Hung Parliament: chaos vs independent thinking

Politicians threatened by community-based independents warn of CHAOS, but these thinking independents have ideals rather than ideologies.

Depending on how people vote, we may be headed towards a major revolution in the structure and functioning of our form of Parliamentary government.

Under 9+ years of LNP COALition government, major policies have been heavily influenced by special interest patrons and puppet masters in the fossil fuel and and development industries. As the climate emergency grows ever more stark, and the COALition offers little besides humbug, misrepresentation and blarny together with blatant lack of ethics towards solving the crisis an unprecedented number of well-established professionals and business owners/managers in local communities decided they could do better jobs as independents representing their communities than any of the political incumbents or nominees. A few of these independents are men, but most are emotionally mature and thoughtful women and mothers with practice juggling the responsibilities of managing important jobs together with preparing their children to face a seemingly dismal future.

Because many of these independents are progressive moderates, politically falling between Greens (adopting the color green) and small ‘l’ Liberals (normally adopting blue), they soon became characterized by the intermediate blue-green color ‘teal’ – henceforth termed ‘teal’ independents. According to many news reports and even incumbents, more than enough teals are running that even if only a few of them are elected in place of major party candidates, no party or currently existing COALition would be able to form government in its own right.

Today’s featured article looks at the teal phenomenon in depth, and explores just what kind of people have become teals and what has motivated them to put aside their comfortable and rewarding jobs in the community or business to run for a place in the cesspit of our current government.

As I write this and somewhat facetiously, the fact that on top of other qualifications I’ll discuss, many of the women have successfully raised (or nearly raised) families suggests they are not fazed by dealing with childishly irrational tantrums and cleaning out dirty dirty bathrooms.

In any event, if you still haven’t totally made up your mind how to vote next Saturday, read the featured article and what I write here, and think about what it might be like to have several of these capable people representing their communities in a Parliamentary balance of power. See also the caption of the Featured Image at the end of this post.

Zoe Daniel. Photograph by Mia Mala McDonald

by Margaret Simons, 04/2022 in The Monthly

Independents and the balance of power: The federal election may hinge on a new crossbench of professional women in wealthy inner-city seats and a rural revolt against the Nationals.

… [A] wave of credible local figures [are] running as independent candidates in the forthcoming federal election. Nearly all of them are taking on electorates normally regarded as safe for the government. Their cumulative impact, and the prospect that some of them might just win, is one of the things that will make the coming contest different. If neither the Coalition nor Labor win in their own right, newly elected independents and those of the existing crossbench who are re-elected will decide who forms government. “Foment” might be a better word for the phenomenon than “wave”, since it is a multiple bobbing up rather than a single, connected thing. There are different issues in each electorate, and a different ecosystem surrounding each candidate.

There is a new ecology surrounding this phenomenon. It includes grassroots community groups promoting political discussions in electorates. In some cases, that is all they do, but other groups actively seek out and endorse independent candidates. Hybrid political organisations are springing up as part of this ecology. There are groups such as Climate 200, founded and convened by entrepreneur and climate philanthropist Simon Holmes à Court, which is raising money and funding carefully picked “values aligned” candidates. Climate 200 has what might be described as nascent policies – on climate change, government integrity and women’s rights – but insists it is not, and will not become, a political party. Meanwhile, candidates in Tasmania have founded the Local Party, which is running candidates but has no policies, instead existing to promote participatory democracy.

So what’s going on? Is this a transitory thing born of particular circumstances, or is it a permanent change to Australian politics? And if the latter, what does it mean for the way we are governed? Is it a good thing, or a harbinger of instability?

Read the complete article – long but very thoughtful….

The ‘teal’ phenomenon

In this article I want to share some thoughts about this quandary from my studies of the electoral landscape as Editor of Climate Sentinel News. I am not a political scientist. My bias here comes from a lifetime study of evolution and change: of life as a whole, of human culture from our primate ancestry, and of the growth and evolution of knowledge and wisdom in human organizations. If you are an ‘undecided’ voter, how I answer the ‘how to vote’ quandary can be expressed in one short paragraph:

Where you have a choice between an established and known political devil versus a politically untested but demonstrably rational thinker and doer from your own community, which candidate will create the most chaos when faced with a growing emergency?

  • An established politician who you know will reliably try to enforce their party policy/dogma/beliefs and the desires of their largely unknown financial patrons on citizens, no matter what.
  • A rational thinker and doer who has demonstrated their capabilities for successful decision and action while working together with others in the existing chaos of their communities and families to successfully solve whatever problems that face them.

Which candidate will be more likely to help solve problems not precisely covered in party dogma?

