Australian department of finance released a recruitment video recently, and its completely cringe worthy. Maybe this is a reflection of their lack of self reflection, or the fact they get forced into all sorts of stupidity.
So keeping in the Marie Antoinette theme, I’m sure heads will roll over this.
Do we really need to explain more than this? Big brother is watching you but he forgot his binoculars, spectacles, and pants.
So quite a few people are probably wondering what is going on following Australia’s federal election. Well the democratic process just got turned on its head. Just imagine you have a group of 10 friends who want to go and have a fun activity. 4 people want to go to the beach, 4 people want to go to the pool the last 2 people are a bit undecided. The last 2 people realize that despite being in the minority compared to either the beach or pool factions their decision becomes the deciding vote. This situation is called king maker or wedge politics. But it get even more complex, the last 2 people will get all kinds of additional offers to secure their votes to either the pool or beach factions, free ice-creams at the beach, umbrella seats at the pool. Sometimes even after all the inducements the undecided faction can get split and the beach and pool factions end up split 5-5 meaning complete deadlock. Even weirder is the result when the undecideds want something completely different, like ice skating or ballroom dancing which can lead to another deadlock. Making matters worse for the Australian government is that this deadlock seems to now exist in the lower and upper houses.
So this becomes hellishly complicated when you consider that some of our kingmakers might have been to the pool/beach before and hated it. Some kingmakers have connections in both houses so they can wedge in two places at the same time.
In talking about people we will mark their name with the number and type of seat they hold influence over (1R) for 1 in the house of representatives, (1S) for 1 in the senate, (1S +1R) for one of each.
The back story.
Tony Abbott (1R) NSW was the opposition leader the last time there was a hung parliament in 2010 and failed to get the coalition over the line. In this parliament he goes in as a recently deposed prime minister who was toppled internally by a margin of only 6 votes. The usurper was Malcom Turnbull(1R) NSW and several of his key supporters have lost their seats and right now Malcolm may not have the numbers to remain leader. Worst of all Turnbull campaigned on ‘stability’ and the double dissolution he deliberately triggered has resulted in one of the most unstable parliaments possible. The liberal party may be secretly planning to bring back Tony Abbott as being a more popular figure despite knowing he failed to clinch a deal the last time a hung parliament resulted.
The wedge kingmakers:
Bob Katter (1R) QLD, was one of the ‘3 amigos’ in the 2010 hung parliament, the block was split and one of the other amigos Oakeshott went with Gillard and Labor. The 3rd amigo was Tony Windsor who this time around unsuccessfully challenged Barnaby Joyce (the deputy leader) for his seat. Katter seems less likely to support Labor being a former National and seeing what they did last time. Katter is also a Queenslander with strong connections to the rural sector. Will he team up with Hanson who may have as many as 3 senate seats? It’s worth pointing out Katters family ancestry is from Lebanon way back when it was a Christian country.
Pauline Hanson, (3S) QLD, anti- establishment, anti -immigration, anti- muslim, and completely on the pulse with a lot of disenfranchised right- of -center voters. Prior to the election Malcolm Turnbull famously stated Pauline Hanson is not welcome in parliament, now she has 3 (maybe 4) senate seats. Now that is going to be an interesting negotiation.
Nick Xenophon (3S+2R) SA with the NXT party he formed will be the biggest power broker in the wedge, commanding both upper and lower house seats, which he seems to have gained at the expense of the liberal party. His power base is largely in South Australia and being the son of Greek and Cypriot migrants seems unlikely to get on the anti immigration bandwagon. He will likely try to drive manufacturing back to south Australia, such as the troubled Whyalla steel and possibly naval ship building. The Federal Government will suddenly realize that South Australia exists.
Jacqui Lambie (1S) TAS got into the senate on the now all but defunct Palmer United Party, she has survived the implosion and now created the JLN which at this stage seems to be a one woman army. She seems to have a lot in common politically with Pauline Hanson, being a nationalist, anti islam and showing strong streaks of anti -establishment.
Derryn Hinch (1S) VIC. The” human headline” becomes the senate wrecking ball? Hinch famously went to jail for 50 days for releasing the details of paedophiles. Hinch survived liver cancer, seemingly at the last minute via a transplant. Strongly anti -establishment with a massive media following from decades of work on radio and TV. Hinch may be looking to shake up the justice system , he has already talked about removing compulsory voting. Hinch will be formidable in any wedge faction.
