A while back, I noted that the Greens were actively deceiving the public about the election result. Since that post, I’ve been startled at how widespread the spin and deception about the election result has been. If a party could find some way of misrepresenting the election figures in their favour, they did. The Coalition used extremely odd interpretations of the data to claim that they should have won the election. The ALP was equally quick to claim 2PP entailed their victory long before the 2PP outcome (as irrelevant as it is) was known.
But the Greens’ claim that they ought to have gained 17 seats remains the most outrageous of the lies. The sheer audacity of the claim is boggling, as is the fact that otherwise sane people believe it completely. His comments on the outing of Grog are interesting.
What the Greens refuse to acknowledge is that they, alone, were the only party to contest all 150 seats. Proportional representation of the whole only makes sense if there’s consistency across the whole.
But there isn’t. Even the major parties didn’t contest every single seat (further making the primary vote proportions irrelevant, btw).
Imagine two fishermen. One goes out every day of the month. The other goes out one day of the month. The former catches 30 fish, the latter catches 10. It would be laughable for the first fisherman to claim that they were the better fisher on the basis of the total number of fish. Yet that’s exactly what the Greens did (and continues to do). So consider the Australian Sex Party who only contested a few seats but got a strong number of primary votes in those seats. What’s curious is that they, in their inaugural election appearance, performed better on a per-candidate basis than the Greens did when it established itself as a party. The Greens, in comparison, fared rather poorly: their per-candidate outcome was less than they should have received if the votes were distributed at random. Therefore, far from being a legitimate third voice in the parliament, the two major parties still represent the vast majority of people.
Using a basic rule that a party with a per-candidate vote should recieve twice the number of seats in the lower house, the Greens only scrapes through with eight seats. ASP got two. How refreshing that the Australian Sex Party — not wishing to lower itself to the stunt political party that the Greens is — hasn’t lowered itself to whining that it was robbed due to the system not being entirely different.
Despite what some people have said, this election result is terrible. Hung governments are impotent governments. I had a lot of sympathy for the ALP; how could anybody achieve their reform agenda when they’ve got an irrationally hostile Senate? Now they’re going to attempt their agenda with a hostile Senate and House of Representatives.
There were a few good points. I’m yet to find a seat where the informal vote was lower than the primary vote for the Secular Party. I’m an atheist and even I can’t stand them.
There were some surprising points. Check out the distribution of votes for the ALP and the Greens in Melbourne.
ALP Primary: 27,771
Greens Primary: 25,387
ALP 2PP: 31,154
Greens Primary: 39,172
Notice how little the ALP vote changed after preferences? There were 14 thousand people who voted for the Liberal Party, but the ALP vote doesn’t move nearly that much. Therefore, the bulk of Liberal voters gave their preferences to the Greens over the ALP. How extremely weird.
And then there was the just plain stupid. I feel sorry for Senator Steve Fielding. As downright silly as he is, he’s a genius in comparison to Senator Sarah Hanson-Young. During the election coverage, she noted that if the rules were completely different and we had proportional voting, the Greens would have taken 17 seats. What she neglects to say is that proportional voting would have given the CDP Christian and Family First parties several seats as well. Thank Zeus, we don’t have proportional voting. She also neglects to mention the huge number of seats where the Greens primary vote was less than the number of informal votes cast. The Greens Party is just a stunt party who couldn’t even manage to draw the protest vote in places where people were literally throwing away their votes.
I propose a new system for elections. Instead of voting for a candidate, you vote against them. The candidate with the least number of negative votes wins. We’d never hear from the Greens Party again.
In other news, congratulations to the Australian Sex Party for their excellent first time showing. The question will be whether they can sustain it. I’ve been trying to work out the number of votes per candidate (parties with more candidates obviously end up with more votes) and a rough measure seems to put it up at the One Nation level of support. That makes me feel slightly better about Australia.
So… I’m still not entirely sure how I’ll vote.
I feel like this is less of a choice between candidates and more a choice between voting formally or informally. Given the lack of candidates in my electorate, I feel like an informal vote is entirely justified. I don’t support the political options we have and voting informally is a valid form of protest.
At the same time, a lot of the things for which I detest the current government was largely a creation of the Coalition and Greens Party acting in concert. We shouldn’t be limiting our immigration growth, but the C&G vandals in the upper house have forced us into rather a deplorable public debate. The inability to act on climate change was similarly a result of their vandalism. And so on and so forth. Instead of giving the Greens the balance of power, I think a much better political situation would be ALP dominance in both houses for three years. Unfortunately, we’ll get the usual unrepresentative swill we always get with the Senate.
I guess I’m in shock that an election between Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott could possibly be described as a cliffhanger.
For those of you in Victoria, vote for the Sex Party. At least they’ve got principles.
The average voter has no sense of perspective.
Tony Wright of the Sydney Morning Herald noted a comment at one of Tony Abbott’s press conferences:
[O]ne of his inquisitors pointed out that a $6 billion debt – which Abbott says will be Australia’s annual interest payments under continued Labor spending – is about equal on a GDP basis to someone on a wage of $100,000 having a mortgage of only $6000. Abbott himself has a much larger mortgage than this – did it make him a poor financial manager? Well, in short, no.
When he got that final question, he pointed out that Prime Minister Julia Gillard used to say every boat equalled a policy failure. Every boat, he might just as well have said, meant one fewer question on his economic credentials – Tony Wright.
$6b debt sounds massive, but it’s tiny in comparison to our GDP.
“Remember the $900 cheques? Forty thousand went either overseas or to dead people. I don’t know what economies they were stimulating but it wasn’t the Australian economy. There was a better way to do it.” – Joe Hockey, ABC News Online
According to the ATO, at least 8.8 million cheques were sent. Let us imagine that only 8.8 million were sent. 40,000 is only 0.45%. As far as error rates go, that’s amazing.
Why does this narrative of outlandish mistakes persist? I don’t remember the media’s pitchforks being waved when Turnbull (then a minister) wasted $10 million on Russian cloud seeding technology.
Back in ye olde post about the Australian Sex Party’s policies, I noted that one of the policies was to overturn restrictions on aid to overseas family planning organisations that reference abortion and remarked that I understood that they had already been overturned. Given that it was odd that a policy would exist to overturn something that had already been overturned, I decided to write an e-mail to them to ask if my understanding was incorrect.
