Trigger warning:

This site may, in fact always will contain images and information likely to cause consternation, conniptions, distress, along with moderate to severe bedwetting among statists, wimps, wusses, politicians, lefties, green fascists, and creatures of the state who can't bear the thought of anything that disagrees with their jaded view of the world.

Sep 30, 2013

Caution with satire, they might take you seriously; Shorten did

In my previous post, I quoted an article in the Business Spectator in which Labor leadership contender (for want of a better word), Bill Shorten was calling for ethnic quotas to ensure that Aboriginals and Torres Straight Islanders were represented in parliament. 
Indigenous Australians already have a number of passionate and articulate advocates, such as Warren Mundine and Noel Pearson who would make great MPs in their own right and could get there on their own ability should they wish to go there.  But then, Labor prefers a sense of entitlement to ability every time.
Just for a bit of fun, and to take the piss out of Bill, I decided to play around with other minorities that could also have quotas attached to them for representation.  Among them were gay, lesbian, transgender, and a number of immigrant and religious groups. 
Now, today I find that Shorten is advocating quotas for gay, lesbian, and transgender people. 
Labor leadership candidate Bill Shorten wants to introduce quotas to boost the number of gay and lesbian politicians in Parliament.
Mr Shorten is continuing his pitch to the party membership, sending out a manifesto that calls for the introduction of quotas for politicians representing minority groups.  He says the party should consider quotas for Indigenous Australians and the lesbian, gay, bixsexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community. 
Neil Fharaoh, the national convenor of Rainbow Labor, which represents the party's LGBTI members, says it is a step forward.  "The LGBTI community has been underrepresented, particularly in political seats, both at a state and federal level in Australia," he said. 
"There's probably only 12 gay and lesbian identifying politicians across the country and probably not too much more in the history and its definitely underrepresentative.  "So we'd welcome any moves to increase the representation in politics.”
Labor is proving once again it is beyond satire.  I now have to hope that he didn't read my post, and get the idea from me.

Sep 29, 2013

Shorten advocates ethnic quotas

Labor is still in the throws of a leadership election. Under the rules brought on by Kevin Rudd in order to ensure he became the first Labor leader since Keating in 1996, to last a full term of government were he successful in the last election, the membership has the vote on the issue.

As result the two contenders are frantically attempting to come up with feel good ideas to distinguish each from the other. In order to get the drop on Antony Albanese, Bill Shorten (Left) has come up with a call to introduce ethnic quotas on Labor MPs, something like the ‘women quotas’ they currently have:
 Labor leadership aspirant Bill Shorten has flagged changing the party's rules to set a quota for indigenous candidates. The ALP has a 40 per cent quota for female candidates, but has no such aim in terms of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders.  
Mr Shorten told a Per Capita forum in Melbourne the party should think "freely and openly" as it considers new ideas to revitalise after the September 7 election loss. "(We should) consider quotas for sections of the community that are under represented in our state and federal parliaments," Mr Shorten said.  
"And I especially think here of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait islanders." Mr Shorten said the party also needed to boost its effort to ensure women make up 40 per cent of all candidates, through the involvement of women on selection panels, and better mentoring. 
"A rule is not a rule unless the spirit is supported," he said. 
Something like:

 It is going to be interesting though, to see how these quotas will play out with other minorities such as various immigrant minorities, gay and lesbians (will there be a quota for each or can they share?), and of course, religious groups. And, oh hell, I forgot transgender people, and the list is endless.
What will be even more interesting is to see how this is going to play out along with his other big idea of local branches selecting their candidates themselves:
He recommended more community-based preselections for candidates, a dropping of the two-year membership requirement to vote in internal elections and the use of technology such as Skype to allow people to attend branch meetings. 
So, local branches will be allowed to pick their own candidate, but to ensure that the correct diversity is attained, some will be told that it can only be a woman, Aboriginal, Torres Straight Islander, gay, lesbian, Catholic, C of E etc, Buddhist, Muslim, or Kiwi.

 The good news is that the transgender issue can be solved by allowing some branches to pick either a man or woman provided they have been the other previously.

