Saturday, February 16, 2013

Siapa nicholas xenophou?

Nicholas "Nick" Xenophon[2] (born
Nicholas Xenophou 29 January 1959) is
an independent Australian Senator from
South Australia. Born in Adelaide, South
Australia, he attended Prince Alfred
College and studied law at the University
of Adelaide, attaining his Bachelor of
Laws in 1981. Xenophon established
and became principal of his own law
firm, Xenophon & Co. in 1984. Between
1994 and 1997 he served as president
of the South Australian branch of the
Australian Plaintiff Lawyers' Association.
No Pokies, the name of his independent
ticket in the South Australian Legislative
Council, garnered 2.9 percent of the
statewide vote at the 1997 state
election electing himself on preferences,
and 20.5 percent at the 2006 election
(or 2.5 quotas), which was unexpected
by political commentators. He was
elected to the Australian Senate at the
2007 federal election, receiving 14.8
percent. This was still over one full
Senate quota, gaining election without
the need for preferences. Xenophon
shared the balance of power with the
Greens and Family First during the
2008–11 Senate parliamentary session,
with the Greens holding the sole
balance of power since July 2011. Whilst
his original 1997 platform centred on
anti- pokies, he has since become an
advocate in many other areas.
Xenophon has been reported in the
media as "left-of-centre",[3] while
Hansard reveals that Xenophon and the
Greens have found common ground on
a number of issues.[4]
Education and legal career
Xenophon attended Prince Alfred
College and studied law at the University
of Adelaide, completing his Bachelor of
Laws in 1981. While at University he
was for a period a member of the
Young Liberals, who helped him secure
the editorship of the student
newspaper On Dit through vote-rigging,
an incident Xenophon says he regrets
and helped turned him off party
politics.[2] In 1984, he established and
became principal of his own law firm,
Xenophon & Co., located in Paradise,
South Australia, which deals solely with
workers compensation and personal
injury claims.[5][6] In this field he
became successful, and between 1994
and 1997 he served as president of the
South Australian branch of the
Australian Plaintiff Lawyers'
Association.[7] After legislation was
passed in 1992 by the Bannon Labor
government that saw the introduction
of poker machines (pokies) into South
Australia in 1993, the increased
incidence of problem gambling came to
Xenophon's attention in his legal
↑Jump back a section
Parliamentary career
South Australian Legislative Council
At the 1997 state election, Xenophon
stood for the South Australian
Legislative Council under an
Independent No Pokies ticket,
advocating the reduction and abolition
of poker machines (colloquially known
as "pokies"). He received a vote of 2.86
percent, a statewide total of 25,630
votes – much less than the 8.33 per cent
needed to be elected in his own right –
but by receiving a large number of
preferences first from microparties and
then from Grey Power, he achieved 1.08
quotas and was elected.[11] This made
Xenophon the first Independent elected
to the Legislative Council in 60 years.[2]
Following the 1997 election, the Olsen
Liberal government required the
support of an additional two non-
Liberal upper house members in order
to pass legislation, with the Australian
Democrats retaining the balance of
power on three seats. However,
defectors from Labor in the upper
house, Terry Cameron and Trevor
Crothers, often brought Xenophon in to
play. In 1998, Xenophon voted with
Cameron and the government to
proceed with the second reading of the
ETSA power sale bill.[12][13] The bill
became law when Cameron and
Crothers voted with the Liberal
government.[14] Following the election
of the Rann Labor government at the
2002 state election, the government
required an additional five non-Labor
upper house members to pass
legislation, giving a shared balance of
power to the Democrats on three seats,
incumbent independents Xenophon
and Cameron, with the Family First Party
winning their first seat.
