Archive for February, 2018

Mark Aldridge Independent, is he The Best candidate for Ramsay (overview of policy)

February 27, 2018

People ask me what I stand for, so here are a few of the issues of importance to me for which have studied and spoken on;
I have broken them up into local, state and federal, as I have stood in all these electorates.

Local issues (Ramsay)

Improved employment opportunities.
Increase in funding to upkeep road side verges, parks and general beautification, by lobbying council to hire locals to address maintenance.
A moratorium on rates rises for 3 years.
Restoration of 24-hour police services, with an increased investment for local services.
Increased water storage for our plains producers using the aquifer system via the Salisbury wet lands project.
12-month rate reductions to all new business employing 3 people or more.
Increased investment in job training services.
Lobby council to ensure all local outsourcing prefers local businesses.
Increased participation of local school children in the study of healthy eating, my markets will offer this service free.
I would like to personally set up my own organisation and support others that help feed those who are struggling.

State issues (South Australia)

Increased funding to clear all critical waiting lists, starting with the disabled children.
Abolish the NRM (National resource Management) legislation and replace it with an advisory group of which has at least 50% farmers and producers on the board.
Remove all water meters on farm dams or water storage areas.
Increased water storage for our plains producers using the aquifer system by injecting potable water into the great artesian basin.
Electricity discounting for all local Farmers and producers, to keep down the cost of producing fresh produce.
Amend the development act to define its terms regarding local Markets and events, to define a stall is not being a shop, and any further amendment’s necessary, to safe guard farmers markets and local events.
Enquiry into the current animal welfare standards and the award of powers under the legislation.
Lobby to ensure infrastructure works are carried out by local contractors to help increase employment.
To demand full accountability to government for their actions and electoral promises.
The restructure of the JSCEM (Joint standing committee on electoral matters) to better reflect the demands of state electors and ensure recommendations are legislated into the act.
I support legislation that undoes prohibition on Marijuana/hemp for a variety of purposes including industrial and medical applications.
The axing of the Safe school’s program and replace it with a genuine anti-bullying program.
The application of a bill or rights of legislative means.
Utilise that bill of rights to address any legislation that breaches any of those rights.
Increased investment in programs to grow local small businesses, with added investment in “on the job training”.
Re-open the Mulligan report for public scrutiny and act efficiently on its recommendations, while fully investigating all the child deaths found to be of a suspicious nature.
Retain at least part of the old RAH for education, training and emergency health care applications
Restore the REPAT hospital to its full operation within 12 months.
Address affordable justice, while restoring the common law right of the presumption of innocence and the right to face one’s accuser.
Increased investment in State housing, including renovation and building new public housing assets.
Lobby for increased investment in mental health services, early intervention and stigma reduction.
Employ new tactics to address traffic violations, to ensure all methods are utilised for road safety, not revenue streams. ie; Placement of speed cameras in known black spots, rather than where there is a sudden lowering of speed limits.
Reduce maximum bet on Pokies outside of the Adelaide Casino, over a 3 year period to a maximum of $1 per bet.
Increased minimum sentencing for all those found guilty of child sexual abuse.

Federal ambitions

Rework of federal taxation to ensure all income derived from operation in Australia is taxed equally, Past time the big corporations paid their fair share.
Increased CPI pension increases for our elderly and veterans.
Constitutional Bill of Rights (Retrospective), produced through public consultation, to then be taught in our schools.
Public consultation into changes to the federal family court legislation.
Overhauls of the federal electoral act to comply with the constitution and the rights defined in a constitutional bill of rights.
Full reversal of the sale of all Australia’s strategic assets, including all farms, water resources, power production, our ports and ownership of all minerals.
Lowering of all immigration quotas by 50% until we can assure adequate services for our current population.
A 70% reduction in foreign aid, while we set up alternate ways to help those in need, by supplying direct equipment, services and products to those in need (no more cash for foreign governments)
Replace Carbon trading and the Climate change concept with investment in Australia’s environment, habit restoration and green energy production.
Pull out of any current free trade agreements where they disadvantage Australia’s trade practices or equity to Australian manufactures or growers.
The re-introduction of Tarif protections to re-invigorate Australian manufacturing.
Pull out of the United nations.

