The IPA which was founded in 1943 by G.J.Coles of Coles Supermarkets, H.G.Darling the then Chairman of BHP, G.H.Grimwade who was Director of Drug Houses of Australia, Sir Keith Murdoch of the The Herald & Weekly Times and L.J.McConnan who was head of The National Bank of Australasia which would later merge into what is now the NAB, was from what I can determine a kind of slush fund which was set up by big business for the sole purpose of paying and lobbying for non-Labor political interests. Out of the ashes of what was the United Australia Party, the beginnings of the Liberal Party of Australia were founded by a similar group of people.
It was so suspicious at the time that the Commonwealth Police had to investigate the IPA for its links with facism. They didn't find any of course but if facism is the doctrine of combining authoritarian power with right-wing, politics, then the IPA flies roughly in a similar direction.
Their latest offering which is more or less a new list of demands on their political lap dog, is like previous lists of demands but having been released in an election cycle, is one of the most visible attempts at manipulation. It is though the puppeteer has moved from behind the curtain and is openly pulling the strings.
I have been through the IPA's list of demands and have provided an ill-thought out opinion on them. Seeing as I find them already to be mostly contemptible, I think that I am being hideously generous to give them an airing.
1. Remove all references to race in the Constitution
Section 25 states:
For the purposes of the last section, if by the law of any State all persons of any race are disqualified from voting at elections for the more numerous House of the Parliament of the State, then, in reckoning the number of the people of the State or of the Commonwealth, persons of that race resident in that State shall not be counted.
Operationally no persons of any race are disqualified from voting at elections. This section is functionally neutered. I would however prefer to see this remain in the Constitution as a reminder of the legal scar which we have wrought in history. Removing this would be whitewashing a tragic past.
Also, Section 51 states:
The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to:
(xxvi) the people of any race , for whom it is deemed necessary to make special laws;
There might be a good reason to protect people if they are being harmed, on the basis of race.
Australia has a terrible history when it comes to dealing with the first peoples of this land. If we actually were to to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to the people of Aborginals races and make special laws to rememdy the ongoing systemic injury, then Section 51 (xxvi) is still fit for purpose; even if that purpose is different to what the framers of the Constitution thought it was back in 1900.
2. Repeal Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act (1975)
Are you still banging on about this? The reason why Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act is to allow remedy where someone has been injured as the result of someone else exercising their speech. No right should be unlimited and should be hedged in by law.
The only reason that the IPA cares about this is because News Corp and the Herald-Sun has falled foul of the law and was found guilty.
3. Withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement
The Paris Climate Agreement will increase the cost of electricity production by at least $52 billion by 2030 without making any noticeable difference to the environment.
The end of this line is vexatious considering that the IPA doesn't actually believe in climate change anyway. The only reason why the IPA cares about this is because their income stream is mostly likely derived in part from the coal industry.
4. Implement a flat income tax
Its interaction with the welfare system also creates welfare traps through high effective marginal tax rates which keeps too many Australians poor and trapped in a poverty cycle.
What the heck? If you are on such a low income that you are relying on welfare, you are not on a "high effective marginal tax rate". This is just bonkers. Who wrote this? I would fail them in a class for just writing garbage.
The whole point of progressive taxation is that the marginal utility of income goes down as income increases. $1 means far more to someone who only has a few to rub together, as opposed to someone swimming in them. There are 20 slices in a loaf of bread, which is useful for five lunches. Someone spending $10 a week for lunch more closely feels the value of that $1 them someone spending $25 for one lunch. Likewise, someone on a higher income who derives a greater reward from the functioning of the economy, is less liekly to miss that $1 missing. If you think of progressive taxation as progressive discounts of taxation for poorer people, you have a better understanding of why it is so.
5. Reduce the corporate tax rate to below 20 per cent, in line with competitor nations
Who cares what other nations do? Besides which, when a great deal of the ASX actually have an effective corporate tax rate of zero, then this point is meaningless. Besides which, due to the dividend imputation system, tax ends up being taxed in the hands of the final recipient anyway; some of whom get refunds.