Cathy McGowan (1R) VIC. McGowan was the result of a grassroots campaign in 2013 to replace a liberal safe seat with someone who actually listened to their electorate; the campaign approached several people to run against Mirabella and McGowan took the offer and has run as an independent since. Get ready for a big pork barrel to be rolled out to Indi in rural Victoria. It seems dumping the duopoly really has great perks.
Adam Bandt (1R) VIC will be rusted onto the Labor Party.
Andrew Wilkie (1R) TAS will be rusted onto the Coalition.
That means they cancel each other out, so as usual they are both politically irrelevant.
So finally, the wedge!
As we can see, a lean to the Right seems assured in both houses as all Seats are to the political right of the NXT bloc. Even if Katter and McGowan can be lured to the left in the lower house, the senate seems overwhelmingly leaning to the right.Votes are still being counted so things could change, it’s going to be interesting!
Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party surge in popularity may be been from the vacuum caused by The implosion of the Palmer United Party, both parties being right of center, Senate focused and based primarily in Queensland.
Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull were both listed as have one house of representatives seat each as their level of influence. They both have far more influence than that, though its impossible to determine how much influence they have right now. The level of influence Abbott/Turnbull have is potentially zero sum game, as one gains influence as the other loses influence within their own party and coalition.
With the the votes for the lower house still being counted, it seems a hung parliament (or one with a razor thin majority) seems likely. So into this precarious situation the axe grinders have gained significant power. A bloc of anti establishment senators have emerged along with a lower house maverick Bob Katter. Any lower house government that does form will be beholden to king-maker blocs in the lower and upper houses. So it really doesn’t matter if the parliament is notionally Labour or Liberal, the political agenda is now set by the axe grinders. As many as a third of voters have voted for a third party in this election, which really shows disenfranchisement, fortunately there have been many third party options to scoop up this voter demographic. We sow, we reap….
Melbourne’s inner north suburb of Coburg became a flash point for tensions in the on going polarization between Melbourne traditional Marxist/socialist leaning groups and the emerging nationalist/anti immigration/anti muslim protest groups. Melbourne and Bendigo have seen a series ongoing escalating clashes between these groups over the past 12 months. In these clashes it seems the Marxists sought to initiate the violence, which is somewhat typical for leftists. Apparently 1.7 million dollars was spend by Victoria police on preparation for this event, with staff being brought in from many divisions. The violence was brief but intense and broken up with OC (capsicum) spray deployed by Victoria police. These protest clashes show no signs of deescalating, and Victoria police seemingly being stretched to the limit to control them. Where to from here? Well the Occupy movements were an attempt to sort out issues in a peaceful civilized (though slow and clumsy) manner, and state forces brutally crushed them. Now the state have made this form of ‘dispute resolution’ inevitable. Now OC orange is the new black, and equal rights have give way to right hooks. It’s the world you choose, and we hope you don’t regret your choices later on.
From the 7 news affiliate, largely from Marxist group perspective.
From the ‘He said his dad works at pine gap’ affiliates perspective, largely of the brawl. Looks like you got lucky Benjamin. The audio is somewhat poor, being punctuated with the sound of the still shot bursts.
That’s some video of the event, make up you own mind about who did what and when.
This video might help make Australia’s involvement is wars make more sense. It shows we need to be allied with a powerful navy to be able to trade internationally. If one looks a bit deeper,into the fact all of Australia’s petroleum fuel products are refined in Singapore it explains why the Australian government is is so reluctant to say anything to upset Indonesia, our northern neighbor who has the worlds fifth largest navy and 100 Million Muslims. It’s terror attack by a Muslim demanding an ISIS flag claiming to be part of ISIS but the Australian government says its nothing to do with Islam, because we can’t upset the people between us and our oil.
Saw the video here:
but didn’t want reblog fail.
Following the announced closure of GM Holden and Ford the last car manufacturers in Australia a consortium of Australian engineers and investors have begun development of a new concept car.
Kent Topp spokesman for the Driftback corporation made this statement in a press release.
