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What's happening with CANZUK


old man emu
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Over the past year and a half, all our attentions seems to have been directed inwards as governments blunder their way to solutions to the COVID economic crisis. Little other news, apart from football, has been broadcast. In the meantime, BREXIT has happened and there has been sabre-rattling between China and the USA, plus another Vietnam for the US military. A topic that has been hidden from view is the establishment of a politico-economic entity known as CANZUK.

 

CANZUK refers to a politico-economic union of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom that has at its heart trade benefits to its members and certain flow-on effects such as travel and cultural exchange. It seems sensible that these four countries should unite as they are the most culturally similar countries in the World. It may seem a retrograde step - a return to the British Empire, but after the almost complete dissolution of the Empire, these four countries became the backbone of the British Commonwealth of Nations. The backbone was broken initially by the UK's entry into the European Common Market which became the European Union. This left Australia and New Zealand floundering for markets for their primary produce and Canada playing second fiddle to the USA in the Americas.

 

Australia's turning to Asia for markets seemed a pretty good idea at the start, but in recent years we can see how as China in particular, and the other previously Third World countries of Asia developed their economic power, our ability to get value, or even to seel our products has weakened. If a union such as CANZUK was formed, it would immediately be one of the economic powerhouses of the World, and from that footing could build much better trade links with former members of the Empire. This time we would be able to ensure equality in our dealings with what were once colonial possessions and avoid the exploitation of those earlier times.

 

https://www.internationalaffairs.org.au/australianoutlook/the-rise-of-a-canzuk-trading-bloc/

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I am not sure how much actual boots on the ground support the idea is getting. It sounds good on paper, but ther disparity between the economies and the distances involved provide some barrier - not insurmountable.

 

All up, an alliance has a GDP and something like 6.5 trillion USD. The article incorrectly states this will be third behind China. If they articlae is going to claim a close knit rrade bloc in a table, then it has to consider that other close knit trade block, the EU, which, without the UK still has am almost 16 trillon level of GDP.

 

The discussion here is using the Aussie Free Trade Agreement to get access to CPTPP and I think ASEANZFTA

 

Then there is the little issue of creating a two tier commonwealth.. And why would we not want to include SIngapore, India, Nauru, and other states that are not in the ilk of Zimbabwe, etc.

Edited by Jerry_Atrick
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Have a look at those four countries. Australia produces very little, whereas it used to be a manufacturing country. Britain has gone to the dogs and what was a go ahead country is not much at all. New Zealand is so small and so far away, that its main claim to fame is that it is a good place to go to get away from where you are. It does have a stable and apparently sensible government. Canada has disappeared int the shadow of USA, but its government does appear to be better than ours, but that does not say much. I was booked to sail there as in immigrant in the sixties and am glad I didn't.

I expect Britain would open up a big market for agricultural products and that would have to be shared. We would probably have to share the views of its government, which still seems to be the old public school idiots it has nearly always had.

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There should be no trade deals, realistically Aus is in the box seat, we have a huge land mass, unlimited natural resources, yet we export all that then buy it back as goods. Nothing logical or rational about the insane approach. We should have tariffs to drive our manufacturing industry, along with a huge resource export and wealth tax. We should be building our own electric vehicles, keeping all out lithium supplies and only exporting manufactured, not raw materials. Then we would have a sustainable economy, not a profit growth one.

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7 minutes ago, Dax said:

Nothing logical or rational about the insane approach

It all relates back to the ethics of those who hold the purse strings, and their puppets who preach the falsehood that we have a democracy. The financiers have no morals, and their ethics  are those that ensure their own gratification. What would be good to see is a dictatorship based on establishing a sustainable economy based on the sensible use of our resources and value-adding to them. For too long we have been happy to rely on Primary Industry for our exports, but now that is not working. Next time you go grocery shopping, take the time to read the labels on food packages. "Made in Australia from (90+%) ingredients" is becoming rarer and rarer. It seems that it is only fresh meat, eggs and milk that are 100% Australian produce.

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We want other countries to buy our products, so we should be prepared to buy theirs.

Subsidize our local industries? Been there, done that. Wasn’t a great success.

 

When our current iron-ore boom is over Australia will feel the full sting of China’s displeasure. Our national debt is rapidly expanding beyond levels thought possible. Our government will be forced to make some tough decisions very soon. 

While much of our economy is controlled by super-rich foreigners, what can they do?

 

Think Oz could be a manufacturing power? We have to import doctors, aged care workers, technicians, farm worker, etc while millions of our people sit idle.

 

Clever country.

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1 hour ago, Old Koreelah said:

Subsidize our local industries? Been there, done that. Wasn’t a great success.

Subsidies will not work, I agree. Who benefits from the subsidies? The people who finance industries - not necessarily the owners. It's the investors, whose only wish is to have their money do the working. They don't want to raise a finger themselves.

 

What I see as the major contributing factor to the demise of Secondary Industry in Australia is compulsory superannuation. This is a double-edged sword. For the worker, it is a means to support them after their working life. That support is improved if the worker contributes as well. That should be compulsory. For the employer, it represents an additional expense that has to be recovered through increased prices for products or services. Finally, the accumulated money in superannuation funds is loaned out in the form of purchased shares. That's investment, and the investor requires a return. Therefore the borrower must do everything to reduce the bottom line. What has happened is that the easiest way to do this has been to slash the amount of money used for wages and superannuation payments by having things made in countries where wages are minimal and superannuation contributions are unheard of.

 

The barrier to Australia establishing a sound manufacturing base is quite simply GREED. The "I want more than you" attitude. Another drawback is the overwhelming pressure that "environmentalists" place on preserving the environment. That's why we don't smelt our own iron ore and bauxite, for example, and why we don't use those smelted raw materials to make things. There are very many other Primary products that we are quite capable of processing further, yet we send them away to let other economies add value and send them back. Why can't we process wool or cotton into cloth? Why can't we make clothing from that cloth, or footwear from our own animal skins? 

 

But I know that what I am saying is pie in the sky. One can only dream!

 

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3 hours ago, Old Koreelah said:

We want other countries to buy our products, so we should be prepared to buy theirs.

Subsidize our local industries? Been there, done that. Wasn’t a great success.

After ww2 until the insanity of privatisation and free trade, we had an excellent manufacturing industry covering just about everything, almost full employment and jobs galore. Most of those jobs were skilled trades where you did on the job apprenticeships or training, now we have TAFE, just another school room and teachers who don't have a clue and have zero experience in trades, or even actually working in the industry.

 

This is the 21st century, not the 19th, but our politicians are still back in the 19th century and virtually none of them have any experiences in life outside an office, or school room. Their only interest is in getting to the next election and they will do anything to make sure they get elected, even to the point of giving away billions to the corporate world, whilst millions struggle without jobs or a future.

 

Free trade only helps the corporate world and other vested interests, it does nothing for the people or future, if free trade and privatiisation were a success, our society would be on top of the world. Now we put up with junk commodities that have very little life spans then they are useless and end up in landfill. That's not progress, but regression.

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Now this may be revealing my absolute ignorance, but the whole thing about government debt has me confused.

 

Not that governments go into debt.  Got that.  It's who they're in debt TO that confuses me.

 

I'd previously assumed that it must be to other governments.  China's been pretty hot economically (according to the figures they reveal) so I thought perhaps they held huge swathes of debt from other governments.

 

However on some radio program the other day I heard that China has a lot of government debt too.

 

So who do they all owe it to?

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Japan is one of the most indebted nations in the world, with the Japan public debt running at over 200% of GDP. But Japan owes nearly all that money to Japanese banks!? Go figure? 

 

https://www.eastasiaforum.org/2018/08/06/is-japans-mountain-of-public-debt-a-threat-to-financial-stability/

 

The only thing in Japans favour is it does hold a substantial value in foreign assets. It owes about US$12 trillion, but holds about US$3 trillion in overseas assets. Regardless, probably sooner than later, there will come a day of reckoning for Japans debt.

The day of reckoning will see either a major surge in value-destroying inflation (as happened after in Japan after WW2) - serious increases in taxes and social service contributions - or simple debt default by the Govt.

