Australian DIARY


ARCHIVES 1997-2007  --- ARCHIVES 2007 +
MARCH 2015

The Libertarian concept of Liberty was best (to my mind) defined in the French "Declaration of the Rights of Man" (1789), and Libertarian as a system of government is closest to attainment in Switzerland.  Other countries have, after a revolution, established a form of Libertarian government.  They are (in approximate order) US, UK, France, Australia.

Declaration Article IV  Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights. These limits can only be determined by law.

Since then, (except in Switzerland) the Libertarian cause has mostly gone downhill.  This can be determined by signs like the following:  * Recreational drugs illegal. * Section 18C. * Restrictions on Guns *.

Australia's founding fathers considered installing a form of "Citizen Initiated Legislation" similar to that in Switzerland into our constitution.  It must be admitted, a few US states have introduced a process whereby citizens could introduce and enact State legislation, bypassing the elected government.  A good example is the Californian "proposition" process.

So what liberties are we losing and how?

If I explain the HOW you should see the WHAT.  We are continually saddled with corrupt politicians of both major parties who take money to regulate or enact legislation.  Downer. Obeid. Coal mines.  As examples:

Well, why do not our elected representatives fix it?

Politics is a dirty business. If I were to start a political party, I doubt that any credible (Public or Private) media organization would give me a mention. And if it did, I expect it would most likely be disparaging.

As an aside, Tony Abbott is currently under fire. I cannot see anything that personally distinguishes him.  He mouths the same platitudes as the rest.  I can only suspect that he is not amenable to secret deals.    And yes there is biased reporting by “Your ABC” and the Fairfax media and even the Murdoch presses.  Only the shock jocks can be accused of a recent retreat to impartial reporting on Abbott.

As two complete non sequiturs to that aside, might I mention (1) that in today's (14th March) "Australian" it is noted that "Turnbull pushes media shake-up". that will "abolish pre-internet media laws...trigger series of takeovers.."  Or (2) that the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) is currently negotiating (among other issues copyright) in utter secrecy, and that Fox and other media owned by Murdoch has a huge investment in film and other copyrights that need protection.  My position on copyright is that copyright protection has exceeded it's socially useful limit.

If I were to start a party, the centerpiece would be an offer to install a citizen's legislative guidance system for my electorate.  Any citizen within the electorate could apply on my website and have login account details snailmailed to their registered address.  That account would be a bit like a bank account.  I would post legislative options, and they could indicate how I should vote.  Any time up to the official (Senate or Representatives) vote they could check up on and change their vote.  A bit like the Ivote system run by the NSW electoral office.

I would develop some sort of statistical formula, like if 10% of the electorate voted, I would need a 90% majority of that 10% to feel obliged to follow their advice.

But then again, maybe the media would love such a system.

IG4 Inter Generational Report number 4

I am indebted to Bernard Salt's (demographer) article on IG4 in the Australian p26 of 19th March 2015 for the expose below.

The article is quite detailed.  IG1, IG2 and IG3 used ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) to determine NOM (Nett Overseas Migration rate) until 2055.  For IG4 they changed, and used a figure of 215,000 where the ABS prediction was 240,000.  This decrease by 25,000 of mostly young migrants (who can be expected to have taxpayer children) will substantially affect the age structure of the population, making the proportion of age pension recipients substantially higher.

Another variation from ABS figures is life expectancy, which IG4 extends by about 3 years.  Again, this will make the proportion of age pension recipients even higher.

And a third variation from ABS is birthrate, which IG4 pushes up from 1.8 to 1.9 per woman.

Possible explanation offered by Bernard Salt: "IG4 is designed to prompt a conversation about the sustainability of tax and budgets .. .. in the lead up to the May budget."

Yeah, well I suppose that is a possible narrative.