Sep 23, 2013

Bill Bjelke Shorten and the national interest

Cartoon: By Nicholson 
I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good. – Adam Smith
Labor has a rather confused idea of what constitutes the national interest.  One consistent principle in the Labor version though, is that it has to coincide with Labor’s interest or that of one or more of the membership elite.
Leadership candidate, Bill Shorten is no exception.  With questions over his loyalty, having voted to overthrow Rudd#1 in favor of Gillard, then to toss her out in favor of Rudd#2, Bill claims the national interest was at stake: 
"I wanted to just let myself be swept up in it," Ms Gillard said.  "Losing power is felt physically, emotionally, in waves of sensation, in moments of acute distress". 
But leadership contender Bill Shorten yesterday defended the decision to return to Mr Rudd, saying it was in the national interest for Labor to be competitive. "I believe that Kevin Rudd did make Labor competitive," Mr Shorten said. 
Outgoing agriculture minister Joel Fitzgibbon argued that Labor under Mr Rudd had added about 10 seats to its tally compared with the likely result under Ms Gillard.
Apparently the interests of the nation can come down to something as simple as the electoral fortunes of a political party, especially if it is Shorten’s.
This statement is somewhat reminiscent of one by Joh Bjelke Petersen in defending his gerrymander back in the 70s, when he claimed that the National Party had a responsibility to do everything in its power to prevent Labor getting into office.

Sep 21, 2013

Praise for the Liberal Democrats senator David Leyonhjelm

In the wake of the election of David Leyonhjelm to the senate from New South Wales, the media were left scrambling for something to say.  Many commentators have called for reform of the voting system to ensure that minor parties cannot get elected in the future.
The Spectator has in the midst of this; interviewed David and come up with a remarkably positive take on him and the party as well.  I love the cover image with a brilliant caricature of David.  The artist must have known a bit about us as his belt buckle sports the Gadsden Flag image:
Electoral defeat of a disintegrating and duplicitous Labor government was a glorious event. But for Australians whose souls burn with the flame of liberty, that day delivered an additional and more important victory: the election of David Leyonhjelm to the senate. … 
… The only Liberal Democrat policy repeatedly referenced by the media — always out of context — was the party’s support of the right of citizens to own firearms for self-defence. This has long been dismissed by most Australian pundits as some loopy idea imported from the US by home-grown ‘gun nuts’. But when America’s Founding Fathers drafted the second amendment to the US constitution — unlike most of today’s commentariat — they were not operating in an historical nor an intellectual vacuum. The Founders were aware that the right to keep and bear arms was an ancient one, long established in British common law, and finally codified in England’s 1689 Bill of Rights. ...
… What struck me when I spoke to senator-elect Leyonhjelm this week was that like America’s Founders, he too was not living in a vacuum. His political philosophy had taken decades of thought — and decades of real world experience — to form. In youth, his nascent distaste for authority was further informed by the Vietnam era draft. Imbued with the bright-eyed socialistic leanings shared by many young men and women, he’d travelled behind the Iron Curtain and to communist countries in Africa. Witnessing the hideous realities of collectivism soon cured him of leftist delusions. Later in life, the works of free-market economist Milton Friedman helped cement his philosophical move to classical liberalism. … 
… They are the only party upholding the ideals of classical liberalism. They support your right to smoke what you want, marry who you want, gamble when you want, own what you want, trade with whom you want, run your business the way you want, defend yourself when threatened and pay as little tax as possible (so don’t worry Libs, Leyonhjelm won’t oppose the scrapping of carbon, mining, or any other taxes). The party’s website outlines an extensive platform, informed by a powerful philosophy: folks should be free to live unhindered by senseless and despotic government regulations. 
If you believe in liberty, you can’t pick and choose rights. You can’t just support those individual rights that complement your temperament and taste, but spit on those that don’t. Denying the freedom of others makes you a tyrant. This applies even in a democracy. Even if you are in the majority, if you disagree with a certain right and your vote helps outlaw it, that doesn’t make you justified, it just means you belong to the tyranny of the majority. Shame on you if you do. More so if you pay lip-service to the ideals of liberalism. … 
… Just as the once solitary figure of Ron Paul paved the way for what is now the only alternative in American politics, David Leyonhjelm may well spark a libertarian renaissance here. This is the real significance of his election to the senate. As George Washington once recognised, ‘Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.’
The full article can be read here.  Make sure you check it out as there will be a test next week. 

