Chapter 5:       CLEARLY HOWARD IGNORED GOOD ADVICE & PREFERRED

                            TO LOSE THAN TO OFFER DEMOCRATIC CHANGE.


 

Typified by all so-called “political leaders” who lose an election, it is apparent that our Pollies would rather lose than to actually canvass and campaign on a promise to constitute binding referenda on (a) any mooted war commitment or (b) major controversial legislation. Such is the seductiveness of the power of office. Winning power by default is predicated upon denying democratic change to the people. Pollie hubris is a direct expression of the political ego insisting that political leaders “Always know best what’s in the nation’s best interests”. Having achieved a position of power, they fight like crazy to hold onto it regardless of the level of their public support. Analogous to big-time overpaid CEO’s insisting that they earned and therefore deserve their largesse, Pollie leaders reckon that they deserve their undemocratic power to wield in their own image.

OZ Media has been corrupted to such an extent that serious campaigning for democratic change is a no-no as though nothing better than our existing severely corrupted system of government could possibly exist, ever! The major parties always promise to do better, but inevitably fail dismally in the absence of actual democratic change. To the extent that OZ Media fails to demand a specific vote of the people to achieve actual democracy on controversial issues, undemocratic government prevails.

Thus, “The right of governments to govern”, is tantamount to tyranny, effectively maintained by Australia’s no-democratic-change-needed political triumvirate - consisting of Government, Opposition and OZ Media. Apart from the desultory rigged referendum, the people do not get a specific vote on anything much, especially on issues that the public want explored. As to how that state of affairs constitutes democracy per se, is as mysterious as secret Executive decision making. Despite the election-lost Liberal/National Party’s supposed heart wrenching and soul searching for winning policies, to be predicated upon recouping the electorate’s trust, disingenuousness prevails. As Cool Hand Luke said, “What we have is a failure to communicate”, which is analogous to, “What we have is a failure to be democratically responsible” as per the Constitutional requirement.

The Government and the Opposition fail the democracy test repeatedly. They fail to consult the people on proposed legislation with controversial mandates, uncertain mandates and non-existent mandates. Howard’s documented decade of undemocratic rule testifies to that conclusion. Labor’s parallel decade was one of ineffectual Opposition until they won by default as usual. That is, Labor failed to demand referenda to clearly define whether or not Howard & Co actually had a mandate for their most controversial legislation. The result was that Labor dismally failed to hold the Howard Government to account either going forward or backward. The most egregious failure of democracy pertained to Australia being committed to GWB’s Iraq War in 2003.

Without doubt, the Labor Opposition defaulted to “the right of government to govern” which effectively handed Howard & Co an undemocratic imprimatur to commit Australia to the war. Why would Labor make such pronouncements when in Opposition? Clearly Labor then hungered for, wanted and continues to want what Howard & Co had, which is the unbridled power (a) to implement their ideologically driven platform, regardless of whether or not the people actually want it and (b) to go to war without seeking the permission or the support of the people.

Thus, what Australia has in effect is a political tyranny - because the people do not get a specific vote on what happens between elections. OZ Media’s decade of oversight also failed to hold the major parties to account. Howard was famous for ignoring media and dissident criticism. Demonstrably, criticism alone failed. In Howard’s Australia, Free Speech was a necessary evil that could be ignored with impunity. The passage of unpopular legislation through the Senate testifies to that conclusion. Thus, from the people’s perspective, Catch 22 prevailed when Labor was in Opposition and continues to prevail with Labor in Government, for the people continue to have no effective avenue available to them to be able to seek redress. OZ Media fails to “Keep the bastards honest”. The Democrats failed long ago.

Consider the pre-election polling that showed that the Coalition Government would be going out of the back door on the 24th November 2007. The most profound question that OZ Media could have asked Mr Howard was, “Would you prefer to lose the election ignominiously, than to win by offering the people a change from the political status quo to actual democracy?”

Clearly, Mr Howard preferred to lose the election despite having been offered such advice? Such was the seduction of the undemocratic power provided by the Federal Constitution and his ill-judged certainty that in the end he would win again. Howard’s failed judgement clearly exemplifies his decade of undemocratic government. Why would that be so? Would hubris-power alone account for such irrationality? Prayers on the Hillside weren’t enough, just as they are never enough in the real world of ordinary Australians’ hopes or ambitions. True to Mr Howard’s declaration, that he “Would do nothing to trash the Liberal Party’s future”, today’s Liberal Party is trying to rebuild itself in the likeness of its former self with a few trivial variations. Pollies may come and go, but the Party refuses to seriously contemplate the need for democratic change. The Liberal Party’s long standing and fundamental policy flaw, is to party-on in unison. “No democratic change needed thanks!” appears to be set to remain intact until the ultimate religious enlightenment arrives.

The Biblical Apocalypse will be human extinction. The inexorable Apocalypse will be catastrophic for everyone excepting those who waft away to ET Heaven of course. That notion gives our religious Pollies the wit to remain adamantly in favour of the political status quo. And so, Armageddon and human extinction appears to be the ultimate goal of the political tyranny that produces wars for no good reason, other than expediency to make a few people richer in ego and richer in money while the rest of us become poorer for the experience. The innocent victims would have a hard time getting to Heaven of course, especially if they are not of the Judeo-Christian faith. But the Moslem terrorists would definitely get to ET Heaven. If you don’t believe that, then ask them!

The rationale for this missive as an adjunct to a corresponding 2020 Summit submission, is to endeavour to make more Australians aware of the often undemocratic and doggedly insular nature of our two-party preferred system of no-democratic-change-be-needed style of OZ government, both Stately and Federally. The perpetual Pollie claim that “Freedom of Speech” constitutes actual democracy is a complete furphy. Howard often declared that dissidents can say whatever they like, but that they were always wrong. Despite that the dissidents may well have been the harbingers of deeply felt public dissatisfaction with the political process, their message stinks and they are to be shot down unceremoniously by supporters of the political status quo which includes the Opposition and OZ Media. The “Freedom of speech” that the Howard regime claimed was the democratic right of dissidents was tantamount to dogs barking at night. Not more than a bloody nuisance to Pollies.

Howard effectively denied democracy by refusing to put dissidents’ views to any test of public sentiment. Clearly, dissidents cannot effect change if the Opposition and OZ Media refuse to do any polling to test dissidents’ propositions. Democratically, nothing changed under Howard. The Labor Opposition and OZ Media both failed to demand actual democracy by failing to comprehensively campaign for a specific vote to determine whether or not dissident opinions on commitment to the 2003 Iraq War for example, were in fact “wrong” as claimed by Howard. Dissidents can rant and rail all that they like in our Pollies’ views, but without OZ Media and Opposition support, dissident views are like Australian snowfall. Most of it melts and evaporates long before it reaches Earth. The ultimate question for OZ Media and for Kevin Rudd PM to consider is, do his hubris levels and testosterone levels dictate that he should plod the same undemocratic track that characterised the Howard Government, in denial of the need for democratic change?

 

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