No matter what kind of reckoning it ends up being, it's going to be ugly.

 

Edited by onetrack
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7 hours ago, Marty_d said:

Not that governments go into debt.  Got that.  It's who they're in debt TO that confuses me.

My understanding is and it's probably wrong, until a dew decades ago our monetary economy was determined by the amount of gold reserves we held, when we exceeded that we were in debt. Then politicians who had no clue about anything but their ideology and egos took over with their never ending claims that those who had undergone university training were the only ones equipped to run the country and we can see where that has got us.

 

When they showed they were incapable of running the country and ran out of money, they gave away the peoples money making assets to the corporate world, which meant they ran out of income to support the economy. In typical ideological mindset, they saw an opportunity to have money to give to their vested interests, so they sold off the gold to the rich wasted the money and then devised the world bank who had nothing. They pledged a certain amount from each government to the bank, but they had no money to support their pledges, so they just wrote it as debt to the world bank who has nothing.

 

There's not one government on the planet who is in credit, they are all in debt to nothing. So they can print money as they wish and not worry about the long term consequences. We have to remember the world political system runs on short term outcomes, never long term.

 

The world monetary policy runs on hot air and nothing else, so it will fall over in the end when they can no longer explain why the ideological elites have all the money and the people have virtually none. That has to happen, the only way they can sustain the monetary system is to make it up as they go. Their hope is it will all come together if they just stick to their ideological approach, which in reality is empty fantasy.

 

Now the world banks charge people to use their own money, after getting governments to direct all monetary policy through banks, which means they now have control over everyone's money through their card systems and the people have no control over their own money. Banks are pushing to remove cash from world societies, so they can capture everyone's money and charge them for using what belongs to them.

 

If that approach makes sense, then it needs to be explained to me why it makes sense, because it makes no sense to me and is a perfect explanation of why our societies are falling apart.

 

No economic policy works for the people, it all works purely for the corporate world and the elites. The medical system is another example of this policy, you pay for insurance, then you have to pay again to get something done. Same with superannuation, your employer gives your money to funds who are not controlled at all and they charge you for using your money and use your money to feather their own and the corporate worlds nests and failed investments. In the end all the money you tried to save, ends up in the hand of others. When you want to live on it, they have changed the goal posts, instigated price rises until your many years of savings is almost useless for you future needs.

 

The most simple and workable formula which woudl work, would be to allow people to spend their money, goicernment to own and operate all essential services so they build up theri reserves and then can provide the people wtih decent pensions for theri retiement. This would take out so many rips off the corporate wirld use to bleed the population by price rises and removal or diminish essential services. We now pay corporations to drive on roads we paid for, we pay them for essential services we paid for and they got for almost free from governments who then through away the money on subsiding the corporations they gave our services to. free trade agreements are another con job on the people, who wins out those, the corporate world, whilst and producers, small business and the people lose out all the time.

 

None of it makes sense, it seems the people are to stupid to take notice of what's happening to their lives, until it's to late. But for some insane reason, the people still vote fro these deranged ideological parties who are destroying the future over and over.

 

I

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Please stop blaming the voters for all this. I'm a voter and I'll tell you I'm not insane.

 

I agree that we've been conned.

 

If you can find me a non deranged, less ideologically destructive political entity, who plans for the long term good of their public AND is also honest, to vote for...........

Edited by nomadpete
deleted my expletives
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1 hour ago, Dax said:

…There's not one government on the planet who is in credit, they are all in debt to nothing.
 

Incorrect. Norway’s government has $90billion spare cash. The nation has about a trillion dollars in savings, largely because (unlike Australia) they didn’t let foreign corporations get control of their mineral wealth.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_public_debt

 

Quote

Now the world banks charge people to use their own money, after getting governments to direct all monetary policy through banks, which means they now have control over everyone's money through their card systems and the people have no control over their own money. Banks are pushing to remove cash from world societies, so they can capture everyone's money and charge them for using what belongs to them...

Gold-based currencies are gone and many people expect crypto currencies to empower their future. 
https://due.com/blog/cryptocurrency-will-make-world-a-better-place/

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39 minutes ago, Old Koreelah said:

Incorrect. Norway’s government has $90billion spare cash. The nation has about a trillion dollars in savings, largely because (unlike Australia) they didn’t let foreign corporations get control of their mineral wealth.

That's true yet they have higher public and government debt that Aus according to your link, the graphs all show Norway as having high government and public debt, which is balanced by the reserves but they are still in debt. However having reserves makes a big difference and agree, keeping services and resources in the hands of the people makes a huge difference. Aus has no reserves, just debt and big holes in the ground.

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58 minutes ago, Old Koreelah said:

Gold-based currencies are gone and many people expect crypto currencies to empower their future. 

Problem is, turn of the power, have a internet meltdown and crypto currencies no longer exist. Crypto currency is useless unless you have power. Its like cloud storage, sounds great but turn of the power or internet and that's it, all your data disappears. That's the glaring future we face with using cards and make believe non existent currency, power failure, servers failure, cloud storage failure or breakdown and that's it.

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Unless you keep your money hidden under your bed, it is stored digitally.        Debt is not universally a bad thing. Most of us would never own our own house if we did not take out a loan.   It does depend on what the debt is incurred for and your ability to service that debt.

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3 hours ago, nomadpete said:

If you can find me a non deranged, less ideologically destructive political entity, who plans for the long term good of their public AND is also honest, to vote for...........

I always vote for independents, they tend to listen to voters as they don't have a party with heaps of money to lie and con the people. If they don't listen they don't last long as we see that constantly, as independents get sucked in by the party machine and end up supporting the major parties, who at the next election do everything they can to get the independent thrown out.

 

When there has not been a decent or even an independent, my vote goes informal and no one gets it. This allows me to not have to give a vote to morons, because I have to vote and don't have a problem with voting, just the candidates.

 

If the majority voted informal when there were no decent or even independents, then the party hacks would get very few votes and they may have to re-run the election. Once the people realised they had the power to not elect party hacks, they may decide to have a real say.

 

Won't hold me breath waiting and will stick to seeing the majority just vote for whatever party hack is put in front of them, because they never seem to stop believing the lies they are fed every election and for some bizarre reason think things will change. When history shows us they never do change, unless the people change their approach to elections and make a real difference by ignoring party hacks.

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1 hour ago, Dax said:

If the majority voted informal when there were no decent or even independents, then the party hacks would get very few votes and they may have to re-run the election.

There is a fatal flaw in that argument. The candidate who receives a majority of the eligible votes cast is declared the winner. As of today, my electorate has 82,569 enrolled electors. If 82,000 people's votes were ineligible for some reason (blank, scribbled on, too many marks, etc) that would leave 569 eligible votes. That means that the winner would be the person with 285 votes - after distribution of preferences. That 569 probably represents the total number of people in the electorate who are engaged in State politics from all parties.

 

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7 minutes ago, old man emu said:

There is a fatal flaw in that argument

I understand that, but if lets say 90% or even 50% of voters vote informal in an electorate, it would send a big message to the parties that people aren't happy. The law says you have to vote, but it doesn't say you have to vote for someone and why should we have to vote for people being elected unconstitutionally, when the Aus constitution states categorically, representatives must be elected by direct vote, not preferential votes which are not direct in any way.

 

If you want to change the system, you have to start somewhere and except for violent revolution, which never works out, the only way to change things is to stop voting for the unconstitutional party system of preferential voting. Which ensures the parties always get elected to power, even though there may be the odd independent, who in the end supports the party system by accepting bribes to vote with the parties.

 

The best approach would be to encourage independents to run and make sure they do what the people of the electorate want. Of course we can just ignore the situation and continue down the road we are being led, but does anyone really want to keep going down that road, which is clearly marked as a fatal direction.

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3 hours ago, Dax said:

you have to start somewhere and except for violent revolution, which never works out, the only way to change things is to stop voting

I know I'm picking the eyes out of your statement, but I didn't want to deal with the whole thing.

To start somewhere, you have to get your message out. If you are fiercely independent, then who are you going to get to firstly listen to your political manifesto? Then you have to convince the majority that the system needs changing. The first Whitlam government is the only one that, I think, pulled that off. However, we know that , however achieved, of the changes wrought by Whitlam and Co.  barely a few have survived the politicking of the other. Right or wrong, I don't care. I'm just giving an example.

 

We have had two fine examples of small groups changing the political systems in their countries during the 20th Century - the Russians in 1917 and the Germans in 1933. The Russians overthrew a monarchy and the National Socialist German Workers’ Party caused the overthrow of the Weimar Republic. In both cases the masses were dissatisfied with the conditions they suffered under the system they overthrew.

 

But could you do that in Australia? When was the last time you hears anybody with political aspirations deliver a manifesto to the electorate? We get sound grabs and photo opportunities where the speaker cants mumbo-jumbo whilst backed by a line of Noddys, emulating Patterson's "gilded youths that sat along the barber's wall. Their eyes were dull, their heads were flat, they had no brains at all;"

 

Convince Australians to put in a dud vote? Never gunna happen, mate.

Elect an Independent over candidates from the Big Parties? Have to be related by blood and marriage to over half the people in the electorate.

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13 hours ago, old man emu said:

To start somewhere, you have to get your message out.

To start with I'm only putting forward suggestions as to the way it could be done as part of the discussion, to be honest, there is no way it would happen and I don't really care. I'm very well prepared for the future whatever it is, even nuclear war and will sit back and watch the outcome just to experience it. Have no idea how things will go, but our political system is falling apart as blatant corruption takes over and the fervent ideologies holding power blunder from disaster to disaster.

 

The handling of the virus is a prime example of totally stupidity and they still have not built proper quarantine facilities outside CBD's. so society can continue whilst those effected are separated from the general community. The hotel quarantine just gets worse and worse, yet they do nothing but more of the same. Now doesn't that send signals of the reality we face under this political system, if not then we have an unfixable problem because the people are complicit in their own demise.

 

Ideological humanity is way past it's use by date and because the vast majority live deeply in denial and fantasy, they will do nothing other than complain. Informal voting has grown in this country, it's not huge but it is growing and that shows more and more are becoming very dissatisfied with governance.

 

This is the 21st century, yet we have a political system from the 19th century incapable of operating in this century and there are ways to get a new direction and governance system in place. It just takes a few to start it and it would grow like a wild fire, especially in the young who are increasingly seeing nothing ahead but disaster.

 

What is needed is a political party to be elected that will get rid of political parties and hand power to the people directly. An example of how that could be done is right here, an online forum. Forums are ways to get agenda's across to the majority, with the right social push it could spread the agenda fast, especially when people realised the forum was a platform for everyone to have their say and develop policies which represent the majority choice.

 

The people would discuss and devise policies then vote them in, instead of having brain dead elitists running the place into the grounds. The people would elect those who had the experience and knowledge of portfolios to be able to put the people plans into action and they could be fired if they failed to do as the people wish.

 

Now portfolios are given out to any who support the leaders and none of them have a clue or any experience or knowledge of their portfolios, which means they spend hundreds of millions on advisers yearly and only listen to big business lobbyists and their vested interests

 

Putting all government on line and making it transparent, except for major security and defence matters, would give the people confidence to run the country themselves. Of course there would have to be proper security and that could be done by using the most advanced, stable and secure OS on the planet, linux. It would take very little to develop a government system that was extremely secure and people could only access it by being registered voters. 

 

Where I live, there was a new party started a couple of years ago, which claimed to represent the people and called for policies and members. I got in touch with them and suggested the way for them to get elected would be to start an online forum and let members develop policies on the forum, whilst providing startup policies to get non parry members interests enough to vote. They challenged me to provide those startup policies covering all portfolios which I did.

 

Once the hierarchy of the party realised the policies would mean they would be out of a job after just a year or so, or would not be elected, there was an uproar. Particularly with regard to online policy development by members, resulting in many in the party wanting to go down that track and the leaders hell bent on keeping power. The party collapsed, members realised they were being conned by the leaders, who like all ideological clones just wanted to get into power and would do anything to get there and refused to go down the forum policy direction, as it took away their power.

 

That showed me the only way it could be done is if there were enough dedicated people to start up an online party and spread the word through social media, especially to give the young a forum they could be involved with and feel they had a chance of a future.

