Dirty Electricity

I’ve researched “dirty electricity” and in this document I explain why I strongly believe that it’s part of a scam made up by a few unscrupulous businesses that are selling expensive devices to measure and “clean up” “dirty electricity” (Stetzer Electric is one such company).

WHAT DO “DIRTY ELECRICITY” PROMOTERS CLAIM?

  1. That “dirty electricity” causes cancer
  2. That Stetzer devices reduce “dirty electricity”
  3. It’s not mentioned on their website, but Stetzer salespeople are claiming that solar panel invertors significantly increase “dirty electricity” in a home. (Funny how “clean energy” now produces “dirty electricity”! The coal industry must love this scam!)

I’ll deal with each of these claims below.

WHAT IS “DIRTY ELECTRICITY”?

No matter how hard I looked I couldn’t find a definition of “dirty electricity”!

“Dirty electricity” is a term that’s only used by people who sell devices to clean up “dirty electricity”
or people who are reporting on, or talking about, the claims made by those sellers.

It’s not a technical term used by scientists or electrical engineers.

You’d think that Stetzer would explain to us what “dirty electricity” is, but they don’t, not on www.stetzerelectric.com or
www.stetzerizeraustralasia.com

The closest they come is on the www.stetzerelectric.com home page where they say:

“Over the past decade, Dave Stetzer has focused on troubleshooting power quality problems, specifically the problem of dirty electricity (electrical pollution, “stray voltage”),”

So it appears they are saying that “dirty electricity” is the same thing as “stray voltage”.

Stray voltage is a well defined and widely used term in the electrical industry; it even has its own Wikipedia entry (wikipedia.org/wiki/Stray_voltage ). It refers to problems that occur when electrical wires aren’t properly grounded or have become damaged and the nearby surfaces become electrically charged so that people receive a shock when they touch them (some times very small and sometimes big enough to kill).

The Stetzer devices don’t claim to do anything about this type of stray voltage so it’s not clear why they’ve used the term on their site.

The Stetzer measurement device that’s used to measure “dirty electricity” in buildings is called a “Microsurge Meter” which implies it measures very small surges (spikes) in electricity.

I finally discovered what Stetzer means by “dirty electricity” from the following diagram and the accompanying description in an obscure document on the Stetzer website. (The red and blue writing and arrows at the top of the diagram are mine.)

www.site.stetzerizeraustralasia.com/uploads/Milham_Morgan_2008.pdf

The red line is what they’re calling “dirty electricity” and it’s what they claim their filters remove.

Even though the “dirty electricity” line(red) looks very big, it’s actually very small in comparison to the normal electricity line(blue) because its measured using milliVolts instead of Volts.

The diagram explained:

  • Australian electricity is 240Volts but in the USA, where this diagram comes from, it’s 170 Volts.
  • It’s Alternating Current (AC), as opposed to Direct Current (DC) so the Voltage switches from +170 volts to -170 volts 50 times per second, which means it has a frequency of 50Hz. [Blue line.]
  • The red line shows the electrical “noise” on the line.

Noise is tiny variations in voltage that occur much more frequently than the blue line.
If it was drawn to scale the red line would be 1000 times smaller and superimposed along the blue line
so that if you zoomed in to the section at the top of the blue line, the voltage would have lots of miniscule variations: 170.01V, 169.99V, 170.04V, 169.95V etc.

  • It’s these tiny variations that Stetzer imply are the cause of health problems.
  • And they claim their filters remove some of these tiny variations. But they only claim to remove some of the variations – between 4000Hz and 100000Hz.
  • They don’t remove the variations between 0Hz and 4000Hz.
  • These tiny variations are echoes of the main 50Hz electrical signal.
  • These echoes bounce around in the wires and interfere with each other to produce this noise.
  • These tiny echoes (henceforth referred to as “dirty electricity”) are 1000 times weaker than the mains electricity in your wires.
  • Stetzer does not claim that the normal, “clean”, 50hz electricity harms you in any way. They’re solely concerned with cleaning up “dirty electricity”, which is 1000 times weaker.

CAN “DIRTY ELECTRICITY” AFFECT MY BODY?

Unless you’re touching the “dirty electricity” it can’t directly affect you.

The only way it could possibly affect you is indirectly, via the electromagnetic field it creates around itself.

Normal (AC) electricity produces a constantly changing electromagnetic field – waves of change rippling away from the source – electromagnetic radiation.

