Saturday, August 21, 2010

FDA Audit of the Visions of Gillard and Abbot (2010 Australian General Election)



Vision:
What is the overall outlook/direction for the future of Australia, and to what degree does it represent the best interests of the people of Australia?

Julia Gillard (Australian Labor Party)

Together, Let’s move Australia forward

A Positive Plan to Move Australia Forward

As I’ve travelled around Australia, I've constantly been reminded of one thing: day in and day out, our people work for their families, their communities and their country, and they do so very hard.
Australians play by the rules, set their alarms early, get their kids off to school, and work hard to provide for their family.
This election I've worked hard to lay out a positive plan for the future of Australia.

It’s a plan to build a stronger economy, provide more jobs, provide better health, better education, invest in infrastructure, and ensure a fairer and more sustainable society for all.
I believe Australians deserve better than the backward vision that has been presented by Mr Abbott.
We’re better than that, we are a confident, optimistic people, and together, let’s show it this Saturday.

Only Julia Gillard has a positive plan to move our economy forward with business tax cuts, a National Broadband Network, and fully costed promises.

FDA Summary: build a strong economy together through business tax cuts, national broadband network, fully costed promises. Reactionary to Liberal party. No overall vision of what Australia represents now or in the future. No long-term vision.


Tony Abbot (Liberal Party of Australia)

Stand up for Australia. Stand up for real action.
End Labor’s waste and restore cabinet government
The Hon Tony Abbott Leader of the Opposition
Labor has wasted too much taxpayers’ money.
The Coalition won’t repeat Labor’s disastrous ‘pink batts’ program.
The Coalition will also stop the billions of dollars being wasted through the ‘school halls’ program, and cut spending on government advertising.
Bad processes produce bad decisions.
Unlike Labor where decisions are made without proper process or consultation, the Coalition will restore the decision-making processes of Cabinet to restore integrity to government decision-making.

FDA Summary: reduce government spending and restore decision-making process of Cabinet. No overall vision of what Australia represents now or in the future. Reactionary to the Labor party. No long-term vision.


Scores:   Gillard Abbot
                5/10   6/10


Rational for scores:

Gillard envisions a more active government with some financial responsibility, while Abbot envisions a reduced government with better decision-making. Both visions are short-term, and lack an overall vision for Australians. Moreover, both visions are promoting a stronger Australian government, but through different means—careful government expansion versus government contraction.

Australia is not a country onto itself. And the world economy is struggling in its recovery from a worldwide recession. Therefore, it follows that Liberal conservative is likely better in the short-term for Australians.

Both Gillard and Abbot’s visions were general to Australians and lacked a long-term, overall perspective. Therefore, their scores for vision are mediocre. Abbot received a higher score, because his vision with reduced government and better government decision-making is more reasonable considering the troubling global economy.


Overall Ranking:

Visions

1.Abbot 6/10 60%
2. Gillard 5/10 50%

The lower the grade, the less satisfactory the candidate is. The higher the grade, the more satisfactory the candidate is.

Analysis:

The Australian electoral audit was limited to vision, and therefore, the ranking of Abbot and Gillard is limited as well. However, the visions of the candidates, and their respective quality, should give a give reasonable idea as to what these candidates offer Australians, because vision represents what a candidate offers overall.


Conclusion:

Considering the low scores for visions for Gillard and Abbot, Australians should not expect much from these candidates.

Moreover, Australian democracy is dominated by a two party democracy made up of the Liberal Party of Australia and Australian Labor Party. Hence, the poor visions of Gillard and Abbot are amplified. (In the 2007 Australian General election for example , the Labor party won 43.38% of the vote, Liberal party 36.61%, and with the nearest other party, the National Party, 5.49%.)

Australians should strive to break the two-party hierarchy, thereby allow more parties, with differing perspectives, to have an opportunity to govern Australia.

In the context of the FDA audits for vision in the 2010 British General election and 2008 US presidential election, all the candidates had mediocre scores for visions, except for Nader who scored 100% and Brown who scored 70%.

However, Nader not being part of the US two-party hierarchy was sidelined in the US political process receiving only .5% of the US vote. Brown and his British Labor party lost the 2010 election, and his vision was offset by his poor incumbency record and the decline of the British economy. The British voters with little to choose from overall gave support to the short-term economic outlook of the British Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.