Sep 20, 2013

Tim Flannery sacked

Cartoon: by Pickering 
‘Climate Commissioner’ Tim Flannery, one of the most hysterical and hyperbolic warmists in the country, has been sacked from his plumb position and   his Climate commission abolished: 
THE Climate Commission has been scrapped and billions of dollars in renewable energy funding effectively frozen as the Abbott government moved swiftly to wind back Australia's climate change response, as promised. 
Outgoing chief commissioner Tim Flannery, who was told yesterday morning he had lost his $180,000-a-year, part-time role, said abolishing the publicly funded body was "the government's prerogative" but he would not be silenced. 
"I intend to continue working to make sure that the Australian public has all the information it requires in order to engage with this issue and understand what needs to be done," he said. 
New Environment Minister Greg Hunt phoned Professor Flannery yesterday morning to deliver the news in what was described as a "civil discussion". 
The decision to terminate the commission, created by then prime minister Julia Gillard in early 2011 to explain to the public climate change and the need for carbon pricing, comes one week ahead of the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change updated report on the state of climate science. 
The imminent report has sparked lively international debate about how it would deal with an extended pause in average global surface temperatures and why the predictions of many climate models have not been matched by the physical evidence. 
Professor Flannery said he had not seen the IPCC report and would not comment until he had had time to analyse it.
Flannery has a reputation for being wrong 100% of the time on his many and varied predictions on climate.  Unless there is credible evidence that the Arctic is currently ice free, that’s the starter.
Then there was the one about Australia’s climate already being one of never ending drought.  This was screwed by the record rainfalls of the last summer along with the one about what little rain fell would not fill the dams.
Tim had in some way recognized the fact that his predictions were totally wrong by buying a waterfrount property despite his assertion that sea levels were going to rise by massive amounts.
Good bye Tim, and good riddance. 

Back to the old car subsidy merry go round

Cartoon: by Bill Leak
American taxpayers will be pleased that they are not the only ones propping up General Motors with subsidies.  Last year the Gillard government, (that’s the one two back from the present) offered $275 million of our money to keep them in production.
This is a fairly regular event for Australian governments, resulting in promises to stay in production for a few more years then requests for more.
Now the company is threatening to shut shop unless the new Abbott government sticks to that commitment: 
... Mr Macfarlane insisted today the federal Coalition government was doing "all we can" for Holden and plans to visit its plant in Adelaide at the beginning of next month amid reports it could close after Christmas. 
But Victoria and South Australia are deeply concerned that the closure of Holden would potentially imperil both governments at next year’s general elections. 
Victorian Premier Denis Napthine yesterday failed to endorse the federal Coalition's election strategy on the car industry, instead backing a united approach to the sector's future at a state, federal and industry level. … 
… There has been a long-running debate in the Coalition about the incentives, with many arguing the subsidies should be cut or abolished altogether. 
Mr Macfarlane said there were bigger issues facing the sector than the Coalition's policy of removing $500 million in car industry funding. 
"I know money is important but ... we've put a lot of money into that industry," Mr Macfarlane told ABC Radio. 
"If everyone wants to be flexible, I'll be flexible (but) I haven't got a pocket full of money.
The South Australian Labor premier, Jay Weatherill seems to have an odd view of partnerships claiming that Holden need to know whether they have a commonwealth partner and a state one.  This must be one of those collectivist models where the company gets what it can out of selling its product and government’s part of the deal is supplying the rest off the backs of taxpayers.
In the real world partners expect a dividend, not a bill.

