This web page is to publish considerations relating to the proposed Liberal Social Democratic Party.
This web page is a work in progress.
This party proposal is based on the Social Democratic Party of Australia, and the publication written by Ted Roach, on which publication, that party is said to be based. This party proposal uses that party and its manifesto as written by Ted Roach, as a starting point.
I have published a scanned copy of the content of that publication, for the pages numbered 2 through 13 of that publication, at
The document is in the PDF format, so you will need a PDF viewer, to view it. The file of the publication as I have published it, is about 4.5MB in size.
I have so published the publication content, as I believe that it is in the public interest, for that material to be freely available, and, I believe that my so publishing the publication content, without any intent of me profiting from the publication, is consistent with the policies of the document.
If Ted Roach, who I have been unable to find, to contact regarding this, and, regarding trying to obtain a copy or copies of the document, or, any of his heirs and successors, should he not be still alive, has any comments to make regarding my so publishing the publication content, I would welcome the comments, and, should I be required to terminate the publishing of the publication content, then I will do as required.
In that publication by Ted Roach, dated 1980, is the following, from the pages numbered 6 through 7:
(Regarding those points, I support some, but not all, of the concepts as stated above, as follows; 1. A tax on wealth - I believe that all people should be subject to the same rates of taxation on income and expenditure, and that people should not be punished for achievement, buy taxing accumulation of wealth 2. National superannuation schemes such as the one imposed on workers in Australia, where compulsory superannuation contributions are deducted from workers' wages and salaries, and when incomes and maintenance of real wages, are reduced by compulsory superannuation deductions.The Australian compulsory superannuation levy scheme, is the biggest fraud in the history of Australia, and has caused significant harm to both the Australian economy, and, to households who are forced into financial difficult by the compulsory superannuation levy, which is, in effect, simply a malicious and fraudulent, income tax, harmfully reducing household disposable income, so as to benefit the people in power, at the expense of households' decreasing ability to meet basic living expenses. 3. Amalgamation of trade unions is a harmful thing that reduces the intent of trade unions to truly represent the interests of their members, and of workers in general.Amalgamation of unions has led to the elimination of industrial awards, and, the erosion of conditions of employment, including, the progressive reduction of real wages paid to employees. 4. The "above poverty level incomes for all persons" - all people under 18 years of age, should be in full-time education, and, all people of at least the age of 18 years, should be in receipt of income above the poverty level. 5. The expenditure on capital works, should not be limited to "areas of high unemployment" - Australia needs some massive infrastructure capital works, such as the proposal from some decades ago, of the construction of the Ord River Pipeline, to pipe water from the Ord River, to the Southwest of the state of Western Australia, to ensure an adequate supply of water to the southwest of the state. Such infrastructure programmes would have significant benefits to the economy of the state and of the country as a whole, and should provide for significant employment opportunities. Similarly, increases in road building and maintenance programmes, should increase employment, reduce road traffic congestion, and, reduce the increasing environmental damage and harm to public health, caused by the increasing road traffic congestion. 6. Research and development should be extensively financed by government expenditure, to ensure that needed research and development, that might not be commercially viable, but are nevertheless, needed, are performed.)
And, in that publication by Ted Roach, dated 1980, on the page numbered 7, is;
The term "Democratic Dictatorship" is defined elsewhere in the document, thus - on the page numbered 2 of the document, is
In that publication by Ted Roach, dated 1980, is the following, from the pages numbered 10 through 13;
Australia must become a social democracy to reach the Point Of Progress Without Poverty And Conflict.
Policies of the Social Democrats are determined democratically by the members of the party.
The following social democratic policies should be immediately introduced into Australia.
1. Industrial Democracy
Introduce industrial democracy where workers would be represented on the board of directors in companies and government organisation (sic) with more than thirty employees.
(a) Personal income tax to be reduced to increase incentive.
(b) Indirect taxes to be increased on goods and services not deemed essential. On essential goods and services, e.g. purchasing own home, food, transport, clothes etc., there should be no taxes.
(c) A wealth tax where 2% of the wealth of an individual over, say $200,000 is added to their personal income for taxation purposes.
(d) Capital Gains Tax – Capital gains should be considered income over the period of the capital gain, except on essential investments, e.g. person's own home.
(e) No personal tax on incomes up to 1.1 times the poverty level. This poverty level varies depending on the dependents (sic) of the wage earner. Poverty levels have to be adjusted every three months.
3. Rights to Referenda
Allow citizens with signatures from 0.5% of the population to instigate referenda on any issue. Once passed, the result of the referendum could only be altered by another referendum.
4. Research and Development
Encourage the tripling of expenditure per worker on research and development in order to create jobs and bring this expenditure in line with other social democratic countries.
5. Freedom of information Act
Introduce an act similar to other social democracies so that citizens have access to government information.
6. National superannuation scheme
Introduce a national superannuation scheme to ensure that retired workers receive 50% of the average weekly wage. This is universally implemented in the social democracies of Western Europe.
Introduce a national health scheme.
8. School children
A nutritious meal should be provided for all children at school. An immediate priority should be given to those schools presently classified as 'disadvantaged'.
9. Trade unions
Encourage the amalgamation of trade unions as has occurred in other social democratic countries, e.g. West Germany has less than twenty unions.
A uniform education system should be introduced throughout Australia. Each school would have a school board. The school board would be democratically elected and comprise:
(a) One-third teachers and/or their representatives,
(b) One-third parents and students and/or their representatives with at least two students,
(c) One-third representatives from the Education Department.
Introduce a national newspaper with an independent board of directors including worker representation.
12. Above poverty level incomes for all
Monetry (sic) remuneration to raise all incomes above the 'poverty level'. Those individuals or families not capable of looking after themselves are to receive this welfare in the form of food, clothes, accommodation, etc. by the government or approved groups.
Other policies are formed democratically by the party as the need arises.
It should be remembered that that publication is dated 1980, about 35 years before this web site (and, in that, this proposal for a new political party) was created, and, some of the proposals in that publication policy statement, have been implemented, and some of the figures (for example, "A wealth tax where 2% of the wealth of an individual over, say $200,000 is added to their personal income for taxation purposes.") are now outdated, as, as in the example given, the amount of $200,000, is now less than the value of a low-range family home.
Regarding taxation, I believe that personal income, and company and business profits, should be taxed at the same, single, flat tax rate, and that, as suggested above by Ted Roach, the tax free threshold for personal income tax, should be 1.1 times the "poverty level", and (I believe that this is not suggested by Ted Roach, in the above cited publication), all personal income for households involving married or de-facto partners living together, should be shared/split, for taxation purposes, both in terms of PAYG personal income tax, and, for annual personal income tax assessments. The "poverty level" and the "living wage", should each be determined and the amounts published in quarterly or monthly economic indicators, along with such economic indicators as the consumer price index, and the proportions of all adults of employable age, who are
(1) in full-time study
(2) in full-time employment
(3) in receipt of invalid pensions
(4) in receipt of full-time study allowances
(5) in receipt of solo parent pensions
(6) in receipt of unemployment allowances
and, for other economic indicators that should also be determined and published, at the same time, and with the same regularity, the median and decile full time wages for all individuals of employable age who are employed, and, the median and decile declared incomes for all persons of employable age.
The "employable age", here, means being of at least 18 years of age and less than the retirement age, the retirement age, being when the statutory social security aged pension eligibility according to age, commences.
No tax concessions for being wealthy, should apply, such as negative gearing for real estate investments, or offsetting expenses as tax deductions against a different source of income (whether it be expenses for one investment property, being offset against income from another investment property, or, expenses for an investment property, being offset against personal taxable income from wages or salary, or, loss on one stock/shares trading transaction, being offset against profit from another stock/shares trading transaction).
was, at the time of writing this web page,
This article is about the social and economic model in northern Europe. For the socioeconomic model in continental Europe and Germany in particular, see Rhenish model. For the political ideology often associated with the Nordic model, see Social democracy. For the legal system of criminalising the purchase of sexual services, see Prostitution law#Sweden, Norway and Iceland.
The Nordic model (or Nordic capitalism or Nordic social democracy) refers to the economic and social models of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Faroe Islands and Sweden), which involves the combination of a free market economy with a welfare state.
