Monday, 7 January 2013

The on-going Slipper saga

The conservative side of politics appears to be rejoicing in the fact that the former currently absent Speaker of the House of Representatives has been summonsed by the Federal Police with respect to the alleged misuse of CabCharge vouchers on three occasions.



Count them.  One.  Two.  Three. 

It took the AFP nine months to investigate, and lest we forget, the principal witness is of course James Ashby, who has just lost any possible credence that he may have enjoyed, as a result of the Federal Court throwing out his sexual harassment case.

The Hon. Mr Slipper is apparently being charged under the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act, and has been ordered to appear in the Canberra Magistrates Court on 15th February 2013, to answer the charges.  The relevant section of that Act reads as follows:-

Section 135.1(5) of the Criminal Code Act 1995:

A person is guilty of an offence if:
(a) the person dishonestly causes a loss, or dishonestly causes a risk of loss, to another person; and
(b) the first-mentioned person knows or believes that the loss will occur or that there is a substantial risk of the loss occurring; and
(c) the other person is a Commonwealth entity.

Penalty: Imprisonment for 5 years.

As a non-partisan political commentator, I am frankly appalled that the Right Wing continue to hound the Hon. Member for Fisher (and absent Speaker), to this extent. 

I ask all of you to honestly assess how many times you (as have I) have, in the past, misused CabCharge vouchers.  Honestly.

Three times?  What utter bullshit.

The Hon. Member for Fisher should be soundly supported in his defence of these scurrilous accusations, and once again (albeit not necessarily) prove his complete innocence.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Compulsory Voting ... or not?

There has been recent chatter around the Queensland LNP regarding removing the (State election only) compulsion to vote (or at least, the compulsion to turn up to the polling booth and be handed a ballot paper), that has caused a holiday-season furore amongst commentators from all political walks of life.

It appears that those of the Left are more inclined to endorse compulsion, supported (somewhat surprisingly) by some from the Right.  See for example Senator Barnaby Joyce - ABC News.

Arguments in favour of compulsory voting:
  1. You can "take the pulse" of a nation, and thereby obtain an accurate depiction of the majority's wishes;
  2. It is non-discriminatory - one vote really means one value;
  3. The poor and otherwise disenfranchised get their say;
  4. Policies of the major parties are likely to be much more in tune with majority values, as opposed to greater fragmentation where a major party is only pandering to its own constituency;
  5. If voting was optional, as a corollary to (4), this would encourage extremist parties to seek endorsement of their own constituencies - think the Nazi party or extreme Marxists; and
  6. Inevitably, we will end up like the USA where less than 50% of the population bother to vote.

Arguments in favour of voluntary voting:
  1. No-one should be compelled to do anything;
  2. Poor and disenfranchised people are presumed to be fundamentally stupid, and will only vote to ensure the continuation or increase of their entitlements;
  3. Ergo, the poor and disenfranchised should be discouraged from voting, which will have an adverse effect upon the votes raised for socially responsible political parties and individuals, and ensuring increased conservative electoral success; and
  4. We end up like the USA.

As a fair and balanced commentator on life, the universe, and everything, it is quite clear to me that our right to compulsory voting must be maintained and fought for with every weapon in our arsenal - we must protect our rights from those who (for whatever nefarious reasons) wish to denude us of those hard-fought human rights.

Welcome to my humble home....

Hi, and welcome to my non-partisan, apolitical and totally balanced commentary, suggestions, and observations regarding the Australian federal politician landscape, in this election year of 2013.

Just for a bit of background, I am studying at a University in South-East Queensland, and I have just returned from  a short-term mobility program designed to give students an opportunity to experience the religious, cultural, social, economic and political realities of three different Muslim-majority countries.

I am renowned for being totally apolitical, and not having an "axe to grind" on any political issue.

I take deep pride in seeing all sides of any political issue or debate, and analysing same with due respect for all opinions.  I do not have any deeply-held political beliefs, and honestly do not know for whom I am going to vote in this election year.

Hopefully, this Blog will be a learning experience for all of us.

Happy New Year, and may the odds be ever in your favour!