Electromagnetic radiation can be good or it can be bad – it all depends on the size of the waves!

It takes on many forms, but the only difference between each form is the length of the wave.

Normal, visible light is electromagnetic radiation.

Radio waves, UHF and VHF TV waves, microwaves and x-rays are all electromagnetic radiation.

When you stand in sunlight you’re bathing in electromagnetic radiation.

Even when you stand in a natural forest you’ll be surrounded by electromagnetic radiation in the form of:

  • visible light
  • ultraviolet light
  • infra red light
  • radio waves
  • TV signals (UHF VHF)
  • mobile phone and wireless data microwaves.

Harmful Electromagnetic Radiation

Harmful electromagnetic radiation has a short wavelength.
A short wavelength means more waves per second pounding the object – and thus more power.

Electromagnetic radiation from electricity in your house is at the extremely weak end of the scale. It only has 50 waves per second (50Hz). Visible light has about 1000 trillion waves per second and is therefore about 100 trillion times more powerful!

And yet, visible light still isn’t powerful enough to cause cancer in our bodies.

Only electromagnetic radiation with higher frequencies than visible light is powerful enough to create cancer.
That’s why ultraviolet light causes skin cancer but normal, visible light doesn’t.

Two other factors that influence the strength of the electromagnetic radiation are:
• the power of the source that’s producing it and
• the distance from the source.

Radio waves produced by a giant commercial radio antennae are much more powerful than those produced by a tiny back yard enthusiast’ antennas.

Electromagnetic radiation drops off in strength very quickly with distance
– the strength at 2 metres is only one quarter of the strength at one metre, and
the strength at 4 metres is only one sixteenth.

HOW DO HIGH ENERGY ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVES CAUSE CANCER?

High energy electromagnetic waves are strong enough to knock some electrons out of their orbits around atoms.

When atoms in the DNA in a cell are mutated by the loss of electrons those cells replicate those mutations – this is cancer.

Only electromagnetic waves with a frequency higher than that of visible light have sufficient power to knock electrons out of atoms. This powerful type of radiation is known as ionizing radiation.

Everything below the frequency of ultraviolet light is known as non-ionizing radiation because it can’t knock electrons from atoms.

The electromagnetic radiation emitted by electricity is so much weaker than what’s required to dislodge electrons from atoms that scientists are certain that there’s no short term danger.
They also think there’s no long term danger, but they’re still in the process of conducting the long term research (because long term research takes a long time to complete.)

Consider this analogy:

Imagine you’re holding a beach ball in front of you.

High energy electromagnetic waves dislodging electrons from DNA atoms
is like cyclonic winds blowing a beach ball out of your hands.

But the “wind” created by electricity is like that of a small child blowing on the beach ball
– there’s no way it can blow the beach ball out of your hands.

The long term trials are investigating whether the child can blow the beach ball out of your hands if it continues to blow on the ball for 30 years.

Nobody can think of a logical way that a long term tiny force could blow an electron out of an atom.

CAN “DIRTY ELECTRICITY” CAUSE CANCER?

Stetzer claims that “dirty electricity” is just tiny variations in the voltage of electricity.

These fluctuations occur between 4000 and 100,000 times per second and therefore they’re producing electromagnetic radiation at those frequencies – which happen to be in the mid to low radio waves.

Commercial AM and FM radio stations broadcast at much higher frequencies than those Stetzer claims to remove.

Plus the fluctuations in the “dirty electricity” voltage are 1000 times smaller than those of normal electricity and therefore the radio waves emitted by “dirty electricity” are extremely low power.

Therefore, if the extremely weak radio waves produced by “dirty electricity” are causing cancer then the much stronger, commercial radio and TV waves would be creating many thousands of times more cancers!
But they’re not.
Nobody’s suggesting that radio waves cause cancer.
Not even Stetzer!

Stetzer don’t tell you that what their filters “clean up” is extremely weak radio waves,
because customers wouldn’t buy their filters if they did.

They’ve made up “dirty electricity” to try to scare people into buying their filters!

DO INVERTERS USED WITH SOLAR PANELS INCREASE “DIRTY ELECTRICITY”

As we’ve described above, “dirty electricity” is just the tiny echoes which show up as minute fluctuations in voltage.

Most electrical devices that you plug in will contribute to these tiny echoes (or “dirty electricity”),
and therefore solar panel inverters will also contribute their share,
but they won’t significantly increase the tiny echoes.

Even if they were significantly increased, it wouldn’t make any difference because all they do is produce very weak, harmless radio waves.

