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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

I couldn't agree more « Previous | |Next »
September 16, 2003

I have just come across this paragraph in Scrapbook in The Australian. It is from an article in Arena Magazine by Peter Christoff. The paragraph says:

"That one politician [John Howard] could commit Australian forces in the face of trenchant public opposition and considerable dissent within Australia's military establishment - even before bringing a proposal for military involvement to cabinet, and before debate on the matter in federal parliament - highlights a crucial failure of Westminster-style representative democracy and the alarming range of executive power."

I have to agree. The central flaw with our political system is executive dominance. It is what the federal dimension of the Constitution was designed to overcome.

The solution? Increase the power of the Senate.

The proposal for Australia to go to war by invading a sovereign nation, which is not a substantive threat to our national interest, should have been put to the Parliament to authorize. It is Parliament that should give the okay to go to war, not the executive making a secret deal with the US and pretending otherwise.

It leads to the desire to keep the public in the dark and shows the willingness of politicians to override the central value of Australian democracy.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 1:08 PM | | Comments (0)