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Week 3 of Australia's "Hung Parliament"

Compiled by Andrew Middleton
An update on “The latest on Australia’s Hung Parliament,” August 31st

Abbott touted pub relief in Wilkie deal

4 September, 2010
From: The Australian

TONY Abbott offered to consider compensation for clubs and pubs as part of his drive to win the support of independent MP Andrew Wilkie.

The compensation would have been for clubs and pubs dependent on poker-machine income for their survival. This was part of his promise to crack down on problem gambling .

But Mr Wilkie, who has agreed with the Gillard government to vote against a no-confidence motion if Labor forms minority government, instead accepted Julia Gillard’s offer to impose restrictions on poker machine use and losses.

The Opposition Leader essentially offered the same deal, based on the findings of the Productivity Commission, to limit poker machine losses, as the ALP.

And Mr Abbott also offered to look at an industry adjustment package to help clubs and pubs with potential job losses.

Clubs Australia executive director Anthony Ball has accused the Prime Minister of backflipping on a deal to consult the industry before making any changes to gambling regulations.

Read full article

Black rights top Bob Katter’s wish list

4 September, 2010
From: The Australian

INDEPENDENT MP Bob Katter has accused successive governments of oppressing Aborigines, declaring that indigenous policy will affect his decision about whether to back Labor or the Coalition to form a government.

The north Queensland MP wants 100 per cent of the workers on indigenous housing projects to be Aborigines, and for Canberra to sink Queensland Premier Anna Bligh’s Wild Rivers legislation.

He says Aboriginal people should have full control over their own land.

Mr Katter is one of three independent MPs who will next week resolve the nation’s political deadlock by giving one of the major political parties his support to form a minority government after the August 21 election produced no winner.

Read full article

Parliament reform spat slows govt result

5 September 2010
From: MyWestnet

A decision on who forms government could be delayed with a squabble breaking out over parliamentary reform.

Labor and the coalition have previously indicated they would support changing parliament’s rules, but on Sunday the opposition declared some of the reforms could strengthen the hand of future governments.

“My role as manager of opposition business is to ensure that the parliament is not diminished and the executive’s power increased,” key coalition negotiator Christopher Pyne told AAP.

Rob Oakeshott wants both sides of politics to sign off on the reforms before he and fellow independents Tony Windsor and Bob Katter announce whether they’ll back Prime Minister Julia Gillard or Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.

Asked on Sunday whether the current squabbling could delay that announcement, Mr Pyne said: “What is important is the changes to the standing orders for the last 110 years be correct, not rushed”.

The coalition opposes proposed reforms to the speaker’s role and the guaranteeing of “pairing” for votes.

It supports other changes, including boosting the role of independents, elevating private members’ business, strengthening committees, establishing a parliamentary budget office and reforming Question Time.

A draft document outlining the proposed reforms was released by Mr Oakeshott on Saturday. Labor has supported all the measures.

Read full article

One may have to compromise: Windsor

6 September, 2010
From: NineMSN

One of the three rural independents may have to compromise and back their least favoured political party in the interests of stable government, Tony Windsor says.

Mr Windsor and his fellow independents Bob Katter and Rob Oakeshott are still deciding whether to support a Labor or coalition minority government.

Labor is ahead in that race, holding 74 of the required 76 federal lower house seats – one more than the coalition.

Mr Windsor said if the trio couldn’t agree on whom to support, someone may have to compromise their views in order to avoid a 75-all outcome.

Read full article
Related: "Oakeshott prepared to compromise," September 6th

Tony Windsor supported radical action on climate change

6 September, 2010
From: The Australian

TONY Windsor introduced a private member’s bill to radically cut Australia’s carbon emissions before the Garnaut report was even released.

The Member for New England proposed Australia’s carbon emissions be cut by at least 30 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020 – and by 80 per cent by 2050.

Mr Windsor’s decision to vote against the Rudd Government’s emissions trading scheme has been read in some quarters as a sign he will back Tony Abbott’s ‘direct action’ approach to climate change.

But as the trio of country independents continue to weigh up their options, Mr Windsor has hinted the ambitious targets in his private member’s bill may not reflect his personal beliefs.

Read full article
Also see: "Gillard faces Rudd-made climate trap," September 3rd

Coalition’s hopes for power sink

6 September, 2010
From: The Australian

THE Coalition is increasingly pessimistic about its chances of winning the support of the three rural independents it needs to take power.

The trio is preparing to end two weeks of political limbo.

Hopes are rising in the government that Labor will be able to win the backing of at least two of the three independents, even as senior Coalition figures made a last-ditch bid for support.

Tony Abbott’s chief of staff, Peta Credlin, and senior Liberal senator Bill Heffernan lunched with north Queensland independent Bob Katter yesterday in Canberra to discuss his 20-point wishlist as well as water and development issues.

Mr Katter is expected to declare his decision today, but Tony Windsor said he might not make a decision until tomorrow while Rob Oakeshott said he may need until Wednesday.

Senior sources believe the decision could go either way, but pessimism has grown among some senior Coalition figures over the “disengagement” of the independents during key briefings last week with senior frontbenchers.


