Can You Help?

This website is in imminent danger of being shut down. It has been online since 1995, but the personal circumstances of the owner, Malcolm Farnsworth, are such that economies have to be made. Server costs and suchlike have become prohibitive. At the urging of people online, I have agreed to see if Patreon provides a solution. More information is available at the Patreon website. If you are able to contribute even $1.00/month to keep the site running, please click the Patreon button below.


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GetUp! Lauds Its Election Campaign; Liberals Disagree

The activist group GetUp! has congratulated itself on its election campaign and taken credit for campaigns that removed conservative Liberals from parliament.

GetUp! has posted a YouTube video applauding its campaign work, especially its use of phone banks to contact voters in marginal seats and its distribution of how-to-vote cards on polling day.

The Liberal Party has attacked GetUp!, claiming it poured a million dollars into the campaign against Andrew Nikolic in Bass, Tasmania. Nikolic was defeated by a swing of just over 10% in the Launceston-based electorate. Nikolic, a former army officer, was one of former prime minister Tony Abbott’s staunchest supporters in the last parliament. The Liberal Party’s Senate leader, Eric Abetz, has attributed Nikolic’s defeat to the campaign by GetUp!. [Read more…]


Electoral Enrolment Closes 8.00pm Monday, May 23

The electoral rolls for the 2016 Federal Election close at 8.00pm this Monday, May 23.

New enrolments and change of details can no longer be made after this time.

It is estimated that around one million people, mainly under the age of 25, are not on the electoral roll.

Given the early announcement of this election, voters have had two weeks to get on the roll.

The advocacy group GetUp! has produced an amusing enrolment video, titled The conversation every 18 year old is avoiding!

  • Watch the GetUp! video (71s)
  • Listen to the ad (71s)

Getup! Reviews Its Year


The Twitter Election? Not Likely.

There is much over-blown talk of new paradigms at the moment.

TwitterBefore the 43rd Parliament has even met, the new political paradigm has been shown to be illusory. Standard politics continues apace. An old-fashioned deal has delivered us a minority government. Interest groups and political participants have begun positioning themselves to extract maximum advantage from the new Parliament.

Far from the political process becoming more open and transparent, it is more likely that backroom intrigue will flourish. Intricate deal-making seems set to reach new heights of ingenuity. The numerical permutations and combinations in both houses guarantee that practitioners of the so-called old paradigm will be called upon to ensure that things do not fall apart.

Another paradigm that has failed to materialise is the one that was supposed to deliver a “Twitter election” and usher in a new democracy powered by “social media”. Instead, the golden age of 140-character political participation has been clubbed to death by the established media and all but ignored by the main political parties. [Read more…]


Day 6: Little Actions Vibrate

Gillard and Abbott both “suspended” election campaign activities on Day 6 in order to attend the funeral of Private Nathan Bewes, the latest Australian soldier to be killed in Afghanistan.

It is to risk accusations of disrespect and poor taste to claim that, in fact, their decision was the only significant election campaign activity yesterday. It was a decision as calculated as any other to maximise the call to “values”. It was a decision which highlighted the almost total lack of debate about Australia’s involvement in the nearly nine-year-old war.

Dare it be said that what these young men who have given their lives in service of government policy deserve is a democracy that takes seriously its commitment to a Parliament of Representatives?

Dare it be said that this was never more so than in the midst of an election campaign?

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I was running late for the GetUp! function organised by Sue Barrett and her German-born husband, Jobst. The meeting room in their company’s premises in South Caulfield contained seven men and nine women, half of them in their 20s, the rest tending middle-aged. [Read more…]