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EYE-BALL’s – “On the Hustings” – The Campaign Trail – Day 4

August 8, 2013 6 comments
The-EYE-BALL-Opinion-Header-2
Title:
– EYE-BALL’s “On the Hustings” -
– The Campaign Trail – Day 4 -
| Author: No-Way José |8th Aug 2013 |
Policy Issue Debate: [Information on Policy issues you won't hear during the current Election Campaign.]

Previous Policy Issues: [Use links provided to read story in a new window and see relative polling data ...]

  1. Day 2 Policy Issue: Corruption in Politics -
  2. Day 3 Policy Issue: Judicial Appointments -

Day 4 Policy Issue: Government Limit on Borrowings – i.e. Debt to GDP ratio …[EYE-BALL Guru][click on Debt/GDP chart image to enlarge in a new window.]

The debate on ‘better Economic Management’ during the campaign will rage on and it will be about ‘they said, he said’.

it will be about the economic record under Howard, and the economic record under Rudd/Gillard Governments. If any one did research on economic management from the Government’s perspective it is all after the fact.

The Australian Constitution has this to say on how a Government is allowed to manage its finances:  See PDF version … see Word Version

On Taxation: [Revenues]

Chapter I The Parliament – Part V Powers of the Parliament -

Section 53 – Powers of the Houses in respect of legislation:

Proposed laws appropriating revenue or moneys, or imposing taxation, shall not originate in the Senate. But a proposed law shall not be taken to appropriate revenue or moneys, or to impose taxation, by reason only of its containing provisions for the imposition or appropriation of fines or other pecuniary penalties, or for the demand or payment or appropriation of fees for licences, or fees for services under the proposed law.

The Senate may not amend proposed laws imposing taxation, or proposed laws appropriating revenue or moneys for the ordinary annual services of the Government.

The Senate may not amend any proposed law so as to increase any proposed charge or burden on the people. The Senate may at any stage return to the House of Representatives any proposed law which the Senate may not amend, equesting, by message, the omission or amendment of any items or provisions therein. And the House of Representatives may, if it thinks fit, make any of such omissions or amendments, with or without modifications.

Except as provided in this section, the Senate shall have equal power with the House of Representatives in respect of all proposed laws.

Section 55 – Tax Bill:

Laws imposing taxation shall deal only with the imposition of taxation, and any provision therein dealing with any other matter shall be of no effect.

Laws imposing taxation, except laws imposing duties of customs or of excise, shall deal with one subject of taxation only; but laws imposing duties of customs shall deal with duties of customs only, and laws imposing duties of excise shall deal with duties of excise only.

On Expenditires: [Spending]

Chapter IV – Finance and Trade -

81 – Consolidated Revenue Fund

All revenues or moneys raised or received by the Executive Government of the Commonwealth shall form one Consolidated Revenue Fund, to be appropriated for the purposes of the Commonwealth in the manner and subject to the charges and liabilities imposed by this Constitution.

82 – Expenditure charged thereon

The costs, charges, and expenses incident to the collection, management, and receipt of the Consolidated Revenue Fund shall form the first charge thereon; and the revenue of the Commonwealth shall in the first instance be applied to the payment of the expenditure of the Commonwealth.

83 – Money to be appropriated by law

No money shall be drawn from the Treasury of the Commonwealth except under appropriation made by law.

But until the expiration of one month after the first meeting of the Parliament the Governor-General in Council may draw from the Treasury and expend such moneys as may be necessary for the maintenance of any department transferred to the Commonwealth and for the holding of the first elections for the Parliament.

The Constitution places all expenditure and revenue to be provided for under legislative process – meaning that all current and new expenditure is subject to existing and new laws under the Government of the day.

In other words if the Government can pass legislation through the HOR and the Senate, then there is no restrictiveness on any Government spending initiatives, nor taxation revenue collect at its own will.

The policy debate wanted is whether these rules should still apply given they were written at a time where Politicians had to get themselves elected, were deemed to be ‘of the people’ and ‘for the people’,  and acted frugally when it came to the public purse.   Since then society had changed in many ways, the advent of television and the ease in which the politician can reach the masses, and the modern method of the ‘candy store’ giveaways during election campaigns to get elected..

Since the GFC, all we know is that the world is in a debt spiral where new debt is doubling the old debt every four – five years.   Obama inherited a 2008 Bush debt of US$7 trillion – five years later the debt is above US$16 trillion.  Rudd inherited zero debt, and now we have almost $300 billion of debt, and under Bowen’s new forecasts, likely to be $4-500 billion in the near future.

Europe is a basket case where many Nations have worse debt proportions than others and the P.I.I.G.S. have GDP/Debt rations from which they cannot recover if they remain in the EuroZone.   Debt is the evil curse the Government’s have embraced to prop up ailing economies.  In fact it has been irresponsible economic management and placed future generations in the position none of us want tem to be.

Surely the prudent thing to do would be to place restrictions on the Government of the day’s borrowing capacity – force the Government to act responsibly and cut spending via Constitutional change linked to say – the Debt to GDP ratio.

What we do know and as it stands now is this:

  • Our Government of the day has no limitation to the amount of borrowing it can enter into,
  • Our Government of the day can spend public monies without limitation relative to:
    • Debt/GDP ratios,
    • Without any limitation to percentage (%) increases during its term,
    • Without any limitation to sector funding, i.e. Education, Health, Defence, Welfare … etc
    • Without any limitation to Party policy advertising,
    • Without any limitation to MP and Senator remuneration increases,
    • Without any limitation to Foreign Aid donations,
  • Our Government of the day can also cut spending at its discretion on any matter including Defence, Health, Education, Welfare and the like.

In a world where the struggle of life is ever increasing through debt explosion, and the Bank’s providing limitless lending to people already in financial trouble, the obvious answer to the question: ‘where will it all end’ … is relatively obvious – ‘badly’.

Should not Government’s impose limitations on themselves and run budgets according to economic conditions?

The problem is that ‘economic conditions’ is a subjective argument not often agreed to by opposing political party’s.

Elections are won and lost on the basis of policies promised and the balancing of the costings for those policies left to balance once in Government.   Surely we must know that this is ridiculous and makes us all look pretty stupid in accepting the ‘candy’ handouts with our vote.

In a perfect world the onus of responsible ‘economic management’ would come from the Government – but when re-election is on the agenda, or a new Government wants to take control,  responsible ‘economic management’ becomes about ‘tagging’ the other guy whilst not getting ‘tagged’ yourself on economic management.

In that scenario who do we believe, the $70 billion hole in the Coalition policies promoted by the Government, or the confessed $50 billion hole by the Government?

In either case the taxpayers and the electorate are bound to get screwed either way as they have done across the globe for the last 40 odd years.

Should the people have a say in how much the Government can borrow during at term of office?

How would an economic stimulus package as Rudd instigated in the face of the GFC work if there were limits on borrowings in place?

Should a change of strategy against election policies render a Government out-of-order, and be forced to go back to the people to get approval and seek a mandate?

One thing is true – Governments have to be made accountable for the mistakes they make in relation to managing the finances of the Nation.

The referee who makes the decision of whether the Government has overstepped their boundaries has to be the GG under our current Constitution.   Therefore when a GG is selected, are they canvassed on the matter as to whether they would be prepared to out the Government over poor economic Management, and who would they receive advice from if such a decision had to be made?

It’s all too hard one might say.

But easily fixed if it was legislated that all Government borrowings were restricted as a ratio of GDP.    Meaning that if GDP growth stalled, then no new borrowings can be assumed.  If GDP growth fell, borrowings would need to be reduced.   If GDP growth grew, then the Government has opportunity to enact new expenditure policy.

The goal being that the Government is responsible for economic growth and it has to find ways to stimulate that growth away from new Government debt spending.

For far too long Government spending has underpinned GDP growth and as a result the World has become a toxic debt explosion waiting to happen – the GFC was a tremor compared to what is still to come.

This has been coming for many decades and it is a global problem.  Debt got us into the GFC problem, and the only solution Western Governments have been able to come up with in the last five years it to increase their debt exponentially.

All with a consequence of future taxpayers being responsible for the repayment of that debt, and the resulting reduced living standards that will ensure.

Please take a minute to register your opinion in the Poll below:   [EYE-BALL Guru] …


Harry Growl’s Water Cooler Gossip: [Harry Growl] …

  • Story doing the rounds about Mr Abbott and Mr Rudd and many other male politicians concerns the new prostate test – all are taking the test to establish whether a rigid or ‘soft-cock’ awakening is an accurate measure for prostate problems …
  • Many have used the above scenario to have morning sex – politicians tweeting about this are set to rise …
  • Peter Beattie’s Federal nomination in the seat of ‘Forde’ boosts ALP chances in winning some marginal seats in QLD.   Beattie’s appearance as ‘gaunt’ and significant weight loss raised questions to his vim and vigor to a robust election campaign … perhaps he should use the test above to rule out  possible medical reasons …
  • Abbott was in Tasmania talking about State issues, and Rudd along side Beattie was in QLD talking about State issues under Newman … a new angle on Federal campaigns …
  •  Conroy, Swan, Emerson, Gillard, and other lesser members – i.e. Garrett, Clare and Lundy, and all a part of the Gillard tiger force are still absent from the campaign.   These names are obviously toxic for ALP … why has Abbott not used this to his advantage …  the NBN, Economic Management, and Trade, all portfolios under these previous Gillard Ministers and now serving as feather dusters awaiting their parliamentary pension for the rest of their lives …
  • Rudd must have counted the number of votes lost in recent days due to his ‘hair-tick’ because in front of the camera’s with Beattie, he never once touched his hair …
  • The journo’s travelling with both Leaders, Rudd and Abbott are having little games with themselves … whispers have emerged that News Fairfax Journo’s have made a pact to not sleep with anyone on the opposing team … the pool for the first journo to break ranks is growing each day … of course the incentive to break ranks for the pool is offset by a dare that is too much to publish hereto without obtaining reputable confirmations … more on this as advice comes to hand … oh .. by the way the pool is open to print and vision journo’s, all tech staff are excluded.

