Stuck in the soggy middle with you

John McCombe writes: Re. “Rundle: op-shop messiahs and Australia’s soggy middle” (yesterday).

I really enjoyed Guy Rundle’s latest whack at our increasingly unrepresentative (just look at public support of gay marriage and renewable energy, and opposition to privatisation) and comical system of government.  However I would suggest that he has missed a significant fifth lock — that of single member electorates.  I would be interested in seeing the results of overlaying Australian voting numbers on the New Zealand MMP system with its factor of proportional representation, a system that has produced remarkably representative parliaments and, apparently, not too much hindrance to “reform”.  Has anyone done this?

On Tony Abbott, backbencher

John Richardson writes: Re. “The radicalisation of Tony Abbott” (yesterday). So, ‘Tin Man’ Tony Abbott, reckons that: “We should be ready to proclaim the clear superiority of our culture to one that justifies killing people in the name of God.”

In the past 10 years, it’s estimated that the US initiated more than 900 drone strikes in Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan alone, killing 7000 people, with at least 20% of that number being civilians, including children, and with another 2200 injured. God Bless America?

Not quite so innovative

Bradley Smith writes: Re. “Bishop’s ‘Googly, Facebooky’ $500 beanbags” (Wednesday).  Good to see some recycled “new” names. The InnovationXchange was established by Grant Kearney back in about 2002 and closed in 2011. It was a well-known not-for-profit knowledge intermediary organisation in the Australian innovation policy space although the business model proved to be unsustainable. From memory it was a spin out of AIG with some Commonwealth funding off the back of the Howard government’s Backing Australia’s Ability innovation 2001 program. Don’t know if they had bean bags but variants were developed in UK and Malaysia.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey