A New Parliament

Thank you to Billie for excellent advice to our new Federal government:

Next thread starter . . . .

With the start of a new Parliament under a Labor government, here is a Wishlist

  1. Change foreign policy to treat China as a major trading partner, not a potential enemy to invade at USA behest
  2. Stop buying USA defence materiel that is unsuitable for Australian conditions and non-operable without US approval
  3. Tax coal miners and gas producers
  4. Implement gas reservation policy on east coast
  5. Stop subsidising miners and gas producers
  6. Abolish stage 3 tax cuts for incomes over $150,000
  7. Abolish tax concessions for self funded retirees
  8. Increase income support payments, abolish INDUE card, abolish Mutual Obligation, Workforce Australia
  9. ⬆️Access to fee-free TAFE for in-demand courses like aged-care, childcare
  10. Reverse drift to casualised workforce
  11. Federal ICAC

and thanks to Tony Burke, for his always insightful 5&5:

Tony Burke tony@tonyburke.com.au via email.actionnetwork.org 12:49 (5 hours ago)
to me
Well, I’ve decided I like this job better. We’re back in Parliament and, as you know, the Prime Minister is Anthony Albanese. I always used to give you an update as Manager of Opposition Business. But I’m a lot happier now giving you an update at the end of the Parliamentary week as Leader of the House. So once again, here’s the 5&5:BEST
Government benchesThe Prime Minister’s first answerUluru Statement from the heartWelcome to countryFirst SpeechesWORST
Having to clean up a decade of messPeter Dutton’s scare campaignPaul Fletcher hit with neuralyzerPauline Hanson walk-outMorrison no-show
1. We didn’t waste a minute. We introduced legislation to take real action on climate change; reform the broken aged care system; abolish the cashless debit card; and set up Jobs and Skills Australia to tackle our skills shortages. I also had the incredible privilege of introducing legislation to give 11 million Australians access to paid family and domestic violence leave. These are all things that should have been done years ago – but it’s taken a Labor Government to start getting it done.

2. “I thank very much the Leader of the Opposition for the question, and I congratulate him on his election as Leader of the Liberal Party. I wish him well as Leader of the Opposition and I hope he stays there for a very, very long time!” That’s how Anthony Albanese began his first answer as Prime Minister to Peter Dutton’s first question as Liberal leader. Generous. Or at least generous-ish.

3. “Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Indigenous Australians: How is the Australian Government delivering the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and in particular, progressing an Indigenous Voice to Parliament in the Constitution?” With that question Marion Scrymgour became the first ever First Nations backbencher to ask a question of a First Nations minister.


4. “Respect is taking responsibility for the now, the past, the present and the future”. The Welcome to Country before the opening of parliament, introduced by Dr Aunty Matilda House-Williams and delivered by her son Paul Girrawah House, was incredibly moving. His words outlining the struggle of First Nations people for rights and respect was a reminder of how far we’ve come but how far we still have to go. He ended with a passionate call to implement the Uluru Statement of the Heart and begin the process for a referendum to enshrine a First Peoples Voice to Parliament in the Constitution. We intend to do both!

5. One of the best parts of any new Parliament – particularly when you win government – is hearing from new colleagues for the first time. And what an incredible series of first speeches from Labor members this week! Sally Sitou … Zaneta Mascarenhas … Louise-Miller Frost … Marion Scrymgour … Tracey Roberts … and Tania Lawrence in the House, as well as Jana Stewart in the Senate. I’m so happy to be a part of a government that looks and sounds more like Australia.


1. The Government has been left with a huge mess to clean up after the wilful neglect of the previous decade. The economic challenges are particularly acute – and that was reinforced this week with the inflation figures and an economic statement to Parliament by Treasurer Jim Chalmers. It was a powerful speech that was brutally honest with the Australian people: things are going to get worse before they get better. We didn’t make this mess – but we are taking responsibility for cleaning it up.

2. So surely the economy was Peter Dutton’s focus in his first Question Time as Opposition Leader right? Nope. Instead he fell back on a weak, tired old anti-union scare campaign. Seriously? He’s had two months to prepare for this and that’s all he’s got? This does not bode well for the next three years.


