Politics, Poetry and Reviews

Comments Policy

Well, well, well.  I’ve just had my first ever run-in with an abusive commenter.  And what a special moment that was! I must be a real blogger… and I suppose that means that I need to have a real comments policy.

OK then.

I want to balance two things on this blog.  On the one hand, I want this blog to be as informative as possible, and as accurate as possible.  One way to do this is to always link back to the site from which I obtained the information I am analysing.  Another way is to allow for the possibility of rebuttals.  This means that if I’ve written about you or your party and you think I’ve got things wrong, you are welcome to comment in reply and make corrections.  This happens fairly often, and I generally edit the post to point people to the comment section – and if I’ve been wildly factually inaccurate and have time, I will also edit the offending section to fix the problem.

What I will not tolerate on this blog is abuse of other commenters – and I’m not especially fond of being abused myself.  I’m also not going to tolerate racist, sexist, or other unpleasant and demeaning statements about particular groups within the population.  The other part of making my blog as useful and informative as possible is making it a place where people are not going to be attacked for commenting, and where people are not going to be triggered by things in the comment thread.  Arguments and policies are fair game – people are not.

Who decides what is racist, sexist, etc?

That would be me.  It turns out that even I, in all my lefty-liberal ways, have a fascist streak when it comes to obnoxious commenters.   It’s the Nanny State right here on this blog! (The power is intoxicating!)

In practice, what this means is that provided you remain reasonably polite and attack the argument rather than the person, your comments will be approved (incidentally, all comments are currently going directly to moderation, regardless of who they are from – I apologise for the resulting delay, but it is unfortunately very necessary at present).  However, if you start abusing people, or making nasty and unsubstantiated blanket statements about large segments of the population, your comment is not going to be approved.  And if you keep on commenting in this vein for long enough that I get tired of deleting your comments from my inbox, you will be added to my spam filter, never to be seen again.  (And seriously, if you have *that* much to say, why not get a blog of your own?  The internet is a big place, and there is room for all of us.)

Incidentally, there is one exception to the rules above. On occasion, people leave obnoxious or offensive comments on my blog that make my argument better than I ever could.  Those, I let through.  Because in addition to allowing rebuttals on this blog, I am also inclined to be generous when it comes to giving people enough rope to hang themselves…

You might want to consider this before you leave a comment.


  1. Salon Sal

    Hey Cate, thanks for the work you’ve done here, especially for following up on the mind bending array of micro party and independent candidates. Here we are less than a week out from Election 2014 and as a concerned voter I am keen to find out who the heck I might be being asked to vote for. You’ve saved me hours of battling to find out where various less well-funded candidates might have posted that teensy bit of info about themselves and their policies that will help me decide whether to put a number next to their name or not … I would like to assure you that although I intend to take full advantage of your research (and of the fact that for the Upper House I only have to number 1 through 5 for a valid vote, yay! I WILL be making my own mind up come Saturday. So thanks for encouraging reasoned but not over-earnest conversation about an election process that is otherwise in danger of turning into something between Sudoku and Tattslotto.

    PS I’m right with you on abusive trolls. You’re the hostess. As you say, if they can’t keep themselves nice they can always go and relieve themselves in their own dank corner of the internet.

    • Catherine

      Thank you so much, Sal, for your support! I’m glad you find these posts helpful!

  2. Michael FitzGerald

    I have just discovered you – and what a joy to do so. I wish I’d know about you before. This Comments Policy and Your Manifesto are Intelligent, perceptive, objective comment and criticism, all so beautifully and engagingly written. You’ve certainly given me a perspective on the forth-coming election and set me right as to how to vote in a meaningful and thoughtful way. Thank you so much.

    • Catherine

      Wow, thank you. I’m very glad you find this blog useful.

