Mark Latham Give Pollies A Pineapple

Ex Aussie Labor leader and 60 minutes reporter, Mark Latham, has put a Pineapple up the 2 major parties with his latest antics. Although both pretenders, sorry… contenders, for the Prime Minister job of Australia are both wisely staying out of it, it seems the ones that are most threatened by Mark Latham are… wait for the drumroll… the journalists!

Noses are out of joint in the journalist fraternity, especially in the tight knit arena of political Journalism. Laurie Oakes has his knickers in a knot and clearly showed how threatened he is by someone stepping into his turf with a bit of character. Get over it Laurie! Brighten up a bit and appreciate the free country we live in. You know, the one where we have 2 Political Parties that collude with each other and make sure nobody else gets into power except for Labor or Liberal. The country where many voters vote for the party they think will do Least Damage to their standard of living, rather than the party that will improve Australia the most.

Vote “0” Mark Latham

On 60 Minutes Mark Latham encouraged voters to put in their ballot slip blank on Saturday’s election. I burst into laughter! That is absolutely hilarious to an “Atheist Voter” (by this I mean: I don’t believe in Politicians). For years, I have been filling out the slip from 1 to 30. That is the way the 2 Major Parties DO NOT want you to vote. They want you to vote “1” for them so they can distribute your preference to their buddies of preference.

So messed up is the preferential voting system that your Labor vote can go to Liberal or vice verca. Let me give you an example:

How The political Collusion Works

A friend of mine is born and bred a Labor voter. He would not vote liberal in a fit (if you vote Liberal don’t get upset, this is an analogy). In the election that Kim Beazley threw away, Labor gave their preference vote to Liberal in the seat for Kalgoorlie (and Ipswich, I believe) over the One Nation candidate and the Australia First Party. Liberal did not reciprocate. They preferenced One Nation and Australia First in both of those seats above Labor.

This was the outcome of those preferences: Labor lost the election with 52% of the preference vote but got less seats hence Liberal got in power (Howard). A GST was brought in and Telstra was lost. The 2 seats that were preferenced by Labor would have gone to Pauline Hanson and Graeme Campbell, both independent of labor and Liberal, and Labor would have saved Australia from the GST and selling off Telstra. At least for the time being.

My mate, who wouldn’t vote Liberal in a fit, voted “1” for Labor in that election. His vote was preferenced to Liberal and in essence he actually voted Liberal against his knowledge. A true example of the disgraceful collusion that goes on between political parties. The whole idea is to keep the third parties down below the threshold. Democrats, Greens, One Nation, National… they will never rise into a major party as long as this country doesn’t have one vote counting as one vote.

The Mark Latham Witch-Hunt

Let’s see how it goes. Will the journalists witch-hunt Mark Latham? Just like anyone rocking the Apple Cart, people like that get silenced into submission. Pauline Hanson had 10% of the national vote, yet the system didn’t allow her party to have 2 seats. On the flip side, the Democrats got 5 seats to represent the Australian people with far less votes. How on earth can the voters be represented under a system like that? That is not a true democracy. I think it’s the old draconian Westminster system, actually.

Like Mark Latham or not, he has voiced something that few others have the balls to do. Call it sour grapes if you wish. I don’t think it is. Mark Latham has risen above Political Respect status in my eyes for speaking his mind and putting a Pineapple where it belongs with those cardboard cutouts who are proposing to run our country. A Thunderbird and a Dumbo lookalike. Make of that what you like 😉

Of course I vote. I don’t want a dictatorship, but I think many will take Mark Latham’s advice and put in a blank slip this Saturday. A low vote count will scare the major parties (both) into real policies rather than scaremongering over how bad the other guys are.

Julie = 0
Tony = 0
Mark = 1

And before anyone pipes up and say that we have to vote to maintain a democracy, look at the USA. They only have 30-35% of the country vote and still maintain a 2 Party Collusion Status.

That’s my soapbox ditty for the week.

Sean Rasmussen
Success Communicator
Aussie Internet Marketer © 2004 – 2010

About Sean Rasmussen

Sean Rasmussen is a passionate blogger and has been a full time internet marketer since 2005. When he's not with his family, or dog Buddy, Sean is usually blogging or doing something related to the internet.


