Time to be Alert … And a little bit Alarmed? – the @sarah_capper column

Yes, that’s right, last week Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the Government was raising Australia’s ‘terror alert’ status to ‘high’.  While technically this means a terrorist attack on Australian soil is now regarded as “likely”, the PM was quick to clarify that “this does not mean that a terror attack is imminent. We have no specific intelligence of particular plots.” Fast forward one week as Australians woke to the news of police raids on houses in Sydney and Brisbane. Almost 900 police were involved with 15 people detained and at this stage, one charged with conspiracy to prepare an attack, another charged with weapons offenses. Based on media reports, the […]

Civil rights and wrongs at #leardblockade: @adropex comments

[clear] [clear] Most Australians would take for granted that in a democracy such as ours certain human rights and freedoms are a given. In fact, the Australian constitution is limited in its articulation of human rights to the point of barely referencing them. We do not have an equivalent to the United States Bill of Rights and we do not have a First Amendment, which guarantees freedoms with respect to religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition. As a founding member of the United Nations, Australia participated in the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and is signatory to various other international human rights treaties. Most […]

Independents, pirates, and a bullet train: new faces in #GriffithVotes @GriffithElects reports

By Jan Bowman @GriffithElects 31st January 2014 Independent candidate in the Griffith by-election, Karel Boele, comes across as accomplished, considered and energetic. He has studied mechatronics, physics, and strategic affairs. He has managed large financial projects in South East Asia, and he currently runs a business which provides advice on participatory democracy and on complementary currencies such as Time banking. Among his clients is the NSW Government Department of Education and Communities, to which his company provides software and support for a time banking project in the Central Coast and Hunter Valley regions. He told No Fibs that he is in politics for the long haul. While he is standing […]

Cathy McGowan’s female indie MP predecessor Doris Blackburn

[clear] By Dr Robin Tennant-Wood 18 September 2013 With the news that Sophie Mirabella has conceded defeat to Independent Cathy McGowan in the seat of Indi, the electoral book has closed on one of the most closely watched head-to-head contests in an otherwise lacklustre election. The election of a high profile woman as an Independent MP has come on the same day as the swearing-in of the new cabinet, notable only for its anachronistic dearth of female representation. While the electoral book might be closed on Indi, however, McGowan’s win has sent political historians scuttling for the record books to check for precedents. Indi has been continuously held by conservative parties […]

Lianna Sliwczynski, Batman Candidate, The Australian Sex Party

[clear] By Bumpy Favell 4 Sept 2013 I requested an interview with Lianna Sliwczynski, the Australian Sex Party, ASP candidate for Batman in late July 2013, along with all of the other Batman candidates. If candidates didn’t reply within a few days, I kept contacting them. Three responded promptly: Phillip Sutton, Save the Planet Party, Alex Bhathal, Greens and David Feeney, Labor. But there was no response from Lianna despite repeated attempts. Since the election was called on August 4, I hadn’t seen anything in my electorate from either the ASP or their candidate for this marginal seat – no posters, leaflets, or interviews in the local papers. In late August, […]

Sex Party’s Adrian Trajstman in Wills: @takvera interview

By John Englart 18 August 2013 As a minor party candidate in Wills, Adrian Trajstman’s main role in this election is to publicise the policies of the Australian Sex Party and to promote Fiona Patten’s Victorian Senate campaign. I caught up with Adrian at the Edinburgh Castle hotel over a drink and talked about issues and his party’s policies. The Australian Sex Party is a progressive civil libertarian party that was founded in 2009 by former sex worker and CEO of the Eros Foundation, Fiona Patten. It is an attempt to push back at the influence of conservative religious oriented parties like the DLP, Family First and the Christian Democratic […]