April 25 is ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand, and it’s one of those days with a variety of meanings to a variety of people. Primarily it is a day to remember and pay respects to the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps soldiers who fought and died on our nation’s behalf in wars of past and present.
To me, ANZAC Day is a confusing mixture of respect, solemnity, pride and despair. Respect and pride for the sacrifices made by brave men and women in the hope of securing a safe and free life for their family and friends, and solemn remembrance of innocent civilians who die needlessly as a result of war every day. Then comes the despair. Continue reading
Posted in Australian Politics, Personal
Tagged And the band played waltzing matilda, ANZAC Day, Australia, Australian Politics, freedom, I was only 19, imperialism, Innocents, Khe Sanh, meaning, means, Remembrance, respect, rights, to me, Troutish, War
Recently I’ve been ruminating over a very interesting article entitled “Democracy Without Elections” by Australian journalist and fellow tweep (heavy twitter user), Austin G Mackell.
To fully understand what follows in this article, you should probably read his first. What Austin proposes represents a pathway toward replacing ‘representative’ democracy with ‘direct’ democratic participation in decision making, through allowing electors to choose positions on actual policy proposals before they are voted on.
While I support direct democratic participation as a desired end-goal I do not believe we are yet at a place in history where we can achieve this, despite rapid technological advancement. On the other hand, contained within Austin’s suggestions are other very practical methods for reforming the way political representation is determined within a parliamentary system, to allow increasing levels of citizen participation and ensure more equitable representation.
Part of this is achieved via making the vote ‘fluid’ – giving the voter the power to change who they support as their representative at their own demand. But that part will become a post of its own.
For now it is necessary to understand a proposed new system for allocating your “vote”. Continue reading
Posted in Australian Politics, Democratic Theory
Tagged Austin G Mackell, Democracy, Democratic Theory, Minor Parties, Partisanship, Pie-Chart Representation, Politics, Representation, Troutish, two-party system, V points, Voting, Wasted votes
Interesting to read conservatives at the Institute of Public Affairs suggesting the Liberal National Party coalition needs to ‘be like Gough‘ if they get a full majority of power in both the lower and upper houses of Parliament at the upcoming federal election.
Of course, they don’t mean the LNP should suddenly back-flip and start actually supporting free education and healthcare for Australian citizens or any of the many other positive, progressive policies brought about during the brief Whitlam era. Instead they only encourage transforming the country with the same speed and vigour Whitlam did, but this time to the detriment of the average tax payer, for the benefit of the super rich.
You can see the full list of 75 suggested changes on their website, but I will share a few of those I think clearly represent the dangers of current extremist policy trend among ‘conservative’ circles in Australia.
- Close Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education
- Halt construction of the National Broadband Network
- Privatise Australia Post
- Privatise CSIRO
- Privatise Medibank
- Privatise SBS
- Privatise the Snowy-Hydro Scheme
- Privatise the Australian Institute of Sport
- Repeal the Fair Work Act Continue reading
Posted in Australian Politics, Constitution
Tagged Australia, Australian Politics, Carbon, Climate Change, education, Environment, Federal Government, Gough Whitlam, Health, Reform, regulation, Renewable Energy, Science, Transparency