[Harry Growl] …


General Links to Election data and Information:

AEC’s Enrollment Drive: Linked here.

Today is Day 1 of the 34 day campaign and the immediate focus of the ALP and the Greens is to get as many un-enrolled electors enrolled … the deadline is seven (7) days and the AEC link to find more information about whether you are enrolled can be found here.  [EYE-BALL.]

ABC’s Vote Compass:  Linked here.

A brilliant on-line survey presented by the ABC’s Anthony Green will prove to be an election barometer never seen before.  His 30 question survey has gone ballistic this morning with 170,000 people logging on to give their responses.  His questions will decide the election issues seen as most important and the major party’s will be keenly seeking Green’s data to help them plan their election strategies. [EYE-BALL]

Anthony Green’s Election Blog: Linked here.

Party Policy links:

Campaign Speeches:

Link to the ABC’s 2013 Election coverage:

Final Comments from EYE-BALL:

This new election commentary page is provided as a service to subscribers and readers during the 2013 election campaign.

All and any abusive comments will be deleted without notice.

Satire and witty comments are appreciated … and in all seriousness, this Nation is a bee’s dick away from disaster, and if anyone thinks that Rudd or Abbott have the goods to be our PM and lead this Nation away from that disaster, please express your thoughts and reasons in the comments section below.  You never know, your comment might just make a difference.

Please – if you found this story to your liking and would like to promote it to your social media contacts – i.e. Twitter, Facebook, or other icon linked account below – please use/click on your favoured Icon(s) to promote the story.  Thankyou.


Have your say where it counts: – contact your Local Federal Representative via the links below and let them know how you feel about this, or any other topic that you feel strongly about – or you can just post a comment below and let off some steam.

Links to Australian Parliamentary Website – MP’s


The EYE-BALL Opinion’s – On The Hustings …

EYE-BALL’s – “On the Hustings” – The Campaign Trail – Day 3

August 7, 2013 2 comments
The-EYE-BALL-Opinion-Header-2
Title:
– EYE-BALL’s “On the Hustings” -
– The Campaign Trail – Day 3 -
| Author: No-Way José | 7th Aug 2013 |
Policy Issue Debate: [Information on Policy issues you won't hear during the current Election Campaign.]

Previous Policy Issues:

  1. Day 2 Policy Issue: Corruption in Politics – use link to read story and see poll data …

Day 3 Policy Issue: Judicial Appointments: …[EYE-BALL]

There are many Courts under the control of the Federal Government – The highest being the ‘High Court’.

High CourtAppointments to the ‘High Court’ and other Federal Courts are made by the Federal Attorney General.  These Federal appointments are then rubber stamped by the GG.

The appointments are drawn from a short list,  after judicial reviews and assessments, and then decided upon by the Federal Government including the PM and its Cabinet process.   The Attorney General announces the appointments after the GG has signed off on them.

The current ‘High Court’ structure and appointments is contained in the table below:  [linked on-line here.]  [Click on image to see all judicial appointment data i.e. Education and Court experience, in a new window.]

One of the rules for High Court appointees require mandatory retirement at age 70 – hence the appointment tenure.

The spread of appointments of the current Justices is spread as three (3) from John Howard’s era, and four (4) from the Rudd/Gillard era.  Two new appointments are due to be made during the next Federal Government term – both were John Howard appointments.

Other Courts and tribunals controlled by Federal Government appointment include: [links to the Australian Federal Courts websites provided.]

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) is an independent body that reviews a broad range of administrative decisions made by Australian Government ministers and officials, authorities and other tribunals.Administrative Appeals Tribunal

The Australian Competition Tribunal was established in 1965. Prior to 1995, the Tribunal was known as the Trade Practices Tribunal. The Tribunal hears applications for review of determinations of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.Federal Court of Australia

The Commonwealth Courts Portal is an initiative of the Family Court of Australia, Federal Court of Australia and Federal Magistrates Court of Australia. It provides web-based services for clients to access information about cases before the courts.Family Court of Australia

Inquires into the amount of royalty payable in respect of the recording of musical works; fixes royalties or equitable remuneration in respect of compulsory licences; arbitrates disputes in relation to the terms of existing and proposed licensing schemes; and deals with applications for the granting of licences.Copyright Tribunal of Australia

The Council of Australasian Tribunals facilitates liaison and discussion between the heads of tribunals. It supports the development of best practice models and model procedural rules, standards of behaviour and conduct for members and increased capacity for training and support for members.Administrative Appeals Tribunal

The Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal hears and determines appeals from courts martial and Defence Force magistrates in respect of service offences by Australian Defence Force personnel.Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal

The Family Court of Australia has jurisdiction over all matrimonial causes and associated responsibilities.Family Court of Australia

The Federal Circuit Court of Australia (formerly known as the Federal Magistrates Court) was established at the end of 1999. The court is an independent federal court under the Australian Constitution. The jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit Court includes family law and child support, administrative law, admiralty law, bankruptcy, copyright, human rights, industrial law, migration, privacy and trade practices. The court shares those jurisdictions with the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Court of Australia. The objective of the Federal Magistrates Court is to provide a simpler and more accessible alternative to litigation in the superior courts and to relieve the workload of those courts.Federal Circuit Court of Australia

The Federal Court of Australia began to exercise its jurisdiction on 1 February 1977. It assumed jurisdiction formerly exercised in part by the High Court of Australia and the whole of the jurisdiction of the Australian Industrial Court and of the Federal Court of Bankruptcy.Federal Court of Australia

The High Court is the highest court in the Australian judicial system. Its functions are to interpret and apply the law of Australia; to decide cases of special federal significance including challenges to the constitutional validity of laws and to hear appeals, by special leave, from Federal, State and Territory courts.High Court of Australia

The Migration Review Tribunal (the MRT) and the Refugee Review Tribunal (the RRT) provide an independent and final merits review of decisions made in relation to visas to travel to, enter or stay in Australia. The MRT reviews decisions made in respect of general visas (e.g. visitor, student, partner, family, business, skilled visas) and the RRT deals with decisions made in respect of protection (refugee) visas.Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal

The Social Security Appeals Tribunal is a statutory body established to review decisions made in relation to social security, education or training payments.Social Security Appeals Tribunal

The Veterans’ Review Board is an independent tribunal to review decisions made by the Repatriation Commission on claims for acceptance of injury or disease as war-caused or defence-caused, on claims for war widows’, war widowers’ and orphans’ pensions, on assessment of pension rate for incapacity from war-caused or defence-caused injury or disease, and on claims for the grant, or assessment of, attendant allowance.Department of Veterans’ Affairs.


The list of Current Federal Judges appointed to these courts are:

Judges based in Sydney

Judges based in Melbourne

Judges based in Brisbane

Judges based in Perth

Judges based in Adelaide

Judge based in Canberra

Judges based in Hobart


List of State Courts: [Click to enlarge in a new Window.]

All State based Courts Judges are appointed by the individual States Attorney General after the same process is pursued as for Federal Court appointments.


The Debate:

The system in place for Court Appointments has been in place since Federation and before.   If not the Government to make the appointee decision then who.   The matter comes to the debate table because of the appointment of Justice Bernard Murphy during the Julia Gillard term as Prime Minister.  The AG at the time of the appointment – 13th June 2011 – was Robert McClelland.    Nicola Roxon took over the portfolio in Dec 2011.

Robert McClelland was involve din the AWU scandal as a lawyer after the AWU sacked Slater and Gordon and transferred their legal work to Maurice Blackburn.   Nicola Roxon worked for Maurice Blackburn and it is widely acknowledged that Roxon took over the Gillard AWU file when Gillard was sacked from Slater and Gordon.

McClelland introduced into the House a speech about his knowledge of the AWU scandal and Gillard’s involvement.  Read the full text of McClellan’s comments – 21st June 2012 – in Hansard here via Andrew Bolt’s blog, or via APH here.

There is a 12 month gap between McClellan’s comments and the prior appointment of Bernard Murphy.  McClelland was sacked from the Gillard Ministry for supporting Kevin Rudd in his early 2012 Leadership spill.

You do not have to be too clever to understand McClelland’s motives for the Hansard comments.  What is interesting is that if McClelland knew about Gillard’s AWU scandal involvement, who else knew as well.  And – if the numbers of ALP MP’s and Senators were aware of Gillard’s AWU scandal involvement, why was she chosen to become PM with the chequered AWU history there for the media and public to expose?

Was the Bernard Murphy a payback by Gillard to hush up his knowledge of Gillard’s involvement in the AWU scandal – the evidence revealed to date had Murphy’s account differing with another Partner’s on the record account, and the transcript of Gillard’s recorded termination interview.