Most of all, if elected I will increase my resources to assist as I always have, in relation to helping those in need and supporting those affected by natural disasters.
Mark Aldridge “Independent” candidate for Ramsay

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Independent calls to abolish “how to vote cards” .

February 25, 2018

MEDIA RELEASE

MARK ALDRIDGE, INDEPENDENT.

 

Independent calls to abolish how to vote cards.

How to vote cards undermine the voter’s right to cast an informed and free vote.

They are only produced to promote the backroom deals done by the parties and candidates, where democracy ought to promote a more informed process.

Over the past decade we have seen an increase in issues arising from the use of How to vote cards, where the process has been abused by the parties with the sole intention of gaming election results, something we can all do without.

We have seen an increase in dodgy how to vote cards by various parties and candidates, designed deliberately to undermine our electoral process, this needs to stop.

It is the electoral commission’s job to educate all voters on their rights and on how to cast a valid vote.  The increase in political parties delving into electoral process itself, has only worked to undermine the process.

We see parties telling voters how to vote, how to preference and getting too heavily involved in other processes like, postal ballot applications, the decoration of polling booths and even intimidation of electors lining up to vote.

Candidates ought to stick to selling themselves and their policy’s, and let the electoral commission as an independent authority, handle every aspect of the process.

Voters can surely handle the process of marking the ballot papers in an order that suits them, without having to endure a tirade of people sticking pieces of paper in their faces at the polling stations.

If any voters have questions, let the Electoral Commissions independent experts answer any questions they have.

Sadly the very people that have the most to gain from structural biases in our electoral system, are being allowed to write electoral law, it is this problem that undermines the concept of a genuine free and informed vote, for all electors.

It’s past time the electoral commission was offered better resources and powers over the entire conduct of the election process. Then for we the people to demand the candidates keep their noses out for the process

Until then, I call for all voters to either refuse the how to vote cards, or to simple tear them up, and let them vote from the heart for the candidates in their own order of preference.

Mark Aldridge

Independent candidate for Ramsay (Representing You)

How to vote properly in SA’s, March 2018 election.

February 25, 2018

HOW DO POLITICAL PARTYS GAME YOUR VOTE?

SHARE HOW EASY IT IS, TO EMPOWER YOUR VOTE PROPERLY!

So who will your vote reward, is a vote for the Greens really a vote for Labor, is a vote for an Independent wasted, Who will Nick Xenophon Preference, how can you be sure?

What happens if I don’t preference all the candidates?

How are ballot papers counted?

Firstly you need to know the choice is totally yours, and you can use your vote in a variety of ways, but the major parties do not want you to realise.

To cast a valid vote you MUST preference every candidate, even those you do not like or oppose, this is because of what they call a two party count, this exists because the two major parties control electoral law, so write it to empower themselves, not YOU.

So let’s start with the most important fact, “You can control every aspect of your vote”.

My first warning is to remind you, you must number every box on the ballot paper, if you do not, two things may happen, either your vote will be deemed invalid, and not counted, or the electoral commission will guess what your intention may have been, and count it their way. Yes really!

The most important point, it is you who decide where your preferences go, not the parties!

The first thing to do is “SAY NO” to how to vote card’s, they represent back room deals made by the political parties. They have nothing to do with your best interests, only theirs.

Far too often in recent time, parties have created “Fake” how to vote cards to try and steal seats, another reason to “Abolish how to vote cards”.

You only have to number say 1 to 6 on the ballot paper in your electorate in the boxes besides the names of each candidate running.

So let me give you an example how the placement of each number is important.

Let’s say you are a Labor voter, if you put a 1 in the box next to the candidate representing the Labor party, your vote will rarely go any further, but if say you put a 1 in a minor party or Independents box, then a 2 in the Labor candidates box, it is highly likely your vote will still count for the Labor party, the only difference, is Labor will see that result and are more likely to offer your electorate more come next election.

This kind of “Protest vote” empowers your electorate.

If say you voted for me with number 1, then Labor, the count will exclude me, I will explain below, but if I actually got in, if Labor still win government, everything they offered, will not change, I would simply be your representative, an Independent voice representing you not a political party………yes little plug there 😊

So how does the counting work?

