Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Over 50 MPs & Senators in breach of s44(v)

Watching Senator Brandis on the Today show talking about the obligations of federal MPs & Senators who are not compliant with s44 of the Australian Constitution. Every candidate signs a declaration that they comply with all five sections of this law.

Our major parties are trying to protect one another by limiting the scrutiny to dual citizens but the law requires scrutiny of all five parts of section 44.

My opinion is the major parties know they are not allowed to profit in any way from subsidies, grants, contracts
& allowances issued by the Commonwealth. Over 50 current MPs & Senators use a (Living away from home allowance) LAFHA to negative gear Canberra homes. This allowance was never intended to be used in this way. It has evolved without any thought or care of the consequence. Very important to note that when LAFHA was introduced it passed both houses it was never put to the people via a referendum. To override the Constitution a referendum is required. The MPs using this allowance in this way profit via increased equity reduced taxation & often via a capital gain when sold. Any profit constitutes a breach of s44 (v). At the very least this should be referred to the High Court for adjudication. Not covered up by the major parties because of the people it involves. Many senior people on both sides of parliament.

Monday, 20 November 2017

We don't need another Labor govt. We need new ideas.

I've been watching our political system reward mediocrity for so long. I'm sick to death of the same political parties with similar faces regurgitating the same ideas that have failed over & over. This LNP government is a classic example of that. Trickle down economics for fuck sake. It was debunked as an economic theory while Ronald Reagan was President. Yet our govt uses it to fill the pockets of its political donors with no care for the impact on society.
Both government alternatives have no care for the refugees they have banished to islands out of sight & out of mind. Both gleefully whack their opponents from the opposition benches yet really they both have blood-soaked hands.
Then we have people on social security. Forever the whipping boys & girls of governments of both persuasions. The #notmydebt fiasco last Xmas where the government issued vulnerable people with debts, many that have been discredited over time as bogus, with no care for the impact at all. The silence from the opposition when that story broke was fascinating. They were sluggish at best.

Both our major parties rely on distractions. If they need to throw a few welfare recipients under the bus to get their heads out of the news they are fair game.
It just isn't good enough. Our combined governments are $600,000,000,000 in debt or thereabouts. It isn't Labor's fault as this govt says, nor is it the fault of the LNP. They both own it. They are both woeful economic managers. I would rate the Labor misfits slightly ahead of the LNP clowns. Why are they rated so poorly by me? Apart from the huge, debt they have done very little to address massive issues. Tax integrity, for example, both parties have for decades ignored diminishing corporate tax revenue. 679 of Australias top 1500 corporations paid no tax 2014/15 the remainder paid less than 5%. The advertised rate was 30%. It has taken decades for the fancy accounting firms to master this but they have. Governments have just watched. Personal taxation has also taken a whack. Negative gearing has taken off like a freight train to a point where millionaires are paying less tax than low & middle-income workers. As a direct result society suffers. Funding too services are cut. Governments rob Peter to pay Paul, and Paul is generally getting less anyway.

Governments job is simply to maintain the integrity of tax and to provide services for society. If they don't want to go back to the tried and true method there are other options. I found one that would generate over $300,000,000,000 every year without fail. If I can do it why can't parties with access to the best economists on speed dial? If we do have to have another Labor govt can we have one willing to do the hard things? Can we start getting the Aussies that aren't doing well off the canvas instead of ignoring their plight?

The Liberals are about to implode.

There have always been ideological differences within the Liberal party. In days gone by, they have always been held at bay by the greater lust for power. In recent times that balance has been precarious. Early on the exodus of Bernadi suggested all was not well. The issue of marriage equality has been a catalyst for great angst for the Liberal party going all the way back to 2004. When Howard altered the marriage act to stymie same-sex marriage.

We all know that some people within this government have strong religious beliefs that conflict with marriage equality. Religion & politics can coexist but they should be kept separate. This is great in theory but doesn't work in practice in my opinion. Being raised a Catholic until 18 when I walked away I can see how difficult it would be for somebody committed to their religion to be objective on issues that conflict.
Andrew Bolt who I have no time for has broken a story that a Liberal MP has threatened to quit in one month if Malcolm Turnbull remains Prime Minister. The by-elections are already threatening to end the tenuous hold the government has on power. Particularly in Bennelong where incumbent John Alexander has his work cut out for him with Kristina Keneally. Bolt will not name the MP but you can bet it is either Abbott, Andrews or somebody with leadership ambitions.
The extreme right of the party wants religious protections attached to the marriage equality bill.  Depending on who is delivering them they range from bigoted to just plain offensive to most people. They would also probably conflict with the Australian constitution s116.
Yesterday parliament sitting was moved back one week. In my opinion, it has everything to do with the same-sex marriage bill & the inability of the factions to find balance. I have little doubt that they are considering a coup of some type. In the history of the last 4 years, Abbott & Turnbull and all the failed Ministers attached with both leaders, I have difficulty seeing anyone with a brand that is worthy of the leadership. Mainstream media has thrown up Dutton, Morrison & Bishop & various times over the last few month but none are popular and all have various baggage before they begin.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Exploitation of education is reaching epedemic levels.

