Posts Tagged ‘Independents’

PROTECTING CHILDREN IS THE JOB OF EVERY AUSTRALIAN

July 31, 2016

Reporting suspected child abuse for many reasons might feel hard to do, but remaining silent  is so much worse.

child abuse

Silence is not golden when it comes to our children, especially the most vulnerable.

We as parents, grandparents and as adults need to be open to the signs of abuse and follow our natural instincts.

“In a most cases children don’t make direct disclosures, so we have to look for signs, and if we see any, for the child’s sake err on the side of caution and speak up.” Says Mark Aldridge

Child safety MUST remain the priority at all times.

“They might say, ‘This happened to a friend’ as a way to test the reaction of the person they want to tell. They want to assess whether they will be believed and whether the adult will stand up for them.

“Trust your gut. If you feel that something is not right, seek out support. It is difficult; people are often reluctant to contact the authorities due to a misguided fear of breaking up a family unit.

“If you have even a suspicion that something is wrong, it’s better to call than not call the authorities and voice your concerns, if not open up to friends and family for support to act.

“You don’t know who else might have already made a report” –a teacher, a doctor, a neighbour might have also spoken up. All those accounts help child protection specialists understand the full picture. You are adding your piece of the puzzle to that picture.”

“As a society we have moved away from the idea that the family unit is somehow a sacrosanct, closed space which we’re not allowed to enter. If we believe a child is at risk, we must act.”

Children are often scared to speak up, despite improved awareness about child abuse, so we must be their voice.

“For children, there is improved education in schools now about approaching a trusted adult, a teacher or a school counsellor,” so if they approach you, then you must act in a timely and compassionate manner.

“When there is abuse in the home it can be very hard for a child to go forward to anyone because they are worried about breaking up the family or being punished. Often the child feels as if they are to blame.”

Professionals such as teachers, health care workers and police have a legal obligation to report suspected abuse. I believe this should be applied to every adult in this country and all over the world.

Until we have a legal obligation, let our moral one lead the way, and let’s wipe out child abuse and continue on to demand heavier penalties to deter any future abhorrent behavior.

Mark Aldridge “Community Advocate” Public officer of S.C.A.A.T. (Stop Child Abuse Australia Team)

Independent demands support and protection of our farming industry

June 29, 2016

The viability of Australia’s vegetable industry is still under threat from cheap imports, according to industry body AUSVEG.

IMG_8715

Figures show nationally the amount of land sown to vegetables decreased by 12,000 hectares last financial year, resulting in a $159 million drop in the value of the Australian vegetable industry.

In 2014-15 the amount of vegetable-growing operations dropped by 15 per cent.

“Australia does not need to import produce at the expense of our own production. In fact we should be growing to meet the demand of increased immigration, while migrations numbers remain so high” says Mark Aldridge, Independent candidate for Makin.

Mushroom production dropped 29 per cent, while capsicum and tomato production fell 12 per cent, which is why I have open producer markets, so stop the decline in local plantings, says Mark.

“During the 2014-15 financial year, it is purported there was a 7 per cent increase in foreign imports of vegetable produce, and that is this is alarming to the domestic industry”.

“Australian growers are having difficulties with is their competition against subsidised foreign imports, and the massive costs of running their farms in Australia ” he said.

Until we find a way to support and protect our growers, my market concept “Farm Direct” is an ideal platform to keep some of the smaller growers on the land, those who can’t afford the middle man s grab.

“Australian produce is some of the best in the world”, so how can it be viable to ship produce from the other side of the world, other than deficiencies in foreign trade deals.

Our government have been quick to step in to rescue big industry, so where is their support for our farmers and in fact my Market plan?

 

Mark Aldridge Independent candidate for Makin

Independent candidate wants to end “Discount Democracy”

June 7, 2016

Independent candidate wants to end “Discount Democracy”

democracy 1

 

The Australian electoral commission for the past 2 decades has endured funding cuts, where one would hope we would expect increased funding in relation to secure democracy in this country.

Where once every Australian home received a now to vote guide in the mail, to ensure they knew how to vote, what their voting rights were, where the polling booths were, and how to make applications, all we receive now is propaganda.

Even worse, political parties are writing electoral law, even though they have the most to gain from structural biases, they are now even handling electoral applications, like postal ballot applications and the like.