Coalition sources worry about the fact that issues such as its broadband policy to counter Labor’s NBN and Treasury’s costing of the Coalition’s election promises were only briefly canvassed in the meetings, leaving them concerned the independents were “going through the the motions . . . It would seem they have not nearly negotiated and discussed and exchanged documents and all those sorts of things with us, like they have with Labor,” one Coalition source told The Australian.

“That’s the reason for the pessimism.”

Read full article

Greens to rush same-sex bill

4 September, 2010
From: The Australian

THE Greens will use their alliance with Labor to prosecute their push for same-sex marriage and liberalising the treatment of refugees by bringing forward their legislation and demanding it be debated, possibly with conscience votes, in the new parliament.

Greens leader Bob Brown confirmed his intentions yesterday as the Coalition warned that a returned Labor government controlled by the Greens would be the most radical in Australian political history.

Read full article
Related: "Gillard dumps citizen assembley as Labor, Greens strike alliance deal," September 1st
Also see: "Same Strategy, Different Socialists," August 28th

Final count still weeks away: AEC

6 September, 2010
From: The Australian

THE final count in the federal election can be expected within three weeks, the electoral commission has said.

At noon on Monday, 91.92 per cent of the House of Representatives vote had been counted, with the Senate count slightly behind on 87.3 per cent.

But so far only nine lower house seats have been officially declared out of 150.

Read full article

Decision likely for Tuesday, major parties prefer Government over re-election

6 September, 2010
From: ABC News

Independent MP Tony Windsor says a decision on which party will form government is unlikely to be made today.

Mr Windsor and his fellow independents Bob Katter and Rob Oakeshott have spent the weekend mulling over which party to support, and will hold talks together in Canberra today.

Mr Windsor says they also plan to meet Labor leader Julia Gillard and Coalition leader Tony Abbott one more time before making a final decision.

“My guess is, on the basis of all that, we’ll make a determination probably tomorrow morning,” Mr Windsor said.

Although keen not to raise expectations, he has not totally ruled out a decision today.

“Anything could happen,” he said.

“I won’t be making a final call until I’ve really sat down with the other two and talked through it, because there is a possibility here that we end up with 75-all, in a mathematical sense.

“I’ve asked people from both sides of the parliament ‘Do you want another election?’ and they nearly run in fear when you suggest that to them.”

The independents are hopeful that the Coalition will today join Labor in signing onto a series of parliamentary reforms.

Mr Oakeshott says there will be a decision soon.

“Realistically, a couple more days at worst, and hopefully by within 24 hours at best,” he said.

The Greens holding the balance of power in the Senate from July next year is a serious point of consideration.

“The reality is, the Greens are in the House,” said Mr Oakeshott.

“That is a pragmatic reality we all have to get used to, like it or not.”

Read full article

Recent comedy skit on Australia’s “Hung Parliament” by Clarke & Dawes, as featured on The 7:30pm Report, September 2nd

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Vaccine Resistance Movement: Worldwide Autism Study

http://study.vaccineresistancemovement.org

Vaccine Resistance Movement is a grass roots, non-profit organization striving for safe alternatives to vaccines; both empowering citizens around the world with the means of self sufficiency while determined to expose vaccine fraud & pharmaceutical industry malfeasance. This study is the culmination of two years of inspired research, energized with the support of a growing community of responsible activists learning how to stand independent of Corporate & Government misdirection.

Hypothesis
It is our goal, through this study, to determine an accurate percentage of those unvaccinated autistic children & adults vs. those unvaccinated children & adults who have not become autistic. Essentially what we are trying to identify is the healthy trend in unvaccinated children & adults. Based on the Centre For Disease Control’s ‘Recommended Immunization Schedule for Persons Aged 0 Through 6 Years—United States • 2010’ we are also charting the common denominators in those vaccinated children & adults who became autistic (ie. vaccines received, dietary issues, family health problems, breast/bottle feeding) vs. those vaccinated children & adults who did not become autistic (diet, family health history cross referenced, breast/bottle feeding). As this is a worldwide census type study it is felt the CDC 0-6 model comes closest to an official standard to which most nations subcribe. Variables nation-nation (ie. particulars of vaccine schedule) will be noted accordingly. An ‘Additional Comments’ category will accompany each section for any discrepancies.

Summary
The purpose of this worldwide study is to determine the incidence/rate of autism amongst those unvaccinated children & adults surveyed. We are also concurrently tracking the incidence/rate of autism amongst those vaccinated children & adults surveyed; cross-referencing dietary factors, pre-existing medical conditions/allergies, family health/vaccine history (multiple generations), breast/bottle feeding, We hope to gain new insights into the causality & manifestations of autism with an exhaustive, scientific approach.

For further information, please view the study homepage: http://study.vaccineresistancemovement.org

WeAreChange Western Australia has no direct affliation with the Vaccine Resistance Movement or its members.

Who is Barack Obama?

Researched & Written by Cel Eden
Edited by Andrew Middleton

Barack Hussien Obama is the current president of the United States of America. During his campaign for the Presidency, it was thought that he was a catalyst, a signal of changing times, as he was the first African-American candidate to be elected. When it was announced that he was to become the 44th president of the USA, there was a public outpouring of emotion screened on televisions around the world, celebrating the perceived step forward.

