Mandatory Suicide – Tony Abbott’s imagined mandates

Posted: December 17, 2013 in Politics

If there is a word that has been overused, over hyped and had its meaning stretched almost beyond the point of recognition it is mandate.

Tony Abbott and his motley crew of Ministers who are so far failing in their portfolios are constantly telling us that they have a mandate for this and a mandate for that, as are the News Ltd lackeys that treat every word of theirs like gospel . In fact anything that the opposition disagrees with them on they claim to have a mandate from the masses on. Although conveniently this rule did not seem to apply when the Coalition were in opposition.

The Oxford Dictionary describes a mandate like this;

  • 1.  an official order or commission to do something:a mandate to seek the release of political prisoners
    •  Law a commission by which a party is entrusted to perform a service, especially without payment and with indemnity against loss by that party.
    •  a written authorization enabling someone to carry out transactions on another’s bank account.
    •  historical a commission from the League of Nations to a member state to administer a territory:the end of the British mandate in Palestine
  • 2. the authority to carry out a policy, regarded as given by the electorate to a party or candidate that wins an election:he called an election to seek a mandate for his policies
    •  Canadian a period during which a government is in power:the last mandate of Trudeau, from 1980 to 1984, was a remarkable chapter in Canadian history

Looking at the two definitions above what stands out to me initially is both of them are singular in tense. What I would deduce from that is a mandate is an authority to carry out a single act.

In regards to a political debate the mandate after an election would be the single act of forming government. It is clear that the Coalition were given a mandate by the people to do that, however that is where the mandate begins and ends. There is certainly no mandate for an open license on a never ending stream of policies made up on the fly.

For the government to claim a mandate on any policy or decision they make would require holding a referendum.

A clear example of this would be the debate raging around marriage equality.

It is clear that the Coalition have a prehistoric view of same-sex marriage based on fear, bigotry, hatred and endorsed by religious extremism. The Coalition also seem to be using bully tactics to override any move at state level to allow equality and common sense to prevail.

Supporters of the Tony Abbott/George Brandis point of view

Supporters of the Tony Abbott/George Brandis point of view

As I write this we have troops risking their lives in Afghanistan to fight against this very same attitude of religion becoming too entwined with state. Over there religious extremism is promoted and made law by Al-Qaeda or the Taliban, over that is done by the Coalition.

Religion had its time to rule the world, that is a period in history we now refer to as The Dark Ages.

As those living in the real world would realise, the public is overwhelmingly in favour of allowing same-sex couples to marry and live their lives together how they see fit. In the UK even a conservative government passed legislation to allow same-sex marriage, complete with the blessing of Her Majesty The Queen.

This is just one example that demonstrates how the Abbott government does not have a mandate on any of their specific policies.

In fact if we look at some of the areas Abbott and his band of merry ministerial men and token woman claim a mandate, it becomes abundantly clear that no such mandate has been given, not even close.

For example the debt ceiling debate. The government claiming they have a mandate to run the country’s economy how they see fit is a crock of something that is usually smelly and steamy on a cold morning and comes from the back of a bull.

What sort of brain-dead moron with the economic credentials of an infant and the common sense of a guppy runs an entire election campaign and term in opposition on the need to reduce debt drastically, yet then claims a mandate to increase debt by a couple of hundred billion?

Only on Planet Abbott would this make sense.

"Has someone printed these graphs upside down?" wonders Joe

“Has someone printed these graphs upside down?” wonders Joe

As for his mandate on his environmental policies this is also vague at best.

It is clear that Abbotts campaign regarding the “Carbon Tax” worked a treat. After all it was backed up by the Murdoch press, the shock-jocks and every climate change denialist, moon landing and holocaust denying idiot with a few letters after their name. As a result of his misleading campaign the majority want to see the “tax axed”, even though carbon pricing is working and we were meeting emission reduction targets.

It seems like the slogans win over the solutions every time.

However recent polling shows that despite wanting to see the carbon tax removed, the majority of the country don’t want to see Abbott’s alternative policy implemented either. In fact according to poll results the unpopular Carbon Tax is preferred over the ludicrous “Direct Action” policy which seeks to implement the direct action of rewarding polluters with cash handouts in the remote hope they will change their polluting ways.

Slogans and sexism, just another day at the office for Tony...

Slogans and sexism, just another day at the office for Tony…

Many argue that there was a clear mandate on stopping the boats, and it is true there certainly was a major push from the then opposition during the entire period of the Rudd and Gillard governments on this issue. There were scare campaigns waged, slogans for bogans pumped out, bumper stickers made and “Stop The Boats” was branded on every brain in the country.

I’m sure this period in history will be looked on with shame in years to come.

The government have used this supposed mandate to do all sorts of things with one of the costs arguably being our relationship with Indonesia, as our new asylum seeker policies were causing conflict between our nations before the spy saga.

On top of the attempted media censorship by Minister Morrison we  have seen the sacking of asylum seeker health advisors, deteriorating conditions in facilities such a Manus Island, Nauru and Xmas Island, mothers separated from children, more deaths at sea and so on and so on…

Yet the boats continue coming and if there is one thing that has clearly changed since the Coalition took over it is that we no longer have the co-operation of the Indonesians.

Scott Morrison - Failed as a policy writer, failed as a Minister, utter failure as a human

Scott Morrison – Failed as a policy writer, failed as a Minister, utter failure as a human

The Coalitions backflip on the promise to the electorate on the GONSKI education reforms certainly was one of the many things that has blown up in Tony Abbotts face as well as shown the country that Christopher Pyne is far from worthy of his current position on the front bench.

In fact Abbotts eventual bowing down to the public after a massive backlash at this broken promise should be seen as proof that even Abbott doesn’t believe he has a mandate to do whatever he likes.

Then there are the 50,000 workers who work in the automotive industry, both in the manufacture of vehicles and parts. I’m sure these good people weren’t looking to give Abbott a mandate to destroy their livelihoods, particularly when you look at one of the Coalitions strategies during the election campaign.

Some of you may remember the “Who’s Next” campaign by the Coalition during the election campaign which focused on the car industry.

Closing a loophole in the fringe benefits tax that allowed companies to use vehicles as an untaxed salary inclusion affected a handful of voters around the country, however the Coalition seized this as an opportunity to put the boot in to the Rudd government.

Below is a picture of campaign advertising by the Liberal Party on this issue being towed around by imported motor-scooters. The ones in this picture have been abandoned in a no standing area and are blocking in a parked car.

photo

Tony Abbott said this change to the fringe benefits tax put the entire motor vehicle industry at risk.

In an open letter to the car industry employees and companies Tony Abbott stated amongst other things;

“The Coalition understands the importance of business and consumer confidence and wants confidence to return Australia’s car sector.”

“Australians should know the Coalition supports their efforts and wants them to succeed.

You have our support now and into he future.”

The full letter can be viewed via the below link and the typo is Abbotts not mine.

Open Letter to the Australian Car Industry

The letter is written by Abbott, co-signed by Hockey and has more than likely been checked by a team of Liberal Party staffers, yet it went on a Liberal party website with all of these people missing the misspelling of the word “the”.

I know it may seem trivial and a bit like the pot calling the kettle black, as I am prone to the occasional typo myself, however I self-edit and don’t have a cast of thousands triple checking my work. Besides, I couldn’t resist.

Anyway that understanding Tony Abbott talked about in his letter certainly disappeared quick, as did the support. As those living anywhere but under a rock would realise, after approximately three months of a Coalition government the decision has been made, Holden is closing down in Australia in a move that will most likely see Toyota go shortly after.

A Prime Minister in a Holden - we won't see that again after Abbott

A Prime Minister in a Holden – we won’t see that again after Abbott

This will see the parts industry also collapse. The parts industry is a part of the already struggling manufacturing sector and employs approximately 50,000 whose families now face uncertainty this Xmas.

It is ironic that all those bogans with the Southern Cross stars and “Fuck Off We’re Full” stickers on the back of their Holden utes that Tony Abbott’s asylum seeker policy and future changes to the racial vilification act seemed tailor-made for will no longer be able to buy a new Holden in a few years thanks to the guy they were tricked into voted for.

The Coalition have not supported the car industry in Australia as Abbott stated to them, instead they have killed it with their lack of support.

So when it comes to supporting our car industry, Tony Abbott has broken yet another gospel promise. This one in a carefully prepared statement and in writing.

What Australians were promised was a government of no surprises and no excuses.

What we have received is broken promises and denial.

We were told Australia was now “open for business” yet we are in a diplomatic disaster with Indonesia, China and East Timor. Not only that unemployment is on the rise and perhaps one of Australia’s greatest icons has announced it will soon be “closed for business”.

Winning an election and forming government does not mean that the Coalition have a mandate to make things up as they go along.

The current opinion polls are the proof of that.

Welcome to Planet Abbott.

Can I get off now?

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Like Wixxyleaks on Facebook here

Comments
  1. M. R. says:

    I think that from now on, ‘Planet Abbott’ must be our catchphrase, Wixxy. I intend to use it, anyway!

  2. matt says:

    I was wondering when this kind of thing would become apparent: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2013/12/16/abbott-eases-ministerial-rules

    “Prime Minister Tony Abbott is easing rules regarding federal ministers’ business interests, reversing previous code of conduct terms that prevented them from holding company shares.

    Under the previous Labor government, the code for ministerial standards required ministers to “divest themselves of investments and other interests in any public or private company or business”.”

    So, history repeating itself with these vampires. Government ministers will be buying shares in companies that they plan to subsidise, knowing that their share price will increase.

    The LNP – “its all about me!”

