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Australians disillusioned with our vested interest democracy should look to the Swiss model

We supposedly have representative democracy in Australia, in which Members of Parliament are supposed to represent their electorate in the three levels of government. But the form of democracy we really have in Australia is a 'vested interest democracy', where members typically are patsies of political parties, which are beholden to vested interest groups. This has unsavoury similarities to the overtly corrupt political culture of many Asian countries to Australia's north.

What Australians deserve, have fought in wars for and rightly expect is true democracy, not the vested interest democracy that we put up with today.

See also: Direct Democracy on ABC Radio National's Rear Vision program of 17 Nov 2010.

Today: Wednesday 10 November, 10am: Supreme Court prosecution of Brown Mountain protesters - be there!

URGENT: Please lend your support by attending at Supreme Court to Victorian Government prosecution of Brown Mountain protesters. Wednesday at 10:00am, (10 November 2010) the Department of Sustainability and Environment will proceed with its prosecution of the individuals charged with protesting at Brown Mountain. meet outside the Magistrates’ Court at 9:15am, corner of Williams and Lonsdale Street Melbourne. A forest- lawyer will be there to meet you and direct you to the relevant Court room. This is a political cause of deepest importance. The Victorian Government and the ALP's involvement in forest crimes goes back years. The forest protesters are our bravest democratic and environmental activists. We must support them for all that they do for the rest of us.

Canada's Demographic Auction: The Public Voice Is Unheard In The Great Rush To Grow

There is an unrelenting media campaign to tell Canadians that we must grow our population. We need more babies and more immigrants or very bad things will happen. But there are voices that question this assumption. They are heard on the streets, in the pubs and at the dining room table. But they are seldom heard in the media. Especially not on the airways of the CBC, that vehicle of growthist PC propaganda which all taxpayers are forced to endow.

Forum: How many is too many? Population, Melbourne's Planning Puzzle

7 November 2010 Richmond Town Hall- There will be a public forum about the problems of population and planning in Victoria. It is sponsored by Planning Backlash, which is an umbrella group for groups all over Victoria, but particularly around Melbourne, who are sick and tired of the way that planners and the government are running roughshod over democracy in order to push more people into this city. Please come along and learn and support this important forum.

Political, democratic problems with multiculturalism - response to John Marlowe

Australians have found it very hard to protest against high immigration because of constant subtle messages from government and media implying that they had no right to object. They have been given the idea that there was nothing special about them that gave them the right to object. They only lived here. Although only Australians might vote in governments, the importance of this was subsumed to a cult of plutocracy, where governments prioritised commercial and corporate demands over the wishes of the actual electorate. The mainstream press (the ABC, the Murdoch Press, the Fairfax Press) promoted a cult of elite authoritarianism and the official alternative press never really encouraged questioning of this process on issues of real dissent. And the elite authorities all endorsed 'multiculturalism'.

Herald Sun poll: 60% agree that the official 9/11 story does not stand up to scientific scrutiny

ABC radio 'talkback' host Jon Faine
refuses to debate justification for
continuing 9 year old Afghan war
another 10 years.

As of 10:00AM this morning a Herald sun poll is showing that over 60% of respondents agree with Union leader Kevin Bracken's view that the official explanation of 9/11 does not stand up to scientific scrutiny.

Is Harper Following The Howard Game-Plan?

Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada has happened upon the John Howard confidence trick. In the shell game of electoral politics, it is important to get the audience to focus on the pea marked "bogus refugees" rather than the one marked "unsustainable immigration". That way corporations get the policy they paid for. The growth of the cheap labour pool and legions of new consumers. We clap our hands at the crackdown, and are none the wiser for it.

Paris Report on French Strikes and Protests October 2010

Update with footage of Paris demo on 19th October.
On 18 October I received a short email from Prof Francis Ronsin, in Paris, headed “Strikes”. He wrote: “Social war has broken out in France. It is a long time since I had reason to be proud to be French!” So I wrote back to ask for a few paragraphs about the strikes that are paralyzing business as usual and liberating French society, which I have translated here -- Sheila Newman See also "1.3-2.5m French demonstrate against raising retirement age" and "French General Strike on Retirement Age takes to highways of France 13 October"

French General Strike on Retirement Age takes to highways of France 13 October

Members of the massive French union confederation CGT (Confederation Generale du Travail) joined with other union confederations, taking from the streets to the freeways and regional highways in France. Members used slow driving to slow traffic and others distributed information to drivers and passengers all over France, and encouraged ordinary citizens to express their support. The striking had gone into a new organisational mode. School students and young workers continue to participate.This article updates the French general strikes first described in this article describing events of 12 October 2010. 1.3-2.5m French demonstrate against raising retirement age

1.3-2.5m French demonstrate against raising retirement age

In the country with the first successful modern democratic revolution, the French can still really organise a democratic protest. Between 1.5 and 3.5 million French people demonstrated in the streets against raising the retirement age on Tuesday. How come the French can but the Anglo countries can't? We explore this question in our report.

