The petulance of the entitled

I’d just like to congratulate the almost 40% of Tasmanian voters who voted for the ALP, the official petulant refuse-to-participate party of 2010. Says their preferred leader, the man whose promise to advocate for their interests in parliament those 132,000 Tasmanians apparently believed when they entrusted his party with their vote, rejected Premier David Bartlett:

Labor leader David Bartlett has still not conceded defeat but again ruled out negotiating with the Greens or governing with less votes or seats. He has made it clear that if the number of seats is tied and the Liberals have more votes, they should govern.

“I won’t be approaching the Greens,” Mr Bartlett said. “I guarantee you that I’ll stick to my commitment.”

I will sit in the corner with my 40% of members of parliament and sulk. We will snipe at anything the new government tries to do. We will not participate. We will act like spoilt children who have not got their way. We will do nothing to advocate for our voters or their interests.

And then, when our constant sabotaging causes real problems for the other two minority parties that are trying to govern, as we were all elected to do, we will cry to the Tasmanian people “told you so!” and demand that they give us majority control again. Because we are entitled to it.

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77 responses to “The petulance of the entitled

  1. Is Labor likely to have more seats/primary votes than Liberals? I hadn’t heard that.

    If so then if Bartlett is true to his word he will have to resign as leader and go to the backbench. As for the position of whoever was to take his place, we will just have to wait and see – if that were in fact to eventuate.

  2. The Liberals and the Greens – it must be making your head spin!

    I can’t wait to watch this circus!

  3. Well, if the ALP are so childish that they’re going to try to take their bat and ball and go home (but without formally resigning so that someone interested in governing can take their place), then I suppose the Liberals there are the lesser of two evils.

    I hope Tasmanians are watching the two major parties to see whether they are capable of acting as representatives for their voters in a democratic parliament, or whether they’re only willing to do their job if they get unrestrained power.

    If this situation is unworkable, make no mistake it will be because of the entitlement attitude of the two major parties. If that happens, I hope the voters of Tasmania don’t give in to their blackmail, but show them what they think of being treated with such contempt.

  4. Jeremy as I understand it Bartlett has been clear all along that he wouldn’t deal with the Greens. Presumably if voters were not happy with that pronouncement they could of voted in some other way – Greens maybe. But as it stands there is more reason to accept that the 132,000 (or whatever it was) Labor voters are actually happy with Labor’s stance than upset with it.

    The other thing that crosses my mind is whether in fact there is a State ALP conference resolution that expressly states no deals will take place with the Greens to form minority government. Do we know whether this is the case?

  5. “Presumably if voters were not happy with that pronouncement they could of voted in some other way – Greens maybe. “

    Presumably they took the gamble that he wouldn’t be called on it.

    It’s a fairly extraordinary situation for one party to just sit out and say WE WILL NOT PARTICIPATE. Days after they asked people to vote for them as their representatives for the next few years.

    “But as it stands there is more reason to accept that the 132,000 (or whatever it was) Labor voters are actually happy with Labor’s stance than upset with it.”

    They’re happy that their representatives will not participate in the parliament at all?

  6. The ALP in Tasmania are so corrupt and poisonous and in bed with the decaying forestry industry that a deal with the Greens could never happen.

    If the Liberals want to form a minority government then the Greens should only promise to not vote an ALP motion of no-confidence up but treat all other bills on their merit.

    OMG, actual democracy in action!

  7. Northern Exposure

    Political scientists in this country all just crossed their legs and sat up a bit straighter. This will be brilliant.

  8. Pretty much completely off topic.

    But speaking of governance, don’t know if many people down South know that Rupert’s man in Queensland (David Fagan) was suddenly shifted to gardening duties after a very public dummy spit because Lord Mayor Campbell (son of Jocelyn) Newman didn’t give them exactly what they demanded for the Courier-Mail as an “exclusive” over the new road tunnel??

    Some classics from Fagan’s dummy spit editorial last week:

    ” The project has had the editorial support of this newspaper from its inception.

    ” Cr Newman’s bold plan for a series of linking tunnels and tollways represented such a breakthrough project, and was instrumental in the thinking of this newspaper when we editorialised in favour of a change of administration in 2004….we editorialised in his favour in 2008.

    ” But editorial support is not unconditional.

    ” An instance of this occurred at the weekend when this newspaper was pursuing an exclusive story on when the tunnel would open.

    ” The Lord Mayor’s staff then refused to co-operate at all and finally sent a brief, benign statement, at the direct request of the editor, later in the night. Cr Newman refused to speak to The Courier-Mail yesterday.

