[Linux-aus] TPP IP chapter leak

Benno Rice benno at jeamland.net
Wed Nov 27 20:35:33 EST 2013

On 27 Nov 2013, at 7:19 pm, Tennessee Leeuwenburg <tleeuwenburg at gmail.com> wrote:

> I completely agree. Commence email on politics, so feel free to tune out now :)

This continues your tuning-out warning. I’ll add an opinionated political wonk warning too.

> The Australian senate used to have a strong showing from the Democrats, who used to be a strong party which stood up for transparency, honesty and middle-ground solutions rather than spin. Their motto was "keep the bastards honest". Both their commitment to that motto and their electoral support have long since waned.

They had a strong showing when they had the balance of power. Unfortunately they had a bit of an internal squabble as to whether their commitment to their rank and file membership trumped their aim of improving but not blocking policy vis a vis the GST. Then they turned on themselves and flamed out.

They also weren’t always in a position to “keep the bastards honest”. The period when Brian Harradine held the balance of power springs to mind.

> Unfortunately, the remaining parties are doing little to respond to the more authoritarian and less transparent processes of current and recent past governments. The Greens have clear political standpoint, which is fine if you agree with it, but they don't necessarily appeal broadly, and thus don't necessarily get the political clout to force the hand of power.

The Greens have Scott Ludlam who is someone you should absolutely vote for if you’re in WA and care about online freedoms. They have about as much appeal as the Democrats did. I’m not going to claim the Greens are perfect but as a multi-issue party that generally has the best policy slate as far as both online and offline civil liberties goes, they’re the one to go for.

> The parties which support technical issues, being (so far as I have noticed as a mostly apathetic political animal) are The Pirate Party and the Wikileaks Party, neither of whom seem really than integrated into the realities of politics in Australia. I think it's a real shame there's no room any more for the straight bat in politics, and also a shame that technical issues aren't being pushed forward in that way.

The Wikileaks Party are a pack of… well, let’s just say they should call themselves the Please Elect Julian Assange Party and leave it at that. The Pirate Party look awesome. If they can manage to marshall support they’d be a great group to have in Parliament. They actually take their commitment to transparency and openness seriously, unlike certain Wikileaks Parties.

> I feel that part of the issue is that the amount of money required to advance a political issue is very large if the issues are not necessarily already important to a wide audience. 

It’s a general marketing issue, and marketing doesn’t come cheap unless you can make something go (sorry) viral.

> I have absolutely no idea whether there should be a "Technology party" or a "Science and technology party" but I think it's an interesting idea. And we need to bring back someone to keep the bastards honest*.

I think we need broader parties, not single-issue parties. Occasionally a single-issue thing can make sense but what I’d prefer to see is people either joining the Greens and trying to maintain and/or influence their direction or even trying to join the ALP or the Liberals and try to effect change there. Changing the ALP or the Liberals could take the creation of another party but I think it needs to have a broad set of policies driven from an obvious, well-stated set of core values. The problem with both the ALP and the Liberals at the moment is that neither of them actually state what they believe in and tie their policies back to it. They try to derive policy that has mass appeal and then try to retrofit it to what they claim to stand for. The Greens actually do derive policy from their core values but they’re hamstrung by being painted as hapless hippy lefties which they actually aren’t, at least not entirely.

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