Jan Beer of Plug the Pipe takes Melbourne Water to VCAT over right to privacy

Jan Beer, Plug The Pipe spokesperson and environmental activist in opposition to North-South Pipeline, is taking legal action against Government Agency Melbourne Water for alleged infringements of her right to privacy over a 2 year period.

Four Stages in Finding a Mechanism for Rapid Population Decline

The resolution to rapidly reduce the human population involves patient choreography. First it must be seen to be necessary, and then an effective procedure has to be established with all options on the table. Ethical considerations must wait their term, and when they are called upon, the question can only be, not what is humane or inhumane, but what is the least inhumane of effective options. The choice is often not between Good and Evil, but between greater or lesser evils.

SEITA Bulldozers imminent on Westerfield Bushland Sth Frankston - Picket-line plans up to Victorian Elections

Click to go to New article 1 October 2010. 16 September - URGENT REINFORCEMENTS REQUIRED - See inside! 15 September 2010: New plans - more troops needed; Photos by Jill Quirk added on 21 July. Leader Newspaper 2 August coverage of Protest March to Alistair Harkness's office, Frankston This will make you angry. In the first project to come under the notorious "Major Transport Facilitation Act," bulldozers move in to nationally significant heritage Westerfield before the Heritage Council Decision comes out. Picket line ongoing, since 5 July. Contacts for the picket site: S Walsh Mobile: 0405 380 312 Also Gillian Collins Pines Protectors 0414 309 960 and Jim Kerin Defenders of the South East Green Wedge Mobile 0409 501 764. Original notice was from Julianne Bell, Secretary, Protectors of Public Lands Victoria Inc.
PO Box 197, Parkville 3052, Mobile: 0408022408

Australia, China and USA: A Tale of three Natural Disasters

The similarity of these three events is that they are natural disasters with many deaths and many more left homeless.

Italy shows Australia the way on water reform

Recent legislation to privatise water services in Italy has met with staunch public resistance and a well-organised national campaign, resulting in the tabling of a petition of around 1.5 million signatures from citizens opposed to this legislation - three times as many as are required to call a referendum on the issue.

Vote SPPA for stable population numbers - NSW Candidates

"When Julia Gillard hurtled towards the Governor General on July 17, she knew an early election would keep the Stable Population Party of Australia name off the Senate ballot paper. But it did not stop all of our party candidates from standing." SPPA - Commit to a stable, sustainable, open and tolerant Australia.

Misleading Election Commentary on the ABC

Today, on Geraldine Doogue's "Saturday Extra" (ABC radio national), the wrong impression was given by a British-accented commentator that the GST had been brought in in Australian in a fair and reasonable manner. This is infamously untrue and misleading on election day. Wide-eyed talk of how people oddly resent 'change' ignores the fact that change initiated by the people is resisted adamantly by the press and the politicians.

Stable population dynamic demystified by population sociologist, Sheila Newman

Population sociologist Sheila Newman's talk, "Stable Population dynamic demystified", presented fascinating original material using social and biological research showing how most animals, including humans, can maintain steady state populations in different environments and conditions. Whilst showing how small populations can be maintained, it failed to bear out Hobbs' dismal prognostications.

Australian politicians selling-out on Australia's water security

Without obtaining the prior mandate of the electorate, successive Australian governments have been seeking to establish a water-market in this country. For as long as the people of Australia are required to “buy-back” the nation’s water, especially during times of crisis, they will have no water security. Bidding-wars, as currently being waged by Senators Wong and Joyce, are now an unattractive and dangerous feature of Australian water policy: profits arising will be privatised but the impacts will be borne by the Australian public. The electorate of this country must be given the opportunity to indicate whether it wishes its water to be privatised and exposed to global speculation - or protected for future generations of Australians.

Australia, Can we stop an elected dictatorship by Multimedia?

According to some of Australia's most widely published journalists and many opinion polls, the Liberal and National Parties were thrown out of office largely because of voter objections to their policies, notably their anti-union "Work Choices" laws.
Despite this, less than three years since Australians repudiated the ruling Federal Liberal and National Parties' policies and laws, the same polls and commentators say that they may soon become the government again. There are issues behind the issues which the mainstream doesn't cover.

Alert: Corporate plans for Google will take power of choice from internet users

Google may permit giant corporations to control internet accessibility. Several news outlets reported yesterday that Google and Verizon are about to cut a deal that would allow giant corporations to control which websites load slowly, quickly, or not at all. The upshot would be that the multimedia and governments would once again hog the internet to the exclusion of democratic alternatives.