As a policy issue – if the PM abuses their office to make judicial appointments who would know?   Is there an appeals process for judicial members to appeal their case for a position they feel qualified for and want?

The concept of Governments stacking the Courts is theatre stuff … honest and genuine Governments don’t play politics with Judicial appointments, just the same as judicial appointees never bare their political persuasion when passing judgement.  That is how it is supposed to work and there are many judgements made that challenge the courts neutrality.

The media and other vested interest try time and again to make the case of bias decisions from the judiciary.   There is no case law where this has been proven.

The Courts are often though of as being the third (3rd) arm of Government, behind the Legislature, and the Executive. [see link here.]   Our Court Justices are charged with enforcing the Laws of the Land and as revealed with the High Court’s dismissing the Government’s Malaysian solution to asylum seekers, they are not only required to be seen to independent but they must act independently.

Please take a minute to register your opinion in the Poll below:   [EYE-BALL] …


The Day’s Updates – Media Stories: … [EYE-BALL] …

Amedia story no one is writing about is the Treasury forecasts made in May for the 2013 Budget and the $33 billion hole across the forward estimates made only 11 weeks later.

Surely the story we all want to know is how Treasury could have got it so wrong – yet again.  Remember the 2012-13 forecast in May 2012 was for a $1.5 billion surplus.  It was revised down to $500 million surplus in the mid year estimates and then in Dec 2012 it all came unstuck.

As at the May 2013 Finance Department numbers the budget is at $17 billion deficit.   So in the space of the  time from May 2012 – to Aug 2013 – the Treasury estimates have made errors in excess of $50 billion … how can the Treasury forecast modelling be trusted.

The Opposition have every right to have no confidence in handing over their policy’s for costing by Treasury.   But the question has to be asked – why have they not used the incompetence of Treasury over the past 2 odd years as the reason.

The other news story today worthy of note was the High Court decision on the MRRT challenge from Twiggy Forrest.

Please give your feedback on whether you have confidence in the Treasury modelling and the numbers presented in Chris Bowen’s amended budget forecast:  … [EYE-BALL] …


Harry Growl’s Water Cooler Gossip: [Harry Growl] …

  • Christopher Pyne had a revisit to the barber yesterday … he believed it was a rogue hair giving him a tickle behind the ear … the barber couldn’t find it so watch out over the next few days for Pyne giving his left ear a tug …
  • The Opposition candidate for Sydney seat ‘Greenway’ had a bad day on Tuesday when a Channel 10 journo opened up when the candidate struggled to find a sensible response to policy questions.   The highlight was an exposure to the Opposition vetting process … surely public speaking and an understanding of the Party’s policy should be part of the vetting process … watch out for more journo’s getting agressive with candidates …
  • David Bradbury the Assistant Treasurer is a duck out of water after Swan’s demise – he lost it on a radio talk back show yesterday – read more here
  • Listen to Joe Hockey’s speech on the interest rate reduction:
  • Listen to Chris Bowen’s comments after the Rate cut:
  • On the ‘debate’ debate … the ALP minders are saying that Abbott does not really want to debate on Rudd’s terms … the Coalition minders are saying that they are not running away from any debate contest … Malcolm Turnbull is said to have said that he should be in the debate to help Abbott do a number on Rudd …
  • Abbott also got himself in trouble when he spoke about the NSW MP involved in a sex image … read more here … why would Abbott even go there?

[Harry Growl] …


The BULLSHIT Measure:

The graphs showing the “Bullshit” measure will be updated weekly or there abouts … please if you find a story or media report that reeks of the ‘bullshit’ context, please send a link of the story text via comments section below.


General Links to Election data and Information:

AEC’s Enrollment Drive: Linked here.

Today is Day 1 of the 34 day campaign and the immediate focus of the ALP and the Greens is to get as many un-enrolled electors enrolled … the deadline is seven (7) days and the AEC link to find more information about whether you are enrolled can be found here.  [EYE-BALL.]

ABC’s Vote Compass:  Linked here.

A brilliant on-line survey presented by the ABC’s Anthony Green will prove to be an election barometer never seen before.  His 30 question survey has gone ballistic this morning with 170,000 people logging on to give their responses.  His questions will decide the election issues seen as most important and the major party’s will be keenly seeking Green’s data to help them plan their election strategies. [EYE-BALL]

Party Policy links:

Campaign Speeches:

Link to the ABC’s 2013 Election coverage:

Final Comments from EYE-BALL:

This new election commentary page is provided as a service to subscribers and readers during the 2013 election campaign.

All and any abusive comments will be deleted without notice.

Satire and witty comments are appreciated … and in all seriousness, this Nation is a bee’s dick away from disaster, and if anyone thinks that Rudd or Abbott have the goods to be our PM and lead this Nation away from that disaster, please express your thoughts and reasons in the comments section below.  You never know, your comment might just make a difference.

Please – if you found this story to your liking and would like to promote it to your social media contacts – i.e. Twitter, Facebook, or other icon linked account below – please use/click on your favoured Icon(s) to promote the story.  Thankyou.


Have your say where it counts: – contact your Local Federal Representative via the links below and let them know how you feel about this, or any other topic that you feel strongly about – or you can just post a comment below and let off some steam.

Links to Australian Parliamentary Website – MP’s


The EYE-BALL Opinion’s – On The Hustings …

EYE-BALL’s – “On the Hustings” – The Campaign Trail – Day 2

August 6, 2013 4 comments
The-EYE-BALL-Opinion-Header-2
Title:
– EYE-BALL’s “On the Hustings” -
– The Campaign Trail – Day 2 -
| Author: No-Way José | 6th Aug 2013 |
Policy Issue Debate – Corruption in Politics: [EYE-BALL]

For most of us our biggest concern in politics is political corruption. Yet – all sides of the political divide don’t debate or put this issue front and center in any of their policy platforms.

Why Not?

With the Obeid/MacDonald ICAC revelations, the ongoing Craig Thompson saga that started in 2010, the AWU scandal on the go since the early 1990’s and both still not resolved, and then there is the Peter Slipper affair that goes back to the Howard years – political corruption and the abuse of parliamentary privileges is a big issue for the electorate.

The Gillard assist in having the Thompson and Slipper incidents waylaid to allow the Gillard minority Government to stay in power is another issue that reeks of corrupt deals – yet and nobody in politics is interested in seeking the truth or having those deals exposed.

The electorate want the debate, they want positive action to clean up the corruption issues and the longer Rudd and Abbott and other candidates hold off on the debate the more disengaged the electorate will become.

When the rorting or travel and other personal expenses is excused as in the case of the Opposition Leader, the vested self serving interests that allow these claim error hiccups to go away is not the way these matters should be dealt with.

We want the overseas trips for cooking lessons, and Test cricket junkets, the family trip to Tuscany to all stop.  We want MP’s to pay for their own lunches and stop dining on the public purse. We want them to use taxi’s, buses and rail to experience the real public transport shortcomings the public are forced to endure.

Claiming security needs and time constraints should be restricted to Cabinet Ministers – not backbenchers nor Senators.

The first candidate to take a hard-line on political corruption will set a trend that can only drag all the other candidates into the same debate.  Being soft on corruption is a great negative to any party or individual …

If this be so – then why won’t they talk or debate the issue?

Simple really – they are all a part of the problem and because they operate under a self-policing arrangement, they will not advocate for independence of the ‘watchdog’ ensuring expense claim legitimacy.  Now that would be an election issue that most voters would be very interested in.

Do you agree: [Please vote your interest below.][EYE-BALL] …


The Day’s Updates – Media Stories: … [EYE-BALL] …

The most honest of all the media stories browsed/read yesterday and overnight was a story by Peter Hatcher from “The Age” titled Both parties peddle a fiscal fairytale … lead in below:

Both parties peddle a fiscal fairytale


| Author: Peter Hatcher | Date: Aug 6th 2013 | Link to On-Line Story. |

Even after resigning two years ago as the secretary of the Treasury, Ken Henry has been a model of discretion. But that doesn’t mean he’s content with the state of politics in Australia. In fact, he’s been growing increasingly frustrated.

The man who served as Australia’s top economic adviser for a decade under Liberal and Labor governments has now spoken his mind about the performance of the two parties in recent years, and he’s not impressed.

Australia faces an “immense challenge” in paying for its needs and both political parties are failing to deal with it, says Henry.

The key problem is an ageing population and rising health costs.

The size of the problem has been clear ever since Henry spelled it out in the first Intergenerational Report, published by the Treasury under the Howard Government in 2002: “Older people are more expensive than younger people,” Henry summarises. Not only will there be fewer workers paying taxes to meet the costs of pensions, the health care bill will soar.

“We see an inexorable increase in health costs and I don’t see any party saying we have to find ways to cut health spending.

“So then the question: Are there areas of government spending that can be addressed to offset these effects?” He answers his own question: “Maybe, but are they enough to offset 5 per cent of GDP? That’s $70 billion in today’s dollars.” That’s the Treasury estimate of the extra annual cost of our ageing society 30 years from now.

“I don’t think so,” says Henry. “I really don’t think so.” … continues

Hatchers story reflects what we all know but political leaders want to take no notice of.  Who wins an election with policies that increase taxes … yet that is what is needed.

