Australian Politics, Mark II


agree with all of the above. but in extending terms I would also boost/review the power of the governor general’s office to call an election.

that gives the electorate the opportunity to change the sheets if someone ■■■■■ the bed mid 5 year term.


Yeah that has worked well before.

In 1975


well maybe at least change the sheets in the Senate.

eg if the electorate is frustrated by the lack of progress or thinking the lower house is getting away with blue murder.


NO way.

I’d reduce it to 2, … in fact I’d prefer they have to be re endorsed every year. That’s the way many Democracies started, and the terms have only been extended because politicians wanted them to be. Gives them enough time to recover from lies told to get elected and for the people to move on and forget they did.

If they have to win an Election every year, they can’t get away with it.

Imagine that, … Politicians that don’t / can’t lie anymore?


If you do that, how on earth do you ever expect any politician to ever make a politically tough, but long term advantageous decision? You would be incentivising them to be thinking “election” at all times, and never forward looking. You finish one election, you have to be starting to think of the next.

Secondly, how do you get talented people into politics? You give them a 5 year job, there is an incentive for them to get in and make tough decisions, because they know they have 5 years of job security. They also only have to campaign once every five years. Instead, you’re saying they have two years of job security only. Why would anyone on a good wage, or with young kids, take that risk?

Finally, those all feed into increasing the dependence on donations and the MSM. The more frequently you have elections, the more important it is for a politician to suck up to the MSM for good press, and the more important it is to get donations and keep lobbyists happy since you need that $$$ for the election that is only two years away. Or that soft job in case you lose your seat in only a year or two. So you’ve just upped the corruption.

No, I think that is a terrible idea.


I don’t think that prohibits long term planning or “Tough Choices”, it just means they have to be honest about that planning and vision on both sides up front.

It would shock people initially, and they may feel they are choosing between the best of a bad lot when circumstances may be not great, but they will be fully informed and make that choice

Basically, it’s what Labor has done this time in Opposition, and it looks like the Electorate have appreciated it, and they will win on the back of it. I also think because of that forced honesty due to short terms, it would actually disarm the Media and reduce their influence.



It eliminates career Politicians then doesn’t it? That’s a good thing.

Maybe we should make it that they can ONLY serve 2 years full stop. In Democracys original form (Greece)it was just 1, IIRC, then they pizz off and someone else gets a go. More like Jury duty, then back to the real world with a Job you go, … Imagine how that would change their decision making process.

Would the like s of Palmer or Hansen even bother running in such circumstances?? And even if they did, … in 2 years time, … see yas! :wave:

I would also eliminate parties, and only pass any laws with a 2/3rds majority.

The leaders / Executive, would also be elected into their Jobs either directly by the people, or by those that the people elected & charged with that job in the Parliament.


Pretty much wholeheartedly agree with you on this though.


That’s pretty optimistic. When Rupert is gone Lachlan will take up the fight and some more. I just hope that if shorten gets in he goes hard at news and does them some damage somehow.


Not really. Trad Media is dying a slow but sure death every day, … we saw Ruperts campaign through his propaganda rags completely repudiated in Vic a year ago, . and it looks like it’s being largely scoffed at here, even though he’s going harder than ever after having been dismissed and discounted by Bill.

IINM, Shorten is the first PM or potential PM to not curry his favour but instead tell him to go jump in something like 3 decades.


So you want NSW lock out laws.

Remove Euthanasia

No safe schools anti bullying programs

Probably coal power

No drug injection rooms


Etc, etc because that’s what would happen if you remove states. All laws would be influenced by the lowest common denominator.


There’s nothing to say any of those laws would be implemented or not under a Fed system just because any single state has them at this point though mate.


Theoretically yes. But we live in one of the most progressive states, we would lose more than we gain by harmonising everything.


And I really don’t see how you come to this conclusion. Majority rules and all that, … especially coupled with the 2/3rds rule I suggested.


And the vast majority of people (hence seats), … exist in those progressive states, and / or Cities in non progressive ones, therefore you would think it’s the Nth Qld ers & WA rednecks that would be over ruled and whinging.

The hard right would lose influence completely in that situation, not gain any.


All the evidence at a federal level for the last 20 years suggests the opposite.


Yeah, we may be at cross purposes here, . I’m talking about implementing that bit of Ants post under the ideal scenario I proposed,…(ie no parties etc) not necessarily under the current system.



Also, the removal of State Govs still leaves Local Govs to legislate their own local laws, … so Sydney Council could propose and legislate “Lock Out” laws, but other areas, be it Parramatta or Melbourne etc might say nup, not us. Likewise for Injection Rooms etc.


When was the last time (if ever) an Opposition leader vying for PM dropped the word “Shitt” in a public presser & had no backlash or remonstrations??

Bill Shorten close to tears as he condemns newspaper over story about his mother

David Crowe

6-7 minutes

Bill Shorten has savaged a “gotcha” report in the The Daily Telegraph about his mother’s life and career in an emotional press conference that brought him close to tears as he told of the sacrifices she had made in raising her family.

