current government has not been able to get some of its divisive and bad bad legislation through the parliament. The answer is that Independents realised how bad and unfair it was and rejected it. This is the proper job of the senate and one which would have been compromised if the government had had its way. That is why changes have been made to the Act….to try and force Independents out.
      The issue is not that we have too many Independents. The issue is that we do not have enough. To restore proper government we need MPs who are not puppets for vested interests. That pretty well equates to Independents and minor parties.

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      Dim, the likely scenario is something like this:
      There are 150 members in the House of Reps.
      To govern, a party needs a majority…obviously.
      If we can reduce the LNP and Labor to less than 35 to 40 seats each, and fill the cross bench with independents and minor parties, it would force whichever major party has a slight majority, to negotiate every piece of legislation with cross bench members who are not bound by party loyalty to vote one way or the other.
      Legislation would have to stand or fall on its merits, rather than party lines!
      It can and would work Frank, despite your cynicism.

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      Also, there are 76 Senate seats, which is why it’s easier to vote the major parties down in the house of review, forcing it to act as it’s supposed to, rather than the rubber stamp desired by the major parties.
      The public has long recognised this, almost consistently electing those who are opposite to the House of Reps majority.

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      MICK; two words – Windsor, Oakeshott.

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      Old Man, Windsor and Oakeshott had the gonads to set aside their political paradigms and act in the way they saw to be best for Australia.
      That angered only the party machines and those gullible enough to believe their claptrap.
      We need more people of principal in politics, who are willing to declare an honest hand before election, and continue with that honest hand post-election, without fear, favour or ‘party lines’.

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      Paulodapott I can never vote for the Greens because the reduction to the Pension Asset threshold from 1 January 2017 would never have been passed without their support. This demonstrates their lack of regard for pensioners or naïveté regarding how things work. Or perhaps they just do deals with the major parties to get their way on some issues, but at whose expense?

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      Good point about those Independents Mick, you hit the nail on the head there !

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      Mick I haven’t missed the point at all, I agree that if we had enough independents elected that they could certainly influence the other parties, but those independents do not represent the views of the rest of the voting public, eg if we had 30% independents, 30% of one party and 40% of the other party it be almost impossible to run government, we need a clear direction from one major party both in the lower and upper houses so that which ever party is in power will have a clear mandate from the majority of voters to follow the direction that they have promoted during their election campaigns.
      If they fail to honour their promises vote them out at the next election. It has happened too often in the past when a group holds the balance of power they blackmail the sitting government to give them what their own self interest group are after at the expense of more deserving groups.

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      Dim, I don’t agree with your view, for the simple reason that it’s up to you and me who we vote for.
      By selecting independents and/or minor parties who most reflect our views, we can have a truly representative voice in politics, not just someone who says privately, “I agree with you”, but publicly has to toe the party line, regardless of whether or not he/she agrees with it.
      Cory Bernardi is a good case in point.

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      probins01, it wouldn’t work in my opinion. We have a hung parliament experience to fall back on. The Independents will not work with the government now because they want the government to grovel, just like the Gillard government did. They want to be wined and dined and bribed with sweeteners for their electorate. It will add chaos and more waste. Tony Windsor had his ego boosted when Gillard gave him $1m to hold his own tax summit. Did we hear anything from that talk fest? Did we expect to? No it was a bribe. Meanwhile the Wilkie bribe did not eventuate. If you want these politicians spending their time bribing each other, wheeling and dealing, who then will manage the economy?

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      Frank, maybe I am somewhat of an idealist, but I do believe it can work.
      For a start, you’re talking about 2 independents holding the balance of power, whereas I’m promoting electing many independents and minor parties, who will then have to work together, with their competing priorities and policies, or yes, there could be chaos.
      I see it as a gloriously dangerous, but exciting opportunity to return to the roots of a democratic society.

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      @ probins01, it is assumed that members elected to Parliaments will carry out the wishes and needs of the electorate. Both Windsor and Oakeshott, although elected as Independents, did not represent their electorates when they chose to support Gillard. 8% of New England voters supported Labor whilst 26% of Lyne voters supported Labor.

      There has been much said and written about their decision and the past history of each that led to that decision but the fact remains that neither was acting in the wishes of their respective electorates and neither stood for re-election.

