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How to Vote: Some Suggestions

voteOn the off-chance that you are Australian and confused about how to vote tomorrow, cost I offer some nonsense that may just serve to confuse you further. Please note, buy information pills this post is only for leftists. They are the only persons for whom I currently have any patience. Everyone else can go and clop themselves.

Just to save certain fuckers the trouble, let me tell them what this pre-election advice sorely lacks in advance.  These are the things this post will not have:

  1. Any faith in the Coalition whatsoever. Seriously. Fuck these people or, more to the point, fuck their fictions that concentrated wealth produces broad prosperity or that broadly applied austerity ever produced anything but greater debt. I have no interest in arguing with neoliberalism and I rather think that the last forty years has proved that it just doesn’t deliver to anyone but a tiny group of turds.
  2. Any nostalgia for the ALP or admiration for its present. I have no personal positive memories of a party who introduced HECS fees by the time I was old enough to vote. I know that the organised dream of my mail-sorting grandparents was interrupted well before my conception. The only thing I really liked about Paul Keating was his (very) smart mouth. That guy spoke as Churchill would have if importuned to host an RSL floorshow. He was fucking hilarious. But, there’s a reason that the Coalition celebrates him today as a great economist. He was not an economist truly committed to the project of income equality. And, Bowen is not much better.
  3. Antony Green. I am not a psephologist. Of course, everyone and their data dog lays claim to understanding the mystery of the Senate ballot paper and the internet is full of suggested “hacks”. Many persons appear to believe that Australian democracy can be disrupted by voter ingenuity much in the way that transit was disrupted by Uber. This is actually true, but not in the way that is generally thought. Which is to say, Uber first smelled lemon-fresh, but quickly made things stink even worse of unequal arse. This brings me to my next shortcoming,
  4. Optimism. I do not have any at this time. I am pessimistic about the value of optimism, which is why I shall not vote Greens, both the most optimistic and most (putatively) left party.

I am not optimistic about the near future of Australian democracy. This is for many reasons, which I often describe in professional writing. But, I’m going to try to condense these concerns into just a few paragraphs because I know you don’t have very much time before you start drinking yourself into the paralysis necessary to endure the sham of tomorrow.

To do this, I’m going to look briefly at recent events in Britain. This is for two reasons. First, distance can be useful to make a point. Second, fuck me, how interesting have British politics become? As distinct from our own campaigning present, which has in recent days begun to focus on the dreary issue of same-sex marriage.  Which I am going to have to talk about, for no more than a paragraph, I promise, before we get into Brexit.

I do not wish here to affront those of you wistful SSM romantics who believe that love is only love if it is ordained by the state. Let’s all pretend that same-sex marriage is a wonderful idea and let’s pretend that in 2008, there was no comprehensive Commonwealth legislation passed that extended to all Australian domestic partnerships, whether same- or opposite-sex, those rights previously only available in marriage. Even if I allow, for the purposes of argument, that same-sex marriage has some transformative power, you can probably allow that its passage into law is maybe not the big deal that both its opponents and proponents have made it appear. I mean. Come on. Do you never think that same-sex marriage is consuming a little more airtime than its likely social impact deserves? On both sides? It’s not going to ruin Australia and it’s not going to improve it, either.

So. Let’s now look at Brexit to explain why I am such a pessimist, who will pessimistically vote tomorrow for the ALP.

Many persons from the (putative) left, even and especially here in Australia, saw the Remain vote as the just choice. This was largely down to, as an old friend described to me by phone this morning, belief in the maxim that “you are judged by the company you keep”. Which is to say, if a Baby’s First Fascism playgroup like UKIP, led by Nigel Farage, supported Leave, you probably shouldn’t.

I told my old friend, who was distantly in favour of Remain, that I would therefore judge him by that pillock, David Cameron. And that he could judge Leave voters by their proximity to the dreamy Tariq Ali.

If you are a leftist who was unaware of #lexit, the campaign by leftists to exit the EU, then you may wish to look into it before despairing that Remain was defeated. Or, you just might be content to read my shit about it, which may demonstrate how our western political imaginations are presently so constrained, that there is no fucking point at the moment for voting for anyone other than those tools in the ALP.

While it is absolutely true that some people did vote Leave because they are racist, it is also true that some people voted Leave because no one gets to vote for any business that the EU does at all.

