A Eureka Stockade moment? Your #BentleyBlockade brief before NSW Police ‘Operation Stapler’

[clear] [clear]Northern Rivers communities unite against government-endorsed gas mining frenzy In protest against the mining frenzy that is gripping the country, the community-led non-violent blockade at Bentley in the Northern Rivers of NSW is emerging as one of the largest social uprisings the country has witnessed. The blockade of the drill site, which began almost four months ago in response to the planned tight sands gas mining of prime agricultural land, has grown steadily in size with thousands of people, from all walks of life, regularly attending. From landholders to professionals and doctors to academics, writers, teachers, Mayors and Indigenous elders, grandparents and even members of the Clergy – the […]

Reading the #WAvotes tea leaves: @sarah_capper

[clear]   Following an Australian Electoral Commission bungle after the federal Senate count last September, West Australians were forced back to the polls earlier this month, in what was supposed to represent either an endorsement for Tony Abbott’s Government and policies – or it would instead show an improvement in Labor’s poor vote in the state last September and suggest the opposition was on the right track. It did neither. Neither of the major parties truly succeeded in their campaigns, both losing around 5 per cent of their share from the September result. This desertion of voters from both major parties went to The Greens and the Palmer United minor parties – The Greens […]

Counting and counting again, and again: @GuinevereHall on the #WAvotes

As I write this, a new election is to be held for the Western Australian Senate, the first time this has happened since 1907, when there was a re-vote for a single Senate position in South Australia. How did it come to this? The 2013 WA Senate election saw Labor’s Louise Pratt and the Palmer United Party’s Zhenya Dio Wang win the last two Senate spots. However, this was challenged by The Greens’ Scott Ludlum and the Sports Party’s Wayne Dropulich, due to the difference of just 14 votes at a critical point in the count. A recount was called and the new winners appeared to be Ludlam and Dropulich. […]

The reckoning of Indi: What took so long?

by Tom Anderson September 18, 2013 “The ballot being a means of protecting the franchise, must not be made an instrument to defeat it.” “Where the intention is clear, doubtful questions of form should be resolved in favour of the franchise.” “The language of the Act read as a whole and in favour of the franchise as all such Acts should read.” “The mark he made is a clumsy dot or a clumsy figure 1. It is very inartistic but remembering that voters may be young or old, ill or well, scholarly or not, I resolve the doubtful question of form in favour of the franchise, there being no doubt […]

Democracy in Gellibrand gets a nudge from No Fibs’ citizen journo @Dusty_1

by Grant Philpots August 20, 2013 After seeing a No Fibs report about last week’s candidates’ forum in Wentworth, I decided to see about organising one here in Gellibrand. So far, events have been held on specific issues such as public transport, but as far as I’m aware there has been no occasion where the community could observe and ask questions of the candidates who want their vote. I made a couple of calls, including one to Hobson’s Bay Council where I left a message for the facilities officer to call back (I’m still waiting five business days later). I managed to secure an excellent venue for the event at […]

Social media campaigning in Wills: @takvera reports

By John Englart 24 July 2013 Social media is impacting on how local election campaigns are being run, and even the Australian Electoral Commission has moved registering-to-vote and updating voter details online, specifically developing a Facebook app to motivate enrollment of new voters. Traditionally, local election campaigns rely on letterboxing, door knocking, and local newspaper advertisements and news profile articles to get the message out. This is still largely the case. Occasionally community-hosted meet-the-candidates forums are held. I hope to report on one such forum currently being organised by Climate Action Moreland in Wills in coming weeks. But the advent of social media has added an important 24/7 immediacy and interactive […]

Why Tony Abbott should never be PM.

By Margo Kingston Source: Independent Australia January 3rd , 2013 AFTER THE PUBLICATION of my book Not Happy, John! in 2004, former Liberal Party staffer Christian Kerr, then political correspondent for Crikey, told me the ʻAustralians for Honest Politicsʼ chapter was dynamite, ʻthe most importantʼ in the book. “But it wonʼt get followed up,” I asked him, “will it?” “No,” he replied. Christian did his best in ʻTony Abbott’s unholy dealings with the AEC’ — but Abbott is something of a protected species in Australian politics. When push comes to shove, press gallery heavies circle the wagons around Tony and our supposed electoral watchdogs file him away in the bottom drawer. As recently as December 17 […]