The Opposition Leader condemned the newspaper for claiming he had shown “slipperiness on detail” when talking about his mother, Ann, on the ABC’s Q&A program on Monday night.

Mr Shorten’s voice faltered at times as he told of his mother’s ambition to become a lawyer and her decision to take up a teacher’s scholarship instead because of her family’s modest means.

He also declared that her story drove him to ensure all Australians had equal opportunity and to tackle age discrimination in the workplace, a factor that had worked against his mother in her early 50s.

Mr Shorten ended the Q&A program by telling the audience that his mother had wanted to be a lawyer but needed to take a teacher’s scholarship when young because she was the eldest in her family.

“My mum was a brilliant woman. She wasn’t bitter,” he said. “But I also know that if she had had other opportunities, she could have done anything.”

The front-page newspaper report, with the headline “mother of invention” and accompanied by two pages of coverage and an editorial, said Mr Shorten had omitted the fact that his mother had become a lawyer later in life.

“Far from being thwarted, she achieved her Australian dream,” The Daily Telegraph said in its editorial.

Mr Shorten dismissed that claim by telling more of his mother’s story during a press conference in Nowra on Wednesday morning, where he noted that his mother had gone back to university in her 50s but had struggled to get work as a barrister.

“She got about nine briefs in her time. It was actually a bit dispiriting,” he said.

"She had wanted to do law when she was 17. She didn’t get that chance. She raised kids. At 50, she backed herself. At 53, going to the bar, she got a barrister – that’s the technical term, the apprenticeship. She did her best. She went down and did some Magistrates Court work.

"But she discovered in her mid-50s that sometimes, you’re just too old, and you shouldn’t be too old, but she discovered the discrimination against older women. And so, while she kept her name on the bar roll for a number of years, she came back and she did other things. Do you know that my mum wrote the book on education and law in Australia? Brilliant. She’s brilliant.

“And that’s what drives me.”

Mr Shorten dismissed the “pretty ■■■■■■ lazy editorial” in The Daily Telegraph and slammed the way the newspaper played “gotcha ■■■■” with his mother’s life story.

Earlier, in a post on Facebook, Mr Shorten had described the newspaper report as “a new low” and said the newspaper seemed to think it knew his mother’s story better than he did.

Mr Shorten has clashed with The Daily Telegraph and its owner, News Corp, several times in the past and declined to meet the company’s executive chairman, Rupert Murdoch, ahead of the election.

In the first weeks of the election campaign, Mr Shorten blasted the “climate change deniers” at News Corp who criticised action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and backed their “ally” in Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Labor finance spokesman Jim Chalmers said on Wednesday morning that the News Corp newspapers were trying to help the government.

“This is what they do – they go to any length to prop up the Liberals, to prop up a failing government which has spent six years rotating through three Prime Ministers, which has doubled debt in this country, which has presided over slowing growth and stagnant wages,” Mr Chalmers told ABC TV.

In his Facebook post, Mr Shorten told the story of his mother’s decision to become a lawyer decades after she had wanted to do so.

“First in her family to go to university. They weren’t rich. She wanted to do law but had to take a teacher’s scholarship to look after her younger siblings,” he wrote.

"She loved being a teacher and she was very good at it. She later became a teacher of teachers. She worked at Monash University for over three decades, but she always wanted to be in the law.

"Much later in life, in her 50s, she did just that. When my twin brother and I went to university, she was enrolled at the same faculty. When I was in my first year of law school, she was in her final year. She was her brilliant self and won the Supreme Court prize.

"She finally realised her dream and qualified as a barrister in her late 50s.

"Mum was never bitter. She had a remarkable life and she felt very fortunate. But because of her financial circumstances, she didn’t get all of the opportunities she deserved.

“I can’t change what happened to my Mum. But I can change things for other people. And that’s why I’m in politics. That’s why I’m asking to be your prime minister.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison extended his “best wishes” to Mr Shorten on Wednesday morning when asked about the newspaper story, adding that he could understand the hurt it caused.

“This election is not about our families. It’s not about Bill’s mum. It’s not about my mum,” Mr Morrison said.

"Sadly, his mum’s passed away. I’m thankful my mum’s still with us. It’s not about our mums or our dads or our kids or our wives, as great as they are, it’s about the choice between Bill Shorten and myself as Prime Minister.

“And I know that Bill and I would very much want it to keep focused on that choice, not on our families.”

Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt took issue with The Daily Telegraph 's coverage and warned against interpreting one newspaper’s story as the view of the “Murdoch media” in general.

“Shorten spoke truly when he said his mother sacrificed her dream to be a lawyer, taking up teaching to help her siblings. There is no invention here,” Mr Bolt wrote.

"That she decades later, after a great career teaching, finally realised her dream has been well-reported and does not negate at all her admirable sacrifice.

“I note that the Herald Sun , my employer, chose not to run this story. I support that decision.”

David Crowe

David Crowe is Chief Political Correspondent of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.