This is a big deal, by the way, because I generally worry about people who write to political parties. They’re even worse than the people who write to the newspapers. ’You should write to the Prime Minister’ is never uttered by a reasonable and rational person.
What was even weirder was that instead of the ‘Thank you for your letter. Your letter is important to us. We have taken note of your letter. Here is a link to our website. Good day’ response I was expecting, I got some answers. It was even more awesome because I admitted in the e-mail that I couldn’t vote for them (no candidates in the ACT) and that I was probably the exact opposite of their target demographic.
I also asked if I could put the answers up, so here they are:
Me: ‘On the policy page, the Australian Sex Party says that it wants to ‘[o]verturn restrictions on aid to overseas family planning organisations that reference abortion.’ The website for the Minister for Foreign Affairs suggests that there aren’t any restrictions. Am I looking in the wrong place?’
ASP: We are currently in the process of reviewing (and fleshing out) all of our policies. This will be one of the first policies to get an overhaul.
There was a 13 year ban on any overseas development funding being used for activities that involved the termination of a pregnancy (introduced by the Howard govt in a deal with former Tas independent Senator Brian Harradine.)
This ban was lifted in march 2009. However in announcing the lifting of this ban the Foreign Minister Stephen Smith did say ‘Australian aid funding would still focus on avoiding abortions’
Australian and international NGOs continue to be able to choose what services they deliver in line with their philosophies and policies. So while a termination may be legal in a particular country the NGO providing health care in that region may refuse to provide that as an option.
Me: The policies seem particularly interested in protection of children from exploitation due to sexualisation. The Australian Sex Party puts the focus on education campaigns — which is reasonable and sensible. At the same time, it doesn’t recommend putting restrictions on the market place to restrict private companies from creating a demand for the sexualisation of children. At what point does tastelessness become unacceptable in society?
ASP: There are strong laws currently in place to protect children from exploitation and sexualisation. We believe that educating people about these laws and enforcing these laws are much more important than implementing regulations that determine what one should or should not find tasteless/ unacceptable.
For example some parents find ‘Bratz dolls’ unacceptable and charge them with sexualising young girls. Others dont. Who are we to determine who is correct? It is up to parents to make their own judgements.
Me: Do you have policies particularly to help prevent the exploitation of women in the sex industry? Is it unreasonable to believe that — if the regulatory frameworks regarding pornography and the sex industry were relaxed — an improvement of the protection frameworks for women in those industries would be required?
ASP: If the production of x-rated material and prostitution were legalised throughout Australia, I dont believe you would see a relaxation in regulation – quite the opposite. If sex work was legalised it could then be regulated and work places from which sex workers operated would be obliged to function under OH&S standards applicable to the industry.
Me: If a person happened to live in a territory without a candidate from the Australian Sex Party but thought that the ASP represented their best interests, what could that person do to help the party?
ASP: I would be happy to send you some flyers or stickers that you could pass on to other interested people. You could make a donation (big or small) which would really help. And just by blogging about us you are helping to spread the word about the Sex Party – we really appreciate that!
It’s interesting about the ‘Bratz dolls’ thing because my intuitive response is to think that they ought to be removed from the marketplace. The market doesn’t respond to social reaction; it counterfeits it. Similarly, marketing skimpy clothing to prepubescents creates a demand. At the same time, educating children about self respect and the legal frameworks which protect them from exploitation would probably do more to get those products off the shelf than banning them.
Anyway, I thought getting an answer to the questions I sent was fairly epic but it got better. The person responding to my e-mail also went and read at least part of my original post. Regarding my initial reaction to the name of the Australian Sex Party, the Party responded:
Firstly I notice on the piece you wrote about us you mention you thought that we weren’t named well. To be honest we get a lot of questions about why we decided on that name. We did think long and hard about the name ‘The Australian Sex Party’ and one of the reasons we chose it was because we didnt want to hide where we originated from. The Sex Party grew out of the Eros Association which is the national association and lobby group for the adult retail industry. We didn’t want to hide behind any euphemisms (you know… like Family First!).
We were also advised by the late Don Chipp (who was a mentor to our president, Fiona Patten) that the hardest thing a small political party had to overcome was being ignored. With our name we get a lot more media than if we were called the ‘Australian Civil Liberties Party’ or some such thing. In fact I believe that even factored into our recent debate on Sunrise with Family First – do you think we would have been invited if we weren’t called the Sex party?
Okay, now begins Operation: Convince Victorian Friends and Family…
Cream rinse and tobacco smoke, that sickly scent is always there… when is insufficient choice undemocratic?
I set out with the best of intentions. I was going to be a responsible voter and check out the policies of all the parties and try to work out which best represented my views. The process was good: it established that my feelings towards the Greens were legitimate (it was interesting to note that — despite somebody‘s assertions that the Greens don’t really believe all of their policies — Bob Brown was there on Insiders claiming that ‘we have worked very hard on many of these policies in the Senate‘).
It was also interesting that, as a conservative, I was more comfortable with the policies of the Australian Sex Party than I was any of the other parties (that I’d examined so far: and, let’s face it, I was already into fringe crazy land). Despite wanting to send an e-mail about their stranger policies, I was so impressed that I was going to volunteer handing out ‘How to Vote’ cards. Of all the parties, they seemed the most sane even though they were essentially a political party for the sex industry (and I still have concerns about the commodification of sex).
I live in the ACT. Today, I had a look at the list of candidates on offer…
Absolutely shit all.
In the senate, for example, we have Libslabs Greedems and an ungrouped person who has nothing to offer. All of the candidates (except the last because next to nothing is known about the last) are essentially the same person.
Oh, I forgot to add that there’s more disdain for the Greens this week. In an attempt to show that they’re just as willing to lower themselves into the political shit flinging match like the bigger parties, the Greens boohooed about Abbott’s use of ‘No means no’ when referring to Julia Gillard.
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said it was an inappropriate phrase to use. – ABC news Online.
((My own 20c: Abbott ought to have been aware that it would cause offence. The correct — that is, the PC — way out of the problem was to say: ‘I can understand why some people might have found it offensive. I certainly didn’t mean for it to be offensive, but I sincerely apologise for any offence caused.’ The current approach appears to be along the lines of: ‘But I am a white male and Tony is a white male. Therefore, when we use words, they mean exactly what we say they do. Shut up an make me a pie.’))