However, before I begin my spiel, for an ‘op ed’ report on what I will have to say about the teals, I suggest you see consider how Sky News reports on a threatened Liberal candidate supported by the ‘special interests’ including Sky News’s own parent organization Murdoch Press. This “news” report clearly demonstrates how the COALition and their supporters are responding to the threats.

● Tyrone Clarke, 09/05/2022 in Sky News: Liberal MP Tim Wilson says Climate 200-backed independents are trying to ‘sneak Labor into government’ [also watch the embedded videos].

Contrast this with a more pro-teal article

● Amy Nethery, 03/05/2022, in The Conversation – Why teal independents are seeking Liberal voters and spooking Liberal MPs

Some history

Successful progressive independents are not unknown in recent Australian Parliaments, and have even played important roles in minority governments:

Frank Bongiorno & David Lee, 22/04/2022 in the Conversation: Could the 2022 election result in a hung parliament? History shows Australians have nothing to fear from it.

Whatever the case, it is entirely possible a hung parliament might provide the circuit-breaker for a parliament that needs to grapple with much needed national reforms.

Nick Evershed, 05/05/2022 in The Guardian: Will a hung parliament lead to ‘chaos’? What a Gillard v Morrison comparison reveals

Using records published by the parliament of Australia, it’s possible to see a summary of the number of bills introduced by the government and how many were passed by both houses. This excludes private member’s and senator’s bills. You can read more details about the methods below.

The data shows that despite having to negotiate with independents to pass legislation through the House of Representatives, Julia Gillard’s government has the second-highest percentage of passed legislation.

Lowest on the list are the Abbott, Turnbull-Morrison and Rudd governments – all of which involved governments having to make deals with Senates described as “hostile“ and “feral”.

The 2019 Morrison government has had notable struggles passing its own legislation, with the voter identification legislation lacking support, and its religious discrimination bill failing to move through the Senate. Another key policy, legislation to establish a federal anti-corruption body, was not introduced at all, with Morrison blaming a lack of support for the government’s preferred approach.

Gillard’s government also scores higher than Morrison’s when looking at the overall rate of legislation passed a day, an index I’ve previously described as “productivity in parliament”.

Last month Frydenberg warned in a media conference this was not the time to take a chance on “the chaos of a hung parliament”.

Similarly, when asked during an interview on Tuesday whether he would negotiate with independents, Morrison said he would not.

“This is a real question for the people who are voting at this election,” he told 3AW. “Voting for the independents is a vote for chaos.”

It should be noted that both of the above analyses do not count the number of bills lost to failed negotiations prior to the introduction of legislation.

However, in the context of minority governments, or governments that have a minority in the upper house, these indexes may give us an indication of which governments were better and worse in their negotiations with crossbenchers or the opposition.

Read the complete article….

See also ● Matthew Liddy, 08/09/2010 in ABC News: Labor’s minority government explained.

Julia Gillard’s government never had a majority in either the house or senate during its life time, but in terms of legislation passed during its lifetime it was the second most successful government in Australian history! It depended on all Labor members present and agreeing, plus ‘alliance’ agreements with the Green’s Adam Bandt, and three greenish independents: Rob Oakeshott, Tony Windsor, and Andrew Wilkie. Wilkie was an intelligence officer in the Office of National Assessments who resigned because of his disagreement with the Government of the day’s joining the Iraq invasion. He is still in office as an independent today! Oakeshott and Windsor both represented rural NSW. Oakeshott was a National Party representative until he resigned to become an independent, and Windsor and a long-time independent for his areas in both NSW and Federal Parliaments. (see ● Sally Warhaft, Tony Windsor & Rob Oakeshott, 14/04/2015 in The Wheeler Centre – Fifth Estate: Independents Day: Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott). This year both Windsor and Oakeshott are key advisors to ‘Voices’ groups.

Some numbers

According to Vote Climate One’s Voting Guide approximately 100 of the than 1203 registered candidates for the lower house are ‘independents’ (i.e., don’t belong to any specified group or party), and of these approximately 30 by my count have been ranked as green-light for first preferences.

The numbers are a bit fuzzy, but most of these have been promoted by various electorate-based voices groups and/or part funded by Climate 200 as ‘teals’. None of us agree wholly agree on our first-preferences lists. Also, even within Vote Climate One there a few candidates we haven’t given the green light to, but that one of the other organizations would support for a first preference. In any event, the fact that there are 20-30 independents (+ more Greens, + a few other green minor parties running that may also be electable) is suggests we may see a totally new kind of government in less than a week!

As noted previously, around 90% of these green light independents are women, the majority of whom are also mothers of growing families with teenage children.

The general processional competence of these independents is also quite remarkable: 6 have medical or other doctoral qualifications and practical experience.