Return addresses for postal ballot applications are now the head offices of political parties, in fact the political parties are now even printing electoral material, something most voters would never support and undermines the security of the ballot.

For those voters confused by new laws, or those who are either first time voters or new to this country, a call to the AEC to have questions answered are now being answered by Centrelink workers whose recent crash course in electoral law is resulting in misinformation.

Australia still embraces pencils and cardboard boxes, yet continue to claim to be one of the best democracy’s on the planet, and maybe we once were.

It is interesting to note here, that council elections are now afforded more robust electoral practices, the electorate receive a how to vote guide, a list of the candidates and in some areas, a basic overview of what the candidates stand for, so why are state and federal elections not considered worthy of these reforms?

Voting in a democracy is meant to be all about the Free will of an informed electorate, and the return of an election guide could ensure that happens.

Voters need to know how to vote, where to vote and know who the candidates are, I personally would toss in the freedom to only preference those they prefer, and only having to vote if they are inspired to, but I doubt parliament will support too much freedom.

In recent years election facts are clear that the system is failing, with missing ballot papers on the rise as are invalid votes, and one would hope that every vote was more important than that.

When winning margins can be a handful of votes, one would expect we ought to ensure every vote is treasured and protected.

I have been in and out of the court of disputed returns for 20 years fighting for electoral reform that empowers this nation’s voters. Simply because I truly believe we can repair the divide between the people and their representatives, by simply ensuring a fair and transparent system of democratic practice.

Bring back the how to vote guide, because democracy is the corner stone of society, and deserves more than the current discount system we are forced to endure.

 

Mark Aldridge

Independent candidate for Makin & community advocate.

08 82847482 / 0403379500

New voting laws for the 2016 election “The Truth”

May 15, 2016

I have lobbied for years to protect, reform and secure your voting rights, here is an overview of the new laws based on my understanding of the new laws.

 

The following are instructions on how to vote in the Senate from the AEC’s web page, similar instructions are shown on the AEC’s television advertising. The trouble is that what they are saying is the law, doesn’t compare with the legislation, or is the enacted legislation wrong?

What you need to know

 

To vote for Senators in your state or territory at the 2016 federal election, you must fill in your ballot paper in the order of your choice. You can do this by voting either above the line or below the line, as had been the case for many years, changes now say;

 

Voting above the line

 

If you vote above the line, you must number at least six boxes from 1 to 6 is what you are being told, but from what I read, you can vote simply 1, or 1 to 6 or any number you want in any order. If you make a mistake your voting will be valid up until that mistake is made. In other words if by accident you vote 1,2, 3, 5, it is valid up to and including 3.

ballot paper upper house

 

ballot paper uppper hpuse 2

 

 

By voting above the line, your preferences will be distributed in the order that the candidates appear below the line for the party or group you have chosen. Your preferences will first be distributed to the candidates in the party or group of your first choice, then to candidates in the party or group of your second choice and so on, until all your preferences have been distributed.

 

So if you mark a box with a 1, you vote counts for all the candidates under that box, candidates for that party or independent group, then onto the next group and so on.

 

If you vote 1 in one box only, your vote will count for that groups candidates only, if they are not elected, your vote finishes there.

 

(This is because those that write the laws, are well aware people wont understand them, and need to be able to count their vote where possible)

 

Voting below the line

 

If you vote below the line, you must number at least twelve boxes from 1 to 12, you are being told, you can vote the same as above the line, you can vote in order for as many or as few as you prefer.  By voting below the line your preferences will be distributed to the individual candidates as numbered on your ballot paper, in the order of your choice.

 

House of Representatives

 

The electoral changes were all about a double dissolution, not democratic reform, so the lower house (House of reps) has not changed, but similar rules apply, you are told to make every box in order of your preference, yet if you vote 1 in 1 box only, your vote will be counted for all the candidates as chosen by the candidate of that box (full preferential voting) there are also sections of the law that allow the Electoral Commission to guess your intention.

 

You can check the AEC’s web page instructions here: http://www.aec.gov.au/Voting/How_to_vote/files/senate-how-to-vote-2016-large%20print.pdf

 

You can compare the legislation here:

 

COMMONWEALTH ELECTORAL AMENDMENT BILL 2016 c

 

http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/legislation/ems/r5626_ems_955e56de-c7ba-4a4a-8ca1-01ab948694f5/upload_pdf/Revised%20EM_%20Commonwealth%20Electoral%20Amendment%20Bill%202016.pdf;fileType=application%2Fpdf

 

So voting is getting very confusing, simply because those that write the laws have the most to gain from structural biases, they write the law to empower themselves not we the people, so until this system is replaced by a truly independent board in respect to voting reform, our ability to express our genuine will, will continue to be diminished.