DOES EXPOSURE TO ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION PRODUCED BY ELECTRICITY CAUSE CANCER?

The scientific consensus is that it doesn’t.

The concern first arose back in the 1970’s
when a few early studies investigating the rate of cancer of people living directly below high voltage electricity lines
found some clusters of cancer,
suggesting there might be a weak relationship.

Thousands of follow up research studies over the last 30 years that have tried to replicate the results have been unable to reproduce them, strongly suggesting that the conclusions of those early studies were flawed.

When a team of scientists do research and publish some surprising new results the scientific world doesn’t immediately believe the results, because the results may be incorrect for a number of reasons, such as:
• The team of scientists made mistakes in their calculations.
• The team made a mistake in the way their experiment was conducted.
• The team used faulty equipment which produced incorrect results.
• The team faked their results.
• The results were just a statistical anomaly, like tossing a coin and it coming up heads 10 times in a row
–it’s not very likely but it is possible, and if you toss the coin enough times it will happen.
Every week somebody wins the lottery and that’s not very likely!

The above mentioned problems occur frequently in scientific research
and that’s why scientific results aren’t believed until they’ve been reproduced a few times by independent teams of scientists.

The failure of many teams of scientists to reproduce the results of the early studies suggests the results where just statistical anomalies.
If the issue wasn’t such a high profile thing, with the potential to affect many people, the scientific community would have stopped researching this long ago and concluded that electricity doesn’t cause cancer.
The only reason they keep researching is because the long term studies haven’t yet completed.

The preliminary results of the long term studies show that there’s definitely no significant link with cancer.
If the link was as strong as between tobacco and cancer it would have been obvious long ago!

If there is a link it’s so small that scientists can’t tell if it’s a real link or if it’s just statistical noise.

If it exists (it probably doesn’t) the magnitude of the increased risk is something like increasing your chance of getting Leukaemia from 1 in 900 to 1 in 850 (not exact figures, just indicative of the magnitude).

Mobile Phone Radiation

The electromagnetic radiation produced by mobile phones is much more likely to have health effects than that produced by electricity because mobile phones emit much more powerful microwaves instead of weak radio waves
and because you hold the phone right next to your head the distance from the source of the radiation is very small.

Information from the World Health Organisation

For more information from the World Health Organisation about electromagnetic radiation and research into it’s effect on health, go here:
www.who.int/peh-emf/about/WhatisEMF/en/index1.html

CONCLUSION

“Dirty electricity” is just very weak, harmless, radio waves.
The term has been invented by unscrupulous companies to scare decent people into buying their expensive devices.

[ Leave a comment ]     Category(s): Debunking

Save the world from Logical Fallacies

Want to help make the world a slightly better place?
… at no cost and very little effort?

logical fallacies

Post a link to a list of logical fallacies in FB comments whenever commentors use logical fallacies.

I think the world’ll be a much better place when everyone is well versed in logical fallacies, so that we can avoid using them and we can call others out when they use them.

Even better is to identify the fallacy being used.

Let’s see if we can start a trend.

We need a more loving world, but if we can’t get that I’ll settle for a more logical world.

Here are a list of websites providing a list of logical fallacies.

  • logical fallacies

    Wikipedia: list of logical fallacies

    And for all the people who want to poo poo a link from wikipedia:
    Just because wikipedia is not a perfect source doesn’t mean that it is a bad source… and it certainly doesn’t mean that some other website that you’ve never heard of is a better source!
    Wikipedia has more scrutiny and more editors than just about any other website and therefore, with few exceptions, it’s information is about as trustworthy as you’re ever going to get on the internet.
    It may not be perfect… but its a very good place to start.

  • www.logicalfallacies.info

  • www.nizkor.org

  • yourlogicalfallacyis.com

logical fallacies
fallacy smoking

adhominem

adhominem 2

fallacies

logic penguins

logic autism

logic dog

logic marriage

fallacy wrong
[ Leave a comment ]     Category(s): Society

Revolutionary Pope speaks out against consumerism

In November 2013 the new Pope, Francis, issued his first Apostolic Exhortation. It’s his first big statement that covers the state of the world and talks about everything that he thinks is important.

Pope Francis

In it he brazenly criticises the current economic system and the morality of those that are it’s champions.

“Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless.”

You can read all 223 pages here or read just the part refering to economics below.

The rest of this article is an exact extract from the Pope’s document.