    To drag this slightly back on topic, whether it’s Labor, Liberal or Murdoch, the lesson should be: “You didn’t think you were going to be represented did you? Fools! We rule, we don’t represent, that’s for gay heroin greenies.”

  9. No doubt Tasmania will have another election soon enough. In the past the Greens have shown what great coalition partners they are. No doubt any coalition of which they are part will shortly descend into chaos.

    There is absolutely no prospect of them recognising that the party with the most votes might have any sort of mandate.

    Tasmanians will suffer again for the abomination of an electoral system they have visited upon themselves. It is a system where a minority of nutters hold the public by the nuts, and scream that this is somehow democracy. Idiocracy more like!

  10. Chad C Mulligan

    You’re all assuming Bartlett will still be leader in a week.

  11. “In the past the Greens have shown what great coalition partners they are.”

    I hope they don’t form a “coalition”. I hope they do as Aussie Unionist suggests, let the Liberals be the “government”, but treat all bills on their merit.

    “There is absolutely no prospect of them recognising that the party with the most votes might have any sort of mandate.”

    It has a mandate from its voters, but not from the electorate at large. That sort of “mandate” requires more than 51% of the vote, after clearly advocating everything you intend to do to the voters.

    You couldn’t sensibly say any party in the Tasmanian parliament has a “mandate” to do anything but advocate for what its voters asked it to do.

    “It is a system where a minority of nutters hold the public by the nuts, and scream that this is somehow democracy.”

    What are you talking about? Ignoring your childish slur on the Greens and their voters (they, and we, are far from “nutters”), they can’t “hold the public by the nuts” at all. They have 20% of the seats, matching their 20% of the vote. The Greens can’t do anything without the support of one of the other two parties.

  12. It’s a fairly extraordinary situation for one party to just sit out and say WE WILL NOT PARTICIPATE. Days after they asked people to vote for them as their representatives for the next few years.

    Where is this “not participate” stuff coming from? Just because Labor won’t form a minority government with the Greens doesn’t mean their elected representatives won’t participate. They will simply be in opposition, that’s all.

    And what SB said. Minority governments with the Greens appears to be a poisoned chalice with whichever (lab/lib) suffering deep losses at subsequent election. Leave the Libs to struggle with them while Labor renews, ready to form majority govt at the following election.

  13. “Where is this “not participate” stuff coming from?”

    Bartlett declaring he won’t “negotiate” with the Greens.

    Negotiating with other parties is what parliament is supposed to be about.

    “Leave the Libs to struggle with them while Labor renews, ready to form majority govt at the following election.”

    How repulsively cynical of them. They’d prefer to destroy the state than participate in government. I hope Tasmanian voters can see through it, and don’t reward Labor for their petulance.

    Frankly, how can the ALP think it’s entitled to govern without restraint from parliament? It’s just spent the last term corruptly demonstrating just WHY it can’t be trusted with that sort of power.

  14. “Minority governments with the Greens appears to be a poisoned chalice with whichever (lab/lib) suffering deep losses at subsequent election.

    And rightly so, the problems in the past have clearly been the lack of integrity in the major parties.

    See the last ‘accord’ in Tassie and read how both the majors behaved.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor%E2%80%93Green_Accord

    As usual it’s the Greens and Democracy that gets the blame from the likes of SB, when in fact the Conservatives in Tassie were no better than the crooks in Queensland under Joh and the ALP went back on its agreements to get into power.

    If you are going to smear the Greens, then at lest know your facts and the history of bad behaviour from the major parties. Hopefully some people can still read.

  15. Except that Bartlett has been up front about his stance, so presumably people knew what they were voting for. As I said, if they didn’t like Labor’s position wrt the Greens then why not just vote for the Greens and be done with it?

    And I would be confident that most people understand the “negotiate” in this sense is in terms of forming government, not the usual process of parliament. As I said before, IF labor win more seats/votes than the libs, Bartlett would have to resign if he were true to his word. At this stage it’s a big if.

  16. Confessions, I think many people did vote for the Greens as you suggested, biggest vote ever I think.

    Still, I belive many more would vote Green if it wasn’t for the dirty smear campaigns we see time and again from the majors.

    Unstable Government in Tassie has not been the making of the Greens. People need to see that, and the result could be a Green Government at sometime in the future.

    Oh yeah, and the Gay Heroin smears as well….

  17. Craigy, the real reason to vote Greens as a protest vote. They have some admirable qualities, but are a long way short of the full deck when it comes to appearing to be a credible alternative government.