Mark Aldridge

Independent candidate for Makin

“Protecting the power of your vote”

SA starts the revolution 25/10/15 starting with “Control legislation”

October 18, 2015

THE PEACEFUL REVOLUTION STARTS SUNDAY NEXT WEEK 25/19/15revolution

TIME TO MAKE A STAND AGAINST ILLEGAL CONTROL LEGISLATION, SO WHAT ARE CONTROL LAWS?

SOCCA, TATTOO CONTROL ACT, SECOND HAND DEALERS CONTROL ACT, PAWN BROKERS CONTROL ACT, NRM ‘FARM CONTROL LAWS, SECURITY INDUSTRY CONTROL LAWS, FINES ENFORCEMENT, DEVELOPMENT PLANNING, LAND USE, WATER CONTROL, ETC ETC.

Then there are sections in all recent legislation that control aspects of your lives, most are written at the expense of justice (your right to judicial review)

As Parliament gets away with more and more they become brazen, and introduce more, now the laws they write are criminal in themselves, they are after powers they are not allowed to have, powers we ought never to let them have. It is now time to level up this injustice, because when parliament exceeds its powers, we are the only ones that can hold them to account.

“The latest controls laws are called exactly that “Control Laws” and apply to employment and business ownership, they have the capability to stop you working in your trade, restrict your choices and to close small business, with out lawful reason”.

They write laws that take away our rights as parents, that deny us justice, that determine guilt, that can label the innocent a criminal, that affect how we can use and enjoy our land, even laws that can take away an innocent persons farm or business.

They wish to be able to do anything they like to anyone they chose, and they sell the story that they will use these powers wisely, do you want to see parliament with powers that are above the law, do you want them to be judge, jury and executioner, or do you support our rights, the constitution, the separation of powers that protest us from parliament, from unjust laws or decisions?

This is a rights based debate, the parliament wish to take all your rights and become supreme over all laws and decisions, me, I want our rights protected, I wish to retain certain fundamental ideas, like the presumption of innocence, the right to a fair trial, to face ones accusers, to use my land as I wish, to teach my children and protect them in my own way, to choose my friends and whom I associate with, and to choose how to make an honest living, do you?

These new illegal (unconstitutional) laws already affect every one of us, but maybe so far none have been used against you, but they can be, any time parliament or the police so decide.

When you take justice and rights out of the equation, everyone suffers. So you are driving to work, police pull you over, tell you, your licence and registration has been cancelled, the fine is in the thousands, but you have done nothing wrong. Seems the last owner of your vehicle had an unpaid fine, or some other mistake has occurred, yet judicial review is now out of the occasion, and in the hands of the “Fines enforcement corporation”

To overcome this injustice you have to pay to apply to a pencil pusher, not be heard by the courts as was always the case, you lose from the moment you pay money to try and prove your innocence.

If you are taken to court over the issue, pay legal fees and prove your innocence, the police can simply drop the charges at the last minute, so you have no avenues to recover cost, again you lose, this trend is all about control, if they say you are guilty, even in the absence of a victim of proof to the contrary, it is easier to simply comply and pay up, this is control legislation.

You are an artist in the tattoo industry, you have never committed a crime, you receive a notice from the government that you are no longer allowed to work in the industry, if you do not immediately comply, you go to jail for 4 years.

This is control law, you cannot fight it, it can be applied to you, by way of secret evidence, so you will never know why, or it will be applied because of a relationship a relative has with another innocent person, because the government has labelled that person “a declared person”, so you lose your career or business.

So what can you do, if you sit back and comply with these control laws, they will continue to be expanded, to keep your job or business, you now will need to be concerned with everyone around you, your family, friends, and children, because if they befriend the wrong person, your life and your children’s and families can be destroyed.

This direction of legislative empowerment of the government is all about Power and divide, while they continue to take your rights to empower themselves, they will need divide you, your family and friends and control any individual, group or organisation any who dare expose them or stand against them.

This is not a new approach, history is full of dictators and oppressive governments who have used these very same tactics to divide and conquer, in every case they say “These laws are to protect you” and of course parliament would never lie to you.