3. I think over the years you’ve worked out that I really like the Parliament. You may also have a sneaking suspicion that the Libs and the Nats wish it wasn’t there. Who needs democracy when you think you’re born to rule? So it was pretty funny watching the antics of the new Manager of Opposition Business Paul Fletcher this week. First he tried to blame us for the fact Parliament isn’t sitting very much this year – conveniently forgetting that’s because his government only scheduled 10 sitting days in the first half of the year. Then when I made changes to Standing Orders to allow more debate on urgent bills he attacked us for shutting down debate. Ummm. I think Agent J from Men in Black has hit Mr Fletcher with his neuralyzer – because he seems to have forgotten the last decade ever happened.

4. Pauline Hanson has sat through dozens of Acknowledgements of Country during her time in the Senate because it’s a routine thing that’s been happening for more than a decade. This week she decided to storm out and make a scene as if it was a new thing. Pointless, divisive culture wars are still a thing then.

5. I bet you wish you’d heard the last of this guy 👆 But I can’t let this through to the keeper without comment. Scott Morrison was a no-show in Parliament this week because he was in Japan getting paid to make a speech. If he’s off being paid to do another job – why does he expect taxpayers to keep paying him to do this one?But let me finish with the first thing that happened after we were sworn in. My friend Milton Dick was dragged to the Speaker’s chair. It was a real highlight in an incredible week. I know that he’ll bring fairness and decency to the role.Parliament’s back again next week and I’ll write to you straight after that.‘til then,Tony.PS. After 20 years Joni Mitchell finally performed again this week and I’ve been wanting to find an excuse to have ‘Both Sides Now’ as song of the week. When there’s a change of government the song means something slightly different to every one of us. But I’m pretty happy with the side of the room where we’ve landed. Here is Dave Le’aupepe – yes I know, lead singer of Gang of Youths – singing Joni’s ‘Both Sides Now’.

Authorised by T. Burke MP, Australian Labor Party, Shop 29, 1 Broadway Punchbowl, NSW 2196Sent via ActionNetwork.org. To update your email address, change your name or address, or to stop receiving emails from Tony Burke, please click here.



Australia Votes 2022

IMPORTANT UPDATE: ALP WINS! The Honourable Anthony Albanese is sworn in as Australia’s 31st Prime Minister.

Get your Democracy Sausage!

*

The most important day of 2022 for Australia is almost here.

Tomorrow, Saturday 21st May 2022 is the day Australians decide how they are going to live in the next three years, and the decades influenced by that time.

We vote in the 2022 Federal Election. 

It is a stark and clear choice. We either continue to live the same or worse lives under a nefarious, disingenuous Right Wing government driven by religious and political zealotry, partisanship and questionable ethics or we can choose the only other major party who can change the course of the nation towards a better future. 

We can choose the incumbent Liberal Party Prime Minister who mixes his politics with his religion and who claims a divine message from an eagle in a painting inspired his ascent to the top job of leading this nation.  Otherwise, we can choose Labor, the party whose leader will become the Prime Minister and whose solid experience includes living and working amongst some of the most disadvantaged in Australia, with the residents and workers in working-class suburbs. 

The Labor Party has an extensive team of talented experienced and enthusiastic candidates. The Liberal Party and National Party have a team that appears to be dead-scared of a FICAC, going by the Prime Minister’s refusal to keep his election promise to set up a Federal Independent Commission Against Corruption. 

I am hoping that Labor and good Independents win their seats tomorrow so we can escape this nightmare of a government at last and see off our inhumane, international embarrassment of a Prime Minister.

It is the people’s turn to have their say.

For all volunteers from all parties and independents who have and will be helping in this and every election, thank you for your commitment to our democracy.

A big thank you from a grateful nation goes to some of the most under-rated, hardworking, and dedicated people whom Australia has the privilege of employing; the staff of the Australian Electoral Commission. If anyone wants to dispute that Australia’s democracy stands on their shoulders and that the AEC should be the envy of the democratic world, just look over the street at elections in the USA.

