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Opinion and Analysis

A case for electoral reform
By Matt Hrkac, 02 August 2015

There is often talk among advocates of electoral reform in Australia in favour of reforming Australia's electoral system. The case, when it comes to the House of Representatives, is often to replace the preferential voting system with a first past the post electoral system or, to a lesser extent, replacing the current single-member constituency system with some form of proportional representation. When it comes to the Senate, advocates for electoral reform almost always universally speak of replacing group voting tickets with optional above or below-the-line preferential voting.

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The appointment of Richard Di Natale as leader of the Australian Greens, and Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlam as deputies, following the retirement of Christine Milne (anyone who says that she was "rolled" is deluding themselves), gives the opportunity for the Greens to reach an entirely new demographic of Australians, and will likely steer the Greens in a new direction compared to what we saw previously.

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It is clear that the Australian community is undoubtedly against racism; and the so-called "Reclaim Australia" against Islam (read; fascist, hating on all Muslims, not just merely criticising the religion) rallies held over the weekend are an example of this.

In Melbourne, anti-racism protesters in a counter-rally outnumbered and overwhelmed the "Reclaim" Australia rally (organisers of the counter-rally estimate more than 3,000 anti-racism protesters to about 300 "reclaimers") in Federation Square. A similar counter-rally was also held in Brisbane to counter the "reclaim" rally there.

And for those in doubt that the "Reclaim" Australia rallies weren't actually racist (the "reclaimers" would have you believe this, and if that was actually the case, they are certainly fascist, though the "reclaimers" deny this too) in any way what so ever:

1. It seemed to be a pretty strong magnet for Neo-Nazi's, and participants in the counter rallies can attest to this. It is actually hilariously appalling that "reclaim" supporters are actively denying that Neo-Nazi's are a part of their movement, especially when the movement was founded on the basis of Neo-Nazism masquerading as "patriotism" from the beginning. By having these types show up at their rallies, the "reclaimers", by default, have lost all credibility, regardless of whether they 'endorse' it or not.

(Yes, the men in both of the above photos have swastikas tattooed on their heads.)

2. Pauline Hanson, the very same one who prattled on about the whole "Asian invasion" nearly a decade ago when it was fashionable, spoke at the Brisbane "reclaim" rally. I don't think I need to say any more on that.

We can take solace in the fact that anti-racism counter-rallies outnumbered the "Reclaimers" where they were held, but it is an absolute shame that such anti-racism counter-rallies were even necessary, and that there is a Neo-Nazi presence and other extreme racist and fascist elements in Australia, and enough of such a presence that allow them mobilise, which is a scary prospect.

Anti-racism and anti-fascism wins this day, and so it should. These so-called "patriots" are anything but, and they certainly aren't representative of a majority of Australians.

Tony Abbott: I'm sick of you
By Matt Hrkac, 10 March 2015

Tony Abbott claims that "Australians are sick of being lectured to" by the UN over the government's treatment of refugees - joining the leaders China, Russia and North Korea as despots who are "sick of being lectured to". Here is what I am sick of regarding your government, Tony:

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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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The treatment of Gillian Triggs: A disgrace
By Matt Hrkac, 24 February 2015

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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Labor smear strikes yet again
By Matt Hrkac, 14 February 2015

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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It's not the leader, it's the policies
By Matt Hrkac, 03 February 2015

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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Europe is on the verge of massive change
By Matt Hrkac, 25 January 2015

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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