For many people in many member states, the EU has rained down shit. A greater proportion of UK citizens live in poverty now than did before the Maastricht Treaty—and this explains why older persons who have watched their incomes stagnate and social equity diminish were more likely to vote Leave than youngsters, who have no memory of life before the EU and see it largely as a provider of greater cross-border employment.  Which, on the face of it, it is, but not without the fairly significant shortcoming of creating poverty throughout the union.

Of course, many of these young people, who did not, in any case, vote in large numbers in the referendum, claim that their Remain stance had less to do with personal advantage and much more to do with their hope for an inclusive, anti-racist Europe.

I believe them. But, I also believe that they are wrong to think that the EU is not itself a kinda racist and certainly exclusive institution.

Think about what that ideological latrine Farage says, and then I’m going to ask you to compare it to what some powerful advocates of the EU say and ask if you can spot the difference.

Farage talks about national character. He is quite cunning, so he doesn’t out-and-out say that foreigners are bad, but he does lay the blame for the destitution of the British underclass at their feet.

Farage rode around in a bus with “We send the EU 350 million pounds a week. Let’s fund our NHS (national health service) instead” written on the sides. You can probably agree that many people saw the sense in such a slogan, especially as their own health had become palpably worse under the EU. But, hours after Farage had disembarked the big red social equity bus, he told Good Morning Britain that it had been a “mistake”.  And then he started banging on about the Commonwealth. Like that’s even a thing.

Farage took a perfectly decent political impulse from the electorate and shat on it as soon as he could. He knew that people were hurting. But, the material pain that many people feel as the result of the EU is not, I’ll wager, as important to him as the cultural pain he feels every time he sees someone in Glorious England with brown skin.

Farage is vile, but interesting. His operations provide a fascinating, almost reverse illustration of what is currently occurring on the liberal-left. Farage conceals his cultural bias from others inside a material one. The liberal-left conceals its material bias (even, increasingly, from itself) with a cultural one.

Farage, I believe, has a cultural agenda, but he pretends it is a material one. He says “I want to give you back your social safety net”, but what he actually means is “I want to give you back your pale nation”. The liberal left, such as many of those who support Remain, say “I want to ensure that we have a colourful and diverse nation!” when what the actually produce in their radically uncritical support for the EU is, in fact, an undemocratic system of trade relations that has created (and was intended to create) real, demonstrable inequality.

So, what we have in the UK is a shrewd right that pretends it’s being all economically rational, but is ultimately committed, à la Trump, to some bunghole idea of cultural purity. And we have an intellectually muted liberal-left that pretends it’s being culturally inclusive, but is ultimately committed to a program of trade that makes quite a few Germans and some rotters in London rather rich.

You can say you’re inclusive and that you love diversity until you’re a uniform shade of blue in the face. But, if you’re simultaneously lending your faith to an organisation that is accountable to nothing but the highest tiers of the finance sector, then the possibilities for this inclusivity are extraordinarily limited.

Now, even if you happen to be the sort of liberal-leftist who thinks that “equal opportunity” is the mark and the goal of a good society—you know, you’re happy if there are more women on boards and more people of colour with their unequal share of the wealth and more lesbians on TV etc.—you kind of have to admit that certain ethnic groups have been fucked by the EU. Notably, those with whom we enjoy a particularly intimate relationship here in Australia, the Greeks.

Angela Merkel leads a nation that is the greatest beneficiary of the EU and so, of course, she is one of its strongest advocates. It’s worth looking at how her speech becomes quite racialized when it suits her, which is usually around the time of some financial crisis.

It was in 2008 that this champion of the EU first brought up the figure of the Swabian Housewife.  This fictional creature is praised by Merkel for her inspirational thrift. This housewife makes do! This housewife doesn’t overspend! This housewife works hard and is all that is good about Germans.

It was during talks with Greece on what was never a Greek financial crisis that Merkel relied, however subtly, on some less positive ethnic stereotyping. The Lazy and Corrupt Greek who Retires Too Early was invoked to chastise an entire nation.

Now, if you want to read about the self-serving practice of the EU elite from someone who was actually pro Remain, see Yanis Varoufakis, the guy that actually had to sit there as Merkel, the Swabian Housewife, made all sorts of slights against the character of his countrymen.  No matter that Greeks work longer hours than Germans, receive asmaller post-retirement pension than Germans, sustain less household debt than Germans and employ fewer public servants than Germans. The EU applied punitive measures to Greeks on the fucking basis that they were lazy good-for-nothing Anthony Quinns who cared to do little more than daub themselves in ouzo oil as they baked in the Aegean.