6. Appointment of High Court Justices to be rotated between the six states and the Commonwealth
Section 72 of the Constitution states:
The Justices of the High Court and of the other courts created by the Parliament:
(i) shall be appointed by the Governor-General in Council;
It seems that whoever wrote this doesn't have a basic understanding of law, or the Constitution. This proposal could be enacted but not without a referendum first. Quite frankly, I would be embarrassed if I wrote this. Whoever did write this should hang their head in shame for failing to do the most basic of research.
7. Double the size of the House of Representatives, and halve the size of the Ministry
Owing to the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, the Electoral Commissioner must ascertain the number of the people in each electorate and the number of enrolled voters in each division cannot vary by more than 10% from the average across a state or territory, nor can the number of voters vary by more than 3.5% from the average projected enrolment three and a half years into the future.
Section 24 of the Constitution states:
The House of Representatives shall be composed of members directly chosen by the people of the Commonwealth, and the number of such members shall be, as nearly as practicable, twice the number of the senators.
I suppose that doubling the size of the House of Representatives, and halving the size of the Ministry, could be done; but the number of Senators would also have to increase accordingly and I just don't see why we need another 225 MPs right now.
8. Privatise the ABC
In a free society the government should not own and operate its own media company.
This is presented as fact. In a free society, we should be able to collectively own things; after all, we are a Commonwealth and the idea of nationhood is that together, this is a collective enterprise. Maybe the only thing that needs to go away is the IPA. Preferably into a bin.
9. Re-introduce the debt ceiling
The United States government consistently shows that a government which is unable to pay its bills as the result of self imposed rules on parliament is monumentally stupid; as is this proposal.
10. Hold a Royal Commission into the Bureau of Meteorology’s tampering with temperature and climate data
Is this some sort of tinfoil hat conspiracy thing? Actually yes. Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, while in the top job, considered investigating the Bureau of Meteorology’s data following claims in The Australian newspaper in 2014 that the bureau was "wilfully ignoring evidence that contradicts its own propaganda". The Australian had no basis for the claim.
This proposal needs to die.
11. Abolish compulsory superannuation
Compulsory superannuation is a tax on workers’ wages which is coercively redistributed to the Unions.
This is an outright lie. Superannuation is the mechanism by which individuals are forced to save for retirement. If this were to happen, then compulsory superannuation contributions would greatly reduce by unscrupulous employers and the future burden of making sure that old people do not starve would be placed back onto the Commonwealth.
12. Abolish the Renewable Energy Target and end all subsidies to wind, solar, and hydro-electricity generators
Which member of the coal lobby is paying the IPA? Do we have a right to know that? Presumably whoever is touting for this also wants to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.
13. Introduce a one-in-two-out approach to reduce red tape
What does this even mean? Regulations exist for reasons other than purely having regulations. A standard electrical wall outlet for instance, has not quite 300 various regulations surrounding it, to ensure that buildings don't burn down. I prefer not dying in burning buildings.
14. Repeal the Fair Work Act
15. Legalise nuclear power in Australia
Actually, this is about the only thing on this whole list which I have some sympathy for. Since we already supply uranium overseas and store nuclear waste, it seems a shame to waste this resource.
There is also stated "5 policies the Coalition should not implement but will", as though the IPA wants to yell at the Liberal Party for not coming to heel.
1. Do not hold a Referendum to divide Australians by race
2. Do not raise taxes
3. Do not raise spending
4. Do not proceed with Snowy 2.0
5. Do not introduce new anti-discrimination laws
How about 6? Do not listen to the IPA for they are economic terrorists.
Regarding that, a good definition for economic terrorism is:
Repeated destabilizing actions in order to disrupt the economic and financial stability of the state, for ideological and monetary motives.
How are they not? Under what measure are the IPA not economic terrorists? Moreover, why should the Federal Government be beholden to a list of demands from a bunch of unelected and shadowy knaves? Also, considering that we are in the middle of a Federal Election campaign, is there some method to vote the IPA off the island?
I certainly think that we shouldn't give into their list of demands. 93% of them are rubbish.