Although there are significant differences among the Nordic countries, they all share some common traits. These include support for a "universalist" welfare state (relative to other developed countries) which is aimed specifically at enhancing individual autonomy, promoting social mobility and ensuring the universal provision of basic human rights, as well as for stabilizing the economy, alongside a commitment to free trade. The Nordic model is distinguished from other types of welfare states by its emphasis on maximizing labor force participation, promoting gender equality, egalitarian and extensive benefit levels, the large magnitude of income redistribution, and liberal use of expansionary fiscal policy.
The Nordic model is described as a system of competitive capitalism combined with a large public sector (roughly 30% of the work force). In 2013, The Economist described its countries as "stout free-traders who resist the temptation to intervene even to protect iconic companies" while also looking for ways to temper capitalism's harsher effects, and declared that the Nordic countries "are probably the best-governed in the world". The Nordic combination of extensive public provision of welfare and a culture of individualism has been described by Lars Trägårdh, of Ersta Sköndal University College, as "statist individualism". Some economists have referred to the Nordic economic model as a form of "cuddly" capitalism, with low levels of inequality, generous welfare states and reduced concentration of top incomes, and contrast it with the more "cut-throat" capitalism of the United States, which has high levels of inequality and a larger concentration of top incomes.
The Nordic model, however, is not a single identical set of policies and rules in every country; each of the Nordic countries has its own economic and social models, sometimes with large differences from its neighbors. While Sweden's neoliberal reforms have reduced the role of the public sector over the last decades, and saw the fastest growth in inequality of any OECD economy, Sweden's income inequality still remains lower than most other countries'.
"The Nordic Model - Embracing globalization and sharing risks" characterizes the system as follows: An elaborate social safety net in addition to public services such as free education and universal healthcare. Strong property rights, contract enforcement, and overall ease of doing business.
Public pension plans.
Low barriers to free trade. This is combined with collective risk sharing (social programs, labour market institutions) which has provided a form of protection against the risks associated with economic openness.
Little product market regulation.
Nordic countries rank very high in product market freedom according to OECD rankings. Low levels of corruption. In Transparency International's 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index all five Nordic countries were ranked among the 12 least corrupt of 176 evaluated countries, and Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway all ranked within top 5.
High percentage of workers belonging to a labour union.
In 2010, labour union density was 69.9% in Finland, 68.3% in Sweden, and 54.8% in Norway. In comparison, labour union density was 12.9% in Mexico and 11.3% in the United States. The lower union density in Norway is mainly explained by the absence of a Ghent system since 1938. In contrast, Denmark, Finland and Sweden all have union-run unemployment funds. A partnership between employers, trade unions and the government, whereby these social partners negotiate the terms to regulating the workplace among themselves, rather than the terms being imposed by law. Sweden has decentralised wage co-ordination, while Finland is ranked the least flexible. The changing economic conditions have given rise to fear among workers as well as resistance by trade unions in regards to reforms. At the same time, reforms and favourable economic development seem to have reduced unemployment, which has traditionally been higher. Denmark's Social Democrats managed to push through reforms in 1994 and 1996 (see flexicurity).
Sweden at 56.6% of GDP, Denmark at 51.7%, and Finland at 48.6% reflect very high public spending. One key reason for public spending is the large number of public employees. These employees work in various fields including education, healthcare, and for the government itself. They often have lifelong job security and make up around a third of the workforce (more than 38% in Denmark). Public spending in social transfers such as unemployment benefits and early-retirement programmes is high. In 2001, the wage-based unemployment benefits were around 90% of wage in Denmark and 80% in Sweden, compared to 75% in the Netherlands and 60% in Germany. The unemployed were also able to receive benefits several years before reductions, compared to quick benefit reduction in other countries.
Public expenditure for health and education is significantly higher in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway in comparison to the OECD average.
Overall tax burdens (as a percentage of GDP) are among the world's highest; Sweden (51.1%), Denmark (46% in 2011), and Finland (43.3%), compared to non-Nordic countries like Germany (34.7%), Canada (33.5%), and Ireland (30.5%).
The United Nations World Happiness Report 2013 shows that the happiest nations are concentrated in Northern Europe. The Nordics ranked highest on the metrics of real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, perceived freedom to make life choices, generosity and freedom from corruption.
The Nordic countries received the highest ranking for protecting workers rights on the International Trade Union Confederation's 2014 Global Rights Index, with Denmark being the only nation to receive a perfect score.
Nordic welfare model
The Nordic welfare model refers to the welfare policies of the Nordic countries, which also tie into their labor market policies.
While there are differences among different Nordic countries, they all share a broad commitment to social cohesion, a universal nature of welfare provision in order to safeguard individualism by providing protection for vulnerable individuals and groups in society, and maximizing public participation in social decision-making. It is characterized by flexibility and openness to innovation in the provision of welfare. The Nordic welfare systems are mainly funded through taxation. Despite the common values, the Nordic countries take different approaches to the practical administration of the welfare state. Denmark features a high degree of private sector provision of public services and welfare, alongside an assimilation immigration policy. Iceland's welfare model is based on a "welfare-to-work" (see: workfare) model, while part of Finland's welfare state includes the voluntary sector playing a significant role in providing care for the elderly. Norway relies most extensively on public provision of welfare.
The Nordic model has been successful at significantly ameliorating poverty. In 2011 poverty rates, before taking into account the effects of taxes and transfers, stood at 24.7% in Denmark, 31.9% in Finland, 21.6% in Iceland, 25.6% in Norway, and 26.5% in Sweden. After accounting for taxes and transfers the poverty rates for the same year became 6%, 7.5%, 5.7%, 7.7%, and 9.7% respectively, for an average reduction of 18.7 p.p. Compared to the US, which has a poverty level pre-tax of 28.3% and post-tax of 17.4% for a reduction of 10.9 p.p., the effects of tax and transfers on poverty in all the Nordic countries are substantially bigger. In comparison to France (27 p.p. reduction) and Germany (24.2 p.p. reduction), however, the taxes and transfers in the Nordic countries are smaller on average.
Jerry Mander has likened the Nordic model to a kind of "hybrid" economics which features a blend of capitalist and socialist visions. According to sociologist Lane Kenworthy, in the context of the Nordic model, "social democracy" refers to a set of policies intended to improve capitalism as opposed to a system to replace capitalism. Kenworthy advocates for the U.S. to make a gradual transition to an economic system similar to those of the Nordic countries. United States Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a self-described democratic socialist, has been a strong proponent of the Nordic system. Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has noted that there is higher social mobility in the Scandinavian countries than in the United States, and argues that Scandinavia is now the land of opportunity that the United States once was.
According to Naomi Klein, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev sought to move the USSR in a similar direction to the Nordic system, combining free markets with a social safety net — but still retaining public ownership of key sectors — ingredients that he believed would transform the USSR into "a socialist beacon for all mankind."
Common income inequality metrics
Among the most common metrics used to measure inequality are the Gini index (also known as Gini coefficient), the Theil index, and the Hoover index. They have all four properties described above.
An additional property of an inequality metric that may be desirable from an empirical point of view is that of 'decomposability'. This means that if a particular economy is broken down into sub-regions, and an inequality metric is computed for each sub region separately, then the measure of inequality for the economy as a whole should be a weighted average of the regional inequalities (in a weaker form, it means that it should be an explicit function of sub-regional inequalities, though not necessarily linear). Of the above indexes, only the Theil index has this property.
Because these income inequality metrics are summary statistics that seek to aggregate an entire distribution of incomes into a single index, the information on the measured inequality is reduced. This information reduction of course is the goal of computing inequality measures, as it reduces complexity.
A weaker reduction of complexity is achieved if income distributions are described by shares of total income. Rather than to indicate a single measure, the society under investigation is split into segments, such as into quintiles (or any other percentage of population). Usually each segment contains the same share of income earners. In case of an unequal income distribution, the shares of income available in each segment are different.
In many cases the inequality indices mentioned above are computed from such segment data without evaluating the inequalities within the segments. The higher the amount of segments (such as deciles instead of quintiles), the closer the measured inequality of distribution gets to the real inequality. (If the inequality within the segments is known, the total inequality can be determined by those inequality metrics which have the property of being "decomposable".) Quintile measures of inequality satisfy the transfer principle only in its weak form because any changes in income distribution outside the relevant quintiles are not picked up by this measures; only the distribution of income between the very rich and the very poor matters while inequality in the middle plays no role.
Details of the three inequality measures are described in the respective Wikipedia articles. The following subsections cover them only briefly.
