Saturday 30th of September 2023


Now we know how Nazi Germany came about. (Jane Rayner)

I think the election results say more about the people who voted for Howard than about Howard himself.

I often wondered how ordinary decent people could have manned concentration camps and witnessed the horrors without a twinge of conscience. The answer is twofold; they abdicated their responsibility to defend their democracy and in return Hitler gave them permission to do his dirty work without fear of the consequences.

It may seem too radical an idea, but I believe that a similar thing happened on 9 October. The Howard voters have made the same sort of pact with him. As long as they don't have to buy a car or anything important from him, it's fine to let him run the country. After all, that's not going to impact on their lives at all, is it?

Getting the message out (Gavin McAuliffe)


In reference to Margo's comments about influencing people to stand as independents, I think a better way is to get a party of integrity into government. This is my suggestion:

Plan of action to make the Greens our next Government.

1. Every electorate is carved up into lots of a few streets.

2. Every lot is allocated to a group of supporters who are charged with the responsibility of their lot.

3. Every household is contacted 7 times prior to the election by the group responsible for the lot, in a systematic, planned and organised manner. (Because studies show that an average person needs to see something 7 times before they notice it properly.)

4. The key aim of each contact is to be a personal visit with literature distribution and explanations of key policy areas. The result of each contact is recorded for statistical purposes. A personal contact will not result in every case so letterbox literature will be left. Either way, people will also talk amongst t

Damning report on Australia's Media (Russell Darroch)

Index slams Australia's media freedom
October 27, 2004 - 8:24AM

Australia has ranked dismally in a global index on media freedom released by Paris-based watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Australia could only manage 41st position in RSF's third annual index of press freedom, lagging behind some former Eastern bloc nations, including Hungary (28), Czech Republic (19) and Poland (32).

Regional neighbour New Zealand placed a respectable ninth and was one of only three nations outside Europe to rank in the top 20. [continues]

See here for full story.

Margo was far more 'spot on' than even she might have feared :-(

There is a lot to fix in Australia 2004 ... sad, but let's get on with it!

Keeping The Faith (Joseph Walters)

The 'Defending Our Democracy' site is going to change and grow with everyone's interested input.

The postings on this site show that there are many numbers of us who are still committed to fixing up 'our' country politically and financially in any number of democratic ways. The diversity of opinion is remarkable and wonderful, but we all share the same vision, that is, to 'get our system fixed for the benefit of all Australian citizens'.

The little bit we all can do and some can do more than others, is important, do your little bit, it does count and it is valuable and it contributes to making changes happen.

Individually we all count, individually we can affect change - I believe in the citizens of Australia - I believe we hold the decision to change and influence global perspectives. I don't agree with some of the perceptions of people linking into this site, but I do agree that we have to have an 'inclusive' process.

We are not so different as people, we all have the

bLOG: Fixing Australia in one hundred words (Jack H Smit)

bLOG: Fixing Australia in one hundred words

Since the recent Federal election, which I had hoped would turn out as a notice of eviction for the Howard government, it has been quiet, strangely quiet. I sense a despair amongst many people when I ask them to talk and share their thoughts, a despair about Australia, about its social conscience, about the future we had hoped for in a new government after the recent election.

In many people I sense a notion that Australia is broken, and while we're all coming to terms with the election, which is interpreted by many as a loss for refugees, a loss of values, a loss of possibilities we had hoped for, a loss of honesty amongst many people, and a loss for Australia itself, there seems to be an uneasy disquiet when it comes to the ingenuity in how to fix that broken Australia.

Julian Burnside considers leaving for New Zealand. A member of The Greens, independently, also mentions New Zealand. An academic friend in WA ponders a

The Silent 47.33% (Cilla Tey)

Thanks Jack, for your blog (Fixing Australia).

After preferences, only 52.67% of the eligible voters voted for the Coalition and 47.33% did not. But if one had been following the mainstream media one would think that at least 75% had voted for Howard!

I will submit my 100 words but alas, I suspect that while the economy is strong and interest rates are low it's an uphill battle convincing those in marginal seats to change government.

Not Happy John Update ()

The following is currently being posted to our Not Happy John mailing list. If you would like to be on this list email us.

Dear supporters of Margo Kingston�s Not Happy John! website,

Firstly, thankyou for your patience. Burnout is a serious issue for activists, and we have all needed a bit of a break in order to come back fighting.