Xenophon was an activist for a range of
issues apart from the elimination of
poker machines, speaking out on
consumer rights, essential services, the
environment, taxation, and perks for
politicians.[6] Xenophon was also vocal
in the Eugene McGee hit-run affair,
becoming an advocate for the victim's
wife, with public opinion eventually
forcing the Kapunda Road Royal
Commission that led to harsher laws for
hit-run offences.[15]
Xenophon is best known for his many
media-friendly publicity stunts that have
gained him both deep respect and
ardent criticism.[9][16] At the 2006
state election, he ran an aggressive
campaign and attracted considerable
publicity through a range of imaginative
stunts, including riding a model
locomotive "gravy train" outside
Parliament House to protest MPs'
superannuation entitlements, parading
along Rundle Mall wearing a sandwich
board to advertise his campaign, and
bringing a small goat to Parliament
urging voters not to "kid around" with
their vote.[17][18] Despite media
speculation that he would struggle to
be re-elected due to the major parties
preferencing against him, he attracted
sufficient funding and volunteers to
staff most state booths on polling
day.[19] He received 190,958 first
preferences or 20.51 per cent of the
total vote, enough to not only be re-
elected himself, but also to elect the
second No Pokies candidate, Ann
Bressington.[20][21] His total was 5.46
per cent less than the Liberal Party, and
he outpolled the Liberals in some
booths, including the entire electoral
district of Enfield.[22] Political analysts
said Xenophon's vote at the election
was drawn almost equally from the two
major parties,[23] and that Xenophon
had become the new "third force" in
South Australian politics.[24] With the
Labor government requiring four non-
Labor upper house members to pass
legislation, No Pokies on two seats
shared the balance of power with
Family First on two seats, the Democrats
on one seat, with the SA Greens
winning their first seat.
Australian Senate
Election campaign
On 11 October 2007, Xenophon called a
press conference at the Adelaide Zoo in
front of the giraffe enclosure, declaring
he would "stick his neck out for South
Australia" by announcing his
resignation from the South Australian
Legislative Council in an attempt to gain
election to the Australian Senate at the
2007 federal election.[25] His platform
consisted of anti-gambling and pro-
consumer protection measures,
attention to the water crisis affecting
the Murray River, ratifying Kyoto,
opposition against a "decrease in state
rights", and opposition to
Following the announcement, ABC
election analyst Antony Green predicted
that Xenophon would easily win a seat,
with Centrebet speculating he would
begin on a favourable $1.50 for and
$2.70 against. Nick Minchin, a Liberal
senator from South Australia and a
leader of the party's right faction,[28]
urged people not to vote for Mr
Xenophon.[29] Xenophon attracted
preferences from minor parties such as
the Greens, Democrats and Family First,
whose preferences would be crucial
were he to win less than 14.3% of the
vote.[30] Due to differences between
federal and state electoral laws,
Xenophon's name did not appear above
the line on the ticket, and he was
represented only by the letter "S" above
the line, with voters having to search
for his details.[31]
As Xenophon had vacated his Legislative
Council seat to run for the Senate, a
joint sitting of the South Australian
parliament was convened for 21
November 2007 to select Xenophon's
replacement. The Rann Labor
government agreed to Xenophon's
choice of former valuer-general John
Darley, who had stood as the third
candidate on Xenophon's ticket in
2006.[32] During the joint sitting
convened to confirm the nomination,
Ann Bressington criticised Xenophon,
questioning his integrity and suitability
for federal parliament, suggesting that
his "anti-politician" image was more
spin than reality.[33] She also said
Xenophon had demanded she
contribute $50,000 towards campaign
expenses at the 2006 state election.
Xenophon said in response that he was
"shocked and hurt" and "deeply upset"
that she had failed to share her
concerns with him in person, saying
"privately and publicly, I have been very
supportive of her."[34] Some people
whose causes Xenophon had
championed also came forward to
defend Xenophon. Di Gilcrist, whose
husband's hit and run death resulted in
the Kapunda Road Royal Commission,
was vocal in her rejection of
Bressington's comments. In an
interview the following day, Ms Gilcrist
said "based on my experience not only
as a victim who's dealt with Nick but
also somebody who's worked with Nick
and his office over the last two
campaigns and in between, Nick is
passionate and he cares and he is
empathetic. And he is truly
committed."[33][35] Lower House
Independent Kris Hanna also defended
Xenophon, arguing Bressington had
"obviously been out to do some
damage" and injure Xenophon's
chances of being elected to the
During the campaign, Xenophon also
complained to the Australian Electoral
Commission about political
advertisements which falsely claimed he
would not support rolling back the
unpopular WorkChoices laws if
During the final days of the campaign,
Xenophon executed his final campaign
stunt – walking a large mule down
Rundle Mall, allegedly to demonstrate his
stubbornness.[37] Xenophon received a
total of 148,789 votes, representing
14.78% of enrolled electors. 30,054 of
these – about one in five – voted below
the line. Only the Labor and Liberal
parties (each receiving about 35%)
polled more votes.[38][39]
Nick Xenophon in September
Xenophon's addition to the Senate in
mid-2008 resulted in him sharing the
balance of power in the Senate with the
Australian Greens on five seats and
Family First on one seat, the Rudd Labor
government requiring the support of all
seven, or the opposition, to pass
legislation. Xenophon's election was at
the expense of a Liberal candidate,
without his presence the Coalition may
have retained a Senate majority.
