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Man Formerly Charged With Rigging Student Ballot Exposed As Labor Official

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the public-servants-around-the-world dept.

Australia 96

First time accepted submitter pocock writes "Motivated by reports of Matthew Weaver's twelve month jail sentence for rigging CalState student elections, a comprehensive blog describes in detail how a generation of student ballot riggers from the late 1990s have graduated unhindered into federal politics, playing a pivotal role in Australia's upcoming federal election. One can only wonder if Weaver had not been caught, would he too have eventually swiped a million dollars and put the SRC into liquidation?"

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96 comments

Aus Labor Party is anything but democratic (1, Interesting)

mfearby (1653) | about 9 months ago | (#44402783)

They might come from the "social democratic" tradition but there's nothing democratic about the Australian Labor Party. They're the masters of branch stacking and rigging votes, especially through union representation at national conferences. The party has become a joke and the sooner they're turfed in the coming months, the better. They need a few terms in the wilderness to clean up their filthy act.

Re:Aus Labor Party is anything but democratic (2, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | about 9 months ago | (#44402861)

Yeah, but the only alternative is the "Liberal Party", which has nothing liberal about it.

Re:Aus Labor Party is anything but democratic (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44402929)

Australia has a transferable voting system. Third party votes are not wasted.

Vote *other!

Re:Aus Labor Party is anything but democratic (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 9 months ago | (#44403085)

Sure, but that only changes the binary choice into a somewhat finer-grained choice of which of the two coalitions you want to vote for. The next PM is exceedingly likely to come from either the Labor or the Liberal party, so if you vote for a third party, you're still indirectly voting for one of those two as PM as well, depending on which third party you choose. For example, if you vote LNP or National, you're voting for a Liberal PM, since those parties support the Liberal Party in coalition.

Re:Aus Labor Party is anything but democratic (1)

mathew42 (2475458) | about 9 months ago | (#44403771)

The advantage of preference voting systems is that it allows you to vote for your preferred candidate and know that your vote won't be wasted. For example, if two left leaning candidates and one right leaning candidate stand in an electorate where the vote is historically 60% left, 40% right then the right leaning candidate has a higher chance of being elected, but this doesn't truly reflect the will of the electorate.

In Australia, electors tend to prefer a centrist party (e.g Australian Democrats in the past) to hold the balance of power in the upper house (senate) to "keep the bastards honest". It is not clear that this has always resulted in the best policy outcomes (e.g. GST compromises) and has seen pork barreling when an independent holds the balance of power (e.g Brian Harradine from Tasmania, Independents in the current parliament).

Re:Aus Labor Party is anything but democratic (1)

Aaron B Lingwood (1288412) | about 9 months ago | (#44404153)

Sure, but that only changes the binary choice into a somewhat finer-grained choice of which of the two coalitions you want to vote for. The next PM is exceedingly likely to come from either the Labor or the Liberal party

I agree that the choice of government is binary - Liberal or Labor. By voting for minor parties, we can achieve a few things. Firstly, we can signal to the other parties that we, the voters, are not completely happy with them. Secondly, we could again force a minority government which will help prevent a further shift to the right. Lastly, your first preference vote will help fund the campaign for that minor party*.

That is right. Each First Preference vote is worth $2.49* [abc.net.au] .

* = If that minor party achieves 4% or more of votes in any division.

Re:Aus Labor Party is anything but democratic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404327)

If that minor party achieves 4% or more of votes in any division.

Which therefore means only the Greens and a few independent candidates will have a chance.

Re:Aus Labor Party is anything but democratic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44402949)

Yeah, but the only alternative is the "Liberal Party"...

Uh, oh? How come?

Re:Aus Labor Party is anything but democratic (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 9 months ago | (#44403035)

Yeah, but the only alternative is the "Liberal Party".

What? [smh.com.au] . Mate, the ballot paper looks like an Asian grocery shelf and you complain about the lack of choice?

Plastic magnifying sheets will be installed in voting booths to help Victorians navigate their way through what could be the biggest ever Senate ballot paper.

Victorians could be faced with a 1.02 metre Senate ballot paper at the 2013 federal election, the maximum size it can be printed, with the font size reduced to 6 point to fit all the candidates' names.

The number of registered political parties has almost doubled since the 2010 election from 25 to 46, and another 11 parties are waiting to be processed.

Re:Aus Labor Party is anything but democratic (4, Insightful)

blind monkey 3 (773904) | about 9 months ago | (#44403119)

Mate, the ballot paper looks like an Asian grocery shelf and you complain about the lack of choice?

More like a restaurant with a huge menu of delicious dishes to choose from. You can order what ever you want but you always get either sweet and sour pork or beef in black bean sauce served to you - both come with special fried rice.

Re:Aus Labor Party is anything but democratic (2)

c0lo (1497653) | about 9 months ago | (#44403351)

:D :D :D

Well, you can still order
* mango and bean sprouts salad [greens.org.au] (but don't mix seafood [wikipedia.org] into, it may become explosive!) with or without a side of feta [badrickunadulterated.com]
* shipwreck stew [pirateparty.org.au] or...
* even Ecuadorian sitting duck [wikileaksparty.org.au]

Besides, the last election showed a change in the added spices and... yes, not to be missed... we've seen some Queenslander's eggs being powdered in the process (and now being reconstituted), so nobody can deny it was interesting [wikipedia.org] .
As the patrons pay only if they do not order, the change in the served dishes will happen if enough patrons ask for a it.

Re:Aus Labor Party is anything but democratic (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 9 months ago | (#44403339)

Yea, come to the united states and vote... they'd likely let you since we don't even check ID here... then your choices are:
SomeWhiteGuy#1 (D)
SomeWhiteGuy#2 (R)

Re:Aus Labor Party is anything but democratic (1)

Aaron B Lingwood (1288412) | about 9 months ago | (#44404111)

What? . Mate, the ballot paper looks like an Asian grocery shelf and you complain about the lack of choice?

That is just the Senate ballot. The House of Representatives ballot isn't that impressive. Look at Sydney:

Australian Labor Party (Centre Right)
Liberal Party (Right)
Greens (Left)
Citizens Electoral Council (Far Right Fascist)
Palmer United Australia (Right)
Socialist Alliance (Left)
Christian Democratic Party (Right)

No independents. No candidates for truly transformative parties like Pirate Party (Left) and Wikileaks Party (Left). ALP, LP, PUA, and CDP all run the same platform, the Greens are too detached from reality, uncompromising, and unsupportive of incremental improvements, and SA, well, we've seen nothing from them except the 'Free Assange' campaign. Choice? No candidate represents what I want.

Re:Aus Labor Party is anything but democratic (1)

mfearby (1653) | about 9 months ago | (#44404957)

There is no way that the Australian Labor Party could be considered Centre Right, not in a million years. They're more Centre Left than anything, and Greens Left or Far Left. And by extension the Liberal/National Coalition could be Centre Right or Right. They both compete for the centre ground.

Re:Aus Labor Party is anything but democratic (1)

InfiniteLoopCounter (1355173) | about 9 months ago | (#44405395)

There is no way that the Australian Labor Party could be considered Centre Right, not in a million years.

This being a worldly site (albeit with a US focus), the Australian Labour Party is now a mainly centre-right party with an occasional centre-left policy. This was not always the case and is often confused because the main opposition, the Australian Liberal Party is the opposite party to the Liberal party in the US. It started as a workers and unions party with links to the country and gradually morphed to a centre-right party in recent times in the hopes to attract popular votes. To politicians the country is now a liberal voting block (except the indigineous areas, although that may be changing) and it's all a bit dishevelled because there are right and left factions in the Labour party that oscillate between periods of dominance. The state Australian Labour parties are easier to see examples of a move to centre-right in recent times.

Re:Aus Labor Party is anything but democratic (1)

lxs (131946) | about 9 months ago | (#44404785)

I'm more shocked at the photo accompanying that article. You guys have cardboard ballot boxes? Not sturdy metal ones with a lock on them?

Re:Aus Labor Party is anything but democratic (1)

mfearby (1653) | about 9 months ago | (#44404959)

We have election scrutineers from each party to observe the process. I've done it once before and we all watch the boxes like hawks, and the counting of ballot papers, too. You'd only need sturdy metal boxes if the ballot boxes had to be collected by, say, your local govt-friendly militia to transport them to a "safe" counting location (i.e., where their contents are simply replaced anyway).

Democracy in Australia is one of the best-functioning in the world. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. If you do, you end up with the US system where elections are a complete farce. It's amazing how they hold themselves up as a beacon of democracy to the world. Their elections are less free than some dictatorships!

Voting in Australia is easy (1)

mathew42 (2475458) | about 9 months ago | (#44405243)

You would be surprised at how easy it is to vote in Australia.
- At a polling station it hasn't ever taken me longer than 30 minutes to vote
- All I need to provide is my Name & Address
- I can turn up at any of the polling stations in my electorate.
- If I happen to be outside my electorate and a reasonable distance, then I can vote at any polling station in the country.
- If I happen to be busy on polling day (almost any excuse will do), then I can submit an absentee vote via post.
The easy of the process probably helps to explain why voting is compulsory. Sometimes I even take the kids along for a bit of civics education.

On election night we have details for the almost all seats in lower house with a couple of hours. Only a few very close seats take longer if postal votes or a recount is required.

Frankly, most Australians (and New Zealanders) are surprised at how hard the rest of the world makes the process of voting.

Re:Voting in Australia is easy (1)

catprog (849688) | about 9 months ago | (#44410211)

Not quite anyone in the country. If you are interstate only some of the stations allow interstate voting.

You don't even have to be busy, if you live more then some distance away from a station you can absentee vote.

Re:Voting in Australia is easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44413251)

Voting is the US is difficult by intent. The people with the hardest time voting (working poor, those without cars, new citizens) are likely to vote Democratic, so Republicans have lead had a decades long fight make voting as hard as possible. They've fought absentee voting, they've fought changing voting away from working hours (all federal elections are on Tuesday), they've fought for voter ID. I normally expect voting to take a little over an hour, unless I get unlucky. It's been a very long time since I've had no wait. The Republicans keep crying voter fraud as the reasons for restricting voting, but when challenged into court to show evidence of such fraud, they've admitted there was none. They also insist on banning felons from voting, for life. They can't vote even decades after serving their time.

Re:Aus Labor Party is anything but democratic (1)

DpEpsilon (2538466) | about 9 months ago | (#44403303)

Which is why you don't put either of the major parties first. You wouldn't want either to get your public funding [abc.net.au] .

Re:Aus Labor Party is anything but democratic (1)

mfearby (1653) | about 9 months ago | (#44403543)

I have sometimes routed my preferences to ultimately land with the Liberals but upon finding out that they would be deprived of my AEC-funding as a result, most definitely I'll be putting a "1" in the Liberal/National Coalition box this time. Thank you, kind sir :-) You've done me a great service.

Re:Aus Labor Party is anything but democratic (1, Informative)

rtb61 (674572) | about 9 months ago | (#44404211)

The Liberal Party method of appointing it's leadership it totally and utterly free of ballot stuffing 100% guaranteed. No Ballot, no democracy, how could autocrats allow anything as disrupting as democracy to control it's leadership, basically straight up collusion at the top appoints it's leadership and you betcha lotsa $$$ have everything to do with who leads. At least with preferential voting third party voting has real clout and the Australian Greens provide a viable alternative.

Re:Aus Labor Party is anything but democratic (2)

mfearby (1653) | about 9 months ago | (#44404949)

The argument that three greens are a viable alternative simply because they aren't one of the major parties is a very poor argument indeed. Their policies would ruin this country utterly! The Liberals appoint their leadership through a ballot in the parliamentary party room. You don't like it, vote for somebody else. It has worked fine for a long time and just because Labor is tearing itself to bits, doesn't mean the Libs have to change to suit people who wouldn't vote for them anyway.

Re:Aus Labor Party is anything but democratic (1)

mathew42 (2475458) | about 9 months ago | (#44403833)

You missed the Labor Federal MP Craig Thomson [wikipedia.org] HSU corruption scandal. The current Labor Government and in particular former prime minister Julia Gillard protected Thomson, to preserve her government, when he should have been brought to justice much more speedily. The worst part of this affair is that HSU members are mostly lowly paid cleaners and other associated support staff in hospitals. The people who unions are supposed to protect, not spend their union dues on expensive meals, prostitutes and holidays interstate.

We also have the NSW Labor corruption [abc.net.au] which has resulted in the expulsion of two former Labor Ministers Ian Macdonald and Eddie Obeid.

Re: Aus Labor Party is anything but democratic (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403885)

Funny how you forget to mention the court case involving defendant Tony Abbott and his involvement with both arranging the funding to seek the imprisonment of political opponents, the Battlerorts fiasco, the current court case involving defendant Sophie Mirabella or the involvement of the Liberal Party in the trumped up sexual harrassment charges (according to the presiding magistrate) against Peter Slipper. Both parties contain the odd shady individual, the difference being that one of the shady individuals in the Liberal Party wants to be PM.

Re:Aus Labor Party is anything but democratic (0)

Aaron B Lingwood (1288412) | about 9 months ago | (#44404287)

I don't know why I am wasting my breathe on such an obvious paid shill (or worse still, an Alan Jones follower). Hopefully I can translate the above copypasta for everybody else.

The Craig Thomson case is far from over and it is more than likely that he will prevail in court. Craig Thomson was arrested in NSW by Victorian Police on credit card fraud charges. These charges total a little over $900 AUD and Craig was authorized for up to $50,000 per annum in work-related and incidentals.

Expensive meals refers to the time he met with a journalist over lunch for purely work-related reasons. From memory, the bill was ~$55. The 'prostitutes' he supposedly bought with credit card was misreported after another publication printed 'pornographic movies'. Comically, the original publication also misreported as the movie in question was an R-rated action flick watched in his hotel room while staying for official business. The biggest stretch comes from 'Holidays Interstate'. This actually means he bought a soft-serve icecream to have on camera.

Scot MacDonald was a Liberal MP. As for NSW Labor corruption, at least the party is focused on cleaning it up. Two gone already. Eddie's little empire stretched much further than ALP though, most his mates are Libs. No [news.com.au] Liberal [greenleft.org.au] Corruption [dailywire.com.au] , eh?

Disclosure: I am not an ALP, Liberal or National member. I do not intend to give my first preference vote to any of these parties. I have previously been a Young Liberal.

Re:Aus Labor Party is anything but democratic (1)

mathew42 (2475458) | about 9 months ago | (#44405477)

The Craig Thomson case is far from over and it is more than likely that he will prevail in court. Craig Thomson was arrested in NSW by Victorian Police on credit card fraud charges. These charges total a little over $900 AUD and Craig was authorized for up to $50,000 per annum in work-related and incidentals.

The ABC reports [abc.net.au] that Police have Craig Thomson with 150 fraud charges. I'd be surprised if after a lengthy investigation by multiple parties. Mr McArdle (his lawyer) states that "That allegation [use of prostitutes] in the Fair Work matter is $7,000 - false as it is - out of a case that's $300,000." so I'm not sure where your figure of $900 comes from.

HSU's form national president Michael Williamson (a former colleague of Thomson) has been charged with misuse of $500,000 of union funds.

Re:Aus Labor Party is anything but democratic (1)

Aaron B Lingwood (1288412) | about 9 months ago | (#44408233)

Mr McArdle (his lawyer) states that "That allegation [use of prostitutes] in the Fair Work matter is $7,000 - false as it is - out of a case that's $300,000." so I'm not sure where your figure of $900 comes from.

I base the ~$900 figure off the current (not original) charges and a sighted copy of all transactions. After the cited interview, many charges were dropped, and some added.

This is a great reference [independentaustralia.net]

Re:Labor Corruption (1)

mathew42 (2475458) | about 9 months ago | (#44408949)

Your great reference sounds like the Craig Thomson fan club from the comments. The linked [abc.net.au] article states that it is 173 charges relating to $28,000 of Health Services Union funds. The mere fact that it is called "Jacksonville" suggests a smear campaign against Kathy Jackson [www.https] who first raised the allegations of corruption in HSU by Craig Thomson and colleague Michael Williamson.

What I see is evidence of Unions / Labor being more interested in internal politics than helping members / running the country.

Re:Aus Labor Party is anything but democratic (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 9 months ago | (#44405051)

The alternative is to reward people like Turnbull who bought his place in a safe seat by paying for the party membership of hundreds of people the week before his preselection vote. There's nothing actually illegal about it but I think there should be. Thus instead of teaching a lesson for bad behaviour I think you'd be setting them a worse example.

Re:Aus Labor Party is anything but democratic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44407791)

They take after the UK Labour Party so.

Weaver is a Labor Official? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44402797)

I don't see that anywhere.

Re:Weaver is a Labor Official? (4, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | about 9 months ago | (#44402871)

It's confusingly written, but the blurb (and story) are just using him as the hook. The rest of the story is about Australian politics.

The premise seems to be something like this:

1. Heard about this guy Matthew Weaver, who's been in the news after he was convicted of rigging student elections in California?

2. Well, on that subject, did you know that a bunch of current Australian politicians also have a background rigging student elections back in their college days?

Re:Weaver is a Labor Official? (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 9 months ago | (#44404601)

Matthew Weaver jail sentence came as a result of stealing passwords.

Re:Weaver is a Labor Official? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404895)

He was convicted of stealing 745 passwords. He did this to rig a school election. Did I miss something?

Re:Weaver is a Labor Official? (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 9 months ago | (#44408661)

He was convicted of stealing 745 passwords. He did this to rig a school election. Did I miss something?

Perhaps.

The conviction was for stealing passwords. The election issue was a side-story as far as why he was brought up on charges.

In other words, had he manipulated the election without stealing passwords, his jail time would have been significantly less or nonexistent.

Re:Weaver is a Labor Official? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 9 months ago | (#44403785)

I don't see that anywhere.

Because the political agenda trumps legibility.

Take note of the source.

Surprising? No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44402815)

I don't think anyone is surprised that people who would cheat to win a school election would continue into politics where they could try to cheat their way into anything and everything they can.

The sad part is the 12 month sentence that Weaver got will not deter him from running for office, not will it keep people from voting for him.

"Ratfucking" (4, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 9 months ago | (#44402847)

A similar dynamic of student-election "dirty tricks" graduating into general election bugging and sabotage of election opponents played out during the Watergate scandal. Donald Segretti cut his teeth in election fraud during his USC days, and later applied his skills in Nixon's reelection campaign, the resulting "Muskie letters" effectively knocking a democratic senator out of the campaign. Karl Rove came from the same school of campaigning.

These incidents are as perfect an example of "Broken Window Theory" in politics as you are likely to come across. "Shenanigans" in college, if left unchecked, lead inevitably to outright election fraud. If you permit criminals to train their skills, operate unpunished, and indeed enjoy the rewards of their misdeeds, they are unlikely to change their ways in a hurry.

On a related note, I regard most student politcs in universities as a wholly illegitimate process. The resulting bodies and persons do not represent the student body or its values. At best, they organise drunken festivals and serve as a training ground for the corrupt and incompetent cadre currently in charge of the western world.

Re:"Ratfucking" (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 9 months ago | (#44402877)

While I do not have experience with university student politics (thank God!), I do have such experience from High School. The sentence "At best, they organise drunken festivals and serve as a training ground for the corrupt and incompetent cadre currently in charge of the western world." is not far from the truth there.

I have the feeling it's a very deep cultural problem.

Re:"Ratfucking" (3, Interesting)

guttentag (313541) | about 9 months ago | (#44402911)

Was just thinking the same thing and looking up the quotes:

BERNSTEIN
At USC, you had a word the this--
screwing up the opposition you all
did it at college and called it
ratfucking.
(SEGRETTI half-smiles, nods)
Ever wonder if Nixon might turn out
to be the biggest ratfucker of them
all?


...

DEEP THROAT
My turn to keep you waiting.
(approaches)
What's the topic for tonight?

WOODWARD
Ratfucking.

DEEP THROAT
In my day, it was simply called the
double cross. I believe the CIA refers
to it as Mindfuck. In our context,
it simply means infiltration of the
Democrats.

WOODWARD
I know what it means--Segretti
wouldn't go on the record, but if he
would, we know he'd implicate Chapin.
And that would put us inside the
White House.

DEEP THROAT
(nods)
Yes, the little ratfuckers are now
running our government.

I own the movie on DVD, but ironically, I had to go to a Russian site for the transcript [sfy.ru] .

Re:"Ratfucking" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403789)

Ever wonder if Nixon might turn out
to be the biggest ratfucker of them
all?

Watergate was nothing. Thousands of Americans and thousands of Vietnamese died because of his manipulation and subterfuge.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21768668 [bbc.co.uk]

The FBI had bugged the ambassador's phone and a transcripts of Anna Chennault's calls were sent to the White House. ....

In one call to Senator Richard Russell he says: "We have found that our friend, the Republican nominee, our California friend, has been playing on the outskirts with our enemies and our friends both, he has been doing it through rather subterranean sources. Mrs Chennault is warning the South Vietnamese not to get pulled into this Johnson move."

He orders the Nixon campaign to be placed under FBI surveillance and demands to know if Nixon is personally involved.

When he became convinced it was being orchestrated by the Republican candidate, the president called Senator Everett Dirksen, the Republican leader in the Senate to get a message to Nixon.

The president knew what was going on, Nixon should back off and the subterfuge amounted to treason.

Publicly Nixon was suggesting he had no idea why the South Vietnamese withdrew from the talks. He even offered to travel to Saigon to get them back to the negotiating table.

