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Old 06-19-2016, 07:22 AM   #136
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Has any other person constantly tried so hard in Australian politics?
You better not be forgetting Nigel Freemarijuana!

(Actually even he seems to have given up. Somebody else leads the HEMP Party now.)
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"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 06-19-2016, 07:26 AM   #137
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I've never actually heard of him. Does he live in Nimbin?
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Old 06-19-2016, 07:30 AM   #138
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Yep. It's an interesting one though, because the Senate functions now - and has for decades - as a parties' house. Wouldn't it be more honest to elect it proportionally, like the New Zealand and some European parliaments? If your party gets 8% of the national vote, you get 8% of the seats.

But of course that raises the question of where that leaves the small states. It removes even the theoretical possibility that their elected members could combine to defend their interests.

I think it's fine as it is, but if you want to talk proportional representation in the lower house, party-wise, well that's a whole other conversation. The Greens should by rights (people will say) have 10% or whatever seats in the House. Of course Beazley should also have won the 1998 election. If wishes were fishes...
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Old 06-19-2016, 07:33 AM   #139
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What happened with One Nation is that its economic concerns (this was the highwater mark of 'economic rationalism', which John Howard later partly defused with his middle class bribes) got lost in a fog as every far-right outfit in the country flocked to the flag-draped Joan of Arc. I'd say it turned Pauline's head. I'd say the company she keeps and the people who praise her, give her the strength to go on contesting elections. Well that, and she has to keep herself in the manner to which she has grown accustomed. Regular employment is right out; Dancing with the Stars is over; how many stories are New Idea or Woman's Day going to pay for at this point?
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Old 06-19-2016, 07:36 AM   #140
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Oh boy, time for me to delve into John Madigan's Manufacturing and Farming Party.

It just sounds like a company to me. Buy your tractors from Madigan Manufacturing and Farming Pty Ltd!

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I've never actually heard of him. Does he live in Nimbin?
Hahaha, yes, he founded the HEMP Party in Nimbin. Nobody could possibly be surprised by this.

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I think it's fine as it is, but if you want to talk proportional representation in the lower house, party-wise, well that's a whole other conversation. The Greens should by rights (people will say) have 10% or whatever seats in the House. Of course Beazley should also have won the 1998 election. If wishes were fishes...
If wishes were fishes, I'd definitely be requesting some form of MMP in the lower house.

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What happened with One Nation is that its economic concerns (this was the highwater mark of 'economic rationalism', which John Howard later partly defused with his middle class bribes) got lost in a fog as every far-right outfit in the country flocked to the flag-draped Joan of Arc. I'd say it turned Pauline's head. I'd say the company she keeps and the people who praise her, give her the strength to go on contesting elections. Well that, and she has to keep herself in the manner to which she has grown accustomed. Regular employment is right out; Dancing with the Stars is over; how many stories are New Idea or Woman's Day going to pay for at this point?
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Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 06-19-2016, 07:36 AM   #141
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Pretty much.

I've spent far too long working on this JLN review, but by "working on" what I really mean is that she suggests Indigenous parliamentary seats along the lines of New Zealand's Maori seats, so I've gone down a New Zealand history wormhole. Because I definitely haven't done enough of that at work over the last six years.

That's actually a surprisingly stirring idea from her. Honestly, it's the one thing that would really set the cat among the pigeons, because as I've said before, part of the reason why Indigenous people in this country have it so fucking bad is that they are politically ignorable. That didn't happen in NZ.

Never happen of course, but a bloc of guaranteed Indigenous seats in the house or senate could be interesting times...
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Old 06-19-2016, 07:43 AM   #142
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That's actually a surprisingly stirring idea from her. Honestly, it's the one thing that would really set the cat among the pigeons, because as I've said before, part of the reason why Indigenous people in this country have it so fucking bad is that they are politically ignorable. That didn't happen in NZ.