The count is designed to ensure your vote ends up with one of the major parties, as I have said, because they write electoral law. So let’s use a basic example to explain, imagine there are 4 candidates and 100 voters.

So 98 people cast valid votes, the result is candidate (A) Gets 22 votes, candidate (B) Gets 26 votes, candidate (C) Gets 23 votes and candidate (D) gets 27 votes.

Candidate (A) gets excluded as having the lowest vote, and the votes cast for that candidate are redistributed. After that distribution, once again the candidate with the lowest vote is again excluded, and the votes for them are redistributed.

(Sadly during the election night counting, they ignore who you preference, and go by what the party preferred you should do, another reason to never follow the how to vote recommendations)

These distributions are meant to be based on how YOU preferred your candidates.

So if you had given candidate (A) your number 1 vote, and candidate (B) your second preference, your vote will pass onto candidate (B).

This is not a bad system, except for the fact if the majority had preferred candidate (A) with their second preference, which would show (A) was the most preferred, it would not matter, the concept is to ensure the major party’s candidates are most likely to get your vote in the end. (2 party preferred)

I so hope that made sense.

So you control where preferences go, you decide in what order you put candidates, and you can use that in a variety of ways, the more informed the vote, the better the outcome.

Now finally the most important issue is to cast an informed vote, and that is not so easy.

There may be only 6 or 7 candidates, but you will have little chance of knowing much about them. That is where the major parties pull ranks and usually get your vote, because they have more media pull and huge resources, and to be honest, most of the voters choose based on the political parties marketing, rather than who the candidates actually are.

Sadly this undermines electorates getting the best representation at a grass roots level, but that’s politics for you 😊

So to cast an informed vote is a lot of work, but if you care about your community it is worth it. As the Democrat’s used to say, you need some voices in there, just to keep the bastards honest. The more independent the voice, then better the result for your electorate.

There are so many more dodgy practices I could expose here, but the list is long and arduous, and the back room deals go beyond this overview of how to vote in the lower house.

Of the 6 of 7 candidates in each electorate, only 2 or 3 have any chance, the rest are there to do deals, in the hopes of getting a seat in the upper house (The Legislative council) The sad reason many have no hope is that we the people have not been taking the decision of who represents us very seriously.

Unless you are 100% happy with the governments performance, putting their representative first, is rarely a good option, those you most oppose, in terms of their ideals, ought to be last, and the order in between is rarely relevant beyond the first major player you preference.

I am sure many people knew all this, but democracy is best served by everyone knowing.

My sole interest is to empower your vote, so to me a lot needs to change.

In an ideal world, democracy could be easier; Optional preferential voting, so you are no longer forced to preference those you oppose. A booklet that explains all this, that provides a list of all the candidates and a brief overview of who they are and what they stand for, should be in your letter box weeks before any decision must be made.

No more how to vote cards, abolish those terrible campaign posters, improve security beyond a pencil and a piece of paper, maybe even ask for ID, to restore democracy to something that protects much better outcomes for us all.

But I do dream 😊

Mark Aldridge

Indigenous children in care continues to rise, since the stolen generations “apology”

February 25, 2018

The number of Indigenous children in out-of-home care has doubled in the decade since the 2008 apology to the stolen generations, according to figures released by the Productivity Commission.

The report on government services, released on Thursday, said there were 17,664 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care in 2016-17, compared with 9,070 in 2007-08.

Mark Aldridge Independent candidate for Ramsay in SA, said the “shocking” figures reflected the failure of Australian governments to address generations of bad policy.

“[The system] keeps failing Aboriginal families and communities because it is punitive, not supportive.

“We are spending the money in the wrong places”.

Separating Children from their families and not putting any strategies in place to help them get their kids back.” Has proven to be inept policy.

The rate at which Indigenous children were removed from their families increased by 80% between 2007-08 to 2016-17, from 32.7 per 1,000 to 58.7 per 1,000.

Meanwhile, the proportion of children placed in accordance with the Aboriginal child placement principle, which states that children must be housed with Indigenous family members, other kin, or with an Indigenous foster carer, decreased from 74% in 2007-08 to 67.6% in 2016-17.

