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Tag Archives: Republic

Is Pauline Hanson a Dinky Di Aussie?

By Redcuchulain

How we define who is Australian and what we mean by “Australian” has become strong focus over many years. With the rise of nationalism in Australia, there are those who insist they are the authority on this.

Redcuchulain asks why do nationalist monarchists like Hanson believe they have the legitimate right to dictate to the rest of us who we are? Does a true Australian worship the Queen, or do they stand in solidarity with an Australian President of an Australian Republic? Would Hanson pass the citizenship test?

Australian Citizens

One of the most wonderful things about Australia day is the number of people who choose to become Australian citizens. They make a permanent commitment to this country. It is easy to understand why.

I still look back fondly on the day when I became an Australian citizen. Yet, I can still imagine what those people are feeling as they take their oath. I fell in love with Australia the first time I visited here. For me it is the egalitarian outlook of most people, the beautiful country. It is also the freedom from the old baggage which holds other places back that makes this country great. We are still young enough to shape our own destiny.

I could not help noticing the oath this year and the irony that some people in the public eye now who claim to be bastions of Australian values would not be able to take the oath with a straight face. “Australian society values equality of opportunity for individuals, regardless of their race, religion or ethnic background”

How could Pauline Hanson seriously take this vow and not choke on the words? Or: “compassion for those in need and pursuit of the public good” when she recently voted to support the LNP’s latest round of cuts to welfare recipients and pensioners.

Maybe it is because Pauline still sees our allegiance to a foreign Queen that she is so out of step with the values of modern Australia?

Perhaps if she was made to take the education, citizenship test and oath herself she may realise who is really a threat to our culture and way of life.

The Republic debate is back: Is this Hockey’s ‘Marriage Equality’?

Joe Hockey – along with Peter FitzSimons (head of the Australian Republican Movement) and Labor Senator Katy Gallagher – announced today that they are putting the Republic back on the table for discussion. At a time when Hockey is struggling for popularity, and when even dangling tax cuts before people isn’t winning him any votes, a cynical person might wonder if this is Hockey’s attempt to get back behind a barrow that others will be happy to push along with him.

Don’t get me wrong – as I wrote recently, I’m as staunchly pro-republic as Abbott is a monarchist. And if Hockey is fair-dinkum about this, then more power to him. But just as I believe Marriage Equality has little chance of getting up while Abbott is prime minister, the same is true of a republic.

Let’s revisit what happened in the 90s

By way of context, here’s a quick summary of the key events around the vote for Australia to become a republic in the 1990s:

  • Support for Australia becoming a republic was strong in the 90s – as shown in the graph below. The green line represents the percentage of people who were for Australia becoming a republic, and the red line is people who were against it. Right up to the referendum, there was consistently a significant margin between those who were pro-republic and those who were against it.


So how did the republican movement fail – I hear you ask? Good question . . .

  • In 1993, Paul Keating created a ‘Republic Advisory Committee’ – which was chaired by then banker and lawyer, one Mr Malcolm Turnbull – to determine what changes would be needed to the constitution for Australia to become a republic. Which they did. Before they could start putting more detail behind these changes so that they could be put to a referendum however….
  • In 1996, John Howard – a confirmed monarchist – was elected Prime Minister on a reluctant platform of putting Australia becoming a republic to a referendum late in his first term.
  • In 1999 Howard successfully put the question of Australia becoming a republic to bed, for what turns out to be a good 16 years. He did this by tying Australia becoming a republic with a model which he knew was not popular with the Australian people. The republican model Howard put forward to be voted on would have replaced the Governor General with a President elected by politicians. (The more popular model – which had over 70% support – had the Australian public electing the President.)By doing this, Howard cleverly split the pro-republic movement so that those who favoured the more popular model actually told people to vote ‘no’ in the republic referendum, some mistakenly believing they would get a second go at a vote with their preferred model. But with Howard as Prime Minister, this was never going to happen.
  • The rest – as they say – is history. The vote for Australia to become a republic failed, with 55% of people voting against Australia becoming a republic.

(For a more detailed ouline of events, see my recent article on how Abbott is using the same ploy currently with marriage equality.)

Some 16 years later . . .

Back to 2015, and Joe Hockey is bringing up the republic debate again. Now, to be fair, he has always been in favour of a republic, this is not a change in position from him. But why now?

