Discussion of political issues in Australia.

Overall ordering in Bennelong for 2013

The following are my thoughts on overall rankings in Bennelong, based on my job skill rankings, consideration of the minor party merits, and the critical factors in considering the major parties.

Unsuitable candidates

As is becoming my custom, I will eliminate the candidates who are no real option at all first.

Last has to be Victor Waterson, the national socialist. There is nothing nice that can be said about this candidate or his party.

Is Abbott really an option in 2013?

The major parties keep saying that this is the most important election in the history of Australia. Of course they say that every election.

There are, however, a few areas that are important.

Broadband

This is an area where the "not invented here" syndrome could do some serious damage. The Liberals have a different policy to Labor for no other purpose than they wanted to be different. And because Labor offered us the best available, this meant that if the Liberals wanted to be different, they had to make their version inferior.

Descriptions of NSW Senate groups in 2013

The Senate ballot paper for New South Wales this year has candidate groupings from A up to AR, and 4 ungrouped candidates, with 110 candidates in all. To give some guidance, I am giving a quick summary of the parties.

For more detail on the parties, visit belowtheline.org.au, which provides links to all of the party web sites, as well as to Wikipedia and individual candidate pages. It also has a drag-and-drop form for creating your own personal Senate how-to-vote card, if you want to vote below the line in the Senate.

Descriptions of the minor parties in Bennelong

While I assume that readers of this blog know what Liberal, Labor, the Greens and the Christian Democratic Party stand for, there are four other parties standing candidates in Bennelong, with which you might be less familiar. This post aims to provide a quick overview of the positions of those parties.

Palmer United Party

The Palmer United Party is running a slogan-based campaign of policies that are crafted to be superficially attractive, but do not withstand close scrutiny.

Bennelong candidates job skills evaluation

On Thursday evening the local newspaper that is not the topic of ICAC investigations held a candidates forum at North Ryde community centre. All Bennelong candidates attended except one.

The non-attendee was the youngest, Lachlan McCaffrey, 23, of the Democratic Labour Party. He decided that his rugby training was more important than being at the forum. He sent his daddy to speak for him instead. Having completely failed to advise us of any relevant qualifications, and failed to be present at this forum, he has to rate a zero for relevant job skills.

Labor is clearly serious about winning back Bennelong

In the wake of an ICAC inquiry into a number of Ryde Councillors, which seems set to leave the political careers of some Liberal and Labor councillors alike in tatters - whether or not there was corruption - the ALP has been forced to select a new candidate.

It is perhaps just as well, since even before the ICAC investigations, my own research on the prior ALP candidate for Bennelong turned up nothing that suggested he was suited to this job.

Hornsby Council C Ward 2012

In council elections, we have one advantage we do not in state and federal elections. In the council elections, the electoral commission gives the candidates a candidate information form, which is published on the electoral commission's web site, to tell us a little bit about the candidate - who they are, what they believe in, and why we should vote for them.

My thoughts on the upper house this Saturday

In an election where it is likely there is to be a landslide, it is important to vote for combinations in the upper house that can act as a check on government.

In the upper house this election, there are 3 viable choices, the John Hatton Group (Group C), Save Our State (Group E) and the Australian Democrats (Group L).

In the case of the Australian Democrats, Arthur Chesterfield-Evans is back and is the lead candidate on the ticket.

Note that in state elections, you can use preferences (number 1, 2, 3 and so on) above the line, so you can put these three in whatever order you want.

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My thoughts on Saturday's choices in Epping

My analysis this time will be brief, and not just because this election seems to be a foregone conclusion. This Saturday in Epping we have 6 candidates, being:

  1. Emma Heyde, Greens
  2. Greg Smith, Liberal
  3. John Kingsmill, Christian Democrats
  4. Victor Waterson, Independent
  5. John Thomas, Family First
  6. Amy Smith

I am going to start with the quick eliminations - candidates who in my view simply are not an option, with very brief reasons:

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    Social Security Act amendment

    There is an amendment to the Social Security Act 1991 proposed for debate in Federal Parliament next week. This is one of many changes combined under the Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2011.

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