G’Day World #299 – Rock The Vote

The other night I caught up with Scouta founder and former TPN’r Richard Giles and Microsoft’s local professional nice guy blogger/podcaster Nick Hodge for a chat about the upcoming Australian federal election and was appalled to hear how they both intend voting. Geeks have a responsibility to lead. You’re a smart bunch. You are educated (formally or informally), connected and powerful. Don’t waste your vote.

This is a recording of the conversation. Warning: I used Garageband on the new Macbook to record it and I didn’t bother to equalize it, so it may sound a little rough.

This photo isn’t from the night, it’s one Nick took of me during my Podcamp talk yesterday, but it captures me in full revolutionary rant mode, which works as a visual for this show quite well.

Cam in rant mode

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25 thoughts on “G’Day World #299 – Rock The Vote

  1. Richard Ellender says:

    So I fired up SL for the first time in ages, had to upgrade again .. went to your poxy island & got a no entry sign!

  2. We got kicked out of our island two weeks ago dude. Got evicted when our landlord scammed us. Looking for new digs.

  3. janotte says:

    Ah Nick thank you for so explicitly putting the classic Liberal Voter position.

    Perfect and complete representation of the position.

    Thank you making it so clearly.

    BTW Nick – The practical need is to appear and have your name marked off at an election booth. There is no practical need to correctly mark the paper (yes in theory but think it through exactly how that theory could be applied). If you aren’t able to immediately see how to get what you say you want out of this existing system then you really need to stop and calmly think for a while. You clearly have the brain-power so it’s just a matter of sitting and thinking for a bit to how solve a problem within the given constraints. If you applied the same to some of your other thinking you might have some other viewpoints in some areas (stranger things have happened).

  4. I think we should all be doing stuff about global warming but until Al Gore CUTS his own Greenhouse admissions, he has little creditability to me! And don’t start the “carbon offset” crap because its just crap!

  5. I herd Natasha on Fr Bobs show on JJJ, and she made the excellent point that you can do anything (just about) in the voting both. Its only illegal not to turn up and get your name crossed out.


  6. By the way Cam, hows you Hybrid Car, Solar hot water and Solar power?

  7. Can you be owned by two organisations? I am sure Cam said that Rudd was owned by the Unions and then later on said that they were owned by the same big corpurations that the libs are!

  8. Gran Jan says:

    Can I try again to have my rant??
    A couple of points…
    (a) Firstly on Nick’s comment that America doesn’t need Australia. I don’t agree. People don’t seem to realise how strategically Australia is situated in the world from America’s point of view for both defence & their space program. We are very strategically placed for their tracking. They also have a lot of big bucks tied up in our natural resources. Most folk don’t seem to understand that America didn’t defend Australia in WW2 out of the “goodness of their hearts”, they couldn’t afford to let the Japs get hold of our oil & minerals & then use this country as a stepping stone to attack America.
    (b) As for Richard’s comment…I am flabbergasted that people swallow the scaremongering about the Union backing of the ALP. Don’t they know that a union is made up of ordinary working Australians? That is not the “bully boy bruiser” image that the Libs want people to have. Unions are made up of everday Australians such as teachers, nurses, retail workers, office workers, etc.
    In simple terms, the ALP is backed by working class people & the Libs by big business & corporations. That’s why the IR laws are so threatening, because big business wants to take away the power of the unions which is the ONLY bargaining power ordinary workers have. The Nationals used to represent the farmers until they threw their lot in with the Libs & rolled over to big business as well.
    People in general will vote for the party that represents their own personal interest. If that means invading another country illegally & slaughtering thousands of innocents to get control of the oil so big Corporations can line their pockets they will bow to their own greed.
    In the Keating era we had the “recession we had to have” to get the inflation rate down & the economy back on it’s feet. That is what this Government has reaped the benefits of!
    How much do you want to bet that if the Howard Gov. gets back in we will next be sending our soldiers into Iran on any pretext?
    By the way Cam…a vote for the Greens or Democrats is virtually a vote for the incumbent Government!

  9. You tell him Gran Jan! Cam, listen to your Mother!

  10. Jodie Miners says:

    Cam, you are actually supposing that the majority of Australians a) know how the voting system works and b) actually think about how they are going to vote.

    Most people are SHEEP – they get handed the little “How to Vote” card at the front door and they vote in exactly that way.