Certainly, if Hockey is serious about wanting a republic, he must know that it could never get up with Abbott as Prime Minister – John Howard proved that. And Abbott confirmed his willingness to play dirty in order to get his own way recently, by ‘branch stacking’ the party room on the discussion about marriage equality with Nationals.

Is this Hockey’s ‘marriage equality’ – something that he is a known supporter of that the public can get behind? Or does Hockey know that Abbott’s days are numbered – and therefore the time might be ripe now to bring up a key issue that actually could get across the line in the next parliamentary term?

Only time will tell.

Either way – as the French used to say ‘Bring on the Republic’ (Vive la République)!!!

(The flag design above – minus the words – was by John Joseph of Epping, NSW – see http://tinyurl.com/oqx963d)

This article was first published on Progressive Conversation.


A ‘People’s vote’ on marriage equality: Abbott’s latest Truthiness phrase?

Following last week’s cabinet discussion on marriage equality, Tony Abbott announced that:

“going into the next election, you’ll have the Labor Party which wants [marriage equality] to go to a Parliamentary vote and you’ve got the Coalition that wants it to go to a people’s vote”
(12 August 2015)

According to our Prime Minister, he is champion of the people’s will when it comes to marriage equality – offering a ‘people’s vote’ over a ‘politician’s vote’ dictated by what he calls ‘stalinist rules.’ Certainly sounds like a no-brainer. Who would pick Stalin over the good people of Aus? We do live in a democracy after all – not Stalinist Russia – we should get a say.

But is Abbott’s claim to be the people’s champion true – or is ‘people’s vote’ just the latest entry in the Truthiness dictionary. (In case you missed my earlier article on Abbott-speak, ‘Truthiness’ is something which feels true, but isn’t necessarily backed up by facts. Or truth.)

Is Abbott really trying to facilitate the possibility of an outcome that might go against his stated position against marriage equality? Or is he taking a leaf out of his favourite ex-Prime Minister, one Mr John Howard’s playbook. Let’s roll back the clocks and have a look.

Roll back the clocks to late January 1996 . . .

Toy_Story Aussies have just passed a summer rapping to Gangsta’s Paradise and singing along with Seal. Toy Story is one of the most popular movies. And more importantly – for our story at least – an election has just been called for March and one of the key election issues is whether or not Australia should become a republic.

The push for this change had been mounting for a while. As early as 1977, polling showed that 58% of Aussies accepted that we don’t need a Queen. By the early 90s, the republican movement had critical momentum. In 1993, Prime Minister Paul Keating created a ‘Republic Advisory Committee’ to look into what changes would be needed to the constitution for Australia to become a republic. The chosen chairperson for this committee was then banker and lawyer, one Mr Malcolm Turnbull – but that’s another story….

This brings us to January 1996, and by this point it was fairly clear that the cry to consider that Australia become a republic – much like the current cry for marriage equality – was not going away. With an election pending, the leader of the Liberal party at that time – staunch monarchist John Howard – was left with no choice but to put considering that Australia become a republic on the table for discussion. Not wanting to adopt becoming a republic as Liberal party policy, Howard instead promised that if elected, he would make Australia becoming a republic a people’s issue – it would go to a people’s convention, and then to a people’s vote via a referendum. (Sounding familiar?)

Roll forward to 1999 – and Australia becoming a republic is looking good

Following his election in March 1996, John Howard kept his pre-election promise, and set up a ‘people’s convention’ to consider whether Australia should look at becoming a republic, and if so, what that would look like. He said he didn’t want to rush this because after all, ‘things won’t really change too much’ and there are ‘more important things to focus on than a republic’.

So it’s not until early 1998 that the people’s convention meets and comes up with a number of different models for an Australian republic – which mainly focused around who would replace the current Governor General (the Queen’s representative in Australia).

Support for Australia to become a republic had not waned during the 90s. The following graph shows opinion poll results on the question of Australia becoming a republic from 1993 to shortly before the referendum in late 1999. The green line represents the percentage of people who were for Australia becoming a republic, and the red line is people who were against it.


Clearly the number of people who were pro-republic was materially higher than those against it. So how exactly did John Howard get the ‘people’s vote’ to go his way?

Tricky Howard divides and conquers

For Australia to become a republic, a referendum is needed to change the constitution. Howard clearly knew that a majority of Australians were pro-republic – so a simple vote as to whether or not Australia should become a republic was very very VERY unlikely to have gone the way he wanted it to. But like Abbott today, Howard never let a little thing like public opinion get in the way of him achieving his goals.