Please give your feedback on tax increases:  … [EYE-BALL] …


The Day’s Updates – Political Campaign Stories: …[EYE-BALL Guru.]…

The obvious clanger of the day is the Opposition’s claim that lower interest rates translates to poor economic management.’ Joe Hockey made the statement in relation to the expectation the RBA will reduce official interest rates to 2.5% when the RBA meets today.

This level is a record low for official interest rates and Mr Hockey made the statement that this means that the economy is not doing well.  Mr Hockey has not updated his personal website with the text of link to his comments.  However,  Mike Pasco writing for the SMH posted a story on Mr Hockey’s credentials late last week – linked here – and points out Mr Hockey has some creditability issues as the alternative Treasurer.

Searching for confirmed text and video of Hockey making his comment re the lower interest rates mean poor economic management are still eluding search and research requests.  Perhaps Hockey has killed the story and the fact that his personal website does not carry the story is indicative.

Suffice to say – interest rates go up and down in this Nation in response to the RBA’s view on inflationary pressures.  EYE-BALL Guru has made the argument countless times that this inflation targeting by the RBA is in fact one of the major causes of our weakening economy.  Interest rates should have been at these levels 3-4 years ago as they were with the rest of our major trading partners suffering under the GFC impact – see Guru charts below:

Global Central Bank Cash Rates: – [click image to enlarge in a new window.]

10yr and 2yr CGS v RBA Cash Rate: – [click image to enlarge in a new window.]

Both these charts reflect the RBA’s policy in how Interest rates are used to kill inflation whether there be the threat of inflation or not.  The easiest message the Opposition can use on economic Management is to ask the question why mortgage holders have had to pay A$1,000’s in forced higher interest rates compared with our trading partners?   Why have offshore investors been allowed to plunder our riches at the expense of mortgage holders?

Both these policy explanations would stump the Government – nobody thinks inflation is an issue anywhere across the globe – why is the RBA stuck in this twilight zone where 20 odd years ago, inflation was a problem for all the western world.  All political parties are stuck in the mud on this issue and claim the RBA”s independence, just like Treasury – these bureaucrats get it wrong – just look at the $33 billion hole since the MAy ’13 budget.

Of course the higher interest rates here influenced the value of the A$ and that higher value had an impact on all our export industries leading to job losses and increased domestic labour costs relative to the rest of the world. The fact that the media nor the political brains of our Nation have not made the connect and acted accordingly gives insight to the how and why we are where we are economically speaking, and in the position of being forced to prop up the car industry and spend taxpayer funds to support ailing export and domestic business’.

Mr Hockey and Mr Robb would be a worse alternative to Swan and Wong, now the ALP has Evans … oops Bowen and Wong and Mr Bowen updated us on Swan’s $33 billion ‘book-cook’ since the May budget less that three months ago.

The economy will be a big election issue – on management, on spending restraint, and on policy implementation i.e. Gonski, NBN, Disability Insurance etc … but what it won’t be about is who best understands the global market and how Australia is an island in a cyclone tempest where we live and die by the value of the A$ and the export revenues that rise and fall on the back of the stability of the A$. …[EYE-BALL Guru.]…


Harry Growl’s Water Cooler Gossip: [Harry Growl] …

  • The Kevin Rudd hair flick is now officially the worst ‘tick’ put up by any Political performer … it costs him 1,000 votes every time he does it … come on Kevin you must see the footage and see how lame it is …
  • Peter Slipper announced he is still running in the seat of Fisher … he has to be kidding right … it can only mean he is after one last grab of the taxpayer purse through electoral refunds – if he polls 4% or more he’ll get $2.51 per vote … well done Peter …
  • Milne turned up in black today after her ‘frumpy’ appearance yesterday  … eyes were also darkened and the windy outdoor press conference with Melbourne candidate Adam Brandt made for challenging conditions.   The GREENS are in trouble will latest poll data showing slippage to 9% and todays policy focus was on ‘high speed rail’ … they still think they will control the Senate … but any chance they will have a seat at the table in the HOR’s is a pipe dream … at the next Senate election the goss is they will go the way of the Democrats …
  • All the other female candidates stayed indoors today … all afraid of the wind and how it would make for a Hitchcock “BIRDS’ bad hair day …
  • Has anyone heard or see Wayne Swan outside of his Facebook page … if so please take a pulse reading and post anything that might indicate he is still running in his seat of Lilly …
  • Same for Craig Emerson … many thought he would help the new guy but the word again suggests his mobile phone bill ony has the one number being dialed … coincidently – Julia’s mobile phone bill hardly registers any calls being made …
  • Word has circulated that Stephen Conroy has be in meetings with lawyers over his starring role at the next ICAC inquiry … has anyone seen him of the ski slopes or near Obeid’s ski cabin …
  • Out of the blue – someone showed me an image of a penis in a glass of red wine and said it belonged to a NSW MP – the penis that is … not the image … apparently the USA’s Anthony Weiner texting his genitalia has set a trend … yes he did it again only recently … who said Politicians weren’t addicted to sexual fantasy … all the more reason for staffers to wear condoms …
  • Word on the ALP Victorian pre-selection wars aren’t over … Shorten and Conroy pretty much got their way, as did Gillard … but the voters and branch members are said to have formed a group to ensure the last laugh … Feeney’s decision to move from the Senate might leave egg all over his face … just the word OK …
  • Oh … watching the Milne/Brandt press conference in the background … hear is a heads up guys … when the camera is showing the teeth chattering from the cold in the pretty journalist standing next to Brandt – it’s time to realise the audience aren’t listening anymore … talk about the need for a media guru …
  • On the former Gillard media advisor McTurd – his 457 visa won’t be renewed unless he can get himself another job – the FOI request by Hedley Thomas into the efforts Gillard made to find and/or hire someone locally have been released – read the story here … this should spell more trouble for Gillard … when asked for a response she said – ‘fu_k-off’.
  • Joe Hockey has a minder with him on the campaign trail who’s sole purpose is to count his calorie intake … Joe is serious about his weight loss … he hears political mileage can be made over an expanding girth when he becomes the Treasurer and journo’s connect the ‘fat-of-the-land’ disappearing,  and the ‘fat-of-Joe’s-girth’ reappearing …
  • Bronwyn Bishop – [known on this side of the fence as ''The BEEHIVE'', and HOR ''School Mam''] – is a living parliamentary miracle.  She proves once and for all that you only have to get into Parliament to earn the right to stay in Parliament …

[Harry Growl] …


The BULLSHIT Measure:

The graphs showing the “Bullshit” measure will be updated weekly or there abouts … please if you find a story or media report that reeks of the ‘bullshit’ context, please send a link of the story text via comments section below.


General Links to Election data and Information:

AEC’s Enrollment Drive: Linked here.

Today is Day 1 of the 34 day campaign and the immediate focus of the ALP and the Greens is to get as many un-enrolled electors enrolled … the deadline is seven (7) days and the AEC link to find more information about whether you are enrolled can be found here.  [EYE-BALL.]

ABC’s Vote Compass:  Linked here.

A brilliant on-line survey presented by the ABC’s Anthony Green will prove to be an election barometer never seen before.  His 30 question survey has gone ballistic this morning with 170,000 people logging on to give their responses.  His questions will decide the election issues seen as most important and the major party’s will be keenly seeking Green’s data to help them plan their election strategies. [EYE-BALL]

Party Policy links:

Campaign Speeches:

Link to the ABC’s 2013 Election coverage:

Final Comments from EYE-BALL:

This new election commentary page is provided as a service to subscribers and readers during the 2013 election campaign.

All and any abusive comments will be deleted without notice.

Satire and witty comments are appreciated … and in all seriousness, this Nation is a bee’s dick away from disaster, and if anyone thinks that Rudd or Abbott have the goods to be our PM and lead this Nation away from that disaster, please express your thoughts and reasons in the comments section below.  You never know, your comment might just make a difference.

Please – if you found this story to your liking and would like to promote it to your social media contacts – i.e. Twitter, Facebook, or other icon linked account below – please use/click on your favoured Icon(s) to promote the story.  Thankyou.


Have your say where it counts: – contact your Local Federal Representative via the links below and let them know how you feel about this, or any other topic that you feel strongly about – or you can just post a comment below and let off some steam.

Links to Australian Parliamentary Website – MP’s


The EYE-BALL Opinion’s – On The Hustings …

EYE-BALL’s – “On the Hustings” Day 1 – The Campaign Begins -

August 5, 2013 3 comments
The-EYE-BALL-Opinion-Header-2
Title:
– EYE-BALL’s “On the Hustings” Day 1 -
– The Campaign Begins -
| Author: No-way José | 5th Aug 2013 |
Welcome to the greatest ego fest ever where the wannabe’s and pretenders to our welfare tell us how good they are, and how much of a difference they will/want/try to make.

None of us really take a whole lot of notice of what is promised, i.e. none of us expect deliverance as history proves, but what can we reasonably expect from these cashed up political parties?History proves that the talk is by far more than the reality … so who and how do we figure out who is the best/worst liar, who has the most believable policy that will make a difference?

EYE-BALL’s “BULLSHIT” measure is designed to access every Political Party’s policy bullshit component therein.  All the major Party’s have a start value of 40% based on a generalised view on past performances.   The exception is the “None of the Above” campaign who aren’t wanting anybody to vote for them – just to not vote for anybody unless you the voter are sure the candidate you do vote for will serve your interests best.

