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

political blues « Previous | |Next »
November 13, 2004

Federal parliament sits next week, the first of three weeks of parliamentary sittings before the Xmas. These November sittings are the first sittings since the convincing Coalition victory at the Federal election. I expect the ALP's bloodied nose to be rubbed raw, with legislation (eg., unfair dismissal, workplace relations and terrorism) being introduced to deepen its misery and despair. The ALP is going to have a rough trot.

The economy is chugging along, unemployment is dropping, inflation is under control, and higher interest rates are still around the corner. Nothing much flowing for the ALP on that front in the short term.

The Howard government is going to introduce supply side measures to loosen up the economy--eg., small businesss exemption from unfair-dismissal laws and establish individual contracts as the primary means for regulating employment --and then take great pleasure in watching the ALP squirm, as it is caught between its desire to be economic responsible and looking after the interests of workers.

One presumes that in Parliament's three pre-Christmas sitting weeks, the Government will busy itself implementing election commitments and tidying up some the legislation left over from before the election. The political theatre will be all about making its political play against Labor.

After June 2005 it will be a whole new ball game. Pressure will be placed on Howard by big business to be far more radical in its industrial realtions reforms.

Update 15 Nov.
In the meantime we are revisiting the abortion debate. It has been running for three weeks, stirred along by Tony Abbott, Christopher Pyne, Alan Cadman and Eric Abetz. They have been calling for late term abortions to be banned and a review of Medicare funding of the procedure. Is this just a foot in the door for a wider move against abortion by the moral conservatives? I presume private conversations are going on in the Liberal Party. Why haven't the liberal women told the conservative men to cool it?

An answer

Update 16 Nov

A particular example of a Canberra move:


It's good huh?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:57 PM | | Comments (5)


In my opinion it is a no-brainer for the ALP. Just block the legislation anyway.

I mean...what can the Government do? We still have three years to the next election. A few months will make no difference to the legislation and if the ALP let the legislation through it will look weak and demoralised.

Also to read the Howard arse-lickers commentariat getting all uspet will have a mild entertainment values.

I hope the protests in front of Parliament House, from Rural Australians for Refugees is joined by as many people as possible.

The detention of asylum seekers, including many women & children (some as young as babies) is an ongoing travesty of justice by the Howard Government.

Let's keep up the pressure on this Government to become more humane and compassionate and release the asylum seekers from the dreadful conditions in which they are incarcerated.

Block the legislation, if it conflicts with what the ALP stands for.

There'll be screaming and whining by Canberra press Gallery types, but there's always screaming and whining from these people and no one out in the real world even notices.

I recall the current Government, when they were in Opposition, attempting to block even things they agreed with. Nothing ever passed the Senate with Opposition support -- every important Bill was a deal with the Democrats beause the Coalition voted no every time.

And did it hurt them? Not at all. On the other hand, supporting Government Bills for the sake of being nice DOES actually hurt Oppositions. Remember a few months ago, when Latham announced he would support a Government move to lift pharmaceutical prices on the PBS? The public hysteria was about how terrible Labor was, ignoring that it was a Coalition initiative that Labor had opposed for two years. Latham got beaten up, Labor lost votes among the elderly and families, and the Coalition got its extra revenue without any of the political pain.

Speaking of revenue, amazing how the Treasury estimates for the budget surplus were wrong to the tune of more than $1 billion. $1 billion? What, they didn't notice those extra sacks of money lying about the place, and miscounted?

Morelikely, Costello instructed them to deliberately misstate the total to hide the fact the Federal Government is rolling in cash and doing nothing with it.

I crused into Canberra last night and came across several Liberal dinner parties in the restaurants in Manuka connected to the different factions for the Speakers job.

The mood was very very triumphant. The liberals are jubilant at their election win and anxious to use their new found muscle.

You see the Government's political muscle being exercised in its desire to prohibit free-choice abortions, compulsory voting and trade union donations to the ALP.

The triumphalism says that history has starts anew. Prehistory is the lead up to July 2005 when power is in the hands of the Coalition. They control the Senate,they control the Senate, they control the Senate.

Wippee. Now we wil makes things move and shake. All thsoe who oppose wil be bulldozed aside.We control the Senate. We control the Senate.

Those with some power in the Senate, who were involved in the period of time before the prehistory, are swept into the dustbin of history.

I concur. It is a matter of digging in behind the trenches, letting a lot of the bullets fly overhead, and resisting on those issues that matter to the left side of politics.

I forget to mention that I saw Browyn Bishop in Manuka last night. Her dinner party did not look all that pleased. She had lost getting the Speaker's job despite the steely determination, and a years long lobbying.

She would have been too tough as Speaker for the Coalition. She probably would have chucked more Coalition members out of the House than ALP ones. Cannot have that can we?

Bownyn had the trademark humorless fixed smile---you smile to the public and the media even though you are dying inside.

Is that what the ALP members need to do for the media with the new Parliament sitting.