Update on Frankston Victoria, Demonstration to defend Nature Friday, July 30th, 2010

Update and mainstream press online comment opportunityLeader Newspaper 2 August coverage of Protest March to Alistair Harkness's office, Frankston Demonstrators walked from Shannon Mall to ALP member, Alistair Harkness's office. The reason for demonstrating was to highlight the failure to defend nature by our Victorian Government, which Alistair Harkness represents in Frankston. This demonstration was related to the violent destruction of Westerfield Bushlands and of democracy in this connection. (See this article.)

An "Unfortunate" Bid to Corrupt Victoria's Planning and Heritage Laws ?

"The Windsor Hotel redevelopment scandal will go down in history as a bid to corrupt Victoria's Planning and Heritage laws.

What is not so clear yet, however, is whether the Windsor scandal is an isolated incident linked to a 'Rogue Trader' in the State Government's Media Unit, or whether it is part of a wider conspiracy designed to help undermine the rule of law, and the regulation of property developers in Victoria," says Brian Walsh, leader of the Kew Cottages Coalition in Victoria. (Kew Cottages Coalition was formed in 2003 to defend public ownership of public land containing building and plant for the care of people with developmental problems. This public estate, overlooking sweeping views of parkland and the Yarra River all the way to the city of Melbourne, has since been sold-off by the government to private development, without democratic consultation.)

Nightmare on your street - Planning & Democratic Catastrophe for Melbourne as VC 68 passes parliament

This morning Planning Minister Madden’s revised Planning Amendment, now re-badged VC 68, was fast tracked through Parliament with the support of the coalition - Liberals and Nationals – who had, over the past year, held out against inducements to approve this toxic planning amendment. (Only the Greens and DLP MP’s stood firm.) This represents a catastrophe for Melbourne as it will see rezoning of land from rural to residential on the City’s fringe and so extend our notorious urban sprawl.

Democracy lost in Victorian Rates Scandal - the costs of overpopulation

Population growth costs you and me: "In the last 10 years rates have risen by over 100% which is more than almost every other consumer commodity. This includes hospital and medical services, health services, education, food, alcohol, tobacco, petrol, gas and electricity, restaurants meals, take away fast food, domestic and international holidays, clothing and footwear, household appliances, and motor vehicles." (Alan Nelsen, Coordinator McCrae Action Group and Secretary Mornington Peninsula Ratepayers' & Residents' Assoc Inc.)

Melbourne overpopulation & overdevelopment create conditions for disaster during storm tides and heavy rains

(Click image to see film of storm-tide surge in Frankston on Port Phillip Bay on 26 April 2009, soon after Channel Deepening. There is another film inside article.) Sue Pennicuik (Greens, Victoria) says that analysis of tidal data supports residents' reports of higher Bay tides since channel deepening. But even without higher tides overpopulation has made old conditions more dangerous. Films made by Sheila Newman and including still-footage by James Sinnamon, show very high water in a creek at a time when the tides themselves were not at their highest. What caused the very high levels in the mouth of Kananook Creek, Frankston, were increased volumes of run-off from increased hard surfaces associated with more buildings to accommodate population growth in Frankston, plus the very heavy, tropical style rain on top of the storm-tide. This means that, even without sea-level rise, a king tide could be devastating if it occurs during a similar short period of high rain and wind. Note that the deepening of the channel from the ocean to Port Phillip Bay was done to accommodate much bigger ships justified by projections of greater volumes of trade associated with the bigger populations in Australia as encouraged undemocratically by her state and Federal governments.
ABC TV Stateline 7.30 PM this evening (2 July 10) also has a story on the evidence of higher tides since channel deepening.

World Concern - NSW Gov failing to protect Australia's first ever national park - Royal National Park near Sydney

Australians need help from the world's ecologists! Royal National Park, known to many tourists as the closes to Sydney, is the world's second-oldest National Park and Australia's first. It is under threat through adjacent overdevelopment by the growth-mad New South Wales government. Even Australia's primeminister doesn't want growth now and Sydney's expansion must be stopped. Royal National Park is of world class historic and ecological significance and it is incomprehensible and alarming that the NSW Government is allowing development to encroach.

Call to Triple Canada's Population Met With Ridicule

Grandiose fantasies about filling up a continent to create a great and powerful nation are not exclusive to Australia. Demographic hubris is alive and well in Canada too, and even now, after the loss of 20% of our best farmland to development, with more than a thousand species at risk and an immigrant population that has, over the last two decades, generated four times as much GHG emissions as the Albert Tar Sands megaproject, there are people who believe in a Big Canada concept. Irving Studin of the University of Toronto is one of them.

The Top 10 Pat Cliches of Civic Boosterism

To win election to local office requires a fluency in vacuous growthist idiocy, a combination of greenwash and bimbo boosterism. Here is toolkit of ten cliches that are generic to successful political campaigns across the anglophone world. If liberally sprinkled throughout your speeches, you will be guaranteed favourable treatment from the business community and the lap-dog media, dependent as it is on the advertising revenue of the real estate industry.


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