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Archive for August, 2008

Barnett offers tax cuts, who are they for?

Posted by cegan on August 26, 2008

Ahoy Colin Barnett, who are those tax cuts you promised for? Are they for low income earners or big business like the billion dollar tax cuts from the United States. Who are they for? Why did you not let us know? Do you have that disrespect for the voters of Western Australia?

Why shall we live in society that does not have the respect to voters to give us the policy that you have announced. Are we all dumb political pundits who are not after policy outcomes. Judgments need to be made about whether you will vote for tax cuts that will not affect you. The economic benefits, the inflationary aspect. Classic Barnett policy to skip on policy detail.

As I predicted Barnett’s tax reform is being based on the content of neo-liberal policy, that is to offer little government spending and lower taxes. These are not in the interest of a state that has particular boom/bust periods where infrastructure needs to be built when the population can afford to have higher taxes to pay for infrastructure such as the railway to Mandurah. The 60,000 super stadium. Not just hospitals, education or justice reforms. We need continual infrastructure improvements from the disregard from previous generations when we had no money.

Our state’s future citizens do not need lower taxes, half baked infrastructure such as the traffic lights on the Kwinana Freeway. We need the billions of dollars that the state government will reinject into the states economy that will keep unemployment low and keep economic growth strong.

Plus is the tax cuts aimed at high society or battlers in Labor heartland?

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Posted in Western Australian Politics | Leave a Comment »

McCain’s houses really make a difference?

Posted by cegan on August 25, 2008

John McCain is being roundly ridiculed for the fact he has 7 houses. Yet did we not see previously that McCain has accepted government finance for his election caimpaign and it was midway through the primaries when McCain had hardly any money left for his bid for presidency. It puts into question hysteria and judgement over whether or not McCain has 1 or 3 houses. Does he have a mortgage? Is it in trust for his children? How much does he donate to charity? What has he lost over his lifetime to be a politician? Did he get compensation for his years as a prisoner of war? What are these circumstances.

Its easy enough to say that he is out of touch when you look at issues out of context, not being situated in the right framework. Yes McCain is wealthy, so is Obama who is a lawyer that prosecuted against citizens of Chicago that were homeless. Where is the character judgement against him that he is ‘out of touch’ with Americans because he is a lawyer.

The reality is that American presidency is not going to be in touch with everyday americans battling a slowing economy, the credit crunch, high inflation and oil prices. The issues involved in Southern Texas with Mexican immigration flooding into the United States are not an issue in the rest of the country. McCain the senator for Arizona, directly impacted by Mexican immigration, shows he is in touch with Hispanics and their issues with his program for immigration reform in America.

While Hillary Clinton was far more popular with Hispanic voters during the primaries. Does this mean that McCain is more in touch with American society?

No, the reality is American society is so diverse that whether or not McCain has 7 houses or not does not show he is ‘out of touch’ more than Barack Obama

Chris Egan

Posted in United States Election | 1 Comment »

Barnett remains out of touch in Education and Justice.

Posted by cegan on August 24, 2008

Colin Barnett shows he is still stumbling in this state election. He has refused to do anything for parents battling rising costs of living despite claiming the $200 cheque himself. While then hopping into bed with every union he can lay his claws on to get into government. Where is the Liberal policies coming out? Where is this concerted program of trying to show us how Barnett will spend the boom more than what Carpenter will? What will his Gas pipeline do to facilitate the next visionary infrastructure program after O’Connor’s in the early 1900’s? Is it anything that will bring tangible benefits to the south west?

Barnett’s policy vision can be seen as stopping infrastructure, stopping spending and keeping Perth in a stationary state. Nothing to move into the 21st century, it will be like we stop the progress that has happened from the recent mining boom. Yes we he issues with Carpenter that he flouts his arrogance in selecting ministers while also having autocratic decision making processes for public infrastructure such as the 60,000 Multi-purpose stadium.

I am tipping that Barnett will return Western Australia to the Neo-liberalism role of government, little government expenditure on public infrastructure, low taxes and a conservative society that leaves little to rehabilitation of prisoners, more about the strategy of imprisoning people for longer periods of times. However this is proven in many studies including the study case of Texas, does little to address crime. In Texas they have an extremely tough justice system, yet it has done little to stop homocide, burglaries or create a safer society.