    I work at the polling booths on most elections and you can see that they just vote exactly how they are told to vote.

    I reckon How to Vote cards should be banned. Last state election many people with very little english were coming in with How to Vote cards that looked very very similar to the official AEC registration card, and saying, “this is how I have to vote”. (Plus they all just end up in the rubbish as we are not allowed to recycle them back out the front to be re-used and they are not allowed to come in and collect them, but don’t get me started on how much waste there is with the official election papers).

    There needs to be first, a huge education campaign on a) why we have compulsory voting, b) our constitution (eg not having a bill of rights), c) the preferential voting system (eg you are NOT voting for the Prime Minister), and d) the power of the senate.

    Which is another thing. You have not mentioned much about the Senate. With the demise of the democrats in the senate come 1 July we will have lost Don Chip’s credo of “keep the bastards honest”. Even if Labor gets up in the Reps, the Senate doesn’t roll over until 1 July – 7 months of opportunity to block supply twice and force a double dissolution.

    Your vote in the senate this election (and every election) is crucial otherwise we will be beholden to the likes of Barnaby Joyce and that First Family Christian Sect party.

  11. hehe I don’t think we EVER talked about politics in the home while i was growing up – now my mother turns out to to be a political activist!

    Mother – saying that voting for the Green or the Dems is like voting for the incumbents is so wrong its scary. If everyone thinks like that, we’re all royally screwed. If either of those parties gets a heap of votes, then they can negotiate where their preferences go – and they can bargain with the major parties to change their policies in return for getting their preferences. If we don’t support these minor parties with our votes, how are they expected to change things?

  12. Cam, I don’t think the Preferences really matter its more getting candidates into the Parliament. I reckon the biggest downfall of the Libs this term is that they got control of the Senate and the Dems weren’t their to fix up all the problems with their policies or even just be there to blame if there are problems from the policies.


  13. Nick Hodge says:

    Gran Jan

    At the outbreak of WW2 AU was very much “for Empire”. Subsequently, Menzies and Churchill lost the SEAsian empire to the Japanese in the space of 2-3 months.

    As the major land bodies were already in the hands of the Japanese, the US had to resort to Australia and New Zealand as one of their home bases. The Navy launched from Pearl Harbor and the Army from Australia and NZ. The US Army, run by Macarthur was only worried about the Phillippines.

    The bulk of Australia’s natural resources were found post WW2. If we were so valuable, why didn’t the Japanese decide to invade the richest part of Australia (WA) in 1942?

    The US played a small part in the defence and re-taking of Australian soil, which Papua New Guinea was in 1942, Post PNG, the US island hopped back to Japan single-handedly (apart from RAN involvement, and Borneo)

    A very smart Prime Minister, Mr. Curtin, actively sought out the help of the US in preference to the Empire. This nation owes Mr. Curtin it’s existence more than the US.

    All this said, the US sees Australia as a convenient ally since WW2. Korea, Vietnam and now Iraq/Afghanistan. There are other stronger nations it watches. Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.

    Geopolitically (where we are physically) results in the US looking at Central America and Europe. As WW2 showed, the width of the Pacific does protect their western approaches.


  14. Gran Jan says:

    Yes Nick, but the US “island hopped back to the US”? Guess the Japanese could have done that too. The Japanese actually attacked Darwin. It was closer for their bombers than WA. What was in WA then anyway? I actually met General Macarthur when I was a teenager. (A long long time ago 🙂 ……………
    As I understand it, Churchill refused to allow our soldiers in Europe to return to Australia to protect it from the Japanese. They had to defend the “Mother Country”.
    As for Menzies, a true lover of the “Mother Country”, said to “let the Japanese have the North” (of Australia, that is). Oh my God, nothing would have stopped them then. They would have just swept through the whole country. My Uncle was one of the men sent to the local beach here armed with 303’s to defend our shores from the Japanese fleet when it was invading. What a joke!!!

  15. Gran Jan says:

    Yes Nick, but the US “island hopped back to the US”? Guess the Japanese could have done that too. The Japanese actually attacked Darwin. It was closer for their bombers than WA. What was in WA then anyway? I actually met General Macarthur when I was a teenager. (A long long time ago 🙂 ……………
    As I understand it, Churchill refused to allow our soldiers in Europe to return to Australia to protect it from the Japanese. They had to defend the “Mother Country”.
    As for Menzies, a true lover of the “Mother Country”, said to “let the Japanese have the North” (of Australia, that is). Oh my God, nothing would have stopped them then. They would have just swept through the whole country. My Uncle was one of the men sent to the local beach here armed with 303’s to defend our shores from the Japanese fleet when it was invading. What a joke!!!
    And I wasn’t talking about “geopolitically” situated. I mean strategically. A totally different kettle of fish.