Sep 19, 2013

A mental health issue masquerading as a gun control issue

Cartoon: Nate Beeler 
(Title borrowed from a Facebook comment)
The tragic deaths of twelve people at the Washington Navy yard has in the eyes of gun grabbers and the liberal media, created a new platform for them to pursue their authoritarian agenda.
The usual politicians such as Diane Feinstein, President Obama and others are demanding action on gun control.  Obama has threatened to use Executive Orders to bring this about.  For those outside the US, executive authority is the US equivalent of the old British concept of the divine right of kings, which the Brits themselves, gradually abandoned in the years following the beheading of Charles the First.
Piers Morgan, the British journalist has weighed in with a diatribe on how bad the AR 15 is, despite the fact that the only one of these involved was the one that shot the killer.  Piers though, may have been confused over the CNN report that the shooter used an “AR 15 shotgun,” but Americans love to hear a cultured voice, especially British talking down to them.
One fact to bear in mind, is that these days the US military are not trusted with firearms other than out in the field, and US bases are essentially gun free zones apart from security personnel and MPs.  Bill Clinton, for whatever reason decided to disarm servicemen: 
Clinton's actions birthed Army regulations "forbidding military personnel from carrying their personal firearms and making it almost impossible for commanders to issue firearms to soldiers in the U.S. for personal protection." 
In other words, thanks to Clinton, citizens who join the military to use guns to defend liberty abroad cannot practice their constitutional right to keep and bear arms while on active duty at home.  
As the Times editorial board put it: "Because of Mr. Clinton, terrorists would face more return fire if they attacked a Texas Wal-Mart than the gunman faced at Fort Hood." 
The same theme ran true at the Navy Yard in DC on September 16. Police were called after the shooter opened fired, and reports indicate it took approximately three to seven minutes for them to arrive. Each minute is an eternity when a lunatic with a weapon decides the "gun free zone" rules do not apply to him.
So, like every other massacre in the States, it occurred in a gun free zone.  Once the killer had caught the guards by surprise and shot them, he had a clear run to a position where it was like shooting fish in a barrel.
The second major issue is that police warned the Navy that the gunman was mentally unstable some time ago: 
In the document, the officer said that on August 7, he was sent to a local hotel to check out a suspicious person report involving Alexis, who told him he was a naval contractor and travelled often. 
The report said Alexis told the officer that while flying from Virginia to Rhode Island, he got into an argument with someone else at the airport who he believed had sent three people to follow him and keep him awake by talking to him and sending vibrations into his body.
He also said he thought he heard these three people – two black males and a black female–talking to him through a wall of his hotel room and through the walls, floors and ceiling of a hotel on the Navy base. 
Alexis told the officer the trio was using “some sort of microwave machine” to keep him awake.
The authorities allowed this person a secret clearance and easy access to a base despite:
  • A history of disciplinary problems in the service;
  • Two arrests for firearms offences;
  • And a report of serious mental health issues.

It seems that those calling for gun control are pushing the argument that average Americans can’t be trusted with guns on the basis that they tolerate idiots to organize their security.

Sep 18, 2013

There is no moralist like a reformed whore

Since the federal election, there has been considerable angst expressed among the media and a number of politicians over the preference deals, which resulted in the election of a number of minor and micro party candidates as senators. Until now, the senate has been composed of Labor, Liberal, and the Greens, along with the odd independent.
To most of the political establishment the election of non major party candidates constituted the end of the world as they knew it, and expected it to remain.  It became clear to them that this sort of thing had to stop and the senate should remain permanently in the hands of the established ruling class.
Meet Nick Xenophon, the independent green senator from South Australia, (Left).  Nick is the guy leading the charge to have the system changed to block upstarts with different ideas from getting elected by harvesting preferences from minor parties.  He is going to introduce legislation to put an end to those outside the established order sneaking into parliament and making waves other than his own.
Nick though, has something of a fascinating history of his own.
His first bid at entering politics was in the South Australian Legislative Council in 1997, on the basis of being the wowser ‘No Pokies’ candidate.  He managed to get about a third of the votes required, but then harvested preferences from minor parties, eventually getting ahead of Grey Power which was a popular force with older people at the time.  Their preferences put him over the line and into parliament.
Now that he is part of the establishment he is outraged at minor parties doing the same thing.
It seems that there is no moralist like a reformed whore.

