Monday, June 27, 2016

Monday Forum - with a week to go to the Australian election, what do you think?

With just one week to go to Australia votes, I couldn't let this last Forum before the election go without giving you one last chance to comment before Australians plunge to the polls.

To start with a video on the ever heating New England campaign produced by one of my much younger friends. I had to laugh. At least I knew what GofT was, even though I've actually never seen it. Isn't that a terrible admission? Still, Clare has always kept me in touch.

When I first started trying to revive the New England cause, I naively believed that all I had to do was to put it out there and then people would come running, attracted by the evident self-rightness of the cause! Then I realised that so much time had passed, so much infrastructure and knowledge, so much history, had been lost that I had to start with absolute basics, the representation of  our shared past, if anything was to happen.

That started me on a journey that still continues. Now, ten years and perhaps a million words later, our New England past has started to come back to life. One side effect is that there is now a young group such as Carlo and Mat who hold to the dream. I dealt with this a little in Reflections on Joyce v Windsor in New England in the context of New England's fight for statehood. They may not agree with me, they hold to their thing (this video is an example), but I'm reasonably sure now that with further work the dream will continue in some form.


Sorry for the slightly nostalgic digression, but change comes because people persevere. Back to the main theme!

Now that we enter this last week, what are your comments on the campaign, the likely results, what it all means? As always, go in whatever direction you want.


This forum post was probably a bit to indulgent and self-centered to attract comment, so just adding a few things.

Referendum - or plebiscites. What's the constitutional theory? Am I right in thinking that the same sex marriage thing is both an abrogation of Parliamentary responsibility and a total divisive risk?

And what about the Senate? Does the Reps election matter when either side has to deal with a Senate that is going to pay the PM back in spades for his apparently clever political decisions?


Anonymous said...

Jim, there was nothing wrong with your original what are your comments on the campaign, the likely results, what it all means? post; the complete lack of interest in responding being far more eloquent than 100 individual comments.

afaics the main reason for calling an early election, inc. double-d, was to rid the Senate of those pesky independents. This has probably not worked, and along the way we have learned that 10 year 'budgets' are now the go - what's that? 2-3 terms? Sort of removes the need for elections in the intervening years.

As for your postscript, it's been said before here and elsewhere that the upcoming SSM and constitutional recognition votes will potentially be quite divisive - and ultimately not binding on our representatives anyway!? What a waste.

There was a telling headline in WaPo yesterday: "Brexit Is A Reminder That Some Things Just Shouldn't Be Decided By The People". Then it was rapidly amended to "By Referendum".

Both statements make me uneasy, but (like Winston C.) I have no better alternative to offer.


Anonymous said...

Just to note that the WaPo article is now reprinted in full on the SMH website.


Jim Belshaw said...

Good morning, kvd. And I suspect that the lack of comments is indeed eloquent! In our system, Parliament is the final arbiter and can be thrown out, so the circumstances in which a referendum should be called has to be defined. The change to the Post headline is telling, though.

The UK mess grows worse. Its hard to see Labour getting out of its current position without a party split. I have always been cautious about systems which make Party leadership dependent on "popular" vote. Apart from being a breach of constitutional principles, it also doesn't work.