Fuck off. Germany needed Greek poverty much more than Greece needed German cars. Germany needs poor member nations, inter alia, to keep its trading currency low enough to export its (admittedly very good) stuff to China. For the EU to punish Greece on the basis that it was “irresponsible”, which it actually isn’t, and to keep it firmly in its impoverished place (austerity doesn’t work to improve a national economy for all; I mean, how are you going to sell shit to people who have no money and need to spend more money on things the government no longer provides, like the NHS?) was an act of material violence greased by bigotry. Which is not that dissimilar from Farage, who commits acts of bigotry by pretending to hate material violence.

So THIS is what we think of as “left” or, at least, as diverse and inclusive? You know, it is entirely possible to think of trade that crosses borders as undesirable and still think of asylum seekers crossing borders as something that needs, very urgently, to happen.

None of which is to say that I would have certainly voted Leave in the UK. I may have been swayed by Varoufakis’ argument to Remain and make those fucks accountable. But, I certainly wouldn’t have got all poopy with Jeremy Corbyn, the popularly elected Labour leader who is now in the shitter for not doing his bit to convince his supporters, who have been fucked by the undemocratic power of the EU, to vote for the undemocratic power of the EU. And now these liberal-leftists are turning on him, accusing him of anti-Semitism and calling him “unelectable”. When what they mean is undesirable, because Corbyn’s argument is largely a material one. And the liberal-left has a great fear of the material, which it has now given over entirely to the right side of politics.

If you talk about money, apparently, you’re a racist or a fascist. Or, at best, insensitive. I have heard many times people form the putative left say “We live in a society! Not an economy!” What the blind shit does that even mean?

Impoverished people do not have the luxury of believing that they live only in a “society”, which has now become a synonym for culture. If you’ve ever been short of the rent one month, you’ll know what I mean. I can pretend that I live only in a “society” in those years where my gross income exceeds 60K. Otherwise, I am keenly aware of life within an economy.

As I have written elsewhere, tomorrow I will vote 1 Labor, and not for the belief, such as Varoufakis has, that this is an institution that can be reformed. I think they’re fucked and, as I have written elsewhere, I think many of their candidates are as enamoured of the idea of a “society” or a “culture” and their role in forming these things than they are in even acquiring a basic understanding of how the labour market works. I genuinely think I understand labour supply and demand better than some ALP candidates, and that is fucking depressing because I am really not that good on shit like that. As will be plain to more economically literate readers.

I will Vote 1 Labor because it is the party that least elevates the idea of the culture.  The cultural right of the Coalition wants a better (read: whiter and more uniform) culture and its material right just wants the same falsely “equal opportunity” as Merkel. And the Greens want a better culture, too. And, yes, I know they have their private conversations about transforming the economy, but unless they lead us all openly in this material conversation, there is really not much point. Particularly at this moment in time where we see large numbers of people actually attending lectures by Varoufakis or the born-again Keynesian Paul Krugman or turning out in the tens of millions to hear Bernie Sanders offer his new New Deal. We are ready in the west for some boring conversation about money, especially as so many of us find we have so little of it. And if the Greens led that conversation and didn’t conceal it with a “We Need To Be More Inclusive and Care More” moralising message of culture, I would vote for them. I would tell you to vote for them.

The idea of the culture has become such a preoccupation. Of course, I’m not saying that the culture doesn’t matter and I am not saying that you shouldn’t call sexism out when you see it or crowdfund more inclusive TV shows or whatever. Do that stuff. But, do not allow this to be a proxy for the things of the everyday: education, health, leisure, transport, labour etc

By no means do I think that the ALP offers Australia anything close to the radical reorganisation that would provide these things. The one thing it offers is a scintilla of tedious, economic talk—and I am referring particularly here to the debate on negative gearing which is a great example of something very boring becoming a hot topic. The end itself to the negative gearing concession on established properties won’t change our housing crisis much. But that we have been engaged with that fucking tedious conversation to the point where many of us actually understand it—and I am so heartened by how many young commentators have explained it to their peers outrunning the typical “old people culture blows” and restoring a “neoliberal economics blows” material perspective—is a really good thing.

Our political imagination has been impoverished by the topic of the culture. While it is absolutely true that the ALP has made only the merest efforts to enrich it, it’s the only party that has. And, yes, they are fucks. And, yes, there are true problems with the aging ideologues of the right. And there are one or two Labor MPs whose likely defeat by the Greens I will privately enjoy because they are doucheburps whose interest in their constituents does not even come close to their fondness for their careers. And, yes, there are some really awesome people in the Greens. I would much rather be stuck next to Senator Ludlam on a bus than someone from the Shoppies.