Over the campaign period each Party’s “BULLSHIT” measurement will be adjusted to reflect the obvious ‘bullshit’ contained in their policy releases and public appearances.   The graphic below will hopefully become a true choice barometer upon which voters can safely rely upon to help them make their election day choices.  [Click on Graphs to enlarge in a new window.]

To explain the measure further the following is offered:  how much can a candidate/party/leader obviously lie to the public before the public realises that what is offered really is a ‘bullshit’ offer.  We acknowledge that most of us are only professional political analysts once or twice every three years … but our instincts are accurate because we always get the Government we vote for.

We might be seen as dumb, but not so dumb that you can try to rob us blind and for us to not take an interest.

In addition to the Political Party “BULLSHIT” measure, there is also the Media “BULLSHIT” measure as indicated by the chart below.

The Media measure is not hard – News have declared their Coalition bias, and the ABC and Fairfax are ALP supporters.   EYE-BALL’s opinions are neutral and are about the only unbiased opinions that will be expressed outside the mainstream media arena.

WHO can you trust for your political analysis?

Day 1:

AEC’s Enrollment Drive: Linked here.

Today is Day 1 of the 34 day campaign and the immediate focus of the ALP and the Greens is to get as many un-enrolled electors enrolled … the deadline is seven (7) days and the AEC link to find more information about whether you are enrolled can be found here.  [EYE-BALL.]

ABC’s Vote Compass:  Linked here.

A brilliant on-line survey presented by the ABC’s Anthony Green will prove to be an election barometer never seen before.  His 30 question survey has gone ballistic this morning with 170,000 people logging on to give their responses.  His questions will decide the election issues seen as most important and the major party’s will be keenly seeking Green’s data to help them plan their election strategies. [EYE-BALL]

Party Policy links:

Day 1 Campaign Speeches:

Link to the ABC’s 2013 Election coverage:

Snippet Updates from EYE-BALL’s – Harry Growl:

  • Word is that Kevin Rudd weigh himself this morning – he felt calling the election shed a great weight from his shoulders – he was looking for good news and reasons to ensure a spring in his step today …
  • Tony Abbott after his bike, swim, and run exercise this morning is said to have met with his staff still dressed in sandshoes and buggie smugglers …  not sure if this is his usual attire for these meetings …
  • His PA who carries his boxing gown at the ready was absent – she herself had a night of her own exercise with the knowledge that her workload in coming weeks will mean her normal sex life will now be restricted to campaign sex at best … campaign volunteers should be on the lookout …
  • Christine Milne’s frumpy perspective was highlighted well in her campaign launch this morning.   See link here.  Milne has obviously decided to let Hanson-Young carry the ‘most appealing’ Greens candidate banner for the campaign …
  • Warren Truss was understandably ‘cool’ under the pressure of another election campaign – his neighbour National MP Paul Neville who is retiring had a better morning – he slept in with the knowledge of the new guy ‘what’isname’ having to do all the electioneering …
  • Bill Shorten’s wife and Mother in Law made sure Bill was wearing his ‘cock-lock’ before he headed off on his election campaign.  Bill’s known exploits for backroom banter and hanky-panky has forced his wife and mother in law to take action.  Bill’s rod is instinctive and it points to any fertile opportunity – the ‘cock-lock’ makes it hurt.  The other thrill is for the mother in law when helped Bill tuck his junk away and turned the key.  She controls the key and Bill has to be a good boy before he is allowed to free himself.
  • Christopher Pyne made an appointment with his male hairdresser …
  • Anthony Albanese had his usual Monday massage …
  • Julia Gillard was already drinking champagne in Adelaide when she heard about the election from Craig Emerson … Tim was nowhere to be seen …
  • Emerson was holidaying in Bali with the expectation that this will be his last taxpayer paid overseas trip … he is still pining for Julia …
  • Peter Garrett was looking through his music collection pondering a song set for the ALP campaign launch …
  • Kate Elis changed her lipstick colour under advisement …
  • Penny Wong made no changes to her daily routines …
  • David Bradbury was seen praying at a mosque in the hope of winning over some islamic voters …
  • Wayne Swan was trimming his toenails when he heard about the election – upon the news he decided to take a nap before watching the 4:00pm footy replay …
  • Pliberseck also weighed herself and sighed hard when she realised she would have to go out and buy a new wardrobe for the campaign …
  • Macklin took it all in her stride and just drank the bottle empty as opposed to the normal half bottle before and after dinner …
  • … there are many other unconfirmed reports of ALP MP’s and Senators responses to the election announcement … all in good time.

Final Comment from EYE-BALL:

This new election commentary page is provided as a service to subscribers and readers during the 2013 election campaign.

All and any abusive comments will be deleted without notice.

Satire and witty comments are appreciated … and in all seriousness, this Nation is a bee’s dick away from disaster, and if anyone thinks that Rudd or Abbott have the goods to be our PM and lead this Nation away from that disaster, please express your thoughts and reasons in the comments section below.  You never know, your comment might just make a difference.

Please – if you found this story to your liking and would like to promote it to your social media contacts – i.e. Twitter, Facebook, or other icon linked account below – please use/click on your favoured Icon(s) to promote the story.  Thankyou.


Have your say where it counts: – contact your Local Federal Representative via the links below and let them know how you feel about this, or any other topic that you feel strongly about – or you can just post a comment below and let off some steam.

Links to Australian Parliamentary Website – MP’s


The EYE-BALL Opinion’s – On The Hustings …

EYE-BALL Opinion’s “None of the Above” campaign – We don’t trust our Leaders -

The-EYE-BALL-Opinion-Header-2

Latest EYE-BALL ‘None of the Above’ Posts:


- 28th May – New cash grab to cover Political Party Administration Costs -


- 5th Nov – Referendum Discussion No 1 – Compulsory Voting – “None of the Above” Campaign -


- 3rd Nov 2012 – ALP voters beware – The Labour Party is not what it seems -


- 2nd Aug 2012 – New Q’LD LNP amends Party Funding arrangements ….


- 13th July 2012 – The Consequence of Poor Political Leadership


- 12th July 2012 – This Labour Party is Diseased


- 10th Jan 2011 – Australia Votes – “None of the Above” Campaign


- Link to 2011 JSCEM Submission

(PDF file format)


Title:
- we don’t trust our Leaders -
- part of Eye-Ball’s – “None of the Above Campaign” -
| Author: EYE-BALL Opinion | 4th Aug 2013 |
The-EYE-BALL-Opinion-Header-2Link to the Eye-Ball – ‘None of the Above’ campaign Front Page …


Most of this post was written during the past week – but the news yesterday – [Sunday 4th Aug 2013] – that PM Rudd has called a 7th Sept election is news that a Nation has been waiting for, and renders some of the commentary outdated.

On the Election:

Why Rudd believes calling an election now serves the ALP’s as the best timing for an ALP good showing, can only mean that he and his advisors do not expect to win.

Last week’s release of the NSW ICAC reports into NSW ALP corruption, and with the ‘Acacia’ report still to be released, can only mean the news cycle in coming weeks will harm the ALP vote bigtime.

There is also the revelations of new investigations into additional ALP figureheads that will only do additional harm to the Labor vote.

Why would Rudd choose to go now?

If Rudd does lose and he will, his political career is over.  It it more than likely that his ‘arrangement’ included a contingency that in the case of a loss, he will resign and look to take up a UN or Security Council position.   In that scenario  Rudd’s future career becomes something he wants.

Who would want to lead the ALP given the issues they will have to deal with after the election and in Opposition.

Look to NSW and QLD post their State elections.  In fact given those results everybody had to have known that the Federal ALP brand could not survive the swell against the ALP vote.

The ALP cannot win this election and to think otherwise is fanciful.  They would have to win 6 seats plus hold all the seats they currently have.

In NSW they are expected to lose 10-15 seats … Victoria about 4-5 … SA maybe 2-3 … Tasmania maybe 1-2 … WA perhaps 3-4 … and in QLD, before Rudd took over from Gillard they only had a chance of holding Rudd’s own seat – now they talk of winning seats there, the reality is they will probably lose 3-4 seats.

In a worst case scenario that means losses of 33 seats, and in a best case scenario the losses would be restricted to 23 seats.

Before Rudd’s appointments the talk was of a 30-40 seat loss, so any number less than these Gillard leadership predictions can only be seen as justifying the Gillard dumping.

The NSW ICAC Reports:

Where is the effort to fight injustice and tyranny within our Political ranks?

Any investigative body who investigates itself can never be trusted.  That is a statement that rings true in any industry or Government office.

Management the globe over and in positions to write their own expense account limits carry that air of entitlement that most can only dream about.

That Management gravy ride has extended deeper and deeper into our Public Service ranks, and these days Government have some of the best perks and paying jobs around.

Politicians head the list where entitlement is demanded as expense claims are tendered where no entitlement exists.  It becomes the Dept of Finance’s job to establish legitimacy of any parliamentary claims, and many MP’s and Senators err and are forced to refund overstated claims.

Why are these errors not treated in the same way as Peter Slipper’s overcharge use of cabcharge vouchers?