To become the President, the United States Constitution states candidates must be natural born citizens. Section 1 of Article 2 in the United States Constitution states, “No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”

There have been several reports that bring into question [1], and lawyers demanding that Obama proves, where he was born, as the birth certificate he presented was obtained in Hawaii through the clause that only one family member needs to be a witness to claim a birth there. This is a hot topic because his grandmother in Kenya is on record as saying he was born there and she was in the delivery room. [2] There are also several pictures in existence showing his visits there over a period of time. If Obama was born in Kenya, it would make his rise to the presidency one that broke the Constitutional laws of the United States and therefore void his position.

While being sworn in as an attorney of Illinois, Obama stated he had never been known under any other names. However, there is factual evidence that he attended Fransiskus Assisi School in Jakarta, Indonesia, as “Barry Soetoro.” [3] This fact has been conveniently and constantly left out by the mainstream media up until recently when a report surfaced that his stepfather, Lolo Soetoro, had ties with the CIA and suggested Obama’s rise to power may have been manufactured. [4]

Certain policies and decisions he has made in his term as President have been controversial and made headlines around the world. Some of these include: an Executive-ordered internet ‘killswitch’ [5], declaring the H1N1 virus a ‘national emergency’ – which violated parts of the Constitution [6] and saw him able to force people to take a flu vaccine at gunpoint if he felt it necessary – and the fact he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize within months of deciding to send a 40,000 strong contingent of soldiers to Iraq over 2010 [7].

Many Australians may ask what Obama’s Soetoro’s constitutional ineligibility & agenda has to do with our country. The United States of America seems to dictate policies to the rest of the world through its agenda and Australia traditionally – but particularly since 9/11 – been quick to align itself with that dictation and rarely question it. For evidence of this, we can look at the agendas of Australian & USA Governments since 2001 and find similarities in the “War on Terror” (including Afghanistan, Iraq, and defence/intelligence agreements), the aforementioned push to vaccinate entire populations in response to the swine flu “pandemic,” the push for a price on carbon emissions, the nationalising of healthcare systems, and general attitudes towards other countries, just to name a few. With so many of these issues commonly arising in national politics World-wide, it is important to know who the leaders around the World really are, and not just accept what we are told about them.

References
[1]    http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=139481
[2]    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Vru5pz2pwQ
[3]    http://www.educate-yourself.org/cn/orlytaitzletter24feb09.shtml
[4]    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/140093.html
[5]    http://www.smh.com.au/technology/security/obama-internet-kill-switch-bill-approved-20100625-z8sf.html
[6]    http://www.infowars.com/obamas-national-emergency-violates-the-constitution/
[7]    http://www.infowars.net/articles/november2009/101109Obama_troops.htm

The latest on Australia's "Hung Parliament"

Andrew Wilkie & Wars, PM Power, Heffernan the “devil,” 2PP vote and What about the Economy?

By Andrew Middleton (all emphasis mine)
Australia's "Hung Parliament" as explained by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on August 23rd
Regular update on "Does Australia have a Government yet?"

Who is Independent MP Andrew Wilkie?

Exerts from the ABC (26 August, 2010):

Independent Andrew Wilkie is looking ever more likely to claim the previously safe Tasmanian Labor seat of Denison and join three other independents holding the key to power in Australia’s new federal parliament. (ABC Election Results for Denison)

A former Duntroon cadet, he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and worked for United States defence giant Raytheon.

He continued his defence career as an intelligence analyst with the Office of National Assessment.

But he caused a huge storm in 2003 when he resigned and spoke out against the Howard government on the Iraq war, saying there was no intelligence to indicate Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

Mr Wilkie ran against Mr Howard for the Greens in the seat of Bennelong in 2004. It was a remarkable transformation for a man who was once a young Liberal. He also ran for the Greens on their Tasmanian Senate ticket in 2007. He was unsuccessful and resigned from the party in 2008, criticising them for a lack of professionalism. Privately, some in the Greens are just as critical of Mr Wilkie and say he was too demanding in pushing for campaign resources.

Read full article
Wilkie’s unusual mix of policies keeps voters of all shades on side (good opinion piece)

Wilkie’s list of 20 “priorities” does not include mention of Australia’s foriegn military engagements

List from The Age (30 August, 2010):

National
* Introduction of maximum $1 bet and $120/hour loss limits on all poker machines in Australia.
* Urgent action on climate change, including a price on carbon.
* Honouring the word and spirit of the UN Refugee Convention.
* Federal whistleblower legislation.
* According the same funding priority to mental health care as afforded currently to GP and hospital services.
* Including dental care in Medicare.
* Overturning the recent Federal Government decision to extend to 2014 the review of the Federal funding model for education. Instead complete the review by 2012, and implement the recommendations as soon as practicable. Increased funding for tertiary institutions.
* Increasing all Government pensions, allowances and other payments to levels people can actually live on. Enhance the method of indexation so as to ensure they genuinely keep pace with inflation.
* A conscience vote on same-sex marriage.
* Increased funding of aged care facilities.
* The introduction of a national disability insurance scheme.

Local
* Replacement of the Royal Hobart Hospital. In the interim, leasing of sub-acute beds in private hospitals to help reduce the RHH occupancy rate to the national level.
* Stage 3 of the National Broadband Network complete by end 2012.
* Withdrawal of all Federal Government approvals for Gunns’ Tamar River pulp mill.
* Immediate release of the $20 million relief funding for Tasmanian forestry contractors pledged by the ALP and Coalition.
* Stage 1 of the Southern Councils Transport Plan implemented.
* The northern suburbs light rail funded and developed.
* Re-alignment of the Brighton bypass to protect the Jordan River levee Aboriginal heritage site. Upgrade of the Brooker Highway and Plenty Valley link road.
* Upgrade Hobart inner port infrastructure.
* Realisation of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery master plan.
* Stage 1 of the Glenorchy Sports, Recreation and Community Precinct funded and developed.