Johnson felt it was the ultimate expression of political hypocrisy but in calls recorded with Clifford they express the fear that going public would require revealing the FBI were bugging the ambassador's phone and the National Security Agency (NSA) was intercepting his communications with Saigon.

So they decided to say nothing.

The White House tapes, combined with Wheeler's interviews with key White House personnel, provide an unprecedented insight into how Johnson handled a series of crises that rocked his presidency. Sadly, we will never have that sort of insight again.

And this allowing Nixon to win Presidency and the rest is history

There are no records after Nixon. All US presidents no longer record their affairs.

Re:"Ratfucking" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44402913)

Depends on the school. Although you're right, the status quo is usually maintained. At a conservative school, it's the conservatives. At a liberal school, it's the liberals.

And they only loosely represent the school body's values. The reason being is that the people who care the most to get on these councils are the ones looking to have future political careers, so they push certain positions, but also tack on promises for shit they can't deliver like better food in the dining halls or some shit. And then when they are in position, you find them doing stuff like refusing to use grapes from some place because of some labor thing or another.

Re:"Ratfucking" (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 9 months ago | (#44403019)

The resulting bodies and persons do not represent the student body or its values.

Ideally, college students would be negatively affected by more student government stuff and would learn the price of apathy in democratic systems.

Re:"Ratfucking" (1)

mathew42 (2475458) | about 9 months ago | (#44403859)

Ideally, college students would be negatively affected by more student government stuff and would learn the price of apathy in democratic systems.

One could suggest that we shouldn't encourage student politicians. Instead they should be shipped off somewhere that they can no longer cause harm.

A big issue I see with politics is that the career path appears to be:
1. Law degree combined with student politics at Uni
2. Political staffer (or union leader in Labor party)
3. Nomination to a safe seat
Fortunately in Australia profit (corruption) doesn't figure, except in NSW Labor [abc.net.au] . However it does mean that many politicians have very little real world experience.

Re:"Ratfucking" (1)

multimediavt (965608) | about 9 months ago | (#44406841)

"Shenanigans" in college, if left unchecked, lead inevitably to outright election fraud. If you permit criminals to train their skills, operate unpunished, and indeed enjoy the rewards of their misdeeds, they are unlikely to change their ways in a hurry.

That's going on the window of my office! I work in a university.

full disclosure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44402881)

hey /. eds: how about requiring a [disclosure: submitter is linking to their own blog post]

especially in a politically charged article about ethics rife with speculation and innuendo during an election campaign.

Both major parties are bad (2, Interesting)

tdelaney (458893) | about 9 months ago | (#44402893)

The two major parties are very similar in most respects. Both parties have been trying to out-do each other in reprehensible policies.

For me the election has come down to just a few issues:

1. The (incumbent) Labor party has a future-proofing, infrastructure-based Fibre-to-the-Premises broadband policy that is in build at the moment. The (opposition) Liberal/National coalition has a patchwork Fibre-to-the Node policy that they've been dragged kicking and screaming to because the FTTP policy has been so popular. The FTTN policy will cost almost as much to implement, cost more to maintain, and need replacing with FTTP before the FTTN build is complete.

2. The Labor party is still slightly less nasty on social issues (but they're doing their best to convince me otherwise right now).

3. The leader of the Liberal/National coalition - Tony Abbot - is a truly nasty piece of work. He is an intolerant bigot. He makes my skin crawl every time I hear him talk. I don't like the leader of the Labor party (Kevin Rudd) and was ambivalent on the recently-deposed leader (Julia Gillard) but there are some things they say that don't make my guts turn.

Disclosure: I'm personally scheduled to have the FTTP NBN start building in my town in about 1.5 years. For purely selfish reasons I need to vote for a party in the Senate (upper house) that will work to ensure that the NBN stays on track (I'm in a safe Liberal seat, so my vote in the House of Representatives means nothing). However I happen to think that the FTTP NBN is the most important infrastructure project we're likely to see in the next 50+ years, so my vote is not just for selfish reasons.

Re:Both major parties are bad (1)

Kplx138 (2523712) | about 9 months ago | (#44403043)

don't worry about the NBN it'll go ahead as planned no matter who gets in
Yeah I know they(libs) said they'd run a patched network, but the heads of NBN Co. aren't worried because
1. The contracts are in place and it'll cost to much to back out now
2. the Libs plan is to have a patched fibre to node policy, so what about homes that already have fibre to the premises? Tear that up?
it's completely stupid to run a mixed network like that no one would ever sign up to it.
3. you couldn't sell off a half finished network like that, who'd buy that? you'd have to give it away or at the very least take a whopping loss and you'd never recoup you costs.

Re:Both major parties are bad (1)

marky_boi (1427845) | about 9 months ago | (#44403129)

Never stopped the Liberals before look at their previous policies on telecommunications. Patch work quilt Alex out on the fly.

Re:Both major parties are bad (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 9 months ago | (#44405081)

don't worry about the NBN it'll go ahead as planned no matter who gets in

No, they'll cancel it and use the money for pork barrelling or a pointless effort at improving a credit rating that is never going to get better. Various committees of full of people connected to the party will meet, briefly discuss the infrastructure, admit they have no technical clue but will not hear advice and will have long lunches for three years. Then it's time for another empty announcement before an election, then if they win another bunch of mates lunching, while the infrastructure stays in a 1996 Telstra timewarp.
You forget that it's all about ideology and not about practicality, and the ideology was about leaving the problem to the Telstra monopoly while keeping enough shares to put good mates and their wives on the Telstra board. You forget that these people can't tell the difference between a nuclear scientist and someone with a clue about running a communications infrastructure, or indeed any business bigger than a cake stall. The NBN was supposed to be the antidote to a decade of decline in communications under the coalition.

but the heads of NBN Co. aren't worried because

Guess who quit a couple of weeks ago?

Re:Both major parties are bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403169)

The two major parties are very similar in most respects.

First sentence; equivocation. Stopped right there. If your argument is "he did it too" you're part of the problem.

Re:Both major parties are bad (1)

Sabriel (134364) | about 9 months ago | (#44404539)

If you'd kept reading, you'd see his argument is not "he did it too". His argument is, in fact, "here are the differences that shaped my choice".

Also note that, unlike the United States, the voting system in Australia is preferential - it allows you to vote for a third party as your first choice ("I want X, I don't like the two main cretins Y and Z") without it being wasted ("but if we're going to end up with one of those two cretins, I'll pick cretin Z") - and also determines funding in the next election (if X gets enough votes, it also gets more funding to compete with Y and Z next time around).

Re:Both major parties are bad (3, Informative)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 9 months ago | (#44403181)

3. The leader of the Liberal/National coalition - Tony Abbot - is a truly nasty piece of work. He is an intolerant bigot. He makes my skin crawl every time I hear him talk.

You forgot religious. I mean there's been plenty of religious prime ministers but nothing to this extent. He was educated at St Patrick's Seminary and was well on his way to becoming a member of the clergy when he dropped out after getting a brief taste in politics and then became a politician shortly after. The man has quoted scripture in some of his interviews and he has deeply religious beliefs which he forces upon his party (won't let the party take a conscience vote on gay marriage). This alone goes against the principles of democracy, since I can only vote for my local member and he may not be able put our views forward in some cases.

I immigrated to Australia many years ago and became a citizen about ... 5 years ago. I was forced to sit the exam and one of the entrance exam questions was on the founding principles of the Australian government. One of the correct answers was "Secularism of State" so voting for Abbott is not only a blow to democracy but also a blot to the founding principles of the Australian government.

