Saturday, 5 May 2012

Post#189 Is There Hope? How to Reform Australian Politics (Peter Slipper, Craig Thomson and Cincinnatus)

I've been very disgusted and downcast contemplating the contents of the sewer that has cracked open in Canberra in the past year. I'll put it bluntly: The Gillard government is being propped up by a grubby, shameless little thief and a heinously hypocritical, drunken, dirty old man. I think of the alternative offered by the Opposition and see no prospect of a torrent of integrity from that direction.

When did Australian politics start on this trend to the nether regions? Was it rotten from the outset? Can we look to the Rum Rebellion as the archetype of public affairs conduct in these islands? I don't think so. Then there was a man named Lachlan Macquarie. He isn't coming to rescue us now. No-one is coming to rescue us.

We're going to have to dig ourselves out of this, vote by vote. But where shall we find the candidates to vote for? What decent or intelligent person wants to leap into the mess that is contemporary political life? There's a simple truth in this: The quality of the candidates is led by the motives which can be attributed to them. Our parliaments have been colonised by a parasitical political class whose objective is to make a career of being an MP. Parliaments exist for many reasons. Providing sinecures is a purpose to which they are being put, not the one for which they were intended.

Here is the model we need to follow:

Portrayed in this statue in the American city named for him, is Cincinnatus, hero of Rome. He is shown in the act of returning the fasces, symbol of power, and returning to his plough.

So it should be with our parliaments. The electoral laws should permit only one full term of service in any parliament. By that I mean that a term as a State MP would be a disqualification from candidacy for the Commonwealth Parliament and vice versa. That's right: one term in one parliament and that's your lot for life.

The objectors to this proposal would make the predictable argument that Ministers would not have an opportunity to develop skills and that we would lose the services of the good ones after only one term. This would be a significant objection to anyone who wasn't acquainted with the quality of the Ministers we already have (and have suffered already).

A nation whose parliaments were comprised entirely of oncers would be an interesting place. To make it more interesting we can abolish ticket voting for the Senate and State legislative councils. This would increase informal voting but I believe that anyone who can't fill in the ballot paper isn't depriving us of much. I don't mean by this people with physical disabilities who require assistance in voting. Nor do I wish to disparage those whose faculties are failing through illness. I mean knuckleheads, pure and simple.

Also, by whatever means it takes, the people of Queensland should have restored to them a house of review so that they don't have to elect a dictatorship if they don't want to.

Now I have lit a candle and may return to cursing the darkness with an unafflicted conscience.

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