Unfortunately, this gave a free kick to probably my most hated news ‘personality’, Andrew ‘I won’t accept a tearful apology from you barbarians’ Bolt. He correctly noted that a Greens senator had used the phrase and hadn’t been hounded by Sarah Hanson-Young. The only possible way to spin the event is to say that the Greens senator was quoting somebody else. Even then, it’s a flimsy reply.
So I’m in an election campaign where all of the major candidates are indistinguishable in their deplorable behaviours and where I can’t vote for my party of choice. At least GetUp won their constitutional challenge, meaning more people can vote for parties which won’t represent them.
Is that fair? Have I prejudged? Probably.
I get the feeling that this isn’t going to be nice. I suspect I’ll have to do a nerdshit post after this one to cheer myself up.
Okay. Family First have divided their policy page into their policies and their core values. I don’t have the stamina to go through all of their ‘core values’ because I want to protect the optimistic vision of the world I’ve nurtured. Thus, I’m only going to touch the stuff under ‘policies’.
WHAT DOES FAMILY FIRST STAND FOR?
Freak me sideways. There is absolutely nothing here. Am I missing something? Here’s their policy document and it’s bereft of anything to discuss. I mean, I can take the easy shots at obviously false things:
The best environment to raise children is for them to have both a mother and a father. The best environment to raise children is for them to have both a mother and a father. – Source.
The best thing my mother did for my brothers and me was leave my father. It must have been one of the hardest decisions she ever had to make, but she made it because it was the best decision for her own benefit and for the benefit of her children. To have the audacity to make the claim that we were not in the ‘best’ environment due to the absence of my father is nothing short of offensive. The best environment [in which] to raise children is one which is loving and supportive. If that means a mother and a father, two mothers, two fathers, a host of extended or adopted or fostered family, or even a single parent sacrificing everything for their kids, then so be it. Family First policy makers can blow me, and I mean that with all possible respect.
Bee tee dub, to all 107 of you readers: call your mum.
BETTER ACCOUNTABILIY OF OUR POLITICIANS
FAMILY FIRST will establish the Election Policy Register which will force all political parties to set out their election policies and the timeframe for implementing them in a special register for the public to see. After the election, the new Government will be required to carry out all of the policies listed in the register within the set timetable so that voters can be genuinely assured of actually getting what they vote for – Source.
Every time Family First writes its own name, it uses caps. No idea why it does this.
This is a stupid policy. Here’s how politics works:
1. Election campaign: Promise the sky.
2. First month of power: Discover that promises are undeliverable because you weren’t in possession of all of the facts.
3. Term of government: Explain to voters why you can’t deliver and how it’s responsible to change your promises to fit the facts.
4. Election campaign: Promise the sky. Continue from (2).
I don’t want governments locked into dumbo policy positions. Who the McFreak would want that?
FAMILY FIRST will conduct a thorough review of all of the perks and special benefits given to policitians. Any spending which is deemed unecessary or excessive will be eliminated, such as providing free foxtel to all politicians’ homes at taxpayers’ expense – Ibid.
Gee, FAMILY FIRST are tackling the big issues.
FAMILY FIRST will require all policians to sign a legally-binding undertaking that they have acted in the best interests of the nation and not just themselves after each vote on legislation. – Ibid.
It’s a school night, so no drinking for me. This is going to be long…
This is an utterly dumbo policy. Here’s the cycle of politics:
1. Election campaign. Promise the sky.
2. First few months of power. Discover why your promises were dumb.
3. Three years of government. Explain why your promises were dumb.
4. Election campaign. Promise the sky.
I don’t want politicians bound to promises they made to get red necks to change their vote. While it would be good if they wouldn’t promise silly things, politicians aren’t omniscient and aren’t always in possession of all of the facts. Why lock them to a position of ignorance when they can flourish in an environment of knowledge?
BETTER WORKPLACE CONDITIONS AND JOB SECURITY
If anybody can find any policy content in this thing, let me know. Sod it. I need a drink.
SMALL BUSINESS – THE TRUE HEROES OF THE ECONOMY
Still can’t find any policy content. I’m drinking Sapporo. I quite enjoy it. I figured beer would be better than a cocktail.
BINGE DRINKING DESTROYS FAMILIES
FAMILY FIRST will set up a National Alcohol Commission to deal specifically with the issue of reducing Australia’s alcohol toll, We already have the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) for tackling our road toll and QUIT for lowering the tobacco toll, now we need a dedicated body to address the alarming alcohol toll – Source.
I like Manhattans. I understand that American television shows have ruined the image of Manhattans. Despite this, I feel I’m still more than masculine enough to drink them. I’d like to note that they should be served in a low ball glass.
FAMILY FIRST will restrict the sale of takeaway alcohol to between the hours of 7am to midnight. Any bottle shop caught trading outside of these hours will be fined $10,000 per offence. Family First has introduced the Responsible Takeaway Alcohol Hours Bill to give effect to these measures – Ibid.
Okay, the first part is policy the second part isn’t.
HOLY FRIJOLES, BATMAN! $10,000 per offence?! I — on not a few occasions — have purchased a bottle of something nice on my way home after closing time. FAMILY FIRST wants to end that? That’s just flatly uncivilised.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR FIRST HOMEBUYERS
FAMILY FIRST’s “Accessing Super Scheme” will give first homebuyers a leg up into the property market by letting them borrow up to $15,000 interest-free from their superannuation to use as a deposit on their first home – Source.
Thus pushing up the price of housing by $15k. The solution to affordable housing is infrastructure. It’s amazing how many problems our woeful infrastructure are causing. The other cause, of course, is people buying up land and not developing it.
FAMILY FIRST’s “Kickstart to Home Ownership” policy will make first homes more affordable as first homebuyers will enjoy the same special tax benefits that investors receive. This means they can claim their interest costs on their mortgage as a tax deduction, up to $7000 each year. Families on an average mortgage which have their weekly mortgage payments reduced by almost $100 which is substantial – Ibid.
This isn’t even remotely coherent. Just play it through your head a few times to see if you can spot the train wreck…
FAMILY FIRST calls on state and federal governments to release more land suitable for housing and work more closely with the housing industry to promote affordable housing for first homebuyers – Ibid.
Releasing more land isn’t working. Family First should perhaps attempt to read through the Australia’s Future Tax Review (section E4).
CUTTING PETROL TAX
No policies here. The beer is finished.