We are asleep to these issues – the real life struggle for survival the world over is in refugee camps, on the high seas where refugees dream of a better life,  among the ever increasing homeless living on the streets, and the children being used in divorce court settlements where money becomes more important than the children.

In all this gloomy existence a new political voice speaks,  that message is reproduced below:

Lack of transparency undermines our democracy


| Author: Julian Assange | Date: 25th July 2013 | Link to On-Line Story. |

THE federal parliament has received enormous attention in the past year not because of the eloquence of its debates but because the behaviour in its chambers and in its backrooms has been so Machiavellian that the world has looked on in amazement.

What has been even more disappointing has been the stealth with which our elected representatives have worked together (often across party lines) to pass laws without proper public consultation. In the past month alone Labor and the Coalition have come under fire for agreeing to remove several federal departments from the reach of the Freedom of Information Act.

Commentators argue that Australians are sick of the childish and bullying behaviour in Canberra but I think what Australians are really tired of is the way in which government in all its forms operates behind closed doors.

Whether it is superannuation entitlements for politicians or decisions about who should be prime minister, the doors in Canberra remain closed to the scrutiny of the average Australian.

The results are distrust and scepticism that anything enacted by the federal parliament is genuinely motivated by the wellbeing of all Australians.

According to classic notions of parliamentary government, the legislature imposes accountability on the executive government through legislation and inquiry. The original purpose of a parliamentary system is not only to represent voters but to ensure that the government is held to account for its actions between elections. This sort of accountability has been embarrassingly absent in Australian politics for years.

There is an implied assumption that all MPs should act in the interests of their electorate, but that doesn’t mean they do. The WikiLeaks Party will demand that the policies and legislation debated in the two houses will be the same debate that goes on elsewhere in the building.

One of the first actions of the WikiLeaks Party in the Senate would be to insist that there be full disclosure of the asylum-seeker arrangements with the Papua New Guinea government that Kevin Rudd announced last Friday, including host arrangements; the provision of resources and details of adequate medical and psycho-social health resources and personnel; the construct of the refugee claims review process and of subsequent judicial review; and of the conditions of resettlement for those whose applications are successful. Under the Migration Act 1958, Australia retains an obligation to Australia-bound asylum-seekers it may “transfer” to PNG. Considering PNG’s developing country status, the Australian government must disclose how it will assist PNG to financially support resettled refugees.

WikiLeaks Party’s core values of transparency, accountability and justice are the template against which we will examine any important issues for Australians: tax reform, asylum-seekers, climate-change policy and more. We will not accept legislation or government policy that is based on inaccurate, poorly disclosed or inadequate information. In this way our positions will always reflect fairness, good government policy and practice, and protecting the interests of all Australians.

True parliamentary democracy is a system that facilitates the obligation to dissent. The WikiLeaks Party recognises the need to scrutinise government activity and to defend the legislature against the executive government. We will stand as a constant reminder to MPs and senators that the proper function of the Senate is to be independent of the government of the day, something that has been forgotten in Canberra. The vigour of this scrutiny can be maintained only if the government does not hold a majority in the Senate.

The WikiLeaks Party is a party of investigation and oversight, at one with the Senate’s constitutional ideals. WLP senators will act as agents of independent oversight precisely because we are not a party of government, of factional deals, of big business or of the environmental lobby.

Our senators will seek to ensure that all legislation reflects the WLP values: transparency, accountability and justice.

Putting the WLP in the Senate is the same as putting Australia’s best investigative journalists in the Senate. That is what the dishonest Canberra establishment fears most.

Julian Assange, founder of the WikiLeaks Party, is a federal Senate candidate for Victoria.

In this void of political time where promised deals mean nothing by weight or legislative process – Prime Minister Rudd and Opposition would be PM Abbott joust for political gain and play the game of winning voters.

Truth be known they have a ‘macro’ view of the Nation and the people only matter when it comes around to elections.

Trustworthiness:

How do we as a Nation get back to a place where we will trust our political leaders – what will it take?

We can only choose from the candidates before us and with the track record of all the major parties, where does one turn to seek honest and uncorrupted Governance?

Julian Assange and his Wikileaks party speaks above of a ‘transparency’ within Government process – is that enough>

Or, do we as citizens have a role to play through our own scrutiny of the information provided?

In that context presented hereto are some well researched facts about the Tony Abbott parliamentary expense reconciliations – see excel file for full disclosure hereclick on image below to enlarge in a new window:

About 3-4 weeks ago Mr Abbott was asked about the parliamentary expense travel rort he was engaged in during his book tour.   The question came after FOI release of parliamentary expense refunds were released showing that Mr Abbott was forced to repay some $9,400 in travel expenses he claimed during his Australia wide book launch.

The travel expenses associated with Mr Abbott’s book launch were claimed as parliamentary business expenses but investigations showed they were nothing to do with parliamentary business but of a personal nature.

This on face value is no different to the ‘rort’ Peter Slipper is in court over when he used ‘cabcharge’ vouchers to transport himself to ‘wine-tasting’ events. Mr Slipper is charged with ‘rorting’ the parliamentary system for around $1,000 of misused taxpayers funds.

Now let me put a scenario to you:

An experienced politician like Tony Abbott would know what his travel expenses rules are. Yet he felt he had entitlement to claim ComCar services and airfares during his book tour event. Surely Mr Abbott’s intent to claim those expenses cannot be explained away as a clerical error, or that his staff got the purpose wrong.

The rule of thumb with parliamentary expenses seems to be – claim everything and let the burden of proof fall to the MAPPs Department to find the fraudulent claim.

Mr Abbott would have known that his book tour expenses were off limits in terms of his parliamentary expenses.  Then why the use of ComCar services to get him to and from airports and venues whilst promoting his book launch?

This is not how the system works – any burden of entitlement must fall to the Member and the Member alone must be accountable for erroneous claims – i.e. 500% penalties imposed if a claim cannot be verified or justified, and a revoking of all parliamentary expenses over and above the bare minimum to manage his staff and parliamentary office.   The parliamentary expense system is being abused and nobody seems to really care – least of all the Parliamentarians.

Peter Slipper is defending his abuse of expense claims in court with taxpayer funds – surely he must know that what he did was wrong and why hurt the taxpayer again by claiming Legal Aid to defend his position?  This is hubris and entitlement gone amuck and the fact that no MP or Senator speaks out about the abuse highlights just how deep they are all in it.

Further investigation of Mr Abbott’s parliamentary expenses see that he has used almost $500,000 in ComCar expenses since July 2009 and up until Dec 2012. His spouse/family has also used another $13,000 in ComCar expenses during the same period.

Now if Mr Abbott is an example of a expense entitlement deluge by all our MP’s and Senators – no wonder the $400 million parliamentary expense price tag is an expense that rises each and every term.

Summary:

Morality, Integrity, Honesty – just three issues where our Leaders should excel … yet who can be trusted to provide Governance where these ingredients are in surplus?

Please make your vote count – please don’t vote top of the ticket i.e. PArty of choice, vote for you local candidate because you believe they are the best person and someone you can trust.   If you don’t know your candidate don’t blindly trust they will represent you.    If you have doubts make the effort to contact them and ask them questions that are of concern to you.

If unconvinced – vote “NONE OF THE ABOVE” in a box you will make on the ballot paper … don’t hand up your vote freely – whoever you vote for will get $2.51 in electoral refunds … make them earn that refund.

A ‘None of the Above’ vote saves taxpayers funds.

Please – if you found this story to your liking and would like to promote it to your social media contacts – i.e. Twitter, Facebook, or other icon linked account below – please click your favoured Icon(s) to promote the story.  Thankyou.


Have your say where it counts: – contact your Local Federal Representative via the links below and let them know how you feel about this, or any other topic that you feel strongly about – or you can just post a comment below and let off some steam.

Links to Australian Parliamentary Website – MP’s


The EYE-BALL Opinion …

EYE-BALL’s Herman on – Federal Economic Update – A conjuror’s spin -

August 2, 2013 8 comments
The-EYE-BALL-Opinion-Header-2
Links to Previous ‘Herman’ Posts:


- 17th July – Constitutional Reform – This time it is recognising Local Council.


- 5th July – Gone – Ski Part II (Gone is Gonski)


- 27th June – Gone-Ski: Prime Minister Julia Gillard -


- 24th June – The Ashes -


- 21st June – The Senate -


- 5th June – Zombies -


- 1st June – Canberra – and black holes -


-30th May – What is an adequate Contrition? -


- 24th May – Simplex -


- 19th May – The Tears of a Prime Minister -


- 24th Mar - An Example of bureaucracy gone mad -


- 10th Mar – The Carbon Tax – Post Election …


- 7th Mar – Wayne Swan – Please Stop


28th Feb – The Australian Labor Party View


- 6th Feb – Corruption


- 25th Jan – Anti Discrimination -


- 17th Jan 2013 – Atheism -


- 12th Nov - Hegemony


- 2nd Nov – A March early Federal election -


To see more EYE-BALL ‘Herman’ posts:

click here …


Title:
– Federal Economic Update –
– A conjuror’s spin -
| Author: EYE-BALL’s Herman O’Hermitage | 2nd Aug 2013 |
Some have termed it a mini-budget. Unless it is debated on the floor of parliament it is not that. It will not be passed into law until after the election. It contains updated Treasury estimates. The deficit trajectory is now for a fiscal deficit of A$30.1bn in 2013/14.

