Episode 202 – Election thoughts and ethical conundrums

Episode 202 – Election thoughts and ethical conundrums

After a slow start, this episode warms up nicely.

4:42  Both parties to provide bank guarantees for first home buyers

Oh FFS. More money for baby boomers and Millennials get screwed again. Locking millennials into impossible loans is not the way to go.

11:39  Senate Ballot Paper

It’s hard to find 6 worthy parties.
There are a lot of right-wing nut bags on the ballot paper.
Here is another guide from The Guardian.

15:50 Egg Girl

16:30 The Australian Christian Alliance

A conservative Christian lobby group is campaigning with Muslims in Labor-held seats to “stop the godless from making sweeping changes” to religious freedoms.

The Australian Christian Alliance has held two NSW rallies in federal Labor seats in the past month, joined by hundreds of Muslim supporters. It plans to hold another rally in the seat of Fowler before the May 18 election.

The alliance’s founder, Vic Meli, said the group’s members were all Christian but they “worked with and welcomed Muslims and Buddhists and anyone with a common adversity”.

“We are determined to stop senior people in Labor who are godless from making sweeping changes to our rights,” said Mr Meli, whose group was formed during the same sex plebiscite. “You could say we have joined forces and are working with all faiths.”

The group is targeting Labor seats that had a high no vote in the same-sex marriage survey.

The group’s first rally was held in the western Sydney seat of McMahon, held by shadow treasurer Chris Bowen. McMahon had Australia’s third highest no vote at 64.9 per cent.

On Saturday, the group targeted Chifley, held by Ed Husic, where 58.7 per cent of people voted no.

Mr Meli said the wishes of the majority of voters had been ignored by the MPs. Protesters held signs saying “hands off our religious freedom” as well as “hands off our mosques”.

The alliance, founded in November 2017 in the wake of the same-sex marriage vote, has nine “core” members, as well as another 20 who meet regularly to discuss their agenda.

Mr Meli said the group was growing and its members did not intend to “disappear” after the election.

17:30 The ACL

The Australian Christian Lobby is gearing up to bolster its influence on Australian politics, using the election to road test new campaign tactics targeting gender fluidity, abortion and Safe Schools.

A push in the final week of the campaign, beginning with a “super Saturday” of door-knocking in key seats this weekend, will see the ACL deploy resources to help conservative MPs who support its agenda.

The ACL has selected one key seat in each state, including the marginal seats of Boothby in South Australia, Bass in Tasmania, Petrie in Queensland, Chisholm in Victoria and Canning in Western Australia. In New South Wales, the ACL is targeting the safe Labor seat of McMahon in western Sydney.

Already, the ACL has been distributing negative campaign material attacking Labor and the Greens for supporting changes in Tasmania that has allowed the stating of gender to be optional on birth certificates, and is running campaigns attacking Safe Schools and abortion.

Martyn Iles, the ACL’s new managing director who wants to transform it into a US-style conservative activist group that mimics the tactics of progressives, said the lobby group was using the election to test the effectiveness of its campaign.

“The campaign itself is targeted, and the reason for that is we want to build ourselves into primarily a grassroots activist movement and, as we learn how to do that, we are running targeted campaigns to test what we are doing,” Iles told Guardian Australia.

ACL volunteers are targeting certain parts of each key seat chosen according to particular demographics, with the focus on what the Australian Bureau of Statistics defines as an SA1 region of about 400 people.

“The aim is to prove that what we do has an impact, and the booth-by-booth data will be where we can look at what difference we made,” Iles said. “After the election we will launch in earnest a whole new action platform.”

18:30 NSL Scorecard

The NSL has a scorecard.

20:49 Preferences

A survey conducted at the 2010 Victorian election showed 38.7 per cent of voters across eight electorates appeared to follow how-to-vote cards.

“Most voters knew which party they wanted to support, but decided the order of their preferences for themselves,” the report stated.

The data showed vote card conformity was “strongest among supporters of the major parties” while “voters for the other parties tended to be much less compliant with their party’s cards”.

The Liberal Party has struck a deal to exchange preferences on how-to-vote cards with the United Australia Party.

That means Liberal candidates will place Clive Palmer’s party above Labor on their cards in Lower and Upper House seats.

Scott Morrison has said the party will also preference One Nation below Labor, following revelations Pauline Hanson’s party solicited donations from a powerful gun lobby in the US.

The Nationals, however, are free to do as they please and have agreed to swap preferences with One Nation.

Leader Michael McCormack said the Nationals’ policies were more closely aligned with One Nation than with Labor or the Greens.

“You have to do what it takes to get votes and to win at an election,” he said.