Our children need to be with family to overcome the anxiety of separation from their parents, every parent knows this, so why can’t our government understand “says Mark

The number of non-Indigenous children in care between 2007-08 and 2016-17 grew 36%, from 22,096 to 30,069, while the rate of removal increased just 24% to 5.8 per 1,000.

The total number of children in out-of-home care grew 53.7% over the period, from 31,166 to 47,915, while the total rate of removal increased 38% from 6.3 per 1,000 to 8.7 per 1,000.

The growth in child removal indicates that Australian governments have not learned the lessons of the stolen generations, Mark Aldridge said as a reminder to all politicians.

All Australian parents must come to realise, this issue is not restricted to indigenous children, the Mulligan inquiry in SA, exposes similar if not worse issues with the treatment of all children taken into state care.

“[The apology] was considered a clear statement of regret and empathy with Aboriginal people that had seen their children taken by state and territory governments that didn’t care about the damage being done to Aboriginal communities and cultures,”

report by Indigenous organisations in November warned that the number of Indigenous children in out-of-home care would triple by 2036 unless the funding was focused on early intervention and support.

Early intervention and support services are the only way we can improve the outcomes and ensure the numbers of children n “Out of home care” start to decrease.

“The best way of achieving equitable placement with Aboriginal carers and kin would be to simply start to reduce the number of Aboriginal children taken in the first place,” Mark said.

keeping children culturally connected to their community and ensuring they are reunified with their families as quickly as possible, should be the primary goal on any legislative agenda.

Before we vote at the SA state elections, just maybe we ought to ask the budding candidate where they stand on this important issue.

Mark Aldridge is an Independent candidate for the lower house seat of Ramsay in the northern suburbs around Salisbury.

Mark Aldridge finished by saying, “This issue may be as big an issue to my electorate, but any candidate hoping to represent any community, should have a strong sense of Family, and the protection of all our children”

CAN YOUR VOTE, CHANGE YOUR FAMILIES FUTURE? Ramsay 2018

February 22, 2018

 

Your vote can change your future, but only if you consider changing how you vote.

Firstly, you need an independent representative that is devoted to your best interests, one who has pledged allegiance to a political party, will have less power to bring change.

I am sure you have been told, Independent candidates are a wasted vote, well of course you have.

The most well-resourced electorates in the country are held by Independents.

So, what would I do that is different and what experience I have are worthy questions.

Most are answered by what I already do for my community but let’s look at how I think.

When I secure infrastructure spending, I will also fight to ensure local workers get the work, where you now see imported workers reaping the rewards.

When I lobby the local council for improved upkeep and beautification, I will also be demanding local workers are first on the list.

When I convince the government, we need a 24 -hour police station, I won’t stop there, as that station will need improved services. I argued this in 2012 at the bi-election, but I came second to Labor, since then, services have continued to decline.

I think the current regime of representatives do not understand the importance of feeling safe in our homes and walking the streets.

When I argue for increased mental health spending, I will want them to set up in my electorate, the same will apply to any increase in essential services.

As I expand my Farm Direct markets, I will do so offering improved support for local businesses.

I am vey well known for my support of our primary industries, especially our farming sector, and have stood up to protect them for over 20 years. I maintain the belief that some assets in this country are strategic to our future and should be protected and remain in our hands.

While I lobby for increased renewable energy, I will want to ensure at the same time we protect economical baseload power, so power bills are kept affordable.

If I have trouble achieving state government support for any important issue, I will seek a way to get it done myself, without their help, but I will ask for yours.

When I lobbied to protect local community events as a concerned local, and my calls for government support failed, I headed to court and did it myself. Even though a simple and fair amendment would have done the job.

If there are issues with the local council, I will go into bat for you.

I can call for rate caps, if they are not forth coming, I will look for other ways to address the cost of living.

Our local hospitals have the room and the beds we need, what they lack is the staff to “open up” those beds and reduce waiting lists, I will push to achieve that, and I will push hard.

The commonwealth fund local infrastructure like roads, they do so by applications through state government which directs the money to local councils, I will push to streamline that process and increase spending in my electorate.

Additional education programs for our schools will be a strong point in my parliamentary negotiations, where I fall short due to budget restraints, I will find other ways, like increasing my Farm Direct markets ability to teach healthy eating and setting up programs with other local industries.