    One thing people do not want is a radical change to their society by their government. But they do want stable government. The Hare-Clarke system will produce more instability. It is premised on the fact that minority government is workable. This requires goodwill and compromise. Compromise is not in the Green lexicon.

    The Greens make an excellent ginger group, but they should leave the business of governing to the grown-ups.

  18. “Craigy, the real reason to vote Greens as a protest vote. “

    That’s a stupid reason to vote for them. You vote for a representative because they advocate the policies closest to what you’d like to see happen. That’s why we call it representative democracy.

    “They have some admirable qualities, but are a long way short of the full deck when it comes to appearing to be a credible alternative government.”

    They’re not a credible “alternative government” yet, because they haven’t even got a single lower house MP in the Federal Parliament yet.

    Frankly, I’d only want them to form majority government if it was the case that 51% of Australians supported their progressive social and economic policies. I don’t want them in government trying to represent people who fundamentally don’t agree with me.

    “But they do want stable government. “

    By which you mean undemocratic government locked between two corrupt old parties that do not represent their voters.

    “It is premised on the fact that minority government is workable. This requires goodwill and compromise. “

    It requires negotiation, and I’m sure the Greens will do that. But it doesn’t require capitulation, and I’m sure Greens voters don’t want that.

    “The Greens make an excellent ginger group, but they should leave the business of governing to the grown-ups.”

    Arrogant tosh.

  19. Craigy: the smear campaigns are repulsive, and get no support from me. But I’m not convinced they do any more than simply reinforce the views of people anyway – and those people are unlikely to vote Greens in any case.

    While I don’t agree with SB’s characterisation of the Greens as nutters, he does have a point about stable government. And your wiki link states Labor gave the concessions the Greens were after in exchange for stable government, yet the Greens terminated the Accord barely one year after signing it. What happened in that period isn’t clear from your link, but I’d like to see Labor’s side of things rather than just the Greens before damning the breakdown as being the sole fault of Labor.

  20. “but they should leave the business of governing to the grown-ups.”

    Have you ever watched or listened to the House of Representatives SB? If that’s ‘grown-up’ then god help us.

  21. Jeremy, the protest vote works like this: when Beazley supported Howard on sending the SAS to seize the Tampa, we had a problem, and the two major parties were the problem. The Greens were the only ones talking sense. Voting for them was a good idea as it sends a message. Its not that I wanted the Greens to govern, but I did want to send a message, and it was perfectly rational to vote for them. The effect I wanted was a change in position from at least one of the major parties, something that appears to have happened. All perfectly rational.

  22. But it doesn’t require capitulation, and I’m sure Greens voters don’t want that.

    But you expect Bartlett to capitulate on his campaign promise not to form government with the Greens, and suggest those who voted Labor wouldn’t be happy unless he did?

  23. It’s not the “real reason” people should vote for them, though.

    Your problem was that you seem to prefer the big parties’ policies on most issues but not other ones. That’s a problem with all political parties, of course, but it’s exacerbated with a system divided between two “big tent” parties. If you could vote for a party that agreed with your economic views AND your social views then you’d actually be represented. I can vote for the Greens because that’s what they do for me – perhaps you should start your own party.

  24. “But you expect Bartlett to capitulate on his campaign promise not to form government with the Greens, ”

    I expect, not because I want him to but because he’s a politician thus thinks nothing of going back on his word. Though he might surprise me, show some kind of integrity and stick to his word.

    This morning I heard him saying that he wont approach the Greens, he’s already softening his stance and left the door open for the Greens to approach him.

  25. RobJ: if Bartlett backs down he doesn’t deserve to remain as Premier. He made a campaign promise and should be forced to stick to it. If OTOH he were to resign and someone else become leader it would be a different proposition.

    That said, I do believe Labor needs some time in the wilderness. Many in the Tas ALP are glorified thugs and they need to have time in opposition to weed them out and get in new people who better represent the centre. I have a similar view wrt to NSW, where the ALP really is bad.

  26. The reason we have two major parties fighting over the middle ground is because they are both trying to get as close as possible to a platform which will appeal to most voters. In choosing one or the other, the majority of voters get as close to what they want as is feasible.

    Other parties appeal to various sectors of the electorate, rather than to try to seek a balanced platform with wider appeal.

    Usually, in hard times voters will choose the Coalition to focus on the economy and earn wealth, and when the economy is doing well, they put in Labor to bolster public welfare in a more general way. Both major parties essentially do both things, but each has a slightly different set of priorities.