If we don’t unite as a community and stand against these laws now, we are approaching a time with dissent itself will be legislated against, where standing up will risk incarceration, when that day comes and it is close, Australia will no longer be a democracy, if indeed we could even consider we are right now.

For them to win, for Parliament to become supreme over the people, not subservient to us, all it takes is for you to believe their spin, to turn a blind eye out of self-interest, and they are achieving that right now.

The government no longer fear we the people and they have had no fear of us for decades, until they once again fear us, we are no longer free, and to give up our freedoms is to condemn our children in ways you will never be able to imagine.

Right now, your unborn child will not be born free, free to choose their partners, their friends, and their career, they will be born with no rights, liberties and freedoms unless we fight for them now, remembering you only enjoyed rights and freedoms, because your forefathers fought for them.

We are at a turning point in our nation’s future, you, our government and our police have to all make a huge decision, which side are you on, the side of justice or oppression, chose wisely my friends. The decisions you make right now, will shape the future for every Australian.

It is time to make the government fear us, which means standing united in great numbers and reminding them we rule, and that we will not tolerate unjust and invalid law.

This Sunday the 25th October at Parliament house around lunch time (time to be determined) a day for all South Australians to lead the way back to liberty.

 

Mark Aldridge

South Australian March 2014 election fails before it starts.

January 17, 2014

URGENT NOTICE TO ALL SOUTH AUSTRALIANS

SOUTH AUSTRALIAN MARCH 2014 ELECTION “FAILING ALREADY?”

 

The very fact the electoral commission themselves do not appear to know what new laws are in place, whether or not any new electoral laws are assented to, or even what the costs for candidates will be, the looming state election in March 2014 appears from the onset to be a failure.

The government and the opposition recently passed new electoral laws in a deliberate attempt to take control of the upper house, to ensure minor parties and Independents will not be able to run or compete at any level.

The changes include;

  • A huge increase in the amount of nominations required up from 2 to 250.
  • To exclude Independents from being able to preference
  • A massive increase in costs up from $450 to $3000
  • Other changes to empower the 2 party system at the expense of the free and informed vote of the electorate.

Questions to the electoral commission; Are these new laws legal, have they been assented to, when will they be in place, when we there be access to the nomination forms, are all remaining unanswered, only weeks out from when nominations must be lodged.

So let’s look at what I have to do to nominate;

To have my name on the ballot paper, with the right to be involved in the preference deals, I will need to run with a friend, 2 candidates will be needed.

The nominations needed (signatures with names addresses and dates of birth) will be a minimum of 500, yet I can’t start getting nominations until forms are made available, what if I only get 24 hours?

It is known that the electoral rolls are faulty, missing around 100,000 names, so I will need to get around 750 nominations to ensure I comply, but it gets worse, as each elector can only nominate one candidate.

So if an elector signs my nomination form, but has signed another’s as well, because all the minor candidates will need hundreds, both will seemingly be invalid, so how many will a candidate have to get?

Two candidates running together will need to raise $6,000 in the next few weeks, a massive imposition, when it is already near impossible to compete with the huge funding of the major parties, these changes are to wipe out the minor player ability’s to field candidate and produce electoral materials.

The other nasty change hiding in the new legislation is that Independents are no longer allowed in the primary ballot draw, so the ballot papers are now designed to promote the major parties, this does not support the concept of a fair go.

While these issues are indeed massive in their own right, one must question how the electoral commission can police the new rules, because with thousands of nominations to go through, where will they find the time, let alone ensure just accounting?

All of this because the government elected want to own the upper house, the house of review, they don’t want pesky Independent thinkers either questioning or exposing their legislative agenda, leaks to me expose the government are intent on undermining our civil and human rights, by the introduction of draconian laws akin to those coming out of QLD.

Now all of this may just piss everyone off, but they are the least of our problems, because the whole electoral conduct will in the most be totally dodgy.

The 2010 state election was found to be dodgy and to be honest totally invalid at law, yet no changes have been made to ensure all the dodgy practices exposed in 2010 do not happen in March.

Over 16,000 ballot papers simply went missing, thousands of postal ballot applications were found to be dodgy around 77,000 names were missing from the electoral rolls and the major parties handled tens of thousands of postal ballot applications, will this all happen again, or even get worse?

