Opinion and Analysis

One has to hope that Labor is listening to the backlash that it has been receiving over the last few days regarding its apparent cave-in over the Coalition's Data Retention legislation. Labor would be wise to know that it isn't just The Greens (i.e; ya know, their (non-)opponents) opposing this draconian legislation, this opposition to data retention is coming from within their own ranks as well.

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If you don't like something, simply shoot the messenger - this is what we can now be expect under the Abbott Government, if we didn't before, as it tries to push its thuggish, narcissistic, bully-boy agenda to appease the lowest common denominator in Australian society. Nowhere is this more exemplified then in the attacks being directed towards Gillian Triggs by Tony Abbott and Attorney General George Brandis, the current (at the moment at least) President of the Australian Human Rights Commission.

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This screenshot shows something that you would expect from a crackpot Right-wing political page, but it came as a shock to me that something like this would pop up on the Facebook page of the supposedly Centre-left Victorian branch of the Australian Labor Party - a party that is known for at least some common sense in its decision making and working with others to achieve common goals and outcomes.

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With speculation rife that Tony Abbott is on a knife's edge, there are a number of commentators suggesting that a change of leadership will lead to a significant change in direction in terms of policy.

Unfortunately, a leadership change within the federal Liberal Party will not change much, except for the leader. There is absolutely no-one who has enough of a spine to make any significant change in policy direction. To see how lackluster the Coalition alternatives really are, and how changing to either of them as its leader will merely result in more of the same, lets go through a list of possible contenders to succeed Tony Abbott:

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The results of yesterday's Queensland state election is telling of the shift of society's back to progressive politics, and away from the tried, out-of-touch and failed politics of neo-conservatism. Given that neo-conservatism is the current agenda of the Liberal Party under Tony Abbott, it also shows that they are in serious trouble. It is also telling of society's general rejection of being blatantly lied to.

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It is becoming bitterly obvious that the usual political order, one that favours big business interests ahead of those of the people, is becoming woefully stale and inadequate. People are looking for alternatives, and this non-violent revolution is about to hit a tipping point.

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There is no denying that 2014 was an absolute disaster, PR wise and policy wise, for Tony Abbott and his government. This image problem undoubtedly stems from the 2014 Federal Budget and its attack on the poor and the vulnerable, the Abbott government's subsequent back-flips on policy as well as its countless broken promises. This culminated with the Liberal Party being turfed in Victoria after just a single term - not because of the performance of then-Premier Denis Napthine - but because of the Liberal Party's association with its federal counterparts.

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"The Greens' vote is dying" - that is often a line that I read and hear from detractors; often comparing them to the Democrats and their decline. The fact is, however, that the two are incomparable in terms of the relative support that they had gained.

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A proposed new office complex (see above for artists rendition, courtesy of the Geelong Advertiser) that was recently approved for construction by the City of Greater Geelong council has caused quite a stir - as any proposal inadvertently does in this city. Although there is credit in being completely critical of some ideas and proposals that come from city hall, and even dismissing them outright; this one, isn't one of them.

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It seems to be an endless cycle: Something terrible happens, such as a terrorist attack, or an attack that is associated with terrorism, and the hate preachers go into overdrive with their vitriol and xenophobic hate speech. Case in point, the attack on French satirical news magazine Charlie Hebdo earlier this week, the Sydney Martin Place/Lindt cafe siege last December and the vile hate speech that followed from Far-right groups such as the Australian Defence League.

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