Office
* Adequate staffing and office space to deal with the workload of an Independent Member of Parliament

Read full article
Read opinion piece

Just two of these “priorities” will make Wilkie’s decision

Exerts from The Australian (31 August, 2010):

ANDREW Wilkie has declared fixing the Royal Hobart Hospital and pokies reform are the two issues that will decide who he backs to form government.

Reserving the right to not formally support either political party, the independent MP for Denison would offer the party he backed a guarantee not to block supply or support any “reckless” no-confidence motions.

He reserved the right also to vote against a minister if he or she acted grossly irresponsibly and unethically and would fiercely defend his right to vote on each piece of legislation the new government put forward on its merits. His support could not be relied on for its entire program.

He would support only an “ethical” government and was not interested in which side had the most votes or the most seats.

“I’m still to decide whether any one party or parties is going to do that,” he said.

“I reserve the option of backing no party or parties and letting the other 149 members come together and stand up a government and opposition.

“I note that in the last few months the Labor government has been neither stable, competent or ethical and I’m yet to be persuaded that the opposition can do any better.”

Mr Wilkie, who went to dinner last night in Canberra with the three rural independents, criticised their decision to act as a bloc.

The former army officer said of his list of 22 priorities that there were “at least two” that “I have said both to the Prime Minister and to the Opposition Leader there must be reform on”.

The former intelligence analyst, whistleblower and retired lieutenant colonel denied the list represented demands, rather his “priorities” in negotiations.

Read full article

All this despite Wilkie stating the justification for the War in Afghanistan as one of the “great lies of the election campaign”

Exert from ABC News (29 August 2010):

He met Prime Minister Julia Gillard in Melbourne yesterday and presented her with a list of 20 issues that are important to him.

While his stance on the Afghanistan war is not part of that list, Mr Wilkie has made it clear he is against troops staying there.

“The war in Afghanistan and what is being said by the Coalition and the Labor Party is one of the great lies of this election campaign,” he said.

“Both Labor Party members and Coalition members continue to perpetuate this nonsense, that we’re only there to fight terrorists to prevent them coming to Australia, to prevent them committing terrorist attacks here.”

He says politicians need to be honest about the reasons Australia is still in Afghanistan.

“They at the moment are trying to implement a policy put in place by, I think, incompetent politicians and this continuing lie about why we are there,” he said.

Let’s be honest: let’s say we’re there to help the people of Afghanistan and to bolster our bilateral relationship with the US.”

He says he did originally support the invasion in November 2001 and he still backs Australian soldiers “100 per cent”, but there is no need to stay.

“I don’t know the solution from here. If we stay people will die, if we go people will die,” he said.

“But I do know peace will only come to Afghanistan when foreign troops are out and I think they should get out as soon as possible.”

Two more soldiers died last week in Afghanistan, taking the total number of Australian troops killed in Afghanistan since 2001 to 21.

Read full article

Bob Katter says the next PM will have “more power”

Exert from The Australian (31 August, 2010):

INDEPENDENT MP Bob Katter says the new PM will have more power than previous prime ministers after being anointed by independents to form the next government.

The north Queensland MP said he and fellow country independents Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor would be able to invest the new prime minister with greater political muscle than previous prime ministers John Howard and Kevin Rudd. To illustrate his point, he said Mr Howard and Mr Rudd had both agreed with him that competition reform had hurt Australians. But despite leading governments, they lacked the power to act.

“Well, we will deliver to one or the other that sort of power,” Mr Katter said.

Read full article

Why did Liberal Party Senator Bill Heffernan ring Independent MP Robert Oakeshott as “the devil”?

Exerts from the ABC (30 August, 2010):

Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan says he is sorry for identifying himself as “the devil” during a phone conversation with the wife of independent MP Rob Oakeshott. Mr Oakeshott is one of the key independents who are deciding which party to support in a hung parliament.

Mr Oakeshott said the phone call was weird and had chipped away at the confidence he was prepared to show in Mr Abbott. “So that has been unhelpful,” he said. He said Mr Abbott’s capacity to control rogue elements within the Coalition would be a factor in his decision about which party to support in a minority government.

Read full article

The two-party preferred majority is still on a knife-edge

31 August, 12:06AM: “Gillard mandates slips (The Australian)
31 August, 10:27AM
: “Coalition steams ahead” (The Australian)

This led to Liberal MP Julie Bishop leaping on Gillard’s ‘measure’ of a mandate when it came to the two-party preffered majority (exerts from ABC News, 31 August 2010):

Liberal deputy leader Julie Bishop says Prime Minister Julia Gillard has lost her mandate to form government after Labor has lost its lead in the two-party preferred vote.
Ms Gillard had been using Labor’s lead in the two-party preferred vote to claim a mandate for Labor forming government. Now Ms Bishop has used the new figures to attack Ms Gillard’s argument.
“Julia Gillard set it as the bar. She said that was the plank for Labor being able to form government. Well that plank is now falling away,” she told Lateline.

