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Australian Election Thread

Yossarian

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Only a few hours to go before the polls open, so anyone interested feel free to post their endorsements/analysis!

My 2 cents:

Although I have been a Labor supporter up until recently, I am supporting the Liberals in this campaign. Between the two major parties, social policy differentiation in terms of asylum seekers, gay marriage and climate change is so minimal that it is scarcely worth trying to choose between them. Although I do not agree with the Liberal stance on such issues, Labor is no better! Economically, Labor continues to advocate big government woes of yesteryear, such as our own 'cash for clunkers' scheme (absolutely one of the stupidest policies ever) an overintensive economic stimulus, a monopolistic $43 billion Broadband Network that is way too expensive and delivers internet capability that is useless for most households for various technical reasons, and a mining tax which is too anti-federal.

Although I support gay marriage and more humane treatment of boat people, my support for the Greens is nullified by such ludicrous policies as free university education (paid for how?), compulsory student unionism, decommissioning the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor (which is used for medical research - WTF??) and increasing the company tax rate by 3% (goodbye foreign competitiveness).

Although all parties have their flaws, I believe the Liberals have at least some nominal commitment to free enterprise, smaller government, and individual choice.
 
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bowerbird

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Only a few hours to go before the polls open, so anyone interested feel free to post their endorsements/analysis!

My 2 cents:

Although I have been a Labor supporter up until recently, I am supporting the Liberals in this campaign. Between the two major parties, social policy differentiation in terms of asylum seekers, gay marriage and climate change is so minimal that it is scarcely worth trying to choose between them. Although I do not agree with the Liberal stance on such issues, Labor is no better! Economically, Labor continues to advocate big government woes of yesteryear, such as our own 'cash for clunkers' scheme (absolutely one of the stupidest policies ever) an overintensive economic stimulus, a monopolistic $43 billion Broadband Network that is way too expensive and delivers internet capability that is useless for most households for various technical reasons, and a mining tax which is too anti-federal.

Although I support gay marriage and more humane treatment of boat people, my support for the Greens is nullified by such ludicrous policies as free university education (paid for how?), compulsory student unionism, decommissioning the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor (which is used for medical research - WTF??) and increasing the company tax rate by 3% (goodbye foreign competitiveness).

Although all parties have their flaws, I believe the Liberals have at least some nominal commitment to free enterprise, smaller government, and individual choice.
We are going to see the highest ever informal vote with a balance of power being held by a minor party - and I for one and hoping like hell it is not "family first". This is an election that will come down to the preferences.

Having said that a LOT of people are voting green - just because it is a third party.

BTW - Lucas Heights is getting to the point of needing renovation or decommissioning - it is not so much medical research as for making medical implants etc.

Two nuclear reactors have been built at Lucas Heights. The smaller reactor Moata has been mothballed. The larger reactor HIFAR (High Flux Australian Reactor) is over 40 years old (began operations in 1958) and is due to be shut down within the next ten years.

A decision has been made to replace HIFAR with a bigger reactor built in Argentina. This project awaits the drawing up of firm plans for the management of nuclear waste from the reactor. These plans have been set back by the South Australian Government's decision to prohibit importation of intermediate and high level nuclear waste into SA.
http://www.ccsa.asn.au/nuclearsa/c4.html
 

Yossarian

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I agree that a lot of marginal seats in this election will be decided on preferences, and although I support the Liberals generally, I do not support hard core Christian conservatives that draw on them for support. God help us if Family First gets anywhere near a position of power (pun intended).

The fact that people vote Green as a 'protest' annoys me greatly. They should pay attention to that party more closely, because amongst its more sensible positions on social justice is a lot of loony-leftist BS.

The reactor I was referring to is the relatively new OPAL reactor which the Greens want to decommission.

Open-pool Australian lightwater reactor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

spud_meister

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that's one of the reasons i don't want to vote Green, they want to stop uranium mining and stop anything nuclear, regardless of the research into that field that is carried on at OPAL, and they won't let nuclear powered ships or submarines into Australian waters.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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spud_meister

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Refugees that come into Australia by boat, particularly from Asia, with all of the problems that come with having a large refugee population.
our refugee population is anything but large, and it is the refugees that are in need of a stable country, while i think immigration should be restricted to keep out population stable, not growing, i believe that refugees should be quickly processed and put into industries that are lacking workers, like farmhands, for example, rather than kept in a fenced off facility on Christmas Island, or in Naroo, for 5 years.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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our refugee population is anything but large, and it is the refugees that are in need of a stable country, while i think immigration should be restricted to keep out population stable, not growing, i believe that refugees should be quickly processed and put into industries that are lacking workers, like farmhands, for example, rather than kept in a fenced off facility on Christmas Island, or in Naroo, for 5 years.
Is Christmas Island a wonderland of gifts and snow year round? :mrgreen:
 

spud_meister

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Seriously that place looks ****ed up.