    On the other hand you have parties like the Greens, who have not a clue about the economy, and have shown no evidence that they think it is a good idea to create wealth before you spend it. They are fairyland ideologues. They have a few good ideas, and offer alternatives, but most people do not think it is a good idea to trust them with the levers of power. Their real value is that they can champion issues, which if they do become popular, will be adopted by a major party.

    The Greens could, of course, offer themselves as an alternative government, but that would involve having policies which actually appeal to lots of people. Not likely. Funnily enough, the game of the intellectual elite (who are big Green supporters) is the long march through the institutions. They seem to think that by controlling the education system and the media they can change the peoples’ views.

    Fortunately, most Australians are not that stupid. They live in a real world. They know that hard work should be rewarded, and that indolence should not. They know that the idea of rescuing the economy through ‘green jobs’ is just a chimera wafting on the putrid airs of leftist flatulence, like a beguiling aurora that stinks to high heaven when you get close to it. They know that decriminalising drugs sounds like a good idea, but also that it may have some very nasty consequences.

    Ultimately the underlying difference is between the basic assumptions about human nature. Radicals believe that social structures are at fault, and if we can only get them right, people will be good and happy. Conservatives believe that human nature is flawed, that good behaviour should be rewarded and bad should be punished. Both views have some merit, and the party that strikes the balance that most matches the flavour of the times wins elections. Ultimately it is the common view of the people that wins.

    This is a very good system. Having a senate not controlled by the government seems like a good idea too. The senate then actually functions as a house of review. What doesn’t work is a system that encourages weak coalitions instead of strong governments. That is where the Tasmanians are now. Good luck with that.

  27. Confessions –

    From Bob Brown –

    “In 1991 Labor introduced resource security legislation to give industry guaranteed access to the forests and do away with sovereign risk. The Greens indicated that they would bring down the government if it proceeded. Labor Premier Michael Field proceeded. The Greens moved a successful no-confidence motion. Field then relented and announced that the legislation was dead, in order to save his government. His forest minister, David Llewellyn, however, campaigned with the forest industry for the bill’s reintroduction, knowing full well that such action would precipitate a further no confidence motion and the end of the Labor government.

    At the same time, Mr Jim Bacon, then Secretary of the TTLC, negotiated an extraordinary deal with the opposition leader, Robin Gray. He sought Liberal Party protection of the Labor government from the Greens’ no-confidence motions until Christmas 1991 so as to secure the safe passage of the bill through both houses of parliament. This was in spite of the fact that such a deal post-Christmas would inevitably result in the fall of the Labor government, an election and almost certain re-election of a Liberal government.”

    Read the whole sorry tale of the ALP and Libs in Tassie….man people forget easy…

    http://www.bluetier.org/articles3/brown.htm

  28. SB: your views about the Greens as being economically illiterate really don’t apply to the current Greens in Tas.

    McKim has positioned the Greens as a genuine mainstream party, with a view to restructuring the state’s forests industry. This is a completely reasonable policy stance to take because the industry as it stands is totally unsustainable, either from an economic or environmental perspective.

    If the Greens can achieve at least that from their time in power sharing, good for them, but it is entirely specious to refer to them as radicals or hardliners. Wait and see what their record is, but from what I’ve seen of McKim, that’s a ridiculous claim to make at this stage.

  29. “This requires goodwill and compromise. Compromise is not in the Green lexicon.”

    Nor, it would seem, in Bartlett’s, SB.

  30. Craigy: thanks, will have a read of that later.

  31. “They know that decriminalising drugs sounds like a good idea, but also that it may have some very nasty consequences.”

    Yeah SB…. like less people using drugs and less people in goal for drug offences…

    http://www.drugpolicy.org/global/drugpolicyby/westerneurop/thenetherlan/

  32. [“They know that decriminalising drugs sounds like a good idea, but also that it may have some very nasty consequences.”]

    It doesn’t sound like a good idea It is a great idea and the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Thing is they need to be legalised/decriminalised everywhere.

  33. “The reason we have two major parties fighting over the middle ground is because they are both trying to get as close as possible to a platform which will appeal to most voters.”

    ie, the fiction that 50+% of voters agree on a majority of issues and only have to be asked every three years. They don’t need representatives, they just need to choose the least bad of two unrepresentative options.

    “In choosing one or the other, the majority of voters get as close to what they want as is feasible.”

    The idea that those two parties represent our best alternatives, is ridiculous.

