Australian DIARY


ARCHIVES 1997-2007  --- ARCHIVES 2007 +

MARCH 2016


If "longest serving", and "voluntary retirement" are indications of "best" in Australian Prime Ministers, then R.G (Bob) Menzies takes the prize.

And what were the marks of his ministry? 

Inactivity.  No expansion of the public service.  No extravagant expenditures on defense, social security.  Colombo Plan.

One of my major objections to our media is that it is becoming "Narrative Driven". 

"Report facts?"  Journalists are horrified.  They must manipulate the narrative to produce a desired outcome in the public.  So (in the subtlest form) they report only the "positive" facts, and brush over or ignore "negative" facts.  In the less subtler forms, they just lie.

And so departed John Howard, Kevin Rudd, (He was unpopular.), Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott (Very unpopular).

Back in 2009 then opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull had a bad trust play with Godwin Grech.

So Malcolm got dumped & Abbott was captain when the elections happened.

Abbott is bad for Narrative Journalists.  He is honest. No good stories.  Not a persuasive speaker.  Said what he planned and did it.  Not much gossip.  So he got very negative narratives.  Nothing bad that he did, just negative interpretations of his activity.  "Those poor boat refugees" to which Abbott responded "Better than drowning".     Or "Misogynist" (Ye gods, with 3 daughters!).

Eventually falling polls were produced by the drip drip of narrators, and then, as happened to Rudd before him, the weak kneed pollies of his own party dumped Tony for Angel Malcolm.

But the Narrators have not finished.  Now Malcolm is under siege for inactivity.  They want him (i.e. the "enlightened" who run our media) to raise the GST,  And call a double dissolution to reinstall the Fair Work Commission and associated courts.  They claim he is not acting.

Malcolm. Don't act.  Raising the GST is a sure path to political death.  Raising any tax will be unpopular.  (That is what elimination of negative gearing is equivalent to.  You have gained kudos for that.)  Just sit tight, keep the pressure on the CFMEU and stay out of the news.


Last month I mentioned FLUX to David
Leyonhjelm.  I recently attended a FLUX meeting in Sydney.

The meet was packed with computer nerds who were beguiled by the "blockchain" association to voting.  Blockchain is a secure distributed database system and the basis of bitcoin.  Also present were a few political groupies.

My suggestion was that the voting system they propose should be on display.  Perhaps to make group decisions about policy or representatives.  I argued that exposure of the online voting technology in that way was the way to win votes.  Give the public an application that they can download to their phone or computer to play with.

Apparently the software does not yet exist, and that suggestion would have required more resources than this fledgling party had.

My suggestion to every person who holds a political position anywhere is that they should offer a secure polling application to their electorate.  I suggest the following model:

  1. Voters have to register an account in a way that ensures one vote per person.  I would suggest online application for an account, with a password being mailed to the voter's electoral roll address.
  2. The politician would maintain a secure website.
  3. Voters would be able to log into the website, much like we currently log into our bank account.
  4. Once logged in, there would be a "Notice Board" of upcoming legislation, phrased in such way that voters could vote "YES" or "NO".
  5. Voters would be able to log in and vote anonymously on issues posted on the "Notice Board".  Those votes should be attached to the voter's database & reversible at any time up to closing of voting.
  6. The database of completed votes should be downloadable, anonymous, independent, accessible to all voters, and transparent.
  7. There should be a set of rules governing the politicians vote.  For instance a formula along the lines "if 50% of the electorate voted, and 60% of those respondents voted yes, then the politician agrees to vote yes", or "if less than 10% of voters vote yes, the politician can ignore the electorate's vote".

So any takers?  It would of course mean a huge reduction of power & responsibility and a majority of the other perks of office.

And we can anticipate that those who hold the power behind the thrones will object strongly.  Those kingmakers are, however, losing their grip already.  The internet is destroying the mass media who employ & own the opinion makers.  For instance, there are rumours that the SMH will close after the next Federal election.  Printed media is dying fast.  Online media sites are not successful.  Even TV and radio have shrinking audiences.  The new media is facebook.