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Vote for Pedro!!


We have the Australian Federal election  this weekend.

I shouldn’t be using one issue as a leverage point for my decision, but in the mess of the propaganda, and election promises both our major parties are making its hard to measure whose plan for our future is going to be better, and  no matter who gets in – they will break promises.  A politicians promise is usually said with fingers crossed behind their back.  I believe their intent to deliver may  be there when they make those plans, but the reality is things get in the way. It’s a dark view of a political system, but its realistic. 

Both our major parties have platforms I don’t like – some more than others,   but I think the biggest issue is one that will affect Australia beyond the term or two of any political party, and that is compulsory censorship.

People who hold power have to be held accountable – and it will be hard to hold someone accountable if they also hold the power – and willingness to use this power to hide any opposition to their power.  ( Conroy hid ISP filtering Tag clouds on his website and thus has already shown a inclination to deter people from locating negative feedback on the filter)  

Nor do I think that if in power Liberal would be any different, if the legal means to censor what they don’t want to be there was already there to use. They would use it. So we have to make sure it never gets turned on.

First it’s the Filtered list that gets censored, and we are not allowed to know what is on there, and we only know because of wikileaks. A dentist website for was on there.  Funnily enough when the list of already banned sites were leaked it was found apparently that most of the banned sites where not in the scope of the supposed aim of the filter.

  I will not  vote to support a party that will support  internet censorship via a compulsory filter.  Because once it’s turn on,  we will never have the power to turn it off.

It may have been set aside as a non election issue.  They had to do that  – would have been bad  PR, and all the arguments have already been heard  – why the concept is noble,  the cost , effectiveness and accountability  however is not acceptable.

It shouldn’t come down to one single issue as a ultimate decider in who gets to run my country – but we should not forget that this issue is one that Labor is passionate about – one they are not talking about because they are hoping we will forget their plans for the filter.  So if you are Australian, and exercising your political vote.  Know  that regardless of what ever other party line that is delivered,  that behind them stands this elephant of an issue – that they have not even been willing to compromise down to a voluntry filter.  

We will never get that democratic choice. YES or NO for filter,  we can only Vote yes or no for the party.

Liberal has told Australia they will not support the filter, winning the  election or not.  So they will get my vote.

Of course when it comes to technology there are more things to consider this election, and things we should be aware of.

Censorship  getting mixed up with Classifications

Labour; Conroy  requested google to Censor Youtube in Febuary, wanting Australia to be filtered much like they do for the Chinese and Thai governments. 

 Labour  also recently  announced they will be targeting game and applications available to Australians that have been sold without a classification check. They apparently want to charge $470 to  $2040 each app/game to review because of legislation this includes censoring/reviewing every single application/game available to users via smartphones, and I would assume that scope would also cover flash games, and any freeware.

Apple have said that the Aussie itunes is extremely profitable ( the dollar difference does not get passed on to us) but if every single free game offered on itunes – apparently 220,000 apps and games had to be reviewed for compliance.  Or if every Youtube video watched to make sure it complied with our classification ratings. I don’t think Australia would be a viable place to conduct business for several internet services.  If google can stop doing business with china, why would we be any different?

 Furthermore there will be consequences  on our local market – forcing  small time developers into paying for classification.

Just how out of touch are our politicians with technology?  We don’t want 20 year olds with no life experience in parliment,  but  there feels like  a distinct lack of  basic knowledge, and technological application missing from the people wanting to be in power during a technology age.

I know I’m voting for him,  but Abbott has already shown his lack of Tech Savyness “ I am not a tech head”   I can’t imagine the people in power in Labour being too much different. Sure they can all learn party lines,  and get a broad understanding of the issue, but   hey being  a communications minister and a figurehead for the filter still doesn’t mean your tech savy either. Conroys speech.  “Up to 20,000 can regularly be getting infected by these spams, or scams, that come through the portal” 

Yes the compulsory  filter has affected my vote this election.  I don’t want Australia to go down that path.

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15 Responses to “Vote for Pedro!!”


  1. 1 amy August 18, 2010 at 2:04 am

    There are more than just Labor and Liberal to vote for. Both the Greens and the Sex Party are against the filter for a start. Make your vote really count and fill out below the line. There’s even a website (http://www.belowtheline.org.au) that will help you make sure your vote is meaningful, it takes into account party preferences of the various candidates.

    IMO, Labor/Liberal parties need to be scrapped and we start over. There is so little difference between them now and they are as bad as each other. But at the least I’d be happy with that twit Conroy getting fired. Spams and scams coming through the portal? Geez /facepalm.

  2. 2 Foo August 18, 2010 at 2:21 am

    Let me second amy’s comments above in regard to looking at other candidates. I too will be including both the filter and dog whistling in my voting decisions.

    Especially in the senate think about voting below the line. Voting is preferential, so there is no such thing as a wasted vote.

    Depending on your state, there are worthy minor candidates, ranging from crackpot to perfect. Now if we could only agree which was which.

    • 3 Pugnacious Priest August 18, 2010 at 4:01 am

      the thing though is the crackpots don’t get enough votes to do much. In the Senate its my understanding that at least 3 seats will go to a minority – and our little parties have a better chance,

  3. 4 Narx August 18, 2010 at 3:52 am

    “Both the Greens and the Sex Party are against the filter for a start.”

    Except the Greens are in a preferences deal with the Labor party. Which means that if you vote for them, you are voting for Labor anyway, depending on how many Greens votes are won and if the candidate is successful.