Never happen of course, but a bloc of guaranteed Indigenous seats in the house or senate could be interesting times...
To tell you the truth, I'm unsure how I feel about the idea. The Maori seats were created basically to try to neutralise the Maori King Movement in 1867. They were never expected to have any influence, but to give to Maori the illusion of influence. And there are quite a few people in New Zealand who want them abolished, not all of them right-wing racists who whine about "special treatment", "reverse racism", rah rah rah.

But on the other hand, exactly, they make sure Maori are not invisible in politics. They have a meaningful voice, one that has been asserted with greater force recently - especially under MMP, when the Maori Party has played a major role making or breaking governments.

So is it a way to contain an indigenous voice to a manageable and fairly uninfluential position, or a way to meaningfully enhance the indigenous position at the highest levels of politics? I think it really is a bit of both.
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Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 06-19-2016, 08:01 AM   #143
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It probably is a bit of both. I'd just be interested in anything other than the Noel Pearson view of things getting some kind of power base. Because right now that is how the indigenous voice is managed and contained; one man is the pet go-to guy who says the things that politicians feel comfortable about, and the rest can shut up and take it.

If it ever happened, the consequences would be unforeseeable. That's what happens when you create a new institution.
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Old 06-19-2016, 08:17 AM   #144
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I just watched that controversial Bob Katter ad where he shoots the ALP and Liberal "candidates".

Not only is the timing tasteless, but it's just a really shit ad anyway.

And god, how is this a man who's maintained a political career. Every time I see him speaking I think I'm listening to a crazed uncle verbalising a chain email. What's the name of that character on Micallef's show who parodies right-wing talkshow callers? Katter basically sounds like a real-life version of that guy sometimes.
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"Mediocrity is never so dangerous as when it is dressed up as sincerity." - Søren Kierkegaard

Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 06-19-2016, 08:22 AM   #145
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I just watched that controversial Bob Katter ad where he shoots the ALP and Liberal "candidates".

Not only is the timing tasteless, but it's just a really shit ad anyway.

And god, how is this a man who's maintained a political career. Every time I see him speaking I think I'm listening to a crazed uncle verbalising a chain email. What's the name of that character on Micallef's show who parodies right-wing talkshow callers? Katter basically sounds like a real-life version of that guy sometimes.

He's playing a role and playing it very well. The trouble with these people, like with Joh, is when they start believing their own publicity. Which for the record, I think he has. This is the degenerate era of Katter.
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Old 06-19-2016, 08:27 AM   #146
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Speaking of everybody's favourite export from Dannevirke, Katter began his political career as a strong supporter of Joh, as you probably know. Covered in glory from the get-go.

I seriously can't even imagine what working with the Mad Katter must be like. I envisage his office as a few people trapped inside a giant hat shouting about immigrants while sculling pints of XXXX.
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Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 06-19-2016, 08:34 AM   #147
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Speaking of everybody's favourite export from Dannevirke, Katter began his political career as a strong supporter of Joh, as you probably know. Covered in glory from the get-go.

I seriously can't even imagine what working with the Mad Katter must be like. I envisage his office as a few people trapped inside a giant hat shouting about immigrants while sculling pints of XXXX.
Oh he was totally a Joh man. Back then, lots of people were. Joh didn't get to be premier for twenty years by pissing off everybody, just the people he thought he could.

In private he likes to project himself as something of a renaissance man, coming in from the pub to make liner notes in Gibbon's Decline And Fall over a fine chianti.

Or, working with him could just be like the pub from 'Wake In Fright'.
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Old 06-19-2016, 08:42 AM   #148
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The thing about Katter though is that he was a staunch Joh man right to the end - yet managed to hold on to a cabinet post after Joh's fall. That's kind of impressive.

I really would love to read a biography of Joh from 100 years in the future though. The shadow of Joh continues to lie heavily upon Queensland. It's impossible to find a dispassionate take on him, and I wonder what future generations will make of his legacy. He may have been a detestable, corrupt, and vain man, but he was nothing if not remarkable.