A Barnett government will ignore the problems and put it down to a justice system that is not tough enough. Yet in reality it is not toughness that is needed, it is investing in the social welfare system and providing stronger funding for education, especially those in impoverished or hard to teach high schools. Just today I had to calculate the sum of 125.70 – 50.00 for a girl who asked for a calculator. I was stunned, but it highlights the inadequacy of education in many of these undepriveleged area’s.

To end the Teachers shortage will be of priority of any government and to deliver extra incentive for teachers to teach in area’s with double wages of schools in higher socio economic area’s would deliver strong incentive to stop crime and to deliver our best teachers, to the area of the population that needs most help in bridging the gap between the poor and rich.

In a state that is in boom time, it is our job that every high school student can subtract 50 dollars from any amount that comes up on our screen. Barnett will do nothing to change this, just bring conservative policy to a state that wants to continue to boom.

Chris Egan

Posted in Western Australian Politics | Leave a Comment »

America warned Georgia of seperatist attack

Posted by cegan on August 18, 2008

Wolf Blitzer asked a question nobody else is asking “who is more at fault the Russians or the Americans” to a Republican senator on Late Edition on CNN. The response was that Russia had enacted with brutal force which was unacceptable. However the Republican senator Lular commented “There where three or four officials who warned Georgia not to attack, that it was not in the United States interest at this time with our forces stretched in Iraq”. This highlights the fact that the Americans did not support the actions of Georgia, which have been largely been forgotten by the anti-russian media. Yes the Russians did damage, but even according to the American Bush administration the Georgians were irresponsible in the suicide attacks that will change the nation forever. Behind all the spin being spun by the George Bush administration, there would definitively be anger at the stupidity that has caused a challenge to future foreign policy for America.

Fortunately for the Georgians, Chancellor Merkel has suggested that they will be allowed to enter NATO when they want to. With Ukraine support, US condemnation of Russia publicly reported by most western media, this us against the rest will continue to resonate within the russian nationalistic public. Balanced action, foreign interaction is necessary. Not as Condoleeza Rice has suggested that Russia will be ostracised from the world. The reality is, it can’t be. It holds to much power within Europe and Iran to be put out of the picture in the International community.

Some nuetral political reporting on the Georgian attack and putting the invasion in context, is necessary to prevent the most negative of outcomes becoming reality.

Chris Egan

Posted in International Politics | Leave a Comment »

Dr Hames highlights incompetency with government figures

Posted by cegan on August 17, 2008

Dr Kim Hames a senior member of the WA Liberal Party has highlighted the spin behind political facts in today’s News Limited Sunday Times. In quotes to the paper he claimed that every year there had been less surgery than the previous year and that the government had made it harder to get onto the waiting list, or forced people into private care. How can we trust Jim McGinty when he says waiting times have been reduced when the context is that this has been done with less surgery being undertaken every year since 2001.

While I have not checked up on the claims by Dr Hames, I have little to suggest that he would not have properly researched his claim. In the debate over Health Care it seems that the Liberals are winning the battle and rightly so. The WA Liberals have committed themselves to the Labor Government’s extensive building plan for hospitals, but have decided not to completely mothball Royal Perth Hospital, as much as what Labor has plans. A trauma unit in the inner city is a sensible decision, considering its proximity to the major nightgoing area of Perth, which has been noted for its violence (despite it often being overplayed), resulting in injuries that could be treated closeby.

This is how the Liberals are winning the hearts and minds of the health conscious Western Australians, its health plan is guranteeing the infrastructure of modern state of the art hospitals, but with the addition of challenging claims that the Labor Government is fixing health, or is implementing Political spin. It also is looking at Royal Perth and suggesting that it is an ideal location for a 400 bed trauma unit.

If you are voting on health issues alone at this election, a vote to the WA Liberal Party would be strongly advised as they have highlighted political spin in its analysis of the WA Government defending the status of health, while also implementing an infrastructure package that adds the icing on the cake.

Let’s hope the WA Liberal Party have some more bright idea’s up their sleeve.

Chris Egan

Posted in Western Australian Politics | Leave a Comment »

Mandatory Sentencing for assault on police officers, puts at risk democracy

Posted by cegan on August 17, 2008

Are we in Singapore? This was the reaction while I was reading the News Limited Sunday Times article which suggests that Colin Barnett is going to introduce mandatory sentencing involving a prison term for every single citizen that will seriously assault a policemen.