  1. WHOOPEE !!!!!!!!!!!!
    1st to comment !!!!!!!!!!!
    Good on you Sean. It takes guts and balls to make these sort of remarks !
    The Aussie election on August 21st is an imminent disaster ! The stupid preferential voting system MUST GO ! but the pollies will never have the guts to have a referendum about it…………………SAD !
    What about if you wanted to vote for one of the minor parties ? As the post says, you can’t tell where the preferences go, so your minor party vote could help one of the Big Two to power……………really sucks !

    What about Sean for President – a benevolent dictator.
    .-= Harry Lynn´s last blog ..SEAN RASMUSSEN’S ” LEARN AND EARN ” COMPETITION =-.

  2. LOL go give em the pinapple, I dunno what I missed… Im not into politics but I like ur work. Its a dirty free for all and I always have done a NULL VOTE, I stroll on in and give em my sign lol Maybe this year ill rock up with a pinapple to stir the pot in the name of Sean ! 😛

  3. Of the 3 Gillard, Abbot and Latham, which would make the best prime minister? The devil you know rather than the ones you don’t know? The major problem that the world faces today is not terrorism (as John Howard said), it is corporations and corporate like entities. These corporations will stop at nothing to gain power and money. Behind terrorism there are corporate entities. Behind wars there are corporate entities. Behind the Global Financial Crisis there are corporate entities. Behind untold massive cruelty to animals there are corporate entities. Behind poisoning of the world’s food supply with GM and pesticides there are corporate entities. The list goes on and on. But if a corporate entity is going to miss out on an extra 10 billion dollars because a politician is making unfavorable legislation then that politician and his or her party is targeted, and the corporations have billions of dollars to make it happen. Likewise, political decisions are often based on scientific reports, and the corporations target scientists who publish scientific reports that cost them money and have them replaced. The whole world’s political systems in all the major countries are corrupted by corporations and corporate like entities. Given that the power of corporations is vastly superior to any of Australia’s politicians or political parties, I wouldn’t want to waste my vote by submitting a blank piece of paper. That would be like caving in to the corporations.
    .-= Wal Heinrich´s last blog ..A Great New Manufactured Home =-.

  4. So in other words if you vote for one party, your vote may not necessarily be for that party because they do what they damn well please anyway. This is a pretty scary election because all the people I have talked too still have no idea who they are going to vote for (4 days out from d day) I think labour has done themselves a huge injustice by back stabbing one of their own (the person who Australia put into power) It is the most unAustralian thing one person can do to another.
    .-= Jackie Stenhouse´s last blog ..Nursery Wall Stickers =-.

  5. Good on yur Wal. I totally agree about the influence of the corporations. And the biggest villain of then all is News Corp, and the “Dirty Digger”, Rupert Murdoch. Here in Queensland we get only the gospel according to Rupert through the Courier Mail & The Australian, both Murdoch News Corp papers. Little wonder that it seems that the election result will hinge on Queensland which is being brain washed by a corporate journalistic monopoly.
    .-= Gary Birch´s last blog ..How to Learn a Second Language =-.

  6. Hi Sean, I agree, who cares?? I worked for the New Zealand Government for 13 long years, doing my duty for Country. From my personal experience, I found that generally politicians care only about one thing: how to get paid more. Of course, there’s a few great pollies out there like, ummmmm, errrrr….darn, been too many years now since I was in the Public Service!! Looks like Marko da Journo may have stumbled onto a winning formula, I just didn’t realise journos got paid that much!! ☺

  7. Has Mark Latham got you even more confused? If you want help to work out who not to vote for try this
    .-= Wal Heinrich´s last blog ..Building A Granny Flat In Your Backyard For Granny =-.

  8. Hi Sean,

    I believe you have hit the nail on the head. It is the parties that vote for their leaders who are then presented to us on a platter all prettied up. It is the parties who determine the policies. It is the parties who attend to the ‘dressing up’ of the agendas for the dissenters whenever there is too much noise.

    I heard a little while ago that democracy was not a good way to go, for the reason that only 50% of the voters could ensure that they are happy. What a farce our system makes of even that statemant. The day that WE all remember that these people are supposed to ‘re-present’ our views to a gathering of all the other ‘re-presenters’ of the community that makes Australia may be the day we make some progress.