This Friday Margo is regrouping with the NHJ! team and we are preparing for the next phase of the website and the �Defending Our Democracy� project. Note that �Defending Our Democracy� is the subtitle of Margo�s book, and has always had a much broader relevance than merely, �Not Happy John!�

At this time we are negotiating with an ISP for our new site and figuring out the details of the design. Our central goals are to build a genuine alternative media, to compete with the increasingly sycophantic mainstream, and to abet a mass movement to support, defend and if possible extend

A submission to Labor branches (Daemon Singer)

We have put together a submission to the Brisbane Regional ALP conference, which may be of interest to other regions; to set up and utilise online communities, as proposed by Mark Latham during the campaign.

If you want a copy of it, please email us directly and we will forward it to you to submit to your own branch or region.

Minor parties and 'fracturing' the vote (Troy Rollo)

Minor parties don't 'fracture' the vote in the lower house because of the way the preference system operates there - more options usually just means more opportunities there. In the upper house, the group ticket system does have some problems, especially when, as happened this election, the preferences are decided based on deals made between the parties rather than based on the policy of the parties or candidates receiving the preferences.

As long as the parties allocate preferences in a rational way, even the upper house system will normally not run into problems because there are more candidates. Hopefully the ALP and Democrats will have learnt their lesson on this.

Suggestion for developing democratic muscle (Philip Sutton)

The election result was a disaster, but it was a result that has been a long time coming - decades, not weeks or months. I think we've let the democratic muscle of our citizenry/society run down to a dangerous level.

We will need to build up media outlets that have a strong commitment to democracy - but even more importantly we need to draw more and more ordinary people into being involved in sorting out public policy issues. Simply voting is not enough - whether at elections or in referenda - because it's too easy to let someone else tell you what to vote. What we need practice at is actually thinking through and talking through issues with our fellow citizens and seeking out good info to feed into our cogitations.

Maybe local governments (or any other governments) that have a commitment to building our democratic muscle could institute a system of calling in relatively large numbers of citizens (in a manner vaguely reminiscent of the jury service idea) to work through issues

Political parties and strategies (Dr Russell Darroch)

Dear All NHJ People,

I do not profess to have an answer to this problem ... but I think we need a serious discussion amongst ourselves about the following issues:

a) In the time available it is unlikely that a viable alternative party can be built in time to do signficant things for the next election, which we *must* win.

b) Part of how Howard got in was due to the fractured voting caused by minor parties and the quirks of the preferences system.

c) The Coalition parties are highly(!) UNLIKELY to reform themselves given the current leaders in both camps - or under the likely replacements once Howard cuts and runs.

d) We are unlikely to form an alternative free press in this country in time to take effect, sadly. The pathetic behaviour of all major media (even the SMH wimped out and didn't back Latham) gives no ground for optimism. NHJ!(HA): Watch this space Russell

So, there seems to be very little hope for us (l)iberals of any flavour to get satisfaction

Howard might not get Senate control! Perhaps I hit send a bit too soon...look at this development and PRAY ... (Dr Russell Darro

Nat lashes PM as Senate control in doubt
Patricia Karvelas and Andrew McGarry
October 23, 2004

JOHN Howard's chances of controlling the Senate in his own right were in doubt last night as the Nationals' Barnaby Joyce fell behind One Nation's Len Harris for the first time in the crucial race for the sixth Queensland seat. [continues at,5744,11158248%255E2702,00.html]

I'm not a great fan of One Nation ... but in this case GO FOR IT!

Anybody up for a complaint to the Law Society about Philip Ruddock? (Troy Rollo)

After seeing that Ruddock is still claiming that the kangaroo court at Guantanamo Bay constitutes a fair system of justice - even when US courts are getting stuck into the US administration over their failure to observe basic standards of justice, it got me to wondering if the Attorney-General still has a solicitor's practising certificate in New South Wales. As it turns out, he does.

Even before the US courts started getting stuck into the administration, it is fairly easy to come up with a list of reasons why the Guantanamo system falls short of the standards of reasonable justice. As Ruddock is a solicitor, there is no way he could possibly be unaware of these deficiencies.

Now if he is aware, but continues to claim without qualification that the system is fair, he's being

Syndicate content