The Labor party were caught dressing up as another party and handing our dodgy how to vote cards, they were caught intercepting electoral mail and also ballot paper applications.

Polling booths were absent of important information and ran out of ballot papers, in fact the complaints were massive and so where the allegations of corruption.

I risked my own home to take these issues to the court of disputed returns, fighting for “Your right” to a just election process, only to find out that general elections cannot be invalidated at law, regardless of the count or the conduct, which is absolutely appalling.

The only way to overcome all these issues is to elect genuine representatives of the people, who will fight for democratic reforms, but these changes and dodgy practices are all about ensuring that does not happen.

The results of these electoral changes are to further empower the major parties, which will only result in increased attacks on our civil liberties and our once fine system of democracy.

I for one need your help and support, I have never asked for money in my 15 years fighting for your rights, but without your help, I will be out of the race, as will many other patriotic candidates.

Please consider my hard work over the past years in fighting for your rights, with a small donation to allow me to run as a candidate, even if I am not your preferred choice, because having a choice is an important part of democracy.

Commonwealth Bank Salisbury, Mark M Aldridge BSB; 065122 Account number; 10326657, please mark donations as “Political donations” in case I am unable to raise sufficient funds, because if that is the case, all moneys will be refunded.

In the best interests of democracy, please share this post, text or link with every South Australian, and consider visiting my website www.markmaldridge.com and continue reading up on the governments attack on democracy.

Mark Aldridge

Independent candidate and National spokesperson for the Australian Alliance.

08 82847482 / 0403379500

COLES & WOOLWORTHS The Boycott 20th July 2012

July 10, 2012

Australian Boycott of Coles & Woolworths 20th July 2012

Standing up for hard working farmers and producers by the Aussie public is a worthy cause on many fronts, weather it is to ensure hard working Australians get a fair go, demand clean fresh and healthy produce, or to simply ensure we maintain a fair and competitive market, the price of inaction is indeed a price to high to pay, says Mark Aldridge, local community advocate & Independent candidate.

Australia has one of the most concentrated grocery markets in the world. Woolworths and Wesfarmers (owner of Coles) account for almost 80% of supermarket sales, 60% of alcohol retail, 50% of petrol retail and 40% of all retail in Australia. The more market share they gain, the more influence they have over suppliers, and the easier it is to stamp out our smaller independent retailers.

Ironically West farmers originated in the early 1900’s as a coop to support farmers and producers, yet in recent times, have been accused more than once of using their new found power to rape farmers of their hard earned rewards.

*Supermarket giant Woolworths has been accused of using “brutal negotiations” to squeeze price cuts from suppliers to help fund a price war with rival Coles.*

Just recently many producers and growers have come forward with reports of unfair market manipulation, where Woolworths themselves have demanded a lowering of the wholesale price so they can enter a price war with Coles, those that refuse have been told they will be taken off the shelves, and we all know the risk of replacements coming from some foreign growers and producers.

“My investigations go much further showing all sorts of deceitful practices” says Mark

Recent legislation proposed by independent Senator Nick Xenophon would give power to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to apply to the courts to have the chains’ duopoly broken up. Says Mark “I sincerely hope such a move is in line with my original calls last year to limit the big 2 to a 30% to 40% share in line with most OCD countries”

“We the people must back such a move to ensure the future of our farmers and growers, that they are given not only a fair go, but a long term future with the added growth we so desperately need in Australia” said Mark, and Nick being a lone elected voice for common-sense needs the backing of the whole community, I certainly back him 100%.

Having met with many local producers and spoken to the experts in the agricultural industry, what I am hearing is simply un-Australian, from undue influence, market manipulation to our right deceitful and misleading conduct.

Most countries offer their primary producers government subsidies to help them compete on the world stage, our farmers and growers are by far the most productive, yet the governments only input is excessive red tape to achieve “Fresh food accreditation”, which most overseas governments ignore, begging the question “If imported foods take over where local fresh production once supplied all our needs, what exactly will we be eating?”

Hearing personal stories from so many growers brings a tear to my eye, months tending to their crops, careful picking and packing, shipping it off to one of the big 2, only to be told their produce is rejected, but wait we can take it of your hands for half price or less, yet the same produce hits the shelves at full price, wiping out producers on a weekly basis, this type of conduct is nothing more than criminal.