I. Some challenges of today’s world

5.2 In our time humanity is experiencing a turning-point in its history, as we can see from the advances being made in so many fields. We can only praise the steps being taken to improve people’s welfare in areas such as health care, education and communications. At the same time we have to remember that the majority of our contemporaries are barely living from day to day, with dire consequences. A number of diseases are spreading. The hearts of many people aregripped by fear and desperation, even in the so-called rich countries. The joy of living frequently fades, lack of respect for others and violence are on the rise, and inequality is increasingly evident. It is a struggle to live and, often, to live with precious little dignity. This epochal change has been set in motion by the enormous qualitative, quantitative, rapid and cumulative advances occuring in the sciences and in technology, and by their instant application in different areas of nature and of life. We are in an age of knowledge and information, which has led to new and often anonymous kinds of power.

No to an economy of exclusion

53. Just as the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say “thou shalt not” to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion. Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving? This is a case of inequality. Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape. Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We have created a “throw away” culture which is now spreading. It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new. Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means to be a part of the society in which we live; those excluded are no longer society’s underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised – they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the “exploited” but the outcast, the “leftovers”.

Pope Francis

54. In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater
justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting. To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something
new to purchase. In the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us.

No to the new idolatry of money

55. One cause of this situation is found in our relationship with money, since we calmly accept its dominion over ourselves and our societies. The current financial crisis can make us overlook the fact that it originated in a profound human crisis: the denial of the primacy of the human person! We have created new idols. The worship of the ancient golden calf (cf. Ex 32:1-35) has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose. The worldwide crisis affecting finance and the economy lays bare their imbalances and, above all, their lack of real concern for human beings; man is reduced to one of his needs alone: consumption.

56. While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation. Consequently, they reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control. A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules. Debt and the accumulation of interest also make it difficult for countries to realize the potential of their own economies and keep citizens from enjoying their real purchasing power. To all this we can add widespread corruption and self-serving tax evasion, which have taken on worldwide dimensions. The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits. In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule.

No to a financial system which rules rather than serves

57.Behind this attitude lurks a rejection of ethics and a rejection of God. Ethics has come to be viewed with a certain scornful derision. It is seen as counterproductive, too human, because it makes money and power relative. It is felt to be a threat, since it condemns the manipulation and debasement of the person. In effect, ethics leads to a God who calls for a committed response which is outside the categories of the marketplace. When these latter are absolutized, God can only be seen as uncontrollable, unmanage-able, even dangerous, since he calls human beings to their full realization and to freedom from all forms of enslavement. Ethics – a non-ideological ethics – would make it possible to bring about balance and a more humane social order. With this in mind, I encourage financial experts and political leaders to ponder the words of one of the sages of antiquity: “Not to share one’s wealth with the poor is to steal from them and to take away their livelihood. It is not our own goods which we hold, but theirs”.

58. A financial reform open to such ethical considerations would require a vigorous change of approach on the part of political leaders. I urge them to face this challenge with determination and an eye to the future, while not ignoring, of course, the specifics of each case. Money must serve, not rule! The Pope loves everyone, rich and poor alike, but he is obliged in the name of Christ to remind all that the rich must help, respect and promote the poor. I exhort you to generous solidarity and to the return of economics and finance to an ethical approach which favours human beings.

No to the inequality which spawns violence

59. Today in many places we hear a call for greater security. But until exclusion and inequality in society and between peoples are reversed, it will be impossible to eliminate violence. The poor and the poorer peoples are accused of violence, yet without equal opportunities the different forms of aggression and conflict will find a fertile terrain for growth and eventually explode. When a society – whether local, national or global – is willing to leave a part of itself on the fringes, no political programmes or resources spent on law enforcement or surveillance systems can indefinitely guarantee tranquility. This is not the case simply because inequality provokes a violent reaction from those excluded from the system, but because the socioeconomic system is unjust at its root. Just as goodness tends to spread, the toleration of evil, which is injustice, tends to expand its baneful influence and quietly to undermine any political and social system, no matter how solid it may appear. If every action has its consequences, an evil embedded in the structures of a society has a constant potential for disintegrationand death. It is evil crystallized in unjust social structures, which cannot be the basis of hope for a better future. We are far from the so-called “end of history”, since the conditions for a sustainable and peaceful development have not yet been adequately articulated and realized.