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      Probins01: you are indeed correct about Independents. I do tire of the dishonesty and trolling from Frank and a couple of others who keep using people like Oakshott and Windsor as supposed examples of why Independents are a bad choice (they aren’t!) whilst never putting up the real corruption argument for coalition governments. Where does Frank think coalition governments get their election funding. And what does Frank think is expected in exchange when coalition governments are elected? It ain’t free…as we saw with the repeals of the Carbon Tax (which the rest of the world now wants), the repeal of the Mining Tax (which now see large amounts of AUstralians money head out of the country or to tax havens so that no taxes are even collected) and changes to the legislation left by Labor to control banks?
      Old Man and Frank….you guys are what you are. Trolls? Clearly yes. Why? Because all you systematically do is trot out rubbish whilst refusing to discuss the current government’s lies, deceit and where it is sending public money. To the rich.

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      MICK, I object to your accusation of trotting out rubbish. I challenge your thought bubbles when they are clearly wrong and supply proof and facts to support my challenges. When you are wrong, two things will happen as sure as night follows day; you refuse to apologise and follow this by making personal rude remarks.

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      MICK its not just Windsor and Oakeshott. There are numerous other examples of Independents not being what they say they are. How about You MICK? Your allegiance was with Labor when you were an Independent wasn’t it?

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      Old Man: you are starting to post the normal Frank/stan/Bronny BS. That is my point. By all means ask for facts but respond to mine with same. You never do!
      Re: Oakshott and Windsor. I understand that Windsor pursued a number of issues which the major parties wanted no part of. Gambling addiction. Alcohol abuse where young men were killing each other in front of the clubs and pubs which tanked them up. Etc.
      Instead of your normal demands for “proof” maybe YOU should research your statements better so that your posts do not become troll comments…designed to denigrate one side of politics without debating the facts which are pertinent to your attacks.
      Rude? Who me? Only to those who abuse their responsibilities on websites and intentionally seek to mislead readers. I’ll call them like I see them. Be civil and be honest and fair and you’ll get no stick form me.

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      MICK, why are you afraid to answer the question? How about You MICK? Your allegiance was with Labor when you were an Independent wasn’t it??

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      Actually no Frank. It was not. I have also told you many times before that I have not voted Labor for many decades…….unlike you who always voted Liberal. So what is the definition of a rusted on Liberal Party hack?

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    WHEN ARE PENSIONERS going to wake up and understand, WE have the power to shape legislation all WE need is the will power to do so–
    PLEASE SEND THIS BACK AROUND TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS
    POLITICIANS PLEASE PAY ATTENTION !
    FORWARDING THIS TO EVERYBODY.
    ‘Entitlement’ my arse, I paid good money for my Pension and other benefits. Just because they borrowed that money, doesn’t make my benefits some kind of charity or hand-out. Gold plated MP pensions and Civil Service Government benefits, aka free healthcare, outrageous retirement packages, 67 paid holidays, 20 weeks paid vacation, unlimited paid sick days, now that’s welfare, and they have the nerve to call me a ‘greedy pensioner’ and my retirement, an ‘entitlement’… Scroll down ………
    What the HELL is wrong with us? WAKE UP Australia ! Someone please tell me what the HELL is wrong with all the people that run this country?
    We’re “broke” & can’t help our own Pensioners, Veterans, Orphans, Homeless etc., but spent 1.2 billion $$$’s for G-20 events!
    In the last few months we have provided aid to India, Greece and Turkey . And now Afghanistan , Pakistan ….. Home of Bin Laden. Literally, BILLIONS of Dollars Our retirees living on a ‘fixed income’, receive no aid nor do they get any breaks while our government and religious organisations pour Hundreds of Billions of $$$$’s and tons of food to foreign countries.
    They call Old Age Security and Healthcare an entitlement even though most of us have been paying for it all our working lives, and now when it’s time for us to collect, the government is running out of money. Why did the government borrow from it in the first place?
    We have hundreds of adoptable children who are shoved aside to make room for the adoption of foreign orphans.
    AUSTRALIA: a country where we have homeless without shelter, children going to bed hungry, hospitals being closed, average income families who can’t afford dental care, elderly going without ‘needed’ meds and having to travel hundreds of miles for medical care with no reimbursement of cost, vehicles we can’t afford fuel for, lack of affordable housing, and mentally ill without treatment – etc., etc.
    YET… YET..
    They have a ‘benefit’ for the people of foreign countries…ships and planes lining up with food, water, tents, clothes, bedding, doctors, and medical supplies.
    Imagine if the *GOVERNMENT* gave ‘US’ the same support they give to other countries.
    Sad isn’t it?
    99% of people won’t have the guts to forward this.

