Save Our Rail party would wield clout

 

News article: Save Our Rail party would wield clout

[color=#333333][size=3][font=Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]IT'S no surprise that Save Our Rail now has political ambitions.

  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
IT'S no surprise that Save Our Rail now has political ambitions. At a meeting in Sydney between the Minister for Transport, Gladys Berejiklian, and Save Our Rail members, which I attended, it was clear they have reached an impasse.

According to the Minister for Transport the decision to truncate the line at Wickham is not "to improve public transport". Ms Berejiklian said: "We've always argued that this project is about revitalising Newcastle. So this project is about increasing the potential for Newcastle and the Hunter to grow."
Save Our Rail party would wield clout


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Well there you have it.  Removing the line to Newcastle is NOT ABOUT IMPROVING PUBLIC TRANSPORT.

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  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
They could just be another bunch of cowboys trying to get into parliament by adopting an appealing sounding name to attract votes.

Examples of groups like this that got into the senate at the last federal election include:

* Motoring Enthusiasts Party
* Sports Party
* Liberal Democrat Party

Now the first two parties are just good old boys who thought they would have a go for a laugh and they were just as surprised as everyone else when they managed to fluke a win based on preference deals. The third is actually a hard right outfit that is far more conservative than the Liberal Party or the old Australian Democrats. So unless you are confident that a micro party candidate is totally legit and is not a cowboy nor has a hidden agenda (like the Lib-Dem bloke) avoid voting for them.

Generally it's safest to vote for the big parties (Lab or Lib) or to register a protest against them by voting for the mid sized parties (National or Green). Voting for a micro party that doesn't have a proper policy platform across all areas means there is a strong chance that if they're elected, you may not get someone with the sort of policies you expected.
  JimYarin Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
is there a continuing trend where smaller political parties whose voices are not heard will gain additional traction in coming elections?
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

Well there you have it. Removing the line to Newcastle is NOT ABOUT IMPROVING PUBLIC TRANSPORT.
bevans

I think this picture shows what it is all about: http://flic.kr/p/fov2Bm
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Yes but how do the politicians win?
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
The line has to go - unfortunately dropping it is less economical than the alternatives.
  tezza Chief Commissioner

Newcastle Express you keep displaying a photo of Newcastle Highrise. If they were planning to build more there you wouldnt see this view, you would be looking over the harbour towards Stockton. Where is your photo of Stockton as the view?
  tezza Chief Commissioner
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
They could just be another bunch of cowboys trying to get into parliament by adopting an appealing sounding name to attract votes.

Examples of groups like this that got into the senate at the last federal election include:

* Motoring Enthusiasts Party
* Sports Party
* Liberal Democrat Party

Now the first two parties are just good old boys who thought they would have a go for a laugh. The third is actually a hard right outfit that is far more conservative than the Liberal Party or the old Australian Democrats. So unless you are confident that a micro party candidate is totally legit and is not a cowboy nor has a hidden agenda (like the Lib-Dem bloke) avoid voting for them.

Generally it's safest to vote for the big parties (Lab or Lib) or to register a protest against them by voting for the mid sized parties (National or Green). Voting for a micro party that doesn't have a proper policy platform across all areas means there is a strong chance that if they're elected, you may not get someone with the sort of policies you expected.
Bogong

On the subject of names, interestingly the LNP is investigating, if not already, implementing legislation to outlaw the practise of having political parties with similar sounding names to those of major parties. The position of the Liberal Democrat party on the voting papers, in addition to their similar name to the Liberals was suggested to have pulled as much as 4% of the vote away from voters true intentions of voting Liberal.

Micro parties serve an interest appealing to the specific needs of the group they represent. There are 2 problems here however:

*Should they get into power, running a country and deciding on policy direction will involve decision making on more then the niche issue these parties respectively represent. Pray tell me, how a motoring party has any idea on whether or not to allow euthanasia in Australia? This means they need to make their mind up on the spot, and the smallest of minorities now dictate our social policy as a whole country on the behalf of the majority- irrespective of whether the majority supports it or not.
*The present system of elections for the upper house is deeply flawed, where complex preference deals now control who wins rather then a direct vote by the people. You may think your voting, for example the greens, and through what deals are in place elect micro-party X whose strong right views are polar opposite to what you initially wanted.

Micro parties have no place in the Australian political landscape- they are a distraction and prevent a government elected by the majority to serve the majority.

EDITED: spelling
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
A choice between two lemons is not democracy.
  br30453 Chief Train Controller

Micro parties have no place in the Australian political landscape- they are a distraction and prevent a government elected by the majority to serve the majority.
seb2351

And I was under the impression that governments were there to serve the people, all the people.

To quote a well know speech: "Government of the people, for the people, by the people"
  usedtobered Locomotive Fireman

Actually ZH836301 "A choice between two lemons is not a Democracy" is not a true statement. That is precisely what a Democracy is. But in Australia we are sooo lucky.
At the ballot box there is little risk of car bombs, or assassinations. We also do not have a Dictatorship or Facism, or Communism. People do not die in Demonstrations like they do in the Ukraine.
My friend says that in Australia, at the bottom of the ballot paper, there should be a box you can tick, that says " I vote for none of the above" . This would stop people voting for the 'Informal ' party.
  Simbera Train Controller

On the subject of names, interestingly the LNP is investigating, if not already, implementing legislation to outlaw the practise of having political parties with similar sounding names to those of major parties. The position of the Liberal Democrat party on the voting papers, in addition to their similar name to the Liberals was suggested to have pulled as much as 4% of the vote away from voters true intentions of voting Liberal.
seb2351


The Electoral Act already forbids the registration of parties which are too similar to existing parties for this very reason, although many are saying that it isn't being enforced strongly enough, especially after the last election. You are correct in saying the Coalition are looking to legislate this more rigidly but the method they've proposed (banning specific words like Liberal and Labour) is not very fair to legit existing parties which use those words.

*The present system of elections for the upper house is deeply flawed, where complex preference deals now control who wins rather then a direct vote by the people. You may think your voting, for example the greens, and through what deals are in place elect micro-party X whose strong right views are polar opposite to what you initially wanted.

I agree that it's flawed, and in my opinion would be drastically improved if it allowed people to vote below the line but only as many times as they wanted, ie they can do the whole thing, just the first two parties, the first ten, etc. That way your preferences stop when you stop numbering people, which means your preferences will only flow as far as you want them to (and there isn't the massive burden of numbering 100-odd boxes).

That said, if it bothers you where your preferences go, you should really just vote below the line. Then preference deals mean nothing.

is there a continuing trend where smaller political parties whose voices are not heard will gain additional traction in coming elections?

I don't know about that. There has certainly been an increase in micro parties lately, and they will occasionally fluke a seat through preference flows, but that tends not to be a trick that works well a second time.

To return to the prospect of a Save Our Rail party - it's not really the best idea. Single-issue organisations like this work better as lobbying groups, who can work on challenging all the parties, and supporting those whose goals align with theirs. That's not to say they wouldn't have some success if they went to an election - they might - but it would be better for all involved if they didn't.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Often when micro parties (with a single issue sounding name) stand in the lower house, they are really just stooges set up to direct preferences to other candidates. I'm not sure if this is illegal but it's certainly immoral.

An example is the micro parties set up the NSW Labour Party Right Faction in the 1990's that swung a lot of preferences their way. In the interests of political balance, a bloke I went to uni with was a Liberal Party hack and he set up the More Beer Party to direct preferences to the Libs.

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