Chapter 3:   IF YOU CHANGE THE GOVERNMENT, YOU DON’T GET

MORE DEMOCRACY - YOU GET MORE OF THE SAME TYRANNY.

 


If “a democracy” per se is supposed to be representative of “Government of the people, by the people and for the people”, as per Lincoln’s familiar construct, then Australia’s mostly two-party preferred system has failed the test ever since Federation. What we have today, is a bipartisan tyranny intended to maintain the bipartisan power of the Labor Party and the Liberal/National Coalition in their current forms. And so, bipartisan support for “The right of governments to govern” in the absence of concerted OZ Media challenges and campaigns for actual democratic change, has been tantamount to tyranny ever since Federation. Howard has always claimed that, “No changes to the existing constitutional arrangements are needed because they have served us well in times of war and peace since Federation” Does he mean that every war that Australia has participated in has served us well? Does he mean that the victims of Australia’s war commitments such as the Vietnam War and the Iraq War 2003, have served Australia well, having remained distant from the action? Absurd propositions - not really?

Sydney Harbour is a toxic soup of dioxins, heavy metals and other contaminants from Union Carbide’s Agent Orange factory and other operations at Homebush Bay, home of the 2000 Olympic Games. As shown on TV, Union Carbide blithely emptied its storage tanks filled with toxic waste (that were too hot for our Pollies to handle) into the bay. Union Carbide scarpered unscathed on Howard’s watch. Would that constitute democracy in action? Nothing better could possibly exist? Pollies could not be more accountable? Would that represent “Robust Democracy”? Obviously not, but our Pollies have the unbridled gall to claim that an election is an exercise in “Democratic Accountability”. Ho! Ho! Ho! The thinkers in the OZ population suffer our egoistical politician fools, but our politicians suffer no retribution whatsoever except for temporary ego squashing due to an election loss. If Howard had said that the current constitutional arrangements have served our politicians’ egos really well, then the Agent Orange, the dioxin, the napalm, the landmines and the bomblets of truth that continue to maim innocent victims in Cambodia and Vietnam, might have cleared the decks of political BS.

The USA and Australia are fortunate indeed that the Vietnamese were not inclined to seek revenge with Al Quaeda style attacks on us, just to even up the score a bit.

If today’s “democracy” per se means that governments ought to be able to ignore the wishes of the people with impunity, then the definition of democracy has been corrupted unrecognisably compared with what the people actually want. Similarly so for what the Constitutional Founding Fathers envisaged. Government today is able to ignore with impunity (a) the people’s wishes on controversial legislation and (b) bipartisan non-policy issues that the people want addressed. Government today is able to push ideologically driven legislation through the Senate and into law without majority support. Government today is to be able to make unpopular executive decisions that bypass the legislative process entirely with impunity. Government today is able to use taxpayers’ money to pork barrel and to brainwash the masses with TV advertising. Government today is able to slant legislation or to deny legislation to favour contributors to political party coffers. The evidence is rife through Federal, State and Local Government today. Change of government is irrelevant despite political promises that inevitably result in more of the same furtive and secretive dealings - the harbingers of corruption.

Why is it that our politicians are able to persist with brainwashing the masses into believing that “We live in a democracy”? It is simply not true. Easily proven? Sure! That the voters only have a choice between two supposed leaders each with their dodgy unheralded sets of ideological policies at an election is a travesty of the notion of democracy per se. If as Abraham Lincoln pontificated, democracy is supposed to be “government of the people, by the people and for the people”, then what happens between elections often has been far removed from expressions of “what the people expected, what the people wanted and what the people actually got”. To date, the two major parties have offered the electorate a choice between two insipid, very basic ideologies and a few hot knob issues, while their respective manifestoes remained mostly out of sight to the public. Traditionally the rest has been made up on the run around. An election claimed to be a referendum on ”new leadership” is another euphemism for more of the same undemocratic government. The baggage that goes with leadership of the winner includes power mongering demands from party factions as well as the mostly hidden oligarchy of vested interests that controls the political agenda. Not democracy.  Not even close.

The fact that democracy does not prevail in Australian politics can be exemplified by the current shenanigans in Queensland where the Nationals’ leader, Lawrence Springborg wants to amalgamate the Liberals and the Nationals into a new conservative party. Hubris and power mongering of the participants is such a big deal that many are calling for a rank and file vote rather than allowing their respective executives to make the final decision. In accordance with Howard’s dictum that he will “Do nothing to trash the Liberal Party’s future”, we have the spectre of some Liberals insisting, that they want “a democratic vote” on the issue. That is, they want a specific vote for internal party politicking? How about that? Why is it that democracy needs to prevail only when internal issues of the party become a big deal for them, but issues of actual democracy prevailing in government are of no concern to them? If they had half a brain and favoured actual democracy and a modicum of independence prevailing in Australia, then they would be making such calls on issues of executive governments making unpopular and within the historical context, decidedly bad decisions.

Why is it that, government today is able to commit Australia to an unpopular, majority unwanted war, and the general public has no recourse whatsoever to prevent the commitment? If OZ Media and journalists were permitted to do their job, then they would mount concerted campaigns to redress the situation.

The Labor Government’s Foreign Minister Stephen Smith recently talked about Australia’s “Indispensable alliance with the USA. Indispensable it may be currently, but it presupposes absolutism. Both Liberal/National Governments and Labor Governments have never given the people a choice. Bipartisan tyranny has prevailed for decades and appears to be set to continue ad infinitum? Yep. More than likely so, given Rudd’s obsequious salute, to the clearly undemocratic Bush, while in Europe. But to suggest that Australia had to support GWB’s insane Iraq War 2003 to protect the OZ US Alliance is sheer BS. Is New Zealand worse off for its modicum of independence from the slavish allegiance trotted out by Australian Governments? No. Gung-ho, OZ government and Opposition support for every Yankee Administration’s war mongering has nothing to do with democracy.

 

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