Intelligence and China: mushroom cloud of the unknowing

by Crispin Hull on August 27, 2016

ausgridTHIS week’s revelations that individuals and corporations linked to the Chinese Government have made large donations to the two major Australian political parties might make you think that the Foreign Investment Review Board had its finger on the pulse when it recommended that the Treasurer block the bid by two Chinese companies to buy more than 50 per cent of the NSW electricity company Ausgrid. [click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Secrecy, loopholes mark political funding

by Crispin Hull on August 19, 2016

The fairest Senate election in Australian history.

The fairest Senate election in Australian history.

DEMOCRACY and market capitalism hand in hand achieve much. But equally market capitalism can get out of hand. Money can influence votes and voters and the politicians they elect. We were reminded of this last Thursday when the Australian Electoral Commission announced the breakdown of $62.8 million in public funding to political parties, up from $58.1 million after the 2013 election. [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

Many voters get no say in last Senate seats

by Crispin Hull on August 12, 2016

THE final Senate vote is in. It shows some problems with the new voting system. Four senators were elected with less that a quota of votes. Exhausted votes ranged from a high of more than nine percent in NSW to a low of two percent in South Australia. [click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

AUSTRALIA will spend $440 million on next week’s census. The census will ask about 55 questions, making it about $8 million a question. That is a lot more useful and a lot cheaper than the proposed $160m plebiscite on marriage equality. The plebiscite will get an answer to only one question, and we already know what that answer is. Moreover, the answer is completely useless because MPs will not be bound by it and nor will the question contain any exact legislative words. [click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Destroying liberty in order to save it

by Crispin Hull on July 30, 2016

DO WE have to destroy liberty and the rule of law in order to preserve it? In the quest to deal with terrorism, Australia has passed ever more draconian and privacy-infringing laws. Now Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is proposing indefinite detention for people convicted of terrorism offences after they have served their sentences. [click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Reaching for high fruit in domestic solar generation

by Crispin Hull on July 23, 2016

IN THE summer of my Year 10, 11 and 12, I worked cherry-picking during the two frenetic weeks when the fruit ripened in the Beechworth orchards. It was low-paid, hard work and the horticulture was not well-advanced. The trees were allowed to grow too high. [click to continue…]

{ 3 comments }

Right-wing Libs lose biggest chunk of seats

by Crispin Hull on July 16, 2016

THE major losses by the Coalition this election have had people thinking that Malcolm Turnbull’s authority in his own party and in the country at large is weakened. Well, with some good decision-making, based on the evidence, it need not be. [click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Lessons from a hung Parliament

by Crispin Hull on July 9, 2016

I WOULD like to draw to Senator Nick Xenophon’s attention to the 1892 English Court of Appeal case Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Company. The company had advertised a 100 pound reward for anyone who took its carbolic smoke ball as instructed and subsequently contracted the flu. [click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Why a hung Parliament would be good for us

by Crispin Hull on July 2, 2016

THE following is why I hope there is a hung Parliament. And perhaps it is why there may well be one. On each of the following policies or issues (in no particular order) one or both the parties have a position that significant majorities oppose. [click to continue…]

{ 2 comments }

The negative sides on poor policy on gearing

by Crispin Hull on June 27, 2016

LABOR has clarified its policy on negative gearing after claims by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that it would stultify the start up of new businesses. [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }