The Ryan Independent

Commentary on global, federal, state and local issues from Brisbane's western suburbs

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Entries from November 26th, 2007

Election wrap-up

November 26th, 2007 · 1 Comment · Posts

I promised Ryan Independent readers a wrap-up of the election, nationally and locally, today. If you’ve found some food for thought on these pages over the last few months, please drop me an e-mail (mail@cjw.id.au) with any comments or suggestions. I’ll take a week to consider whether and how to continue some commentary on politics [...]

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At last we’re here!

November 23rd, 2007 · No Comments · Posts

At last we’re here…. tomorrow we vote. I know that Ryan Independent readers will be casting their ballots in a thoughtful and strategic way. Make your final action of this campaign to encourage one more friend, colleague or family member to do the same. Best wishes to all the other candidates – whoever wins will [...]

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“Ryan” and “safe seat” no longer belong in the same sentence.

November 22nd, 2007 · No Comments · Posts

Many years ago my High School “Economic and Political Studies” final exam had this as one of its questions: Q 20. “A large number of constituencies are ‘safe seats’, which means that there is no real choice for the electorate. Is this so, and if so, is it a serious matter? What remedies could be [...]

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The REAL “how-to-vote”.

November 21st, 2007 · No Comments · Posts

With three days until polling, it’s good to see some entirely legitimate Government advertising. The Australian Electoral Commission‘s ads remind people of the real “How to Vote” … the procedure for casting a valid vote for the House of Representatives and the Senate, not the mis-named party “How-to-Vote” cards, those leaflets thrust in your direction [...]

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Reform and make better use of plebiscites and referenda

November 20th, 2007 · No Comments · Posts

No sooner will the election be over than many Queenslanders will take part in a plebiscite on council amalgamations, with the AEC sending out postal ballots next week. Though infrequent, referenda (on constitutional matters) and plebiscites (on all others), have a long history in Australia, and represent an important form of direct democracy – one [...]

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Low marks for both parties on policy for Australian research and development.

November 19th, 2007 · No Comments · Posts

Three graphs from the OECD 2007 Handbook show that we are stalled in building the research base we need to address our most challenging problems with solid science, and to sow the seeds of Australia’s future economy. Since the axis titles are quite small, I provide Australia’s ranking in each case. 1. Expenditure on R&D [...]

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Always toe the party line.

November 18th, 2007 · No Comments · Posts

By the time of the next election, Parliament will likely have considered more than 500 pieces of legislation – many with significant numbers of amendments. What is the likelihood that any MP agrees with their party on each and every one of these? If Ryan voters really want an MP whose judgement of the merits [...]

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Urban development and political responsibility

November 17th, 2007 · 1 Comment · Posts

Today western Suburbs residents wake to the first weekend that a brand new facility is open – one that will draw thousands upon thousands of people each week. Although it lies just outside Ryan’s boundaries, it will be both visited by and have its effect on our electorate. Is it a new community centre? An [...]

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Political use of regional grants: neither side of politics innocent.

November 16th, 2007 · No Comments · Posts

Quite a few of Ryan Independent’s readers are familiar with applying for Commonwealth grants, for example, research grants from the Australian Research Council or National Health and Medical Research Council. You may be one yourself, but if not, you probably have at least one neighbour who fits this description. They will tell you that these [...]

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Let’s be fair and square about the “public-private” school debate.

November 15th, 2007 · 1 Comment · Posts

Today’s post concerns funding for public and private schools. This has stayed off the electoral radar because the ALP is too afraid to mention it, and the Coalition therefore don’t have much to need to bring it up. Both major parties have done the public a disservice by ignoring the issue. In a seat such [...]

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