Labor has not announced any formal preference deals, but Green explained on 7.30 that “almost every vote lost to the Greens comes back to Labor as a preference”.

23:07  Who Are The Biggest Bullshitters?

An article from The Economist.

A new study of the phenomenon has found that North America is especially prone to speaking bull. John Jerrim, Phil Parker and Nikki Shure, three academics, have used an educational survey of 40,000 teenage students in nine English-speaking countries to find out who is most likely to spout nonsense. They inserted a section into the questionnaire which asked students how well they understood a collection of 16 mathematical concepts. Some were familiar, such as “polygon” and “probability”, but three were fake: “proper number”, “subjunctive scaling” and “declarative fraction”.

What explains these differences? The academics doubt that the bullshitters were simply trying to impress the questionnaire’s markers. The students who bluffed about maths were just as likely as the non-bluffers to admit that they had skipped school recently, for example. A more likely answer is that the blaggers over-estimated their own knowledge. They also tended to rate themselves highly when it came to gauging their own popularity, perseverance on academic tasks and problem-solving ability. The data suggest that they might not be consciously lying, but instead be weaving their own fantasies.

25:43  Speaking of Bullshitters – Sky After Dark

They have contaminated my friend. I couldn’t work out why he was so anti-Shorten and then I found out.

And News Corp … its bias is beyond a joke.

Tony Koch:

About six weeks ago I cancelled my subscription for The Australian newspaper after getting it for more than 30 years. As soon as this election is over, I will do the same with the Courier-Mail.

I worked as a journalist for some 30 years for those papers and loved every minute of it. They were quality newspapers that cared for their employees and cared more for the product – concerned with breaking real news stories that were as accurate and true as could possibly be established.

The Australian, in particular, was a big-impact paper which regularly set the news agenda for media throughout the country.

But no longer. No editor I worked for would have put up with the biased anti-Labor rubbish that, shamefully, the papers now produce on a daily basis.

If it is not anti-Labor it is anti-Green or, quite ridiculously, anti-ABC. Anything except a story negative to the Liberal or National parties.

Gone is the requirement for balance. One has only to look at the story selection and headlines on the front pages of the papers each day to see that an anti-Labor angle has been taken, however contorted had been the literary gymnastics required to finally arrive at that particular bit of stupidity.

How infantile is it of the management of these organisations to fool themselves into believing that what they are producing is being accepted by readers as quality product. I have many conservative friends who are as disgusted as I am at these newspapers because they know that what they are reading is either distorted or just plain wrong.

Keep an eye on Lachlan Murdoch. He is extremely conservative. Chris Mitchell, a former long-time editor of the Australian, recalled in his 2016 memoir that “Lachlan’s conservatism is more vigorous than that of any Australian politician”, with views often to the right of his father’s.

29:56 But there is hope for Labor

From an old article in the SMH: Here’s some breaking news for Baby Boomers. You’ve had a very good run and you’re just about done.

Generationally, the biggest voting bloc is now the Millennials, born from the mid-80s to the turn of the century – and it is growing by 30,000 every year.

Millennials and socialism: Australian youth are lurching to the left by Tom Switzer and Charles Jacobs.

The most notable finding here was that, overall, 58% of Australian Millennials polled view socialism favourably. Less than a fifth (18%) view the ideology unfavourably.

Also, 59% of Australian Millennials believe that capitalism has failed and that the government must play a greater role in regulating the economy.

The right-wing authors trotted out Totalitarian Dictator statistics as an argument against socialism.

According to the authors: To address the growing sympathy towards socialism, it is essential to educate Millennials and future generations on the 20th century’s failed experimentation with the ideology. For a variety of reasons, youth are far less aware of socialism’s role in some of the greatest catastrophes in human history and have begun to view it benignly. This is no minor problem: one day such people may exercise a vote to impose such appalling doctrines, and their collateral damage, on our society.

That was from the Centre for Independent Studies.

40:59 Vote Compass Reveals Interesting Statistics

Over 1,224,271 responses so far..

Some of the key findings include:

  • The top 10 most left-leaning electorates are all in the inner suburbs of our capital cities, with the addition of the NSW electorate of Newcastle.
  • The top 10 most right-leaning electorates are all rural, with the exception of the seat of Moncrieff, which is centred on Surfers Paradise on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
  • Queensland emerges, once again, as Australia’s most right-leaning state, accounting for seven of the 10 most right-leaning electorates.
  • The top 10 left-leaning electorates are spread across Victoria (5), NSW (4) and Tasmania (1).

42:36  Remember the NSW state election?