But until the Greens have the courage, and the confidence, to commit themselves, and all of us, to a frank economic discussion, I cannot vote for the culture.

I am sorry this was so long. I hope this clears things up in your mind about the relationship of the material and the cultural a little (which I KNOW is a mutually constituting relationship because I don’t live in 1870, but I think many people on the left have forgotten that it is a mutual relationship, when they attribute so much to the culture, or are afraid to attribute it publicly). I hope that I have expressed that the fear that I have about how the dominance of the culture in our political imaginations limits our material future, which expresses itself as cultural in any case. Less importantly, I hope you don’t think I have any sort of real or abstract intimacy with the ALP, who can bite me, but for whom I will still vote.  Because without an economic conversation, there will be no economic future for so many of us.

And, no. The “economic” conversation neoliberals have is not authentically economic. It is deeply moralising and cultural; it is about the undeserving poor. For more on that, see this very readable book, which I linked to earlier, on the profoundly moral history of economic liberalism.

I realise “Vote Labor to guarantee the future open conversation of the left” is a statement about as convincing as “David Bowie’s best single was Blue Jean”. I understand why some might think I am either a party hack or a naïf or an oldie clinging to a verdant shred of youth. My claim is that I think we need to put the culture in its proper place. Which is not nowhere, but just a little south of everywhere. And I do respect your decision to vote Green, and I don’t think you’re dumb or guileless for casting it.

Right. I’m not much of a drinker, but I think a fucking sparkling is deffo on the cards.










19 Responses to “How to Vote: Some Suggestions”

  1. Carlene says:

    ’bout sums it up. Depressingly so. Night

    • Helen Razer says:

      The muddle continues.

      • Anonymous says:

        Muddle indeed. I have been voting for almost 40 years & for the very first time over the past few months, I considered Greens & not voting as options for tomorrow – I can’t, as yet, bring myself to do either. For much the same reasons as you have suggested I shall reluctantly stick with the ALP for now

        • Helen Razer says:

          Look. It genuinely hurts. The ALP right is a bunch of fucks and many on the left have been deluded by the representational bullshit. And non-aligned people can be, you know, Kevin Rudd. His faction was the media. And I do understand how many would switch to Greens, because I did after Tampa. (To a lesser degree, the 2004 Marriage Amendment. I don’t want to make a big deal of marriage, but I didn’t want Howard to make a big deal out of it either, and find inspiration from Bush.)
          I also appreciate how all this can seem an elaborate rationale for voting as my forebears. It’s more to make a point. And just as, as Guy points out, the Greens have impacted the ALP positively, I hope to impact the Greens positively in my tiny way and urge them to say, very openly, what I hope is on their mind. The likelihood of them wielding significant power in Canberra is slight. The potential for them to actually politicse, and not culturalise, voters is immense. I wish they’d do that.
          I am thinking of a donkey vote, occasionally.

          • Carlene says:

            Not sure how I got to be anonymous there – sorry!
            I voted Green in the Senate after Tampa & the other thing :) & in ’07 (because huge problem with Rudd). But I stuck with Albanese for HoR.

            If the Greens do start acting on their potential to politicise voters this may be the last time, forebears not withstanding.

            I shall leave you to your sparkling. Take care – it’s going to get worse x

  2. guy rundle says:


    in the issue of economy and society/culture, i’m not sure what the ALP is doing that the Greens aren’t. Here’s the Greens suite of policies – – on the economy, finance, and other matters. They seem complex and integrated to me, solidly social democratic, realistic about the state of the world, but also suggesting the first green shoots of post-capitalism. Also more detailed than Labor’s website presentation, and with longer papers to back them up. Surely theyre recognisably to the left of the ALP, without being unrealistic?

    Secondly, surely many of the ALP’s recent leftward tilts have been solely designed to not be outflanked by the Greens. Were it not for that push, Labor would have remained a party of the centre-right, unconcerned about the inequality piling up before it. The negative gearing policy was something the Greens suggested seven years ago. The 50% renewable energy target is a Greens policy. In what sense are the Greens not having this conversation?



