Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The good news is…

As world leaders and the international media congregate in Sydney, the front pages and airwaves abound with horrendous Newspoll figures showing the Coalition is just a couple of months away from extinction.

The poll shows Rudd’s Labor's primary vote soaring to 51 per cent and Howard’s Coalition falling to 37 per cent. Newspoll figures are here

The bad news is that whoever wins nothing much will change. It is hard to blame the US for George Bush when we Australians seem so intent on gaily tripping down the path of virtual dictatorship.

As I understand it, Canada’s PM Stephen Harper, does not visit Grub Street on a regular basis, despite the gems of wisdom he is missing. Harper will be in Sydney this week at the APEC gabfest.

While here Harper will talk with Howard and other Australian leaders about Senate reform. According to one of his drones Harper wants to know “if the Australians can have an accountable and democratic Senate, I'm not sure why Canada can't."

I could save him the trouble on that one. As bad as Canada’s Senate system is it is probably no less democratic or representative than the Australian version. Both, despite the local window dressing, are essentially a party reward system without any real trace of democracy.

The big issue, one gabfests will not even begin to address, is the steady slide from democratic representation to total dominance of the political elites under entrenched two party systems.

The simple fact is that majorities (bearing in mind major parties are the majorities) have a vested interest in maintaining their primacy in the system. They make and approve the laws which ensure diversity of opinion can not exist in out legislatures.

I accept that many American’s feel uncomfortable about the world view of their country, driven by Bush & Co. I would suggest that the issue goes far deeper and is a responsibility we must all bear.


Anonymous said...

Well over here, Senate seats are certainly not allocated as party "spoils" (Larry Craig's replacement aside). Our problem is money in the system, money in elections, money flowing like water straight to the lawmakers. We're a Corporate Kleptocracy, where government and industry conspire to loot the country.

Cartledge said...

The money would become an issue to me if the democracy was in place. I'm sure the money would become an issue to everyone if democracy was in place...