Sep 17, 2013

EU wants auditors to go easy on them

 Everybody’s favorite Eurocrat, the ever amiable, Herman Van Rompuy (Left) has called on the EU’s editors to tone down their criticism of the body’s wasteful and mismanaged spending, fraud, and financial irregularities.  He claims that such criticism can result in ‘negative press’, which fails to promote the image of that body, or at least the image he would like.

The European Court of Auditors has refused to sign off on the books of the body for eighteen years now and last year’s report pointed to £89 billion of European spending that was subject to what it called, “material error.” 
The average authoritarian tends to believe that the waste, mismanagement, and fraud are not the thing that alarms the public.  The real problems start when irresponsible whistleblowers, overzealous auditors or investigators fail to understand the need to keep the news of it out of the public domain: 
Ever since it started producing annual reports into European finances in 1994, the Court of Auditors has failed to sign off the EU’s accounts because of widespread irregularities, including fraud. 
Last year, the auditors’ annual report prompted the Government to warn that the findings “seriously undermines the credibility of the EU’s financial management” after the audit found that £89 billion of European spending was “affected by material error”. 
Mr Van Rompuy acknowledged that the auditors must make “results known” but insisted that they had “another responsibility: that of being as didactic as we possibly can” in order to help instruct the public about the benefits of EU membership. 
“In the end we are all responsible for Europe and its image,” he said. “In times of crisis, it is more vital than ever to foster confidence. We should also be teaching, to convince Europeans and demonstrate clearly that Europe is not the source of problems, but the solution.” … 
Nigel Farage MEP, the leader of Ukip [R], described the speech as an “incredible” attempt to muzzle the EU’s auditors. 
“The Court of Auditors which has not signed off the EU accounts for 18 years, is asked to go easy and provide good PR only for the EU,” he said. In which other banana republic in the world would the president publicly call for less exposure of waste of taxpayers’ money?.” 
Douglas Carswell, the Tory MP for Clacton, said: “Van Rompuy invokes euro idealism to try to get us to turn a blind eye to dodgy account keeping by his own Eurocrats. In doing so he discredits the very system he seeks to defend.” 
Mr Van Rompuy and the EU civil service is concerned that it is going to be difficult to keep track of new funding projects, worth hundreds of billions in spending between 2014 to 2020.
Van Rompuy’s comments are not only an attempt to muzzle those whose responsibility it is, to root out financial irregularities in the organization, but a ‘Ministry of Truth’ style effort to hoodwink the public into believing that all is clear and above board.
His claim that auditors have a responsibility to be didactic and ‘instruct the public about the benefits of EU membership’ is patronizing and just plain wrong.  The idea that Europe and its image is somehow the responsibility of auditors is a crock.  An improvement in the perception of Europe can only be achieved by better and less governance, not the writing of reports through rose colored glasses.