Re:Both major parties are bad (1)

sincewhen (640526) | about 9 months ago | (#44404685)

I would be prepared to let this go and not make an issue of it, but he has prior form in letting his religious views affect his judgement on matters which should be secular:

Like this [theage.com.au]

Re:Both major parties are bad (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 9 months ago | (#44405117)

That was a stunt. If it was real he would just have been sacked for not doing his job.

Re:Both major parties are bad (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 9 months ago | (#44405113)

He's no more religious than Rasputin which is where his "mad monk" nickname came from. He does like to put on a show about being Catholic in front of the cameras though, and the weasel trick where he engineered things so that he could pretend to block a birth control pill but couldn't due to a law drafted by his subordinates under his instruction especially to tell him to do his fucking job as health minister was another show at being religious. I don't agree with blocking the pill but that is an example of what sort of weasel he is.
He's only religious when it's convenient, but the commandments are for other people. Theft (first trip to court), adultery (got him thrown out of the seminary) and sexual assault (second trip to court, not taken so seriously back then, and his mates closed ranks against the victim's word) are some examples.

Re:Both major parties are bad (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 9 months ago | (#44409463)

The Russian government was not founded on a principle of separation of church and state. I'm citing a specific case where voting for him is voting against one of the founding principles of government in Australia.

Re:Both major parties are bad (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 9 months ago | (#44409505)

I disagree, for all of his many faults he's still not going to let the Catholic church run the place if he can help it. He didn't let it run his sex life after all.

Re:Both major parties are bad (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 9 months ago | (#44419071)

You're confusing moral belief and personal gain. Many sitting members of the clergy can not let the church control their sex life but somehow still manage to dictate to others how they run their life.

And for all your disagreements he's already done it (see other reply to my comment on a specific abortion pill).

That pill reaction was a stunt (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 9 months ago | (#44420767)

Ah yes - the stunt where he wasted parliment's time to show how Catholic he was to the voters, and had his own department draft a pointless law telling him to do his fucking job. He then, with all the appearance of reluctance, did his fucking job. Anyone trying to pull such a thing in reality instead of a stage managed stunt would just be sacked by the prime minister for going against the party line.
The guy is a just an amoral factional head kicker that puts up whatever front that he thinks is going to do the job at the time.

Re:Both major parties are bad (1)

tdelaney (458893) | about 9 months ago | (#44405385)

The fact that he's religious doesn't bother me. I couldn't give a toss about someone else's religion, so long as it doesn't significantly impact me.

The problem for me is that he uses his religion as justification for intolerance and bigotry.

Re:Both major parties are bad (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 9 months ago | (#44409481)

The fact that he's religious doesn't bother me. I couldn't give a toss about someone else's religion, so long as it doesn't significantly impact me.

Those two sentences are at odds with each other. You're talking about a man who has justified several policy decisions based on his religion. This is one man who's religion will actually significantly impact you.

Sure you may not care about something like gay marriage, but what about the abortion pill or stem cell research, or any of those other "moral edge cases" where religion seems to want to screw over the advancement of curing horrid diseases?

Re:Both major parties are bad (1)

tdelaney (458893) | about 9 months ago | (#44410149)

Did you read my second paragraph? I'll try again and be a bit more verbose about it.

By saying that Abbot uses his religion as justification for being an intolerant bigot I felt it was implied that I thought his religious beliefs would significantly impact me (and other people), in a very bad way. In fact, we've had proof of this in the past when he was the Minister for Health.

That he's religious in and of itself isn't a problem to me. I am personally agnostic and have friends and family with many and varied religious beliefs (or lack of) - Christian (of various denominations); Muslim; Jewish; Buddhist; Agnostic; Athiest ... and probably some I'm not even aware of.

What people personally believe does not concern me - until it adversely affects other people (or animals, the environment, etc).

In particular I do not believe that religion should have any place in the forming of public policy.

Re:Both major parties are bad (1)

skribe (26534) | about 9 months ago | (#44403355)

The two major parties are very similar in most respects. Both parties have been trying to out-do each other in reprehensible policies.

That's because those reprehensible policies are vote winners in the swing seats, particularly in Queensland and NSW. You get the politicians you deserve.

Re:Both major parties are bad (1)

walshy007 (906710) | about 9 months ago | (#44403357)

The most wasteful and expensive parts of the nbn seem to be down already, among them a 3,800km link from darwin to toowomba servicing only 160k people.

I never understood this "we need to put fibre to thousands of km in the middle of nowhere with only a few thousand population" mentality, surely the cities and denser populations provide better cost/benefit.

The leader of the Liberal/National coalition - Tony Abbot - is a truly nasty piece of work. He is an intolerant bigot.

Because he recognizes that behaviours can be influenced by nature and not only nurture? We shouldn't expect everything to always come 50% down the line because people are allowed to choose what they want to do in life. All we can do is try to make things fair to everyone involved and try to eliminate irrelevant criteria being used for problems.

Don't get me wrong, he is a giant douche at times, but a labor world where we give preferential treatment to people for irrelevant things like sex or race can be far worse.

I'm surprised they haven't put forward policies like the UK labour party in regards to selection [wikipedia.org] . It fits their affirmative action stances perfectly (although outright banning males seems to be too blatent for most affirmative action groups).

In regards to infrastructure, yes fibre needs to be deployed, but overbuilding infrastructure just wastes money in the end. Get the low hanging fruit first and then follow it up with growth as the cost/benefit is useful.

Just because we can hook up uluru with fibre, doesn't mean the money to do so couldn't be spent in better ways. The way it is being handled is as a giant prestige project [mises.org] .

Re:Both major parties are bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404093)

The most wasteful and expensive parts of the nbn seem to be down already, among them a 3,800km link from darwin to toowomba servicing only 160k people.

That particular link was for redundancy in order to make the network more reliable. Take another look at the map. See how every town with fibre has at least two long distance connections to it? That's good design. If one link fails you don't want a portion of the network to be cut off.

In regards to infrastructure, yes fibre needs to be deployed, but overbuilding infrastructure just wastes money in the end. Get the low hanging fruit first and then follow it up with growth as the cost/benefit is useful.

Let's go back a number of decades. Care to make those same arguments about the original copper phone network? How about the electricity grid?

Re:Both major parties are bad (1)

walshy007 (906710) | about 9 months ago | (#44405111)

Care to make those same arguments about the original copper phone network? How about the electricity grid?

Might want to check your history [wikipedia.org] on that. Initial deployment of electricity was done where it made the most sense first, and it took decades to be available to all.

Re:Both major parties are bad (1)

mathew42 (2475458) | about 9 months ago | (#44403609)

1. The (incumbent) Labor party has a future-proofing, infrastructure-based Fibre-to-the-Premises broadband policy that is in build at the moment. The (opposition) Liberal/National coalition has a patchwork Fibre-to-the Node policy that they've been dragged kicking and screaming to because the FTTP policy has been so popular. The FTTN policy will cost almost as much to implement, cost more to maintain, and need replacing with FTTP before the FTTN build is complete.