Read full article

But then at 12:48PM (exert from The Australian, 31 August 2010)…

“The latest counting showed Labor ahead of the Coalition by 3724 votes – a 50.02-49.98 per cent split – with 80.93 per cent of the vote counted. Labor snatched back the lead from the Coalition in the closely watched vote this morning.”

Read full article

The ABC reported the same around the same time. Yet it’s Anthony Green – election analyst expert from the ABC – who says we won’t know for weeks anyway. Will the two-party preferred vote count matter in terms of the decisions made by the Independents? Should it matter? And if it does matter to the Independents, how long will it take to ascertain a winning majority?

Pre-poll votes in Boothby count discarded

Exert from ABC News (31 August 2010):

The Labor Party is not ruling out a legal challenge to the result in the marginal Federal South Australian seat of Boothby, after another turn in the count.

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has accepted legal advice to exclude 2,977 votes from the count.

The decision has reduced the lead of the sitting Liberal Andrew Southcott by 339 votes, but he has claimed victory with a current lead of 1,394 votes more than ALP candidate Annabel Digance.

The excluded votes were cast at an early voting centre at suburban Oaklands Park.

They were later deemed to have been handled in a way which contravened provisions of the Commonwealth Electoral Act when they were removed from a box and placed into another by an AEC employee.

Read full article

What about the economy?

A 2-to-3 week delay in forming a new Government, as appears likely, will not noticeably effect our economy and arguments are thin on the ground for how it relevantly could. As everyone seemed to acknowledge during the global financial crisis, the overall performance of Australia’s economy in the 21st century is influenced by far more than just actions taken by our Federal Government and was very much at the mercy of external factors. Indeed, a popular cliche in 2008 was “When America sneezes, the rest of the World coughes.”

However, leaving “the devil” Bill Heffernan and his phone calls aside, headlines and claims have come thick & fast in the mainstream media and from business leaders that a hung Parliament is particularly “bad for business” and the “gang of 3” Independent MPs should come to their decision quicker than at their own pace, in their own way. Today we’ve seen Dominic Knight, a contributor to popular ABC comedy The Chasers and writing on a also publicly funded ABC website, attempting to ridicule the “gang of 3” (Windsor, Oakeshott, and Katter) in his article titled, “Australia voted, now the independents should too.” (31 August 2010, ABCs The Drum) This is a curious paradigm to frame his article in, seeing as his first charge of the “gang of 3” is:

“And unless they slept through the Rudd years – for which they could, admittedly, be forgiven – they must have a firm view about whether they’d rather see Gillard or Abbott as PM.”

Unless Knight hasn’t looked at the actual results of the election, or even realise what he was talking about in that instance, the voters didn’t actually have a firm view about whether they’d rather see Gillard or Abbott as PM at the conclusion of a six-week election campaign. So you’d think it’d make complete sense that these Independent MPs would also take their time in coming to a decision that they previously wouldn’t have anticipated having to make in their wildest dreams.

However, funny man Knight is seemingly outraged (and this author acknowledges it’s probably a tongue-in-cheek article) that these 3 Independent MPs dare gather some more in-depth information on the situation and the policies of either Party before making a well-thought out and reasoned decision. A decision which could actually have massive ramifications for the Australian economy and the future of its People and sovereignty, when it comes to the implementation of a carbon tax and a mining tax as currently desired by the Labor and Greens Parties. Knight thinks that decision should’ve been made “about a week ago,” with no actual reason is given for the frustration outside of the ABC’s Election Analyst Anthony Green needing a holiday…

A good example of the “bad for business” argument, which is just as thinly reasoned as the previously discussed article, can be seen in the following Sydney Morning Herald article titled, “Hung parliament ‘bad for business’” (22 August 2010), which begins with:

A hung parliament poses a risk to the economy and will dampen consumer confidence, business groups say. With counting set to continue for days, Labor and the coalition are in a deadlock for lower house seats and the balance of power looks likely to rest with three independents and one Greens member.

“For financial markets, a hung parliament probably is the worst possible outcome,” JP Morgan economist Stephen Walters said on Sunday.

Financial markets are possibly the best example of a market which Australian Government measures scarcely effects and which Australian Government policy or lack there-of barely scares off those looking to invest. This point is seemingly acknowledged by the same JP Morgan economist:

“A layer of persistent political risk … against a backdrop of heightened uncertainty over the state of the global economy, will weigh on investor sentiment.”

Would the same uncertainty over the state of the global economy weigh on investor sentiment more than the formation of any Australian Government? Well, for any savvy investor not taking advice from JP Morgan, it might. The next interest-group spokesperson acknowledges that the Greens Party getting the balance of power in the Senate is bad for business. So you’d expect it to be a good thing that there isn’t be a Government in place which can be lobbied to or even work in coalition with this new force in Australian politics, right? Apparently not:

Australian Industry Group chief executive Heather Ridout said the prospect of a hung parliament, plus a Senate where the Greens hold the balance of power, was a worrying outcome for businesses.
“It will potentially lead to instability, uncertainty and short-termism in policy development, all of which poses risks and challenges for the economy,” Ms Ridout said.