It is yet another ALP policy statement. Everything that has occurred since Rudd ascended back to the lodge, is another roll of the dice, attempting to reverse the contrarian opinion polls since early 2010. Virtually nothing has received scrutiny through parliamentary processes only trial by media. Each roll of the dice is asking us the electorate to give them another chance. Given the tardiness or lack of merit of the opposition we continue to grasp at any other alternative.

That is particularly what the opinion polls are saying. There is no realistic choice.

When the budget was passed down in May, I was deeply shocked to find a structural deficit approaching $20bn. I expected a deficit approaching 10bn. Gillard has gone, Swan is gone and so on but Swan is standing again for Lilley, and more. Wong switched camps, and Dreyfus and Burke (it all doesn’t really matter). Hey Bob Carr appointed by Gillard switched horses mid race.

The real problem was how do you reverse the structural deficit when GDP is under immense pressure, where cutting government consumption will make things worse? The deficit and government debt prior to last May (at that stage of the economic cycle) was totally inappropriate. Stimulus was required rather than cutting federal government spending.

Anyone who said the bleeding obvious, that a recession by 2015/16 is becoming more probable is guilty of talking down confidence. But should you quietly speculate on this bleak outlook, then that is OK because that is called free markets. Not predatory behaviour.

Costello did well to put a surcharge on superannuation drawing from future spending rather than current spending in the late 1990’s but it came at a cost. The cost of reversing the policy and compensating in time for the cost, the desecration. Some might even argue the reversal was the seeds of part of today’s problems but I see that as part of the overall stresses created by the ensuing mining boom.

There was a major economic policy shift in November 2007 and from there onward. Australia started running substantial fiscal deficits. With every turn of the page, government ramped up consumption.

The package today at 1pm AEST is currently all about bank’s deposit insurance and tobacco excise. Each are worthy of careful scrutiny but they are also a major smokescreen.

Unemployment has risen. Volumes to export for the major miners are up in coal. A glimmer of hope has appeared for the live cattle trade, with prices stabilising. The AUD has fallen to just below 90, to assist terms of trade. Several sectors of the broader economic spectrum are doing well, as measured through ASX performance. But WA property prices are weak, the mining services sector is sick, the signs are mixed. The problems of major sectors like SPC Ardmona in the Shephardon and Goulbourn valleys are insignificant compared to those like the car industry.

On Wednesday morning local radio featured a story of Mark who is sleeping rough on the steps of Parramatta Town Hall. He had a job once , but when he was made redundant he sooner or later found himself on the street. When you couch surf, sooner or later you burn your friends. You outstay your welcome. Surviving on $220 a week is impossible. You can’t afford rent. You can’t save a deposit bond, or an electricity deposit. Vagabonds drift towards Parramatta because of the meal van each night at Prince Alfred Park. Sooner or later all your worldly possessions are moved around in a shopping trolley. The fridge and TV and stereo were hocked to pay bills a long time ago. There is a core group of men sleeping rough in the Parramatta precinct of 40. The aid services are stretched. No one would consider hiring you or giving you a job. You are sleeping rough, and generally considered to be of poor mental health. Definitely dishevelled unwashed and unkempt.

Mark was very well spoken, and it was radio, so I can only wonder was it all a political beat up?

But the story is indicative of what is really happening out there, of the long term unemployed, how it breeds mental health issues, of those struggling to find hope. Those who know of a better world, but are on the outside looking in. Too often cold and hungry.

So today while we speculate on the price of tobacco and the efficacy of bank deposit insurance, both designed to distract from the real issue ie the fall in government incomes (taxes) and the excesses of federal parliamentarians, do we spare a thought for Mark or Mary (the single Mum) or Ralph (the alcoholic) or Beryl (the broken grandma – who hasn’t seen her grandchildren in over a decade for whatever reason).

The more I dwell on it, the more I dwell on the speech I made at 7.45am on election day 3 years ago. In 15 minutes those doors will open and we will go into a working frenzy. We will assist the little fella to play his part in our democracy. We are the servants of democracy. Today we are expected to help those little people cast 4000 votes. Each polling assistant is expected to serve 600 local electors, and each declaration officer is expected to help cast 100 votes. Today is the one day in the 3 year electoral cycle when we get to hear from them. We have heard enough of the politicians and all their promises. Today it is the little persons turn. The ones who to get to have their say every 1100 days. We will treat them as the voice of democracy. Etcetra.

Within a fortnight of that day as the counting was pointing to a hung parliament, the media was in their speculative frenzy, could we have true bi-partisan cabinet, should we go back to the polls, the futility, the chaos and now nearly 1100 days later, just the void.

Today as the Australian Bankers Association threatens how if a deposit insurance tax is not implemented properly, it could jeopardise the core strength of the banking sector – that is a euphemism for the banks who each make roughly 6bn per annum will pass it on to the mortgage sector.

0.05% deposit insurance can be passed onto term deposit rates, but can it be passed on to savings accounts where nominal interest is 0.10% (before outrageous fees).

Without going on to tobacco excise, Canberra misses the point. When they talk of Public Service productivity savings of 2.25% (having risen from 1.25% last May – in the forward estimates) it is hollow – it is rhetoric, it is pyrrhic. As a financial planner you talk about discretionary spending.

If Canberra be serious about cutting discretionary spending they might start in their own backyard. During this parliament Canberra (the Productivity Commission) awarded themselves pay rises of 30% (according to some 40%). Only weeks ago they were discussing new electoral funding measures.

How about cutting parliamentary wages by 10% (make that 20%) and cap parliamentary expenses for the next term at 80% of parliamentary expenses for the current term (about to expire). The flow on to senior civil servants will start a meaningful dialogue. That will really affect discretionary spending.

Nextly get tough with the banks. WE ALL DRINK from the same well. Your sector’s health is not beyond that of the household sector or small business. Any bank paying any executive million $ bonuses we are watching! We have levers we will use to curtail your excesses! Why do you charge the destitute silly fees (without decency – yet encourage this deregulated nonsense)?

Then comes real change with the public service. This word we use called Productivity is becoming an oxy moron. It is mixed up and abused, with regulation, green or environmental and culminates in red tape. All projects will be affordable. Cost benefit will become a core value embodied in all mission statements. Transport will be affordable and efficient. Taxes and charges must be justified, or eliminated. All types of cash splash will not fall on the household sector or small business. There will be no new taxes in the next 3 years.

And it will go on.

And On.

Don’t forget -This will be implemented by Christmas.

Everything we are currently hearing is nothing but spin. The spin of the conjuror. It is that stage of the electoral cycle. It is time to hear from the little fella. But he has no idea what to think.

What might I say on election day this year.

Argh!

Believing in sanity, is itself insanity.

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EYE-BALL’s ‘Herman’ …

EYE-BALL Opinion – EYE-BALL’s MediaZone Growl No: 4 – Australia’s Media Horde

The-EYE-BALL-Opinion-Header-2
Title:
– EYE-BALL’s MediaZone Growl No: 4 -
- Australia’s Media Horde -
| Author: EYE-BALL MediaZone | 30th July 2013 |
Hello all … frustration more than anything drives this post – frustration at our Media and the complete ineptness demonstrated in the way they report political stories and the News.How many times do you now see a story and immediately recognise the bias involved, the slant, the unasked question we all want asked, the pursuit of a desired answer to a question we all know was prompted, how many times do we see journalists behaving like dogs off their leash?The reality in how politics is being fed to the public via News broadcasters is nothing more than extended personal political battle-lines, all to a cause to serve media barons and their lust for political favours.

All political News these days holds a propaganda message designed to influence rather then inform.  A lead story on one broadcast is treated as low profile on a different broadcaster because of how it portrays the story comport.

Who’s interests were best served when the Gillard ‘police investigation’ story was rejected by the media as News, who’s interests are being served when the Abbott travel rorts for his book publishing tour were discovered and treated as a non event?

The Slipper, Thompson, Williamson, Obeid, MacDonald corruption stories – all major fraud stories and stories all given different prominence and focus by different broadcasters.

Over a long time the likes of Rupert Murdoch and his fellow media barons have demonstrated their willingness to sacrifice integrity and moral standards in the pursuit of political favour for withheld news stories.  Deals are done and trade off’s made to have stories pulled or ‘toned down’ when the media is looking for favour – be it lobby donations for a more agreeable media ownership spread, more coverage, more influence, and it sickens to imagine where it will all end.

The Media are responsible for the greatest fraud of all time – the media barons alone have destroyed the integrity of News reporting – remember Conrad Black, the Maxwell empire, and the countless other media barons over the years who have come and gone.  There is still one that has survived them all – the Murdoch press.

Globally Murdoch is the most influential media empire the world has ever seen – and still he does not have enough.

Who do we have in Australia, Kerry Stokes, Fairfax – ha … small time players and not in the same market as Murdoch.   Murdoch plays the ‘kingmaker’ … and the Australian politicians and public listen.

Neutrality of opinion has disappeared in the way journalists write their stories.  Editorials express opinions and journalists take their cue from the editors.

To highlight the most recent episodes of some non Murdoch owned or influenced TV shows – the following is presented.

The three high-profile political programs I watch are “Insiders”, “The Bolt Report”, and “Q&A” – in no particular order of preference all have highs and lows in what there serve up to the public.