    Oh yes, but then We would have to take responsibility for what the outcomes are – so how many pub and cafe conversations would be lost forever!
    .-= Jo Carey-Bradshaw´s last blog ..Sean Rasmussen – Internet Marketing- Success Communicator and Loving It =-.

  9. I think that the preferential voting system generally is essential…however the current system of just putting a 1 in the preferred square & then preferences being distributed according to the “party line” is seriously flawed. That should be done away with immediately. What would be wrong with just numbering only say 5 of the squares 1 to 5, any candidate without a number gets nothing & only the preferences allotted get distributed. That in effect is what pretty much what happens anyway…especially in the Senate count. Personally I have never sent my preferences according to party recommendations instead always choosing to number all squares…but instead of having to number 30+ just number your 1st 5. How easy would that be?
    The preferential system was never intended to be manipulated in the way the parties do now. If I have say 3 candidates to choose from it is pretty common to have my 1st choice & a last choice…someone who I desperately wouldn’t want to win under any circumstances. This means that if I can’t have my 1st choice then my 2nd choice is considered much better than the 3rd one. This can NEVER be achieved with first past the post voting. This is just as bad as the current party manipulated nonsense.

    As for Latham’s recommendation of a “donkey” vote…that is the most irresponsible of all options. ANYONE who votes a blank piece of paper…I have absolutely NO respect for whatsoever. Similar for anyone who refuses to vote. Go live in a country where you can’t get a free vote & see then how much you value that right to vote. History records people who don’t have it as being willing to die for it. In spite if our systems shortcomings…treating it so lightly is just pathetic.

    Having said all that…Mark Latham did make some good points. And Laurie Oakes’ just made a fool of himself.
    .-= Phil Hayes´s last blog ..Computer Arts – Start Your Own Studio =-.

  10. Jude Walton says:

    Well! What a wonderful way to waste our vote; whilst many do not have the privilege to choose their government; we do. Instead of voting with a blank vote, why not research the platforms and preferences of all the candidates AND then fill in the forms 1 etc, really knowing where your precious vote will go. That’s what I plan to do – make my vote count.

  11. I would love if the Australian people (or any people for that matter) made the effort to properly research who they were voting for, before they vote. As the result is effectively 1 year of honeymoon, 1 year of governing + 1 year of pre-election, they (the voter) need to live with their decision for 3 years.
    Unfortunately, most people don’t bother research this at all.
    I’m sure those guys don’t winge over the guys that get in 😉

  12. Hello Sean,

    Great blog post. I am not into politics at all….think its such a waste of our money with how the government runs our country. If they keep ruling the way they have been, I can easily see our great grandchildren will have to pay for our debts that we have….almost like how Japan with their children childrens paying for the country debts for many years to come!!!

    Its such a hard job to be a politician…Fancy cars, first class trips around Australia, Fancy Dinners, the best of the best in hotel rooms, huge houses, all their living taken care of, expanses all paid for!!….The only down side is the decisions that they are (forced) asked to make – sometimes making decisions on the basis of someones encouragement in the back ground. So glad I do not have that lifestyle 🙂

    If there was someone worthy of voting for then it would be an election to look forward to. Hope I didn’t step on anyones toes with my comments, but hey its a free world right?

    .-= Lisa Wood´s last blog ..So Grateful To Know… =-.

  13. Tris Curtis says:

    Sean this has got to be one of my favourite “how to vote” articles I have ever read. Citizens don’t really have a significant say on the role of government until we speak beyond the elective system itself. As your article touches on, the Liberal/Labor, Tony/Julia argument is *in itself* clever marketing to distract from what is really going on.

    I know of an unofficial group of “donkey-voters” (people who submit ballot papers without any votes) who, instead of voting, write on the top “I vote for policies; not people”. The idea is this phrase will soon grow and grow until it becomes a voting force in itself, enabling a country where citizens can actually vote on decisions, instead of voting on who they distrust the least.

