Bring back the Democrats
Monday October 29th 2007, 10:45 am

There’s an immense imperative at present on the part of many Australian voters to oust HoWARd and his Liberals. Lots of people are considering their preference options to achieve a particular power balance.

The people have decidedly been stung by allowing HoWARd control of the House and Senate. When Johnny got absolute power, he gave us WorkChoices, which effectively criminalised many aspects of normal collective bargaining and union representation.

There’s an imperative to improve debate and moderation of legislative outcomes in Parliament by having the Greens in the balance of power, such that neither Liberals nor Labor can impose their policies without compromise on a party line vote. At present, the most practical option to achieve that balance is to vote Green 1, Labor 2 and so on.

However, the ‘keep the bastards honest’ strategies of the late, great Don Chipp‘s Australian Democrats are glaring by their absence from the field of familiar faces represented by press-favoured candidates of late.

Certainly, internecine squabbles and brain implosions within the Dems as well as Meg Lees’ most infamous caving on the GST, damned the Dems to a very long time in the woodshed. Natasha Stott-Despoja’s retirement from politics after years of valiant service to the party and the ideals seemed to extinguish the last bright beacon of the Dems.

I yet keep hoping for a renaissance of the Democrats, with some modification to their core ideals, notably deletion of their advocacy of removing the state level layers of government in Australia. I’m a firm believer that some elements of bureaucracy and a federal structure are necessary and important hedges against authoritarian rule from a small segment of government in Canberra.

I hope Andrew Bartlett is successful in any bid to keep his seat, regardless of the trajectory of the Dems. Bartlett’s blog has been a unique and invaluable window into truly democratic parliamentary politics as she should be done.


9 Comments so far
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I hope the public bring the Democrats “back from coventry” – they’ve worked pretty hard the last few years

Comment by Luke 10.30.07 @ 8:44 am

It would be a good result for Queensland and Australia if Andrew can hang on to a senate position. That would keep the Democrats alive and functioning, providing choice and a more balanced political imput than some. Besides, the Democrats are needed now more than ever to keep the bastards honest….there are now far more bastards in parliament than ever.

Comment by Whitey 10.30.07 @ 8:48 pm

We’ve been punished enough!!!! People need to seriously consider the importance of the Democrats.

Yes, you’re right, we are glaring by in our absence from the media. In the Victorian State election, the Press Council found that there was no bias against any party, except one – the Democrats. Not that it’s something the Democrats can talk publically about because that would lead to more blacking-out – the media DO NOT take criticism well.

Abolishing the States isn’t exactly a policy we will be able to enact within the next 30 years, it’s a vision.

Comment by Clinton Barnes 10.30.07 @ 8:48 pm


“I yet keep hoping for a renaissance of the Democrats”

So do I — despite their neglect of, and hostility towards, Australian war veterans several years ago.

That renaissance won’t be allowed to happen until we get a free and pro-democracy press.

So long as we continue to put up with the garbage dumped on us by the “news”[?] media, including the ABC, nothing will change.

So long as we are too timid to demand real news instead of infotainment and party propaganda, we will continue to get that anti-democracy fraud, the “Two Party Preferred”, and all the other rubbish.

The “news”[?] won’t reform itself and asking a parliament to pass laws that encourage democracy would be like asking the burglars to become the police …. so what can we, as individuals, do?

Comment by Graham Bell 10.31.07 @ 5:52 am

Greens, Democrats agree on preferences swap

The Democrats and the Greens have announced a preference deal for the federal election.

They will put each other before all other major and minor parties.

They say the agreement will give Australia the best chance of ridding the Senate of the major parties’ dominance. […]

Comment by weez 10.31.07 @ 11:53 am

GetUp‘s attempt at getting the Senate out of Lieberal control…

Comment by weez 10.31.07 @ 11:55 am

the Democrats sold out badly over the GST, then there was the 2004 election where they preferenced family first over the Greens, maybe a little time in the “sin bin” isn’t such a bad thing.
I voted Democrat in the senate for years, even when I voted ALP in the lower house (this was in the days before Greens lower house candidates or maybe just before I knew better). I’ll be voting Green this time around too, but you can bet I stood up for the Democrats getting our preferences. It’d be a sad old day in parliament if the Democrats weren’t around.

Comment by krypto 11.06.07 @ 12:37 am

Yeah, the pref deal which sent control of the Senate to HoWARd deserves a lotttttta sinbin time, no doubt- but the Greens have no small amount of culpability in that 2004 debacle.

I think I’ll be voting Green 1, Dems 2 and ALP 3, though. Balance of power has to land with Die Grünen.

Comment by weez 11.06.07 @ 6:29 am

Bartlett is running against Pauline Hanson– to whom Family First, the party of homophobes, pervy wankers and consensual adult incest, have ‘disgracefully’ directed preferences over the Democrats. I can’t see any way FF could disgrace themselves much further, can you?

Comment by weez 11.10.07 @ 7:23 pm

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