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Strong Government

Governments pretend to be strong but are not. They are mostly talk. For example: we have said ‘Sorry’ to the aboriginal people but it will be a very long haul before we have rescued them from whatever factors are holding them back.

Again, we hear of the need for action on climate change but we get talk. In the Age of 19 February 2008, Liz Minchin wrote:

The Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change estimated that to avoid what many scientists consider “dangerous” climatic tipping points, rich nations like Australia would need to reduce emissions by at least 25 to 40 % by 2020 and 80 to 95% by 2050.

Does anyone believe we could do that? Really? The only start so far is that people have bought small cars – although the Victorian government is buying some hybrid cars.

From the same article:

As for whether Australian householders should fear deep emission cuts, a report … says that the economic impacts are likely to be minimal.


Australia could realistically aim to cut emissions 30% below1990 levels by 2020, at a cost of only 80 cents a day per household, without major technological breakthroughs or dramatic lifestyle changes.

If it is that easy why isn’t government implementing the necessary triggers already? It’s all talk. The fact is that realistic cuts will cut deep into lifestyles and it will take a great strength in the people, and very strong government to do that.

But the only way you can have that kind of strong government is to have the people involved in government decisions and independent representatives who are at one with, and totally dependent on their constituents.

We need strong government – based on the strength of the people. Democracy basically means strong people, because only a strong people can be self-governing – facing up to the costs that the demands of the present and the future will entail.

A people made strong by the opportunity to participate will direct – and support – a government by the representatives they have also had a direct hand in choosing, and who can be relied on to fully and strongly represent their views in parliament.

With full information on all issues available to the people, whose trust has been won by their representatives in parliament, we will see the power of the people making government strong to do what’s necessary – not waffling about pretentiously and ineffectively.

We often have strong government – strong to act unilaterally but often at odds with the people. It is party government, not parliamentary government. Strong party government is based on strong leaders – personalities who can convince or scare the public into choosing them – trawling in the voters like fish – with their huge advertising budgets, while the people at large are asleep in disconnected ignorance. We have had our Jeff and our Johnny getting carried away with the power with which they have been entrusted by a trusting populace which has foolishly left it to politicians to govern, rather than take responsibility for government in a workable process of self-government, which can be strong to do what is good and right but without the latitude to rashly embark on major decisions which in so many cases cannot be later reversed.

A genuine parliamentary government, based on ballot rule in parliament, can be strong to forge ahead with serious decisions, involving long-term planning with major outlays over a long period if needed. But such decisions can only be made with the public consciously and deliberately involved by independent and vulnerable politicians. To suggest that such politicians can be powerful seems perhaps anachronistic, but the truth of the matter is that in a genuine democracy, power is the function of the people’s involvement. Where the people are involved their power flows through their representative to the parliament in which he/she can be strong to make decisions because those decisions begin in the wisdom of an informed people – people who will not attack the decisions they themselves have made, no matter how hard.

By contrast, the pre-eminent power of party government, based on a slender majority victory with a little known or understood platform, creates an automatic and often irrational opposition to the decisions of the ruling party in parliament, dictated by ‘political’ considerations, relished by the media, but destructive to strong government, with restless and possibly violent opposition on the streets, by ordinary people excluded from legitimate democratic participation.

Under a genuine parliamentary government, with all members independent and every decision by ballot, there will be no automatic dissent in parliament based on sectional antagonism. What dissent there is there will be confined to the objective, rational objections (if any) to individual issues by representatives who are in meaningful contact with their constituents.

Decisions by parliaments under the rule of the ballot will be objective and clear cut, instead of ‘politically’ motivated, abolishing pointless antagonisms in parliament and  creating the strong government we need to handle the severe problems accumulating on our social, political and international horizon. Bold and costly decisions are needed, but without the power of a committed people, informed, convinced and motivated behind it government cannot be strong to do right – only weak and misguided – without the involvement and considered viewpoint of the people – a stumbling elephant.


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Double standards the awful truth.

As for the other attacks on Rudd, there are two awful truths. One is that it's simply too early to be able to get a definitive sense of how he'll do his job. This is terrible news for great swathes of the media, who need lots of black and lots of white right now, and nothing in between, thanks.

