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Mar 16, 2006

Comments

Duncan Mok

So Latham is a hero? Beazley is somehow above all this? Please. Pardon my cynicism, but from where I sit every government of every persuasion has its strengths and weaknesses. I don't disagree with your assessments of the incumbents, but please don't imagine that somehow under the alternative (assuming we have one at the moment) we'd have transparency and accountability. It's just not going to happen.

Tony Stevenson

See paragraph 2 - "This issue existed before Howard but he has made grand use of it over the last 10 years and completely dropped any pretence of ministerial accountability. And sadly unless some one has the power and will to change it (unlikely) it will persist long after Howard is gone."

Latham like all of us is flawed. He did show the will to change the status quo and succeeded in fixing the parliamentary super scheme which was out of step with the rest of our society. This proves that an effective opposition can make a difference. Sadly we don't currently have an effective opposition - I remain hopeful that this will change but it may only be a faint hope.

The long tradition of the Australian government is that a change of government does not bring a change of culture in the style of government. The Liberal Party's excess use of taxpayer funds for political advertising is justified on the basis that Keating did it. Of course under Howard the Government is doing it on even grander scale.

Howard is creating one helluva precedent and accelerating the decline of Parliamentary standards of accountabilty. The only one he can be held accountable is at the ballot box. And the alternative government is different (maybe) but perhaps no better. We have never needed a stronger opposition than now.

We, the people, are powerless to hold this government accountable for their actions (in the short term).

What are we to do (apart from find the phone number for the Depression Help Line)?

The best we can hope for now is a recession. While ever we're in good times economically and this government continues recycling our tax contributions back as special interest bribes, Australians will not change the government.

We're getting richer economically while we are increasingly becoming morally bankrupt. We are Australians. They are our Australian government - we can't distance ourselves from this moral morass by simply saying "I didn't vote for him" (and I did in 1996 but not subsequently).

Sadly my original rant was focussed on economic issues (use of taxpayer funds) when the real evil is how Australia _behaves_ domestically and internationally.

Oh well back to the bread and circuses of the Commonweath Games. Let's win lots of Gold - that will really help us forget the mess we've contributed to in Iraq.

Duncan Mok

Great response... and I agree with you that

a) we have no valid opposition at present - an unfortunate situation which exacerbates the behaviour of the incumbent government

b) regardless of a change in government, history tells us that those we (collectively) have elected continue to behave at least as badly as their predecessors (other than the requisite honeymoon period immediately following a change)

That's really the essence of what I was saying in my first comment. Unfortunately we're both quite correct in our assessment of this situation (or perhaps everything's fine in the real world, and we're both living in a nightmarish parallel universe).

Don't get too depressed, however. Imagine how bad you'd feel if you had to write about George! ;-) Oh, wait, you have written about George before!

Interesting take on the cure being to have a recession. Would that make it another "recession we had to have"? ;-)

Duncan Mok

Oh, and I can't help myself... here's a link to that other recession we had to have:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late_1980s_recession

And the top listed quote from Paul Keating on WikiQuote:

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Paul_Keating

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