    • Helen Razer says:

      Hey, G. We’ll leave aside your assertion that negative gearing was a Greens innovation and had not been previously tried by the ALP and was not researched by the Chifley Institute, the Grattan Institute and others and was not a policy announced in this election by the ALP before it was announced by Greens.
      But, I can’t leave aside your claim that the Greens are largely perceived as a party who engages the many with talk on economic restructuring.
      I have (despite many claims to the contrary) made myself familiar with Greens economic policy. But the Greens do not make Australians familiar with their economic policy. And I don’t think it even matters that their costings weren’t submitted to the Parliamentary Budget Office in time for assessment, as was today announced. I think it matters that they absolutely do not position themselves as a party that cares one nth for their numbers as they do for their morality.
      I understand that many (not all) in the Greens care about this stuff. I also know that they are acting on what is probably still, but not for much longer, good campaign advice. The same advice that some in the ALP follow, but less adroitly, which is to present as an almost purely representational party.
      Yes, to people whose work or passion it is to follow politics, the Greens offer some indication of genuine reform. The rest of the nation is voting for them because they seem nice. And it would be stupid of them to pretend that they are not nice, because nice gets votes. But it’s frustrating to me, as it is to you, that politics and morals are now indistinguishable.
      I get that you think I am being nostalgic for an ALP that I cannot, in fact, recall existing. But I hope I have been plain enough here in saying Fuck the ALP. In their holes. But, I think they have become less nostalgic in their approach to public conversation; they’ve borrowed more heavily from Bernie this time ’round. And I am sure you will agree that Bernie, who gets the letters of LGBT messed up, unlike that well-briefed devil Clinton, and only now just bothers to say “gay” and is very plainly more abut solidarity than he is about compassion, has done something important. Which is to actually talk and talk about the one per cent of the one per cent, and I just don’t hear that, when I try to use my regular voter’s ear, from the Greens. I hear rights and representation.
      I doubt this concealment will last. I am pretty sure they will pay heed next election to what has been offered with reasonable success from Sanders and, less eloquently, Corbyn. But right now, it’s just largely about being a better person.
      This is the message. It may not be the meaning, but it is the strong message. I understand it’s strategic. I just don’t like it, to paraphrase the populist Pauline.

      • guy rundle says:

        Hi H

        damn just lost a long reply, Perhaps to the good. In brief:

        – i think the greens have a full suite of complex material policies which could be implemented in the unlikely event they form government. economy, social services, cities, governance. etc

        – they are regularly launched to great fanfare.

        – they get little coverage at all. i do think yr blaming the Greens for the narrative the MSM want to impose on them. I doubt the media will turn to such policies if the Greens stopped talking about refugees and climate change.

        -much of the ALP’s new ‘conversation’ has been ‘the Greens have proposed X. Match it or we lose Grayndler.’ i think the greens have pushed labor out of a centre-right zone they were happy to occupy indefinitely.

        -i just don’t see this individual moralising coming from the Greens party. If it’s in the air, among the classes voting for them, thats a cultural condition. i see the party publicity as far more practical etc than it was in the era of the ‘for the planet’ campaign a decade or so ago

        im really not seeing the party you are. seems a tough outfit focused on getting such power as is available, to me.



        • Helen Razer says:

          Well. We can at least agree that this purported no-nonsense narrative is very new, G. And one a little diminished by all that talk about sexist dollies and how Our Kids are entitled to toys of non-normative gender. I look forward to the shift.

  3. john says:

    Hi Helen,
    I am somewhat of a fan, as much as i can be said to be a fan of anything, which is not much. A couple of points:
    A) you seem to have a metaphorical boner for Varofoukis. You can’t fight systems from within. Look at him for evidence, 5 months he lasted, now he sells books and talks and such. He also has a tendency to reduce all the political and cultural events since ww2 to exchange rate fluctuations. Which, you know, is bullshit of the post-hoc fallacy variety. He is also not rich enough to be believed, given his economics credentials.
    B) I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the serious economic discussions you crave are about numbers that are all made up and can be re made up given enough political (i.e. a subset of cultural) will. Your smart enough to construct the rest of my argument for me but if you want a serious numerical debate i hear maths and physics are the only games in town. Screw economics, vote for the culture you want and fit the numbers afterwards.
    Keep up the good work!