The right wing sentiment running through Australia’s media and population has been confirmed. There has been little written on this policy launched by Barnett but would continue to ripple through the erosion of rights as citizens. I am not defending those who assault police officers, nor do I think most of them should not go to jail. But why do we need to legislate 100% of cases of serious assault has to involve a prison term?

This would go down the slippery slope of the defacto democracy of Singapore. Whose strong punishment for crime is often admired by many in society in Australia. Yet the case of Van Nguyen alters this perception in terms of capital punishment. He was convicted of the crime and on the spot he knew it would be a mandatory death penalty. Regardless of what happened at trial, the fact he was caught with drugs meant he would be hanged as termed in Singapore.

Is this the context we in Western Australia want to slide into? Legislation that will divulge on mandatory sentencing, regardless of the context and situation. Sure it is not like we are killing people, but in terms of eroding democracy we are telling the courts they can not do the job so we will do it for them.

Why should the Western Australian Government interfere by placing a mandatory placing on sentencing that suggests anyone found guilty must be put to jail. What if that person had been manhandled by police beforehand? But then found himself in a spur of anger that seriously injured a police officer? Bad luck?

This policy shows a slippery slope to eroding democratic rights, implemented by a party determined to stay out of touch with reality and putting a little bit of Singapore into Western Australia.

Chris Egan

Posted in Western Australian Politics | Leave a Comment »

Fixed Political Terms?

Posted by cegan on August 16, 2008

This has come with a surprise that Colin Barnett wants to legislate fixed 4 year terms as legislation when he gets into power. Really this supersedes political tradition in Australia.

This legislation would guarantee that we would have an election every four years, is there not a case for the ability for unpredictability? The current State Election comes as a surprise, we have policies on the run and a haphazard caimpaign where nothing can go wrong – otherwise the other will be destined to doom.

Personally I do not think this is a bad thing, the entire system of politics should not be spun or concocted to sterile predictable four year terms that will add to the length of unofficial election caimpaigns, which is currently occupying the attention in America for a little to long.

Transfixing a nation state to political elections that are every four years, will actually dis service the public. We will have more ability for spin doctors to control our decisions, advertising and predictability is never good for elections. Its not good for a government and opposition to know exactly when the next election is.

For Colin Barnett to propose fixed election terms on government, shows his desire to concentrate on the political issues at present rather than plan the future. It may win him brownie points, but it does little to deliver confidence into the future plans for our state.

Indeed it will be scary the incompetence within the State Liberal Party and Labor Party if they were guaranteed 3 years of disseray before they got their act together.

It is in Western Australia’s interest to not have fixed political terms. It is also not a part of Australia’s political history.

Chris Egan

Posted in Western Australian Politics | Leave a Comment »

The Olympic Games more like mass political spin

Posted by cegan on August 16, 2008

The Olympic Games in China has done nothing much to change the worlds opinion on China, nothing much to change the world that China is worthy of being viewed as a superpower. Even with the spotlight on Beijing, political spin has been overworked to such an extent that everyone is sceptical. Everybody is challenging meanings, and as has found nobody is actually believing the messages from the Chinese.

From the venues where fans are synchronised university students who have been given $2 tickets to events on proviso they chant in a specific way to the arrest of a British journalist covering a Pro Tibet protest. Beijing does not know how to authenticate anything, including human spirit and allowing penetration of international media to report freely and responsibly.

Then there is the vacant venues, the greed of corporates being allocated to many seats, while fans who qued and some had cried in despair miss out. Watching CNN a few weeks ago a Chinese citizen was in tears that he did not get tickets for the Olympics. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,..It would fufil my life if I could watch an olympics in my home country…I will never ever get to see the Olympics again in China”. This was a man who had qued for days, who was distraught at not being able to attend an event that was do dear to him.

With Corporates getting tickets they do not use, lack of freedom and the lack of authenticity of even the atmosphere in the stadium. It seems more like an Olympics for the certain political agenda of China…

Much like the infamous 1936 games in Berlin. Give me an Olympics without spin London!

Chris Egan

Posted in Beijing Olympics | Leave a Comment »

Seperatism in the spotlight

Posted by cegan on August 14, 2008

As the world watches with interest the current situation in Georgia, seperatist groups continue to gain worldwide attention. Seperatism is part of many nation states, including stable western democracies such as Spain and even Australia. Indeed it was in 1933 that Western Australia voted to leave the Commonwealth of Australia. Nothing came of it as we would have been forced to fight for our independence.