Woolworths “The fresh food people” have their hands in many pies, they are also Australia’s largest owner of poker machines (13,480 machines) and the largest seller of tobacco and alcohol, so their huge advertising budget selling them as supporters of local families appears to be more about their wallets, rather than what is best for the Australians themselves.

Wesfarmers operates in the areas of retail, coal mining, energy, insurance, chemicals and fertilisers, and industrial and safety products, buying up Coles Group in 2007 for $22 billion.

These supermarket giants have been blamed for Australians paying the fastest growing prices for groceries in the developed world, so it is as usual all about the money, it is not about the quality of the produce or the protection of hard working farmers and producers, and it is definitely not about our countries best interests.

“Woolworths and Coles are a $100 Billion a year duopoly with a retail market share unmatched in the developed world, and our politicians are doing nothing to stem their growth or market dominance” Says Mark Aldridge, so it is time we the people did!

With a reported 80% of the market in groceries, they have a massive impact in Australia, England’s largest 2 enjoy 48% and the US a mere 20%, so it is fair to consider our government should have put the brakes on long ago, and more than enough reason for we the people to do it for them in the circumstances.

Make no mistake their market share continues to grow, at the expense of smaller operators, hard working family farms and local producers, and most importantly the quality and availability of our fresh produce.

We have lost a huge slab of farming land to international interests, most of our larger manufactures and mass food packaging companies have also found their way of shore, so it has become imperative that those that remain are not only protected but we build an accountable system, which will reward increased investment in the vital production of our food stocks, not just for us, but also for future generations.

Have many noticed that most big shopping centres only have one or maybe both of these grocery stores, yet none of their competitors, well that is not a coincidence, their huge money ensures they can now control competition.

The impending price war may seen a godsend to those suffering on a tight budget, but as the saying goes “the bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”, what do you want your children and future generations eating in the future, let alone what they may be forced to pay?

It is not only about how our producers are treated and even paid, it is also about the rights of consumers, my wife and I prefer local products and Australian made items, yet it is far from easy to tell the difference, labelling is less than satisfactory, and some home brand products are deliberately misleading, shelf placement also makes a huge difference.

So many issues arise when we simply wish to make an informed choice, Australian made, GMO, even Halal certification, as if we need not know, yet it is our money, our bodies and our long term future, so it should be our choice, China is known to treat its cabbages with formaldehyde and some foreign apple growers used the antibiotic streptomycin on their apples to control fire blight, do any of us want our children exposed to this?

“23 cents in every dollar Australians spend ends up in this duopolys pockets” begging the question “Where the hell is our government and their ACCC.

Dare we allow this to continue, our farmers, growers and producers are being forced to live on as low as 5% of what you are paying at the counter, so the supposed huge discounts on offer are smoke and mirrors, and it becomes unbelievable the big 2 want to reduce their meagre 5%, do the sums, only then will you get a true picture facing those on the land.

“The story I heard today of an area with 27 growers being reduced to 2, due to dirty practices, in less than a year is simply unacceptable”

On the 20th of July I call on every Australian to stand behind our farmers and producers, by boycotting both Coles and Woolworths, until this issue is resolved, or they at least come to the party with a fair system and treatment of their Aussie suppliers.

We must also demand easy to read labelling to allow us to support local produce and priority shelve locations, if they are all about serving the Australian public, then these demands should be perfectly acceptable.

Protests will be held all over Australia on Saturday the 21st of July to ensure all Australians are well informed about this very important event.

For more information please contact the writer.

Mark M Aldridge

Community advocate and Independent candidate

aldridgemark@bigpond.com

www.markmaldridge.com

08 82847482 / 0403379500

Labor abandons Innovation in SA !

February 29, 2012

Labor abandons secure employment in the north

 

The State Labor party threw all they had into ensuring their representatives were successful in winning the February by elections, even the fact that both elections resulted in many thousands of missing votes did not deter the Ramsay and Port Adelaide electorates new representatives from their respective bragging rights.

The new $400,000 dollar playground offered as a vote buying exercise to help elect Zoe Bettison into the seat of Ramsay, is already being long forgotten, as the Labor party immediately after the election announce the closure of Innovate SA, even though the closure was well known by the party prior to the election took place.

In the pursuit of democracy, I am sure the people of the northern area, in particular the Ramsay electorate would have preferred to have known about this fact, prior to casting their vote, well those that were actually able to.