I suggest you spend a bit more time studying the policies.
- Labor only promoted FTTP because Telstra refused to negotiate on FTTN. - Labor only promised 1Gbps speed because just prior to the last election Google announced Google Fibre. Less than 5% are predicted to connect at 1Gbps in 2028
- 50% are predicted by Labor's NBN Corporate Plan to connect on fibre at 12Mbps
- Huge amounts of money are being wasted by NBNCo (Building a Fibre NBN on a Copper budget [simonhackett.com] )
- Under Labor's plan wholesale Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) needs to rise from the current figure of just above $20 to over $100. Retail prices will need to rise even further when you add ISP costs and profits.
- ~$3000 to install fibre under the Coalition plan isn't that expensive when you consider that Labor charge $150/month ($1800/year) for 1Gbps

The current Labor Government are building a FTTP network which for half of the customers will be slower than HFC, 4G, FTTN and approaching half of ADSL2+ connections. Sadly it isn't that surprising coming from a government that brought us a mining tax that has delivered almost no revenue and cost to implement.

Re:Both major parties are bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404069)

Your username and brand of bullshit seems familiar. Do you troll the discussion forums at http://bc.whirlpool.net.au in your spare time?

- Corporate plan predictions were a worst case scenario. Uptake of 100mbps services, for example, have been far higher [delimiter.com.au]
- The biggest expenses in any network rollout are always the actual wiring. Fiddling with the endpoints won't save as much money as you'd think. Also, fewer POIs was actually the original plan. It was changed in consultation with the ACCC because of the costs to ISPs.
- ARPU is not the same as wholesale connection costs. The latter are incredibly unlikely to rise over time. In fact, if you take inflation into account, they are projected to drop over time.

Re:Both major parties are bad (1)

Aaron B Lingwood (1288412) | about 9 months ago | (#44404345)

In an attempt to avoid name-calling, I am going to walk around the block, calm down, and then come back and refute every single claim you have just made.

Re:Both major parties are bad (2)

Aaron B Lingwood (1288412) | about 9 months ago | (#44404807)

I would like to apologize for previously calling you a paid shill. I now realize my error. Nobody would pay you for this shit.

Labor only promoted FTTP because Telstra refused to negotiate on FTTN.

Telstra was more than willing to negotiate as is evidenced by their submissions to the RFP 2007/09. Telstra was embroiled in a pre-existing matter of open-access with the ACCC. Telstra's submission was excluded as it was purely based on Telstra winning the battle against the ACCC which Labor could see just wasn't going to happen. On top of this, the Howard Government (Liberal) attacked Labor's FttN plan claiming it wasn't viable due to the ageing copper. The whole process involving public funding, private funding, regulators and politics of the worst kind made Labor realize that, if they are going to pull this off, they need to go all out and do the thing themselves. Telstra did have a lot to do with this but are far from the 'only' reason why Labor updated their plan. We already had access to Telstra's last mile needed by the FttN and they couldn't do dick to stop it. We are no longer dependent on Telstra.

Labor only promised 1Gbps speed because just prior to the last election Google announced Google Fibre.

Fibre has been around long before Google - as has gigabit fibre. Labor highly underestimated the demand for bandwidth, originally looking for a way to get Australians off the typical (upto) 8/1 Mbps ADSL and on to something that resembles current LANs. During public consultation (something LNP have yet to do), Australian techies (your typical Slashdot, Delimiter or Whirlpool reader) kept asking about Gigabit services, pointing out that it would use the exact same infrastructure. It took some time but Labor found a way to be able to offer it and keep the existing pricing. Most people don't (yet) care, but for Australia's forward-thinking technologists, this is a big win

Less than 5% are predicted to connect at 1Gbps in 2028

Predicted by who? You? NBNCo's own corprate plan shows in Exhibit 2.12 that downstream trends from 1985 - 2012 extrapolated to 2025 that demand for and reliance on gigabit services and beyond are more than likely. It is available and it cost us nothing ectra to have it made available.

50% are predicted by Labor's NBN Corporate Plan to connect on fibre at 12Mbps

You, sir, have obviously never written a business plan. Conservatism is the name of the game. You plan for worst case. What we are seeing is that, as of Feb 2013, 41% have opted for the fastest available 100/40 plans and 11% have opted for the entry level 12/1

Huge amounts of money are being wasted by NBNCo (Building a Fibre NBN on a Copper budget)

Our NBN is a project that has been planned, approved and started. We could spend another year, 5 years, 10 years, 50 years fine-tuning the project. Sure, it isn't perfect, but let us just finish it. Simon Hackett is a great man. I use his former ISP Internode whenever possible. He understands technology, he understands networks, he understands users. He does not, however, understand politics. A project as big as this isn't as simple as 'sign this piece of paper and we'll break ground tomorrow'. There is a lot of wheelin' 'n dealin' back-room politics. The unions want something, the greenies want something, the Indigenous want something, the media want something. On top of all this, Hackett is part of the G9, the very same consortium who don't want this NBN because it kills their entire business plan. The very same consortium that wanted to build out a privately-owned NBN and lock out competition.

Under Labor's plan wholesale Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) needs to rise from the current figure of just above $20 to over $100. Retail prices will need to rise even further when you add ISP costs and profits.

Again, where do you get your number from - 2GB? Telstra's ARPU for FY2010 was $56.15. This is for fixed broadband services such as ADSL and ADSL2. Telstra DSL subscribers have an average peak of 9 Mbps according to speedtest.net. The NBN expects that these customers would be willing to spend more, perhaps even up to double, for speeds in excess of 10 or 100 times what is currently available. A fair assumption, especially once you consider trends and overseas adoption.

~$3000 to install fibre under the Coalition plan isn't that expensive when you consider that Labor charge $150/month ($1800/year) for 1Gbps

headasplode.jpeg.
Firstly, the monthly charge will also apply in addition to the $3,000 installation. Secondly, I would love to pay $150/month for 1Gbps. I would actually pay more like $300 plus. I am currently paying $149.99/mo for (up to) 8000/1200 Annex M, twice. That is $300 a month just to stream SD CCTV off-site (and lots of surfing). Lastly, I can pay ~$3,000 now to get fibre installed. This ~$3,000 figure is for those who live within 500m of a node. This will be approximately 40% of the population, much less if you consider Greenfields estates. Another 30% will be in the 500m to 900m mark (The limit of VDSL with vectoring). This will cost them from ~$3,000 for 500m to ~$4,500 for 900m. Those who can't get VDSL due to distance will likely be stuck paying $5k plus. Additionally, every single time somebody upgrades to fibre, part of the road and driveway will need to be dug up. Sure it also needs to be with FttH, but doing it all at once lets you save with economies of scale.

The current Labor Government are building a FTTP network which for half of the customers will be slower than HFC, 4G, FTTN and approaching half of ADSL2+ connections.

Did you really just say that? How is this FttP network with 1:1 100/40 Mbps (later 1000/250) slower than HFC's 'up to' shared 100/8, 4G's 'up to' shared theoretical 60/1, or FttN's unproven 'up to' 25/5 (later 50/5 and for some 100/5)? ADSL2+ has a maximum theoretical speed of 25Mbps (24Mbps in Australia). A tiny proportion of the population achieve consistent sync speeds anywhere near that. Most fall within the 5 - 10 Mbps downstream and very few achieve even 1Mbps upstream without Annex M.

I suggest you spend a bit more time studying the policies.

Re:Both major parties are bad (2)

mathew42 (2475458) | about 9 months ago | (#44404965)

I would like to apologize for previously calling you a paid shill. I now realize my error. Nobody would pay you for this shit.