Main article: Gini coefficient
The range of the Gini index is between 0 and 1 (0% and 100%), where 0 indicates perfect equality and 1 (100%) indicates maximum inequality.
The Gini index is the most frequently used inequality index. The reason for its popularity is that it is easy to understand how to compute the Gini index as a ratio of two areas inLorenz curve diagrams. As a disadvantage, the Gini index only maps a number to the properties of a diagram, but the diagram itself is not based on any model of a distribution process. The "meaning" of the Gini index only can be understood empirically. Additionally the Gini does not capture where in the distribution the inequality occurs. As a result, two very different distributions of income can have the same Gini index. 20:20 Ratio
The 20:20 or 20/20 ratio compares how much richer the top 20% of populations are to the bottom 20% of a given population, this can be more revealing of the actual impact of inequality in a population, as it reduces the effect on the statistics of outliers at the top and bottom and prevents the middle 60% statistically obscuring inequality that is otherwise obvious in the field. The measure is used for the United Nations Development Programme Human Development Indicators. The 20:20 ratio for example shows that Japan and Sweden have a low equality gap, where the richest 20% only earn 4 times the poorest 20%, whereas in the UK the ratio is 7 times and in the US 8 times. Some believe the 20:20 ratio is a more useful measure as it correlates well with measures of human development and social stability including the index of child well-being, index of health and social problems, population in prison, physical health, mental health and many others.
The Palma ratio is defined as the ratio of the richest 10% of the population's share of gross national income divided by the poorest 40%'s share. It is based on the work of Chilean economist Gabriel Palma who found that middle class incomes almost always represent about half of gross national income while the other half is split between the richest 10% and poorest 40%, but the share of those two groups varies considerably across countries.
The Palma ratio addresses the Gini index's over-sensitivity to changes in the middle of the distribution and insensitivity to changes at the top and bottom, and therefore more accurately reflects income inequality's economic impacts on society as a whole. Palma has suggested that distributional politics pertains mainly to the struggle between the rich and poor, and who the middle classes side with.
Main article: Hoover index
The Hoover index is the simplest of all inequality measures to calculate: It is the proportion of all income which would have to be redistributed to achieve a state of perfect equality.
In a perfectly equal world, no resources would need to be redistributed to achieve equal distribution: a Hoover index of 0. In a world in which all income was received by just one family, almost 100% of that income would need to be redistributed (i.e., taken and given to other families) in order to achieve equality. The Hoover index then ranges between 0 and 1 (0% and 100%), where 0 indicates perfect equality and 1 (100%) indicates maximum inequality.
Main article: Theil index
A Theil index of 0 indicates perfect equality. A Theil index of 1 indicates that the distributional entropy of the system under investigation is almost similar to a system with an 82:18 distribution. This is slightly more unequal than the inequality in a system to which the "80:20 Pareto principle" applies. The Theil index can be transformed into an Atkinson index, which has a range between 0 and 1 (0% and 100%), where 0 indicates perfect equality and 1 (100%) indicates maximum inequality.
The Theil index is an entropy measure. As for any resource distribution and with reference to information theory, "maximum entropy" occurs once income earners cannot be distinguished by their resources, i.e. when there is perfect equality. In real societies people can be distinguished by their different resources, with the resources being incomes. The more "distinguishable" they are, the lower is the "actual entropy" of a system consisting of income and income earners. Also based on information theory, the gap between these two entropies can be called "redundancy". It behaves like a negative entropy.
For the Theil index also the term "Theil entropy" had been used. This caused confusion. As an example, Amartya Sen commented on the Theil index, "given the association of doom with entropy in the context of thermodynamics, it may take a little time to get used to entropy as a good thing." It is important to understand that an increasing Theil index does not indicate an increasing entropy, instead it indicates an increasing redundancy (decreasing entropy).
High inequality yields high Theil redundancies. High redundancy means low entropy. But this does not necessarily imply that a very high inequality is "good", because very low entropies also can lead to explosive compensation processes. Neither does using the Theil index necessarily imply that a very low inequality (low redundancy, high entropy) is "good", because high entropy is associated with slow, weak and inefficient resource allocation processes.
There are three variants of the Theil index. When applied to income distributions, the first Theil index relates to systems within which incomes are stochastically distributed to income earners, whereas the second Theil index relates to systems within which income earners are stochastically distributed to incomes.
A third "symmetrized" Theil index is the arithmetic average of the two previous indices. Interestingly, the formula of the third Theil index has some similarity with the Hoover index (as explained in the related articles). As in case of the Hoover index, the symmetrized Theil index does not change when swapping the incomes with the income earners. How to generate that third Theil index by means of a spreadsheet computation directly from distribution data is shown below.
An important property of the Theil index which makes its application popular is its decomposability into the between-group and within-group component. For example, the Theil index of overall income inequality can be decomposed in the between-region and within region components of inequality, while the relative share attributable to the between-region component suggests the relative importance of spatial dimension of income inequality.
This is a list of countries or dependencies by income inequality metrics, including Gini coefficients. The Gini coefficient is a number between 0 and 1, where 0 corresponds with perfect equality (where everyone has the same income) and 1 corresponds with perfect inequality (where one person has all the income—and everyone else has zero income). Income distribution can vary greatly from wealth distribution in a country (see List of countries by distribution of wealth). Income from black market economic activity is not included and is the subject of current economic research.
UN and CIA Combined List - Income ratios and Gini (1995 - Present)
Click sorting buttons to sort alphabetically or numerically. Can sort in ascending or descending order. The row number column on the left sorts independently from the columns to the right of it.
R/P 10%: The ratio of the average income of the richest 10% to the poorest 10%
R/P 20%: The ratio of the average income of the richest 20% to the poorest 20%
Gini: Gini index, a quantified representation of a nation's Lorenz curve UN: Data from the United Nations Development Programme.
CIA: Data from the Central Intelligence Agency's The World Factbook.
Now, in that article, is the table that includes, in the other information, the following value for each country listed;
Data show the ratio of the income or expenditure share of the richest group to that of the poorest. Human Development Report 2007/2008, UNDP, accessed on February 3, 2008.
for the R/P 20%
The data published for the following countries, is
Australia – 7.0
Austria - 4.4
Belgium - 4.9
Canada - 5.5
Denmark - 4.3
Finland - 3.8
Germany - 4.3
Ireland – 5.6
Japan - 3.4
Netherlands – 5.1
Norway - 3.9
Sweden - 4.0
Switzerland – 5,5
and so, in terms of income inequality, using the 20:20 ratio, also referred to above, as the R/P 20% ratio, Australia has a high index of income inequality, showing income inequality to be more of a problem in Australia, than in some other countries.
A new economic system is needed; from the previously mentioned definitions, a social democratic, or, liberal socialist, system; one where it does not have the goal of replacing capitalism with a socialist economy, but supports a mixed economy that includes both public and private property in capital goods, whilst rewarding workers for their efforts, and, minimising income inequality.
This should necessarily, incorporate such components as a flat income tax rate, with a regularly indexed tax-free income threshold, and, with an index that is the median income for all residents at least 18 years old, upon which, pay rates, such as the base pay rate for ordinary members of parliament, and, social welfare payments, are based or related, and, upon which, general wage orders to cover cost of living increases, are based.
is a document that shows, in terms of spending on education, in the top 25 countries in a list, 16 spent a higher proportion of their GDP on education, and, 8 spent a higher proportion of their total government expenditure, on education.
Australia is shown as having spent 4.7% of GDP, or, 13.3% of total government expenditure, on education.
In a country that has problems with literacy and numeracy, the public spending on education, should be increased, for those two proportions.
16% of total government expenditure, to be spent on education, appears reasonable, and should assist in the development of the country and its citizens.
was,at the time of adding this citation (22 February, 2016);
In political science, an initiative (also known as a popular or citizens' initiative) is a means by which a petition signed by a certain minimum number of registered voters can force a public vote (plebiscite).
The initiative may take the form of a indirect initiative or an direct initiative. In a direct initiative, a measure is put directly to a vote after being submitted by a petition. In an indirect initiative, a measure is first referred to the legislature, and then put to a popular vote only if not enacted by the legislature.
The vote may be on a proposed statute, constitutional amendment, charter amendment or local ordinance, or to simply oblige the executive or legislature to consider the subject by submitting it to the order of the day. It is a form of direct democracy.
In New Zealand a vote initiated by the public is called a citizen initiated referendum.