Sep 15, 2013

IPCC back off extreme position

There is some good news for climate rationalists who have been opposing the extreme positions of climate frantics over the years.  The IPCC is about to release part of its fifth report, in which it revises downwards some of its wild predictions of the past.
Despite holding to the position that global temperatures will rise, and not backing off the argument that it is all our fault, the IPCC is reported to be backing away from some of its more extreme positions on expected rises: 
Matt Ridley at The Wall Street Journal viewed a few leaks from the 31-page document and talked to one of the senior climate scientists. The temperature rise due to man-made carbon dioxide is lower than their prediction in 2007. Originally a three degrees Celsius increase was predicted, but that number is now expected to be between 1-2.5 degrees Celsius.  
Specifically, the draft report says that "equilibrium climate sensitivity" (ECS)—eventual warming induced by a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which takes hundreds of years to occur—is "extremely likely" to be above 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit), "likely" to be above 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.4 degrees Fahrenheit) and "very likely" to be below 6 degrees Celsius (10.8 Fahrenheit). In 2007, the IPPC said it was "likely" to be above 2 degrees Celsius and "very likely" to be above 1.5 degrees, with no upper limit. Since "extremely" and "very" have specific and different statistical meanings here, comparison is difficult. 
Most experts believe that warming of less than 2 degrees Celsius from preindustrial levels will result in no net economic and ecological damage. Therefore, the new report is effectively saying (based on the middle of the range of the IPCC's emissions scenarios) that there is a better than 50-50 chance that by 2083, the benefits of climate change will still outweigh the harm. 
Warming of up to 1.2 degrees Celsius over the next 70 years (0.8 degrees have already occurred), most of which is predicted to happen in cold areas in winter and at night, would extend the range of farming further north, improve crop yields, slightly increase rainfall (especially in arid areas), enhance forest growth and cut winter deaths (which far exceed summer deaths in most places). Increased carbon dioxide levels also have caused and will continue to cause an increase in the growth rates of crops and the greening of the Earth—because plants grow faster and need less water when carbon dioxide concentrations are higher. 
Ridley pointed out that many papers in the last year have come to this same conclusion. Scientists at the University of Illinois and Oslo University in Norway found the ECS levels would be lower than the models showed. Three papers followed, including one produced by 14 lead authors of the IPCC report, that backed the evidence. Francis Zwiers and others at the university of Victoria, British Columbia found that global warming was overestimated by 100% over 20 years.
It is to be hoped that this will give Tony Abbott a good reason to not only get rid of the carbon tax, but to drop his ridiculous direct action plan to piss billions up against the wall to combat what appears to be largely a myth.
Given the benefits possible from an increase in carbon dioxide levels, he should consider using the direct action funds toward building a few good coal fired power stations.

Palmer loses the plot

With the election in the House of Representatives all over but the final count in the odd close electorate, the post election knives, recriminations, and score settling is in full swing.  The Greens are suing a newspaper, Labor blame Rudd rather than bad policy, the Sex Party are knifing the Liberal Democrats, and everybody has it in for the minor parties.
Meanwhile Clive Palmer of the Palmer United Party, who many suspected of being off the planet prior to the election, is becoming increasingly paranoid since.   His favourite topic seems to be that the Election Commission has it in for him and is totally corrupt.
GYMPIE accountant Shahid Khan has denied a vote-tampering allegation, based on his ownership of a building rented by the Australian Electoral Commission. Controversial federal election candidate Clive Palmer last night looked to be on track to achieve the victory he has said is impossible. 
Mr Palmer blamed Mr Khan, whom he described as an LNP member, saying he might have been able to access votes stored in the building.  Mr Palmer told The Australian newspaper that he could not possibly win the seat, because of an allegedly corrupt electoral system. 
Although Mr Palmer's vote lead is expected to narrow as counting continues, he was last night more than 1000 votes ahead of his only rival, the LNP's Ted O'Brien. 
Mr Khan told the website the allegations were "outrageous" and the AEC denied any security issues. …
Clive Palmer is standing for the seat of Fairfax, whose northern boundary is about 30 miles south of Gympie, so any votes for Clive there would most likely be a small number of absentee votes.  Were there tampering there it is doubtful that it would have the capacity to materially affect the result unless it was extremely close.
Mr Khan has a reputation as a solid citizen and a man of integrity in the area and is not likely to act in the manner Palmer is describing.
Most of us who stand for elective positions for new or minor parties and have a bit of experience have the maturity to accept that our chances are limited.  When negotiating preference deals though, it is common to encounter what is called candidate fever.
This is an affliction among the newbies, which convinces them that they just can’t help but win the position unless there is some sort of flaw in the system.  Clive seems to have been bitten by the bug.  He has a senate seat in the bag, another possible to probable one, and is leading in the seat he is standing for.
While his lead is dropping back on pre-poll and postal voting and he may be pipped at the post, he has done exceptionally well at his party’s first outing.  He needs to grow up and stop tossing wild accusations around about the world and possibly the whole universe being against him. His accusations are a disgrace.
ED Note: From my personal dealings with the Electoral Commission, I have nothing but respect for them.  They have to abide by a strict set of guidelines, which you have to follow to the letter if you want to achieve the result you want.  On the other hand, they are the least bureaucratic, and most cooperative government department I have ever dealt with. 

Sep 12, 2013

Colorado gun grabbing senators lose recall elections

Image: OUT Colorado Democratic State Senate President John Morse, left, and state Sen. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo.AP
One of the great advantages the Yanks have over us with our electoral system, is the ability to petition for the recall of elected representatives if enough voters get pissed off with them enough to sign petitions.  One of the best known of these was the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger in California, possibly a bad example as he turned out to be about as useful as a pocket in a prophylactic.
Colorado voters have used this ability though to remove two of the state senators who voted to support restrictive gun control measures in that state:
Two Democratic lawmakers in Colorado, including the president of the state Senate, were recalled Tuesday in elections brought about by their support for tougher gun control laws. 
According to unofficial results, voters in Colorado Springs favored recalling state Sen. John Morse, the body's president, by 51 percent to 49 percent. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, state Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo was defeated in her recall election, 56 percent to 44 percent.    
The Colorado Republican Party called the vote results "a loud and clear message to out-of-touch Democrats across the nation" in a statement released late Tuesday. Colorado's Democratic governor, John Hickenlooper, said he was "disappointed by the outcome of the recall elections" before calling on state residents to "refocus again on what unites Coloradans -- creating jobs, educating our children, creating a healthier state -- and on finding ways to keep Colorado moving forward." 
"We as the Democratic Party will continue to fight," Morse told supporters in Colorado Springs as he conceded the race. Republican Bernie Herpin, a former Colorado Springs city councilman, will replace him. Giron will be replaced by Republican George Rivera, a former deputy police chief in Pueblo. … 
… Reported contributions to Morse and Giron totaled about $3 million, dwarfing the reported amount raised by gun activists who petitioned for the recall, though some independent groups didn't have to report spending. Both the NRA and Bloomberg contributed more than $300,000 to the pro- and anti-recall campaigns. 
In addition, dozens of elected county sheriffs have sued to block the gun laws.One of the Morse recall organizers, Timothy Knight, said supporters are upset that lawmakers limited debate on the gun legislation and seemed more inclined to take cues from the White House than their constituents. 
"If the people had been listened to, these recalls wouldn't be happening," Knight said.
This does not remove the Democrat control of the senate but will give a stern lesson to lawmakers that voters are not going to let them get away with riding roughshod over the wishes of the voters, no matter how convinced they are that the opinions of the common herd are irrelevant and that they need the intervention of the ruling class to keep them in line.