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      I’m afraid 99% of people don’t agree with all you’ve said though some of it rings true. Now one will forward your comments on because they don’t reflect their thinking on every issue.

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      There’s nothing wrong with the people running this country. It’s we who are the problem. Most Aussies don’t even know who the Prime Minister is. They are totally ignorant of the issues and are very disengaged. Even during the illegal Vietnam War when only a percentage of young fellas were conscripted, the government changed on good swing, but not commensurate with the immorality of our govenment’s involvement. Iraq is another example. If Aussies started dying in that conflict, there would have been more scrutiny by the public, but most would hardly be aware of the shocking destruction of that country and huge loss of life and living. We’re the problem, Nicestman77 and until we have an education system that addresses these issues, it will remain so.

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      I agree with everything you said Nicestman77 we should stand up and be counted don’t let these lazy / greedy politicians walk all over us

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      Well nicestman, it is also a country with roads full of grey nomads and retirees going on endless cruises.
      Politics is the Art of the possible. We will never get our household and spending in order because every time a suggestion is made Special Interest Groups start bleating. That’s the way it is and will never change.

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      Correct. All vote the same way and they are dead!

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      @ nicestman77, your taxes in the past have no bearing on future payments for welfare. Those past taxes went to pay for pensions to those who paved the way for today’s workers just as tomorrow’s workers will pay taxes to support those of us who will enjoy retirement.

      Your words seem to suggest that we have a majority of homeless people, (didn’t Rudd fix our homeless problem? he said he would.) hungry children, a lack of hospitals, people with no teeth, no cities, just people living way out in the bush, no housing and mentally ill everywhere. Yes, there are some of the above but they are a minority. That doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be looked after because they should. You’re quick to condemn but I notice you haven’t put forward any suggestion as to how to fix your perceived problems.

      As to supporting other nations, these funds are allowed for in budgets and have been ongoing for decades. Part of the reason is to garner support with trade policies which return the investment many times over. Do you really believe that when people are dying because of natural disasters that we as a country should just stand back and watch when we are in a position to assist. I

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      Very simple nicestman 77, the government relies on 2 things.
      1: As George Bernard Shaw said, “2% of people think; 3% think they think, and 95% of people would rather die than truly think about anything.”
      2: A very few large corporations control the media throughout Australia and the world. Governments rely on being able to both court the mainstream media successfully, and exclude any voices which would present democratic opinions such as yours.
      We need to ‘un-rig’ the corrupt game.
      See my post above.

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      Thank you, Old Man, for reminding us that it is now our turn to be paid adequate pension by the Generation Whyners…..

      Absolute jailer’s pets, they are .. ooooh… what I’d give for just one annual trip overseas…. just one month of tripping the light fantastic… lucky bastards…. I’ve been hanging here for fifty years now…. good for the back that is…. and all I ever get is the occasional spit in the face…. wonderful race the politicians…. just wonderful …

      (apologies to the Life of Brian)…..

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      Well I agree with Nicestman 77, can’t see anything he has said that is not correct. I will be forwarding it. Pity the Government has money, OUR money for everything and everybody except us. I do think the Independents need to be voted in as that is the only way these greedy, self serving, snouts in the trough politicians will get the message that they work for us. Yes we may have some problems, but we have problems now and if the usual suspects keep getting voted in without any backlash from us, they will never change and we will continue to have governments that continue to look after themselves at our expense and in fact they will become progressively worse as they are doing now.