Surely Ms. Ridout can acknowledge she can’t have it all and this is better for her than a Labor Party Government already formed, for instance. While we had a JP Morgan economist speaking on behalf of investor sentiment, we had the Australian National Retailers Association speaking on behalf of consumer sentiment:

The Australian National Retailers Association also believes continuing political uncertainty will be bad for its members and the economy.
“Continued political instability will have a negative impact on the sector as consumers stay away from the shops,” chief executive Margo Osmond said.
“Election campaigns traditionally generate a brake on spending and the lack of a clear outcome will extend that effect beyond polling day.

Are you shopping less due to it being a “hung Parliament”? Has anybody thought of it when going to spend a dollar since August 21st? After the doom & gloom introduction, however, the August 22 article concludes far more positively with two very credible and objective voices when it comes to the matter of how the hung Parliament situation will affect Australia’s economy on the whole:

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Peter Anderson called on businesses and consumers to carry on as normal despite the uncertain political landscape.

“A caretaker period in national politics does not put the economy on hold,” he said.

Australians need not see the tightness of political combat as anything but an expression of a working democracy. Neither the business community nor the public should put economic or investment decisions on hold during this period.”

Commonwealth Securities senior analyst Craig James said Australia’s economic strength would not be jeopardised by the election outcome, with many key factors remaining stable no matter which party won government.

“We still will have, in our view, a credible economic manager, whether its Labor or Liberal,” he said.

If only those views made the introduction of the article, maybe the headline would’ve read: “No concerns for economy during Hung Parliament.” Yet surely the most reflective headline for the content would have been “Mixed thoughts on economic impact of Hung Parliament.” Not nearly as sensational, however.

Read full article

Also see

23 August, “10 uncertainties for business from a Hung Parliament” (SmartCompany)
24 August, “Business hopes for quick end to political uncertainty” (ABC News)

Recent economic figures and commentary highlight the above points:

1. Australia’s economy is far more dependent on economic, environmental, and political situations around it, than it does on Government action or inaction:

This week’s post-election financial market action – shares down, the dollar off by a couple of cents and easing long-term bond yields – has been driven by fears that the US economic recovery is stalling.

From: August 28, “The economic costs of a fractured parliament could break us” (The Australian)

Also see
August 30, “Local market enjoys 5-week high” (ABC News)
August 31, “No silver bullet to fix US economy, warns Obama.” (The Australian)
August 31, “[Global] Double-dip recession possible: RBA” (ABC News’ The World Today)

2. The likely alternative (and still possible conclusion) to the current hung Parliament situation from the August 21st election, would be the incumbent Labor Party holding office with the Greens Party holding a “balance of power” in the Senate from the 1st of July, 2011. This would more than likely lead to new taxes – possibly at a higher rate than what the Labor Party campaigned for at the election – which would majorly effect the main industry which can quickly bring us out of deficit, the mining industry. The possibility of this tax is now delayed as we have the proverbial “draw” with the same big tax concerns that existed pre-election, but without a Government who can act upon or be lobbied on such proposals:

August 23, “Australian election limbo continues” CBC News:

Stocks in Australia’s biggest mining companies rose Monday as the government’s plans for a new tax on their profits were thrown into doubt after the nation’s closest election in almost 50 years delivered no clear mandate.

Also see
August 28, “Gillard walks fine line on Greens” (The Australian)
August 31, “Mining exports boost GDP, slashes $10bn off current account deficit.” (PerthNow)

3. This author is just an average Australian, and for the average Australian, having no Government in power to implement/increase taxes or remove civil liberties has to be a most desirable outcome out of possible outcomes that can be thought. The Australian public also get to hear from a wider array of voices and opinions than it otherwise would have without the Hung Parliament scenario.

How long in limbo?

Who knows when Australia will have a Government exactly! Check this website for a recent update on whether or not it does. But the limbo does eventually have to come to an end:

Legal experts from the Australian National University said election rules allowed Gillard to carry on in her caretaker role for up to three months while she struggled to enlist a majority.

From: August 23, “Australian election limbo continues” (CBC News)

Also keep in mind that another election – at least for the House of Representatives – is still a possible outcome from the current negotiations. Indeed, it’s a possibility the major parties are currently preparing for:

August 31st, “Second election costly for major parties” (ABC News’ The World Today)

Conclusion

Ah, Australia, the lucky country. It seems like her people won’t even have to put up with a Government for the start of the traditional September footy finals. The only people disappointed are those believing we need urgent action to reduce human carbon emissions, those people will just have to hold their breath for the time being. But surely the most important thing to come up from this scenario is the chance for change and the chance to question, where there previously was not. From going to sleep on August 21st to waking up August 22nd, the major party politicians who so obviously uninspired the nation during the election campaign, saw the focus move away from them and onto otherwise unheard voices with some previously unheard and certainly not listened to views.

This could well be a trend in the political atmosphere in Australia, or certainly could be if people want it to be. As not just in this Hung Parliament scenario, but in the short-term future, battle lines will be re-drawn in what’s a dramatically altered Parliament already with the Greens having the “balance of power” in the Senate for the first time. So if you demand change on an issue of importance, or in the Australian political system in general, get informed, get active, and get your voice heard.

