In my schooldays in the bush, the farmers around my little timber town often had the unpleasant task of putting down an animal that was in such bad shape that the most humane step was to end its existence.
Last week, I spent three days at Parliament in Canberra meeting MP’s and Senators – 33 of them in all – some for 15 minutes. others for half an hour. As usual, all were courteous and did their best to be helpful as I talked about plans to establish an Age Pension Tribunal, create Affordable Housing Communities, foster Intergenerational Partnerships and talk about finally achieving the vision that I have had for twenty years of building an Inland Railway.
My 33 meetings covered Liberals, Nationals, ALP, Greens and Independents as there are good people in all of them, but I could sense a background of unease everywhere.
There was a silent acknowledgement that the Parliament was not going well, actually heading towards a state of dysfunction.
The Coalition is divided into three camps – Turnbull, Abbott and those aligned to neither. The ALP is worried that the Polls constantly show that Bill Shorten is not popular personally and the other Parties are unsure as to whether there supporters might have become fickle.
The presence of death pervades the Parliament. It is ready to be put down.
For reasons that I cannot understand, the issue of Same Sex Marriage gripped the Parliament and tore it apart. It just needed a simple vote in both Houses, but it was turned into a national issue that will tear apart the fabric of society. Everyone knew they had handled it badly.
After all, we went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq without even a vote of the Parliament, but the fact that gays want the basic human right of marriage became a huge crisis requiring a vote of the people. It was incredible. The High Court has already ruled that they are entitled to that right and have asked the Parliament to legislate it. How silly can a Parliament get?
Then, the Government allowed a censure motion against them to pass because some of their MP’s did not turn up to vote. Incredible indiscipline.
But, the big issue was eligibility to sit in Parliament if you have ‘allegiance’ to another nation. I must say that I was unaware that if your parents were born outside Australia, you actually had to revoke your citizenship in those nations. I find that requirement to be quite stupid.
I have done a lot of reading about the Federation of Australian States in 1901 as I am writing a book called “Dinner with the Founding Fathers’.
The facts of the matter about Section 44 of the Constitution are that when the Founding Fathers were writing the Constitution, they were citizens of six different British Colonies. When they travelled overseas they were issued a British Passport. In addition, very few people did undertake international travel as it took months, plus a lot of money, to get anywhere by boat.
They took the decision that they wanted everyone to cease to be British and become Australian. This was achieved by the simple issue of issuing Australian Passports to those who applied. When they referred to foreign nations in the Constitution that did not include Britain or any of its Colonies. They were not considered to be foreigners. They were family.
If we uphold their intention today, no one from Britain, New Zealand, Canada etc is foreign and they can sit in our Parliament.
However, it has been turned into such a fiasco that it is best to shoot the entity that we call Parliament and call an election, giving all candidates time to renounce citizenships anywhere.
Indeed, the voters of Australia will welcome a new Parliament that will work.
And it will be a very different Parliament.
The Coalition and ALP and Greens will lose seats as the voters are angry and want to punish everyone in sight.
Hanson won’t do anywhere near as well as she or the media think she will. She operates on the politics of fear and bigotry, both of which have a small power base.
Independents will do well. If you want to have a shot at getting into Parliament, now is the hour.
Shorten will probably wind up with the most seats, but he will have a hell of a job putting a government together.
Nevertheless, this is an experience that Australians have to live through while we sort out the way in which we are governed.
My hope is that the Left of the Liberals and Right of Labor will join together and form a Party of the Centre, running a highly qualified batch of candidates in the following election so as to become the natural Party of Government.
Quite simply, its time for a revolution that will bring out the best quality of democracy that Australia can produce.
Let us accept the pain and the joy. It will lead to new life for a great nation.
Yours at Large
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10 thoughts on “DEATH OF A PARLIAMENT”
Interesting reading Everald â much of which it would be hard not to agree with. However I suggest that the thousands of Australians â both right and left â who perhaps constitute the silent majority might disagree with you on your description of the ideal new government and the question of marriage for all. ( I bitterly resent the corruption of the word âgayâ).
Apart from all of the things wrong that you describe I and many others are seeing a somewhat disturbing trend in Western democratic societies. Australia may be moving a little more slowly but just as inexorably. It is a takeover by so-called progressive liberals (left, right and centre) who believe they know the best directions for our democratic way of life. Their concept is describable perhaps as âwe know bestâ. Itâs formula increasingly brooks of no one whoâs views may be different, wishes to change the historical pillars of history and society as it developed here, and believes that those in the various establishments of our country are the best to guide the new direction. In hard-copy terms the everyday agendae of our society are being usurped by such progressive liberals whether they be LGBTI, socialist, or self-described liberal progressives supporting global freedoms, values and government. Political correctness is the norm in all theatres of life for these folk and fewer and fewer speak out on almost any subject because those sparked by this social redirection disallow any other views than theirâs and cannot even beg to disagree.
