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Australian elections

Free and Fair Elections? With the major parties luring wealthy donors, money votes!

Dr Joo-Cheong Tham, a legal scholar and campaign finance expert at the University of Melbourne, has just had his new book published by UNSW Press called:

'Money and Politics: The democracy we can't afford'

The book highlights in Australian politics, the massive private donations made to the major politcial parties - Labor, Liberals, Nationals and The Greens. It highlights that some $60 million has been spent on election advertising toward the 2010 federal election, of that $40 million by Labor and Liberal parties - no wonder they get re-elected.

LibLab simpletons suffer a dearth of vision for Australia

Two weeks out from a federal election and the range and depth and vision on the two major parties - the LibLabs is woefully simplistic and shortsighted. Both are selfishly limited to an 'ends justifies the means' approach purely to get elected. Both are indulging in election-term economics, lobbying marginal seats, pork barreling the swinging voter and trying to differentiate themselves from each other. Neither are relevant to the future governance of Australia.

Gillard's Government should be a team made credible

Irrespective of Rudd's failings, and we should not understate his leadership in saving Australians from the demise of the GFC; no leader deserves a factional coup d'etat. The process of leadership replacement where a political party can suddenly replace a Prime Minister or a State Premier without electoral involvement is undemocratic. Political parties are elected on the merit of their leader. That merit earns an electoral mandate. If that mandate is not fulfilled, it is for the electorate to judge.

This highlights our dependence on one person to lead the nation. It is an unnecessary risk. It is the Government and specifically a Cabinet team of ministers who should be running the country, not Rudd, not a gang of four, not just Julia Gillard. Running a country is immensely complex. It is a shared responsibility and requires layers of delegation and good governance.

Call for the re-establishment of a true national bank

As we approach the centenary of the passage of the Commonwealth Bank Act in 1911, the Citizens Electoral Council plans to launch a fight to re-establish a true national bank that the (now privatised) Commonwealth bank once was. Its impressive achievements in financing Australia's economic development and war efforts3 of the early 20th century show what would be possible if such a bank were to be re-established today. In spite of candobetter's serious concerns about the CEC's hostility to environmentalism, we believe this proposal deserves your enthusiastic support.

See also: Cut Wall Street out! How states can finance their own economic recovery of 3 Nov 09 by Ellen Brown, How a state-owned bank could make Queensland asset fire sale unnecessary based on original article by Ellen Brown of 29 May 09, Call for the re-establishment of a true national bank of 17 Jan 2010.

Internet censorship, Citizens Initiated Referenda and the Greens - an open letter

James Sinnamon, an independent candidate for the seat of Brisbane in the forthcoming 2010 Federal elections asks Senator Bob Brown and members of the Greens Party to pledge to introduce into our Federal Parliament bills for Binding Citizens Initiated Referenda, Swiss-style.

Queenslanders to pay for privatisation, population growth with further electricity price increases

The Courier-Mail reports that the average annual houshold electricity bill will rise nearly 14% or $276 next year, on top of the huge increases Queenslanders have already copped since the privatisation and deregulation that former Premier Beattie assured them will result in reduced charges. In spite of acknowledging this and population growth to have been the cause, the Courier-Mail editorial failed to argue against the continuation of either.

See also: "Exposing Queensland Government population growth duplicity" of 1 Apr 09, "Courier Mail spins news of 79% opposition to fire sale to reveal its privatisation colours" of 11 Dec 09, "The Courier Mail beats the drum for more Queensland population growth" of  Jan 07.

What you can do: Queensland citizens can sign the e-petition calling for the resignation of the Queensland Government and new elections. See "Anti-privatisation e-petition calls on Queensland government to resign" for further information.

Decision to block the Traveston Dam no more than what should have been expected of a Minister for the Environment

Peter Garrett's decision to stop the building of the Traveston dam is to be heartily applauded. However, he did no more than what should be expected of a Federal Minister for the Environment when faced with such an environmentally reckless proposal. Environmentalists still need to take stock of Garrett's generally abysmal past record and not allow themsleves to be put in a position where they have to beg the Minister to do the right thing.

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