The United States has no initiative process at the national level, but the initiative is in use at the level of state government in 24 states and the District of Columbia, and is also in common use at the local government level.
The modern U.S. system of initiative and referendum originated in the state of South Dakota. South Dakota adopted initiative and referendum in 1898 by a vote of 23,816 to 16,483. Oregon was the second state to adopt and did so in 1902, when the state's legislators adopted it by an overwhelming majority. The "Oregon System", as it was at first known, subsequently spread to many other states, and became one of the signature reforms of the Progressive Era (1890s-1920s).
was,at the time of adding this citation (22 February, 2016);
In the politics of the United States, the process of initiatives and referendums allow citizens of many U.S. states to place new legislation on a popular ballot, or to place legislation that has recently been passed by a legislature on a ballot for a popular vote. Initiatives and referendums, along with recall elections and popular primary elections, are signature reforms of the Progressive Era; and they are written into several state constitutions, particularly in the West.
The Progressive Era was a period marked by reforms aimed at breaking the concentrated, some would say monopoly, power of certain corporations and trusts. Many Progressives believed that state legislatures were part of this problem and that they were essentially "in the pocket" of certain wealthy interests. They sought a method to counter this—a way in which average persons could become directly involved in the political process. One of the methods they came up with was the initiative and referendum. Between 1904 and 2007, some 2231 statewide referendums initiated by citizens were held in the USA. 909 of these initiatives have been approved. Perhaps even greater is the number of such referendums that have been called by state legislatures or mandatory—600 compared to 311 civic initiatives in 2000-2007.
Initiatives and referendums—collectively known as "ballot measures," "propositions," or simply "questions"—differ from most legislation passed by representative democracies; ordinarily, an elected legislative body develops and passes laws. Initiatives and referendums, by contrast, allow citizens to vote directly on legislation.
In many U.S. states, ballot measures may originate by several different processes: Overall, 27 US states and Washington D.C. allow some form of direct democracy.
An Initiative is a means through which any citizen or organization may gather a predetermined number of signatures to qualify a measure to be placed on a ballot, and to be voted upon in a future election. (These may be further divided into constitutional amendments and statutory initiatives. Statutory initiatives typically require fewer signatures to qualify to be placed on a future ballot.)
An initiated constitutional amendment is an amendment to a state's constitution that results from petitioning by a state's citizens. By utilizing this initiative process, citizens can propose and vote on constitutional amendments directly, without need of legislative referral. When a sufficient number of citizens have signed a petition requesting it, a proposed constitutional amendment is then put to the vote.
In the United States, while no court or legislature needs to approve a proposal or the resultant initiated constitutional amendment, such amendments may be overturned if they are challenged and a court confirms that they are unconstitutional.
Popular Referendum, in which a predetermined number of signatures (typically lower than the number required for an initiative) qualifies a ballot measure for repealing a specific act of the legislature.
The initiative and referendums process have critics. Some argue that initiatives and referendums undermine representative government by circumventing the elected representatives of the people and allowing the people to directly make policy
(I suppose it becomes thence, a question of whether government is supposed to be FOR the people, or, whether the people are supposed to be slaves to the legislatures)
The national initiative is a proposal to amend the United States Constitution to allow ballot initiatives at the federal level.
(Added 24 February 2016)
Regarding Citizen Initiated Referenda in new Zealand, as mentioned above, on the New Zealand Electoral Commission web site, Referenda web page, at http://www.elections.org.nz/voting-system/referenda was, at the time of adding this part (24 February 2016),
What is a Citizens' Initiated Referendum (CIR)?
A citizens' initiated referendum is a referendum promoted under the Citizens Initiated Referenda Act 1993. A referendum question must have only two possible answers.
A referendum is required if 10% of enrolled electors sign a petition calling for a referendum. The form of the petition must be approved by the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the signatures must be collected within 12 months of the Clerk’s approval.
Details of current petitions can be found at the Parliament website here (http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/AboutParl/GetInvolved/Referendum/ ).
There is a $50,000 spending limit on advertising promoting or opposing a petition.
There is a $50,000 spending limit on advertising promoting or opposing either of the answers in a referendum.
Advertising relating to a petition or referendum must include an authorisation statement setting out the name and address of the person at whose direction it is published.
For more details see the Ministry of Justice publication, Citizens Initiated Referenda, the Citizens Initiated Referenda Act 1993, and the Referenda (Postal Voting) Act 2000.
(From here down, unless otherwise indicated, the material is part of the web page as published on 22 February 2016)
was,at the time of adding this citation (22 February, 2016);
A recall election (also called a recall referendum or representative recall) is a procedure by which voters can remove an elected official from office through a direct vote before his or her term has ended. Recalls, which are initiated when sufficient voters sign a petition, have a history dating back to the ancient Athenian democracy and are a feature of several contemporary constitutions.
While recalls are not provided for at the federal level in Switzerland, six cantons allow them: Bern: Recall of the executive and legislative is possible since 1846. 30,000 signatures (4% of all adult citizens) are required to trigger a recall referendum. There has been one unsuccessful attempt to recall the executive in 1852 ('Schatzgelder' affair).
Schaffhausen: Recall of the executive and legislative is possible since 1876. 1,000 signatures (2% of all adult citizens) are required to trigger a recall referendum. There has been one unsuccessful attempt to recall the executive in 2000 triggered by the lawyer and cantonal MP Gerold Meier.
Solothurn: Recall of the executive and legislative is possible since 1869. 6,000 signatures (3% of all adult citizens) are required to trigger a recall referendum. There has been one unsuccessful attempt to recall the executive and legislative in 1995 (related to a banking scandal). Three further attempts failed to collect the necessary number of signatures (1887, 1961, 1973).
Ticino: Recall of the executive is possible since 1892. 15,000 signatures (7% of all adult citizens) are required to trigger a recall referendum. There has been one unsuccessful recall attempt in 1942. In addition, recall of municipal executives is possible since 2011. Signatures of 30% of all adult citizens are required to trigger a recall referendum. Thurgau: Recall of the executive and legislative is possible since 1869. 20,000 signatures (13% of all adult citizens) are required to trigger a recall referendum. There have been no recall attempts.
Uri: Recall of the executive and legislative is possible since 1888. Since 1979 600 signatures (3% of all adult citizens) are required to trigger a recall referendum. In addition, recall of municipal executives and legislatives is possible since 2011. Signatures of 10% of registered voters are required to trigger a recall referendum. There have been no recall attempts either at the cantonal or municipal levels.
The possibility of recall referendums (together with the popular election of executives, the initiative and the legislative referendum) was introduced into several cantonal constitutions after the 1860s in the course of a broad movement for democratic reform. The instrument has never been of any practical importance – the few attempts at recall so far have failed, usually because the required number of signatures was not collected – and it was abolished in the course of constitutional revisions in Aargau (1980), Baselland (1984) and Lucerne (2007). The only successful recall so far happened in the Canton of Aargau in the year 1862. But the possibility of recalling municipal executives was newly introduced in Ticino in 2011, with 59% of voters in favor, as a reaction to the perceived problem of squabbling and dysfunctional municipal governments.
Article 72 of the Constitution of Venezuela enables the recall of any elected representative, including the President. This provision was used in the Venezuelan recall referendum, 2004, which attempted to remove President Hugo Chavez:
Article 72: All [...] offices filled by popular vote are subject to revocation.
Once one-half of the term of office to which an official has been elected has elapsed, a number of voters representing at least 20% of the registered voters in the affected constituency may petition for the calling of a referendum to revoke that official's mandate.
When a number of voters equal to or greater than the number of those who elected the official vote in favour of the recall, provided that a number of voters equal to or greater than 25% of the total number of registered voters vote in the recall referendum, the official's mandate shall be deemed revoked and immediate action shall be taken to fill the permanent vacancy as provided for by this Constitution and by law.
And, in relation to the Recall Of MP's Act 2015 (UK), at
, a news report published 20 October 2014, was, as at the time of inserting this item (22 February 2016), referring to the UK House Of Commons;
Zac Goldsmith, the Tory MP for Richmond Park, and Douglas Carswell, the Ukip MP for Clacton, have been pushing for the electorate to decide whether an MP should be "recalled" in the event of serious wrongdoing. Goldsmith would like 5% of voters to serve notice on an MP demanding recall, and then the signatures of 20% of voters would subsequently be required to trigger a byelection.