Do those people really stay there 5 years?
some more, some less, but the average is 5 years, and 'cause of that the place is only getting more and more crowded, there are 2208 people staying there, but it's designed to hold 2040, and that's with hastily erected pre-fab bits too, don't get me wrong, as far a detention centres go, it's not too bad, it has a tennis court, but staying there for 5 years is a bit much.
 

Yossarian

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Yes, I think offshore detention is a crock.

Its funny that no-one really mentions this, but detaining refugees onshore would only cost 25% as much.

If a prospective government was looking for savings, they could save $1500 off every refugee by detaining them closer to the big cities.
 

bowerbird

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that's one of the reasons i don't want to vote Green, they want to stop uranium mining and stop anything nuclear, regardless of the research into that field that is carried on at OPAL, and they won't let nuclear powered ships or submarines into Australian waters.
Mate - they first have to work out which mines are pulling uranium out of the earth.
I live in a heavily mined region and it is an open secret up here that what is coming out is not necessarily what is being declared
 

spud_meister

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hmm, unless Gillard can get the Independents and Greens on board, looks like our parliament will be hung. (despite being led by a woman
)
 

marduc

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hmm, unless Gillard can get the Independents and Greens on board, looks like our parliament will be hung. (despite being led by a woman
)
sounds like things are just as she wants them <insert drumroll here>

I need to read more into the implications of a hung parliament I honestly am confused as to the results of the election other than the 2 majority parties are split and it appears the minorities get a disproportionate amount of power as a result.

Are there more nuances that I am not privy to above and beyond the preceding gross simplification?

disclaimer.. i do have more than passing interest, despite my naivete

-
 
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spud_meister

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sounds like things are just as she wants them <insert drumroll here>

I need to read more into the implications of a hung parliament I honestly am confused as to the results of the election other than the 2 majority parties are split and it appears the minorities get a disproportionate amount of power as a result.

Are there more nuances that I am not privy to above and beyond the preceding gross simplification?

disclaimer.. i do have more than passing interest, despite my naivete

-
the election process confuses me, and i haven't looked a great deal into it, so i may miss a few things (the processes of politics bore me, i prefer just debating the issues) Yossarian can probably explain it better than i can, but basically, neither of the main parties have a clear majority, to have the majority, they need to hold 76 seats, and last i checked, Labor has 72, and the Liberals have 70, and without the clear majority, the ruling party can't pass legislation without the support of the independent seats, and as it is now, both the Libs and Labs are scrambling to secure the loyalty of these independents so that it doesn't result in an innefective governenment, which, if that happened, would lead to a dissolution, and we'd have to vote again, and i lined up long enough the first time. :mrgreen:
 

Yossarian

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Yossarian can probably explain it better than i can
:D I am flattered!

Basically the deal-i-o is that by convention a party must retain half the seats in the lower house (House of Representatives) to form a government (76 seats out of 150). Essentially 'forming a government' involves going to the Governor General and advising them to swear in the Ministry etc. etc. However the situation is that as spud said, Labor have 72 seats probably, the Liberals about the same, so each party is short a few seats. At this stage the remainder of the seats are filled by 3 independents and one Green (liberal-leftist, basically). The 3 independents defected from the National Party (allied to the Liberals) earlier in their political careers, and they all hold rural seats. Further adding to the complication is a newly-elected National representative from Western Australia, who has indicated that he doesn't want to align with the usual Lib/Nat Coalition and instead is going to function more like an independent himself.

What this means is that both big parties, Labor and Liberal, have to go to these three (or four) independents and try and gain their support. The Green has already stated that he will support Labor so he is out of negotiation. The independents all want to look after the particular needs of their own rural-minded constituencies (generally a combination of climate change scepticism, agricultural subsidies and trade protectionism) which means both parties will need to pander to these fairly particular interests to gain some support.

If one party looks like gaining a majority through this wheeling and dealing, they will go to the Governor General and attempt to form a government, after which Parliament will resume sitting and the Opposition will inevitably put a motion of no-confidence to the House of Representatives (nothing says they have to, but it gives them a chance to undermine whatever government has been formed). If the motion passes, the 'minority government', as its called, is safe, but if it fails, another election would be a likely outcome.
 
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