Labor only promoted FTTP because Telstra refused to negotiate on FTTN.

Telstra was more than willing to negotiate as is evidenced by their submissions to the RFP 2007/09.

I guess you've forgotten that Telstra's bid was non-compliant [zdnet.com.au] ? For a company of Telstra's size that was a deliberate action.

We are no longer dependent on Telstra.

Instead Labor is creating NBNCo which has an even tighter monopoly grip on infrastructure.

Labor only promised 1Gbps speed because just prior to the last election Google announced Google Fibre.

It took some time but Labor found a way to be able to offer it and keep the existing pricing. Most people don't (yet) care, but for Australia's forward-thinking technologists, this is a big win

Let me quote Quiqley [zdnet.com] for you: The reason we announced one gigabit was simply because when the government said you've got to provide at least 100Mbps, Google at the time made an announcement that they were providing 1 gigabit in the US. And suddenly we went from a situation facing [those] in the media saying 'what on earth does anyone need 100 megs for?' to saying 'this is already redundant, it is already out of date, you can't do one gig'," he told a Parliamentary inquiry into the benefits of the NBN in Sydney this morning.

I'm not sure that many people would call $150/month wholesale for 1Gbps, plus data charges a win, especially when so few peope will have access to those speeds.

Less than 5% are predicted to connect at 1Gbps in 2028

Predicted by who? You? NBNCo's own corprate plan shows in Exhibit 2.12 that downstream trends from 1985 - 2012 extrapolated to 2025 that demand for and reliance on gigabit services and beyond are more than likely. It is available and it cost us nothing ectra to have it made available.

I'm surprised that you've read the NBNCo Corporate Plan and missed Exhibit 8-4 Overall Fibre Subscriber Split by AVC Speed Tiers. You will find it that my numbers come from there. Have a read. Yes the hardware being installed will support 1Gbps, but not many will be able to afford the plans.

50% are predicted by Labor's NBN Corporate Plan to connect on fibre at 12Mbps

You, sir, have obviously never written a business plan. Conservatism is the name of the game. You plan for worst case. What we are seeing is that, as of Feb 2013, 41% have opted for the fastest available 100/40 plans and 11% have opted for the entry level 12/1

When preparing the 2012 revision of the Corporate Plan, NBNCo revised upwards the percentage of 100Mbps connections, but did not alter the percentage of 12Mbps connections. This suggests that NBNCo unsurprisingly expect that many of those yet to connect will choose the cheapest plan. NBNCo's latest prediction reinforces my opinion that speed tiers on the NBN will create digital divide.

I assume that you are referring to the same conservative corporate plan that is falling further behind every day in meeting the consistently revised down rollout targets? ;-) The Stage 2 maps published prior the last Federal election show my house covered, which means I should have been able to order a connection at the latest by the end of 2011. The current NBNCo Rollout suggests I may be able to order a service in 2018.

Huge amounts of money are being wasted by NBNCo (Building a Fibre NBN on a Copper budget)

Our NBN is a project that has been planned, approved and started. We could spend another year, 5 years, 10 years, 50 years fine-tuning the project. Sure, it isn't perfect, but let us just finish it. Simon Hackett is a great man. I use his former ISP Internode whenever possible. He understands technology, he understands networks, he understands users. He does not, however, understand politics. A project as big as this isn't as simple as 'sign this piece of paper and we'll break ground tomorrow'. There is a lot of wheelin' 'n dealin' back-room politics. The unions want something, the greenies want something, the Indigenous want something, the media want something.

WTF? You are recommending that we we take the political solution rather than the best technical solution? To suggest that Simon could be at the forefront of the fight against Telstra's abuse of monopoly powers for many years and not understand politics is laughable.

On top of all this, Hackett is part of the G9, the very same consortium who don't want this NBN because it kills their entire business plan. The very same consortium that wanted to build out a privately-owned NBN and lock out competition.

I'm not sure how you can think this, but the G9 FTTN proposal was for wholesale broadband access to all. To quote the G9 [whirlpool.net.au] : "As the network owner, FANOC would not provide retail telecommunications services. Its objective would be to deliver high quality and cost effect ive wholesale services to access seekers who will then compete in downstream markets."

Under Labor's plan wholesale Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) needs to rise from the current figure of just above $20 to over $100. Retail prices will need to rise even further when you add ISP costs and profits.

Again, where do you get your number from - 2GB? Telstra's ARPU for FY2010 was $56.15.

NBNCo Corporate Plan. Exhibits 8-8 & 8-9 show prices falling, but at a significantly slower rate than the increased take up of services. You've quoted Telstra's retail ARPU, not their wholesale ARPU.

~$3000 to install fibre under the Coalition plan isn't that expensive when you consider that Labor charge $150/month ($1800/year) for 1Gbps

Firstly, the monthly charge will also apply in addition to the $3,000 installation.

If we assume that fibre costs less to maintain than copper, then the monthly AVC equivalent charge should be less than $11/month

Secondly, I would love to pay $150/month for 1Gbps. I would actually pay more like $300 plus. I am currently paying $149.99/mo for (up to) 8000/1200 Annex M, twice. That is $300 a month just to stream SD CCTV off-site (and lots of surfing). Lastly, I can pay ~$3,000 now to get fibre installed.

Congratulations, but that $150/month is only for AVC. You will also need to pay CVC ($20/Mbps) and the RSP's cost. If you are downloading lots of data then the cost is likely to be higher than $300.

The current Labor Government are building a FTTP network which for half of the customers will be slower than HFC, 4G, FTTN and approaching half of ADSL2+ connections.

Did you really just say that?How is this FttP network with 1:1 100/40 Mbps (later 1000/250) slower than HFC's 'up to' shared 100/8, 4G's 'up to' shared theoretical 60/1, or FttN's unproven 'up to' 25/5 (later 50/5 and for some 100/5)? ADSL2+ has a maximum theoretical speed of 25Mbps (24Mbps in Australia). A tiny proportion of the population achieve consistent sync speeds anywhere near that. Most fall within the 5 - 10 Mbps downstream and very few achieve even 1Mbps upstream without Annex M.

NBNCo are currently predicting that 50% of fibre connections will be 12Mbps, which as you've kindly demonstrated is slower than the technologies I mentioned. I'll assume you made a typo when using "up-to", as the Coalition FTTN plan is for a minimum of 25Mbps initially and 50Mbps in 2019.

I suggest you spend a bit more time studying the policies.

I hope you do the same. Too many people in Australia think we are receiving a Google Fibre equivalent service, when the reality is very different.

Re:Both major parties are bad (1)

Aaron B Lingwood (1288412) | about 9 months ago | (#44408247)

My rebuttal will come once I sober up. I honestly did not expect a reply and you have proven that my assessment of you as a shill or Jones fan was in fact incorrect. Kudos. I have skimmed through your response and see that I have some homework ahead of me. The shitty thing with politics is that despite having opposing views, we are both likely as right as each other.

Re:Both major parties are bad (1)

mathew42 (2475458) | about 9 months ago | (#44408889)

I honestly did not expect a reply and you have proven that my assessment of you as a shill or Jones fan was in fact incorrect. Kudos.

Thanks. I'm no fan of Jones and thankfully don't live in the Sydney.

have skimmed through your response and see that I have some homework ahead of me. The shitty thing with politics is that despite having opposing views, we are both likely as right as each other.