 

So like any form of change now, it's a waste of time and all I'm doing is putting forward alternatives, that could get us out of the downward spiral and set up the country to tackle the uncertain future ahead. Before anyone suggests I should go into politics if I wanted to see changes, I'm ineligible for federal politics and would be classed as a benevolent dictator in a state government as I would make changes that would most certainly upset the elitists, ideologies and big business.  I'm a very big supporter of small business, which I see as the only way to have a stable sustainable economy, as it's the real driving force of competition and development. Big business relies upon a profit growth economy. Most of all, I have no interest whatsoever in being in government and if by some strange chance it did happen I'd be resigning as soon as it will as set up. Luckily will never happen, there is no one who would support online government by the people, everyone seems so locked into the past for that progressive approach.

 

 

 

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Utilisation of the Internet via dedicated forums is a good proposal, but unfortunately other factors such as disinterest, apathy or empire-building would prevent it from becoming  solution. By analogy, you can give a horse its head, but you still control the reins.  Alas, that's exactly what happened in your story about the new party.

 

Even here, and on the sister site, we see the content (ideas, comments, information etc.) being posted by a small core of members. Not that anyone here is looking to dictate content. Those who try are soon assassinated. 

 

I agree that Ministries are handed out on the basis of political pay-off than on capability. Whoever decided that outsourcing government work, such as main roads construction, should be dug up, tried and executed as Cromwell was. It is clear that outsourcing increases the end cost by massive amounts, and the product is usually inferior to comparable standards. How many times does the NSW Public Service Internet-based system fail under the demand when the government announces some new benefit?

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2 hours ago, old man emu said:

Utilisation of the Internet via dedicated forums is a good proposal, but unfortunately other factors such as disinterest, apathy or empire-building would prevent it from becoming  solution. By analogy, you can give a horse its head, but you still control the reins.  Alas, that's exactly what happened in your story about the new party.

There are problems with every approach to politics and power grabbers, that's why an online governance forum would be the best way to go for this century. The only way it could be done is for a few people who liked and wanted the put the idea to the populace would have to devise a set of policies which would attract the people, so there was already a base to start with and subjects that need to be addressed.

 

Proper moderation controls would soon weed out the morons whose only aim would be to push negatives and keep the forum in track, then it's a matter of those involved discussing the subjects and devising policies for them. When there was a majority consensus, a vote could be taken and is accepted, put into place. If it was working, it would attract more and more and when the election came around, the forum would have chosen the qualified in their sphere of experience and knowledge would be ready to put their case directly to the people and push the fact that everyone would have a say in policy and implementation.

 

I've worked in hospitality and entertainment for almost 50 years, so get to listen to what people from all walks of life have to say about governance and politics. In my opinion you hear much better logical approaches to subjects and policies from the average customer, than from any politician or senior politician that would work. I have more faith in the average person to be abe to devise policy, than all the over educated politicians and bureaucrats put together.

 

As for that new party, knew before I got involved what would happen, it's par for the course when dealing with ideological elitists. But being the type of person I am, not having a go, is not in my vocabulary and do enjoy challenging peoples veracity and putting them on the spot in a nice way. If they can't handle it, stiff couldn't care less, nothing like making some people squirm when they think they are infallible and in control.

 

 In reality, just making conversation, your own reaction with respect, shows no one is interested in in doing anything to change our direction, seems everyone wants to cling to the sinking ship hoping it won't sink, even though they can see there is absolutely no chance of it staying afloat and in fact the gunnels are at the water line already.

 

That's the only thing that makes me sad is, no one will make any effort to change the direction we are headed and those in charge who the people voted for, are so deep in ideological insanity, they can see nothing but themselves and their hoped for ideological outcomes.

 

There are 3 types of people, those who take action well before disaster strikes, those who hesitate until it's to late and those who totally ignore the reality, relying upon their ideological beliefs to save them. We see this in every war, conflict and natural disaster. Take climate change and sea rise, people are still building and buying sea side properties which are already being effected by sea rise, but because they can't face reality, they live in empty hope it won't happen to them and it does.

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