I do often wonder what I would make of some of the politicians I study if they were my contemporaries rather than 150 years in the past. Would I admire or dislike them in the same way? Indeed, would I be able to assess them from a perspective of moderate objectivity? Even those I loathe, the issues are done and dusted. I have no emotional stake. There's one guy in particular I consider a total idiot because his publications are the insane rantings of a disgruntled old crank (James Busby of Auckland) but I genuinely love writing about him precisely because he's so entertaining. Could I say that about politicians today? Simply reading Peter Madden's tweets makes my blood boil.
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"Mediocrity is never so dangerous as when it is dressed up as sincerity." - Søren Kierkegaard

Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 06-19-2016, 08:58 AM   #149
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The thing about Katter though is that he was a staunch Joh man right to the end - yet managed to hold on to a cabinet post after Joh's fall. That's kind of impressive.

I really would love to read a biography of Joh from 100 years in the future though. The shadow of Joh continues to lie heavily upon Queensland. It's impossible to find a dispassionate take on him, and I wonder what future generations will make of his legacy. He may have been a detestable, corrupt, and vain man, but he was nothing if not remarkable.

I do often wonder what I would make of some of the politicians I study if they were my contemporaries rather than 150 years in the past. Would I admire or dislike them in the same way? Indeed, would I be able to assess them from a perspective of moderate objectivity? Even those I loathe, the issues are done and dusted. I have no emotional stake. There's one guy in particular I consider a total idiot because his publications are the insane rantings of a disgruntled old crank (James Busby of Auckland) but I genuinely love writing about him precisely because he's so entertaining. Could I say that about politicians today? Simply reading Peter Madden's tweets makes my blood boil.

Given enough distance, everyone is entertaining. Whether it's Sir Henry Parkes or Justinian the Great. They'd better be, or you're going to be in trouble as a reader.

The shadow of Joh does indeed lie heavy. Though interestingly Peter Beattie recently partly walked back his fawning over the late dictator. The shadow of Joh is in some sense the ur-representation of the powerful Queensland premier. There were others before him (William Forgan Smith, for one), but Joh managed to straddle the eras and thus become entrenched as a cultural icon of sorts.

Joh managed a version of Nixon's trick; he (purported to) speak for the silent majority - notwithstanding that his personal, almost Calvinist religious convictions were never mainstream any more than his curious surname was - and so for those who remain in his corner to this day, there is the sense that 'oh, that corruption business? Well either it didn't happen, or it didn't really matter, or anyway he was sticking in the boot in the interests of us, out here in the suburbs and the small towns'. The man's deep personal weirdness also does call more than a passing resemblance to Nixon, and the deep resentment that came with being men who came from almost literally nothing to ascend to high office. Joh was a man with a hell of a grudge, and I believe his acolytes responded and respond to that.

Also, for those who liked his view of the world, he was a magic maker, for a while. It all came unstuck with the PM bid and the trips to Disneyland. If Joh was American, Martin Scorcese would have made a film out of him. Because he was a kind of gangster. Loyalty was all.
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Old 06-19-2016, 09:05 AM   #150
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I seriously hope you're writing this stuff for somewhere more significant than Interference, because that's a great, clear take. Joh definitely benefitted from straddling eras - and in more than one sense. Politically, socially, economically, he could draw support from multiple Queenslands. This was a man who at heart stood for a conservative rural Queensland, but who could command allegiance through much of the increasingly urbanised southeast. He still has many admirers on the Gold Coast, as I know from personal experience. Corruption? Who cares; he was a powerful authority figure, and many people there like that sort of larger-than-life character.

And I confess my first association with Forgan Smith is spending most of my year at UQ attending classes in the building named for him. (It also had the coldest water fountain on campus, essential knowledge in summer! I still make sure to pass by it when I visit UQ these days.)
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Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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