This particular item does not refer to the systemic sexual abuse of children that is apparently endemic in Australia, or, to the religious indoctrination of schoolchildren by the federal parliament through its proselytizing in schools program, but, instead, to a more basic problem.
In the citation of the excerpt from the publication "Progress Without Poverty and Conflict" by Ted Roach, upon which publication, the Social Democratic Party of Australia, was based, in the 1980s, in the Policies part, is
8. School children
A nutritious meal should be provided for all children at school. An immediate priority should be given to those schools presently classified as 'disadvantaged'. "
was, at the time of adding this item, 26 February 2016;
One in five Australian children go to school or bed hungry sometimes: study
Updated February 25, 2016 12:16:49
An average of one child in every classroom goes to school or bed hungry nearly every day, while one in five say this happens sometimes, a study of Australian children shows.
The survey of more than 5,400 children in schools across Australia also showed one in 10 children missed school at least once a week and one in six said they had been bullied.
So, it seems that, 30 years after Ted Roach's publication, and the Social Democratic Party of Australia, conditions for children, have not improved, and, due to the actions of the trade unions and the federal parliament, parents are still, or, moreso, unable to afford to feed their children.
This clearly shows that Australia is a country of poverty, that needs intervention, as do other countries of poverty, such as the countries of Africa, where children are also starving.
In Australia, no excuse for the federal parliament and the trade unions, making children live in poverty, is acceptable.
Urgent intervention is clearly needed, including, as proposed by Ted Roach, ensuring that all children are provided with meals, at all schools, as it is clear that, in Australia, parents can not afford to feed their children, so, the federal government must intervene, especially as the federal parliament and the trade unions, are directly responsible for this, and, the federal parliament should provide food for all of the children, to ensure that no child goes hungry.
This is a clear indication, that Australia is a country of poverty, where going without food, and, truancy, and, bullying, are simply the Australian way of life, where living conditions are so bad, and, where the federal parliament and the trade unions, have ensured that poverty and children going hungry, and, being abused, are the Australian way of life.
as viewed at the time of writing this part; 28 February 2016, was the following;
Pursuant to section 42 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, the terms of service of the following senators representing the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory expire at the close of the day immediately before the polling day for the next general election of members of the House of Representatives.
as viewed at the time of writing this part; 28 February 2016, was the following;
Thus section 7 of the Australian Constitution reads in part:
The Senate shall be composed of senators for each State, directly chosen by the people of the State, voting, until the Parliament otherwise provides, as one electorate....
Until the Parliament otherwise provides there shall be six senators for each Original State. The Parliament may make laws increasing or diminishing the number of senators for each State, but so that equal representation of the several Original States shall be maintained and that no Original State shall have less than six senators.
Today there are twelve senators from each of the six states, and, since 1975, two from each of the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory, making in all 76 senators.
Prior to 1948 the ‘first past the post’ and the group preference systems used for electing senators meant that all Senate seats in any state could be won by candidates of the same party. The Commonwealth Electoral Act of 1948 provided for the adoption of a system of vote-counting known as proportional representation.
Proportional representation is a somewhat complicated electoral system, which ensures that political parties gain representation in proportion to their share of the vote. The result has been that the membership of the Senate is now a truer reflection of the voters’ support of the different political parties.
In introducing the legislation in 1948 the Attorney-General of the time, Dr H.V. Evatt, said that ‘the fairest system and the one most likely to enhance the status of the Senate is that of proportional representation.’ (Commonwealth Parliamentary Debates, 16 April 1948, p. 965).
In order to strengthen the Senate as a reviewing house, the Constitution provides that the Senate should have a continuing, but rotating, membership. Senators are elected for six-year terms, half of them being elected every three years. To allow for this, the first Senate was divided into long and short term senators, and a similar division takes place when a completely new Senate is elected after a double dissolution. This system of rotation does not apply to the four senators from the two territories, who serve the same term of office as that of the members of the House of Representatives, normally three years. The six-year term for senators was adapted from the Constitution of the United States of America, and was intended to provide senators with a greater degree of independence from electoral pressures than is possible for members of the House of Representatives, who have to go to the polls every three years.
With the exception of an election of the whole Senate following a simultaneous dissolution of both Houses, state senators retire in rotation, half on 30 June each third year. Newly elected senators begin their six-year term on l July. Half-Senate elections must be held within one year before the places of the retiring senators become vacant. Usually half-Senate elections are held concurrently with elections for members of the House of Representatives.
Section 15 of the Constitution, as it was amended in 1977, provides that when a casual vacancy occurs in the Senate, through resignation or death of a senator, a new appointment is made by the Parliament of the state which that senator represented, or, in the cases of the territories, by their legislative assemblies. The 1977 amendment, however, provided for the inclusion of a condition, which had prior to that date been a convention only, that the vacant place should always be filled by a member of the same political party or group as the vacating senator. The new senator then holds the position for the remainder of the term of the senator replaced. This provision is designed to preserve between elections the proportional representation of political parties as determined by the electors.
Section 122 of the Constitution allows the Parliament to legislate for the representation of territories in either House. The Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory acquired Senate representation following the passage of the Senate (Representation of Territories) Act in 1974. The first senators for the territories were elected in December 1975. Each territory is represented by two senators, but unlike the 72 senators representing the six states, these senators hold office for the same term as that of the members of the House of Representatives, that is, for three years, or less, depending on the duration of the House.
(the part of the Australian federal constitution, that deals with the Senate) as viewed at the time of writing this part; 28 February 2016, was the following;
7. The Senate shall be composed of senators for each State, directly chosen by the people of the State, voting, until the Parliament otherwise provides, as one electorate.
But until the Parliament of the Commonwealth otherwise provides, the Parliament of the State of Queensland, if that State be an Original State, may make laws dividing the State into divisions and determining the number of senators to be chosen for each division, and in the absence of such provision the State shall be one electorate.
Until the Parliament otherwise provides there shall be six senators for each Original State. The Parliament may make laws increasing or diminishing the number of senators for each State, but so that equal representation of the several Original States shall be maintained and that no Original State shall have less than six senators. The senators shall be chosen for a term of six years, and the names of the senators chosen for each State shall be certified by the Governor to the Governor-General.
15. If the place of a senator becomes vacant before the expiration of his term of service, the Houses of Parliament of the State for which he was chosen, sitting and voting together, or, if there is only one House of that Parliament, that House, shall choose a person to hold the place until the expiration of the term. But if the Parliament of the State is not in session when the vacancy is notified, the Governor of the State, with the advice of the Executive Council thereof, may appoint a person to hold the place until the expiration of fourteen days from the beginning of the next session of the Parliament of the State or the expiration of the term, whichever first happens.
Where a vacancy has at any time occurred in the place of a senator chosen by the people of a State and, at the time when he was so chosen, he was publicly recognised by a particular political party as being an endorsed candidate, a person chosen or appointed under this section in consequence of that vacancy, or in consequence of that vacancy and a subsequent vacancy or vacancies, shall, unless there is no member of that party available to be chosen or appointed, be a member of that party.
as viewed at the time of writing this part; 28 February 2016, is shown that
Ricky Muir of Victoria was declared elected to the Senate, in the 2013 half-senate election, having won only 0.5% of the first preference votes for that state, and that many other candidates, who got many more first preference votes than him, were not declared elected.
Now, this material shows a number of irregularities involving the Senate of Australia.
1. The territories of the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory, are victims of discrimination by the parliament, in that their Senators are treated with contempt by the parliament, having terms of office that are only half the duration of the other members of the Senate. That also appears to be in contravention of Section 7 of the Australian federal constitution, which states "The senators shall be chosen for a term of six years", and, given that that section 7, is part of Part 2 of Chapter 1 of the Constitution, which deals with the whole of the senate, and, is not limited by excluding the territories, the duration of the terms of office for all senators, regardless of their state or territory, should be the same, as specified in the quoted text from section 7 of the constitution (although, I believe that the term of office, should be the same, for all members of the parliament, being as, for the lower house at present, a term of three years).
2. Queensland, and, only Queensland, of the states, has the discretion to divide its state into Senate Divisions; "the Parliament of the State of Queensland, if that State be an Original State, may make laws dividing the State into divisions and determining the number of senators to be chosen for each division, and in the absence of such provision the State shall be one electorate". No other state of the federation of Australian states, has that discretion.
3. Members of the Senate, do not need to be elected; where a casual vacancy arises, instead of properly calling a by-election, the applicable state government may appoint a person to fill the casual vacancy regardless of whether the people of the electorate, want that person as their senate "representative".
