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

the friends of democracy « Previous | |Next »
November 30, 2005

From watching the speeches made in the House of Representatives this last month it is clear that the fourth term Howard Government, can and is doing, mostly what it wants. It is loving all that power, and it cannot resist throwing its weight around.

They are in control and they want everyone to know that this is the way things are these days. So you'd better get used to the strong leader defending national security and keeping the people safe from the bad guys.


In doing so its members cannot resist mocking those who disagree with it, especially on civil liberties issues. So they undermine---white ant-- the liberal democracy they profess to defend.

Isn't Australia's parliamentary democracy non-negotiable, according to those who reckon we are waging a war on terrorrism and we are facing threats from all and sundry? Isn't it our liberties that make Australia dear to us and the ground of our patriotism (love of country)? So why white ant the freedoms and liberties that underpin liberal democracy? Is this self-inflicting wounds on liberal democracy by the Howard Government the tipping point where liberals become conservatives?

Where are the Nationals----apart from Barnaby Joyce? What are they saying about welfare-to-work and the negative impact on their lower income constitutency? Very little is being said. They lack the political courage to stand up to the Liberals, even to modify the neo-liberal mode of govenrance. What are they saying about the abuse of the parliamentary process that is so noticeable around the anti-terrorrsm legislation? Very little. It is the independents who are speaking up.

The Nationals are cowed, so much so they are even turning on Barnaby Joyce for stirring things up and creating waves. What political form will the discontent about economic reforms, lack of equity in economic growth and social alienation take now?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 6:40 AM | | Comments (4)


The Nationals have never existed. Despite what good they do for their constituents, they never manage to announce it or differ from the Liberals hence a growing disillusionment of the National Party and the rise of Independents.

Barnaby Joyce, has probably temporarily changed this but as long as he stays loyal to the government on issues that the electorate takes notice on ie. Telstra, he'll be dismissed as another lackey.

Whilst crossing the floor on the ACCC bill was probably the correct conscience decision, it was irrelevant to the electorate at large because no one knew about that bill or its intended consequences.

I often wonder, if it is better to have a house full of independents, where some respect is certain and that courtesy of listening to other view points whether you agree with them or not

That is pretty accurate. Barnaby Joyce appears to be responding more to the concerns of the Queensland Nationals and less to those of his electorate.

How will the fallout from the IR legislation on those on lower incomes, casual work, and part-time work effect the Nationals. Will they be seen to have acted against this section of their constituents.

There is an article in today's Australian about how the movement of people from the city to regional areas (coast and inland centres) is impacting on the Nats. People coming from the city are not even conscious of the Nats when they come to vote - will vote for either of the major parties. Not good for future prospects for Nats, particularly if they can't brand themselves as significantly different to the Libs.

was the migration primarily young families and retirees?