    I was thinking of doing something along these lines as a vote against the entire system. But I don’t know how productive that is. I’m thinking of voting Greens, if we want to progressively distribute the country’s wealth socially, at least I like the way they would do it. Even if they don’t fulfill these policies, at least it sends a message to the political… er… industry?… that the environment is one of my biggest priorities. Perhaps this rise in environmental attention may even give politicians permission to strategize beyond the block of three years – now THAT would make some interesting changes in this country!

    Or maybe I could do what Douglas Adams suggested, start a political party with one policy: all policies are submitted into a Digg-style system and every political decision is voted on by anyone over the Web. If my approval rating dropped, I’ll just tell Australians they have no-one to blame but themselves. 😀

  14. Sean I think that if Mark Latham can seriously suggest to Australians to submit a donkey vote then it’s quite a scary thought that he was in the running to be the prime minister, because it’s a completely irresponsible suggestion for someone in his position and of his status as an ex opposition leader to make.

    Those who are against the preferential voting system should take the following first-past-the-post scenario in to account. Let’s say that in an electorate there are 5 candidates representing 5 different parties. Then a candidate only needs 20% + 1 vote to hold the seat. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the idea of a member of parliament holding a seat when 80% of the electorate did not vote for he/she to represent them. And this (mis)representation ratio could be expanded beyond individual electorates to a state or indeed the country. So in this quite possible scenario, the first-past-the-post system is flawed, and the preferential system is much more democratic. First-past-the-post only works democratically in a two horse race.

    Also, don’t forget that the how to vote flyers they hand you at the polling booth are only what the parties prefer or suggest. There’s nothing wrong with individuals thinking for themselves and forming their own order of preference. But I also think that’s a stretch, because in my possibly controversial opinion (but one I stand by) Australians in general, and probably humans in general, are much like sheep, predisposed to group-think, and they wouldn’t take the time to think beyond the dribble espoused by politicians and most of all the media.

    • Extremely well said Simon…I agree with you 100%. The problem we have currently with the preferential system, & in particular the ability to simply mark a “1”above the line is that the political parties have corrupted that system by doing preference deals etc. Personally I always number all the squares…problem is that on Saturday that meant numbering 1 to 60 where I vote. Most people won’t do that…hence the ability of the parties to manipulate the system. See my comment above (August 17, 2010 at 9:27 am) for an idea that I thought might work.
      .-= Phil Hayes´s last blog ..Network Marketing Success – Tony Robbins at his best =-.

  15. Hi Sean,
    The preferential system is a good system. That’s if, it wasn’t corrupted by LibLab. Preferences are the only chance the voter has to remove a party that has stronghold.

    If liberal and Labor were in true opposition they would not preference each other. This means that they would not appear on each other’s ticket. It doesn’t make sense to preference your opposition and for the opposition to receive your vote.

    I voted today and could see that my vote will most likely go to the opposite party I voted for. This is undeniable proof to me that there’s wide corruption in the preferential system by the two parties going into collusion to keep any other independent or party out.
    .-= Jill Brown´s last blog ..Lifestyle with Sean Rasmussen – Affiliate Marketing =-.

  16. Well the election is done and dusted with no clear winner- yet. A historic election for Australia? perhaps.

    I wonder how many people after watching, reading or hearing about Mark Lathams ‘no vote’ suggestion actually took the advice and did not place a vote. I wonder now if those people are actually regretting the action, or should I say in-action to select the next leader of our country…
    .-= Cemil´s last blog ..Importance of a Wealth Creation Plan =-.

    • Hi Cemil,

      The informal vote count was 5.6%. Up 40% from the previous election. Now, it would be wrong to think that Mark Latham 100% contributed to this, but he may have planted the seed to have people act that way. Personally, I don’t see informal voting as being inherently wrong. It’s an option. If you don’t feel like lending your support behind a specific party – then that’s because they haven’t offered you anything of value.
      .-= David Moloney´s last blog ..Finding Free Images For Commercial Use =-.

  17. It’s like living in opposite land – you vote for one but it goes to the other! This is crazy business!! And how funny is it that Kim Beazley gave his preferential votes to the Liberals but they didn’t do the same back. That’s like a kid in school trying to get popular by buying the other kids stuff but they don’t give a rat’s… they just take their freebies & laugh behind his back!