  16. I wish Japan *had* invaded. Today we’d all have uber-high tech gadgets and we’d have those whacky TV shows where people writhe around in ts of jellyfish.

  17. And the difference would be?

  18. Gran Jan: I take it your voting for Labour? Do you think they wouldn’t have also supported the invasion of Iraq, and won’t invade Iran if they come to power and the US asked Australia to?

  19. Also, just to be clear. I disagree with Unions, not because I see them as thugs, but because I don’t agree that with their philosophy. I believe in market forces, and that if a employer isn’t treating employees correctly, then over time they’ll lose those employees and hence business. Unions had there place, but in today’s society I think there are better ways to deal with them.

  20. Gran Jan says:

    Richard, whomever any of us vote for we will still end up with polititions! Actually, I don’t believe in party politics. I think it has destroyed Democracy. If I had my way all Parties would be made illegal & whomever we voted in as our government representative may then truly represent their constituents rather than a party. I will probably vote Labour as the best of the worst. There is something about the dishonesty of the Libs that just sticks in my craw. Not that I think the Labour Party is without sin. I just can’t vote for people who are so candidly sly & dishonest.
    But then I am just an ignorant, uneducated Queenslander who’s brain has probably been fried by the sun long ago!

  21. Gran Jan says:

    PS Richard. Re your belief that Unions are not relevent in today’s society & that market forces are the solution, I have had the same discussion with Cameron & I believe you are both out of touch with what today’s battlers are really dealing with. An example: a person down on their luck, collecting Job Search benefits, genuinely looking for work must accept an unacceptable work offer or have all their benefits cut off for 12 weeks. I know of cases where this has happened & is happening. I know someone just this week told that his benefits were breached because he was given a contract to sign for an employer to pick cherry tomatoes which had a list of things he had to agree to do which he wasn’t capable of because of a physical disability. He was expected to sign an agreement to pick 3 buckets an hour, 7 days a week for a fixed rate of pay. No penalty rates & believe me it was a pittance he was offered. Plus there were many more unreasonable stipulations. It wasn’t that he was refusing work, he just wasn’t capable because of a bad back of picking 3 buckets an hour, and they are huge buckets & take a lot of cherry tomatoes to fill one. Because he said he couldn’t agree to be able to do that, his benefits are being cut off. Some people are between a rock & a hard place. I work 7 days a week myself & believe me, I am not rolling in money.

  22. GranJan, What’s your definition of “down on their luck”? How much of where people are at is the result of their own decisions? I”m all for helping out people who are in a tough situation as a result of things beyond their control, but when people have made decisions which find them “down on their luck”, then I don’t think a union is the answer. I’ve got a low tolerance for people who make excuses for their situation in life. You should see how I grew up… oh wait, you did. 🙂

  23. Oh and GranJan, you might like the new party I reviewed this morning, Senator On-Line. No party politics! True representative democracy!

  24. Gran Jan says:

    True..the person I was referring to has a “victim” mentallity. He always sees himself as victimised. (Son of an alcoholic who had a very rough time growing up. A lot tougher than you had!) That doesn’t negate the fact that people don’t always have choices. If your working for a crap boss 7 days a week, it’s not easy to find another job while your working every day. If you quit you are not entitled to Work Search benefits for 12 weeks. If you have no money behind you meanwhile, what do you use to pay the rent & put petrol in your vehicle while you look for another job.? Regional towns don’t have the public transport the Capital Cities have.

  25. I think that whole philosophy that people “don’t have choices” is a dangerous one. Whilst I can appreciate how hard it is to break out of the victim cycle when you’re working in a shit job, other people have done it, so it can be done. Don’t you think it has more to do with the strength of a person’s desire than their circumstances or upbringing? How many books on success do they read? How much energy and focus do they give towards breaking out of their situation? Or are they just bitching about it and resigned to it? I think it’s important that we teach people how to break out of the cycle, not just sympathize with them and blame the system. While the system is far from perfect, don’t you think people need to take a certain amount of personal responsibility for their own situation?

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