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Canberra observed #3 « Previous | |Next »
June 24, 2005

My weekly Canberra observed post was yesterday, but this Moir cartoon invites another post on the same topic:

MoiraphA2.jpg

The Australian Democrats have lost their party status to the Nationals, and it is hard to see the Democrats regaining this status in the near future. The Democrats imploded and they are now just a bunch of four independent senators with no balance of power. They can do a bit of committee work and sit and watch the legislation roll through the Senate.

What the new Senate signifies is a generational shift in the political landscape with the disappearance of the centre and the shift to the right (Family First and Nationals) and to the left (The Greens).

This shift will not ease the long term decline of the Nationals as their percentage of the electoral vote continues to decrease due to them being unable to connect to the retired/seachange urban voters in the eastern coastal electorates. The traditional National electorates are under intense pressure from Independents and the party could continue to lose a number of seats as they have failed to differentiate themselves from the dominant Liberals in the Coalition Government.

The judgement on the ALP is best expressed by Laura Tingle in her weekly Canbera observed column the Australian Financial Review:

...the bitterness inside the ALP is deep, a legacy of factional hatreds and grudges from leadership challenges in the past, reminescent of the paralyzing divisions that plagued the Liberal Party during its long years in opposition.

Is this some form of renewal?

Moir's cartoon says nothing about the Australian Greens. They continue with their strategy of giving moral lectures about the ethical shortcomings of everybody else---we fail to live up to the moral law---- and being morally pure. The Greens failed to give any valedictory speeches to the 14 Senators who are leaving on June 30; or even to pay tribute to work their fellow Tasmanian Senators did to make Tasmania a better place.

I considered that a moral shortcoming. It suggests how the Senate is being used by the Greens as a platform to lecture the rest of us on our ethical failings.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 1:04 PM | | Comments (2)
Comments

Comments

Generational alright, people like me have never known a Senate with a single party majority in all our voting years.

Cameron,
A newly compliant Senate is a landmark shift in liberal parliamentary politics.

The question that should be posed is: will the ALP vigorously support, and provide, the vigilant defence of our democratic institutions that is needed, now that the executive (the ministry) is running roughshod over the Parliament?

I doubt it. And I say that with a heavy heart.

There is an unwillingness to take on the Right faction's powerbrokers, despite the poor performance of the glimmer twins: Wayne Swan as shadow Treasurer and Stephen Smith who is out of his depth, in the industry, infrastructure and industrial relations portfolio.

Beazley remains beholden to the Right. Fat chance they will develop a positive reform policy agenda.