The key to reducing the ‘Yes’ vote was to divide and conquer. Simply put – those who were pro-republic didn’t all agree on which republican model Australia should adopt. The most popular model that came out of the people’s convention in 1998 was one where the public voted in a President to take the place of the Governor General. In fact, over 70% of Australians said that they were in favour of this model. A less popular model was one where the parliament voted for who was President (instead of regular Aussies).

And this was how Tricky Howard pulled a rabbit out of his monarchist’s hat – or should I say crown? He divided the pro-republic vote, by:

  • Combining the issue of whether or not Australia was to become a republic with the issue of what model should be used – asking only one question, and not two.
  • ONLY offering one republican model to the Australian people – and not the one that most people were in favour of. Instead he put forward the less popular model where politicians got to choose who the President was.

The actual referendum question put to Aussies was whether or not they approved of:

A proposed law: To alter the Constitution to establish the Commonwealth of Australia as a republic with the Queen and Governor-General being replaced by a President appointed by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Commonwealth Parliament.

Howard could have split this into two questions, asking first if people approved of Australia becoming a republic. And secondly, asking people which of two republic models they preferred (in the event that sufficient people voted yes in the previous question). But he didn’t do this.

By tying the question as to whether Australia became a republic to the less popular republican model, Howard all but guaranteed that the ‘Yes’ vote in favour of a republic would fail by dividing the pro-republic camp. And it worked. Instead of uniting against the ‘no-voters’, a portion of the ‘yes’ side switched camps, many under the mistaken belief that support for an Australian republic was so strong, that if the model they disapproved of was voted down, they would get another go at a vote for the model that they favoured.

And so the ‘no-vote’ – against Australia becoming a republic – triumphed. Howard’s divide and conquer strategy wasn’t the only reason of course – there were a number of others, including that the ‘no’ campaign utilised the popular campaign strategy of fear mongering – arguing that the republic would give even more power to politicians than they already had. In the words of the High Court Justice Michael Kirby:

“it was a belief that constitutional monarchy is a safer and more temperate form of government because it denies to political ambition the top office which such ambition commonly most prizes.” (Hon. Justice Michael Kirby, March 2000)

The vote for Australia to become a republic was defeated – 55 to 45.

And so tricky Howard, the staunch monarchist, was able to say that ‘good sense’ won out – that Australians had abandoned their desire for a republic, successfully hosing down the republic movement, which has been unable to gain any significant ground since then. Certainly it is not an issue that is commonly on the public agenda today.

Back to 2015, and Tricky Tony is facing his own battle on Marriage Equality

“From time immemorial in every culture that’s been known – marriage, or that kind of solemnised relationship, has been between a man and a woman.” (Tony Abbott, 23 October 2013)

This is not true of course – it’s another of Mr Abbott’s Truthiness phrases – but it does reflect Tony Abbott’s view on marriage equality. And just like Howard, he is faced with the fact that a clear majority of Australians don’t agree with him. In fact, according to regular polls which indicate that around 70% of Australians support marriage equality, an even greater proportion of Australians support marriage equality than did a republic.

So what is Tricky Tony to do? Well the two most honest options would be to:

  • Remember that he is the servant of the Australian people, our representative and not our ruler – and allow a ‘conscience vote’ permitting representatives in the LNP to vote in a way that represents their particular electorates. But if he did that, he’d risk not getting his way.
  • Come out strongly against marriage equality and seek confirmation from his LNP colleagues that this is their ongoing policy. Certainly based on last week’s party-room vote it seems that a majority of LNP representatives and senators do not support marriage equality – so he’d be likely to get backup in the party room for this. But if they did this, Abbot would risk Labor making this an election issue which might win them valuable votes – and let’s face it, he’s already looking pretty shaky.

Since neither of these options would lead to Abbott’s desired outcome on this issue, what he did instead was to ‘stack’ the party-room with National party imports, just to be doubly-sure that he had the numbers to stop marriage equality going to a conscience vote. But that wasn’t enough.

Abbott knows that he needs to neutralise marriage equality from becoming a problem for him at the next election – just as Howard did with the republican issue back in 1996. So Abbott, like Howard before him, has committed to putting this important issue to a people’s vote. And just like Howard, he has committed to do this in his next term of office – not straight away of course, but within three years of being elected. Just as Howard did.

