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.
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