Ramblings #2

  1. The Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey result was announced yesterday. It was a resounding Yes vote in favour of marriage equality (full data here). Some things to note – western Sydney was the main hub of the No vote with 12 of the 17 majority No electorates. Interesting to note that a number of staunch No politicians saw their seats return strong Yes votes (Tony Abbott, Eric Abetz, Matthias Cormann). This probably won’t result in a party change at the next electorate for those seats though but one can hope. It was a good result given the circumstances but it still doesn’t excuse that face we are way behind on equal rights in respect to same sex couples. Now the legislation needs to pass the two houses for the law to be changed so there are still some ways the No proponents can obstruct.
  2. Sticking with Australia, the football team qualified for the World Cup. It was a David v Goliath battle as they beat Honduras. After reading this, pretty obvious that Goliath won.
  3. Looks like Mugabe is under house arrest . Seems like the outcome will be a military dictatorship. A step sideways, perhaps.

Ramblings #1

  1. Ohio voted no to capping the amount the state pays for prescription drugs (Cleveland.com article). That is a bad self-own. I don’t even know how the big pharma companies can twist the narrative to make the expansion look bad. According to the link, No campaign spent three times as much than the Yes campaign but on what? What would a No ad look like? Bizarre.
  2. The whole Manus Island debacle is a disgrace (some refugees have left the camp now). Peter Dutton and many other politicians, past and present, have violated human rights in their attempt to stop asylum seekers arriving in Australia. New Zealand offered to relocate the refugees but that isn’t good enough for either the LNP or Labor as, once they get NZ citizenship, they would be allowed into Australia freely. The link is from The Australian and the comments are typical of the majority readership – selfish conservative arseholes.

The Contradiction that is the Coalition’s Tax Scare

It seems that the current Australian Government has a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing, which is bizarre because, in this instance, both hands are called the Treasury.

Let’s start with some facts. The Coalition has made it clear they are considering cutting the company tax rate. This currently sits at 30% for companies that have annual turnover above $2 million. It is 28.5% for companies that turnover less than this. It appears this is mainly driven by President Trump’s indication that he would cut the US corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%, thus making America an attractive place for investment at the expense of places like Australia.

This would be fine if the Coalition wasn’t also trying to decrease the budget deficit. They are relying on a drop in company tax increasing the pool of company money as Australia would be more attractive for foreign investment. That is, the percentage is less, but the amount collected is more. It’s a big gamble especially when Australia allows for dividend imputation already. As Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh pointed out, a company tax rate of 30% with imputation is the same as a company tax rate of 20% without imputation.

Whilst this is a clear contradiction, the Coalition seemingly one upped itself when, yesterday, Treasurer Scott Morrison suggested that if the “omnibus” bill that has packaged some budget cuts in with shifting a significant amount of money from welfare to fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme doesn’t pass the Senate, taxes may have to be increased to cover the shortfall so the deficit isn’t increased. That is, company tax can be cut but income tax will need to be increased.

Firstly, it takes a sick and depraved party to pit those who rely on welfare against those who have a disability and then to hold the larger population at ransom, trying to force them to take sides. That these changes are being packaged in with budget cuts seems like a concession that the Coalition knows it is doing something the people of Australia would not like. Furthermore, shifting expenses from one column to another doesn’t save any money anyway. The people of Australia do not appreciate games like these, where a party will try to hide behind meagre budget cuts to significantly change the welfare system.

The NDIS does need money to fund it but if the government thinks it’s a good idea to take that money from the poorest of Australians, either through shifting welfare payments or increasing income tax rates, then they are way out of touch with the people they are meant to be representing. Add to this the proposed company tax cut and it doesn’t take an economist or policy specialist to see that something is amiss.

The numbers don’t add up and it’s starting to show that the incompetence in the Treasury didn’t stop at Joe Hockey.


Why Cory Bernardi will never be Donald Trump

Cory Bernardi wants to be Australia’s Donald Trump. He thinks he can do this by starting his own conservative party, but what Cory doesn’t know is he can’t be like Trump because of one big, fat glaring fact – Cory is an establishment politician.

Poor Cory thinks that Trump won the White House because he was anti-PC. He said what he liked, seemingly without a filter, and the people responded to this. If you think that’s all Trump had to do to win, you have sorely misunderstood what occurred. Trump’s biggest plus for voters wasn’t that he was fine with calling Mexicans rapists. It wasn’t that he had a particularly intense and lecherous form of so-called ‘locker room’ chat. It was because he was a businessman with no political background. He was someone different, someone new, someone that voters who had felt hard done by over the years might change the system.

Cory began his Senate career in 2006 when he was parachuted into the vacant seat left by the retirement of Senator Robert Hill. Being selected by the Liberal Party to fill this role makes one think that Cory was from the party mould. Political outfits rarely give an outsider or unknown a chance to fill a vacant seat. They give it to those who exemplify the party values. Cory was a manufactured Liberal. He was told when to vote and how to vote and he followed. It’s going to be very difficult for him to carve himself out as something different when he has spent so long being the same.

Trump also had a lot of bravado and was able to say things that stuck. He systematically destroyed his GOP nominee opponents by calling them names and attacking their political history. They couldn’t do this to him because he had no political history. His opponents tried to take him to task over failed business ventures but they wouldn’t take the leap to Trump’s level that was required. Marco Rubio did once, questioning Trump’s masculinity by pointing out his unusually small hands. He then apologised for this whilst Trump coined the term Little Marco and made a mockery of him to the point he withdrew before John Kasich, even though he had more preliminary votes.

Cory has a blog that doesn’t get much attention outside the few die hard fans of his and he generally doesn’t get much attention in the media other than leftist programs and newspapers constantly using him as a punching bad. To be fair to these outlets, Cory makes himself an easy target for ridicule. Whether it is questioning global warming or saying that marriage equality will lead to bestiality, Cory sure knows how to draw the ire of the left. Also, the fact that Cory is defecting wouldn’t be as big an issue if the Turnbull Government wasn’t already in turmoil. Cory doesn’t have the personality to be a Trump. When he speaks, few too people listen.

The Liberal Party, according to Cory, won’t allow him to say whatever he wants, irrespective of whether it is offensive. For this, Cory is starting his own party. That is a weak platform to begin on, one that can’t be sustained for very long. Most of this stems from Cory’s outdated views of abortion and same-sex marriage and the illogical notion that the majority Christian ethos is under attack from the minority Islam ethos in Australia. He is banking on there being enough people in Australia who hold those same views. However, there is already a party for those thinkers. It is called One Nation and is led by a walking mouth in Pauline Hanson. He will be competing for voters, not with the Liberal Party, but with One Nation.

Also, let’s call this for what it is. It’s a coward’s move. Cory would like us to believe he gallantly fought within the Liberal Party to shift its direction in the right way, that being a more conservative one according to Cory. This sentiment masks the fact the Cory ran as a Liberal to get re-elected in July last year to a 6 year term. Announcing his defection 6 months into that term, allowing him to set a platform over 5 years to be reelected, shows how little faith he had in his convictions and beliefs resonating with the people to win a spot in the Senate. I don’t often agree with George Brandis but I’m with him in saying that Cory should resign and re-contest as an Independent.

Cory has around five and a half years to make himself into Donald Trump. This won’t happen because he is still part of the establishment no matter how many minorities he offends or scientific facts he disregards.