    This election campaign has been quite farcical. Neither party deserves to win, and neither party leader deserves to be PM.

    Ah well, the decision will be tough whilst I sit in my polling booth in the Australian Embassy in France Saturday morning…

  4. 8 Jayd August 18, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    Normally I don’t like to weigh in on political discussions because they’re always so contentious and everyone always feels so strongly about their viewpoint that a lot of bad feeling usually comes from them. That said, please don’t take this in the wrong way Zaahrah, but you are being short-sighted. Internet censorship is a very small part of this election.

    If you’re going to vote Liberal, make sure you look at what other policies you’re voting into power. For example, the complete scrapping of the national broadband network, a belief that climate change doesn’t exist, and the likely reinstatement of WorkChoices. Not to mention the neanderthal leader – who thinks no means yes and abortion is an easy way out – who would be representing your country internationally.

    I’m not a huge fan of Labour either, but at least they’re making an effort in the technology sector by getting the NBN up and running. As for internet censorship, with the backlash from the Google China thing and Gamers for Croydon winning so many votes in the SA election, I don’t think it’ll ever happen.

    I agree with Amy and Foo – if you don’t like the major parties, vote for a minor one. A vote for a minor party is a vote for a check on the balance of power, not a wasted vote.

    And I’ll have to correct Narx here – if you vote for the Greens, you are NOT automatically voting for Labour. Yes they have done a deal for preferences, but that sounds a lot more sinister than it really is. The only way you’ll end up voting Labour by voting Greens is if you are lazy and only fill out one box above the line on your Senate voting paper. If you fill out all the boxes yourself, on both papers, you can vote for the Greens, and whatever other party you want, in whatever order you want.

    • 9 Narx August 19, 2010 at 1:19 am

      “And I’ll have to correct Narx here – if you vote for the Greens, you are NOT automatically voting for Labour. ”

      Depends if you follow the how to vote card.

      • 10 Jayd August 19, 2010 at 8:48 am

        I don’t think I’d be too far off the mark here if I said that most Australians duck and weave their way into the voting halls to purposefully avoid picking up how-to-vote cards and all the other crap that comes with them. 😉

  5. 11 Klepsacovic August 19, 2010 at 12:15 am

    The only regulation on the Internet should be an enforced lack of regulation. This is why I want to strangle the speaker every time I hear some dimwit claim that net neutrality is excessive government. The market has had its say in the issue, and what the market said was: “this net neutrality thing is amazing for business, let’s have a gigantic economic boom!” The Internet is the best thing ever to happen to consumers and producers, at least since the invention of mass production, and this burns so much less orphan-infused coal.

  6. 12 Cassandri August 19, 2010 at 12:45 am

    I think it’s worth pointing out that the Labour party’s Broadband Network actually be beneficial for WoW gamers here (although nobody can answer the major question I have – if all our internet traffic is bottle necked as it crosses the ocean from the northern hemisphere to reach us… are we really going to notice much of a speed difference?). The Greens support the same fibre optic plan.

    Liberal’s Wireless network is probably not going to help online gamers.

    At the moment the concept of the Broadband Network is probably really a big deal for disadvantaged or extremely remote communities. So I’m not sure if it’s worth changing your vote based on the proposed B.B.N.

    Then if we look at the Internet Censorship/Filter matter you have Labour pretending that it’s all gone away during the election campaign (dubious) and Liberal and The Greens strongly against it and instead supporting PC based filtering.

    This election I’m voting for The Greens. I know that my vote will eventually end up in the Labour party.

    The reason that The Greens get my vote is that they’re the only party who can speak positively on any one issue without simply slandering the other party in an attempt to cover up their own inadequacies.

    It’s a gamble but regardless of how you vote what policies come into effect after the election are entirely out of our hands. I voted for Labour last election because I backed their policy on Climate Change and… well… nothing really came of that did it?

    • 13 Narx August 19, 2010 at 1:19 am

      The answer to “although nobody can answer the major question I have – if all our internet traffic is bottle necked as it crosses the ocean from the northern hemisphere to reach us… are we really going to notice much of a speed difference?”

      No. You won’t.

      There is still only 4 major cables out from Australia that are reasonbly direct to the US. Either via Guam, or via SE Asia, or via the Southern Cross. Australian traffic doesn’t route via New Zealand.

      So yeah… it will still bottleneck there.

    • 14 Pugnacious Priest August 19, 2010 at 3:51 am

      it’s not about speed , or even the cost, I do worry at the cost such supposed speeds will have, – and that we will not see any results for years, this investment will also lock the country into a debt for a service that we will be forced to use when technology evolves beyond wires, but my biggest concern is that filter, and if anything conroys crusade on the filter regardless of popular opinion shows how powerless we are once they are in power, so maybe it is narrow minded – I’m ignoring issues which as you said even with the climate change – often get tabled once they are voted in. So in affect anything either party sells us is all bull crap – regardless of their intent, and it may seem like a small issue, but it’s going to have the longest affect, and its one I feel I do have power to say no on, and I can not vote for the filter.

  7. 15 Katherine August 19, 2010 at 1:16 am

    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4074/4897554014_7384f753da_o.jpg This is an image with a good breakdown of Liberal’s other policies.

    http://hoydenabouttown.com/20100817.7989/you-want-soundbites-australia-here-we-gotcher-soundbites-right-here/ This is where I found it (they have a plain text version as well.


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