A common thought about all three is that they do a great disservice to the political debate as media presentations. For example -

The Bolt Report:

Take last Sunday’s program built under promo’s in that the PM will make his first appearance on the program. Bolt invited us to see the PM squirm under his questions and revealed that the PM would answer honestly – look what happened: [Warning - watch for Bolt's need to pursue the answer he wants - not the answer the interviewed wants to give ...]

You see the point – the political Q&A is not important – only the shock value to boost Bolt’s ratings. Bolt could be called a ‘narcosis psychopath’ in the way he believes his opinion is the only one that matters. He stint on “Insiders’ was proof in his believe that his opinion was more relevant and more correct whenever he shared the panel time and question. Now his show is on commercial TV and is struggling for ratings so there is commercial value in trying to play the Bob Dwyer ‘Pick-a-Box’ theme of audience drawn into the suspense and drama of trying to trip up the PM or some other guest on the show.

Bolt’s ‘prima-donna’ performances have earned him a reputation that scares politicians. Albanese is the only other ALP Minister to have appeared on his show. Rudd’s aim was to shorten Bolt’s stature, Bolt’s aim was to get one over the PM on National TV.

How does that advance the political debate? How does that hold the Government accountable – there were so many areas Bolt could have gone to expose Rudd’s weakness – i.e. the AWU scandal and how Gillard became PM in the first place – the Peter Slipper affair as he sat on the backbenches watching it unfold – same with the Craig Thompson affair – surely Rudd’s responses to these questions would have served the Australian people so much more than questions about a new initiative in asylum seeker policy that is currently being tested by the people smugglers.

Rudd has to wear his share of responsibility as well – if he wanted to put Bolt in his place and that has to be the only reason Rudd would appear on the show – his response to Bolt’s ‘goading’ could have been so much more dismissive and to the point … it was pathetic television and a waste of time.

“The Bolt Report” gets a 2/10 rating, and Andrew Bolt gets a 1/10 rating for interview style and how he presents himself as a member of Australia’s media industry.

ABC’s “Q&A”:

Monday nights program – linked via “IView” here – was a massive disappointment – normal host Paul Jones was absent and Virginia Trioli stepped in.

The first question asked by a schoolgirl was:

Sarah Burgess asked: Can you please put Australia out of its misery and let us all know when the next election will take place? I have a school formal to plan and people have gay weddings to plan….

‘… put Australia out of its misery …’ indeed – how does a schoolgirl who is more than likely not old enough to vote get to pass a judgement about ‘political misery’?

How the researches who vet the questions allowed this to pass as in the interests of the viewers watching the program points again to program agenda as opposed to true political interest.

So much of the media today are about when the election will be called – why waste all that page and TV time on a question that will never be honestly answered …

Kate Ellis was allowed to state chapter and verse about the ALP policy successes whilst answering a question about something entirely different – why did the presenter allow this?

The most interesting guest on the program was Peter Shergold, who was Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet from 2003-2008. He was also the nation’s most senior public servant when he resigned four months into Kevin Rudd’s first term as PM.

In two decades he served in the public service he served four Prime Ministers and eight Ministers in both Labor and Coalition governments. During this time he established the Office of Multicultural Affairs, headed the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC), and was Public Service Commissioner. He was secretary of several government departments, including the Department of Education, Science and Training, and the Department of Employment, Workforce Relations and Small Business.

Surely his contribution to the political debate during this program could have been better used – he hesitated on his first direct question that asked him for an opinion … the question was -

VIRGINIA TRIOLI: Just returning to the question, Peter Shergold, you’ve been down this path before, of course, being head of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Can you intuit what the Prime Minister’s strategy might be at the moment if you were to speculate?

PETER SHERGOLD: I think the major strategy is to keep us all guessing. I think that’s the key. Of course if you’re a public servant this is very exciting days, indeed, waiting for the caretaker convention to come when for four to six weeks–

VIRGINIA TRIOLI: You public servants are thrilled by such …(indistinct)…

PETER SHERGOLD: –for four to six weeks the country is in good hands, the public service, and you notice nobody notices the difference.

VIRGINIA TRIOLI: So what are you arguing for here, Peter Shergold: rule by public servants?

PETER SHERGOLD: I think it is important, actually, that public servants do recognise what their role is. It is the role of government to set the national interest. It is the role of public servants to give advice on that and then to implement the policies of the government of the day, whichever it is.

That was about the most exposing question put to Shergold – why not ask about the reason for his resignation i.e. the Rudd work ethic in those first months had the public service up in arms about the demands and hours they had to work – surely Shergold’s take on that would have audience interest in forming opinions as to why Rudd was booted by his ALP MP’s.

The rest of the program descended and Magda Szubanski’s levity was about the only reason one stayed to watch the whole program. This is a program that has the ability to get real answers to people’s concerns – the problem is that it to is in a ratings war and dictated by populists formats.

Liberal MP Josh Frydenberg had his moment of fame when he talked about the Rudd tweet about cutting himself shaving – really … is this what Frydenberg wants to introduce as his contribution to the debate …

VIRGINIA TRIOLI: Josh Frydenberg, can you explain why Kevin Rudd is so liked?

JOSH FRYDENBERG: Well, firstly, there’s no difference between Kevin Rudd Mark I and Kevin Rudd Mark II. I mean for the same reasons that Julia Gillard said a government has lost its way those reasons have not changed, namely the tax burden, namely the budget deficits, namely the border protection chaos. In terms of the celebrity of Kevin Rudd, I think it’s quite dangerous because what it is is it’s obscuring the real debate on important issues. So, for example, the day that he tweeted that photo of cutting himself shaving was the day that our unemployment numbers came out and unemployment rose to 5.7%, more than 6% in Queensland, more than 8% in Tasmania but we didn’t have a debate about that. I mean youth unemployment, an area in Kate’s area, has hit the highest level in 15 years. This is the problem. This is the problem. We need to have a debate about the policy issues and not about Kevin Rudd cutting himself shaving.

This question should have opened many doors – why did the media focus on the ‘shaving cut’ as opposed to the unemployment numbers … whatever Rudd’s purpose to tweet that he cut himself – and I’m sure it was not him that actually typed the tweet but some media staffer – the opposition chose to raise the tweet in context with the unemployment numbers. Does this not demonstrate the shallowness of Frydenberg and the rest of the panel, or the audience for allowing the comments to go unchallenged?

“Q%A” get a 2.5/10 rating, and it’s a rating that has been on the slide for some time.

ABC’s – “Insiders”: [or the Barry Cassidy ego and ALP propaganda show - watch here - transcripts here - ]

Cassidy gave Opposition Immigration spokesperson Scott Morrison a good go – unusual for Cassidy. Morrison has grown in his responsibilities and is an impressive communicator. His early days in the job prove he has come far.

The issue here is that the Rudd answer to the ‘asylum seeker’ will not prove to be a failure or success until it has had time to impact. The rush by people smugglers to get the people who have paid for transit rather then refund if people change their mind highlights the desperation these people are subjected to.

This is criminal and negligent homicide by the people smugglers and it all happens far away from our shores. It will only be in 9-12 months as to whether opinion can be gauged whether the policy has worked or not.

Rudd knows that if he finds a perceived solution to the asylum seeker invasion that he has a better chance at the election. Abbott knows also that and success to the Rudd plan means his job becomes tougher in trying to win the election.

It is understandable why the media have this focus – but they also know that short term speculation can only damage the policy as the people smugglers build a case for the Abbott response to hasten the asylum seeker exodus.

“Insiders” Rating – 4/10.

Summary:

So where does one turn to get informed political opinion?

Is the Murdoch press the only source of real journalism?

None of the above programs has any real interest in exposing the AWU scandal, nor the Craig Thompson, or Peter Slipper corruption charges.  I ponder long and hard as to why that is?

The people have a right to know why Tony Abbott’s ‘book-tour’ travel expense claims differ to those of Peter Slipper.   Why is Abbott given a free ride and Slipper hung out to dry?

Also – why the Union movement was called upon to help with the payment of Thompson’s legal expenses – all to avoid his bankruptcy and the resultant calling of an election for his seat some two years ago.

These are stories that have public interest yet none of the three above programs go near any depth of question on these matters.

The subject of a post due to be published soon is the expense accounts for Tony Abbott – as a forerunner check out this excel file imaged below to see how Mr Abbott has used his parliamentary expenditure expense account since mid 2009. [Click image to enlarge in a new window.]

Ho hum .. off we go … the $370 million spent as expenses by our 230 MP’s and Senators has an annual spread of $1.6 million per member. That is some 8 times their recent remuneration payment – before the increase it is a factor 13 times.

This $1.6 million does not include parliamentary staff cost – which can be for up to a minimum of 4 additional staff ranging in remunerations from a high of $240k to minimum’s of $65k.

The $1.6 million also does not cover the cost of the non-contributary parliamentary superannuation schemes for pre 2005 members – nor the staff expenses over and above remuneration costs – i.e. redundancy, super, and health schemes.

We are truly living in the age where public servants enjoy a ‘sense of entitlement’ that borders on is decadence …

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Have your say where it counts: – contact your Local Federal Representative via the links below and let them know how you feel about this, or any other topic that you feel strongly about – or you can just post a comment below and let off some steam.

Links to Australian Parliamentary Website – MP’s


The EYE-BALL Opinion’s – MEDIAZONE …

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