      • Paul Failla

        Cate I don’t know where you got your information from and only if you would care to be more transparent.
        I would definelty due the pants out of you. First and foremost I am a left winger and proud activist of the Gramsci cultural society. Gramsci was Founder of the Italian communist party, until the party was dissolved I was an active member.
        In reply to what ciao australia stands for it has two names one us centre of Italo Australian operative and the other centre of international Australian operations. It’s functions are to promote cultural diversity and international exchange for music and arts. Occasionally it also helps elderly migrants for assistance in beauracrstic mishaps. You fail to mention that I was also the prime mover in naming our city in 1996 Moreland.
        In reply to your comment of review of the pets registration system you cleverly or stupidly did not read or mention why? Do you have pet registered with MCC and at any stage your pet disappeared, with fees that rate payers pay for such registration you would expect at least a phone call to say your pet has been found or is dead, this Rort of council earns them hundreds of thousands of dollars and there is no service for owners of lost pets.
        In regards to sustainable energy dislike from me, ask yourself the question on how much of the money spend or earned has gone back to your electrical bill and what measures has council taken to have this money placed back to the greedy electrical companies and assist the underprivileged or pensioners that struggle with their current pension even to buy a piece of rib eye or rump steak at least once a week.
        You seem to be a green supporter from your comments of which I still cannot understand what they truly stand for in our current political life.
        You also mention how I preferenced, had you taken the time to study how the labor party and greens had stacked the election you would have noted that little or no choice was left to me on how I preferenced under this stupid and totally I democratic preferential system.
        Maybe it’s to much on a email for you to muster or understand what I am trying to comunicate. Or maybe you have been biaesd and gave favoured your friends in the greens whom totally refused to even discuss platforms put out. Time will eventually throw these parasites out of a political system that currently favours them as there is no real politics for young people to follow due to restraints by media or no curriculum at schools for same. More than willing to discuss further over a coffee face to face and not hide beyond a blog. Best regards Paul Failla

        • Catherine

          Hi Paul,

          Thanks for commenting. Quick question – I’m not sure if you meant to comment here or on the page where I talked about the council election, but if the latter, would you like me to see if I can move your comment there, so that people reading what I have written can also see your response?

          First, I want to make it clear that this blog is not something I do professionally – I write it in my spare time. I am not paid to write it, and I actually work full-time in a completely unrelated field, so it is simply not possible for me to get in contact with every candidate personally. To keep things on an equal footing, I don’t get in contact with anyone, and instead write about candidates and parties based on their public online profile and anything they have put in my letterbox. And I do link to candidate websites, so that anyone who is truly interested can find out more. (I have never claimed to be unbiased, incidentally, but I do try to make my biases clear and obvious.)

          As for the rest of your comments, first, thank you for telling me a bit more about CIAO Australia. I really did try to learn more about it, but the website doesn’t explain very clearly what CIAO actually does and why and how. This is a pity, because it sounds like a great organisation. Equally, while I did read what I could find on your official flyer and Facebook about pet registration, you didn’t actually say what your policy was or how it would be changed, and I could think of several possibilities, some good, some bad. Which is a pity, because I actually agree with you that councils (and companies which do microchipping, for that matter) should make more of an effort to contact owners if a pet turns up, rather than waiting for owners to contact them. We lost our cat last year, and it was upsetting and stressful to wonder if she was somewhere we just hadn’t thought of ringing yet.

          I do hope you will consider expanding on your policies next time you run. They are worth expanding on.

          Kind regards,


          PS – regarding the Greens, I suspect we will have to agree to disagree, though it sounds like you would have gotten on well politically with my Nonno! While I’m not a member of that or any other party, I personally do think the Greens have a lot to offer in terms of social justice. And I do think we need to be mindful of our non-renewable resources, though this is not a passion of mine.

  3. R Davis

    After reading all that you have had to say – honestly – I am to afraid to – say anything.
    rt.com wont let me say “poop” when I comment (?) or diddly squat for that matter.
    Because I support gay marriage – the seniors blog – yourlifechoices website called me a “sexual pervert or something” so I ditched them.
    Life sucks hey .
    Stay cool child.

  4. Chakae

    I have introduced Victorian friends to your blog, who are very grateful. Then I decided I could just cut and paste your entries in ballot order for my Queensland friends. Thanks for once again being a resource. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1r-pbLofclQjShtqDD0mkerTBs5KT6VB4KjBVafapUlU/edit?usp=sharing

    • Catherine

      You are very welcome!

  5. Roger

    Hi Catherine,

    The Australian Democrats are running,but only in Victoria, even though we are not currently registered with the AEC.

    We are in Column B David Collyer and Wanda Mitchell-Cook



    • Catherine

      So I heard! Thanks, Roger. I’m still travelling, but hope to do some updates shortly.

  6. ecko4inc

    Hi Cate

    Thanks for taking the time to drill down into the ballot paper. It’s pretty amazing what social problems (real or imagined) people will focus their energies on to get up and run for public office.


    • Catherine

      Thank you! It really is!

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