  • Sophie Scamps (Mackellar) Australian Athletics record holder and Gold Medalist World Junior Championships; GP Medicine, Sydney Uni; Masters with Hons from College of Surgeons – Dublin; Masters of Science – Oxford; Masters of Public Health, Uni NSW; mother of three teens.
  • Monique Ryan (Kooyong) Medical degree Uni Melb; pediatric training at Melbourne & Sydney; Director of Neurology, Royal Childrens Hospital, Melbourne); pediatric neurology at Boston Chldrens; Director of Neurology Royal Childrens, Melb – specialist in nerve and muscle disorders of childhood, and pioneering genetic therapies for these ailments; mother of three teen and young adult children
  • Caroline/Kaz Heise (Cowper) Registered Nurse; Director Nursing/Midwifery; Director Cancer Institute, Manager Mission Australia / cancer survivor / 2 adult children
  • Helen Haines (Incumbent, Indi) Nurse/Midwife, PhD Medical Science Uppsala Uni Sweden, Postdoctoral Fellow Karolinska Institute, Stockholm / other exec. positions; farmer, with 3 children
  • Sarah Russell (Flinders) Critical care nurse; BA, PhD University of Melbourne; Principal Researcher at Research Matters focused on public health, mental health, ethics and aged care. See also My successful advocacy.
  • Hanabeth Luke (Page) PhD in Environmental Science, Southern Cross Uni; main specializations – surfer, regenerative agriculture, impacts of fracking, coastal environment; two school children

All these women are products of and still are (or are again – after international experiences or training) associated with their local communities. All are clearly self-motivated thinkers and doers with years of experience working in the community to make life better for their communities. All have considered what the climate crisis means for their families and what the existing politicians are (not) doing to solve the crisis. Accepting that this is the only thing that really matters of their families are to have future – they have put their successful careers aside to run for Parliament, where they may actually be able to apply their skills to making government work to solve problems.

If you are still undecided who to vote for between teals, Greens, Greenish parties, and spin merchants of the fossil fuel industry trying to convince you that these ladies and their teal friends are evil lefty conspirators belonging to a secret political party funded by a hidden patron, a lot of their humbug and bull dust is built around two names: “Voices” and “Climate200”.

Voices

Basically, “Voices of …” are emergent and politically unaffiliated groups of people in local communities gathering around kitchen tables to discuss their concerns about the future and what our politicians are not doing about it – especially in terms of the climate emergency, sexism and sexual harassment, and the growing lack of ethics in government. Thanks to the model provided by the independent Kathy McGowan in Indi (Victoria) and perfected by her successor in Indi, Helen Haines and Kerryn Phelps (Wentworth – by election following Turnbull resignation) and Zali Steggall (Warringah – defeating ex PM Tony Abbott), many of the new flock of teals emerged from voices groups in several more ‘safe’ electorates held by the COALition.

Incidentally my colleagues and I published several academic papers on how such community organizations emerge and manage their growth and community actions:

The emergence of Voices groups would seem to fit this model very well – especially where the use of social networking technology is concerned.

Teal” independents Allegra Spender, Zoe Daniel, Kylea Tink, Sophie Scamps and Kate Chaney.Credit:Jessica Hromas, Elke Meitzel, Wolter Peeters, Nick Moir, Tony McDonough (from the article)

Royce Millar, 06/05/2022 in the Age

A secret party? Immoral? Explaining who the ‘teal’ independents really are

The independents, their backers and local supporters do, however, share resources and strategies across seats, not unlike an embryonic party – co-operation that has been encouraged by trailblazing former independent MP turned teal mentor, Cathy McGowan.

The teal movement started more than a decade ago with the founding of the Voices of Indi, a community organisation that helped McGowan take the Liberal-held Victorian seat of Indi in 2013 from its incumbent, Sophie Mirabella. This inspired others such as Zali Steggall, who successfully challenged former prime minister Tony Abbott for the Sydney seat of Warringah in 2019.

McGowan describes the current independent phenomenon as a movement. “There is definitely a thread there,” she says. “Community engagement, quality candidates and effective campaigns.”

As they argue that the teal movement is an undeclared party, their Liberal detractors point out that they also share policy priorities of climate, government integrity and gender equality – especially in wealthier urban electorates.

The urban independents insist this is simply because such issues are the high-order concerns in their communities, and one which the sitting conservative MPs are not adequately addressing. McGowan notes that in rural seats such as Indi, water, infrastructure, health and social services are more important.

In keeping with the Indi model, Voices groups have emerged wherever communities are frustrated enough to organise. Typically, Voices groups withdraw after choosing a candidate and a separate campaign group is formed. In reality, the two often overlap.