    “On the other hand you have parties like the Greens, who have not a clue about the economy, and have shown no evidence that they think it is a good idea to create wealth before you spend it.”

    Um, no, they just disagree that the rich should get carte blanche to screw over the poor.

    “The Greens could, of course, offer themselves as an alternative government, but that would involve having policies which actually appeal to lots of people. “

    They offer themselves as representatives for the people who want progressive social and economic policies advocated in parliament. And then they do just that. That’s how democracy works.

    In contrast, the major parties try to claim they can represent voters who fundamentally disagree with each other on various issues.

    “They seem to think that by controlling the education system and the media they can change the peoples’ views. “

    Your head must be a fascinating place, SB.

    “Fortunately, most Australians are not that stupid. They live in a real world. They know that hard work should be rewarded, and that indolence should not. They know that the idea of rescuing the economy through ‘green jobs’ is just a chimera wafting on the putrid airs of leftist flatulence, like a beguiling aurora that stinks to high heaven when you get close to it.”

    Why?

    “They know that decriminalising drugs sounds like a good idea, but also that it may have some very nasty consequences.”

    Yeah, ‘cos the “war on drugs” is working brilliantly. Locking up drug users rather than treating their addiction really helps reduce crime.

    SB, I don’t think you understand how representative democracy is supposed to work. If you don’t agree with the Greens, then fine, don’t vote for them. But don’t arrogantly proclaim that the many, many Australians who do should just be ignored.

    We don’t like your two-party system, and we want change. Luckily for the Tasmanians, they have a democratic electoral system that enables voters to achieve this without an actual revolution.

  34. Returned Man

    “Your head must be a fascinating place, SB.”

    Nup. Been there. Not good.

    **shudder**

  35. Confessions, I don’t think this lot has a clue when it comes to job creation. They seem to be saying that if you keep the forests pristinely green, the jobs will come. It is like a reverse cargo cult for inner city types.

    Even if they succeed at this you will end up with a state full of waiters and waitresses.

    Maybe we should herd all the tree-huggers down there from the mainland. With that pack of tossers roaming about, there will be enough semen sprayed about to fertilise a forest or two.

  36. “They seem to be saying that if you keep the forests pristinely green, the jobs will come. It is like a reverse cargo cult for inner city types.”

    Where as the Gunns Party… sorry, the ALP… seem to be saying that if you cut down all the old-growth forests everything’ll be fine. The entire state could look like Queenstown.

    “Job creation” isn’t an excuse for destroying your state.

    And you get that there are other types of jobs out there that are sustainable? Not all countries rely on decimating their natural resources.

    Anyway, if the majority in Tasmania agree with you, no problem – almost 80% voted for the LibLab parties. Maybe they should form a coalition.

  37. “They seem to be saying that if you keep the forests pristinely green, the jobs will come. It is like a reverse cargo cult for inner city types.”

    Actually they recognise that cutting down old growth forests is unsustainable, therefore any jobs that entail cutting down old growth forests are unsustainable, why can’t people get their tiny minds around such an obvious fact?

    “Maybe we should herd all the tree-huggers down there from the mainland. With that pack of tossers roaming about, there will be enough semen sprayed about to fertilise a forest or two.”

    WTF?

  38. They don’t “seem to be saying” that at all SB, which is reflected in the doubling of the Greens’ primary vote in 10 years. DOUBLE! If the Greens were economic vandals there would be a contraction rather than a doubling of their primary vote as voters saw them as not trustworthy with the economy. Your reasoning is flawed on that score I’m afraid.

    And you can’t compare McKim with some of the earlier Greens MPs in Tas. He’s very mainstream, and could in fact be a member of either of the major parties. He wants a sustainable forest industry and recognises that the industry needs to be completely restructured in order to achieve that.

  39. “And you can’t compare McKim with some of the earlier Greens MPs in Tas. He’s very mainstream, and could in fact be a member of either of the major parties.”

    Hey confessions, would you have given him your vote if you were a Taswegian? (just asking 😉 )

  40. Confessions, being the moderate I am, I’m willing to live and learn. Maybe the Greens will be so impressive this time around they will be given more power by the electorate next time. Who knows, they may be growing up faster than we think.

  41. The problem is, SB, that you’re arrogant enough to define “growing up” as “adopting right-wing economic policy”.

    If they do that, they’ll certainly lose my support, for one.

  42. [Confessions, being the moderate I am,]

    You aren’t a moderate, you are deluded, moderates don’t make comments like:

    “Maybe we should herd all the tree-huggers down there from the mainland. With that pack of tossers roaming about, there will be enough semen sprayed about to fertilise a forest or two.”