According to Abbott, a vote for him is a vote for a people’s choice on marriage equality! Finally a story that is salable to the electorate and can potentially neutralise any advantage Labor has from its pro marriage equality policy.

But do we even need a people’s vote to introduce marriage equality?

No we don’t.

Unlike if Australia were to become a republic – which does require a referendum in order to change the constitution – a change to marriage laws doesn’t require a change to our constitution, and therefore doesn’t need to be put to a referendum (or plebiscite – which is essentially just a large opinion poll).

And people’s votes aren’t cheap – at least the way we do them currently. And while I’m all for people getting more involved in our democracy, at a cost in excess of $100 million, this is a HUGE expense, and will probably mean funding needs to be cut elsewhere.

Abbott could ask people what we think about marriage equality at the next election

We’re already going to the polls to vote at the next election. If Abbott is so committed to a people’s vote, he could put the question to us then. This would be a much cheaper and quicker way to give the people a vote on this issue than by undertaking a completely separate vote. But of course, according to Abbott, that would be distracting for us poor little voters. Apparently we’re unable to make more than one decision at a time.

Beware the politician bearing gifts – in this case a people’s vote

On the face of it, a people’s vote on marriage equality sounds like a good thing to do. But if Abbott is following Howard’s Playbook, then he will be looking for a way to divide and conquer on this question, just as Howard did with the republic. And if he succeeds at this – as Howard did with stopping the republic movement – at the end of the day, we’d be over a $100 million worse off, still not have marriage equality in place, and potentially set back the marriage equality movement for decades.

And so ‘People’s vote’ enters the Truthiness to English Dictionary

I’m calling it. The evidence is fairly conclusive – ‘People’s vote’ is a Truthiness phrase. When Abbott uses it, he makes it sound like he is supporting popular opinion on marriage equality, when all indications are that he is doing everything he can to make sure he gets his way on this issue.

I’ve provided the appropriate English translation below and it will shortly be entered into the official Truthiness to English dictionary as follows:

Truthiness: People’s Vote (as in ‘We’re going to put Marriage Equality to a People’s vote’)
English: Holding pattern – as in ‘I’m going to put Marriage Equality into a holding pattern until I can figure out how to make sure it doesn’t get through’

This article was first published on Progressive Conversation.


Can our democracy be saved?

Image by gold1043.com.au

Image by gold1043.com.au

When you see Tony Abbott as Prime Minister, Joe Bullock elected in front of Louise Pratt, Bronwyn Bishop as Speaker, Tim Wilson given a job as a Human Rights Commissioner, Sophie Mirabella building submarines, and Alexander Downer showered with gifts from every direction, you know democracy is ailing if not already dead. It’s time for change.

As things stand politics in Australia is now the province of a political class that now offers a lifetime career path in federal and state parliaments, the public services and quangos. Entrance to this world often involves nepotism and cronyism. There can be few other legitimate jobs with salary packages over $300,000 that can often be obtained with virtually no experience and qualifications and little restrictions on second jobs or holidays.

Equating integrity with paying more money, flies in the face of history. By paying politicians starting salary packages of over $300,000, more people are attracted who could not get that salary level elsewhere. In fact people pursuing material gain should be discouraged from entering politics.

There is certainly no evidence that the massive increases of salary packages in recent years has increased benefits to the public or improved the quality of members or ministers compared to governments of the past. Far from paying peanuts and getting monkeys, paying more peanuts seems to attract gorillas.

Our system of government is an archaic farce. It was developed in the 18th century and did not anticipate the corruption of process that the two party system and the various factions, lobby groups and donors have produced.

An enormous amount of time and money is wasted on useless bickering and out-dated ceremony. This is an organisation entrusted with the role of running our country. It’s important. But our system has led to many professional politicians with little or no general life experience and unscrupulous opportunists, unburdened by ethics, who obsessively pursue power, money or both. Parties gift electorates to family connections, malleable party hacks and mediocre apparatchiks.

The money spent on spin doctors and advertising and polling and campaigning and jetting around for photo opportunities is outrageous and to what end? Why should parliament be adversarial? Do we really need an Opposition? Why can’t it be a collection of men and women whose experience and expertise make them suited for this most important responsibility?

If the 150 federal seats were awarded by the percentage of first preference votes received, the two major parties would have 118 seats rather than the 145 they currently occupy, the Greens would have 13, PUP 8, with 11 “others”. This would actually represent the “will of the people”.