I think you might find that once you look behind the media lines, that the reality is that a fibre connection doesn't automatically provide fast speeds and large quotas. I support FTTP, but not the pricing model that to quote Simon Hackett turns an abundant resource into a scarce resource.

Re:Both major parties are bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44409461)

I'll assume you made a typo when using "up-to", as the Coalition FTTN plan is for a minimum of 25Mbps initially and 50Mbps in 2019.

And I'll assume you just don't know what you're talking about, rather than that you are some sort of shill or troll. Sound fair? If you correlate the numbers being specified for the Liberal's "plan" with the known performance characteristics of FTTN, "up-to" is indeed correct and a minimum of 25Mbps is incredibly optimistic.

Re:Both major parties are bad (2)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 9 months ago | (#44403733)

I agree with point 1. Labor have the better broadband policy, even with they have so far proved to be utterly incompetent at getting it done. But after that? labor are the most corrupt and incompetent government Australia has seen in a long long time. You would have to compare Rudd to 3rd world dictators to find another leader that is a bigger megomaniac or a more self absorbed prick. The one part that baffles me is how Rudd being Leader again has increased their popularity, as much as I despised Gillard she was are far more competent leader than Rudd could ever hope to be.

Re:Both major parties are bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404903)

Tech question: if you have FTTN, do you need to connect by fibre to that node, or can you connect via copper? If you can connect via copper, how fast can you expect for a short run?

So, what else is new? (0)

jcr (53032) | about 9 months ago | (#44403231)

As I recall, when I was in high school the kids in the "national honor society" were a pack of left-wing ass kissers who made a habit of cheating on their tests and homework. It used to bug the shit out of me when the teachers and overseers would tell me that I should be docile and obedient like they were.

-jcr

Re: So, what else is new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403625)

They're right, manipulative and grasping is the way to succeed. Dishonesty and ambition go hand in hand.

How do you think the powerful got powerful? Writing checks?

Re:So, what else is new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403761)

And I saw exactly the same thing from the right-wing-church crowd.

And I also know they were a bunch of coke heads as well.

But they did praise Jesus very loudly and pass around their little petition to not have "The Last Temptation" shown in town.

Re:So, what else is new? (1)

jcr (53032) | about 9 months ago | (#44408747)

We didn't have a Jerry Falwell contingent in my school. The religious kids tended to be mainstream Catholics, Methodists, Lutherans, etc. There wasn't much cocaine use, but there was a group of druggies who mostly smoked pot, and would also use cocaine or LSD when available.

-jcr

Another branch of government is needed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44403823)

The problem with politics, is that, over time, it attracts those who WANT to be in politics...

How about a body that is selected at random, they only get to vote once, and they only get to vote "yes" or "no" to approve or veto what has been passed by the "professional" politicians.

Nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404229)

Liberals tamper with elections all of the time.

Is this really the best you've got, timothy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404379)

Can't you dredge up something less suckful than this in your desperate bid to spam Slashdot with stories about Australia -- any stories at all?

Sad.

Captcha: banned. Does this mean Michael Sims is returning?

Re:Is this really the best you've got, timothy? (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 9 months ago | (#44404509)

If you've some problem with Australia, you are free to ignore stories that mention it. Even those that are highly relevant to issues recently in the news in the US.

Those of us who are not as nearsighted as you can in the meantime read, discuss, and maybe learn something about what eventually happens after kids who rig school elections are allowed to go on to rigging real elections--and we'll be able to do so without being distracted by your petty bitching, thanks very much.

Cheers.

Q from TFA (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 9 months ago | (#44404453)

Can anybody imagine a US congressman collecting Weaver from the prison gates and deploying him to an office on Capitol Hill?

Yes, easily. Why do you even have to ask?

Re:Q from TFA (1)

pocock (2827247) | about 9 months ago | (#44408225)

Can anybody imagine a US congressman collecting Weaver from the prison gates and deploying him to an office on Capitol Hill?

Yes, easily. Why do you even have to ask?

I couldn't resist putting that in there knowing somebody would comment on it

Personal grievances and no proof. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404603)

"First time accepted submitter pocock" is the person behind the blog linked to. Daniel Pocock, himself formerly a student politician, appears to be using Slashdot to promote his own grievances against the incumbent Australian Federal Government and former fellow student politicians that date back almost twenty years. There's no connection to the CalState case, no obvious evidence to support the claims, but there is an Australian Federal election looming. This couldn't be an attempt to obfuscate and cast aspersions against members of the Labor Party, could it?

Re: Personal grievances and no proof. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44405137)

You couldn't find the link to the deputy returning officer's report? Are you expecting video evidence or something to satisfy you that the ALP is top heavy with crooks like this? It's worth remembering that the federal government spends billions of dollars trawling through people's personal lives, their social networks past and present, especially when immigration is involved - so why shouldn't the public have a peek under the hood of the ALP's bonnet and trawl through their crooked past and use that as a basis to judge how they will perform in future?

Here in Canada at least they have a sense of humor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404609)

The hired gun ratfuckers called themselves Pierre Poutine. [nationalpost.com] A very cheesy name for a spin doctor who was only in it for the political gravy.

They have learned to hide in the shadows of the internet and cover their asses before the public gets any info about what they do. At least that is what the investigators want the public to believe, the ratfucking that went on in BC to side swipe the NDP in the last provincial election was even more amazing. They went from leading in the polls by a 20% margin to losing an election almost overnight with the financial help of pro ratfuckers mostly trained in American universities, whatever the hell the academic moniker "political science" means.

One thing, the Republican party in the States seems to be rather afraid of using them anymore and they just hire "PR" firms instead and distance themselves from the mud slinging if at all possible. Funny but the last American election defaulted to Obama largely because the Republicans seemed to be ratfucking each other more than going after the Democrats as a unified entity. LOL

Perhaps ratfucking should be restricted to in party elections and the ensuing blood bath could make a two party system more competitive both in the US and Canada.

Then completely eliminate political advertising, telephone and internet polls and all other electoral forms of advertising except moderated tv and internet debates between all prospective candidates for 6 months leading up to the elections. And these debates will be on all issues leading up to the election. Perhaps allow only the transcriptions of the debates to be mailed out unedited and publicized to voters by the candidates.

This could completely stop the nonsense of letting the spin doctors and lawyers work on a politician's image. The days of having leaders like John Chretien, who dominated debates with a real human personality are unfortunately gone. If a politician cannot speak directly to the electorate from their gut then they do not deserve to be elected period. Paid University "political science" spin doctors and politically motivated lawyers need to be exposed for who and what they are and hung out to dry by real politicians for a change.

The Robinson Method would prevent this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404919)

http://www.paul-robinson.us/index.php/2008/10/25/the_robinson_method_a_really_simple_way_?blog=5

This has been going on since the 1960s in America (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44407193)

My mom ran for student government as a freshman at the University of Southern California (the Harvard of the West coast) in 1963. When she lost, she reviewed the data for the election and found that more ballots were counted than there were registered students. It was determined a group of upper classmen who were members of the Republican party were responsible. The university election commission took over and re-ran the election. Later they figured out members of Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity and Gordon Strachan had a hand in it. The same Strachan was Pres. Nixon's chief of staff and part of the Watergate fiasco: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_C._Strachan

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