4. Where members of the senate, are "elected", they are not democratically elected, with candidates who can be declared elected having got the least counted first preference votes for the electorate, with many other candidates, having got each, many more votes, than the person declared elected, and, the candidates who got the more votes, not being declared elected.
5. Thus, the states and territories, suffer discrimination regarding the status of their members of the senate, with the senators for the territories,m being penalised by the parliament, for being members for those territories, and, different states have different rules as to whether their senators are for electorates within the state, or, for the whole of the state, as a single electorate, and the members of the senate, have different durations of terms of office, according to what state or territory, they (are supposed to) represent, and, the selection of members of the senate, is rigged, with candidates not needing to face an election, being able to bypass elections, and, the candidates who do face elections, can get declared elected, without having won more votes than people who are not declared elected.
6. It should be noted, that, prior to the corruption of the elections of the senate in 1948, first past the post voting, applied to the election of members of the senate, and then, corruption of the elections of the senate, was imposed, through the rigging of elections.
7. First past the post voting in elections for the senate, has previously operated, for the first four decades after federation, in Australia, so there is no justifiable reason (other than the continuation of corrupt elections), to not restore election for the senate, to being again by first past the post voting.
8. So, the senate can justifiably be regarded as a corrupt organisation, needing to be abolished or replaced, or, at least, subject to all members being required to be selected by elections involving only first past the post voting.
at the time of writing this component (05 March 2016), was the following;
Tens of thousands of Queensland students have undiagnosed hearing problems experts say
By Simon Cullen
Posted March 03, 2016 22:35:48
It is estimated that tens of thousands of Queensland students are suffering from undiagnosed hearing problems, experts say.
Hearing advocates believe a new testing scheme is needed in schools and the Queensland Government is backing the plan.
The Lewis family understand how it feels to live with hearing loss.
Jamie-Lee was diagnosed as deaf four days after her first birthday.
"I lost a year, which made a huge difference," Jamie Lee said.
"But a lot of kids I've seen these days didn't get hearing tests till they were 10 or later."
CEO of Hear and Say, Chris McCarthy, said Jamie-Lee was able to make-up for the lost years but thousands of other students are going undiagnosed.
"Many children in the classrooms are missing out, because they can't hear their teachers properly," Mr McCarthy said.
The Hear and Say centre last year ran a pilot program, testing more than 1600 children as they started school.
Students with hearing problems 'can't learn'
The results showed almost a quarter of students had hearing issues, mostly relating to middle ear infections.
The pilot program also found that three children were suffering permanent hearing loss, two had foreign objects stuck in their ears and one student had perforated ear drums.
Mr McCarthy said expanding the program could significantly improve education outcomes for students.
"This is an incredible result because if students can't hear, they can't learn," he said.
"As much as I'd like to say love pays the bills, it doesn't.
"So funding is a significant issue for us."
Queensland's Education Minister, Kate Jones said she's discussed possible funding with the Treasurer.
"The Queensland Government will be looking at ways we can further partner with Hear and Say to provide opportunities for students to get hearing testing," Ms Jones said.
"We need to make this easy for schools and easy for parents, so as many students can be involved in the hearing tests as possible."
Mr McCarthy said every prep student in Queensland should have their hearing tested.
"Having a standardised hearing screening program that we can potentially roll out over Queensland means that all these kids will start their academic journey with the best opportunity to reach their full potential," he said.
Hear and Say plans to test more than 8,000 students this year, but its eventual goal is for all students to get hearing checks.
So, it appears that, using Queensland school students as an example, a significant proportion of the population, appear to have hearing impairment.
at the time of writing this component (05 March 2016), was;
Local children struggling to hear
Posted March 11, 2013 08:44:08
A community health group says 20 per cent of Upper Hunter primary school children being screened for hearing problems are found to have some level of hearing loss.
Upper Hunter Community Health is conducting clinics at primary schools in Muswellbrook, testing students who have been identified by teachers as having difficulty with hearing.
The program has been given a boost, with Mount Arthur Coal donating more than $70,000 toward purchasing new audiometry equipment.
Upper Hunter Community Health Nursing Unit Manager Annie Inder says more children seem to be suffering hearing problems than expected.
"30 per cent of the children screened have a problem with their inner ear and of that 30 per cent, 20 per cent have some level of hearing loss," she said.
"Children who have had some chronic ear infections through the early years of their life, sometimes children that have been born prematurely are more prone to some hearing difficulties."
The health group says it is important hearing problems in children are identified early, so it does not impact their learning.
Mrs Inder says the program has been successful so far.
"We're starting off with the youngest ones first, so they have the best opportunity of maximising their learning in the early years," she said.
"But we are also keen to get the other children who are in primary school before they move on to secondary."
Which shows that the problem of hearing impairment in children, is widespread.
at the time of writing this component (05 March 2016), was;
Hearing experts warn against privatisation of Australian Hearing in already-pricey, 'cowboy' industry
7.30 By Elysse Morgan
Posted October 06, 2015 19:08:58
Audiologists are warning against the privatisation of Australian Hearing, saying people suffering hearing loss will end up paying the price in an industry already rife with predatory pricing and kick-backs.
"It's a cowboy industry that needs to be reined in, and I think the potential harm for people, whether it's physical or financial, could be substantial and it needs to stop," Dr Bill Vass told 7.30.
Dr Vass is a doctor of audiology and he is worried no formal qualifications are needed in the industry.
"In the private sector the regulation is completely absent," he said.
"Anyone can provide hearing aids or pretend to provide the services to hearing-impaired people."
As well as probably being unqualified, the person testing hearing at a private clinic may also be earning commission for whatever product they sell.
The major hearing aid manufacturers own hundreds of clinics throughout Australia.
They use advertising campaigns and free hearing tests to attract potential clients.
Concerned his hearing was deteriorating, retiree Marcel Jones thought he would take advantage of a free hearing test.
"The test went for about 15 or 20 minutes and at the end of the test I was told, 'you are definitely a candidate for hearing aids'," Mr Jones said.
Mr Jones was not aware the clinic was owned by a hearing aid manufacturer and did not think to check the staff's qualifications.
"She only told me that they [hearing aids] range from $2,000 to $10,000 and I couldn't do with anything under the $10,000 for my problem," he said.
"She was really a trained salesperson and ... I couldn't say no. That was the position."
Staff pressured to sell hearing aids for commission
Audiologist Louise Collingridge has seen it from the other side, where there are high sales targets but big commissions on offer for those selling the hearing aids.
"[I] have worked in a clinic where there was an expectation of a certain amount of turnover every month," she told 7.30.
"In spite of being a very experienced audiologist at the time, I worked in that clinic and in spite of valuing codes of ethics and considering myself to make clinical judgements, I found it very difficult to put that out of my mind for the reason that we are in the workplace to please our management."
Such is the concern about the industry, consumer watchdog the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), recently launched an investigation into audiology clinics.
Competing with the private clinics in this $12 billion industry is Federal Government agency Australian Hearing.
It subsidises the expensive technology and qualified staff needed for children and pensioners.
One of the recommendations in the National Commission of Audit, set up by former treasurer Joe Hockey a month after taking office, was to privatise Australian Hearing, opening up all parts of the agency to competition.
Alex Jones, who is profoundly deaf, said the sale was a terrifying prospect and he was concerned about how it could affect his profoundly deaf son, Tobian.
"It's vital for deaf children all around Australia," he told 7.30.
"To privatise Australian Hearing, that will lead to risk, risk where children aren't well looked after.
"Why would the Australian Government privatise something that's working?"
Not-for-profit group Better Hearing Australia said the problems in the industry go deeper than just rip-offs.
"The biggest danger in the industry from a lack of regulation is that we are focused on delivering hearing aids to people and hearing aids alone won't solve someone's loss of hearing," Better Hearing Australia national president Sara Duncan said.
She said she believed there needed to be greater support for people after they receive the right hearing aid.
"I find it really confusing — we wouldn't give them a prosthetic arm and then say, 'your problem is solved', we'd give them rehabilitation, we'd give them other help," she said.
was, at the time of writing this component (05 March 2016), was;
Deaf people missing out on cinematic experience due to 'appalling' captioning service
Lateline By Jason Om
Updated June 03, 2015 11:52:20
Deaf movie lovers say they avoid going to the cinema because the captioning service in Australia is so poor.