60. Today’s economic mechanisms promote inordinate consumption, yet it is evident that unbridled consumerism combined with inequality proves doubly damaging to the social fabric. Inequality eventually engenders a violence which recourse to arms cannot and never will be able to resolve. It serves only to offer false hopes to those clamouring for heightened security, even though nowadays we know that weapons and violence, rather than providing solutions, create new and more serious conflicts. Some simply content themselves with blaming the poor and the poorer countries themselves for their troubles; indulging in unwarranted generalizations, they claim that the solution is an “education” that would tranquilize them, making them tame and harmless. All this becomes even more exasperating for the marginalized in the light of the widespread and deeply rooted corruption found in many countries – in their governments, businesses and institutions – whatever the political ideology of their leaders.

[ Leave a comment ]     Category(s): Uber-Rich

Every Vote Counts

Australian Electoral COmmissionSome people think that voting for an independent or minor party is a “wasted vote”.
No it’s not. Every vote counts.
My friend, Robbie, has sent me the following explanation:

WHY A VOTE FOR A MINOR PARTY ISN’T “WASTED”

Ballot Box1. Funding

If your first preference candidate or Senate group obtains at least 4% of the vote, they’ll receive FUNDING ($2.48 for each vote, this election). Even minor parties. So if you don’t like either of the major parties you’re still helping your favourite minor party by filling in ALL the boxes to make your vote “formal” or valid.

2. The House of Representatives

Ballot papers are sorted into piles by first preferences. If no candidate gains more than half the vote (an absolute majority) the smallest pile is distributed AT FULL VOTE VALUE to your second preference. This continues until one candidate achieves more than 50%. Usually this is one of the two major parties, so YOUR CHOICE IS STILL COUNTED.

3. The Senate

Parliament HouseYOU can CHOOSE your OWN preferences. It is only people who can’t be bothered filling in all the boxes below the line who accept a party’s choice of preferences. It’s EASY!

Put your first numbers (e.g. 1 to 4) beside your favourite independents or your preferred party’s candidates. The next numbers (e.g. 5 to 7) go beside candidates for your next favourite minor party, if you have one. Subsequent numbers (e.g. 8 onwards) go beside your choice of major party. All other boxes must be numbered, but it usually won’t make any difference, from then on, where you put them – so there’s no added thinking required.

SO DO VOTE. YOUR VOTE ISN’T “WASTED”.

 

I guess the thing to be aware of here is the 4% limit. If you’re thinking about voting for the Greens then they’ll definitely get at least 4% of the vote, so your vote definitely won’t be wasted.

You can get more info from the Electoral commission’s website about:

[ Leave a comment ]     Category(s): Australia, Politics

Did the PM swear the wrong Oath?

Julia GillardSome people believe the Australian Government is illegal – that an immense conspiracy has been running since 1972 (some believe it started earlier). One of their key pieces of evidence is a video which, they say, shows Prime Minister Julia Gullard swearing the wrong oath of office.

In this article I’ll conclusively prove that Julia Gillard has taken all the correct Oaths of office.

This is the third article in my series of articles that will examine every piece of “supporting evidence” that the conspiracy theorists use to support their claim. In the first article, Is the Australian Government a US Corporation I conclusively prove that the Commonwealth of Australia is NOT a privately owned company registered with the US SEC.

My second article, Is the Australian Coat of Arms a US trademark?, proves that the Australian Coat of Arms are NOT privately registered trademarks in the USA.

The Evidence showing the WRONG Oath being taken!

This video is the source of all the problems. It shows Julia Gillard, on 14th September 2010, swearing an oath to the Governor General, Quinten Bryce. The words she spoke are:

“I, Julia Eileen Gillard, do solemnly and sincerely affirm and declare that I will well and truly serve the Commonwealth of Australia in the office of Prime Minister.”

Supporters of the conspiracy theory say that Gillard used the wrong words – the wrong oath – which doesn’t mention the Queen. And that Gillard used the wrong oath because she is part of the conspiracy and doesn’t want to swear allegiance to the Queen but just to the allegedly illegal private company called the Commonwealth of Australia. Nothing could be further from the truth!

The Evidence showing the RIGHT Oath being taken!

This is the video that the conspiracy theorists never show you. It shows Gillard, and the rest of her ministers taking the correct oath on 28th September 2010, after the election had been held. (The relevant bit of the video starts at 2:20)

The words of the Oath taken are:

“I do solemnly and sincerely affirm and declare that I will be faithful
and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the second, Her heirs and successors according to law.”

They then sign bits of paper with the same oath written on it.