There is even an AEC site where you can practise voting. 

https://www.aec.gov.au/Voting/How_to_vote/practice/

Hopefully, AEC staff hand-counting every vote will see more thankyou messages scribbled in the margins of ballot papers than the usual drawings of penises and testicles, or the universal message to our politicians to Eff Off. I like to leave a kind message, in the margins away from the candidate’s boxes on my completed ballot. I feel very proud after I vote. It is both a right and a privilege in our uncertain world.

Please enjoy your Democracy Sausage!

Image from https://junkee.com/democracy-sausage-history/330115

A contrast between the two major parties:

Here is an interesting article that uses a different style of map that shows the distribution of federal electorates held by the major parties.

The Australian election map has been lying to you

By Colin Gourlay, Georgina Piper, Tim LeslieCristen Tilley and Matt Lidd

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-05-20/federal-election-map-lying/101076016

Liberté, égalité, fraternité

As a conversation thread starter, here are some links to help understand the recent election in France. I will avoid all but one of the obvious “This isn’t the end of Macron or France’s problems” articles, of which there seem to be at least a thousand.

Firstly, it is interesting that the polls moved to Macron between the first and second round, and his final vote slightly exceeded his best final poll, which might be partly accounted for by the fact that there is no last day polling by law. As with the 2017 election, I think some who don’t like Macron and who love to complain about the way things are, admit to themselves in the last week or even the last day that they will still vote to block the one they like even less. This 2021 post on french performative miserablism and polling on vaccination partly covers what might be a national political and polling tendancy.

https://www.tomforth.co.uk/miserabilism/

The below by John Lichfield from before the vote is a good read, he argues that the old French Right-Left system has mutated into a muddled pattern of three broad tribes: the scattered Left and the Greens; a pro-European, consensual Centre; and a nationalist-populist, anti-migrant and anti-European Right. No winner will ever be really popular with more than a third of the country.

https://www.thelocal.fr/20220419/opinion-macron-will-win-the-french-election-and-then-his-real-problems-begin/

Late last year Manu Saadia wrote a series of Substack posts on the French election for the benefit of the non french, explaining the basics and background really well. He stopped well before the vote, but they are still a good read. https://lacampagne.substack.com/

In particular I draw your attention to the one on why the Presidential vote matters so much, “Camembert President.” He writes “France is a monarchy that undergoes a succession crisis every five years, by way of an election. It is by design. Under France’s current constitutional arrangement, the so-called Fifth Republic, the sole real seat of power is the office of the presidency. It is therefore unsurprising that all civic and political life would revolve around it.”

https://lacampagne.substack.com/p/camembert-president

Another good read, “Eric Zemmour and the long shadow of France’s defeat in Algeria”

https://lacampagne.substack.com/p/the-long-shadow-of-frances-defeat

The amazing mechanics of an election that spans the entire globe

https://lacampagne.substack.com/p/a-vote

Finally, I recommend to you the recently launched Le Monde english language edition. Why read US and UK takes on European news when you can now get the news direct? Most of the best European newspapers are only in the local language, so this is a good development for us. Some articles are subscriber only (although you can usually still read good chunks of those), but many are free to read. Worth bookmarking the site for french news. https://www.lemonde.fr/en/

Two articles to start…

Jean-Luc Mélenchon devises plan to become Emmanuel Macron’s main opponent

The leader of the radical left hopes to win the legislative elections in June. Labor Day protests on May 1st will be the the left’s first show of strength against President Macron.

https://www.lemonde.fr/en/politics/article/2022/04/27/jean-luc-melenchon-devises-plan-to-become-emmanuel-macron-s-main-opponent_5981705_5.html

Quarrelling French far right struggles to unite for legislative elections

Marine Le Pen has already set her sights on the June 12 and 19 elections, hoping to induct a significant far-right group to the Assemblée Nationale. Eric Zemmour called for an alliance while criticizing her defeat, fueling their rivalry.

https://www.lemonde.fr/en/politics/article/2022/04/27/quarrelling-french-far-right-struggles-to-unite-for-legislative-elections_5981707_5.html