We have been developing a new urban transportation concept for Australian urban environments. We took into account that most cars are drive with 2 or less passengers and with virtually no luggage for most journeys. Our engineers decided this meant space and weight in the vehicle were wasted and could simply be removed. The car is much lower to the ground than a typical car and this should give aerodynamic advantages and reduce fuel consumption, but gains in this area have to be ironed out. Staggeringly this is two door two seat car, a radical departure form the 4 door 5 seat touring sedan iconic in Australia for decades. Kent explained that those cars were made for a time when domestic air travel was expensive and families would drive vast distances to take holidays and visit relatives. Times have clearly changed and those design parameters are just obsolete. I envision a time when the Driftback will a be a common sight on our streets. Early testing has indicated the car is economical, eye-catching and fun to drive, and that’s really important to Australians. There have been some claims that that car can be prone to slight over-steering, but we predict drivers will quickly adjust to the handling dynamics. We have calculated the Driftback will cost about half as much as a economy hatchback, and that’s a hard price to beat in today’s market.
After reading Kent’s press release we manage to secure some secretly filmed testing of the Driftback.
Following multiple suspected rorts of travel expense involving helicopter, the speaker in Australian house of representatives has; after significant bipartisan pressure; resigned. Having become a divisive character due to her propensity to eject opposition questions on the flippant grounds of house standing orders 94a, its a surprise that she was finally undone by her travel expenses rather than outrageous bias in subverting democracy and deflecting criticism of the government. Philip Ruddock is touted to be her replacement, and many wonder why he was not the speaker from the beginning of this government.
Self-reporting to authorities of suspected foreign bribery and corruption by Australian companies is failing to occur, with top accounting firm Deloitte revealing it has investigated at least 100 potentially illegal acts involving local firms in the past two years.
It is understood that only a handful of those companies have reported to police their suspicions that their own staff have engaged in foreign bribery or other criminal conduct.
The revelations are likely to strengthen calls from the federal police to reform Australia’s anti-bribery regime to encourage companies to disclose suspected corruption.
Deloitte senior partner Frank O’Toole said the upcoming Senate committee on foreign bribery by Australian companies should call for major changes to the nation’s anti-bribery laws.
His comments come with the release by Deloitte of a survey of more than 250 senior executives from top Australian and New Zealand companies and public sector organisations.
The survey, released exclusively to Fairfax Media, found that one-third of all companies operating in high-risk offshore destinations, including Asia, Africa and the Middle East, had uncovered a suspected bribery or corruption incident over the last five years.
Almost a quarter of all executives surveyed said their firm had, during that same period, confronted corruption involving a staff member or contractor inside Australia.
The Australian Federal Police recently told a Senate inquiry it had more than a dozen active foreign bribery investigations.
Mr O’Toole said another alarming finding from the Deloitte survey related to the failure of many firms to have an adequate anti-corruption regime to detect and prevent graft in their overseas operations.
Forty per cent of executives interviewed from firms with an offshore operation “don’t have (or don’t know if they have) a formal compliance program in place to manage corruption risk”.
“We haven’t seen any tangible decrease in levels of corruption in recent years, or any major shifts in attitudes towards it, especially in offshore jurisdictions,” Mr O’Toole said.
He said the findings highlighted the ongoing problems with the way Australia tackled white collar crime.
“We have heard a lot from the federal police about how they have ramped up their investigations of foreign bribery and that is no doubt true. But they are coming off a low base and there is still only two still unresolved prosecutions in the 15 years since foreign bribery laws were passed in Australia.”
The AFP is preparing to charge several executives and companies in the coming months with foreign bribery offences.
Senior federal police have previously called for companies to be given incentives to co-operate with authorities, including a commitment to have self-disclosure recognised during sentencing.
In the United States, which has one of the more successful anti-foreign bribery regimes in the world, disclosure by companies or whistleblowers is encouraged through a series of incentives.
These include financial rewards for tip-offs and negotiated settlements with companies that co-operate with investigators.
The Senate committee inquiry into foreign bribery will start later this year.
It was established after Labor senator Sam Dastyari told Parliament he had evidence that major Australian firms had engaged in corrupt practices overseas.
Mr Dastyari was also critical of the failure of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the AFP to effectively combat the problem.
Former federal court judge Roger Gyles, who was recently appointed by the Abbott government to review the nation’s terrorism laws and who also chairs the local branch of corruption watchdog Transparency International, recently told Fairfax Media that Australia’s foreign bribery laws needed to be overhauled.
Mr Gyles said the key change was moving the burden of proof from prosecutors to those who have been shown to have made payments to foreign officials.
If the company cannot show a payment is legitimate, then a case may be proven, he said.