University of Sydney political scientist Anika Gauja says the allegation that the independents are a party makes no sense because their very point is that they are the antithesis of the major parties – top-down organisations in which members have to toe the line.

“The teal independents”, on the other hand, “have been backed by grassroots organisations that have chosen them”.

Read the complete article….

Climate 200

The second thing threatened COALition members are terrified by is that some of the teals are outspending them on campaign advertising. As noted in the article below, Jason Falinski claims that there is something “immoral” about the amount of money available to teals – completely ignoring the fact that huge amounts of untraceable funds flow into the COALitions coffers for every election.

Actually it is well publicized that the very wealthy Simon Holmes a’Court has put millions of dollars of his own money in play to draw matching funds from community sources. How and why he has done this publicized on the Climate200 web site as well as who the large donors are and the amounts donated – totaling around 1,400,000 plus a similar amount from Holmes a’Court himself. See also a summary of Holmes a’Court’s National Press Club talk on 16/02/2022 in F&P (Fundraising & Philanthropy), published 01/03/2022: David and Goliath – the Realities of Political Fundraising, where he compares what he is doing and his reasons compared to what the established political parties are doing.

Catherine Murphy’s Guardian article here, gives her take on what the COALition is screaming about.

● Katherine Murphy, 23/04/2022 in the Guardian: Coalition scrimps on MPs as Climate 200-backed independents outspend them in key seats.

From the article

Katherine Murphy, 23/04/2022 in the Guardian

Coalition scrimps on MPs as Climate 200-backed independents outspend them in key seats

… The Liberal MP Jason Falinski, who is being challenged in his northern beaches seat of Mackellar by Climate 200-backed Sophie Scamps, said the amount being spent by independents was “immoral”.

It is expected that Scamps will spend more than $1m trying to win the seat, with a combination of traditional and digital advertising.

Falinski suggested that the independents could instead be directing their financial resources to charity, giving the example of much-needed emergency accommodation for women fleeing domestic violence as one worthy cause.

“I just think it is an immoral use of money; we have real problems in the world and for these guys to be spending $2m against members of parliament, when, according to them, they agree with their member profiles, is just immoral.

“They agree with us on climate, they agree with us on equity for women, and they agree with us on integrity, but instead of helping us they are trying to knock us off.”

Scamps suggested Falinski was “plucking figures from out of the sky or from the depths of social media rumour mills”.

“Our campaign began two years ago with conversations at kitchen tables across the electorate to listen to the concerns of people who had been taken for granted for too long,” she said.

“We are immensely proud and humbled by the way it has grown into a campaign supported by over 900 eager volunteers including some who have left their jobs to volunteer full-time on the campaign, as well as 640 donors who have collectively donated $565,644 to date.

“Additionally, Climate 200 is matching those community donations to help level the playing field against the resources and advantages held by the major parties.”

Read the complete article….

You may also be interested to read ● RMIT FactLab, 12/05/2022: Online misinformation wars: the Goldstein electorate, where copious examples are given of the political blather and humbug posted on social media re the contest between Tim Wilson and Zoe Daniel.

How would teals respond to a hung parliament

This is the last major component of the bull dust, blather, misinformation and overall humbugging spewed by COALition members in fear of losing their once ‘safe’ seats to the teal tsunami. The next three articles cover this issue off quite well:

● Michelle Grattan, 20/04/2022 in the Guardian: Politics with Michelle Grattan: Andrew Wilkie invites independent candidates to call him for a chat about approaching a hung parliament

Christopher Knaus, 12/05/2022 in The Guardian: What happens if there is a hung parliament: how would independents approach talks and what is non-negotiable?

● Michelle Grattan, 17/04/2013 in The Guardian’s View from the Hill: Looking Back on the Hung Parliament

Oakeshott says that the great lesson for him out of this parliament has been that “bipartisanship is the best and politically the only way to achieve long-standing reform”.

He admits that he’s had disproportionate power. “Because others stayed true to their party first, they’ve handed me more influence than any one MP should have”, he says, adding, “If they are going to hand it to me, I’ll take it and use it – and I have”.

From the article….

If you are still undecided how to vote in your electorate, but are concerned about action on climate change – you have nothing to fear from giving your first preferences to green light candidates

Think about this: Teals are practiced rational thinkers and doers. They understand science and are concerned enough about the futures of their families in a world being progressively heated by the continuing profligate burning of fossil fuels, and the integrity and ethics of a government continuing to promote the fossil fuel industry. Their ideas and ideals have driven them to set aside highly rewarding careers to run for Parliament where they might be able to actually fix things. Then there are the Greens Party nominees who are wedded to these ideal as a matter of party policy as well as (normally) by personal belief. And finally there are nominees of a few other minor parties also claiming to support climate action as a matter of policy.

