Tag Archives: election

Election brochures so sanitised

Strange. We don’t have a local MP, as our sitting MP John Kobelke (a great member) is retiring. Naturally he’s backed the Labour candidate, Janet Pettigrew, whose election guff arrived this week.

Her brochure is such a predictable piece of propaganda that it makes me think twice about voting for her. There’s nothing about who she actually is; just a lot of words about how many committees she’s been on.

Every photo is the same – Janet with a local resident who’s associated with some issue she’s been involved in. All a big yawn, really. 

I’m assuming all electorate material is the same. Really, what I want is to know the person. After all, it’s a week to voting and this is the first time I’ve been introduced to the candidate. 

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Rudd on the downslide

Looks like Kevin Rudd and Co. are in for a hard time at this year’s election. People are starting to wake up that the bespectacled bureaucrat is short on substance.

Like many, I was prepared (to a point) to give Labor a go (I voted Green in the Senate). But they’ve let me down big time, with little action on key core promises.

The budget was the last straw. Fancy giving $300 million to our elite athletes and no ongoing funding for a $1m program to foster scientific research among young scientists.

Meantime, out nation continues to degrade environmentally. The economy won’t matter a jot in a few years, when all our natural resources have disappeared.

As the American Indians (not sure which tribe) said: “it’s only when the last tree has disappeared that man will realise he can’t eat money” (or words to that effect).

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Howard’s election timing sneaky?

The timing of the election is proving to be a headache for the government beacause of the almost certainty the Reserve Bank will raise interest rates.

The decison, to be made on Melbourne Cup Day (Nov 6), will be the first time this has happened during an election.

But it need not have been that way. Howard has had plenty of time to call an election. Most would argue, too much time. We’ve been in campaign mode for months. He has gambled and lost, so it seems.

The rates rise will be a nice excuse if (as expected) the government falls. Maybe it was planned that way. Howard has probably known for ages that rising inflation will be his undoing and that timing it with a rates rise would be an exit strategy that absolves him from incompetence. Blame the bank.

What was that about the government being responsible for keeping interest rates low? Yeah, pull the other one, Johhny.

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Laboring to be a local

The local Labor Party candidate for Stirling, Peter Tinley, does not live in the electorate. He says he will move there, however, if he wins.

For me, this is hardly a ringing endorsement of his commitment to the people he wants to represent. It’s like having two bob each way. If he loses, he can safely retreat to his own area and once again blend into the background.

Peter Tinley is a good bloke. I did some media work with him at the Special Air Services Regiment.

But, Peter, you’ve got to get a bit more fair dinkum in your approach. You may have grown up in the area, but producing glossy brochures with pictures of youreself re-visiting your old primary school and chatting with former neighbours doesn’t a local make.

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Social fabric being torn

Despite the good economic times in Australia, there’s a general feeling among many people of emptiness (not quite despair). I put it down to a lack of faith in government. Yes, the Howard government looks after the country (well, some of it) economically, but there’s more to it than that. There’s a continual flow of letters in all papers about the increasing plight of our hospitals and schools. Only this morning, in the Sydney Morning Herald, a former medical superintendent of Liverpool Hospital wrote: “The main reason that hospitals have become a joke is because of who is running them. Most hospitals are run by bean-counters and management gurus who have acquired a great degree of book knowledge from doing a course in hospital management. It also reflects on the terrible standard of teaching. Australian universities will reward you with a degree in anything from carpet cleaning to toilet flushing as long as you pay $20,000 a year for four years.”His letter was prompted by the non-treatement in a major Sydney hospital of a woman who was clearly having a miscarriage. We get the same stories here in WA. He also alluded to the education system, which is now user-pays. Only last week I wrote to the federal education Minister, Julie Bishop, about this problem. I am astounded that we let many people (and it’s mostly overseas students) study without proper English, let alone the ability to use a library and know what a refereed journal is. I teach at university. If students have the money, they can get in through the back door, via companies that give them either English, supposed advanced standing. Meantime, both the hospital and education sectors are crumbling gradually. They’re symbols of the economic rationalist model the federal Liberals have foisted upon us. It seems everything is about the economy, but nothing is about our social fabric. There is no price you can put on education or health, so why should these institutions be so driven by the dollar?    

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