Sep 11, 2013

Some positive feedback from Liberal Democrat win

After the win of David Leyonhjelm in the senate campaign we are getting a lot of responses, especially form a number of idiots who are giving us gratuitous advice on where we are going wrong.
It is nice though to get the odd one that takes the opposite tack and says what there is to like about him:
I think that David acquitted himself and the LDP well. 
In response to Leigh Sales' first question about the right to sit in the Senate, David's reference to voting percentages in WA and SA (where the donkey vote was not a factor) indicating that it was likely the LDP would have got in in NSW anyway was deft and economical. 
Sales then sprang a 'gotcha' question on Wayne Dropulich from the Sports Party, trying to paint him as a single-issue representative and show lack of preparation by asking about his party's attitude to repeal of the carbon tax.  Mr Dropulich did as well as he could, but it was clear that his party was unprepared. 
In contrast, David was able quickly to respond with support for repeal of the carbon tax, but then broaden it to the mining tax also.  This showed good preparation as a party and policy breadth (not being a single-issue party).  David went further than Sales' question by introducing difference from the Coalition by saying the LDP did not support the former's direct action on climate change, as just throwing money into a black hole with no benefit.  
This was good as it quickly introduced a point of differentiation from the Coalition, introduced the public to another LDP policy, and subtly began to position the LDP as more like a serious major party than a crank micro-party.  I noticed that it caught the attention of the national columnist Andrew Bolt (Melbourne, Herald Sun) who commented positively on it on the evening show on Sydney's radio 2GB.  This is good, as last Thursday he was railing (in ignorance) against the LDP as a silly micro-party having a 'misleading' name that would cause confusion and rob the Liberals of needed votes. 
David was also able quickly and succinctly to respond when asked what were the most important issues for the LDP, with short points (lower tax, less bureaucracy, smaller government, less expenditure) that were not only easy to understand but also (a) showed the LDP was not a single-issue party, (b) showed the LDP was concerned with mainstream issues not just fringe ones, (c) were nothing extreme that would worry the average voter but rather would sound reasonable and easy to agree to.  All these things are important, but in the context of this particular interview (c) was especially so.  
Disappointed that she had got nothing to paint the LDP as the stereotypical fringe/extreme micro-party, Sales then went for a stronger 'gotcha' question: what would you want in return for support of repeal of the carbon tax, reform of Australia's gun laws? 
That was a clear 'gotcha' but handled well by David by saying it was a State matter.  However, Sales persisted by asking, 'And what are your views on gun control, exactly.'  This was her third (and given David's clear answer that it was a State issue and so not relevant to his role as a (prospective) Commonwealth senator, a gratuitous) 'gotcha' attempt (one about the carbon tax, two about guns) to paint the LDP as out of touch with the mainstream.  David's answer (the laws tie up the wrong people, don't stop criminals or the shootings in Western Sydney) was very good, planting the LDP back in the mainstream (the last two being of concern to wide sections of Sydney/NSW society) while allowing a subtle appeal to gun owners/enthusiasts.  This was a very good response and escape from Sales' third attempted 'gotcha'. 
Sales tried one last time, however, with: would you like to see greater access to guns?Again, David's response (licensing is legitimate; other existing restrictions are irrational) was good, calm, and reasonable, and would have been reassuring to viewers who have an irrational response whenever guns are mentioned. 
You can see, I think, that Sales' persistence with three leading questions about guns, a topic irrelevant to David's role in the Senate, was a deliberate attempt to label the LDP a certain way.  In addition to the content of David's answers, his style of response (low key, reasonable, unruffled) was just as important.  It would have suited Sales to have David become brusque or irritable.  He didn't, and probably won over some viewers. 
Later on, when asked whether he would attempt to block the Liberals' legislative agenda, his answers again were very good by (a) showing a co-operative and responsible attitude (we respect their mandate) but also (b) reasoned independence and (c) integrity (not seek to block the government providing their proposals did not run counter to the LDP's basic principles of reducing tax and increasing liberty), while (d) also presenting pithily those two principles to the wider public. 
He then phrased the two principles slightly differently (not increase taxes; not deprive us of any of our freedoms). 
I think these two principles, and the two different ways of saying them are winners over the long term.  They show that the LDP has principles; they are easy to understand; they are not weird; they will have wide appeal and support in many areas of society.  David may get sick of saying them over and over again over the next six years, but they will be good in marketing the LDP brand.  
They will need to be repeated until David and journalists get sick of them, because it is only then that they will break through to the large numbers of the general public.  One of Tony Abbott's keys to success is this.  Repeating the same short, easy to understand things even when he himself may be bored with the repetition.  Many of his colleagues cannot do it and make the mistake of trying always to give the journalists something new and shiny.  That is a mistake (see Kevin Rudd and his chaotic election campaign and government by media 2007-2010). 
In short, I think David had a good first day.  He: 
presented the LDP as prepared;presented the LDP as not a single-issue party;presented the LDP as concerned with mainstream rather than fringe issues;presented the LDP as prepared to be co-operative and reasonable with the new Government, but also distinct and different from it; 
presented the LDP as 'small-l' liberal (and on a different programme said something like, 'if you are of European orientation, classical liberal') and libertarian.  This is important as 'libertarian' sadly, due to the antics of crank libertarians in the US in particular, has come to have shades of 'extremist'/'crank' for many people, as we discussed when we met last week; 
was calm, unruffled, reasonable; and,side-stepped the traps in which Leigh Sales, in particular, tried to ensnare him (and the party).He, and you, probably understand, but it is always worth repeating, no matter how polite or warm journalists may appear to be they are never a politician's friend.