PROTECTING OUR ENVIRONMENT
FAMILY FIRST calls for a Commission of Inquiry to be established to take evidence from Australian and international experts on the science surrounding the extent to which human made carbon dioxide emissions are the major driver of climate change and the likely effectiveness of any emissions trading scheme in reducing climate change – Source.
This shits me right the shit off.
The Family First Senator Steve Fielding, whose vote the Government is courting for its emissions trading scheme, spent more than two hours with Australia’s chief scientist Penny Sackett and Climate Change Minister Penny Wong yesterday. Senator Fielding told AM he still needs to get to the bottom of a couple of issues and is waiting for further clarification from Penny Wong. [...]
STEVE FIELDING: Well, look when I put forward the question – isn’t it true that carbon emissions have been going up and global temperature hasn’t – they wanted to rephrase my question not answer it so I have got an agreement with Penny Wong that she would answer my question over the next day or so. So I am hoping to get that either later today or tomorrow and then we can get to the bottom of it. — Source.
So even after private tutoring, he still can’t get his head around climate change. In his own blog, he wrote:
Given this question remains unanswered, I believe Australia should wait until the rest of the world decides what to do, before we pass any emissions trading legislation so we can see what the big economies and polluters around the globe plan to do to tackle climate change. – Source.
Politicians need a right slap on the knuckles when they pull crap like this. They’re not experts that need convincing: they’re there to represent the people. You need absolutely no prerequisites to be a politician and, given Fielding’s stunts in the Senate, it shows.
FAMILY FIRST calls for a significant increase in investment in new low emission technologies, but there must be balance between nonfossil and fossil-based technologies – Ibid.
Seriously. In related news, I can’t find who donates to Family First. I think there should be a register of donors to political parties so we can find out why policies like this stink of corruption. Why ‘must’ there be ‘balance’?
Okay. I’m too grumpy at this to continue. More on Family First later.
I am the heir of a shyness that is criminally vulgar… and yet I checked out the policies of the Australian Sex Party
The Australian Sex Party isn’t named well. Reading it, I think of the ‘More Beer Party’ at uni, and the various other single, silly issue parties which seemed to haunt the union building. So will it have policies as silly as its name? Either way, this is bound to be interesting. Before reading their policies, The Gruen Transfer mailing list sent out the adverts for some of the political parties. This was the offering from The Australian Sex Party:
To their policies!
Bring about the establishment of a truly national classification scheme which includes a uniform non-violent erotica rating for explicit adult material for all jurisdictions and through all media including the Internet and computer games. — Source.
While I don’t consider it a particularly hot issue, I do wonder why particularly violent games are fine, but games involving any nudity aren’t. The classic example was one of the Grand Theft Auto games where people complained that you could solicit sex in the game, then bash the prostitute to get your money back. The game was censored so you could only bash the prostitute… Even on television, sex seems to be more morally outrageous than violence.
Actually, I’ve done some digging on this. Here’s the description of the MA15+ classification given on the ‘Classifications Website’:
The content is strong. — Source.
Okay, so the government website isn’t terribly useful. Wikipedia is even more useless, because it’s quoting some invisible source. When I search for those quoted sections, all I get is copies of the Wikipedia page. Wikipedia editors will no doubt consider this proof positive that the content is accurate…
Thus, the National Classifications Code:
Classification decisions are to give effect, as far as possible, to the followingprinciples:(a) adults should be able to read, hear and see what they want;(b) minors should be protected from material likely to harm or disturb them;(c) everyone should be protected from exposure to unsolicited material thatthey find offensive;(d) the need to take account of community concerns about:(i) depictions that condone or incite violence, particularly sexualviolence; and(ii) the portrayal of persons in a demeaning manner. – National Classifications Code 2005, 1.
Which seems rather reasonable. Even rule 4 about computer games doesn’t seem to provide a reason why The Australian Sex Party would be concerned. Rule 4, item 1, is:
Computer games that:
(a) depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified; or
(b) describe or depict in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult, a person who is, or appears to be, a child under 18 (whether the person is engaged in sexual activity or not); or
(c) promote, incite or instruct in matters of crime or violence; or
(d) are unsuitable for a minor to see or play
So, in short, I’m confused.
To overturn mandatory ISP filtering of the Internet and return Internet censorship to parents and individuals. – Source.
I’m pro-filter (as discussed here).
We oppose the mandatory retention of all Australian users’ internet browsing history and emails by ISPs for at-will inspection by law enforcement agencies, and support strong judicial oversight over the ability of law enforcement to access individuals’ internet and email data. – Ibid.
At first, I went ‘Yeah, but think of the children!’ before I had a bit more of a ponder. At the moment, in order to access your telephone calls and mail, law enforcement requires a warrant. So why shouldn’t internet communications require the same? Actually, yeah. This policy is completely correct: why are they treated differently?
To bring about the development of a national sex education curriculum as a first step in preventing the sexualisation of children. — Ibid.
I don’t even understand what this means. I would have thought the first step in preventing the sexualisation of children would be to ban the products which create a demand for the sexualisation of children. I’m probably incorrect.
To enact national anti discrimination laws which make it illegal to unfairly discriminate against people or companies on the basis of job, occupation, profession or calling. – Ibid.
Doesn’t this already exist?
To create total equal rights in all areas of the law including marriage for gay, lesbian, bi sexual, intersex, and transsexuals. – Ibid.
100% agree and it’s already far too late.
Overturn racist laws that ban adults living in and visiting aboriginal communities in the NT from possessing erotic and sexual media. – Ibid.
This exists? So I couldn’t show ‘The Piano’ at a cinema in aboriginal communities? I tried to find more information but knew that I’d regret writing ‘erotica’ into Google. No good can come of that search term.
To enact national pregnancy termination laws along the same lines as divorce law — which allow for legal, no-fault and guilt-free processes for women seeking termination. – Ibid.
It’s an outrage that this isn’t already the case.
The listing of Viagra, Cialis and other drugs used to treat sexual dysfunction, on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. – Ibid.
Oh, hell no. There are medications which people desperately need which aren’t listed on PBS, particularly for the treatment of psychiatric disorders. It will be a cold day in a non-Dantean Hell before I support listing Viagra on PBS before serious medications.
Overturn restrictions on aid to overseas family planning organisations that reference abortion. – Ibid.
I’m shocked this restriction exists. After digging around, it seems that it doesn’t… Oh, you rascally Australian Sex Party and your drumming up of fake shock. Don’t play with my emotions like this.
