The Aftermath: Debacle, but is there a silver lining?

Feeling like life sucked out of me right now. Yesterday’s poll booth activities took some energy, but I actually enjoyed it. Cross-party friendliness was evident in the places I went to  — even with Lib supporters – no hostility. Even helped each other when party corflutes blew away in the wind.  That’s the microcosm of what Australian society is, or at the very least, should be.  Respect for different views, but a common humanity. The only exception was the deliberate taking down of an ALP banner at the Harrison (ACT) poll venue – which had been put up by Labor team people the previous night,  but disappeared by early morning.

The aftermath is devastating to Labor and its supporters,  but I always tell myself at times like this: there must be a sliver lining. That may well be a  start for the Labor Party on a new path to becoming  stronger, more unified, and able to connect its vision and core values more effectively with the populace. That can happen as long as the party takes a hard,  look at and within itself, – take a reality check at the imperfections that have beset the organisation in recent years.

For now, no matter what political colour we belong to, as citizens of this country committed to the ideals of true democracy – social justice and equity in participation and opportunity,  it behoves us to be ever vigilant, to become wise  wily and covert attempts by the powerful elite to undermine those ideals.

Is She For Real? Gina Rinehart Offers Her Prison Solution

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-06/gina-rinehart-mining-industry-jobs-crime-texas-jails/4940370

Is she for real? 

GINA RINEHART thinks she has the answer for congested prisons: let criminals buy their way out. It is also, as she points out, one way to increase the government’s revenue. She is being true to her beliefs: MONEY IS THE ANSWER TO EVERYTHING.

Never mind that one function of prisons is to rehabilitate, not just punish, offenders. Another is deterrence – a criminal is less likely to reoffend after incarceration. Does Gina not even think that such a scheme could lead to more crime – albeit “non-violent” as she puts it?

Gina makes one distinction: this would be only allowed for ‘non-violent’ criminals,  I guess she means murderers and the like. But anyone convicted of any crime is not fit to be released into the community, in my view, not unless that person shows evidence of remorse and reform. As  Rossleigh Brisbane wrote (http://wp.me/p30D9d-1xR):

Drug dealing, for example, is potentially non-violent. So, after being convicted of selling a large shipment of cocaine to school children, I simply pay my fine and go back to business.

So – no problem at all if you’ve lined your pockets from dodgy dealings a la Bond, Skase or Adler,  but if you’re some poor bugger from skid row — in the cells, mate!

C’mon Australia – why risk change when the going is good?

Australia Net Debt

Australia today, after six years of Labor Government: C’mon, voters, do you really want to risk changing this?
• rate of capital investment:at 27 per cent of GDP, ithe second highest in the top 20 countries,
• Australia’s investment: GDP ratio in 2010-11 – almost double that of the US.
• “Australians are among the most satisfied people in the world with their freedom of choice, quality of education, satisfaction with their jobs, even satisfaction with government – and overall satisfaction with life.” [UN 2013 Human Development Index]
• tenth highest gross domestic product per-capita worldwide
• the tenth lowest rate of unemployment among the 35 most advanced economies worldwide
• the sixth lowest net debt to GDP ratio among the 26 most advanced economies

“your public debt problems seem amazingly trivial by our standards. We only wish we had your net debt position, which is obviously incredibly comfortable.” [Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator, Financial Times, London, in ABC Lateline, http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2012/s3612157.htm%5D