There seems to be a strong interest in independents running in this year's federal election. One reason is disillusionment with political parties. Well, with membership of parties at an all-time low, my response is join a political party and push for good policy. There are many problems with independents. First, unless they hold the balance of power it is a wasted vote. Second, the policies of independents are personal policies. A major political party with an active and informed membership is the perfect forum for the development of good policy ideas. One has to ask what is the basis of a single independent's policy platform?
An independent on their own cannot possibly develop a depth of policy that a major party can and citizens have limited opportunity to influence an independent's policy. Finally, a parliament with an over representation of independents is a recipe for chaos - just look at the experience of some European legislatures.
Once again, the Morrison government is firing up its asylum seeker policy in its race to the bottom with Labor.
In the current climate, with more and more refugees trying to leave the dangers in Afghanistan and Ukraine, it is shameful to think that our PM could even think of campaigning on the misfortune of others, who often have no option but to leave their country by any means possible to seek refuge.
It is sheer arrogance to be proud that Australia refuse to resettle those who have paid up to 10 years of their lives as a punishment for coming here by boat. Let's hope that voters will not be fooled by this inhumane campaign.
I cannot help but wonder what some of our ACT ministers are remunerated for? Following the coronial inquest of my daughter, Brontë, I had (and continue to have) reasons to be concerned about the actions of some of the AFP officers involved in the coronial investigation of Brontë.
Whilst I have phoned and sent e-mails, requesting an audience with Minister Mick Gentleman, it appears my requests have been disregarded, forgotten about, or simply deemed not important? I can't be sure as I wait in limbo to be contacted.
As a taxpayer, and an active community advocate (unpaid positions), I was led to believe that ACT ministers are paid to listen to, and act in the best interests of community members, and the community as a whole. Have I been naive and led up the garden path?
The COVID excuse is becoming tired. Any suggestions on how to arrange a meeting with some of our "suits" within the ACT government, without having to expose their blatant tardiness to the media? I await with interest, particularly contact from Minister Gentleman's office.
I was still making up my mind about who to vote for in the Senate race for the ACT when I received an ugly flyer in the mail. It was from a right-wing lobby group that calls itself "Advance Australia" and it contains semi-hysterical scare campaign propaganda specifically aimed at Senate candidate David Pocock.
Google tells me that this group is generously funded by wealthy donors who believe, among other things, that the government has falsified COVID statistics and that the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef is "natural".
This group's attempt at character assassination of Mr Pocock has helped me make up my mind; any candidate who opposes this viciously misguided organisation will have my support at the ballot box.
The government trumpets its economic plan which, on inspection, is little more than a series of platitudes. The "Plan" also ignores growing inequality and the impact of climate change on future economic performance.
The government takes credit for the current low unemployment rate but is silent on any impact it has on the level of wages and the increasing cost of living.
Its claim to be better economic managers is weak as Australia's economic fortunes are strongly influenced by external economic forces. We are currently benefiting from a high iron ore price generated by Chinese demand.
I live in hope our leaders will identify the challenges facing Australia and detail their plans to address them, rather than focusing on superficial and meaningless "gotcha" questions. The welfare of millions of Australians should not be trifled with.
Jim Coats (Letters, 19 April) poses the question "climate action? how?". Apparently he has been unable to locate any of the vast body of scientific, professional and popular literature explaining precisely how to take effective action. For the stubbornly obtuse, the main points can be quickly summarised as: electrify everything, move rapidly to 100 per cent firmed renewables, apply regenerative agriculture principles, protect and repair biodiversity, and draw down carbon dioxide through techniques like tree planting, biochar and soil carbon improvement.
Though more subtle, the engagement of First Nations' expertise will also be vital.
Instead, Mr Coats wants Adam Bandt or Anthony Albanese to explain things to him. While the Greens have comprehensive published policies on all of this, I doubt that Adam Bandt would be able to shout loud enough to be heard through the rock Mr Coats appears to be living under.
Is there anyone else out there who like me is fed up with this election campaign; and its only week two. I'd like to vote tomorrow so we can get it over and done with. Flinging money at something or mounting a scare campaign on tired old tropes is not good policy and it most certainly is not evidence of leadership or good governance.