- Convene a Royal Commission into child sex abuse in the nation’s religious institutions.
- Develop global approaches to tackling child pornography which focus on detection and apprehension of the producers of the material. – Ibid.
Both good ideas. These were listed under ‘Protection of Children’. What I find odd here is that a party which is promoting relaxed censorship — especially around material considered pornographic — doesn’t have a better fleshed out policy for women. The party’s shown that it takes children’s welfare seriously: why not women’s? The pornography and prostitution industries exploit women far more than they exploit children, but there isn’t the ramping up of protection frameworks for women in the Australian Sex Party’s policies.
Ending the tax exempt status for religions. – Ibid.
Make it so! Here’s my rant about tax exempt status.
Sanitarium is owned by the Seventh Day Adventist Church. But don’t expect them to be upfront about it on the Sanitarium website. You certainly won’t find any mention in the ‘About Us‘ section. It’s barely a mention on the Seventh Day Adventist Church’s website. So does Sanitarium pay the same corporate taxes as other, hard working Australian companies who aren’t religious? Are those companies playing on an equal field when it comes to the taxation framework?
Weirdly, despite being owned by a cult religion, I received a piece of chain mail which was hating on Muslims because school canteens were offering halal options. The e-mail ended with, ‘What’s wrong with good old Sanitarium?’ It’s odd that the e-mail would treat Muslims with extreme suspicion and yet give a Christian cult a free pass.
Out of the three so far, the Australian Sex Party is head and shoulders above the other two.
1) At least I know for what they stand.
2) There isn’t a huge amount which is objectionable.
3) They offer concrete outcomes.
So all you Greens voters out there, why not switch to a party you can trust?
Immediate withdrawal of all Australian military units from Iraq, including the naval units in the Persian Gulf. Only small bodyguards will remain to protect Australian diplomats.Meet Communist Alliance. My gut reaction is that these guys are kooks. There’s something adolescent about the word ‘Communist’; I was a big fan of Trotsky during my high school days but it wore off when I hit university. They’re standing for a Senate seat in NSW, so let’s begin the policy interrogation!
Democratic rights are important. They are rights we need and they give us the best conditions in which to fight for real people power. – Source.
It’s not that weird for a communist party to advocate strong democratic rights. In The Future as History, Robert Heilbroner noted that ‘Marx did not call for an opposition to the forces of history. On the contrary he accepted all of them, the drive of technology, the revolutionizing effects of democratic striving, even the vagaries of capitalism, as being indeed the carriers of a brighter future.’ What I find odd here is the Communist Alliance’s understanding of the democratic rights:
All publicly owned media must be strengthened to help overcome the anti-democratic private ownership of newspapers, radio and TV by just a few profit-driven individuals and groups. – Ibid.
‘Anti-democratic private ownership’?
Despite this quirk, I agree strongly with them. I don’t think journalism should be driven by the profit motive and we have an exceptionally poor political discourse due to this perversion of the media.
Increased Australian content must be a requirement when allocating or renewing commercial broadcast licenses. — Ibid.
Another emphatic agreement from me. We have poor cultural dialogues in Australia because most of the ‘pop-culture’ is American (or derived from American sources). We have an infantile intercultural dialogue because we never refined the language of our own culture.
What’s weird is that most ‘lefties’ disagree with me quite strongly on that point, seeing ‘culture’ as an elitist term. I was pleasantly surprised to see the emphasis on Australian content from the extreme left party.
The electoral system is constructed in a manner which aims to keep government within the limits of the two-party system.
Electoral laws must be changed to introduce proportional representation and to lower the requirements to register a political party. – Ibid.
I agree with the first (Gramsci, yo) but disagree strongly with the second. Ideally, we’d disestablish the political party framework of our electoral system. We shouldn’t be electing parties; we should be electing individuals.
The anti-terrorism laws must be repealed and long held rights must be restored. These include:
- the right to remain silent
- the presumption of innocence
- the onus of accusers to prove guilt
- the right to a legal representative of one’s own choosing
- the right of the person detained and his/her legal representative to see evidence being used and to be present in court
- freedom of speech after and during detention These rights must be restored to the people! – Ibid.
I’m not sure about these being ‘long held rights’, but I can’t imagine too many people were entirely comfortable with the treatment of certain people who weren’t permitted to know what evidence was being used against them. I think there is a balance to be struck but, given that I’m not knowledgeable of the situations, that balance might have been struck, even though the external appearances were otherwise.
I’m also slightly uncomfortable about freedom of speech after detention. There are some people you don’t want having columns in the metropolitan newspapers while they’re sitting in a prison…
The Communist Alliance believes in a better society where wealth is distributed to those who perform the work, not those who have the money.
We fight for industrial relations laws that give workers a decent chance of challenging the employers in their drive for greater profit which they refuse to share and have no obligation to share under this capitalist system of production. – Source.
Reading these policies, it’s difficult not to be moved to action. There’s an exuberance and vitality in these policies which was lacking in the Greens’ policies from the last few posts. At the same time, it’s complete nonsense. What sort of industrial relations framework would allow workers to take back profits from their employers?
It’s motivational, but not particularly practical.
We are for a new type of politics, one where workers and the people are put first and are not regarded as just commodities to be used up in the pursuit of profit for the few. – Ibid.
After the current poll-driven, cynical politics, I imagine this would be very refreshing. It’s unfortunately vague and whimsical in its promises, though.
Public ownership has provided necessary services such as education, health and transport. Some services cannot be profitable at the same time as meeting universal provision and equity goals. Public transport facilities, such as railways, have been subsidised but are an essential public service. How would health, transport and education be run, if profit was the only consideration? – Source.
Damn straight. It’s a shame this isn’t a fleshed out policy.
The call for a strong public sector and increased public control and ownership of society’s key economic and social assets is a call for a different sort of society – one where people not profits drive economic activity, where co-operation, not exploitation is the norm, and where people can expect to play a broader, more active role in managing their world. – Ibid.
Thus, your public sector policies are…? It’s like being with an annoying lover. You do all this foreplay and you’re almost there, then they fall asleep. I agreed with everything in this section, but there was a lack of meaty policy to smack it home.
Here, they do much better but you have to pick the policies out of the prose.
The Communist Alliance supports a national public health system with high quality, free and accessible medical and dental treatment for all Australians. – Source.