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      While I can’t agree with everything you’ve said Nicestman 77, I do share your anger at the way in which our politicians treat the electorate with contempt. It’s all about power – the power they’ll ‘sell their arses for’, and everything they do is targeted at winning the next election.
      The financial promises (bribes, perhaps?) are now coming out thick and fast from all sides. “Vote for me and I’ll give you this”. Most of these promises are never kept anyway, but it’s amazing to me just how seriously they’re reported and talked about. All part of the game to buy votes and stay in or get into power.
      Australia could be a great country, albeit a small one in terms of population. We have the potential to have an excellent system of public education, a world-class system of healthcare, and even to ensure that every Aussie has a good standard of living. Instead we seem to be more like rats in a cage, fighting over who gets the biggest chunk of cheese, building nothing and just going around in circles. it’s tragic.
      And then on top of it all we take decisive steps to mortgage the country’s future and commit ourselves to paying billions of dollars every year from now until date TBA by ordering a fleet of 12 submarines that are as important to us as rollerskates are to a snake. All for show and “mine’s bigger than yours”.
      So Nicestman 77, maintain the rage and let’s continue doing what we can to change our little world. Write letters, talk to people and vote in such a way that strengthens our democracy. It also never hurts to see which parties will do the best for seniors and consider voting their way. We may not be around all that much longer but we’ll do what we can to improve things before we go.

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      MICK, how perceptive of you dear boy.

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      The trolls are alive and well on this website.

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      Waleed Aly is running this country, haven’t you noticed Paulodapotter?

      He makes more speeches on The Project, on how this country should be run, then the Prime Minister does and he got a Gold Logie for it.

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    It looks like there maybe bigger parties at the next election. The grey power and the ALA , so we may have choices to maybe get a new third or fourth party.

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    AND WITH GOOD REASON DO PEOPLE NOT TRUST POLITICIANS!

    From the US, here’s what an honest politician sounds like. DITTO FOR AUSTRALIA!

    FROM THE US, AT LAST AN HONEST POLITICIAN – SCREW THE NEXT GENERATION!
    Congressman X is the nom de plume of an anonymous Democratic congressman who’s just written a scandalous new tell-all book.
    And it packs enough dynamite to bring down the walls of Jericho!
    Titled The Confessions of Congressman X, it’s a “devastating inside look at the dark side of Congress as revealed by one of its own,” as the book’s publisher styles it.
    Here you have confirmation of everything you’ve ever suspected about politicians — their .50-caliber dishonesty… their bottomless corruption… their finger-in-the-wind convictions. You name it.

    Here are a few choice snippets. And we hope you’ve digested your breakfast:

    “Most of my colleagues are dishonest career politicians who revel in the power and special-interest money that’s lavished upon them.”

    “My main job is to keep my job, to get reelected. It takes precedence over everything.”

    “Fundraising is so time-consuming I seldom read any bills I vote on. Like many of my colleagues, I don’t know how the legislation will be implemented, or what it’ll cost.”

    “My staff gives me a last-minute briefing before I go to the floor and tells me whether to vote yea or nay. How bad is that?”

    “I sometimes vote ‘yes’ on a motion and ‘no’ on an amendment so I can claim I’m on either side of an issue.”

    “It’s the old shell game: If you can’t convince ’em, confuse ’em.”

    Bravo, bravo. At last, an honest fraud!

    But it’s more you want? Here Congressman X trains his guns right on the American people. Brace yourself:

    “Voters claim they want substance and detailed position papers, but what they really crave are cutesy cat videos, celebrity gossip, top 10 lists, reality TV shows, tabloid tripe and the next f***ing Twitter message.”

    “Voters are incredibly ignorant and know little about our form of government and how it works.”

    “It’s far easier than you think to manipulate a nation of naive, self-absorbed sheep who crave instant gratification.”

    Don’t hold back, Congressman X. Tell us what you really think. But here he really takes an ax to the root of the tree. And doesn’t it just say it all?
    “We spend money we don’t have and blithely mortgage the future with a wink and a nod. Screw the next generation.”

    Screw the next generation…
    Daily Reckoning newsletter 14 May 2016

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      Nice anecdotes, but the book like the bible is just a book. It’s all entertainment folks. The truth always lies between the lines. It’s simply very difficult, if not impossible, to find.

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      The Congressman is telling the truth.
      Most of the public just want bread and circuses.
      It worked in ancient Rome and Greece.
      It still works today. Just look at the prominence of televised sport, ‘realty’ shows etc. Bread and circuses to keep the masses distracted from what the government is really doing.

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      True enough that decaying powers rely on bread and circus to mollify the masses. History repeats itself, but the reality is much more complex and good people try to resist the trend sometimes with success and sometimes with absolute failure. Translating the US situation to Australia is a bit loose historically. We are hardly a major power and unlikely to become on in the next couple of hundred years. The complete breakdown of political will has not reached here yet though there are always microcosmic examples. We still have a long way to go – we haven’t even had a civil war yet.

