Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Australia Day and 'our flag' .

Our flag’s use-by date really stands out.

Founded in the nineteenth century, at the height of British Empire arrogance, Australia has long drifted away from all emotional and social, political and legal, ties to the ‘Motherland’ (how quaint is that word!). Certain similarities exist in our parliamentary and legal systems, but who is enthusiastic about their adversarial nature, apart from the lawyers? These too will come under scrutiny in their due time!

We are an independent nation, justifiably proud of our standing in the world.

The Union Jack, symbol of the expired British connection, still featured on our flag, has long been an offence to many, especially to the dispossessed original inhabitants’ descendants. Our flag, with its strange, foreign symbol, utterly fails the central purpose of a national flag—to inspire and unify all our citizens, so many of whom have come from many different countries, but are now real Australians in thought and deed. It’s time to shake our flag free from the Union Jack which in no way symbolises Australia’s unity.

What then? The answer is simple. We have a national symbol recognised the world over. We should just replace the Union Jack with the kangaroo, a move which can appeal to all Australians, including our Koori people.

There are many other important things which could well be changed, but one thing at a time will suffice, to get the ball rolling.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Constipated democracy

The release of another batch of leaked documents reveals the uselessness of the last ten years of negotiations to settle the Palestinian cause. The reasons for the inexorable annihilation of the Palestinian people’s hopes for the minimal justice of a separate state are quite evident, when any such state would have to be under Israeli army control—says Israel.

In the face of the unstated Israeli dream to control all of Palestine, the Palestinian negotiating position is hopelessly feeble and desperate, being entirely dependent on the effective support of the democratic international community—the UN.

But America has sabotaged the UN with its strongest-nation-in the-world stance, and proved itself a broken crutch to the Palestinians by its submission to Jewish influences within America. Thus Israel will have what it wants regardless, but without the entire security it has long craved. Only justice can entirely silence the restlessness of injustice.

Western democracy has a constipation problem. Imagine an American referendum on justice for Palestine! Is it possible that the American people, as a whole, would ignore the longstanding suffering of the Palestinians? I think not. But, like every other Western democracy, with the exception of Switzerland (and recently perhaps, New Zealand), the people are not invited to say. A pity—because the problems of the world, which linger on unfixed while the decades multiply, can only be peacefully resolved by good government—of the people.

Without the ballot solution of the present unrepresentative style of parliamentary governments, there remains only the (Swiss) Citizen Initiated Referenda initiative to have a chance to resolve the hiatus that exists between the feeble unrepresentative ‘democracy’ that the world is enduring, and the one which could bring the peace and prosperity the world so badly needs—good government at all levels—national and international.

Constipation! that’s the problem with our democracy.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Democracy - and social morality - at risk

As retired. Justice Jebhard, late of the Victorian Country court, said democracy is a moral influence in the community. I believe that is both true and a neglected truth.
It applies quite literally in the state, the nation and the world. The only reservation as to its validity is the degree to which democracy practise corresponds to the theory.

Thus we have a problem, as the theory of democracy has never been settled, with differing views proposed to suit the preferences of those to whom morality is less than a clear and urgent objective.

In fending off suggestions that the hate rhetoric of the tea party movement in America could be an underlying cause of the near death of the Arizona senator and the deaths of a judge, a nine year old girl (born as it happens on 9/11 2001) and others, Herald Sun correspondent Andrew Bolt sneeringly insisted that the rhetoric used in the clash of politics is a normal face of democracy. In so arguing, he unintentionally and ignorantly proved the Jebhard point.

We need an advance in democracy to lessen the conflict, with better attitudes than that prevailing in politics, remembering that politics also inevitably reaches out into the international sphere, either leading to peace or war.

To advance democracy will require a different approach, to encourage, and eventually even establish, mutual respect and cooperation as the normal attitudes of society to advance democracy, and enhance the moral life of our nation, and indeed, our world?