For people who rely on the visual world, it is hard to even enjoy a movie because captioning is not available for all films.
Open captioning, which displays words on the big screen, is limited mainly to large group bookings.
The prevailing captioning system is CaptiView, a small screen attached to a pole and inserted into the cup holder.
It was introduced in 2010 after a push by the big four cinema chains, Hoyts, Village, Event and Reading.
The introduction of CaptiView was designed to increase accessibility for deaf people, but the chief executive of Deaf Australia, Kyle Miers, said most deaf Australians did not like the device.
"CaptiView technology comes with a lot of issues that affect the ability of deaf and hard of hearing people to attend the cinema," he said.
CaptiView user Josh Sealy said there were often faults with the system and staff were undertrained.
"I don't go to a lot of movies as much as I want to," he said.
"I love watching movies but the access to captions in Australia is appalling."
Marcia Girke-Boyle, who is also deaf, agreed.
"When I see a movie in the newspaper I think, 'oh that's exciting, I want to see that', then I see there are no captions. It's so disappointing," she said.
"The deaf community really feels like not going to the movies when captions are not available."
Some deaf viewers said they had suffered eye strain and headaches from having to look up and down between the device and the screen.
Phillip Debs said the number of devices at the cinema was also limited, meaning he could not go to the movies with a big group of friends.
He labelled the device "CraptiView" because of the many problems he had experienced.
"It gets very tiring. The field of vision is awful and I just don't like it," he said.
He said he would rather download movies with captions at home than go to the cinema.
The author notes that observations show that, across the various free to air television networks broadcasts in Western Australia, the majority of broadcast television programs (and, advertisements, thus showing that the advertisers do not want the public to take any notice of their advertisements), especially in the evening period 6pm to midnight, do not include captioning, so as to disadvantage people with hearing impairments, and, thence, to discourage the public from watching television, as it is simply too much trouble, when the hearing impaired are deliberately prevented from knowing what is happening in the broadcast television programs.
And, the author notes and emphasises that the author contacted, direct, the producers of a USA television series about a deaf FBI agent, and expressed concern about the series being broadcast without captioning, and, was advised by the company that produced the series, that they deliberately included captioning, and then the author sent a formal complaint to the particular Australian television network, about the mistreatment by the network, of disabled people, in the network not including in the broadcasting of the television series, the captions provided by the production company, and, the formal complaint was ignored by the television network, one of the major Australian television networks, showing the absolute contempt of the free to air television industry in Australia, for disabled people. The author, therefore, stopped watching the particular television series, as the broadcasting television network had made it clear that it wanted for the television series, to be not watched. Similarly, the author now tends to avoid watching broadcast television programs that do not include captioning, as they clearly, are intended to be not watched.
So, legislation needs to be implemented, to force television broadcasting stations and networks, in Australia, to include accurate captioning of all material broadcast, with significant penalties for breaches.
And, publicly funded, regular testing of sight and hearing, needs to be made available for all people with permanent resident or citizenship status, and, should probably be included in publicly funded annual full medical checks that should be made available for all people with permanent resident or citizenship status.
as viewed on 06 May 2016, was
Airport queue fast-track: Fee proposal for passengers' priority Customs checks backed by tourism industry Posted May 05, 2016 16:06:05
A proposal to allow airline passengers to pay a fee to pass through Australia's Immigration and Customs queues more quickly has been backed by the tourism industry.
The plan for a paid, fast-tracked airport processing scheme was included in the federal budget earlier this week.
Tourism and Transport Forum chief executive Margy Osmond said it should not be viewed as the wealthy jumping the queue.
"It's no different to an aeroplane having economy, business and first class," Ms Osmond told 774 ABC Melbourne.
"What we have to do is look around at our competitors in the region and elsewhere and understand that some of our most important growth markets, for example China, there is a portion that would like to be able to access premium processing."
Ms Osmond said similar schemes were in place in other airports around the world, including Heathrow and Singapore.
"The reason that I think it's become a line item in the budget is to make it possible, you've got to be able to resource it with additional Customs officers."
Scheme wouldn't affect processing time, Government says
A spokeswoman for Immigration Minister Peter Dutton's office said the scheme would not affect existing processes and it was up to airports to take it up.
She said those who paid for the service would still go through the same security screening process as other travellers.
"There will be negotiations on a case-by-case basis for these arrangements to occur and all capital costs are expected to be borne by airport operators," she said.
"There will be no impact on the travelling public, existing airport arrangements or facilities."
A proposed fee for the scheme has not been released.
Several people the ABC spoke to at Melbourne Airport said they would not pay for such a service.
So, both the government and the Australian tourism industry, believe that the rich should be further separated from the working class, in Australia, so that the rich should be given extra privilege, due to their ill-gotten wealth, enhanced by the widespread tax evasion of the rich in Australia, and, so that the rich are kept even more separate from the public.
It would further remind Australia and the rest of the world, that, in Australia, three classes exist; the Ruling Class, the Rich Class, and, the Working Class. And, in Australian law, only the rich and powerful, can become members of the Ruling Class.
It sounds like the conditions leading up to the French Revolution, are increasingly being applied in Australia.
At the federal level, for the federal parliament, the nomination procedure for candidates, is described at
http://aec.gov.au/Elections/candidates/overview.htm#nomination as viewed at 12 June 2016;
Candidates may not lodge nominations until after the writ for the election has been issued. The date fixed for the close of nominations must be at least 10 days, but not more than 27 days after the issue of the writ.
Nominations must be made before 12 noon on the day nominations close. Nominations will be declared 24 hours after close of nominations.
Nominations for the Senate are made to the Australian Electoral Officer (AEO) for the State or Territory.
House of Representatives
Nominations for the House of Representatives are made to the Divisional Returning Officer for the division where the election is to be held. This also applies to by-elections.
For a general election the registered officer of a political party may make a 'bulk nomination' of all endorsed House of Representatives candidates within a particular State or Territory. This allows all of a party's candidates to be nominated in one action. Nominations in this form must be made to the AEO for the appropriate State and must be received 48 hours before the hour of nomination (see subsection 175(1) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918). Bulk nominations cannot be made for a by-election and all nominations must be lodged at the office of the Returning Officer.
Nomination forms are available from the AEC and must contain the following information:
full name, place of residence, occupation and contact number;
for endorsed candidates – verification of their endorsement by the registered officer of the party, and an indication of whether the party's full name or abbreviation is to be printed adjacent to the candidate's name and whether the party's registered logo is to be included on the ballot paper;
for unendorsed candidates – nomination by 100 electors of the relevant division, and an indication whether the word 'Independent' is to be printed adjacent to the candidate's name; and
a declaration by the candidate that they are:
constitutionally and legally qualified to be elected;
have not nominated for another election to be held on the same day; and are prepared to act if elected.
Senate candidates must pay a $2000 deposit with their nomination
House of Representatives candidates must pay a $1000 deposit with their nomination
Each nomination for the Senate and the House of Representatives must be accompanied by a deposit paid by legal tender (cash) or a cheque drawn by a bank or other financial institution on itself. Cheques should be made out to the Australian Electoral Commission. Personal cheques cannot be accepted.
These deposits are returned if a candidate is elected, or gains more than 4% of the total first preference votes, or if the candidate is in a group of Senate candidates which polls at least 4% of the total first preference votes.
This shows that Australian federal elections are designed to shut out the common people, and, are to impose government by the rich and powerful, for the rich and powerful.
Any person who is eligible to vote, and who is required to vote in the elections, should be able to nominate themselves as a candidate, without having to get 100 people to endorse their nomination, and, the nomination deposit that a candidate is required to pay, in order to nominate as a candidate in a parliamentary election, should be no more than two hours pay, for the median adult wage. These two changes, would help parliamentary elections become more democratic, and, would guide the Australian federal parliament more to the USA ideal of "government of the people, by the people, for the people", instead of the "government by the rich and powerful, for the rich and powerful", as exists in the Australian federal parliament.
From http://www.armadale-wa.net/politics/AustConstSec44.html , with that web page last updated 21 April; 2010;
Section 44 of The Australian Constitution, states:
Section 44 -
"44. Any person who -
(i.) Is under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power: or
(ii.) Is attainted of treason, or has been convicted and is under sentence, or subject to be sentenced, for any offence punishable under the law of the Commonwealth or of a State by imprisonment for one year or longer: or
(iii.) Is an undischarged bankrupt or insolvent: or
(iv.) Holds any office of profit under the Crown, or any pension payable during the pleasure of the Crown out of any of the revenues of the Commonwealth: or
(v.) Has any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any agreement with the Public Service of the Commonwealth otherwise than as a member and in common with the other members of an incorporated company consisting of more than twenty-five persons:
shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives. "
Thus, Section 44(i) of the Australian Constitution Act, excludes people holding dual citizenship, from being elected to the federal parliament.