  43. What have the Greens done, when in Government in the past, that has shown them up as immature SB.

    Other than the bullshit smears from “that pack of tossers roaming about” known as the ALP and the Libs….

  44. Clearly ‘growing up’ referred to adopting policies more acceptable to the wider electorate. No doubt this will offend the pieties of the ultra-orthodox members of the sect.

    Indeed moderates do, RobJ. Idoelogues don’t as they are humourless wowsers.

  45. Yes Rob, probably would’ve on grounds that the Labor government is woeful and deserves time out for a while.

  46. Have the Greens ever been in government, Craigy? They had a form of accord with Labor for a while, but I don’t think they got any cabinet posts. The Australian faithful are still waiting for their Joschka Fischer to come down from the mountain. In the meantime, Bob Brown does a good job at the helm.

  47. Support for greater public funding of education, health and public transport is hardly a “fringe” stance, SB.

  48. Returned Man

    See? Told you. Not good.

  49. You’re associating the Greens supporters with religious nutters SB, it makes you sound just like another troll – one Iain Hall.

    SB, I know you’re quite a bright chap, perhaps we can call you ‘the thinking mans Iain Hall’?

    What do ya think?

  50. Keri, do you think Bartlett appears to be reluctant to contemplate an alliance with the Greens because he sees it as a poisoned chalice? How would he feel when he wakes up next morning next to Frankenstein?

  51. Nobody’s asking him to marry them.

    Christ, the major parties are so precious when required to deal with the people’s representatives rather than corporate lobbyists.

  52. Probably based on experience Jeremy.

  53. Greens are nature worshipers, Craigy. Gaia is their god. Their self-righteous zealotry is entirely religious. Not happy with keeping their religious beliefs a private matter, they insist that everyone pay tribute to their god. For those who would sin against Gaia, indulgences may be purchased in the form of carbon credits.

  54. SB, I know you’re quite a bright chap,

    He writes well enough but doesn’t understand the meaning of words such as ‘moderate’ or ‘ideologue’ and then he spews boltesque drivel such as:

    Greens are nature worshipers, Craigy. Gaia is their god. Their self-righteous zealotry is entirely religious. Not happy with keeping their religious beliefs a private matter, they insist that everyone pay tribute to their god. For those who would sin against Gaia, indulgences may be purchased in the form of carbon credits.

    He still can’t get his tiny mind around the fact that logging old-growth forests is unsustainable.

  55. Actually to use the carbon credits reference wrt the Greens is wrong as they voted against carbon abatement and taking action on climate change.

  56. “they voted against carbon abatement and taking action on climate change.”

    They voted against bullshit non-action on climate change, you mean.

  57. There are real problems with the two party system, although they do provide some stability.

    Years of it in Australia have kind of programmed us to assume that the executive = the parliament. And it certainly works well when the majority and the majority party have the same priorities. But parties demand the primary loyalty of their reps, and those reps should actually give their primary loyalty to their constituents.

    Thats a major flaw with the 2 party system as we know it. Its made worse when its an all or nothing platform, and the ALP is particularly full on about that, but the Libs aren’t much better.

    The situation in Tasmania could work if the Libs form a minority govt, or Labor for that matter. And the Greens hold the balance of power.

    It simply means the priorities of politicians have to be an ability to compromise to make things work, rather than their parties priorities.

    The twp party system would work a lot better if each party had core values, that they demanded all members support, and other values not intrinsic to the identity of the party, that members have a conscious vote on.

    It might even work if candidates had affiliations with parties rather than memberships of said parties.

    Then if their core values were sufficiently aligned they could run for election on a combination of their own personal platform and aligned it with the party on core issues.

    There’s too much going in our society these days, in the sense that tech changes and cultural changes are so fast, and the options we have as people in our culture are so varied. An either or political system just doesn’t make sense, all the important nuances get lost.

    If the libs decide to run on a platform of scraping the anti terror laws and the net filter, but reinstating workchoices, where would that leave someone like me?

    Once upon a time the two party system provided the stability that we thrived on as a society, but its no longer the case. The issues of those times are no longer the only dominant issues.

    What was once stability is now a lumbering clumsiness, cos the situation today (ie the issues we face and the rate of change of issues we face) demands more agility and flexibility from the system.

    The results in Tassie reflect this change as much as anything else.

  58. Maybe the Greens will be so impressive this time around they will be given more power by the electorate next time. Who knows, they may be growing up faster than we think.