Western Australian’s were reluctant to fight for this, unlike situations in East TImor, Sri Lanka, Spain, China and more recently Georgia. Yet these are only ones that captivate media attention, much of the civil wars erupting within the African continent regard different ethnic and religious diversities which lead to wars to maintain their cultural supermacy in a western created nation state.

Seperatism as a philosophy is not often looked at by many bloggers, so it is indeed an interesting concept that continues to impact on nation states around the world. Sri Lanka has spent over 10 years fighting the Tamil Tigers, Spain continues to have bombings within the Basque region from a terrorist group of ETA that has existed since 1959. While the most recent seperatists are those of South Ossetia.

The decision by Georgia and its policy in tackling seperatism within South Ossetia has to be looked at within context of how others have sought to deal with the seperatist movements. The Franco led dictatorship of Spain used force, Indonesia used force against those in East Timor and Aceh, while again Georgia used force in its bid to settle seperatism within their nation. China, one of the most ruthless world powers on the planet has not been able to contain seperatist movements during the Olympics.

This is because seperatism in its agenda, motivates itself by using political manouevres that will succeed when the major national body starts launching attacks that will destroy not only pro-seperatists but anti-seperatists. How Hezbollah retains power is that it is there helping the people when a nation state launches attacks on this quasi-seperatist group. Namely Israel last year. These seperatist groups also exist within social groups, politics and councillors. The more the seperatists can highlight the injustice done to them from the central power, the stronger the resonance that will bind the population together in greater numbers.

Indeed it is in my experience Western Australians feel different because of views that the rest of the country does not care, the chip on the shoulder grows and seperatism flourishes. In the isolation and the desperation of the Great Depression, it would have been easy to see how they would feel different to the rest of the country. The difference was there was no violence that was within the culture seperatism that has flourished within this group, unlike that of other nations.

The success stories of seperatist groups and peace for everyone is through dialogue. Looking at the arbitary western boundaries and either allowing them to develop independence or in the Spain example, deliver significant self autonomy to regions such as Catalonia and Basque.

Georgia’s inability to handle seperatism movements within its country and the old world reaction that does not work, should be as widely condemned as the influence of Russia into the local seperatist groups of South Ossetia.

Its time the world looks at seperatism as an agenda, rather than holding it out in obscurity.

Chris Egan

Posted in International Politics | Leave a Comment »

An Australian who does not support Barrack Obama

Posted by cegan on August 13, 2008

BLASPHEMY!, Do you support the Iraq War?; You are a right winger?

These are the reactions when as an Australian you say you do not support Obama. To quote my Mum after he won the primaries nomination “Isn’t he President yet”. Indeed upon reflections on talking to American students, Australians are besotted and believe that Obama is the only option for the United States of America.

Forever explaining myself, I look at Obama’s policies behind his motivating talks and it simply does not add up.

Healthcare – Failure of delivering widespread healthcare to all citizens is a cost against humanity a developed nation should not promote, a strong reason behind my support of Hillary Clinton

Trade – Protectionist policies, in one of his pre-Primaries debates he starts talking about Free Trade Agreements with Peru that are a cause of the economic conditions of the U.S.A – Give me a break

Foreign Affairs – Did not pay attention at all to a surge in Basra that was working. “I do not think it is right for me to comment on something I don’t know much about”. Is as wishy washy and contradictory on foreign policy as they can come. Changes like the speed of the wind

You say McCain will deliver tax cuts to the rich, will continue to play the game of tucking up to big business. The reality is that he is a Maverick who has one of the most left wing immigration policies of any man in a right wing party.

He is seeking Latino voters like Bush has never done and is seeking to maintain the free market economy and rather than going backwards on globalisation as Obama believe’s he can achieve.

Yet if you lived in Australia, many think he is the President in waiting and is the messiah for the rest of the world.

McCain is the only sane decision for a world that is increasingly unstable. Maybe it makes it easier to vouch for him knowing he has a fondness for my home city of Perth. But regardless to trust Obama on Foreign Affairs, is a risk not worth taking.

Chris Egan

Posted in United States Election | 2 Comments »