Is that an electoral fraud - forcing people to vote, in elections in which we are ineligible to nominate?
It is certainly, anti-democratic, as there is no way that we are represented in the federal parliament, for which we are forbidden from nominating.
Think about it...
As stated in the New Zealand Electoral Act 1993, as shown at http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1993/0087/latest/DLM307519.html?search=ts_act_electoral_resel&sr=1 ;
"47 Registered electors may be members, unless disqualified
(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, every person who is registered as an elector of an electoral district, but no other person, is qualified to be a candidate and to be elected a member of Parliament, whether for that electoral district, any other electoral district or as a consequence of the inclusion of that person’s name in a party list submitted pursuant to section 127.
(2) Notwithstanding anything in subsection (1), if a person is disqualified for registration as an elector, that person shall not be qualified to be a candidate or to be elected.
(3) Regardless of anything in subsection (1), a person is not qualified to be a candidate or to be elected unless he or she is a New Zealand citizen.
Compare: 1956 No 107 s 25; 1981 No 120 s 9(1)
Section 47(3): substituted, on 1 February 2003, by section 8(1) of the Electoral Amendment Act 2002 (2002 No 1)."
Despite section 55(1)(b) and (c), the seat of a member of Parliament does not become vacant by reason only of the member—
(a) becoming a subject or citizen of any foreign State or Power, or entitled to the rights, privileges, or immunities of a subject or citizen of any foreign State or Power, by reason only of the member’s—
(i) country or place of birth; or
(ii) descent; or
(b) renewing a passport or travel document that was issued to him or her by a foreign State or Power before the member took office.
Section 55AA: inserted, on 18 September 2005, by section 6 of the Electoral Amendment Act 2004 (2004 No 99)."
Thus, the New Zealand Electoral Act 1993, allows people holding dual citizenship to be elected to parliament, and, to hold office as a member of parliament, unless the person takes out additional foreign citizenship whilst a member of parliament, with some exceptions where the taking out of additional foreign citizenship while a member of parliament, is allowed.
It is simple - the Australian Constitution is racist, and violates human rights (which is the policy of the major parties in the Australian parliaments), and, New Zealand has the simple solution.
This is just one of the reasons that Australia needs a Declaration Of Human Rights, to which ALL Australian legislation, including the Australian Constitution is subject.
(on the Australian Bureau of Statistics web site)
as viewed on 12 July 2016, was
The proportion of Australians who were born overseas has hit its highest point in over 120 years, with 28 per cent of Australia's population born overseas, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
"Australia has traditionally had a high proportion of migrants, but we've now hit a peak not seen since the late 1800s," said Beidar Cho from the ABS.
The percentage of Australian residents born overseas has increased every year for the last 15 years.
Now, that shows a couple of quite significant aspects; the first, is that the composition of Australians, has changed considerably, since federation (when the Australian federal constitution was first implemented), and so, the Australian federal constitution needs to be amended, to provide for the changing composition of Australians, secondly, that the composition of Australians, has changed considerably, in "the last 15 years", and, therefore, since the recommendation of the committee below, and, therefore, thirdly, that at least 28%, with the proportion progressively increasing, of Australian citizens, are being deliberately made victims of discrimination, and, being deliberately denied representation in the federal parliament, by the self-absorbed and self-centred, closed shop members of the Australian federal parliament, as shown in the part that follows, regarding the parliamentary committee's review of the applicable section of the Australian federal Constitution.
And, in the course of the 2016 Australian federal parliamentary election campaign, when asked about the prospect of the Australian federal Constitution being changed to allow people with dual citizenship, to stand for, and hold, office in the Australian federal parliament, the campaign manager for a local Labor Party candidate, told me that people with dual citizenship, should not be allowed to vote, let alone stand for the parliament.
as viewed on 12 June 2016, was
The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs was given a reference in late 1996 to inquire into and report on the operation of subsections 44(i) and (iv) of the Constitution, including the exceptions to subsection 44(iv). The Committee was also asked to inquire into and report on action to address any identified problems, including constitutional amendment, legislative change and administrative action.
The Committee received 37 written submissions, including two from the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), and conducted seven public hearings in, Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, over a period of two months. The Report, entitled "Aspects of Section 44 of the Australian Constitution" was tabled on 25 August 1997 in the House of Representatives by the Chairman of the Committee, Mr Kevin Andrews MP.
Recommendation 2: The Committee recommends that a referendum be held to make the following changes to the constitution:
delete subsection 44(i).
insert a new provision requiring candidates and members of parliament to be Australian citizens.
The response to that committee's recommendation, by the self-serving members of the Australian federal parliament, has been to deliberately prevent a significant proportion of Australians, from being represented in the Australian federal parliament.
It is conspicuous that the Australian federal parliament, in keeping itself as a closed shop, being "government by the rich and powerful, for the rich and powerful", and, keeping people who are required to vote in federal elections, from nominating as candidates in federal elections, has not, after 19 years, put a question to the Australian voters, by referendum, as to whether section 44(i) of the Australian Constitution, should be deleted or modified.
I believe that the federal parliament is under an obligation to the Australian voting public, to put to the Australian voters, by way of a constitutional referendum, the question:
"Should section 44(i) of the Australian Constitution, be changed from
"Is under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power: or"
"Who applies for and/or obtains citizenship of any foreign power after nominating as a candidate in the election in which the person seeks office as a member of the parliament, or who otherwise pledges allegiance to any foreign power after nominating as a candidate in the election in which the person seeks office as a member of the parliament, or otherwise applies for or holds any citizenship that is not declared on the person's nomination as a candidate in the election in which the person seeks office as a member of the parliament, or who has an undetermined application for citizenship of any foreign power as at the time of nominating as a candidate in the election in which the person seeks office as a member of the parliament, or"
thus allowing people who have dual citizenship, providing all citizenships held, are declared at the the time of nominating as a candidate in a federal election, to nominate as candidates in federal elections, and to hold office as members of the parliament, if elected, but, prohibiting applying for or taking on, any additional citizenships, after nominating as a candidate, and, if elected, while holding office as a member of the federal parliament.
If people are not allowed to vote in elections for a parliament, or, are not allowed to stand as candidates in elections for the parliament, then they are not represented in the parliament. Both entitlements are required, to ensure representation in the legislature.
And, as the proverb says, "Taxation without representation, is tyranny".
as viewed on 12 June 2016, was
A candidate or Senate group is eligible for election funding if they obtain at least 4% of the first preference vote in the division or the state or territory they contested. The amount to be paid is calculated by multiplying the number of votes obtained by the current election funding rate. This rate is indexed every six months to increases in the Consumer Price Index.
The amount of election funding payable is calculated by multiplying the number of first preference votes received by the rate of payment applicable at the time. The rate is indexed every six months in line with increases in the Consumer Price Index.
Current public funding rate
as viewed on 12 June 2016, was
Current funding rate
Updated: 19 May 2016
The amount of election funding payable is calculated by multiplying the number of formal first preference votes received by the rate of payment applicable at the time. This rate is indexed every six months in line with increases in the Consumer Price Index.
The election funding rate from 1 July 2016 to 31 December 2016 is 262.784 cents per eligible vote. This is the election funding rate that will apply to the 2 July 2016 federal election.
So, $2.62 of taxpayers' money, will be paid to each candidate in the lower house election, for each vote that that candidate receives, where that candidate receives at least 4% of valid first preference votes, and, where a group or party, in the senate election for each state and territory, receives at least 4% of valid first preference votes, that group or party gets paid the money, of taxpayers' money.
Thus, are federal elections and the parliamentary system, an even greater rort, for the rich and powerful in Australia.
The rich get richer, paid by the taxpayers, and, the poor get poorer, being forced to pay money to the rich.
This is one of the parliamentary rorts of the rich and powerful, that should end.
This web page is authorised and published by Bret Busby, 2 Pelham Street, Armadale.
I can be contacted by email by clicking on the link at Bret
This web page was last updated on 12 July 2016.