43:15 Vote Compass tells a similar national story.

43:30 The 12th Man has a Greenacres theory.

45:39 Support for Indigenous Body

In 2017, at a historic gathering of hundreds of delegates at Uluru, Indigenous leaders agreed they wanted constitutional change to be more than a symbolic passage or preamble in the nation’s founding document.

Instead they asked for an enshrined “voice to Parliament”, a representative body that would advise our politicians on issues affecting Indigenous Australians.

But then-prime minister Malcolm Turnbull unceremoniously rejected the idea, saying it would never gain the support of the public and citing his own experience as a losing campaigner in the 1999 republic referendum.

Vote Compass is the largest survey ever undertaken on the issue of the voice to Parliament, with these results reflecting the views of a representative sample of more than 360,000 Australians.

Tony Dreise, Professor of Indigenous Policy at the Australian National University, said the Government had underestimated the level of support.

50:18 Young Voters opinions on Franking Credits

More than a third of young voters don’t know or are neutral on the franking credits policy

53:33 Remember the cake shop arguments?

One of the thought experiments has come to life.

Officeworks Hornsby refuse to print Fraser Anning Party Warringah candidate’s leaflets.

Officeworks has refused to print a Fraser Anning Party candidate’s campaign literature which states we are overrun by an “Islamic element” imposing “vile sharia law”.

Brian Clare, who is standing in Tony Abbott’s seat of Warringah for Fraser Anning’s Conservative National Party, says he is outraged and is threatening legal action against the firm.

Mr Clare visited the Officeworks in Hornsby last week and ordered 1000 A4 pamphlets which feature his policies.

However, he got a call later that day from the store manager who said they would not be printing his order.

“How dare they read my material without my permission,” Mr Clare said.

“He claimed my comment was defamatory to the Islamics. I’m furious.”

Officeworks head office backed store staff when contacted.

“At Officeworks, we respect our customers’ right to free speech; however, our terms of use prohibit customers from printing materials which may be threatening, abusive or which incite hatred of any person,” a spokesman said.

1:00:14 Morrison and Shorten Theorise about Hell

Scott Morrison has claimed he now supports same-sex marriage because it has allowed people to “get on with their lives” and he “always supports the law of the country”.

Morrison, a Pentecostal Christian who attends the Horizons church, said he doesn’t “mix [his] religion with politics” and evaded a question about whether gay people go to hell, an apparent reference to the controversy surrounding rugby player Israel Folau.

Morrison was asked if he believes gay people go to hell, and reiterated support for the law allowing two people regardless of sex to marry.

“It’s always been something that has informed how I live my life and seek to care for and support others. That’s what I seek to do … You know, none of us are perfect, none of us are saints in that respect.

“We try and do what’s right and we try and do what’s best and that’s what always sought to guide me in terms of my own personal faith.”

Labor seized on the answer, noting that Morrison had “[refused] to say that LGBTI Australians don’t go to hell”.

In April 2018 Morrison, then treasurer, applauded Folau’s “strong character” when he made comments that unrepentant gay people would go to hell.

But after Folau’s most recent social media outburst that hell awaits “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters”, Morrison said the comments were “terribly insensitive”.

At the third leaders’ debate on Wednesday Morrison and the Labor leader, Bill Shorten, were asked about Folau and the issue of religious freedom.

Morrison described free speech and religious freedom as “fundamental freedoms” and promised his government would introduce a Religious Discrimination Act to protect religion in the same way as sexuality, gender and other protected attributes.

Morrison said that he admired people of faith, but warned that public figures have a “special responsibility” to act “with civility and with due care and consideration to others”.

Shorten also hedged his bets by saying he was “uneasy” about the prospect of Folau suffering an employment penalty for expressing his beliefs but warned the words had a negative impact on others.

“I don’t think if you’re gay you’re going to go to hell. I don’t know if hell exists actually. But I don’t think, if it does, that being gay is what sends you there.”

1:03:18 Falou

What a great case.

Many religious leaders don’t get it. If they demand a law that no employee can be sacked for expressing a religious view then Satanic Math teachers will be coming out of the closets at private Anglican schools and the schools won’t be able to sack them based on the Falou principle. It is a two-edged sword and they don’t see it.

1:03:34 Scott’s Jersey

To those who support Falou, I ask, What About the sponsors? Can they terminate his contract?

Israel Folau has been dropped by Asics in response to homophobic social media posts he published last month. The sportswear company is a personal sponsor for Folau as well as the Wallabies and has acted after the 30-year-old was found to have committed a high-level breach of Rugby Australia’s code of conduct.