    • Helen Razer says:

      Hi, John. As it happens (this post was already overlong and I’m surprised that anyone bothered to read it) I agree with you about Democratising Europe. I am much more pessimistic than Varoufakis who urges for transparency. I naturally tend to pessimism, and I think the appearance of transparency can make powerful things more inscrutable. But, as I said in Crikey yesterday, at least he’s doing something.
      Which actually, I generally hate saying. Perhaps it’s my old ovaries talking.
      I do like two things very much about Varoufakis, the first of which relates to your assertion about the idea of economics as science. Here, we have a game theorist who actually says predictions are often bullshit.
      Second, it’s his personal transparency. I think his own commitment to honesty (have you seen or read the Erratic Marxist lecture?) is marvellous, from an ethical standpoint. It has always felt right to me to say what I think and to go back to first principles (which is why my posts are often so long; that, and as per the alleged Churchill quote, I don’t have the time to do anything shorter) and say “this is what informs my prescriptions”. I find that pleasing people’s sensitivities often means depriving their questions. So I think Varoufakis sees his candour as something else other people would naturally do, if permitted.
      Personally, I see my own candour as a problem and one of the chief reasons I own no property. If I had ever been able to shut up, I am sure I would still be earning good money in electronic media. I know you don’t get paid, or elected, if you say what you mean. I also know that it many cases, truth is overrated and profoundly mediated by its time. Still, I can’t shut up.
      Varoufakis sees this as a noble quality; and frankly it is almost noble in a character who is able to explain complex ideas very effectively. And he sees it, unfortunately, as natural.
      Anyhow. Thanks.

      • Helen Razer says:

        Oh. Keynes was a notoriously bad investor. So share market success is no index of useful economic ideas.

  4. Carole Wiles says:

    John, why assume that because someone, eg,Varofoukis knows enough to get rich, wants to?

  5. Neetsta says:

    Dear Helen,

    I welcome your post expanding upon your choices, and recanting in part your complete antipathy for The Greens. As an ardent fan of your for 20+ years, I was disappointed when you used many stereotypes (characteristically amusing as they might have been) to deride The Greens and their membership / voter base. I respect the fact you are elaborating here, based on policy issues, not what names people give their kids. Richard de Natale gave a very good speech on the Greens’ budget costings a couple of weeks back, as per the previous commenter’s link. I am glad you’re comfortable with your choice, and open about it. I don’t agree with your rationale but, hey, we’re a democracy! Have a good Election Day. The results will be interesting, either way. I live in Indi where a vote for The Greens is preferenced to Cathy McGowan. Cathy is nice, and a reasonable politician (at least at the local representation level), if not my fave. And, anything to keep S Mirrabella out is good!

  6. Neetsta says:

    Ok, just back from voting, here in Indi. The number of people with Sophie Mirabella how-to-vote pamphlets was astounding. I have the flu. When I coughed (unavoidable), it felt like an act of (and I jest) political violence! Our Labor guy (zip chance) is 22. Good on him and others who stand no chance of actually winning the seat (esp. Jenny O’Connor!) for devoting their lives and time to what they believe in.

    • Helen Razer says:

      Neet! There is NO way she will be returned, surely?

      • Neetsta says:

        It is possible, BUT, the Nationals ran a candidate for the first time in an Eon for a reason. She’s a cockroach, though, so anything is possible. However, I think the strong support for CMc (and – ahem – Jenny O’Connor for the Greens) will see Sophie Mirabella back at the Bar (not the Parliament) all luck to the justice system of Vic ;-)

  7. Neetsta says:

    So, the Nats did their business in Indi, but Cathy McGowan still would have been reelected. I don’t really understand what she stands for on a national platform (time will now tell in the prospective parliament …) but, hey, she is a nice person :-) My #1 Greens candidate didn’t get a huge amount of the primary vote, but good on her for standing. Ditto the Labor dude. What do you predict from here, Helen? I have great antipathy for any party that supports offshore detention and boat tow-backs, but fact is that one of the two parties (bipartisan on that issue) will eventually govern to an extent.

  8. Ian says:

    Hi Helen
    Challenging – both in length and content but worthy of two comments.
    1. The Greens actually have a very sound economic policy driven largely by replacing fossil fuel based energy generation with renewables based energy generation. The Greens are just extremely poor at communicating about it – especially to those who understand economics. Screams of capital outflow drown their message – even though worldwide investment is now greater in the renewables energy sector than in fossil fuels.
    2. Financial institutions revenue collection (FIRC) offers any political party with the leadership to promote it the opportunity to dramatically overhaul government financing while reducing the revenue collection from 95% of voters. FIRC is a refined version of an extremely effective system that has worked in practice in another country – and is heavily supported by detailed research. The concept is very well advanced. The actual name and acronym FIRC will become better known after the release of my book later this month.

    Strong political leadership promoting FIRC could see an overwhelming long-term majority.

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