Vote Climate One ranks all of the people fitting these categories as green light candidates that should be given your top preferences. We do not tell you how to rank such candidates in your electorate, but only that all green-light candidates should be numbered before numbering any of the red or orange light candidates.

Parties supporting the fossil fuel industries or other carbon emitting activities and/or lacking evidence of major activities to work towards zero emissions are marked with red lights. These should be numbered last.

Orange light candidates are those that have weak climate credentials theemselves or else are nominees of parties such as the Labor Party that are both relatively weak on climate and still beholden to support fossil fuel interests, but are potentially willing to support more effective actions in a green colored alliance.

A final thought: Teal independents are driven by ideals, thoughts and ethics; party members are driven by ideologies, beliefs and historical decisions;) populists and their believer followers are driving by narcissism, greed and hate (e.g., Clive Palmers United Australia Party, Pauleen Hanson’s One Nation Party and or other faith & humbug micro parties).

Who is most likely to solve the climate crisis to avoid the existential risk of runaway global warming?

Featured Image: Hung parliaments can provide very effective government. Julia Gillard’s ‘hung’ government was the second most successful government in Australia’s history, based on the objective measurements of the proportion of bills passed, and absolute most successful based on the number of bills passed per parliamentary sitting days. This was in the face of incredibly vicious misogyny bulling of PM Gillard by the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, not helped by the poorly united and faction ridden Labor Party / Source: Nick Evershed, 05/05/2022 in the Guardian.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Hughes: ‘safe’ COALition seat, interesting contest

Held by science denying, coal loving Lib turncoat funded by Clive Palmer, Craig Kelly, contested by 2 teals, a Green, One Nation and the Libs

Georgia Steele is one of the independent candidates running in Hughes.(ABC News – from the article)

by Amy Greenbank, 16/04/2022 in ABC News – Federal Election 2022 – Australia Votes

Liberal candidate for Hughes in a ‘sprint’ against independents and Craig Kelly

Jenny Ware is upbeat as she walks around a picturesque waterfront park in Como, in Sydney’s south.

She’s on a mission to introduce herself to as many people as possible, but knows her time is short. 

“Hi, I’m Jenny Ware. I’m the Liberal candidate for Hughes,” she tells a handful of parents and grandparents supervising kids in a bustling playground.

Her reception is mixed, but she’s not daunted.

Two pro-climate independents are also running and sense an opportunity.

“I think people are seeing the internal party machinations as a debacle, but I won’t ever be subjected to internal party politics, so it is a bit of a bonus I think,” independent candidate Linda Seymour said.

“After the last 12 years [of Craig Kelly] I think this electorate is ready for change.”

Another independent candidate, Georgia Steele, is hoping to stage a Zali Steggall-style upset and snatch a safe seat.

Read the complete article….

Editor’s comments

This is a very interesting contest to see how a reasonably affluent urban fringe electorate dominated by lower tier professionals and tradies with moderately high level of home ownership and commuting requirements respond to the choice between three fossil-fueled spin merchants given the ‘red light’ by Vote Climate One, three climate emergency realists given the ‘green light’, and an ‘orange light’ Labor nominee with little to offer but the party line.

In Hughes, I doubt that any candidate will achieve an outright majority in the election. Thus, how voters in this electorate manage their preferences may be critically important in determining whether the type of candidate they want is elected. Vote Climate One’s Traffic Light Voting System is designed to help you rank candidates by Traffic Light categories so your intent to vote for a climate friendly government isn’t accidentally lost to a fossil fuel puppet.

There are three red light candidates. As summarized in the featured article, the Liberal candidate, Jenny Ware, suffered a major loss in campaigning time in an epic preselection battle between the Liberal Party federal executive and the local branch that was only settled with a High Court ruling. Ware was nominated to replace the once popular ex-Liberal incumbent, Craig Kelly, who moved to the extreme right and is seeking re-election as ‘leader’ of multi-billionaire coal miner Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party. The third red-light candidate is Narelle Seymour, representing Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party, is completely unknown to Google or even One Nation’s web site as at 29/04/2022. If this was the USA, I would say Narelle Seymour is probably a bogus candidate whose name was put up to draw votes away from Linda Seymour who is a credible teal independent running for the seat.

The Labor Party, that held the seat for most of its history prior to Kelly’s election as a Liberal, is represented by Riley Campbell, who, as a relative unknown with no obvious qualifications, seems to be nominated as a place holder.