When parliament needs my vote, I will use that as bargaining power to get more for you, where that negotiation means I must sacrifice my ideals, I will report to you, and ask you for your opinion.

Everything I do, will be transparent, so debate on line will be a part of my decision making, rather than the usual back room deals party politics makes compulsory.

I will fight to restore democracy, where any amendments to electoral law, empower you, rather than the political parties themselves.

We still use a pencil and a piece of paper to vote, in a system called two party preferred, even when neither party always is, and you still MUST presence every candidate, and I will continue to ask why you must.

I have clear vision to restore affordable justice, to ensure you maintain your rights and liberties. That means demanding your right to a fair trial, the presumption of innocence and affordable access to competent representation.

I have studied electoral law, have a firm understanding of our judicial system, and can read and understand legislation, so I know what to look for and how to address changes that empower your rights and freedoms.

My wife and I own a native animal sanctuary, I preform animal rescue, and I am well versed on animal welfare law, so there is no better candidate to represent the best interests of our animals.

I have spoken all over this nation, on a range of topics, in each case they are issues that empower your best interests.

I truly believe I am Ramsay’s best choice, if you indeed want to see change.

I am not always loved for everything I do, but everything I do is because I care for and love you all.

 

Mark Aldridge

Independent “Representing You”

aldridgemark@bigpond.com

0403379500

Written and authorised by Mark Aldridge of 201 Taylors rd. Penfield Gardens.

VOTING FOR A “BETTER SALISBURY” Ramsay electorate 2018

February 22, 2018

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Election time has come back around, those in the Salisbury area must again chose a candidate to represent them, the Ramsay electorate takes in Salisbury and parts of the surrounding area.

Casting both an informed and valid vote, takes just a little research, so here is a reminder of how best to achieve that.

There will be several candidates, I am an Independent, my job is to “Represent You”

There will be other candidates who are endorsed by political parties to represent those party’s in your area.

The Major parties, Labor and Liberal designate seats as safe or marginal, they choose which of their people will be candidates and where, based on that fact. The minor parties mostly do not think they have a chance, some run candidates with the sole hope of getting votes in the upper house (The Legislative Council) where they have some chance of getting one of their representatives elected.

This creates  culture where preferences are one, ie; an exchange of preferences in the lower house seats for deals in the upper house. These back room deals only work if you follow “How to vote cards” and you do not have to.

Safe seats in the most are not so well represented, the party who believes they will win that seat easily, rarely offer much to that electorate in terms of campaign promises, they will also not send in their best candidates.

Marginal seats get the most electoral promises from both sides of the debate, because it is those marginal seats that can help the major parties form government.

Ramsay has been one of the safest Labor seats since it was created.

So much so, that when I ran in the 2012 Bi-election, the Liberals did not even run a candidate, because they did not think they could win, a minor party called the “Liberal Democrats” ran instead, using a how to vote card that looked similar to the Liberals usual one. The Liberal democrats gave their preferences to Labor, so I came in second.

A lot of people voted for me, based on being Independent, in other words I had not signed contracts to represent a party, or to adhere to set policy. Others backed me based on my extensive experience.

This election there will be a few choices, Mark Aldridge Independent, Labor’s candidate, Liberals candidate, Nick Xenophon’s candidate and a couple more minor party candidates.

So, for the purpose of this post, lets imagine there are going to be 6 candidates in total.

How to vote cards;

How to vote cards are put out by registered political parties and reflect the deals they do behind closed doors, they are handed out to you, asking you to do the will of that political party, by marking your preferences in the same way as they would prefer you do, but you do not have to.

In my opinion, “throw them in the bin”, to cast an informed vote, I am sure you can handle marking 1 to 6 in an order that suits you, based on who you think will best represent the Ramsay area.

You have the power to decide, that is called “Democracy”

There are so many ways to use that power, you can reward good performance, punish false promise, vote for change, or send a message.

For instance, lets say you have always voted Labor in the area, you don’t mind them, but you want to remind them the area needs increased investment and services.

You could put me Number 1, and then Labor second, then number all the boxes through to 6

The two-party count, will most probably see your vote go past me to Labor, but they would see a swing away their usual primary vote, so you may then find they start to listen.