    “Donkey voting” isn’t the answer either! Informal voters should just wear a sandwich board that says their opinion on anything to do with running this country is not required. You can’t fly a plane blindfolded. You can’t teach a whale to fetch with a tennis ball. But you can teach a horse to dance an Irish jig if it drinks enough Guiness… but I digress.

    It’s best to become more educated on the voting system – Sean’s blog certainly opened my eyes. Next election I will be numbering 1-30 if that’s what it takes to ensure my vote goes to where I specifically want it to go. Empower yourselves Australians and stand up for what you believe in – even if you risk getting the prickly end of the pineapple stuck in he wrong end of town!
    .-= Samantha Banfield – Witty Sam´s last blog ..Exclusive Julia Spillard Interview =-.

  18. Good luck over there, fellow pacific islanders suffering through terrible electoral systems. 2 comments: 1. skipping the ditch will not make you any happier, MMP is no prize either; the deal-cutting to form a government is- shocking! 2. an electoral college vote as they have in America would be no good either- in the end, its what Churchill said that helps us the most here: Democracy is the worst form of government- except for everything else we’ve ever tried.

    On aside, I feel personally that the largest problem, if it is possible to sidestep the fact that our governments are not elected “for the people, by the people” but rather for the power-crazed, life-long politicians by the power-crazed, life-long politicians, is the career politicians. This was never the envisaged path for politicians when the Greeks designed democracy- politicians should always be the voicebox of their electorate and only for a short time, to give others the chance to speak – freely elected governments should give a voice to those who cannot all fit in the room and effectively be heard.

    It seems to me we may have lost sight of that- if only temporarily- and are lost in a sea of election methods, no confidence votes, scandal and media poo-storms. Picking our representatives based on who may do the least damage to our status quo will not resolve the issue underlying this kind of statement; I hear “choose the lesser of 2 evils” and I’d prefer to hear “this person has his community at heart and would strive to make that community that elects him have an audible voice”.

    I basically just disagree with the structure of a political party altogether. It seems to me rather than wielding power for powers’ sake is just an exercise: it acheives nothing. As members of communities, states and nations, we’d all be better served if our “politicians” were concerned with our collective bums, and not their own. Career politicians, and really all those affiliated to a party that requires loyalty in breach of the desires of the electorare, have no place in governement- they derail the concept of representative government.

    I wonder these things, anyway…which is a good start!
    .-= erika schollum´s last blog ..Thanks- Sean Rasmussen! =-.

    • I agree, Erika, let’s ban political parties. Given that their role has been to terrorize the population into not voting for the other parties, rather than being constructive and actually doing what is necessary, perhaps we should ask the Commissioner of the Federal Police to investigate if political parties are deemed to be terrorist organisations??

  19. Hi Ian,
    I think that may be a good idea. We need Independents in Parliament and not Political Parties. The Annotated Constitution of the Australian Commonwealth has no provisions for political parties.

    Provisions are for Independents only. References to this can be found in sections: 5, 7, and 21 of the Federal Constitution. There’s a Constitutional allowance for an alliance in Australian Politics but no allowance for political parties.

  20. Sean
    Great post – too many Australians take no interest in politics yet are always happy to gripe about what the pollies are doing. If you want a change you have to take action and make your vote count.

    The fact that most Australian don’t even know how our two levels of govt are elected is a disgrace. It’s not taught at schools and it’s definitely not described to us by the ‘media’. They can show us whether a leader wears swimmers or if another leader is an athiest and OMG has a partner, not a husband, but none of them in the lead up to the election told us what actually happened.

    If the independents form a minority govt I hope they ask questions such as why money is spent regularly in marginal seats whilst safe seats who need it get nothing (doesn’t matter which side of the spectrum they are, money is not spent on them). I hope they do look at things such as limiting gambling addiction by limiting poker machine bets to $1. I hope they make sure that either party can actually fund the promises they made. Both parties handed in their costs at the end of the election and not earlier where people could at least ask questions without the media deciding for us which worked or not. They have the power because Australians gave it to them because they chose ‘none of the above’.

    .-= Tania Shipman´s last blog ..Booking accommodation =-.

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