Then there are three green light candidates: ● Peter Thompson – the Green – who grew up on the beaches, waterways and National Parks of the Southerland Shire (similar to my own childhood in Southern California), a science teacher for 24 years, and a strong environmentalist for 20 years; and two teal independents: ● Linda Seymour – Also home grown in the electorate, an environmentalist and high-level professional architect and communicator with experience on a number of major Australian and overseas projects; and ● Georgia Steele, born in Southerland, high school and uni in Canberra, a high-powered corporate lawyer and litigator across 4 continents, ‘obsessed with politics’ from her time in Canberra, and settled down back in Southerland to raise a family.

I quote Georgia Steele’s well expressed reasons for running because these seem typical for most of the ‘teal’ independents I have studied:

A few years ago, I started waking up in the early hours of the morning, worrying. Worrying about my kids. Not about their current lives, but about their future. Worrying that it’s only so long that they will continue to have the same opportunities that I had when I was growing up. That all the driving, coaching, cooking, will all be for nought.

This is because, if something doesn’t change – and fast – the world they’ll be living in in their 40s, will be unrecognisable from the world that we live in now. The waterline of the beautiful Wonnie will be who knows how far up the hill and the Royal National Park will have been so badly hit with bushfires that there will be almost nothing left of it.

What really kills me about this, what keeps me up at night, what frustrates the hell out of me, is that it’s a fixable problem.

Humans have got this. Humans have already invented, manufactured and commercialised all of the technology that we need to get the planet back on track. Remember what it was like to be a world leader at something? [Editor’s emphasis]

In those early morning sleepless hours, I’d ask myself whether I was doing enough. I had banned single-use plastics from the house, I had put solar panels on the roof, I’d bought a hybrid car. I’d even become a vegetarian. But somehow, it really didn’t seem enough.

Then it dawned on me. The problem is a political one. It requires a political solution. I’m a litigator. What great qualifications for being a politician! I can write. I can argue. I can persuade. I can negotiate. I can compromise. I can do that job. And surely that would be doing enough?

So, I said goodbye to the law. I put aside my dream of writing the great Australian novel, and I’ve decided to run for office. Because things need to change, and quickly. In 30 or 40 years’ time, when my kids come to me and say “Mum, how the hell did we let it get this bad?” I’ll genuinely be able to tell them that I did everything I could. With any luck, we won’t have to have that conversation at all.

From Georgia Steele’s Blog, 24/11/2021, Why I’m Running for the Seat of Hughes

Pundits think the seat will return to the Libs. I think otherwise [See post-election note below]

The demographics of Hughes suggests that the electorate is well populated by smart, practical, largely self-made people who are good at thinking for themselves. Such people are not so likely to sheepishly follow either the party-line blather and humbug of the COALition’s fossil fuel puppet brigade or Clive Palmer’s puppet Craig Kelly anti-scientific and anti-climate fairy tales. Any one of the three green light candidates is better qualified and more likely to develop and negotiate rational and effective responses to the growing climate emergency (and many other fraught issues as well) than are any of the other candidates in this electorate.

If voters consider the evidence and THINK before they vote, I have little doubt that the green light trio will gain the majority of first preferences amongst themselves. Whether one of them will win the seat in the end depends on how voters manage their remaining preferences. Vote Climate One’s Traffic Light Voting System and its voting guides are designed to help people rank their preferences in such a way that if a green light candidate is given the first preference, and doesn’t win, the vote will still go to another green light climate friendly candidate as long as any remain in the running. Only if there are no more green or orange light candidates alive can the vote be given to a red light candidate.

Vote Climate One is also providing downloadable blank ballot formats so preferences can be decided at home, so the choices can easily be transferred to the formal ballot paper in the voting booth.

See Climate Sentinel News‘s Corrupt leaders, casual media, gullible believers for a different and sometimes humorous take on how use preferential voting to make the kind of humongous political transition we need to make to cleanse the Parliamentary stable of its many years accumulation of bulldust.

In any event, the IPCC tells us that this election is probably our last chance to change our current puppet government to one that will act in our behalf to resolve or at least mitigate the accelerating climate crisis.

Post election note

The pundits were right – from ABC:


We need to turn away from the the Apocalypse on the road to hothouse hell, and we won’t do this by continuing with business as usual!

It seems to have taken the clear thinking of Greta Thunberg, a 16 year-old girl who concluded school was pointless as long as humans continued their blind ‘business as usual’ rush towards extinction.

greta-act-as-if-the-house-was-on-fire
Listen to Greta’s speech live at the World Economic forum in Davos 2019. Except for her reliance on the IPCC’s overoptimistic emissions budget, everything she says is spot on that even she, as a child, can understand the alternatives and what has to happen.

In other words, wake up! smell the smoke! see the grimly frightful reality, and fight the fire that is burning up our only planet so we can give our offspring a hopeful future. This is the only issue that matters. Even the IPCC’s hyperconservative Sixth Assessment Report that looks at climate change’s global and regional impacts on ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities makes it clear we are headed for an existential climate catastrophe if we don’t stop the warming process.

Scott Morrison and his troop of wooden-headed puppets are doing essentially nothing to organize effective action against the warming. In fact all they doing is rearranging the furniture in the burning house to be incinerated along with anything and everyone we may care about.

In Greta’s words, “even a small child can understand [this]”. Like Georgia Steele, people hope for their children’s futures. Greta doesn’t want your hopium. She wants you to rationally panic enough to wake up, pay attention to reality, and fight the fire…. so our offspring can have some hope for their future.

Let’s hope that we can stop global warming soon enough to leave them with a future where they can survive and flourish.

Featured Image: Boundaries of the Huges Electorate from Vote Climate One’s Hughes Electorate page. Click candidate names for more details.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Corrupt leaders, casual media, gullible believers

This is the recipe for extinction when facing existential catastrophe. A lesson on the difference between thinking and believing

We humans face a very real risk of runaway global warming that we have triggered by burning fossil carbon accumulated over millions of years in around 150 years. We have already passed the trigger points where the warming will continue without further human contributions; and are approaching the point of no return where nothing that humans could do would stop positive feedbacks from continuing the warming until Earth’s “Hothouse” state is reached.

Rather than promoting and facilitating effective responses to control and resolve the crisis, much of the world’s media and political ‘leadership’ seems to be working to primarily to promote and protect the continued growth of the fossil fuel industry from ‘harm’ by citizens more concerned to promote and protect their families from the existential consequences of runaway warming.

The crisis

Climate Sentinel News has presented a plethora of fact-based science that Earth’s Climate System is being driven by humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions towards a point of no return.

Here, increasing global temperatures will generate enough natural positive feedbacks to ‘run away’ into a global ‘hothouse’ of lethally high temperatures and insanely extreme weather. Given the exponential nature of positive feedbacks, only a few more decades of heating will drive global temperatures to extremes that will be lethal to most life – resulting in global mass extinction for most large and complex organisms — including humans.

A fundamental problem is the ease by which many people are conned by marketeers, faith-healers, demagogues and other humbuggers that tell them what they want to believe and that there is nothing to fear (i.e., ‘this is coal – – don’t be ‘fraid, don’t be scared‘)….

Facts vs Beliefs

Some of our religions and many of our political ‘leaders’ try to teach us that our “beliefs” are all-important. They teach that we must accept and believe in whatever ‘truth’ they teach by ‘faith and faith alone’ — at least that was what I was being taught in Sunday school shortly before refusing to go any more. (Fortunately my parents were easy enough about religion that they accepted my decision – others haven’t been so lucky).

Science teaches us that we need to base our decisions and actions on what we think and know about reality based on facts and evidence provided by the world we live in. This gives us the best chances to anticipate and react rationally to whatever the real-world throws at us.

Although I tacitly understood most of this from my science education, it was a master machinist who had a vast knowledge of what you could do with a block of metal from many years of hands on experience, that taught me the deeply visceral difference between believing and thinking.

As I finished my BS degree in Zoology and started my postgraduate work I was working part time as a research assistant in a hospital-based neurophysiology research lab where Norm hand-made all-kinds of precision scientific and microsurgical equipment from blocks of metal, glass tubing, and other sorts of bulk materials as required. Other than technical stuff for the job, the only reading Norm ever admitted to was the Bible and Shakespeare’s complete works, because these taught him everything he wanted to know about people. Our lunch-break was the best time of the day, when Norm and I would have long rambling discussions of world affairs and the future (in a time when one could be optimistic about he future).

Many of my flights of fancy unconsciously included the words “I believe that…” as if this was a telling point in the argument. The day finally came when Norm had had enough of my fancy talk, and decided to teach me a lesson in humility.

He stopped responding to any and all of my attempts to start a conversation. After a week or so of the silent treatment, I broke down and begged for him to tell me what was so wrong. He thought a bit, and answered: “Bill, I’m fed up with your ‘beliefs’. I don’t give a damn what you believe…. It’s what you THINK that matters…. ‘He who assumes, zooms‘ [as in taking a pratfall]. Since I’m not interested in talking about baseless beliefs, whenever you used the world ‘believe’ I decided there was nothing worth discussing. However, when you start a statement with ‘I think, there is an assumption of a rational chain of reasoning based on some fact-based evidence.” This would have been around 1963-64. Since then I have worked to remove ‘I believe’ from my vocabulary, and to ensure that my statements are underpinned by rational connections with real-world evidence.