Clarke & Dawe have done comedy skits on the hung Parliament situation, as seen on The 7:30 Report 26th of August and 1st of September, 2010:

Former FBI Agent reveals new angle on Kennedy Assassination

Kurt Nimmo
From: Infowars.com

It is a story the corporate media, with the notable exception of one lone Fox News affiliate, refuses to report. A former FBI agent, Don Adams, has compelling evidence Lee Harvey Oswald did not assassinate president John F. Kennedy. Adams was assigned to an FBI office in Thomasville, Georgia, on November 22, 1963. Adams was responsible for investigating Joseph Adams Milteer, described as a radical with connections to the States Rights Party and KKK. Milteer, according to Adams, was involved in Kennedy’s assassination.

As revealed by the Church Committee in the mid-70s and according to internal FBI documents the agency controlled the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacists beginning in the 1960s. More recently, it was revealed that racist radio talk show host Hal Turner operated as a “national security intelligence” asset for the FBI, thus demonstrating the agency still has its hooks in the lunatic fringe movement.

The racist Milteer “was reportedly one of most violent men in the country,” Adams told Fox 8 News. Years later, Adams discovered that Milteer had threatened to kill Kennedy on November 9, 1963, and the FBI had lied about Milteer whereabouts. In order to make his case, Adams played an audio recording of Milteer for Fox News. In the recording, Milteer tells an informant the best way to get the president “is from an office building with a high powered rifle.” Asked if he was sincere about a plot of kill Kennedy, Milteer responded: “Oh yes. It’s in the works.”

Despite the threat and possibility of a conspiracy to assassinate the president, the FBI and Secret Service allowed Kennedy to travel to Dallas. “[They] should have stopped the President from traveling instantly,” said Adams.

“You thought I was kidding when I said he would be killed from a window with a high powered rifle,” a “jubilant” Milteer” told the informant following the murder.

Adams points out that Milteer was in Dallas on the day of the assassination and has a photograph to prove it. In the photo, Milteer stands near the presidential limousine prior to the shooting. Adams notes this fact was not mentioned in the Warren Commission report.

Other, more well-known personages were also photographed in Dealy Plaza on that fateful day, in particular George Bush Senior. The future CIA director and president was photographed standing outside the Texas Book Depository building where it was said Oswald single-handedly shot the president from the sixth floor. Gerald Ford appointed Bush to head-up the agency when the House Select Committee on Assassinations was investigating CIA-FBI links to the murders of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy.

During Gerald Ford’s funeral in 2007, the elder Bush attacked theories straying from the official version. “After a deluded gunman assassinated President Kennedy, our nation turned to Gerald Ford and a select handful of others to make sense of that madness,” said Bush. “And the conspiracy theorists can say what they will, but the Warren Commission report will always have the final definitive say on this tragic matter. Why? Because Jerry Ford put his name on it and Jerry Ford’s word was always good.”

After Adams told the FBI he believed it was impossible for Oswald to have fired three shots with a bolt-action rifle in seven-and-a-half seconds while taking aim through a scope, he was warned by his superiors not to pursue his findings. “Don, be careful what you say and how you say it,” an agent told him.

Mr. Adams’ assertions contribute to a huge body of evidence revealing that Kennedy was not murdered by Oswald in the fashion described by the government.

In 2007, a study conducted by a former FBI scientist put to rest the Oswald-as-lone-gunman theory. William A. Tobin, a former FBI lab metallurgist, and colleagues published a study the Annals of Applied Statistics demonstrating that at least one other shooter was involved in the assassination.

Also in 2007, former CIA agent and Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt admitted in an audio recording that he was approached to be part of a CIA assassination team to kill JFK. The tape was released by the late Hunt’s son, Saint John Hunt, and aired on the Coast to Coast radio show in April, 2007.

“E. Howard Hunt names numerous individuals with both direct and indirect CIA connections as having played a role in the assassination of Kennedy, while describing himself as a ‘bench warmer’ in the plot. Saint John Hunt agreed that the use of this term indicates that Hunt was willing to play a larger role in the murder conspiracy had he been required,” writes Paul Joseph Watson.

Watch Howard Hunt’s confession here:

Quite predictably, the corporate media all but ignored Hunt’s revelations and continues to peddle the ludicrous theory that Oswald was alone responsible for the assassination.

Saint John Hunt said that his father indeed resembled one of three “bums” arrested and photographed in Dealy Plaza following the assassination. The elder Hunt told his son he was “deeply conflicted and deeply remorseful” that he didn’t blow the whistle on the plot at the time and prevent the assassination. At the time Kennedy was hated by many government officials, especially officials at the CIA. Following the disastrous Bay of Pigs operation and his failure to support military action in Cuba, Kennedy had promised to “shatter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter the remnants to the wind.”

Kennedy’s enemies in the CIA and the FBI are well documented. He fired the Chief Executive of the CIA, Charles Cabell, and among his enemies were Richard Helms, former CIA director Allen Dulles, and Gerald Ford, who would later become the default president of the United States.

Ford, who was a member of the Warren Commission, implicated the CIA in a cover-up of the assassination from his deathbed, according to a publisher of a book on the subject.

In May of 2007, Saint John Hunt went on the Alex Jones Show and revealed that his father would have “finish[ed] the job” and killed Teddy Kennedy. “In the context that JFK had already been removed, RFK was gone and his motto was ‘let’s finish the job,’” Hunt told Jones. He said his father was pleased when Robert Kennedy was assassinated.