Xenophon indicated plans to work
closely with coalition renegade Barnaby
Joyce.[40] Xenophon has been reported
in the media as "left-of-centre",[3]
whilst Hansard revealed that Xenophon
and the Greens find common ground
on a number of issues.[4]
In February 2009, the Rudd
Government's $42 billion economic
stimulus package struggled to see
passage through the Senate. After some
amendments, the package was
supported by Labor, the Greens, and
Family First, however Xenophon voted
against the package. The package was
reintroduced the next morning and this
time Xenophon voted with it after some
requests were agreed to by the
Government. With Xenophon's support
the package passed the Senate.
Xenophon convinced the government to
bring forward $900 million in Murray-
Darling basin funds and other water
projects, which included $500 million
over three years for water buybacks,
$200 million in water saving and water
management grants for local
communities, and $200 million in
stormwater harvesting projects.[41][42]
In a speech to the Senate on 17
November 2009, Xenophon labelled the
Church of Scientology as a criminal
organisation, making allegations of
members experiencing blackmail,
torture and violence, labour camps and
forced imprisonment, and coerced
abortions, echoing other criticisms of
Scientology.[43][44][45] Xenophon
quoted from a letter he received written
by Aaron Saxton, a whistleblower on
Scientology who had previously served
as a senior official within the
organization in Australia and the United
States.[46]Kevin Rudd stated he shared
some of Xenophon's concerns,[47][48]
and would consider the call for a
parliamentary inquiry.[49] The federal
opposition were not so keen on an
inquiry.[50] State Crime Command of
New South Wales Police confirmed the
following day that they had received
statements from Xenophon by seven
former members, with investigations
commencing.[51] A request for a Senate
inquiry was not successful, though the
Greens voted with Xenophon in support
of the proposal.[52] After a subsequent
Senate Committee investigation was
carried out, a federal parliamentary
committee of the Australian Senate
recommended on 7 September 2010
that a charities commission be formed,
with the purpose of investigating and
monitoring transparency of charitable
organizations.[53] This
recommendation received bipartisan
support.[53] Senator Xenophon
commented on the report of the
committee, "I believe reform is now
inevitable. We can't continue to have
business as usual when it comes to
organisations that have been beyond
any reasonable level of
accountability."[53] Xenophon
emphasized the investigation began as
a result of his concerns about
Scientology, "This inquiry came about
because of legislation I introduced for a
public benefit test for religions and
charities, and it was as a direct result of
being approached by many victims of
the Church of Scientology. Their
evidence, their complaints played a key
role in triggering this inquiry."[53] In
September 2011, Xenophon said he
was disappointed with a Fair Work
Ombudsman's final report into the
Church of Scientology.[54]
From July 2011, Xenophon lost his
shared balance of power position, with
the Greens taking the sole balance of
power after a strong showing at the
2010 election. He nominates key issues
he will pursue before he is up for re-
election at the next Australian federal
election as: gaming machine reforms,
stopping palm oil from being sold in
Australia and breaking up the
supermarket duopoly, as well as better
deals for Riverland irrigators in the
Murray-Darling Basin rescue plan. He
said his lack of power won't translate to
a diminished voice... "Most of your
influence comes from being able to
influence the wider debate on an issue,
and if you are successful, you can
actually change the way the major
parties vote. That's what I have done
for the past three years and I will
continue to do that. I can honestly say I
plan to be a pesky, persistent bastard in
and out of the Senate for the next three
Xenophon's anti-pokies stance was
bolstered when independent Andrew
Wilkie was elected to the federal lower
house seat of Denison at the 2010
election. Wilkie was one of four
crossbenchers who supported the
Gillard Labor minority government
following the hung parliament result.