The following search strings show you the evidence that Climate Sentinel News has reported about the fact-based science: ● “Road to Hothouse Hell“, ● “Existential Risk“; and our LNP COALition Government’s responses to the evidence:

Unfortunately, Australia is presently governed by a PM from marketing who actively spruiks whatever humbug his special interest patrons appear to want.

Lesson begins

Here is a real-life televised interview between some media people and Miranda Whelehan on ITV’s Good Morning Britain (11 April 2022 | Just Stop Oil). The interview lasts 10 minutes – but displays the stark reality as to how the ‘seriously’ some commercial media take the climate emergency.

The ‘parody’ using parts of Whelehan’s interview demonstrates Hollywood’s imagination in the movie Don’t Look Up was limited in comparison to the reality of British morning TV. Too many people believe what they hear/see on TV in preference to thinking about the extent of what they hear/see is actually based on evidence of reality.

Australia today

Unfortunately, the next parody by Juice Media isn’t a parody at all. Juice is far more factual than you will hear from most COALition politicians (along with many others). The evidence underlying almost every statement has already been discussed on Climate Sentinel News; and there would be even more if I had the time and stamina to produce it.

Sorry about the profanity, though.

Unfortunately, polite English doesn’t have strong enough words words to express how many people who think rationally feel about a government that is supposed to keep Australians safe but spends billions of our dollars shoveling more coal on the fires causing global warming….

What to do about the situation

Vote Climate One is comprised of a group of volunteers who decided to pool our various resources to document the issues and the consequences of ignoring them. Our primary goal is to do what we can to replace the existing puppet government in league with the fossil fuel industry with people who have provided evidence that they will prioritize action on the climate emergency in government. Towards achieving this goal, (1) we are ranking every candidate in every Australian electorate as to the evidence we have as to their willingness to place action on the climate emergency as their first priority in parliament, and (2) establish Climate Sentinel News as a way to detail evidence that the crisis is real, and of the COALition’s malfeasance in protecting Australian citizens from the dangers of global warming.

Another Juice Media parody that isn’t a parody at all, explains how preferential voting can be used to change our government for the better.

Juice Media describes Australian preferential voting quite effectively. It is up to Australian voters to use this process effectively to get the kind of government you want.

Vote Climate One works under the assumption that there are a lot of people who have been swayed in the past by the rhetoric and what the Juice Ladies call ‘shitfuckery’ to vote for fossil fuel puppet parties and and individuals protecting and promoting the fossil fuel industry. In the past this could be justified by their (supposed) support for economic growth and employment opportunities. However, in in the present, as our understanding of climate change grows, it is increasingly evident that the fossil fuel interests and their puppets are paving the road to mass extinction by still working to expand the burning coal, oil and gas.

We think that if they are given the facts and understanding of the differences between thinking and believing many past voters for the LNP and similar puppets will consider voting for people who have pledged to put action on the climate emergency at the tops of their agendas if elected to Parliament. Climate Sentinel News focuses on what we know about climate change and think about it. Our Traffic Light Voting System ranks every candidate in every electorate with our traffic lights and provides a form you can fill out at home before voting to ensure your preferences have the best chance of giving you the election results you want.

The bad news is that if Capt Humbug’s government remains in power, they have proved that they can be quite effective in distracting from and blocking effective action to resolve solve the climate emergency. If Humbug has its way, Australia will have done nothing effective to slow and stop our progress towards runaway global warming and what may prove to be the end of humanity in our world’s worst global mass extinction event.

The good news from the IPCC and other scientific bodies is that if we accept we are facing the crux of the crisis and unite with other nations who take the risk of extinction seriously, we still have a very few years where it is still possible to stop and reverse the warming process. However, to do this we will need the backing and support of a progressive government that puts action on climate change at the top of its Parliamentary agenda, as the candidates we have flagged with our ‘green light’ have done.

Featured Image: Scott Morrison: From the Australian, Paul Murray Live – 14/03/2022.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he is supportive of Australia’s fossil fuel industry – and particularly coal, which he says will be around for “decades to come”. “When it comes to the coal industry, it’s worth $35 billion to us every year in exports, and that’s money Australia needs to grow our economy,” Mr Morrison said. “What you need in today’s energy economy is you need to continue to run your coal-fired power stations for as long as you possibly can and that is our policy … we want them to run as long as they possibly can.” Coal-fired power stations will continue to run to back up renewable power sources, although Mr Morrison said gas would play a larger role in the energy mix in years to come. Mr Morrison added that building a new coal-fired power station would be difficult because of the state government planning powers, which would “probably never allow them to do it”.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Tells the truth about electing honest government

Excuse the profanity, but Juice Media perfectly describes how Vote Climate One is trying to use preferential voting to get honest government.

Featured Image: Preferential voting in the House of Representatives. / Parliamentary Education Office licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.