“Asics is dedicated to sport and its healthy contribution to society,” a company statement read. “We believe sport is for everyone and we champion inclusivity and diversity.

“While Israel Folau is entitled to his personal views, some of those expressed in recent social media posts are not aligned with those of Asics. As such, our partnership with Israel has become untenable and he will no longer represent Asics as a brand ambassador.”

Asics is the second sponsor to have cut ties with Folau after Land Rover withdrew a car issued to him.


If sports fans can be banned for racist or vilifying comments then players must play by the same rules.

1:18:48 A Debut Novel Gets Delayed

A writer on the verge of releasing her debut novel is facing a backlash after posting a picture on twitter of a public transit worker eating on a train and reporting the woman to her boss. The publishing house distributing her novel dropped her and the publisher has delayed the planned release of the book.  People were upset that Ms Tynes, who is Jordanian American and calls herself a minority writer would shame a black woman and possibly cause her to lose her job.

1:23:42  Medical Practitioners Could Be Sanctioned for Social Media Posts

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority [Ahpra] along with 16 national health boards have released a statement warning practitioners that they had a responsibility to the public to promote evidence that vaccines are safe and effective.

The Ahpra chief executive, Martin Fletcher, said he was concerned that some health practitioners, including doctors, nurses and chiropractors, were promoting anti-vaccination views on social media or in their practices. While much of the measles outbreak has been due to unknowingly under-vaccinated people travelling overseas and returning with the virus, rather than due to deliberate anti-vaccination, Fletcher said medical professionals must not spread false information.

We take seriously any case of practitioners spreading dangerous and misleading anti-vaccination information including on social media,” he said. “They will face regulatory action or prosecution. We are asking the public to tell us if their practitioner is doing this. If you raise your concerns with us we can investigate and protect others.”

1:30:22 Karl Marx

The foundation of irreligious criticism is: Man makes religion, religion does not make man. Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man – state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d’honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion.

Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.

Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers on the chain not in order that man shall continue to bear that chain without fantasy or consolation, but so that he shall throw off the chain and pluck the living flower. The criticism of religion disillusions man, so that he will think, act, and fashion his reality like a man who has discarded his illusions and regained his senses, so that he will move around himself as his own true Sun. Religion is only the illusory Sun which revolves around man as long as he does not revolve around himself.

It is, therefore, the task of history, once the other-world of truth has vanished, to establish the truth of this world. It is the immediate task of philosophy, which is in the service of history, to unmask self-estrangement in its unholy forms once the holy form of human self-estrangement has been unmasked. Thus, the criticism of Heaven turns into the criticism of Earth, the criticism of religion into the criticism of law, and the criticism of theology into the criticism of politics.


5 comments on “Episode 202 – Election thoughts and ethical conundrums
  1. Warren Foster says:

    As a professional athlete an employment contract specifies that you are an ambassador for the sport. As an ambassador in any profession your employer has a right to control the way you act/behave in public. As an ambassador, you are required to be diplomatic. Israel Israel Folau deserved to be sacked, new he would be sacked and IMO he wanted to be sacked.
    I enjoy the thought experiments.
    As the self-appointed President of the 12th Man Fanboi Club, The 12th Man’s softening on the wedding cake baking conundrum has increased our admiration of the great man. However, we do not support his views regarding Israel Folau.
    On Capitalism vs Socialism, like most things in life, the extremities are to be avoided.
    I prefer the longer episodes. Three hours is not too long.

  2. Bronwyn Benn says:

    Hi guys,

    I agree that it’s very hard to choose who to put at the bottom of the Senate voting paper, and in what order, as there are so many worthy RW nutjob candidates. See Peter FitzSimon’s amusing take on this:


    But I would have to add that some of us have the same dilemma in lower house seats, even in ‘progressive’ Victoria. In my electorate (Chisholm) there are nine candidates standing, of whom 5 are RW nutters of varying levels of insanity. They are from the following parties:

    – Rise Up Australia Party
    – Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party
    – United Australia Party
    – Labour DLP

    …and there is someone standing as an independent who was an Australian Christian Lobby candidate in the last federal election.

    I find myself having to put the Libs at 4th position, instead of last as I usually do, since they are marginally less deranged than these people. Good grief!!

    Best wishes,


  3. I disagree only slightly with FitzSimons. My last place vote went to Clive Palmers UAP. He may well get a Senate seat and the thought that such a Trumpian character can buy a Senate spot is particularly odious and dangerous.

    • Landon Hardbottom says:

      The whole world of politics feels Trumpian. Great for me and my fellow 1 percenters. Fist, Glove, 12th Man … Nice guys finish last.

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