The small business sector is the largest employer in the northern Adelaide region, and innovate SA had a significant impact on local small business support, an issue brought up by myself as the local independent candidate, it is hard to believe that the first thing Labor announce after being rewarded with the community’s support, is to send an important support service to the wall, which is the last thing we need.

Labors Minister Koutsantonis defunded the Business Enterprise Centres and effectively pulled the plug on Playford Capital. Thereby removing skills development and start-up funding for entrepreneurs in one hit, but just to be sure Innovate SA were left devastated with no funding surety past the 30th June 2012.

Innovation in the small business sector is of a primary concern to secure employment opportunity for the north, something I have been very passionate about, yet the very representative who earned the support of the local community only a couple of weeks ago, is now sitting back watching even the current support be taken away.

Without the support for early stage companies and entrepreneurs in the North we risk losing Intellectual Property and Innovation to other states and countries. It begs the question I raised during my campaigning, are the Labor party unable to see past digging holes and supporting non-competitive industries.

China, India, the European Union and the USA have all announced major commitments to spend massive amounts on research and innovation, to sure up industry and employment, and here we have our own state government closing the door on our future.

I stood before and I will stand again in the seat of Ramsay, to ensure my community have the best resources to take our city into the next century and beyond, and that is reliant on support for research & development and innovation at all levels of business development.

Zoe Bettisons calls for more woman in politics in her maiden speech, will not help secure investment in the north, let alone long term vision for our employment sector, so I will keep the pressure on the Labor government to find the funding to ensure Innovate SA is funded beyond June 2012, and I will be again looking for your vote in 2014.

Mark Aldridge, Community advocate and Independent candidate

08 82847482.0403379500

Message to all POLITICAL COMMENTATORS & MINOR CANDIDATES

February 23, 2012

IS IT REALLY WORTH COMPLAINING ABOUT POLITICS?

There seems such strong interest in change regarding politics, but no interest in how that change can come about, in the most we talk about new elections, using our vote to support and or for a swift kick for those supposed representatives selling our country short.

The fact I have specialised in electoral conduct for many years, is because without a free and informed vote, we can do very little to initiate change, I say elections are rigged, and the response is usually one of “Conspiracy theory” either that or no body actually gives a shit?

Every word I write or speak regarding elections and their current state of play, I can back up 100%, and the many issues I know exist, that I cannot prove, I do not convey to others, maybe I should.

So I will attempt to give a short and sweet overview;

  1. Elections should be about the free will of an informed electorate, we should know where and how to vote, be guaranteed a secret vote, and that votes cast are added up to ensure the candidate/s with the most support are elected to represent our best interests in parliament, sounds pretty simple.
  2. One sad point is under the current system there is no responsibility to inform the voters as to who is running and what they stand for, a massive omission, which opens the doors to the empowerment of big money, rather than the best candidate.

There is no chance in hell of any person casting an informed vote unless they themselves go to great lengths, to personally scrutinise all the candidates, and if suddenly every voter made the decision to do so, the candidates themselves would be over whelmed, and in any case, the 2 party system expects you to have a preference for every candidate “Even those you do not like or in fact oppose”.

So from the onset “free and informed” is already doomed, so left to work with a biased system which is the direct result of the self interest of those in charge of writing the laws, we must cast the most informed vote we can, yet again we cannot rely on even that!

  • Dodgy how to vote information, is allowed under the Act
  • False promises and outright deceit are all allowed under the Act
  • Missing ballot papers exceeding winning margins is acceptable conduct.
  • Names of long term voters missing from the electoral rolls is also accepted. (77.000 went missing in the 2010 SA state election and turned up a few months later)
  • Postal vote applications intercepted by the major parties is also common practice, in some cases in the hundreds of thousands.
  • Missing postal ballots is also accepted even in the 10’s of thousands
  • Multiple voting is now common place.
  • Dodgy postal addresses are now common practice, so your mail can now be intercepted.
  • How to vote information is now a thing of the past.
  • If ballot papers run out, you miss out on your vote.
  • Candidate names missing of the ballot papers are enforced by the electoral commission
  • Counting of the ballot papers favours the 2 major parties, not the candidate with the most support.
  • Scrutineers can guess your intention beyond what you mark, as such change your ballot.
  • Required information under the Act missing from polling booths.

In the recent Ramsay by-election in SA, dodgy practices, informal and missing votes, totalled well over 30% of the result, and this is acceptable (over 2,000 possibly dodgy, over 1,700 informal and well over 4,000 missing, out of 22,000 voters) this is democracy in Australia!