As for more independents â why? Yes our political parties need changing but Independents still push their own barrows too â rather than enlisting for whatâs best for Australia. Katter, Leyenholm and a few others may not fit that description but few others. I may not agree with their views but they speak out for what they and so many others believe in. They have some integrity in that sense. By the way and regrettably Barnaby doesnât look like taking the Nationals out and they will founder accordingly.
Back to the social hijacking subjectâ¦the liberal progressives or however theyâd like to be known are those who coined popularism for any who supported real political argument against their positions. Brexit and Trump and other less successful oppositions in Europe were all described as popularism or based on narrow fears such as immigration. Codswallop! They were about those who increasingly felt their lives and institutions and cultures were being changed beyond what they were prepared to tolerate. Their views were no longer listened to â just as is happening here in Australia now. In some ways perhaps this whole subject could be described as a conflict between Somewheres and Anywheres. I would recommend the book âThe Road to Somewhereâ which in many respects describes this âdebateâ and its relevance for describing much of this social wrestling within Western democracies. The research underpinning its suggestions is pretty thorough and wide-ranging.
Iâm sure youâll dismiss most of what Iâm saying Everald but neither of us worries about having different views. I still will always value your immense contributions to so many ideas and subjects. Hopefully you will still keep contact with me â even though I recognise you may be think some of my views as rightish. Well you know perhaps the worst issue caught in this broad debate is probably that most people wish for similar endpoints in society; Itâs just that they differ increasingly in methodology and plurality of possibilities.
But Everald before your latest issue appeared I had started to write to you about NSA so Iâll now continue what Iâd started to draftâ¦ I hope youâll forgive me for raising the NSA subject.. But as I ponder on whatâs happened since Michael departed I personally feel very sad. So for you as a wellspring founder I can only think that you must be very disappointed in what looks like its slow demise from the world of seniorsâ influence. Australia still needs a strident voice for the over 60s and NSA members must be singularly unhappy with how things are unfolding. At this time â we have no influential group punching for the over 60s. And this is at a time when perhaps the older age cohorts really need more representation. I understand you have met the new CEO lady so of course my mention of the subject may be totally wrong. But however well-qualified she may be it is simply unbelievable that no mention of NSA has been seen in any meaningful media. COTA is not the answer so possibly another group will initiate a replacement movement for NSA. Unfortunately any group that moves into this space will need to have influence with governments and the like â almost in a sort of quasi- political guise. That will need numbers as it always did even when NSA had some leadership.
Lastly and as always I hope you and Helen are in good health and enjoying life. I have a lot to thank you for in respect of opportunity, ideas and Australia. Regards carlo
Carlo Bongarzoni Associates P/L
9 Russell Street
Clontarf NSW 2093
T/F 9948 8975; 0410 335 523
everald..with all due respect, since the beginning of recorded history, marriage in western societies has been perceived as a union between a man and woman…father and mother
if it’s going to be something else here a popular vote is the only way to decide the matter
As usual, Everald telling like it is. Pity our leaders don’t take counsel from him – he’d sort things out, logically, efficiently and to the benefit of all.
Dear Everald..what a little house of horrors our Parliament has become..inhabited by some who treat US with disdain, so secure in their CLUB..oh how far they will fall.Thank you for the neverending effort you offer, perhaps you Might Think about a less stressful day by day existence as I sadly doubt anything will stop the inevitable downfall of the greedy and deceptive mob who are PRETENDING to care for any but themselves…our ” PARLIAMENT” with affection Gabrielle Drinkwater.
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Hi a great article. You will certainly the workings of Parliament. It is a sad state of affairs. Turnbull should resign. He is a complete dill. You are quite correct that a joint party should be created but it will probably never happen.
So is it likely that the Pensioner Tribunal may happen????
lets get this blasted plebiscite over with and get bac k to governing ..the people will vote and hopefully that will be the end of it ! one can only hope
Fantastic and spot on as always. Regards Sue-Ellen
Fantastic and spot on as always. Regards Sue-Ellen
EVERALD ..I’M ABOUT TO READ A BOOK about abbott and credlin ,and how they ruined the govt ….pardon my ignorance ,but does abbott REALLY think he can be pm again?…the mind boggles !
Well said Everald. Yes, we are in good shape, leaderless.
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