From: "Davor Balder" <dbalder(a)ozemail.com.au>
> I believe there are some relatively small political forces that would be
> greatly affected by this issue (the Pirate Party?). There could be other
> similar groups. The Pirate Party has unfortunate name, in my opinion.
The Greens, amongst others?
"The Australian Greens, the Liberal Democratic Party and Senator Nick
Xenophon have teamed up to hold an event in Parliament House during the
next Senate sitting week to step up the campaign against the
Government’s proposed mandatory data retention legislation."
Maybe, in general, people in Australia should be more inclined to listen
to arguments than "Liberals are good for the economy", "Greens are
extremists" and make some effort to figure out what they really get and
It's on the same level than "my" consultants inconsulting me that
Microsoft is standard and Oracle a tiny fringe company nobody bothers to
work with. And Linux is a "strange thing" anyway. Just avoid it.
From: "Michael Scott" <luv(a)inoz.net>
> I don't like Dennis Napthine and I don't like the policies of the current
> Victorian government, but the Labor governments have been terrible. Their
> policies are, on the surface, "wonderful", but are generally unfunded,
> except by deficit budgets, funded by increasing debt.
Of course it is much better management if Liberals:
- Get elected with the promise to support the Metro Rail Tunnel
- Drops it after the Minister for Racing becomes the Premier
(the one that not even bothers to declare his investment in horses
- Gets the East West Link "planed" so all "consultations" are done before
the plans are finalized
- Cannort show us good reasons, business plan deliberately hidden, "second
river crossing" advertised (where please?) and "27 minutes time savings'
(when travel at peak times takes 21 minutes now)
- Runs into legal hurdles because of the shoddy planning
- Signs a billion dollars contract weeks before the election promising the
consortium hundred millions of "refund" if the process cannot be cleared
in court (and the opposition may cancel this bull-shit project after a
likely election win)
- "Rediscovers" the Metro Rail Tunnel
- Ignores five years of planning and changes the routes completely because
something needs to be advertised (there is an election coming!)
- Has to find out that it collides with billion dollar investments in
development of high risers
In the mean time Baillieu and Naphtine killed all investment in wind and
solar energy. This contributes to the rise in unemployment with the
highest rate (13% I think) in Naphtine's electorate. Amongst others there
was a company building rotors for wind turbines that closed down.
I call that "good way of running an economy"!
I don't know whether Liberals were any good in history but this lot is a
corrupt and greedy bunch of village idiots. The only qualification: The
work for the rich.
Last time I checked it was a Labor government which helped Australia to
avoid a recesssion during the Global Financial Crisis. The only developed
country world wide which avoided this.
Just all sing after Rupert Murdoch and The Hun:
Liberals are goods for the economy
Liberals are good for the economy
Liberals are good
.. for me!
So I went to three Victorian Labor Senators' offices and my local MP's
office today to talk about data retention.
I decided that instead of just ranting online, I should do something about
it, however insignificant it might be in the long run.
So I drafted a nice one-page letter where I summarily talked about the
problems I see with the bill that's been introduced to Parliament: the
privacy and civil rights aspect, the data security and potential breach,
the lack of definition of metadata in the bill and potential for scope
creep, and the cost of the scheme.
Writing emails and signing online petitions doesn't do anything.
Politicians get lots of them and they get ignored all the time. They are
however not used to having someone call them on the phone, or better yet,
having someone enter their offices. It was very clear to me that the staff
at these offices are not used to having people coming into their office to
talk about issues. They were all initially taken aback, but once they got
over their surprise and they realised that I was there to talk about a
legitimate issue, their demeanor changed and they treated me very politely
and respectfully. I might say a couple of them even enjoyed talking to
another voter about a real policy issue.
In Senator Kim Carr and Senator Conroy's offices, I briefly talked about
the issue with a staff member and handed my letter to them. In Senator
Gavin Marshall's office I got to sit down and had a very interesting and
insightful chat with a political advisor. He told me that the ALP hasn't
yet made a stance on the issue, but in real politics, it's going to be very
hard to make the argument against these "national security" bills. I can
more than understand that argument, but the point that I made was that
there are those of us who care about this issue, and even though we might
not be as loud as the Herald Sun, we do exist and we vote.
Likewise at my local MP Tim Watts' office I sat down with a staff member
who took the time to listen to me and took notes.
In every case, I can say that being there in person made a huge difference.
It made them realise that there are actual people with a name and a face
out there who care about this issue.
The Labor party currently doesn't have a position on the bill yet. It will
come up in their caucus soon and they will vote on it. Right now, the
Greens, the Liberal Democrat senator and Nick Xenophon have said that they
will vote against the bill. If Labor votes against it, there is a real
possibility of stopping this in the Senate.
I am going to also call the offices of Jason Clare (Shadow Communications
Minister) and Mark Dreyfus (Shadow A.G) These are the key people in the ALP
who can sway the caucus one way or the other.
I urge you, if you care about this, don't just sit and rant online and then
complain about how politicians don't represent you. Find the address or
phone number of your local member, and especially the Labor senators from
your state, and call them, or go to their office. Have a brief summary of
your arguments to hand them once you've spoken with someone. It's not that
difficult, and it very well can make a difference.
Even if Labor ends up supporting the bill, at least my conscience is clear
that I did something. In years to come, at least I can say, I tried.