    SB @ 2:17pm

    Or, maybe it’s the electorate that is finally growing up?

    Cheers.

  59. Marek: Or, maybe it’s the electorate that is finally growing up?

    We are talking about Tasmania, Marek! Evolution works in reverse when, in every family, your mother is also your sister.

  60. Jules, I agree that we suffer from not having enough separation between the legislature and the executive. At least if we did change that we have some idea of what to expect as other countries have that model.

    Maybe we should use technology to allow a popular vote on major issues. Then again, this may provide more apparent than real democracy. The Californian citizen sponsored referenda appear to be dysfunctional, even though they appear to offer more direct democratic participation by citizens.

    Radical change whether revolutionary or electoral, say by the election of a Hitler, doesn’t seem to produce good results. It has taken a long time to evolve our system, and under it we have great freedom. If we are going to change it at all, that change should be incremental. This is especially the case when considering changing our constitutional arrangements.

  61. “Radical change whether revolutionary or electoral, say by the election of a Hitler”

    Godwin.

    SB loses.

  62. I’m always amazed how people cannot think outside the paradigm of the two-party ‘system’… guess that’s because it serves their interests.

  63. “They voted against bullshit non-action on climate change, you mean.”
    Because the ALP couldn’t get anything through just on the Greens’ support. The senate as it stands now is a pretty good example of the difference between a properly democratic system and a weak electoral system.
    Since it’s made unneccesarily difficult to indicate your actual preferences in the Senate (by not allowing people to mark their own above-the-line preferences, by making below the line voters fill in every spot etc) preferences for 95% of voters end up being decided by backroom deals between the parties, leading to Family First getting a spot. I’m sure the ALP and Democrat voters of Victoria didn’t think they were voting for Fielding.

    (I’m not 100% sure where Xenophon stood, but he’s not some anti-science relativist loony like Fielding)

  64. They voted against bullshit non-action on climate change, you mean.

    No, I meant the Greens voted against taking action on climate change. The Greens voted with Fielding and the denialists, ie for no scheme. If they’d instead joined with the 2 Liberal senators in Dec and passed the CPRS we would have a carbon pricing mechanism starting next year. It may not be a *perfect* carbon pricing mechanism, but the framework of the scheme would be in place, and once the Greens achieve the BoP in the Senate they could work towards making it more effective.

    As it stands now we have no legislated scheme, no likelihood of a scheme any time in the next 2 to 3 years, and a group of wingnut denialists whipping up a frenzy and muddying the waters.

    What happened with the CPRS is one of those ‘my way or the highway’ stances which really pisses me off about minor parties and independents. Just for once I’d like to see common agreement for the good of the country.

  65. Well, with all respect confessions, stiff. The Greens’ voters want real action on climate change, not an ETS that rewards polluters at the taxpayers’ expense. I’m glad they voted against it. So, I am confident, are their other voters.

  66. “No, I meant the Greens voted against taking action on climate change. The Greens voted with Fielding and the denialists, ie for no scheme.”

    confessions, what’s the point in supporting a useless scheme? The Greens were right to oppose it and they opposed it for different reasons than the deniers.

  67. The other thing that indicates to me that Rudd was more interested in the political gains than actually fighting climate change is that the whole topic has gone cold, he’d prefer to talk about health, I would have though that if he was fair dinkum he would have called a DD election on the issue after all he did tell us :

    [To delay leadership and action on the greatest moral challenge of our generation is no longer an option.]

    The ALP are useless on the issue climate change.

  68. Jeremy, for Godwin to kick in I would have to be likening someone to Hitler. I wasn’t.

    RobJ, there is a reason Rudd has gone cold on a DD election. That is because the ETS is a complete loser with then people. It is so weak, it doesn’t even serve as a distraction from his other monumental fuck-ups. If AGW theory is ever to attain even a semblance of credibility, the IPCC must be abolished, a neutral review panel should be created, and all of the data, adjustments and models must be published and open for checking. It would also help if someone other than a morally bankrupt old loon was put in charge.

  69. I’m glad they voted against it. So, I am confident, are their other voters.

    Well that would make you in a minority, even amongst Green voters. A Neilsen poll showed 60% of Greens voters preferred Rudd government’s climate change policy compared with Abbott’s. An Essential poll (I think) showed something like 57% of Greens voters supported the CPRS generally.

    Yes the government played politics with the CPRS and got burned, maybe deservedly so. But so did the Greens. They had to in order to differentiate from Labor, perhaps because recent polling shows the Greens vote is softest of the 3 parties.