If you consider a good deal of the critical commentary about Rudd's eventual response to the furore over the mooted budget decision not to continue with the one-off carer's payment, you can see that it was based chiefly on projections of his future behaviour — not so much what he'd done as what he might do. Essentially, a frenzy of speculation had meant that the process of constructing the Government's first budget, likely to be the toughest it will ever produce, was in danger of being derailed. After trying a couple of distractions over such things as his "war" on binge drinking and seeing that them flop, Rudd cut his losses and pledged to retain the payment. All the commentary was of "this will be a very big problem if this is how he intends to govern" variety. Well, yes, but it's too soon to know.

And then there's the double standard. When John Howard caved in over taxation of petrol prices or politicians' superannuation, and when he used budget surpluses as a re-election fund directed at electorally important groups, he was hailed as a political master. When Rudd takes what under Howard would have been regarded as a politically astute decision, he's headed for a cliff.

Sometimes, of course, it won't matter what Rudd does, it won't be enough to satisfy those who say he stands for nothing but inaction. This week, he finally nailed down Howard's $10 billion plan for the Murray-Darling, put together a communique on service delivery and economic reform with the premiers and chief ministers, set out Australia's new middle-power approach to diplomacy, delivered a major speech on the Government's goals for productivity and innovation, and then set off for the US and beyond. On the trip, he'll carry those messages about global engagement and his domestic economic reform agenda to Washington, London and Beijing. While he's doing that, there'll be plenty of folks back home saying he shouldn't be there at all, which is their way of saying he should never have become Prime Minister.

This extract is from an opinion piece by Shaun Carney an associate editor of The Age.

The media in their thirst for a good story are always quick to judge. I think the Rudd government has started well and although many of the tough decisions are still ahead, progress has been made on many fronts and the Australia of today is already far different from the place it was just four months ago. Democracy has worked well for us and I feel it would be hard to come up with a better form of government.

The truth

John Pratt, you are very easily conned by the sweet talking Rudd and you are in for some nasty suprises.

Take his Education Revolution and every child will have a computer. This is a huge con as now the States have found they have to chip in money they do not have. Schools will not be connected to the internet in the forseeable future, so the kids will have to be content on playing Solitaire on their desks. In my local public school they have 16 computers and only three of them are operable. Some of them have been like that for 11 months. They just cannot get them serviced and the idiot of a teacher who is supposed to look after them has no idea what it is all about.

So he nailed down the plan for Murray-Darling but nothing will be done for another three years  - he is going to have an enquiry. It seems strange that all the experts know what has to be done, but Kev wants a plan.

Now really you have to be honest regarding the $1 billion he has given to the States for Health. That will be frittered away through incompetence and mismanagment. The only thing that is going to happen in the first term of the Rudd government, is the rich are going to get richer and poor will get poorer. As for Rudd carrying his message about global engagement and his domestic economic reform agenda, do you really think the US,Brits and Chinese give a fig about what we do here? How many aged care beds could have been provided with the money he is spending on this 17 day safari?

No hope

As long as we have political parties, unaccountable bureaucracy, ideological control and vested interest manipulation via donations and lobbying, there is no hope of change or real government by the people. To attain that state you have to change the approach and have people elected to a particular portfolio according to the policy they put forward and are legally bound to implement. Payment to politicians should be according to outcomes and nothing else. It would be easy to put forward a really workable, accountable, honest and beneficial system, but the lib/lab and their criminal cohorts would destroy you before you even got to the people. Government via voluntary policy and direction referendum is a very workable but, like peace, is of no advantage to the elite, as only conflict, suppression and war suit their purpose.

It will require a complete collapse of society or a voting revolution by the people for change to occur. Sadly 99% of the populace are just cloned ideological slaves who care for nothing but the illusions presented to them by the elite. The best people to lead the country are those who have lived a full and varied life and not just educated clones or political and union braindead thugs. History shows humanity does nothing to rock the boat, so there is no hope.

Strong government

As long as we have political parties, unaccountable bureaucracy, ideological control and vested interest manipulation via donations and lobbying, there is no hope of change or real government by the people.

I'll not argue with that Alga!

History shows humanity does nothing to rock the boat, so there is no hope.

But there's been a fair bit happening since we lived in caves!

Humanity in general does not propel change, but there are those who think and come up with new ideas which can work.

So all is not lost, difficult and frustrating though it can be, if you are one of those actively seeking to persuade others of the merit of considered changes to our needy democracy.

Good luck Alga.

Basil Smith

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