Wilkie campaigned heavily against
pokies at the election and immediately
began forging ties with Xenophon as
soon as it was apparent that he was
elected.[57] Wilkie claims that problem
gamblers in Australia lose $5 billion
each year on pokies.[58] In exchange
for Wilkie's support, the Labor
government are legislating for
mandatory "pre-commitment"
technology which would require people
using high-bet machines to pre-commit
how much they are willing to bet on a
machine before they begin to play,[59]
as well as introducing safer $1
maximum bet per spin machines, which
would not require pre-commitment.[60]
The plan came under sustained attack
from sporting clubs and various
businesses which financially benefit
from poker machine use.[61] Xenophon
accused them of misrepresenting plans
and creating hype.[62] The Abbott
Coalition opposes the plans, with Abbott
saying "it is not Liberal Party policy" and
it will be "expensive and ineffective."
According to polling, the Labor
government's plans are supported by a
clear majority of voters across the
spectrum.[63]AFL boss Andrew
Demetriou rejected suggestions that the
AFL was joining Clubs Australia in their
media campaign.[64][65] Clubs Australia
as part of their campaign.[66]
Commentators from the Nine Network
gave planned political arguments
without disclosure during commentary
of a Semi-Final NRL game, prompting
the Australian Communications and
Media Authority (ACMA) to investigate,
stating "Channel Nine broadcast political
material without adequately identifying
it as such during the NRL first
preliminary final". One of the accused
commentators stated that the remarks
were a "directive from up top that it be
read by at least somebody".
Investigations are predicted to take
attempted to counter the anti-pre-
commitment campaign by running
political commercials during the NRL
grand final.[71][72] Xenophon created a
website,, in
attempts to counter the attacks.[73]
Clubs Australia accidentally posted
private content on their website which
indicated that clubs are purposely
exaggerating the impact of the pre-
commitment plans.[74] The Greens
proposed a modification of the plan to
remove the pre-commitment and simply
institute the $1 bet limit side of the plan.
Gillard and Wilkie indicated they are
open to the change. Clubs Australia,
which had so far amassed a $40 million
federal election "warchest" including
$250,000 from Woolworths, claimed it
would do even more harm to clubs.[75]
In September 2011, Xenophon
controversially used parliamentary
privilege to accuse a South Australian
Catholic priest of rape, in regard to
accusations made about events that
occurred in the 1960s. Monsignor David
Cappo and the Archbishop of Adelaide,
Philip Wilson, were accused of failing to
properly investigate the allegations
when made in 2007. All three men deny
the Senator's claims. Xenophon decided
to use parliamentary privilege after
receiving an "unsatisfactory" response
from the Church when advising them of
his intentions and ultimatum. Cappo,
introduced by Mike Rann early in his
premiership as South Australia's head
of his Social Inclusion unit, was set to
take on a national role by Prime Minister
Julia Gillard. Due to the claims, Cappo
stepped down from the new position
after just one week, as well as from the
Social Inclusion Board.[76][77][78][79]
[80] Several days later, after high-level
media coverage, Xenophon indicated he
might not have used parliamentary
privilege had he known the person he
accused was about to take a period of
Xenophon voted against the Clean
Energy Bill in November 2011. The
carbon tax passed with the Labor
government receiving Green support
for the legislation in the Senate.[82][83]
In 2012, Xenophon was on a fact-
finding mission to Malaysia when he
was caught up in anti-government
protests in Kuala Lumpur. Subsequently,
on 2 May 2012, the New Straits Times
published an article written by Roy See
Wei Zhi and headed "Observer under
scrutiny".[84] The report replaced
words from a 2009 speech made by
Xenophon and turned it into an attack
on Islam, ostensibly to pit Malay-Muslim
opinion against the senator, who was a
known associate of Malaysian
opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. In
fact the speech had been an attack on
Scientology and is recorded as such in
the Hansard of the Australian Senate.
Xenophon threatened to sue the New
Straits Times for defamation and the
newspaper quickly removed the
offending article from its website.[85]
The gaffe sparked media outrage in
both Malaysia and Australia,[86] and has
greatly reinforced public perception
that the New Straits Times and most
mainstream media merely serve as
propaganda mouthpieces for the ruling
Barisan Nasional. As at 4 May 2012,
Senator Xenophon has confirmed that
he would sue NST in spite of their

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