Switzerland has been described as the closest thing to a true democracy. Parliamentary elections are organised around a proportional multi-party voting system and executive elections are organized around a popular vote directly for individuals, where the individual with the most votes wins. The third type of election, referendums, concern policy issues.

Parliament, known as the Federal Assembly, is made up of the Council of States (46 seats – members serve four-year terms) and the National Council (200 seats – members serve four-year terms and are elected by popular vote on a basis of proportional representation).

The two chambers of Switzerland’s national parliament meet several times annually for sessions of several weeks and in between, conduct meetings in numerous commissions. But being a member of parliament is not a full time job in Switzerland, contrary to most other countries today. This means that members of parliament have to practise an ordinary profession to earn their living – thereby they are closer to the everyday life of their electorate.

The government is a seven-member executive council, elected for a four year term, that heads the federal administration, operating as a combination cabinet and collective presidency. It is a Coalition of the four major parties, each party having a number of seats that roughly reflects its share of electorate and representation in the federal parliament. The President, elected for a one-year term, has almost no powers over and above his or her six colleagues, but undertakes representative functions normally performed by a president or prime minister in single-executive systems. They share the role around.

The Swiss executive is one of the most stable governments worldwide. Since 1848, it has never been renewed entirely at the same time, providing a long-term continuity. Changes in the council occur typically only if one of the members resigns (only four incumbent members were voted out of the office in over 150 years); this member is almost always replaced by someone from the same party. Most members retire after two or three terms. Since 1990 Switzerland has had some 22 ministers in federal government. In the same time we have had a kaleidoscope of around 300 ministers.

The really remarkable thing about Switzerland’s political system is Direct Democracy – the extraordinary amount of participation in the political process that is granted to ordinary citizens.

Any citizen may challenge a law that has been passed by parliament. If that person is able to gather 50,000 signatures (out of 5.1 million voters) against the law within 100 days, a national vote has to be scheduled where voters decide by a simple majority of the voters whether to accept or reject the law.

Also, any citizen may seek a decision on an amendment they want to make to the constitution. For such a federal popular initiative to be organised, the signatures of 100,000 voters must be collected within 18 months.

The parliament will discuss the proposals, probably set up an alternative and afterwards all citizens may decide in a referendum whether to accept the original initiative, the alternate parliamentary proposal or to leave the constitution unchanged. Initiatives that are of constitutional level have to be accepted by a double majority of both the popular votes and a majority of the cantons, while counter-proposals may be of legislative level and hence require only simple majority.

The frequent use of referenda is not only encouraged by Switzerland’s Constitution, but practised with enthusiasm by the citizens. Approximately four times a year, voting occurs over various issues; these include both Referendums, where policies are directly voted on by people, and elections, where the populace votes for officials. Federal, cantonal and municipal issues are polled simultaneously, and the majority of people cast their votes by mail. Between January 1995 and June 2005, Swiss citizens voted 31 times, to answer 103 questions. Several cantons have developed test projects to allow citizens to vote via the Internet or by SMS.

The threat of a referendum called by a party defeated in parliament on an issue causes the parties to be more willing to negotiate and compromise. As extreme laws will mercilessly be blocked by the electorate in referenda, parties are less inclined to radical changes in laws and voters are less inclined to call for fundamental changes in elections. There is no need to dismiss the government after a lost referendum, because the referendum solves the problem – preventing an extreme law – more efficiently. On the very same day, three new laws may be accepted and two others rejected.

Most people today believe they should have a right to have their say in all decisions that affect them. Yet the usual position of politicians is to say “we were elected to make the decisions and if you don’t like it vote against us at the next election”. This view is totally unsatisfactory. It is the decision people are interested in, not revenge some time later. In addition general elections provide only a mandate to govern – they do not provide a mandate for all or any future decisions except in rare circumstances.

Serious reform in Australia is perhaps many years into the future and the obstacles and enemies of democratic reform are many. The political parties and their partisan supporters’ overwhelming interest is in gaining power and preserving the political duopoly. Big business is implacably opposed to more democracy. It wants more centralisation of power. It currently employs more than 600 registered lobbyists in Canberra and spends millions of dollars to subvert democracy. Big media is always constrained by its owners’ interests. Since the Second World War there has been a growth of corporate propaganda to protect corporate power against democracy.

