Thursday, June 21, 2012

National Revival and Unity

Tim Colebatch (The age 19/6/12) writes that a sense of common purpose that we had with Menzies, and Hawke was lost under Whitlam. Why so?

Certainly, Whitlam had an agenda to ‘fix’ society, by a Labor government long out of office and alive with a ‘left’ agenda to be achieved in short time. Menzies and Hawke were ‘in touch’ with the wider electorate, including the ‘forgotten people – the middle class. While Menzies was an astute politician Hawke had a wide humanitarian appeal with ‘common touch’.

Howard was too authoritarian with roots in business, while Rudd failed to be a team man. Will Gillard succeed? Only the next election will prove whether her strength of purpose is matched by a political acumen in the taut politics of the hung parliament and the ‘relentless’ pressure of Abbott and crew in their pursuit of power.

Where shall we go? What shall we do?

Our dependence on leaders is our and their downfall. That’s the party system. They do as they will because we let them. Then we punish them by replacing them when they don’t satisfy. The result is short-termism in government as they look nervously towards the next election. And so it goes on, an on – see saw government.

Is there an answer? If you have followed this blog you will by now be quite clear about the answer! A national revival and unity reached by the invasion of our hapless parliaments.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Our deteriorating democracy

Tim Soutphommasane writes (Age 18/6/12) with some alarm that the trend in our democracy has degenerated into a materialistic low with money and wealth dominating our democracy. Noting that this phenomenon tends to be cyclical which Tim Colebatch (The Age 19/6/12) attributes to the varying quality of past leaders.

That our democracy has degenerated into a competition to find the best leaders to advance our economic status is sad, when we remember that one ex judge believed that the promise of democracy is to enhance morality. Tim Sout notes that the ‘…expansion in education has not resulted in greater political knowledge or civic virtue’. Why not?

Both commentators are disturbed by the fallen standard of contemporary political debate, which they describe in such terms as ‘toxic’, ‘poisonous’ and ‘strident’. Furthermore, cartoonists seem free to express extreme contempt at our elected leaders.

What is clear is that ‘we get the government that we deserve’. If democracy is government ‘by’ the people as Abraham Lincoln observed, and I believe he was spot on, clearly we have failed to keep up with our responsibility to participate in government, and politicians do what they do because they can. They know that material benefit is influential in our midst.

Colebatch heads his article ‘In not so joyful strains’ clearly suggesting that national attitudes expressed in our national anthem have been undermined. There can be no joy when the earlier values of mateship and sacrifice have been swept up in materialistic fear and conflict. After all, our wealth owes more to our lucky mineral resources than the hard, often harsh, experience of the past, which fed a modest personal pride in our country.

We do indeed need a new vision for our country, one which calls for, and builds on, our past national strengths and successes. Our leaders must challenge and inspire us.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Democracy unpopular!

Democracy unpopular in a poll! Is it any wonder, when the ballot is still missing from our parliaments?

Some think that such a parliament could not make decisions. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

At every election millions of us go to the polls to elect our 150 representatives - by secret ballot - quietly and with finality (despite distorting electoral factors beyond our control).

Why should we believe that good policies could not stand out in the parliamentary debate, each gaining a winning margin of independent secret ballot votes - especially with constituents nudging members in public forums.

Is it that hard to understand? Where is the will for change to a much better democracy??