100% agree. Unfortunately, this doesn’t include mental health:
Mental health and aged care is best provided at a community level and would be best funded through local government. – Ibid.
That’s rather a dreadful policy. First, it means that mental health and aged care patients are more likely to be forced to wait until they have conditions which require national health frameworks. Second, making mental health a local government issue unnecessarily politicises them within the local community.
local communities not bureaucrats should have a say on how their health facilities are managed, local hospital boards with representation from medical staff, council and the community are a better alternative – Ibid.
I hear this option a lot. Let’s consider a real-world analogous example: education boards in the US. Because bureaucrats aren’t allowed to tell schools what to teach, they end up with weirdo pockets where creationism is taught instead of science, and books are banned because they upset the moral sensitivities of the illiterate. Do we want local boards making decisions about what sort of medicines to stock? Do we want local boards denouncing abortion clinics as witchcraft?
We maintain that the role of government in education is to provide a, free, inclusive public education system available to all Australians at pre-school, school and post school levels.
What we would do is:
- Increase funding for schools which cater for students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.
- Fund TAFE colleges at a level that will allow them to meet the needs of all who wish to access quality vocational training.
- Abolish HECS fees for students at university. Restore compulsory unionism. Increase youth allowance to a living wage.
- Increase the number of places at University for training of teachers and other education professionals.
- Have teacher union representation on all regulatory bodies.
- Ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have accessible, culturally-appropriate and community controlled education services.
By ‘have teacher union representation on all regulatory bodies’, I suspect they mean education regulatory bodies. Apart from that, there is nothing objectionable about any of this.
Cuba is the world’s most environmentally sustainable economy. Socialist Cuba’s planning has produced stunning results because it focuses on human needs, not profit. Cuba has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent compared to 1990 levels. It not only uses less energy, but has decentralised its supply grid. Cuba equals the United States in literacy and life expectancy, but Cubans’ energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions are on average about one eighth of those of the US. – Source.
Yeah, that’s just fantasy land levels of inaccurate. The only way for it to be true is for Cuba’s emission to be calculated by considering the output of Cuba itself. As very little food production is done in Cuba, the emissions are offset. At the same time, because very little food production is done in Cuba, Cuba has massive debts. Cuba is attempting to fix this problem by starting up oil production…
Iraq and Afghanistan
The invasions and ongoing occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan have been driven by the United States need to impose its control over the Middle East. They are oil wars. The US wants to construct an oil pipe to ferry oil and natural gas supplies from Central Asia through Afghanistan. – Source.
Oil wars? I seem to remember some planes crashing into some buildings and then the Taliban harbouring the organisation responsible…
Immediate withdrawal of all Australian military units from Iraq, including the naval units in the Persian Gulf. Only small bodyguards will remain to protect Australian diplomats. – Ibid.
It seems callous for us — in the safety of way back here in Australia — to state that we will withdraw troops after we invaded. I don’t think we get the luxury of the on/off switch for troops. The plan for withdrawal needs to include provisions for supporting stability in the countries we’ve invaded. Else, we become cowboys who leap into countries and then leave a mess when things don’t go our way. That’s not being a good global citizen.
And there wasn’t much else in the policy section.
That was enjoyable. I don’t think they’re credible but at least they’ve got some passion in their policies. Then again, I suspect if they did the leg work to flesh out their policies, they’d gain the credibility they need. It’s interesting to see how they engage in common language rather than fall back on slogans and Marxist-talk. Kudos, Communist Alliance.
In other news, a friend of mine has a new blog. You ought to read it: Ozylum.
Only three sections left to do! Caveat: My head hurts like an absolute bastard. Fortunately, I had a packet of Nurofen in the house and it’s working well. Thumbs up, Nurofen. Okay, I’ve got my iTunes set to ‘Soft Awesome’: let’s roll!
Policy Category E: Human Rights and Democracy
This section is probably going to irritate me because it’s the section I care about the most. Our conversations in the public space on this topic are woeful. They lack the rich flavour of past debates. We don’t have the epic speeches or inflamed pamphlets. With that in mind, I’m not sure that my criticisms of the policies advocated by the Greens in this space won’t extend to a criticism of the discussion in general. Thus, a lot of this isn’t going to be critical of the Greens’ position but the general lack in the debate. Put simply, I don’t think other parties perform particularly well in this space either.
The Australian Greens believe that [...]3. Australia’s Constitution should express our aspirations as a community and define our rights and responsibilities as individuals and as members of the community.4. Parliament is the central authority of representative and responsible government. — p58.
These are foundational issues and they set up the Constitution and Parliament as The Important Bits. Should our Constitution express our aspirations as a community and define rights of individuals? I’m of the view that it shouldn’t. Constitutions should establish functional frameworks for maintaining effective governance. Within the context of the Constitution, the society will express its aspirations and define the rights of individuals. Why? Because aspirations change. The rights which are considered important and relevant change. Constitutions are rigid documents and, as such, are not good vehicles for fluid and malleable aspirations. Parliament is increasingly demonstrating that it can’t handle the task of being representative. Previous entries in this blog outlined Simpson’s Paradox showing why this has been the case. This appears to be a particularly self serving belief (similar to ‘Gillard wasn’t elected PM by the People’ — the position of Prime Minister is not a popularly elected position and it’s a conceit of politicians to suggest that they do).
The Australian Greens believe that [...] 7. Australia should become a republic with an Australian head of state. –p58.
Apart from Tony Abbott, are there any Monarchists left in the mainstream? It seems to be a worryingly one-sided debate.
The Australian Greens will: 15. enact a Bill of Rights. — p58.
The Australian Greens will [...] 17. support the following electoral reforms [...] constitutional recognition of the powers and responsibilities of local government — p59.
This is a dreadful proposal. We are already ‘overgoverned’ in Australia and suffer the politicisation of governance. I mean that word ‘suffer’ in the strongest possible terms. Creating further levels of government is not a useful ambition.
[...]reduced numbers of by-elections by allowing casual vacancies to be filled by a member of the retiring representative‟s party — p59.
Except we don’t elect parties in elections: we elect candidates. We ought to have the expectation that candidates will consider their electorates before their parties but, sadly, we know this is not the case. Party politics is a political disease in Australia and we should be seeking ways to reduce its influence. The Greens, it seems, disagree and want to treat seats in parliament like party play things.