Why are there two different oaths?

Cover of Australian ConstitutionThe Prime Minister of Australia must take two oaths:

  1. the oath that must be taken by all members of parliament
  2. another oath that must be taken by the members of the Federal Executive Council.

OATH FOR ALL MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT

Every member of parliament must swear an oath or affirmation of allegiance, as specified in section 42 of the Australian Constitution:

42 Oath or affirmation of allegiance

Every senator and every member of the House of Representatives shall before taking his seat make and subscribe before the Governor-General, or some person authorised by him, an oath or affirmation of allegiance in the form set forth in the schedule to this Constitution.

The Schedule to the Constitution contains the wording of the oath and the affirmation.

Oath

Queen Elizabeth III, A.B., do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, Her heirs and successors according to law.
SO HELP ME GOD!

Affirmation

I, A.B., do solemnly and sincerely affirm and declare that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, Her heirs and successors according to law.

Note: The name of the King or Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland for the time being is to be substituted from time to time.

All members of parliament take this oath on the first sitting day of parliament after an election.

OATH FOR MEMBERS OF THE FEDERAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

There’s a different section of the Australian Constitution which deals with the swearing in of the Federal Executive Council.

What’s the Federal Executive Council? Here’s how the Introduction to the Constitution (page 8 ) explains the Federal Executive Council:

The Federal Executive Council, which is referred to in various provisions of the
Constitution, and in the expression ‘Governor-General in Council’, comprises all past and current Ministers. However, only current Ministers take part in Executive Council business, and usually only two or three Ministers attend meetings of the Council with the Governor-General. Unlike the Cabinet, the Executive Council is not a deliberative body. Its principal functions are to receive advice and approve the signing of formal documents such as regulations and statutory appointments.

From the constitution:

CHAPTER II – THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNMENT

62 Federal Executive Council

There shall be a Federal Executive Council to advise the Governor-General in the government of the Commonwealth, and the members of the Council shall be chosen and summoned by the Governor-General and sworn as Executive Councillors, and shall hold office during his pleasure.

Notice that the constitution just says they have to be “sworn” but doesn’t specify what they must say! Compare that to the wording in section 42 for the general oath which states the oath must be taken “in the form set forth in the schedule to this Constitution”.

If the oath had to be in a specific form the Constitution would have stated that, as it did in section 42. The fact that section 62 doesn’t state the specific words means that the words can be changed without changing the constitution.

It is this oath that we see Gillard taking in the first video. The conspiracy theorists don’t know that the Prime Minister had to take this second oath, and therefore, they thought that it was the oath mentioned in section 42 of the constitution, but that the words had been changed without a referendum.

(I’ve contacted the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and was told that the wording for the oath or affirmation for the Federal Executive Council is not specified in the Constitution nor in any legislation and that, therefore, it’s a matter of choice for the government at the time, and successive governments since 1993 have adopted their own form of words.)

Conclusion

The video evidence proves beyond any doubt whatsoever that the correct Oaths have been sworn. The prime Minister has sworn allegiance to the Queen. Therefore one of the central pillars of the conspiracy theory has been demolished.

I don’t expect this to make any difference to the leaders of this conspiracy theory, though. I expect that they will ignore what they’ve read in this article and continue to blog about how the wrong oath has been taken. Why would they do that? I’ll leave it to you to draw your own conclusions. Personally, I think they like being the centre of attention – they like being an “expert” that people “respect”. What would they blog about if they didn’t have this conspiracy to talk about?

Another Oath taking

A reader brought this next video to my attention. It shows Gillard, and the rest of her ministers taking the oath for the Federal Executive Council on 24th June 2010, after Kevin Rudd had been deposed but before the election. (The relevant bit of the video starts at 2:20)

More information about the Federal Executive Council

Here’s a link to the official Federal Executive Council Handbook which explains all aspects of what it is and how it operates. Here’s the Wikipedia entry

State Parliaments

In case anyone wants to claim the same about the state parliaments here is a video of NSW Senators being sworn in July 12 2011.

If you know of any other videos of the swearing in of state parliaments please post the links in the comments section below.

The Constitution of Australia

This is a pdf of the current Constitution of Australia with the introductory notes mentioned earlier (it’ll ask you to save the pdf to your computer).

This is another good site where you can see the Constitution of Australia and some explanations of it’s evolution.

Read the other articles in this series

[ Leave a comment ]   [ Comments(4) ]   Category(s): Australian Government, Debunking