Climate change, as seen in Australia

Australian politicians are fond of looking down the barrel of a camera and saying “Australia is meeting – and beating! – its international emissions targets”. They’re lying. OK, technically they can look their kids in the eye and claim they’re not lying – just – because if you employ a couple of loopholes built into those targets back in the 1990s, Australia is (technically) meeting them. But that’s a bit like various bad actors that pay zero tax saying they meet all their tax obligations. They might domicile themselves in low-tax countries and/or use shell companies to avoid paying taxes. […]

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On Australia’s Vote for Same Sex Marriage – Resolving the Issues

This is the third (and final) instalment in a series on Australia’s current debate over making same-sex marriage legal. The first instalment looked at the backstory to the issue. The second instalment looked briefly at the Yes and No campaigns, as well as my view on the issue. In this final instalment, I’d like to look at a few of the key issues and try to shine some light on those issues. —— The ‘Yes’ campaign has a pretty simple platform: It’s time for same-sex couples to get the same access to marriage as heterosexuals. Australia is an egalitarian society […]

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Australia and Same Sex Marriage – The Campaign, and My View

This is the second in a 3-part series on the question of same-sex marriage, which is currently being ‘debated’ in Australia ahead of a non-compulsory public vote that is not binding on the government (and if you’re wondering “if it’s non-compulsory and non-binding, why have it?” – please join the massive queue forming on the left). Part 1 of this series discussed the backstory to this issue. Onwards and upwards, then…. The Ballot This is the question on the postal survey form sent out to Australian voters in the last few weeks. It’s pretty simple. Or it should be. Advocates […]

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On Australia’s Vote for Same-Sex Marriage – Backstory

My home country is fighting with itself right now. The issue? Same-sex marriage. Rather than do what they were elected to do (legislate), the Australian federal government, which has the sole legal jurisdiction over the definition of marriage, decided to outsource its job to the people. They’re holding a nationwide, non-compulsory vote on whether or not the definition of marriage within the Marriage Act 1961 should be changed to allow for same-sex marriage. Ballots have been mailed to citizens around the country and the Yesses and Nos will be tallied as of November 7. The results will be announced on […]

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Up To Our Necks In It

I wouldn’t normally reproduce a friend’s Facebook status on here, but this has been with me all day. Thanks Nige, for letting me reproduce this post from yesterday: We were just driving over the Tasman Bridge and I saw a young lady climbing over the rail. I said to Rachael look she is going to jump. Took eyes off her, back onto road as we passed. Then I looked in the mirror and I saw her fall. Please, if you are feeling this way, seek help. There’s a picture of the Tasman Bridge at the top of this post. It’s […]

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#Auspol – Budget Schmudget

Hey Australia! For the last couple of years we’ve had a budget emergency. We’ve been living amongst a debt and deficit disaster – we know this because Tony and Joe told us – and if you didn’t agree with Sweaty Joe’s plans to fix it, then you were stealing from your children. You heartless bastards! But hey, that was 2014. It’s 2015 now. Relax. Have a cigar. There’s nothing to worry about. Tony and Joe told us so. The 2014 budget fixed everything (even though most of it is still stuck in the Senate 12 months later). Look how relaxed […]

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#Auspol – The Ballad Of Tony Abbott

Politically speaking, our Prime Minister is now regarded as a dead man walking. There was a motion to spill the top leadership positions in the Liberals’ party room on Monday. It was moved by a couple of disaffected backbenchers sick to the mayhem at the top levels of the government. 40% of Tony Abbott’s party voted against his leadership – and that was without an alternative leader being nominated. It was Tony vs no-one and no-one got 40% of the vote. And given that his ministers were more-or-less bound by tradition to support him, that number actually rises to 67% […]

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Bleeding Heart Lefty: Australia and Climate Change

Today, the Australian parliament repealed the country’s carbon reduction legislation. It has effectively left our country with no pollution reduction policy and we are the first country in the world to go from having a price on carbon pollution, to having no price on carbon pollution. Our government campaigned hard on this for some time. They successfully prosecuted the false argument that our carbon tax was hurting Australian business and that it was ineffective in tackling the issue that it was designed for. That neither is actually true – emissions are actually down and the economy has kept growing – […]

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#Auspol: Meet Our President, Tony Abbott

Tony Abbott

This is too good not to share. It’s our Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, as profiled by John Oliver’s team at Last Week Tonight (HBO). It’s part of their ongoing “Other Presidents of the United States” series. — The Prime Ministership of Tony Abbott is kind of like Australia’s ‘Dubya’ moment. We’ve elected him once and already we can see the consequences. The big question is whether or not we’ll elect him again. As Dubya himself said…..

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Bleeding Heart Lefty – Smokin Joe Hockey’s Fight For Free Education

I missed commenting on The Budget ™ because my computer had crapped its pants but I couldn’t resist this. The background….. Last week our nation’s Treasurer, Joe Hockey, delivered his government’s first budget. Like most first-term government inaugural budgets, it blows a whole bunch of political capital on ideological flights of fancy that the government hopes it can make up for before the next election. It’s a budget that makes Australia a meaner, more desperate place. One of those flights of fancy is the deregulation of universities and associated changes to Australia’s student loans scheme. Basically, the government wants a […]

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