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    I’m more concerned about that sleaze-bag “Rama” Baird upping the NSW transport concession than the Feds going after the OAP .. simply because whether it’s “Oor Wullz” or “Mal-odious” they’ll wait until AFTER the vote to go after OAPs so we are always going to be vulnerable .. as long as the “gravy train” keeps rollin’ we don’t matter!

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      Excuse my ignorance, but what is the OAP? Is that like the IPA, LNP, NBN, ALP, AGL, DNS?

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      It’s a front for GOLF – the Golden Oldies Liberation Front…. just kidding….

      Yes – after the election all promises are off the table… nothing to see here people… nothing new…..

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    For the first time in my long life there is nobody I actually want to vote for.

    Labor Party, too far to the left with gays and refugees.

    Liberal Party, no vision for the future, will say anything against, alternative energy, home insulation and global warming, provided that it undermines the labor party. Doesn’t matter if they mislead thousands of people.

    Greens, Forgotten about the environment. Becoming a platform for anyone with radical ideas.

    Independent, So stroppy and unprofessional that people might think twice about voting for them again

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      Is there anybody you like, Charlie?

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      Too bad for you and your gullibility on the global warming scam, most Aussies aren’t buying that claptrap!

      It’s a non issue.

      Despite endless hype & lies, most Aussies sceptical of climate change SCAM pic.twitter.com/iizh834uje

      global warming SCAM DROPPED FROM POLL DUE TO LACK OF INTEREST! pic.twitter.com/uXABhfxAQx

      UN GLOBAL POLL: global warming scam DEAD LAST! Only the gullible fooled. pic.twitter.com/hGHq48oWNG

      global warming about DEAD LAST in Europe as well! pic.twitter.com/FHhjyfxz8S

      Ch9 Poll:69% Australians reject global warming DESPITE UNRELENTING WARMIST PROPAGANDA http://joannenova.com.au/2014/11/nine-poll-shows-69-of-australians-dont-believe-in-man-made-global-warming/

      An INCONVENIENT News Radio Poll pic.twitter.com/cKHaa2blQR

      A wonder climate change scam is even on the list let alone at the bottom! pic.twitter.com/e4YyRUHqAg

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      LUVCO2, by your logic, we should continue to pollute anything and everything, regardless of the negative impact? I hope I’m wrong.
      I choose to look at both climate change science and non-climate change science.
      There is no clear cut conclusion.
      The jury is definitely still out.

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      There’s a new party known as the ALA. Their main objectives are to restore rapidly eroding Australian values, end this Halal certification scam and stop the greens’ intended assimilation of 50000 or so refugees…per year!

      Worth considering.

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      Hey probins01
      FYI Trace gas, plant food CO2 is NOT POLLUTION!

      18 million square kilometers more greenery due to “carbon pollution” that the Greens hate
      Obviously we need a $10 billion dollar program to stop this immediately!

      Humans are Greening planet Earth — ABC
      http://www.abc.
      et.au/news/2016-04-26/global-snapshot-shows-how-humans-are-greening-the-earth/7346382

      http://joannenova.com.au/2016/04/18-million-square-kilometers-more-greenery-due-to-carbon-pollution-that-the-greens-hate/

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      Yes Julian, they have other good policies as well as some solid candidates.

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      Hey Julian.
      Hear hear!!

      THIS IS FRIGHTENING!!
      The Greens will drop their objection to tough controls on people coming illegally on boats if Labor flies in tens of thousands of “refugees” legally by plane:

      Greens leader Richard Di Natale has opened the door to amending the party’s refugee policy so it can strike a deal with Labor, but on condition the humanitarian ­intake rises to as much as 50,000 a year…

      At the weekend, Senator Di Natale said he would refuse a deal to make Bill Shorten prime minister unless Labor took a more ­humane approach to asylum-seekers, with the Greens always advocating strongly for onshore processing.

      But yesterday he did not rule out supporting offshore processing in a Labor-Greens government if the yearly humanitarian intake were increased. “That’s something that we will come to if and when there is a close result and the need of negotiations post-election,” he said in Melbourne.