So how the bloody hell do we use our vote to bring change, if a free and informed vote, is of the agenda, and is replaced with out-right deceit and dodgy democratic practices?

And to top it off, if you go against the grain as a non 2 party candidate, the silence will indeed ensure you have no chance from the onset, and a land slide will be needed to even come close, if indeed the 2 party count allows a slight chance, or in fact if you are even allowed to have your name above the line on the ballot paper.

“Independents and minor parties have to perform twice as good as a 2 party candidate to be considered half as good” and the media in general prefer to cover the leaders of political parties, even though they are chosen by their political parties not the voters of Australia.

Every year it gets worse, more dodgy practices, more missing names, greater informal percentages, and increased voter anger, and like a broken record, after every election there are parliamentary consultations and enquiries, which are all clear we the voters have had enough of their bloody system, and over and over again, the 2 parties ignore the findings, and indeed our rights and liberties, because the system as it stands empowers them at the expense of honest democracy.

Recent ideals for change, rather than to help the Australian public, are to further stem dissent, attacking freedom of speech, deregistration of minor parties, even attempting to silence on line comment.

Polling booth staff are under government agreements to keep what they see to themselves, complaints are silenced and even our courts have confirmed over and over, “the results of a general elections stand regardless of the conduct” all this and the only people who can empower we the voters of Australia, are the very same people who write the biases into law, and are using deceit and dodgy practices out of self interest in the first place.

So to all those commentators who go on and on about all that is wrong in our society, yet over look the corner stone of social change, our supposed democratic system of electing our representatives, give up now, unless you enjoy complaining, because the only way forward is through the empowerment of our voting rights.

Now to what I can’t prove in a court of law, I have viewed video of trucks carrying ballot papers being pulled over and the ballot boxes being exchanged, I have heard from polling booth staff about dodgy changing of ballots, using a simple rubber or a quick cross out and change, which is acceptable if a recount is ever ordered. I have heard of whole nursing homes told how to vote and who for, and have statutory declarations to that effect, during the 2010 SA state election, I received over 1000 written complaints, and proved an election to be dodgy to the extreme, but the law’s say “who cares” the result of a general election cannot be invalidated regardless of the conduct.

Until we have genuine freedom of choice, equitable access to information about the process and our choices, and a system that moves forward beyond a pencil and a piece of paper, that is written and policed by a genuine independent authority, change will continue to be the cover of the book, not the contents.

Mark Aldridge

Independent and democracy advocate

Labor are destroying small business…..Ramsay By-election

January 23, 2012

Labor politicians need to stop destroying small business

 

As a small business owner, (2 in fact), I know too well we have been left to the vultures by our Labor government; interestingly enough as a child from a Labor voting family, we were always told Labor are for the worker, so when did that change?

Having met with so many smaller operators in the Ramsay area of the past few weeks, it is more than apparent, I am not alone in my suffering, and with unemployment at an all time high even with the spin a couple of hours of work a week, adding a person’s name to the employed figures, the truth when we include the under employed would be staggering.

Most of the smaller operators can barely cover their overheads, let alone endure any further down turn in business, and as the state’s largest employers, one would think we deserve a little more respect.

The home buyers grant did not help small business, the LPG rebates schemes were not available to small business or the self employed, and with SA enduing the highest tax rates in the country; there appears no help in sight.

Many are shivering at the thought of Carbon Tax later this year along with all the new green tape it will bring, and must be wondering who exactly is going to pay for the many billions of dollars Australia will be spending of shore on overseas abatement, will it be them or their customer, either way, not many believe they can endure any more attacks on their empty wallets.

Small business appears to be of the agenda in every respect, there are no rewards for innovation, none for taking on unskilled unemployed, no support for the rising costs of utilities and no Holden style bail outs, and I will not stand back and watch any more good mates go to the wall.

If elected on the 11th of February, I will lobby to give the small business and self employed a genuine voice in parliament, demand equity when it comes to government support and bail outs, demand their inclusion in solar/ LPG and any future rebates, and to improve secure employment for my electorate, I will work hard to get employment subsidies to cover in house training.

My advice to the government is quite simple, stop over taxing us and handing back the money as rebates, we are all quite capable of working out where we spend our money.

Mark M Aldridge

Independent for Ramsay

82847482 / 0403379500