[...]public funding of elections to eliminate private funding – p59.
I’m not certain that I want taxpayer money going towards election campaigns (if that’s what this means; else, I don’t know which private funds are used to hold elections…).
The Australian Greens will [...] 18. uphold judicial discretion in sentencing, and repeal mandatory sentencing legislation. — p61.
This is a superb proposal. I’m rather shocked that our system allows judicial discretion to be repealed through acts of legislation. While I understand that it’s not unique to Australia, it is still outrageous.
The Australian Greens will [...] 19. allow customary law and other cultural or personal factors to be taken into account by judges in determining sentences. — p61.
This is problematic because I don’t feel that customary law or other cultural/personal factors should influence the length of a sentence. The justice system should provide an equal playing field: that’s lessened if some groups in the community are held to different standards of culpability. Mind, I’m not speaking of people who have a real incapacity.
The Australian Greens will [...] 22. increase funding to community legal centres as an adjunct to legal aid and private legal practitioners. – p61.
I agree 100% with this. It is an embarrassment that the poor routinely receive legal services of a quality less than those who can afford to pay snazzy lawyers. The various state Bar societies should be nationalised and all barristers should be state employees.
The Australian Greens will [...] 14. allow and encourage the United Nations Human Rights Council to investigate alleged and potential human rights abuses in Australia, and comply with any recommendations. – p63.
Any recommendations?! Here’s a list of the current members of the UNHRC. Do you really want Libya, China, and Cuba making recommendations to Australia about human rights? Really? Are you insane in the mind?
The Australian Greens will [...] 19. ratify all United Nations Human Rights Conventions, including their optional protocols. – p63.
Even the dreadful ones? That’s the problem with most of these proposals: they’re so incredibly vague.
The Australian Greens will [...] 21. oppose the death penalty in all cases and support campaigns for its abolition. – p64.
My usual arguments in favour of the death penalty don’t hold here particularly well because the Greens also oppose — in principle — the use of prisons (preferring rehabilitation and the like). Even so, it seems reasonable to believe that the Greens think that there will be cases of people being sentenced to life imprisonment. If they do, then they’re happy for people to be punished by slow institutionalisation rather than give people a mercifully quick death. Admittedly, I doubt that I’ll see any other parties say: ‘Hey, we’re okay with the death penalty and advocate for its reintroduction’, so it’s a bit of a non-issue.
The Australian Greens want [...] 8. extensive structural reform to democratise the UN. – p65.
Holy frijoles. There is a good reason why there are a few big countries with permanent positions and veto power: it’s because you need to keep those countries engaged in the process. It’s no shock that countries in the UN system ‘group’ together to create powerful blocs. Do we really want a system where the ‘region’ (not all regions are regional, weirdly) with the most members gets what it wants? Is that what the UN is for?
The Australian Greens will [...] 35. seek support within the United Nations for a democratic process of self determination under autonomous governance in the West Papua Region. 36. support the rights of the Palestinian peoples to statehood through the creation of a viable state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel, based on the pre 1967 borders and the right of all peoples in the region to peace.
So Indonesian occupation is bad, but Jewish occupation is good? How does this work in the minds of the Greens?
The Australian Greens will [...] 33. end the ANZUS treaty unless Australia‟s membership can be revised in a manner which is consistent with Australia‟s international and human rights obligations. – p70.
… They’d do what?! If somebody started saying this around the water cooler at work, you’d think they were insane. Why, of all things, would you attack the ANZUS treaty?
The Australian Greens will [...] 43. support positive reform of the military justice system and measures to reduce discrimination and harassment amongst ADF members. – p70.
Okay. At this point, the policy should have said something about the Greens position on the Australian Military Court. It’s the number one issue of military reform regarding discrimination and harassment and the policy document is mysteriously silent.
The Australian Greens want [...] 12. the level of Australian overseas aid increased to a minimum of 0.7% of GNP by 2010, as mandated by the United Nations, with provision for greater increases should natural disasters or conflicts requiring major humanitarian interventions occur. — p71.
By 2010, you say?
The Australian Greens want [...] 14. a non-commercial aid program; aid must not be used as a means of subsidising Australian business. — p71.
An excellent idea. For more on this, read Crikey’s articles here.
Policy Category F: Science and Technology
The Australian Greens will: 14. institute a funding program for scientific research that specifically addresses community needs and national goals. – p73.
Eugh. That made me cringe: why would you base your scientific research specifically on community needs and national goals? Surely, you’d say: ‘What are the promising new research endeavours and how can federal funds help bring those endeavours into fruition?’ Else, we might was well set up ‘Scientific Idol’ and let people phone in their votes for which research should receive funds. No, that makes me cross. Since when is it the role of the State to tell academics what to study? Do you know why we need these funds so much? Because we underfund universities. Instead of making grants and whatnot, why not just inject those funds back into the tertiary education system? Oh, because there’s not enough funds. Silly me.
The Australian Greens will [...] 20. increase funding to the Australian Research Council and abolish the capacity for the Minister to veto board decisions. — p74.
So much for their earlier position (on p58) that Parliament is the central authority of representative and responsible government. The Ministerial veto power is to stop ARC from being too weird.
The Australian Greens will [...] 32. make funding to the SBS and the ABC comparable to current per capita funding models for public broadcasting in the United Kingdom. – p77.
Using the BBC’s annual report, we can work out how much this actually is. The BBC’s revenue is 4,605.7 million pounds. The population of the UK is 61,414,062. Thus, the per capita funding to the BBC is 75 pounds. 75 pounds is about $130. Multiply that by the population of Australia and we get $2,743 million for two stations. Remember, that figure includes revenues which the BBC generates itself and given that the BBC gets funding from television licence as well as from the government, it’s unclear how much of that $2,743 million is expected to come from a Greens government.
The Australian Greens will [...]
35. ensure that appointments to the boards of public broadcasters are subject to approval by the Parliament rather than the Prome [sic] Minister and Cabinet. – p77.
Yes, because the ABC board isn’t political enough without it being a question for Parliament. Golly hell.
The Australian Greens will [...]
37. legislate to ensure truth in political advertising. – p77.
Could you imagine the nightmarish legal battles regarding this?
39. phase out alcohol promotions from times and placements which have high exposure to young people – including banning TV advertising of alcohol between 7am and 9.30pm. – p77.
Le whut?! What sort of Nanny State are we after here? And I’m not the sort of person who usually cries about Nanny States making this really weird.
