Victorian Liberals Put The Greens Last As Labor Stitches Up A Deal

The Liberal Party in Victoria has decided to preference the ALP ahead of the Greens in all lower house seats in the November 27 election.

The decision dramatically reduces the chances of the Greens winning any of the inner-Melbourne electorates it had been favoured to capture. Without Liberal preferences, the Greens will struggle to capture Richmond, Brunswick or Northcote, although it may still be in with a good chance in Melbourne.

A minority government following the election is now much less likely.

The Labor Party has chosen to preference the Greens in all Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council districts. The Greens have agreed to give preferences to Labor in most of the key marginal seats.

The Group Voting Tickets for the Legislative Council have also been published by the Victorian Electoral Commission. As in the Senate, proportional voting is used to elect 5 members in each of 8 districts. Voters may cast a single vote “above the line” or number all preferences below the line. Preferences for votes cast above the line will be allocated according to the tickets lodged by the parties with the Commission.

Download the Group Voting Tickets for the Legislative Council (PDF):

The Twitter Election? Not Likely.

There is much over-blown talk of new paradigms at the moment.

Before the 43rd Parliament has even met, the new political paradigm has been shown to be illusory. Standard politics continues apace. An old-fashioned deal has delivered us a minority government. Interest groups and political participants have begun positioning themselves to extract maximum advantage from the new Parliament.

Far from the political process becoming more open and transparent, it is more likely that backroom intrigue will flourish. Intricate deal-making seems set to reach new heights of ingenuity. The numerical permutations and combinations in both houses guarantee that practitioners of the so-called old paradigm will be called upon to ensure that things do not fall apart.

Another paradigm that has failed to materialise is the one that was supposed to deliver a “Twitter election” and usher in a new democracy powered by “social media”. Instead, the golden age of 140-character political participation has been clubbed to death by the established media and all but ignored by the main political parties. [Read more…]

Kevin Rudd’s Opening Address to the 2020 Summit

This is the text of Kevin Rudd’s Address Opening the 2020 Summit in Canberra.

Australians one, Australians all.

I too begin by acknowledging the first peoples of our nation.

Just as I welcome all of you to this, the nation’s capital, to this, the nation’s Parliament.

To this, the great meeting place of our common democracy, Australia.

The place from which we your elected representatives seek to navigate our nation’s future.

Today we are trying to do something new.

Today we are throwing open the windows of our democracy, to let a little bit of fresh air in.

Rather than pretending that we the politicians of Australia have all the answers, and the truth is, we don’t, we are turning now to you, the people of Australia. [Read more…]

Bob Brown: The Greens, Hanson And The Death Of The Two-Party System

This is the text of a speech given by Senator Bob Brown to the National Press Club.

Senator Bob BrownThe Prime Minister will be asking Parliament before Christmas to hand 42 percent of Australia to less than one percent of the people. In fact, 42 percent of Australia to fewer than one tenth of one percent of the population. From Cape York to Kalgoorlie, from Dubbo to Darwin, most of Australia’s great red heart will go to a brace of millionaires, pastoral and mining companies at the expense of every other Australian. Amongst the beneficiaries of the upgrading of pastoral leases will be Kerry Packer and Janet Holmes a Court.

Mr Howard’s plan opens the way for this vast region to be converted from leasehold – that is rented property restricted to cattle-grazing, to effective freehold – with far wider potential uses, without Aboriginal permission. Mr Howard’s 10 point plan provides for a transfer of money as well as land – where required, compensation is to be paid by the taxpayers of Australia to the dispossessed Aboriginal people. So the rich landholders take it free of charge, and the taxpayers foot the bill. There is no nicety or cover-up or embarrassment about this monstrous land grab such as Australia has never seen before, not even in the age of squatters and colonial land grants. Mr Howard’s hinterland clearance of Aboriginal rights is Australia’s version of the highland clearances. [Read more…]