Friday 8 September 2017
On the 4th Anniversary of the election of the Coalition – in this extended period of abysmal governance – two diagonally opposed areas occupy my mind. The only thing they have in common is the manner in which the government of the day has so incompetently handled them
No party in the history of Australian politics has been so pathetically incompetent in dealing with gay marriage, climate change and energy than the Liberal and National parties.
Policy failure of this magnitude in some other countries would invoke street protests, but the laconic attitude of our citizens is equally pathetic. To think that after 10 years we still don’t have an energy policy is an indictment of all politicians and it highlights the failure of our democratic system.
Governments have access to the very best science and knowledge yet political considerations always seem to take precedence.
Even when we have an opportunity to reach a bi-partisan agreement, as imperfect as it may be, the party who has so frustrated all moves to put the future of the planet first, continues in its defence of coal.
The former failed Prime Minister Tony Abbott leads the charge (as he does with marriage equality) of Government backbenchers who would forego this opportunity in the interests of the coal producers. One has to wonder what special knowledge they think they have that would make it superior to the best science available and the dictates of the capitalistic market they so adhere to.
“Are you really doing what is important? What you believe in, or have you just adjusted to what you are doing.”
For one or indeed both sides not to take up this opportunity of a bi-partisan solution is a disgrace, tragic for the planet and an indictment for our people in so much as we stood by silently, allowing it to happen.
“Never be afraid to step over the shadow of your negativity.”
Marriage equality has also been with us for many years with poll after poll saying that Australians want to join other enlightened societies who have thoughtfully adopted it.
So the few words that I have scribed here are not about coal and the rights or wrongs of it. Nor are they about gay versus traditional marriage. They are simply about making decisions for the country. They are about putting the country before political considerations. About us before you.
At present the greatest danger to our governance is this elected Government who seem to be unable to make decisions. The standard of governance is so low at the moment that if there were a process by which it could be removed it should be enacted immediately.
“We are given the gift of foresight however, we choose to be reactive rather than proactive. Why is it so?”
After having been in power for four years it’s easy to blame others. It also draws attention to your own failings.
I, like many others, was sitting around on Thursday anxiously awaiting the High Court’s decision as to whether a so-called plebiscite is legal. There are many who say it is not, but equally there are many who say it is.
Although it is my intention to vote “yes” in this silly survey, I had hoped that the verdict announced by the High Court would have told the government that what they are doing is unlawful. That they should be doing what they were elected to do. While I waited I directed my thoughts towards the four years of turmoil we endured under Abbott and now Turnbull.
If you believe in progressive democracy, as I do, you cannot pre-suppose that the party you support should win every election. What you are however entitled to expect is that whoever wins will govern for the common good. Abbott displayed not one iota of good governance. He governed for those that have and never considered those who have not.
Turnbull is tied to the least intelligent but most powerful of his party and governs accordingly.
“It is far better to form your own your own independent opinions relative to your life experience and reason than to allow yourself to be blindly led by others.”
It’s 11.40 AM and I’m looking at some comments on the Canberra Times:
“The government is gambling that the High Court will accept its arguments, and that the postal survey can proceed,” Professor Williams wrote in a piece for Fairfax Media earlier this week.
“It may be hoping that the momentum built towards the vote will dissuade the court from striking it down. This, though, may be a poor bet. The High Court has a long record of frustrating governments that seek to operate outside the law.”
Constitutional expert George Williams thought they would knock it back: “The vote is also constitutionally adventurous because it has twice been rejected by Parliament. This leaves the government open to the attack that it lacks the legal authority to conduct the survey. Nothing in the submissions put by the Commonwealth to the High Court alters my view that the survey will more likely than not be struck down.”
It’s the fourth anniversary of the election of the Coalition government. Four years ago today Tony Abbott defeated Kevin Rudd in the 2013 federal election.
At lunch time I scan the web and it would seem that the government is less confident and is exploring other options.
“The head of the Australian Bureau of Statistics, David Kalisch, said the ABS and Mathias Cormann’s Finance Department had begun contingency planning last week.’’
But low and behold early in Question Time a message runs gayly across the bottom of the screen announcing that the High Court had dismissed the challenge to the postal survey.
This of course means that it will now go ahead and the representatives we elected will be able to squib what we elected them to do. Vote on important decisions. The survey should win the day at a cost of $122 million to confirm what surveys for many years have shown.
And an invitation to sign a joint letter of support for marriage equality was refused by the Prime Minister thus indicating the importance with which the Government holds the survey.
Lyle Shelton, managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby had this to say:
“With the people’s vote now confirmed, the Coalition for Marriage will continue to provide the Australian people with information regarding the consequences of changing the Marriage Act for them and their family – the impact on free speech, freedom of religion and the rights of parents to have a say on whether their children are taught radical LGBTIQ sex and gender programs at school.”
Joseph Carli wrote:
“With the High Court decision going the way of the Govt’, it gives vicarious approval also to the Govt’s interpretation of how the survey ought to be managed..a “mandate” if you like..for the “no” vote mob to lean on the decision as a sort of approval of their actions. A dangerous precedent.’’
For his part the Prime Minister could have shown a more conciliatory stance. He would have been aware that many would have been disappointed with the courts decision. Instead he unleashed his inner demons and let fly at the Opposition Leader with snide sarcasm castigating him for once denying marriage equality. It was a continuance of the bad governance we have come to expect from this government.
My thought for they day
“Good democracies can only deliver good government and outcomes if the electorate demands it and it doesn’t come about by people disengaging from the process.”