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JULIA RETREATS AGAIN January 18, 2012

Posted by wmmbb in Australian Politics, Social Environment.
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Gambling is a social curse that has the potential to wreck people’s lives, and often it not the gamblers but the people around suffer the most.

The vested interests who profit from misery and application of hidden partial schedules of reinforcement that sustain behavior. Such is the nature of materialism, and the foolish desire that I sometimes experience, and others, have to get rich and in effect the planet and other people be damned.

Richard Willingham and Jacob Saulwick report in The Sydney Morning Herald:

JULIA GILLARD is understood to have backed away from her promise to introduce a mandatory pre-commitment scheme for using poker machines.
The Prime Minister has told the anti-pokies independent, Andrew Wilkie, she will not support an alternative proposal, backed by the senator Nick Xenophon, for maximum bet limits of $1.
Sources close to Mr Wilkie told the Herald Ms Gillard revealed the backdown in a meeting on Sunday. He is said to be ”stunned” by her decision and is considering whether to continue to support the government.
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Mr Wilkie had pledged to withdraw support for Ms Gillard’s minority government if it did not legislate by May to introduce a system that compelled poker machine players to nominate a cap on their losses.
But the government’s parliamentary numbers were strengthened in November when the Liberal MP Peter Slipper agreed to be the Speaker, giving the government an extra vote in the lower house. This has allowed Ms Gillard to withdraw her offer to Mr Wilkie, knowing she should be able to continue in power.
Sources said Ms Gillard had told Mr Wilkie a trial of mandatory pre-commitment in a single state or territory was possible in the future.

Of course politicians of the same stamp as Ms Gillard have been subject to operant conditioning. Pigeons too can be conditioned become pathological gamblers.

The political and philosophical debate should include the claims of Behaviorist Psychology. The social environment is a set of deep conditioning. Historical and social circumstances are additional factors.

ELSEWHERE:

Gary at Public Opinion suggests that Labor is now backing away ¬†“from the mandatory pre-commitment scheme” for poker machines.

UPDATE:

Dr Jennifer Borrell in The Sydney Morning Herald describes the case for pokie gambling reform and the insidious effect of the decision to do nothing will have on democracy.

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