Being that I ran for the Senate in Victoria many of the kids that are being exploited around Australia are not really in my jurisdiction. Unfortunately, the people whose jurisdiction they are in don't seem to give a shit. I've seen correspondence from students to both the Minister Simon Birmingham & the Shadow Minister Tanya Plibersek both have generally fobbed students off with generic responses.

Universities around Australia have been turned from service providers into commercial ventures. These universities are setting up students to fail using an unscrupulous system. Students are left with a giant HECs debt & no qualification through no fault of their own. Some students who have practical experience are forced to quit jobs to do placements which are unpaid & involve the same work. I would name the university if it was one or two but I've seen evidence of these practices at several. They are also vexatious litigators. They threaten students & anyone else who gets in their path. If I was a Senator I'd invite these students into parliament to speak with impunity.

The pattern is this. Student starts the course. Student nears completion. The student has to do practical training known to them as a placement. Students are offered placements they cannot do or none at all. The student is failed if it doesn't do the placement. The student complains they are threatened. The Universities know this is an issue yet continue to start students on courses they will never complete.

The Minister & his Shadow are just watching this with their hands in their pockets. Students are being betrayed with an intent on a production line. Imagine the damage this does to a person at such a young age. It's proof to me that education should be a birthright,
not a privatised luxury.

Monday, 30 October 2017

How many more are in breach of s44(i-v)?

When (LAFHA) living away from home allowance was introduced to federal parliament there was no referendum. It was passed in both houses as most legislation does. When it was introduced it was meant to compensate MPs & Senators for their expenses renting or living in a Motel. Over time this has evolved to a point where MP's & Senators use their LAFHA to negative gear properties in their own name or their spouses. MPs & Senators are cagey about this subject. My mail is over 50 have negative gearing in Canberra. 
Why is this a problem? 
LAFHA is a Commonwealth allowance. Using an allowance for profit may breach s44 of the Australian Constitution. How does an MP or Senator profit, negative gearing with the allowance? They can profit two ways, the first is indisputable paying money on a mortgage increases equity. The second way is via a capital gain. I've asked a couple of people in the legal profession regards this theory & both believe it may be a problem for the politicians doing it.
This is one of the reasons I believe a full an independent audit of all federal MPs & Senators is warranted.
Our federal politicians have proven since election 2016 they don't take s44(i-v) seriously we have had 7 ruled ineligible & now the Senate President has come forward & said he may be a British citizen. Many of our federal MPs have clandestine investments including our Prime Minister. Without an audit, it is not possible to see if they hold a financial interest in any companies with Commonwealth contracts. One Senator does & refuses to budge.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Delaying marriage equality keeps it on the agenda.

I'm sure the LNP government is uncomfortable with marriage equality they have done everything possible to foil it since 2004. The plebiscite was a way of not dealing with the issue for Tony Abbott in 2014. It is religious grounds that are the basis for opposition although they won't openly admit it. By not dealing with it, they keep it on the agenda. It can be used to distract us from other significant issues as required.

Things like water theft in NSW. Homelessness across the nation. The failing NBN. The s44(i-v) scandal. The Parkinson report into the Sussan Ley scandal and the failure to deal with the asylum seeker detention issue.

Marriage equality is a significant issue to many people but it isn't the life or death issue that it often runs cover for. I hope the public is aware they have been with this issue. Even some of the media are finally rolling their eyes at the way this issue is being played out.

In 2004 John Howard altered the marriage act to the detriment of #SSM. It was a deliberate move in parliament to stop marriage equality. As is the talk of a plebiscite today.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Why s44(i-v) exists & is important.

Part of the requirements of becoming a federal politician is making a declaration to the AEC. There is one question that is asked of all candidates. It asks if you are compliant with s44(i-v) of the Australian Constitution. A seemingly innocuous question on a bureaucratic form. The link below is a sample copy of a HOR candidates form. The Senate version is very similar. http://www.aec.gov.au/Elections/candidates/files/60-60b-single-regofficer-sample.pdf

The point of the law is to ensure all political candidates are loyal to this nation. That they are not compromised by their investments when making legislation. That they are honest. Apart from gathering signatures of eligible voters and the fee, it costs to run for parliament s44(i-v) is the only thing asked of a candidate. Many people get angry about s44(i) as it prohibits dual citizens from running for parliament. People who advocate for compliance are often referred to as birthers. They think that the law is racially motivated. In actual fact this argument is ludicrous. It is very possible for an Australian born person to become a dual citizen. The legal requirement is to ensure allegiance to The Commonwealth Of Australia.

The recent events in Canberra with MPs & Senators being questioned, resignations & at least one matter being referred to the High Court have happened because this law has never been audited. While it has a serious warning after it on the nomination forms. There is no enforcement. A breach of s44(i-v) Constitution does mean that the candidate is ineligible to be in Parliament. Knowingly making a false declaration is a breach of the Criminal Code Act 1995. It carries a maximum punishment of 12 months jail. Of course, once one matter goes unpoliced the fear of penalty diminishes for all who follow.          
Surely we must ask more of people who want to represent Australia in Parliament than we do of the people? Recent events where people on welfare have been issued dubious backdated debts & forced to prove with limited access to information their innocence. Yet politicians become belligerent when asked if they are compliant to this. Some have blocked FOI requests. Many senior MPs on both sides of politics have ignored letters & emails in relation to this law.