In 2008, the BBC aired a documentary offering evidence that the CIA was responsible for Robert Kennedy’s assassination. Three men were positively identified as senior officers who worked together in 1963 at JMWAVE, the CIA’s Miami base for its Secret War on Castro. “I was in Dallas when we got the son of a bitch and I was in Los Angeles when we got the little bastard,” David Sanchez Morales, aka “El Indio,” who was involved in CIA efforts against Castro and the CIA’s 1954 overthrow of the Guatemalan government, reportedly bragged after the RFK assassination.

In his audio confession, the late E. Howard Hunt said Morales and Lyndon Johnson were involved in the plot to kill JFK. Hunt said the code name for the assassination operation was “The Big Event.”

Johnson’s former mistress, Madeleine Duncan Brown, told author Robert Gaylon Ross prior to her death in 2002 that Johnson was involved in the murder, a plot that had its origins in the 1960 Democratic Convention, where John F. Kennedy was elected as presidential candidate with Johnson as his running mate. Johnson, according to Brown, colluded with oil tycoon H. L. Hunt to have Kennedy eliminated. “It was a total political crime and H.L. Hunt really controlled what actually happened to John Kennedy — he and Lyndon Johnson,” said Brown. “It was a political crime for political power.” Johnson had allegedly said on the night before the assassination: “Those SOBs will never embarrass me again.”

A preponderance of evidence points to government involvement in the Kennedy assassination. However, due to the intelligence practice of compartmentalization — and the murder and disappearance of key witnesses — we will probably never know the exact details of how the government killed not only John F. Kennedy, but also his brother Robert and the civil rights leader Martin Luther King.

WeAreChange Western Australia does not accept the Warren Commission’s “findings” into the assassination of John F. Kennedy. View this good summation of the situation from comedian Bill Hicks [WARNING – Contains explicit language]:

G20 demo turns violent, police car burns

From: NineMSN.com.au

Black-clad demonstrators broke off from a crowd of peaceful protesters at the World Summit, torching a police cruiser in the financial district and smashing windows with baseball bats and hammers.

Police with shields and clubs earlier pushed back another small group of demonstrators who tried to head south toward the security fence surrounding the perimeter of the Group of Twenty global economic summit site. Some demonstrators hurled bottles at police.

Ontario’s provincial government quietly passed a regulation earlier this month allowing police to arrest anyone who refuses to show identification or submit to searches if they come within five metres of the security fence.

Toronto’s downtown core resembles a fortress, with a big steel and concrete fence erected along several blocks to protect the summit site.

Read full article.

WeAreChange Western Australia denounces the violence towards Toronto police and the vanadalism of property in the surrounding area near the G20 summit, by individuals clearly separate from the assembled peaceful protestors. This is not the Change we wish to see. Neither is the extremely expensive police state setup for the events for that matter.

Related:

Agent Provocatuer – Wikipedia entry
Keep up to date on the G8/G20 Summits at Toronto Media Coop: http://2010.mediacoop.ca

YouTube footage of the protests and police state at the G8/G20 Summits, 25 June
On University Avenue in Toronto
Tense moments during the G20 protest
Police car fire in Toronto

Media Reporting on events at the G8/G20 Summits
G8/G20 summits have low terrorism risk,” head of Canada’s spy agency
G20 law gives police sweeping powers to arrest people

RussiaToday reports on the G20 Summit protests
Exclusive WeAreChange.org story: Luke Rudkowski & Matt Lepacek denied access into Canada, 25 June 2010
The Alex Jones Radio Show on Charlie Veitch who was arrested and detained by Toronto police, 25 June 2010
Press for Truth presents G20 Toronto – Can I See Your ID?, 26 June 2010
NineMSN.com.au article above, 27 June 2010

G20 law gives police sweeping powers to arrest people

Liberal Democratic Party want tougher rules on war authorisation

From: Liberal Democratic Party

By Mark Walmsley, LDP WA President & Senate Candidate

Media Release

The Liberal Democrats believe former Army chief Peter Leahy’s calls for Parliament to decide when to send our troops to war do not go far enough.

“In the current system, the Prime Minister and executive can take the country to war. This threshold is too low and does not give the electorate a voice through their elected representatives,” Senate candidate Mark Walmsley said.

“The Liberal Democrats believe any commitment of our military should require a two-thirds majority vote of a joint sitting of Parliament.

“This will require every Senator and House Representative to vote on the war. In doing so citizens can make representations to their local member and will know how their local member and senator voted. This provides for true democratic accountability.

Since the initial Iraq engagement there have been two Federal elections, resulting in two new Parliaments taking office. However there has been no parliamentary review of the initial decision.

“The Liberal Democrats believe that following an election, all ongoing Australian military engagements should be re-affirmed as a priority by the new Parliament.

“Unless two-thirds of Parliamentarians vote to stay the course, plans should be drawn up for a prompt withdrawal,” Mr Walmsley said.

Mark Walmsley is president of the WA branch of the Liberal Democratic Party and the party’s candidate for the Senate.

Media contact: Mark Walmsley 0417 111 433 or mark@wa-ldp.org.au

WeAreChange Western Australia endorses the Australian Liberal Democrats call for a two-thirds majority vote by Parliament to authorise war, in particular the requirement for every new Parliament to vote on Australia’s military engagements.