Even with a strong economy, jobs are a top concern
by Peter Lewis
With the major parties flexing their muscles on border protection, the Australian public has sent Canberra a message that it is the protection of Australian jobs that is the real security issue for them.
Where the economy and culture collide… by Warren Brown in The Daily Telegraph.
In what looms as the sleeper issue for the 2010 election campaign, a quarter of all voters placed “Australian jobs and the protection of local industries” as key election issue, behind only economic management and health.
As the latest Essential Report shows that economic protectionism towers over headline-grabbing issues like climate change, asylum seekers, housing affordability, industrial laws and population growth as a priority election issue. - The ALP have been appallingly bad in office, having weakened the economy, border protection and bungled all of the spending initiatives and foreign affairs. It has become very hard for the media to be balanced without seeming to be gung ho ALPites. Mr Abbott isn't helping either. Rather than announce dumb or bad policy, he is quietly and calmly stating the conservative position. The result has been commentators highly critical of Mr Abbott have begun trying to tell him what his lines should be, and would be if he were less competent. For example, on Industrial Relations, Mr Abbott has dumped Work Choices and promised not to legislatively change Fair Choice, but merely administering it properly as the ALP has failed to do. This got some upset who began to point out how bad and dysfunctional Fair Choices is. I have been talking about that for years, and most have ignored me, but now the genius that is Mr Abbott has those scoundrels telling me about it. Or border protection. Apparently Mr Abbott has made a mistake by not laughing at Gillard's pathetic efforts of adopting a Pacific Solution lite without choosing elements that made it workable. Many of these critics had previously said that the Pacific Solution was a crime against humanity. - ed.
Choosing a baby’s sex: the next great leap for parents
by Josie Gagliano
Call me a bit of an idealistic Charlotte from Sex & The City, but if I have experienced something amazing, I want the world to experience it too.
Breakthroughs: Science already helps couples determine their family future. Pic: File
So now I am a mum, I’d love the whole world to experience the joy of motherhood, particularly the women who are having difficulty falling pregnant. That’s why I am so supportive of IVF. Strangers (even friends who have dared not ask for fear it’s too private) assume I had my twins via IVF. I did not. And I would be willing to shout it from the rooftops if I had.
I have seen people close to me finally get their wish to be a parent thanks to this miraculous medical procedure. A few of the beautiful mums in my twin prenatal class had their multiples thanks to IVF and I know just how eternally grateful they are that the procedure exists. - Having heard Gillard speak, and knowing about babies in China, the "Great Leap Forward" reference made me shudder. I have tremendous sympathy for parents and have no problem with gender selection. I object to Chinese policy which results in hundreds of millions of more boys than girls. We are blessed to have such choice, and I hiss at those would deny it .. let them produce their own. - ed.
Leaders could face up to voters with a full web debate
by Sassoon Grigorian
We are all familiar with the television debates between the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition that occur in the lead up to a Federal election - but are Australians ready for online election debates?
It's been done before… Pic: AFP / File
Last month, NSW held what was billed as the first election debate on Twitter between NSW Premier Kristina Keneally and NSW Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell with mixed results including descriptions of it being chaotic, and confusing.
The increasing “US Presidential” style elections in Australia, with the focus almost entirely on the personality of the leader, suggests that other important developments in the US will be taking place here. - fascinating as the ALP consider censoring whistle blowers from the 'net, that they are praised for their 'forward thinking' in spending money on annoying others. One friend of mine is a former US marine and he posted in support of Obama, only to be pestered with daily emails asking him to donate money to Obama. That is what the ALP have initiated here. I prefer Mr Abbott's approach of quietly speaking the truth and allowing debate to happen. - ed.
Tweeting the election: And the people’s hashtag is ...
by Matt de Neef
With the federal election less than five weeks away, the Australian media is set to go into political overdrive. News bulletins will dedicate additional time to the exploits of Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott and in the brief period since the election announcement, we’ve already seen both leaders swoon in the presence of some opportunely-located children.
@australia ... who r u voting for? Pic: File
Newspapers will dedicate additional pages to the dissection of election campaigns, talkback radio will be dominated by sceptical treatment of election promises and “the worm” is likely to resurface in televised debates between the two leaders.
In great news for the legions of Chaser fans, the boys will return to the ABC in the coming weeks to preview the election in their trademark style. The folks behind The Gruen Transfer will also roll out a handful of special episodes looking at the abundance of party advertising that is sure to flood our daily loves in the lead up to the election. - I am not on twitter yet. When I launch, I will do so with a facebook page for myself in Blaxland. I prefer Facebook to Twitter as Twitter favors the mindless slogans of the ALP and the quick put downs their supporters are so good at. I prefer debate. - ed.
Preference deal paints the Greens as a pack of frauds
by Simon Birmingham
Beware the politician who likes to claim moral superiority above other politicians. They will likely be proven to be a hypocrite. For today’s prize winner, meet Bob Brown.
Brown has betrayed his stance against preference deals. Photo: Sam Mooy.
Brown likes to pretend that his party, the Greens, represent some form of new politics. They claim to stand on principle. In reality, they stand for themselves. There’s nothing wrong with that, but don’t try to con voters otherwise.
Like the Christian crusader who gets outed visiting brothels, the holier than thou political change agent who strikes the same old political deals deserves our scorn. - In choosing the new model of representation in Tasmania, The ALP leader pointed out the election results would be invalid if the minority winners did not get first chance to make government. Come the election, they didn't, and that was because the Greens got into bed with the ALP. This shows that neither Greens nor ALP feel subject to the constitution and the only way to dislodge an ALP government is to vote for the conservative parties. - ed.