      Note the trouble that many Muslim Lebanese, Sudanese and Somali refugees have had settling in peacefully.
      Note how few refugees find work after five years.
      Now add 50,000 more refugees every single year!!!!
      NO MORE AGE PENSION DUE TO ROCKETING WELFARE FOR “REFUGEES”?

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      LUVCO2, I think you are right about welfare being under threat when the planes start coming in they will bring more than the boats could.

      When Labor lost control of our borders Chris Bowen was asked why we don’t increase our humanitarian intake to 20,000?
      Bowen’s curt reply was “because we can’t afford it.”
      That was 20,000 when we had a lot less debt.

      We are already cramped in West Sydney and Melbourne.
      Labor couldn’t manage a chook raffle at the pub. What hope have they got managing the Greens???!!!

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      LUVCO2, Did I miss something?
      Where in my statement did I mention CO2??
      I mentioned pollution. If that equates to CO2 in your mind, how is it you then tell me CO2 is not pollution?
      Please read what I actually wrote.
      Pollution per se is not CO2.
      Pollution consists of carbon monoxide and other fossil fuel based pollutants. At least that’s how I read the science.

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      Vote Independent Charlie. What that does is shake up the game, make the bastards hungry and restore real government where no one side can wipe its feet on the majority of the population.
      Despite the government doing everything it can to shake out Independents people are moving in this direction. Finally think about some of the bad bad legislation which would have gotten through were it not for the Independents in the senate. Frightening. And the trolls try and scare voters into doing exactly what they should not.

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      LUVCO2 “but on condition the humanitarian ­intake rises to as much as 50,000 a year…” Yeah, that is a sore point. 50,000 refugees per year is a compounding cost of welfare to the tax payer of $1 billion dollars year one, $2 billion year two, $3 billion year three etc,etc. The Greens are simple cuckoos. Bowen was right, we can’t afford 20,000 let alone 50,000. The International Humanitarian Agreement needs to be rewritten or torn up into shreds. Look how it’s affected Europe, how it’s has affected UK how it’s affecting Australia. Currently we have 150 members of the Apex gang (Afro and Somali) running amok on our streets robbing people, raping, intimidating, home invading, car jacking and finally, now, man slaughtering. The character of people like this including the advocates of the Greens are not compatible with the majority of the Australian people’s values on peaceful multicultural coexistence.
      Take for one example the Greens leader who has advocated the decriminalisation of drug addicts, drug dealers and prohibitive drugs. Take another example of a Greens party member in NSW introducing a Bill for the disbandment of drug sniffer dog random searches that produce a positive result of 1 in 4. These Greens politicians are not on the side of decent Australian people, they are on side of indecent people in Australia.

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      He may have been right about it being unaffordable but he let in 50,000 by boat and another 150,000 came by plane. He couldn’t even catch Captian Emad who was working as a trolley boy in Canberra under their noses. I think we were getting lied to all the way.

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      Come on, frank – how many times must I do this?

      “Although those who come to Australia by boat seeking Australia’s protection are classified by Australian law to be ‘unlawful non-citizens’, they have a right to seek asylum under international law and not be penalised for their mode of entry.
      Although the numbers fluctuate, usually only a small proportion of asylum applicants in Australia arrive by boat—most arrive by air with a valid visa and then go on to pursue asylum claims. While the number of boat arrivals has risen substantially in recent years, it is worth noting that even in high arrival years they still comprise just over half of onshore asylum seekers in Australia and a greater proportion of those arriving by boat are recognised as refugees. In 2014, arrival numbers fell again and there was only one boat arrival in Australia. As a result, the majority of asylum applicants arrived by air.
      There is no orderly queue for asylum seekers to join. Only a very small proportion of asylum seekers are registered with the UNHCR and only about one per cent of those recognised by the UNHCR as refugees who meet the resettlement criteria are subsequently resettled to another country. “

      From the horse’s mouth – Parliament….

      http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp1415/AsylumFacts

      A little reading of the facts wouldn’t hurt a few here.

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The last blockbuster had an end of summer sleepover

Several months ago, the last Blockbuster store on Earth temporarily rebranded - as an extremely nostalgic Airbnb. A few lucky...

Australia

Best day trips from Melbourne

We've got more reasons than ever to embrace the adventures we can find in our own backyard and, luckily, Victoria...

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