Since when is the Greens the anti-fun party?
The Australian Greens will [...]
40. ensure independent and transparent review of the ACMA website blacklist. – p77.
I thought they were against the blacklist? Admittedly, it’s hard to work out given the huge number of policies making repeat performances in later categories. I must say, the Greens aren’t making it particularly easy to navigate their policy document. Obscurantist, much.
The Australian Greens will [...]
43. maintain the ban on parallel importation of books. – p77.
Except we have historical precedent to help us here. There used to be a similar ban on importation of music. One of the outspoken opponents of it was none other than our current Minister for Environment and Misc., Peter Garrett. Opponents were absolutely certain that it would spell the end for Australian music and Australian music retailers. Lo and behold, it didn’t and now people can get their music less expensively. Books are needlessly expensive because of this ban and it’s not helping anybody.
Policy Category G: Sustainable Economy
Sweet merciful Zeus, the last category! Five pages to go: let’s rock it out.
The Australian Greens believe [...]
3. the free market economy, by externalising the environmental and social costs of greenhouse gas emissions is creating the greatest market failure of all time, namely climate change. – p79.
Ideological economics?! In Australia?! It’s more likely than you think.
The Australian Greens believe [...]
7. sustainable, equitable economic progress is best achieved by government ownership of natural monopolies and new government investment in strategic assets. – p79.
I’m not exactly quiet in my distaste for Libertarians (sorry Tory and Stephan), but even I’m left stunned by this. The question here is why natural monopolies necessitate the requirement for government ownership. For the life of me, I can’t think of a good reason.
The Australian Greens believe that [...]
11. social, political and economic institutions must allow individuals and communities to determine their own priorities. – p79.
Except climate change is market failure? How is this in any way consistent?
The Australian Greens will [...]
22. reduce inequities in the current personal tax system by [...]
abolishing the 30% Private Health Insurance Rebate in order to increase funding for public hospitals – p80.
I agree entirely. Health services — like legal services — are not a valid commodity and private health insurance schemes cause unhealthy societies where people have to choose between their health and their wallets. Health insurance schemes in the U.S. have bankrupted people and we’re eerily close to going down similar paths here in Australia.
[...] introduce a new top marginal tax rate of 50 per cent on incomes of $1 million or over. — p80.
Does it shock you that the demographic of the Greens voter base doesn’t typically involve the wealthy? How is a 50% tax rate anything but punitive? A person earning $999,999 will pay $424,849 in 2009-10. If the Greens had their way, if that person had earned an extra dollar, they would have paid $75,150 more in tax. That’s an expensive dollar!
The Australian Greens will [...]
40. reduce Australia‟s foreign debt and foreign ownership through use of trade, financial and regulatory measures to ensure more productive use of foreign capital and strengthening of Australian manufacturing, recognising the need to support economies in developing countries. – p81.
Wow. Talk about spin.
The Australian Greens will [...]
31. abolish the requirement for secret ballots before industrial action. – p83.
I think unions are great, but non-secret ballot is used to intimidate people. It took me a while to realise that self-interested groups were behind the opposition to secret ballot: union leaders wanted to ensure ‘solidarity’ through bullying. Secret ballot protected individuals from stand overs. It’s appalling that the Greens would oppose it.
The Australian Greens will [...]
43. restore the right of all employees, including casual, fixed term and probationary workers, to challenge termination of employment where it is unfair, with reinstatement to be the remedy except in exceptional circumstances. – p83.
If this were changed to ‘with compensation to be the remedy’, I’d agree entirely. Reinstatement forces people into hostile situations. Compensation is significantly fairer and acts as a deterrent to rogue employers.
The Australian Greens will [...]
46. increase casual loadings to a minimum of 30% and introduce the ability for casual employees to convert to permanent part time work after 3 months of continuous employment, where employment is on a continuous ongoing basis. — p84.
Brilliant idea. Casual employment should only be used to fill short-term gaps in employment. Leaving people on casual rates for months and months on end is entirely unfair.
The Australian Greens will [...]
12. remove Australia from existing bilateral Free Trade Agreements, where possible. – p87.
Who the devil thought up this policy?! FTAs have contributed enormously to the wealth of non-Anglophone countries. Breaking down barriers to trade improves opportunities for wealth generation. Why would the Greens oppose them?
13. enter into multilateral trade agreements, except where a bilateral trade agreement favours a developing country. – p83.
A problem with this is situations where you want to apply sanctions to a particular country. Imagine five countries join a multilateral FTA and one of the countries goes rogue and starts a campaign of genocide. In order to apply trade sanctions on that country, they need to be removed as a party to that agreement. That means more negotiations with the other countries. It is much easier to just terminate your bilateral agreements individually. There are no advantages to a multilateral agreement over a bilateral agreement, and multilateral agreements are more problematic. So why change?
The Australian Greens will [...]
17. prohibit the trade in goods that have been produced through the exploitation of children and other vulnerable people. – p87.
Brilliant idea. A better idea is to tax imported goods such that the average salary cost per item is equivalent to local minimum standards. For example, imagine a product costs 38c in wages to create here in Australia but only 9c in wages in Libertopia. That product should have a tariff of 29c. It means you don’t get an advantage by cutting out local labour.
The Australian Greens will [...]
22. support abolition of, unless radical reform can democratise, the IMF, World Bank and WTO. — p88.
Here I am on the third last page and I’ve reached some kind of nirvana: I’m no longer shocked by the outrageously crazy proposals of the Greens. I have become desensitised.
The Australian Greens will [...]
36. eliminate level crossings in urban areas, and ensure the presence of signals on all crossings in rural and regional parts of the national rail network. – p90.
Yes, the Greens will protect us from the menace of level crossings…
The worst part about this policy is that it was clearly derived from the hysteria drummed up by Today Tonight and A Current Affair. Oh, they’re so dangerous. I don’t know anybody who knows anybody that’s been injured due to a level crossing.
And there we have it. 90 pages of the Greens policies which are mostly vague waffle mixed with a few outrageously crazy ideas. It’s sad that just about every single person who votes for the Greens at the upcoming election won’t read through that document, especially considering the conversations I’ve had with people lately about the Greens have revealed how little people know about the party they support. Only one person knew that the Greens opposed reproductive cloning (which is a major issue for some people, including me), and that person wasn’t going to vote for the Greens anyway.