With the possibility of a Republic back in the front of mind thanks to Tony’s knights and dames folly, it is time to reignite the discussion about just what sort of a democracy we want.




Australia To Be A Republic by 2015 thanks to Royal Visit

Photo: Saverscene

Photo: Saverscene

“AUSTRALIANS may get a glimpse of future king Prince George after confirmation that Prince William and Catherine will visit Australia next year.

Prince George will be eight months old when in Australia – a month younger than Prince William was when he headed Down Under with Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1983.”

Now, I’d always hoped that we’d become a republic. It seems to me rather anachronistic that the fact the person who gives the final tick to our laws needs to be appointed by some person in a faraway land whose main contribution to Australia was sending a few loads of predominantly criminal boat people.

But I’d always expected that one day, Australia itself would make the decision. Now, I’m starting to wonder if it’s not more likely that we won’t, in fact, be thrown out of the Commonwealth by the Royal Family!

After all, Prince Charles is a greenie from wayback. He certainly can’t approve of our current “let’s develop clean coal, and while we’re at it, let’s get rid of those dirty windfarms” policies. But, of course, the Royals have just silently sat back and let Parliament have its own way, ever since someone said, “There’s no need to lose your head over this Charles”! (That, of course, was Charles 1, who didn’t listen and who did end up losing his head.)

You see, Prince William and Kate will be visiting next year and I fear that it may go something like this:

“Ah..Welcome to the future monarch of England and his feisty young bride. Although I don’t know if I should be calling her that. They have been married quite a while now. But… ah, in spite of the rigours of childbirth and raising a baby, I must say that Kate still has plenty of sex appeal, and as she clearly likes men who are slightly thinning on top, I’d just like to say, William, if you’re busy at any time, I’d be happy to show her round. I also welcome, young Prince George. The youngest future monarch to ever visit Australia, which occured under my government.

“I, too, know something about what it’s like to go through pregnancy, as I was Opposition Leader for nearly four years, so I have some idea of the relief when you had the wonderful outcome of a baby boy. Something that I only thought I’d experienced but which was cruelly taken aware from me, by an ABC sound recordist, who like all the ABC misrepresented the situation. I suppose that I shouldn’t compare an election campaign to childbirth, because one is painful to everyone, whereas childbirth is only bad for the mother, and it is, after all, something that she is singularly equipped for.

“Unfortunately, Prince George is a bit young for my daughters, who aren’t bad looking. In fact, Kate, you’re lucky William didn’t meet one of them first. We may have had the first Australian Queen.

“So, please enjoy your visit to Australia, and while I never comment on security matters, let me assure you that neither the Australian Government, nor Mr Murdoch, will be hacking your phones. We’ll ensure that the paparazzi are kept away, and let me assure you that we have much better drivers than they have in Paris, so you have no worries there. Once again, you can treat this country like it’s your own, and we’re all at your service. Anything you want, just ask. Particularly you, Kate.”

No, you’re right. Our PM would never be that insensitive. He’d never refer to that time where he thought the ABC sound recordist was his son.


Just a short post, beginning with FFS! Very exasperated, very loud!

FFS! Just read this on http://www.news.com.au/

It’s about Abbott’s meeting with Prince Charles. Maybe a Republic will be soon on the agenda.

“While the lunch-table conversation agenda is obviously unknown, it’s likely Mr Abbott’s climate change views which could potential cause a constitutional crisis in Australia will be raised.”

Ok, the first point is that a Double Dissolution is not when the public are disillusioned with both major parties. Neither is it a “constitutional crisis”.

It’s part of the Constitution. It’s there to resolve an impasse like the one that just occurred in the USA where the Tea Party Republicans thought it might be a good idea to just teach this guy in The Whitehorse “some respect”.


I repeat, it is not a crisis!

Rupert Murdoch not getting his own way may seem like a crisis to his toadies and lickspittle such as Bolt.

It’s like this nonsense about a “mandate”. ALL politicians are elected with a mandate to do what they promised to do. Lower House and Upper House alike. It was after the Democrats didn’t block the GST as they promised to do that they were decimated at the following election. They were given a mandate to do just that at the 1998, but they negotiated to get a better GST.

All right, I guess not everyone will agree with that . That’s OK. That’s a matter for debate.

On the other hand, a Double Dissolution is NOT A CRISIS!!! It’s potentially part of the normal workings of democracy in this country.

Oh, I guess that’s the crisis.

My mistake.