Actual election results:

The 2010 Australia General Election resulted in a hung parliament, which means no party attained a majority of the seats in the Australian parliament. This result is consistent with the FDA audit, which shows the leading candidates, Gillard and Abbot, to be mediocre in terms of their visions for Australia. Moreover, a hung parliament will force the Australian Labor party and the Liberal Party of Australia to form coalitions with other parties and independents, thus allow greater representation of the Australian people and at the same time, weaken the Australian two-party hierarchical political system.

FDA 2010 Australia Vision Audit

Friday, August 20, 2010

US Democracy Promotion Reckless

US imposition of western style democracy to Afghanistan continues along a path of failure, as the war itself denies an environment conducive to fair elections, and the elections themselves are counter to the political beliefs and values of Afghans.

Upcoming Afghan parliamentary elections already failing

Thursday, August 19, 2010

David Harvey Says Capitalism Unviable


As the FDA did, David Harvey makes the case that the perpetual growth of capitalism is unviable, because there are limits to growth in the long-term. Also, there are significant environmental, political, and social costs from a growth based economic model. Harvey proposes a zero growth economic model.

His views on democracy lack the rigor of his economic analysis, whereby he says people just need to vote for parties which represent for example a zero growth plan. Just voting is easier said than done when the western political system is dominated by a political hierarchy, in which alternative parties are sidelined in the mainstream media.

Interview of David Harvey Part I

Interview of David Harvey Part II

Global economic growth

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Zeigeist Documentary Denounces Western Democracy



The Zeigeist documentary raises serious concerns about the state of western democracy, by arguing that western democracy is a means for political and social control through a corporatocracy, comprised of wealthy corporations, national and international banking institutions and dominant political parties and their candidates.

Zeitgeist: Addendum - 2008 by Peter Joseph

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Democracies More Prone to Politicians Who Lie?

"Because unlike their democratically elected counterparts, autocratic or totalitarian governments just do not have the same need for it because they do not seek public approval or ratings.

In fact, the more accountable they are to their citizens, the more sinister and dangerous are the leaders' lies.

By mere definition of their jobs and scrutiny of their parliaments, democratic and especially Western leaders generally have more leeway in foreign than domestic affairs, and tend to exercise it to solidify their leadership," Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera's senior political analyst. (August 4th, 2010)

Lies and Cover-up Behind the Afghanistan Occupation

Obama Being Challenged Over Putting an American on Hitlist

"The government is targeting an American citizen for death without any legal process whatsoever, while at the same time impeding lawyers from challenging that death sentence and the government's sweeping claim of authority to issue it," Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU, said.

Civil Liberties Groups Challenge Obama

American on American Hitlist

Monday, August 2, 2010

Obama's Afghan PR is Mind-boggling


Speaking on a Sunday morning television programme, Obama defended the war-effort, saying that the US was not trying to turn Afghanistan into a western-style democracy.

"What we're looking to do is difficult, very difficult, but it's a fairly modest goal, which is, don't allow terrorists to operate from this region," he said.

"That can be accomplished," he added. "We can stabilise Afghanistan sufficiently and we can get enough co-operation from Pakistan that we are not magnifying the threat against the homeland."


So the US government has spent nine years occupying Afghanistan and billions of dollars, and lost hundreds of American lives, during which it installed and supports an Afghan western style democracy, and the US government's only goal is to not allow so-called terrorists from operating in the Afghanistan region?

If the US government's goal is "fairly modest" as Obama says, then why after nine years is the American government facing defeat in Afghanistan and the US military is still in there? Why did the US need to occupy Afghanistan in the first instance? Combating so-called terrorism calls for occupation of a country?

The Taliban have declared publicly that they have no international aspirations, and that they would not allow their country to be used for attacks against the US. Moreover, the Taliban demand the following:

1. Complete withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan.
2. Liberation of the country.
3. Establishment of an Islamic system in the country based on the aspirations of the people.
4. Rehabilitation, development and prosperity of the people.
5. Participation of all pious and talented Mujahid Afghans in the government from all racial groups.

Somethings don't make sense.

Could it be that the US government by occupying Afghanistan has only fueled hatred of the American government, and thereby the potential for more attacks on America, such as the recent Time Square attempted bombing and attempted bombing of a US airplane?

Could it be that the US government is in Afghanistan for other reasons, which Obama is unwilling to say, such as geo-strategic and geo-political reasons?

Why hasn't the US government looked at the root causes of so-called terrorism, and focused on those causes?

Out of Afghanistan--nader.org