Instead, voters are being subjected to verbal slanging matches and breathless reporting of superficial puerile claims aimed at certain voter demographics, mostly in marginal seats. It's a disgrace that this is happening in one of the oldest and most stable democracies in the world and at a time when Australia and the world is facing crises of biblical proportions. A pox on both their houses.
In addition to the unnecessary destruction that President Putin is causing in Ukraine, he is bestowing a burden on his returning Russian soldiers.
Each soldier will bring home recurring nightmares of the harm that he did. The sight of his wife will recreate images of weeping Ukrainian women.
He will explode with rage when his children play noisily because he'll hear again the Ukrainian children crying in terror. A dropped plate will have him shouting at some hapless family member. And of course his sedative of choice - vodka - will only make his family life worse.
That's part of the legacy of war. Teachers will write on those soldiers' children's reports, "Alexei seems unable to concentrate on his maths studies." "Milana keeps biting her nails and shaking her hands." "Ksenia lacks maturity for her age and repeatedly bursts into tears."
The children will have inherited secondary trauma from a pointless war.
Somewhere in Kaleen a noisy car revs up its engine, takes off with an angry roar and can be heard thundering away for some considerable time.
Just one of many Canberra cars retrofitted with a mega-loud exhaust. Absurd as it is, some people will pay to have their perfectly quiet car exhaust replaced with an obnoxiously noisy one.
What for? Are these drivers oblivious of the general resentment and condemnation they engender? In a world overloaded with stressors this wanton shattering of the peace is simply unwarranted and deserves zero tolerance. A loud message must be blared to the jokers: go quietly or cop a hefty fine!
Recently we were advised in The Canberra Times that the ACT government intends forcing everyone in the ACT to have their rubbish collected once a fortnight instead of as at present once a week.
This is an absurd proposal. I agree with the comments made by Sam Hicks (Letters, April 7). I believe that if the proposal is introduced we will end up with rubbish being dumped in streets and parks throughout the ACT because people will not want bags of rubbish lying around their rubbish bins.
I urge ACT residents to write to the Chief Minister, Mr Barr, and other members of ACT Assembly seeking a stop to the proposed change before it is introduced.
Advice to a would-be Labor voter from the film Paint Your Wagon: "You don't know what you'll get." "I know what I've had."
Energy Minister Angus Taylor claims that Labor's policy will vastly increase electricity bills over the next decade but he is not releasing the modelling on which his fanciful figures are based. Is it possible that the modelling comes from the same source as Mr Taylor's creative depiction in 2018 of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore's travel expenses?
Judging by Zed Seselja's diplomatic skills here in his own electorate, where he refuses to support the democratic rights of ACT citizens to determine their own end-of-life legislation, he was hardly a sensible choice for the delicate Solomon Islands mission. It's no surprise that the mission failed dismally.
Thanks to Crispin Hull ("Hold your horses on PM's re-election prospects", Opinion, April 20) for reminding us that the leadership race is not won and that "you can sell death with propaganda and advertising slogans". Understanding Morrison's propaganda around the government's backing away from a promised integrity commission, seems surely to contradict the Liberal party advertising slogan "Positive. Trusted. Delivers."
Greg Cornwall (Letters, April 20) seeks the views of the independents on voluntary assisted dying. I am far more interested in their views on whether the NT and ACT legislatures should be able to address the subject as is the case for the states.
I think Senator Seselja's position on this jurisdictional question is wrong.
Peter Martin touts the accuracy of the Cameron and Crosby economic model for predicting federal election outcomes ("Economic data tips Coalition win", April 20).
According to the model, low inflation and falling unemployment favour the incumbent government. Not so for John Howard, who lost in 2007 despite those circumstances.
Albo needs some killer three word slogans. "Stop The Boats" was a winner for Scott, but it is now common ground. "Federal ICAC Now" is promising, and while "Make Australia a Renewable Energy Superpower" is a truly worthy ambition, it lacks punch. Perhaps The Canberra Times can run an urgent slogan competition to save us from another three years of the "Liar from the Shire".
Five great Australians I would trust before Scott Morrison: the inland taipan, funnel web spider, eastern brown snake, angry dingo, tiger snake. In fact that list is endless.
I was delighted today to receive an election ad. from Advance Aus. Ltd which explains that David Pocock is an extreme Green; his policies seem to include reducing our use of coal as a fuel and slowing our rate of population growth.
I thought "great, just the sort of man I want to represent me".
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