  70. Is there such a thing as an extreme moderate pragmatist? I think we may have found one.

  71. “Jeremy, for Godwin to kick in I would have to be likening someone to Hitler. I wasn’t.”

    Oh, really, SB? What did you mean by this?

    “Radical change whether revolutionary or electoral, say by the election of a Hitler, doesn’t seem to produce good results.”

    Given that we’re talking about the Tasmanian election results, what “radical change” were you comparing with Hitler?

    Confessions – well, we’ll see next election whether Greens voters abandon the party for not supporting the ALP’s policy.

  72. Jeremy: Oh, really, SB? What did you mean by this?

    I was replying to Jules’ rant about the evils of the two party system. My point was that any change should be incremental, not radical, and that I wasn’t just talking about change brought about by revolution (like Russia in 1917), but also a change wrought through the electoral process.

    I used Hitler as an example of the sort of radical change that can come about through the electoral process. I thought an example might be in order to illustrate that radical change is also possible through the ballot box. What I wasn’t doing was comparing any person or group to Hitler, but rather that even the ballot box can produce radical change, and very bad radical change at that.

  73. You used Hitler as an example of why the Tasmanian system, which had instead of wasting Green votes by turning them into major party votes, had actually given such voters representation, should be feared.

  74. If you read Jules’ post and my reply you will find we were having a more general discussion than that. My point was that incremental change is preferable to radical change. The analogy was in support of that proposition.

  75. “Radical change whether revolutionary or electoral, say by the election of a Hitler, doesn’t seem to produce good results. It has taken a long time to evolve our system, and under it we have great freedom. If we are going to change it at all, that change should be incremental. This is especially the case when considering changing our constitutional arrangements.”

    I’ll get to the Hitler bit soon.

    I pretty much agree SB.

    Although I think it could use some tweaking (ad perhaps a Bill of Rights,) our systems are basically pretty good. Compared to many. I don’t think we need to go fucking with constitution itself to make more of the difference between the parliament and the executive.

    And the two party system is not dependent on our constitution, more on the trend to debate public issues as an either/or, left/right situation. That may work well to a point, but again it misses a fair bit of nuance.

    So yeah, if we are gonna change our constitutionit should be a considered thing. basically its a nuts and bolts document. Not a good idea to mess with it too much.

    There’s plenty that could be done within the limits of our current system(s) to make the process more representative.

    I don’t think Godwin’s applies to SB in this case either. IMO the current Tasmanian system seems to work to prevent the sort of thing that happened in germany all those years ago, but I don’t know enough about it to honestly comment.

    I do know enough about Tassie to say its a fair call wrt to that place, and my old man actually said the same thing about Tasmania long before SB, or even Godwin made his call. I dunno what its like now, but not that long ago it had all the elements for potential totalitarianism in place, and was run by corrupt scum. I spose Queensland was similar under Joh.

  76. “I do know enough about Tassie to say its a fair call wrt to that place, and my old man actually said the same thing about Tasmania long before SB”

    SB also had the following to say about Tasmania:

    We are talking about Tasmania, Marek! Evolution works in reverse when, in every family, your mother is also your sister.” 😀

  77. RobJ I was born in Tassie, tho every male in my actual line since the 18th century has been from outside Australia. So I know my gene pool is pretty wide.

    Dunno about every nuclear family, but I doubt there is an extended family down there who doesn’t have some dodgy chromosomally challenged relatives round the place. The vast majority of Tasmanians breed outward tho, (the place isn’t as isolated as it once was.)

    Unlike some relos I have… who are genuinely scary looking.

    There are serious inbreds all over Australia too. I reckon I’ve seen worse in Tilden (vic) and Casino (NSW) than I have seen in northern Tasmania.

    And the place a totalitarian state in waiting, it especially was as the Greenies got fired up in the 70s.

    My old man sued the Tasmanian Law Society, lost, appealed, and then I’m not sure what happened. Whether he actually lost the appeal or left before it finished.

    He left after the AG at the time called him and told him to get out of the state that night. He rang back and said not to use the two main airports, so a good friend drove him to a small airfield outside Devonport (from Hobart, on back roads) and he flew out of the state.

    One of the reasons he left was that this was on top of threats made against my brother’s safety and mine.

    I was 12 at the time, and used to be followed round town (Hobart) by cars with people I didn’t know in them.

    There’s a bunch of right fuckers down there, (tho there’s plenty of good people too.) Thats one of the reasons I started that blog I never post on. Its about time that sordid tale was told.

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