You can vote in reverse, for instance, you can’t stand Labor, so you put them last, you like a minor party, so you put them first, then you work out in what order to put the rest from 1 to 6.

Once your vote hits one of the major parties, it will rarely go beyond them in the count, so keep that in mind, they write electoral law, so tend to create a bias in their favour.

This means putting smaller parties or Independents ahead of the majors, can be a great protest vote, but still ensure your votes goes to the major you prefer most.

So, what happens if an Independent like me is elected?

Well that would mean most of you preferred me, which would be a strong sign you want change. I would then have to work with which ever party forms government, and lobby them for those things we need, while demanding they keep their election promises.

Electorates represented by Independents all over the country tend to receive the best investment and services (shameful but factual plug)

The most important thing you can do, is take your vote seriously, its only once every 3 years and you only have to decide, between a hand full of candidates.

Research the parties, because party candidates represent them, with independents, research the candidate themselves, as they will be “Representing You”.

Best of luck my friends.

Since 2012, I decided to bring change, even though I was not elected, as a person who grew up in and loves the area. As many may know, I have set up markets, backed up producers, lobbied for improved services, and tried to create jobs.

I will remind you all thought, none of the major issues I wanted fixed by state government back then, or the promises they made, have been achieved.

 

Mark Aldridge “Independent” for a Better Salisbury

Written and Authorized by Mark Aldridge of 201 Taylors rd Penfield Gardens SA 5121

MARK ALDRIDGE “INDEPENDENT” FOR RAMSAY

February 15, 2018

MARK ALDRIDGE “INDEPENDENT” FOR RAMSAY

 

My name is Mark Aldridge and I believe I am SA’s best independent candidate for Ramsay. I am passionate about making a difference and with your support I will bring a voice back to the people of Ramsay who have been ignored for too long.

I want to help make SA a better place to live for our children and for future generations – this includes increasing job opportunities, making where we live safer, reducing the cost of living and reducing the impact we’re having on the environment.

I have been a community advocate and Independent candidate for over 20 years, I grew up in Parafield Gardens, I run your local markets to give back to my community, and my family and I have been active in the local area since I can remember.

Since the electorate of Ramsay was created in 1985 it has been considered a ‘safe’ Labor seat, and because of this, the government has stopped listening to people in the Northern suburbs and the Liberals have been missing in action.

I will not be representing Nick, Jay or Steven, I will not be taking orders from big business or political donors, I will be listening to you, and I will be representing you.

I want to bring the Government’s focus back to the people in Ramsay whose lives are affected by the decisions made in State Parliament. I am best suited to achieve this, as I am well known for never backing down, and my resourcefulness at bringing change.

I have worked in a variety of fields, from local jobs as a child, to running small business, disaster response, animal welfare & rescue, and my time protecting those in primary production.

I have always been available day and night for those in need, during disasters I am on the ground and taking action before our government even debate what to do. I back our farmers on a daily basis, and if called upon to sort a local issue, I act immediately.

I have studied a variety of topics over the years, from our constitution, our legal system and the application of legislative reform.

I have worked in the retail, manufacturing and automotive industries, and over the past 20 years, I have taken a deep interest in political & electoral reform. This experience has given me a valuable insight into how politics works, what needs to change and how I can best help people.

I will work tirelessly to fix the problems of job losses and underemployment, the rising costs of utilities, the rise in social regulation and the sale of our nation’s strategic assets. This will reduce inequality, improve opportunities and bring back hope for our young people.

Unlike the local Political party representatives, I do not fear open debate, unvetted questions and answering to you. I also am proud of what I have achieved as a community advocate and would enjoy your scrutiny of my achievements.

Will I be controversial, you bet, I will not bow to political manipulation, corruption or threats of any kind, I will be your representative, and I will represent you with compassion and honour.

I am asking you for the privilege of representing you in the seat of Ramsay to put the North back on the map, by resorting it to its former glory.

I would like to meet as many of you as possible over the next few weeks, and I look forward to hearing your concerns and suggestions for our community.

If you have a topic of interest, give me a call, or google that topic and my name 🙂

 

Mark Aldridge “True Independent Candidate for Ramsay”