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.

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.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Internships, what are they good for?

So yesterday Senator Cash & Prime Minister Turnbull were out & about spruiking jobs & growth. It was a bit different though this time they had statistics. Internship trials were run and of 1,200 participants 82 ended with jobs. At first glance good for the 82. That's a success rate of 6.8% or a failure rate of 93.2%. Is this good enough? Turnbull & Cash are talking it up. They announced 10,000 at the top end of retail.
This gives these big businesses a competitive edge over their competitors. It gives them access to subsidised cheap labour while their competitors will be paying award rates or more. Will these 10,000 interns replace existing workers? If so what good is it? If not how will the government know? If you get free labour it must give increased profits. Why do these businesses get such a leg up? What is their relationship with government? Are they political donors?

The retail sector has an EBA that was negotiated & signed off or ratified by SDA{a union of sorts} & FWC This internship plan undermines the conditions in this agreement. It was already a pretty shabby deal for workers. Now, this on top. How many casual workers will be impacted by the influx of Interns? How can workers be asked to bargain in good faith & then have a government come over the top with a plan that impacts the deal?

Apart from giving work experience without the benefits, I see little benefit in this plan for the participants. I see no benefit to existing workers with variable or casual employment. I see great benefit to the shareholders & executives via increased profits.