  3. owen1967 says:

    to be fair in the debate … lest we forget:
    – the ALP scuttled same sex marriage when it had the opportunity to make the change.
    – the ALP has used the word “mandate” in almost as many cringe-worthy contexts as has the coalition.

    yet on the perversion of words, nobody beats the coalition … ‘illegal arrival’ is hard to beat (and needs no further explanation).
    a close second is ‘coalition’ … “a temporary alliance for combined action, especially of political parties forming a government” …. now in action since 1922 … and despite the fact that the coalition include the National Party who sells out Regional and Rural Australia every time.

    why not try analysing “democracy” … the media bangs on about it as though democracy is the norm … “the rule of the people” and “voters making an INFORMED CHOICE” is the foundation of democracy … eeeeeccchhhttt … how awkward! … we’re more like a Big Business oligarchy.

  4. Woohzal says:

    Two Liberal members have turned me from a pacifist to a person ready to fight for our rights.
    Is this what Campbell Abbott and Tony Newman wanted (they are really one in the same)?
    Was it their intention to make the public discontented, angry and maybe even violent?

    If so, well played Liberal Party.

    Queenslanders are now corporate entities, no longer citizens with rights of people.
    Look out Australia, who needs a Governor General anyways.

    Holden AU was saved during the GFC and now the baby is being thrown out with the bathwater.
    Who in the Abbott/Liberal chain is making money from Australia having to soon import ALL of it’s vehicles?

  5. Andrew Thomas says:

    Wixxy,

    Panet Abbott
    I read it all, love it all.. that is your work… can’t remember the website I put this to, but asking for an equivalent of “Not Happy John” I came up with “Kick the H’Abbott” prior to last election, now that we have unfortunately chosen his party to lead and by extension him as PM perhaps this slogan could be our “Not happy John” leading into 2016.

  6. Dez says:

    The absolute worst Holden ute stickers I’ve seen around would have to be the “Don’t Blame Me, I voted Liberal” ones.

    Are these dickheads insanely ignorant, or just severely retarded?

  7. clarittee says:

    THAT is worrying Dez, especially IF they leave them there. Perhaps they read the MSM and have no real idea. There has to be a logical explanation.

    • Dez says:

      I saw one with that sticker, yesterday on Windsor Rd.
      A black Commodore ute, in the right hand lane, doing 50-60 in an 80 zone and on the phone while driving.

      Proudly displaying what it means to be a typically ignorant, idiot Liberal voter.

  8. clarittee says:

    They can easily modify it if they wake up, eventually. Just scratch off “Don’t”. and substitute with “I’ve repented”…

  9. BSA Bob says:

    Good article on the “mandate” con but we all know it’s a crock of shit dispensed by a chronic purveyor of crocks of shit. The concept’s a complete repudiation of the Westminster System that the aforesaid purveyor professes to hold dearly. Which is of course another crock of shit, this liberal “conservative” is in fact a wrecker enlisting the aid of others in wrecking whatever gets in his way & paying them off with IOUs that we’ll all be liable for.

  10. On a couple of points, the concept of a mandate is interwoven in our constitutional thinking, it is this concept that ensured that we had an unseparated executive from parliament like in the US of A. The reason being that the elected government achieved mandate/consent by numbers and shouldn’t be constrained from carrying out its duties. The balance being having a senate, which in theory works but of-course most of the time the party that controls the lower house is likely to control the senate as well. It is the idea of mandate/consent to govern is why we have the double-dissolution rule, if the senate becomes obstructive it may spilled in order for a new senate to be elected. Our constitution is such that it allows any legitimately elected government do almost anything it wants, as long as it does not transgress its powers under the constitution, which are broad an near limitless once the executive exercises its treaty powers.

    Secondly, debt, the fact that the artificial debt ceiling has been done away with is a good idea, in-fact The Greens of all people may have actually given us a much better policy over-all. As opposed to Swan burying requirements to lift the debt ceiling within the bowels of the budget (or even forgetting to, which is what happened last May) the issue has to be put before parliament every $50,000,000,000. The previous governments spending programs which does include worth-while programs is likely to see the debt climb to a point where even Bob Hawke an Paul Keating are now championing the idea of spending cuts. With Defence spending now at its lowest point since 1938 there is little left to cut, and neither side is prepared to face the elephant in the room, the rapid increases over the last decade in direct welfare payments an health costs, both consuming ever larger pieces of the budget. We either consider devising a pay-insurance system to co-exist with government welfare or the welfare driven debt crisis that is consuming Europe may very well be our future (granted much further down the track, we have some up-ward room for taxes).

    Thirdly, GM in Detroit closed Holden, not because it couldn’t secure more money or didn’t already receive enough hand-outs and generous tax concessions, simply, it needs to restructure its own business to meet its revised sales strategy. GM is withdrawing from Europe which has a consumer and educated work-force base that makes us look like the 2nd world economy we are, but that hasn’t stopped GM from closing all of its European plants regardless of how much money they were offered. Nor will it save GM’s South Korean plants from that fate when its turn comes. GM must hire Americans in order to rebuilt its image in the US of A after the $10,000,000,000 loss the tax-payer took on its GM holdings and it needs to make cares in China because that is one of the most important purchasing markets, plus, it is nigh on impossible to compete with China in regards to manufacturing cost per unit of anything, it is just cheaper to do business there.

  11. paul says:

    Keep up the good work wixxy ya left wing loonie!

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