THE POLITICS OF GOTCHA

Am disappointed that an inquiry has been called into Scott Morrison’s irresponsible action in secretly appointing himself to 5 ministries while Prime Minister.

Let me say first of all that I have total confidence in the competence of the former High Court Justice who has been appointed to lead the inquiry. She is above politics and will provide an objective report.

I also believe that Anthony Albanese does not intend the inquiry to be a witch hunt. He wants a non-political report that he can act upon in ensuring that does not happen again.

But, many people like me feel that, nevertheless, it will be converted into a witch hunt in the media, especially social media.

Unfortunately, it looks as though Albo is following the awful tradition created by Scomo, Turnbull and Abbott of constantly and unnecessarily holding witch hunts and this one looks like it is a replica of their efforts to hold power by creating conflicts.

It is a scourge of politics that must stop. It divides Australian society and does nothing to unite us. We are better than that and must cease to foster any form of a divided society.

The recent report of the Solicitor General clearly identified the problems caused by Morrison and Hurley and provided a basis on which to pass quite simple legislation to ensure that Morrison’s transgression can not be repeated again. It should have been passed through Parliament immediately so we can all get on with life and put this behind us.

Sadly, it has now gained Morrison a sympathy vote among conservative voters. Many of them were embarrassed by the abrasive way he performed in the recent election and were ready to forget about him as a genuine leader. They now feel he is simply being picked on for no valid reason and deserves their support again.

The incident also increases his ability to earn lots of money on the conservative public speaking circuit which is quite lucrative world wide. He is being billed as a great conservative who is being unfairly denigrated by socialists. A genuine hero for the cause of righteousness. This is of course not a true assessment of his character.

A better solution would have been to demand that the Liberals censure him at a Party Caucus meeting and request that he resign as Member for Cook immediately.

In addition, the Governor General should resign immediately even though he followed the established tradition of accepting the advice of his Prime Minister. He dismally failed to take up his right to ask questions of the PM as many previous Governors General have done. It would have been quite acceptable for him to ask this question

‘Prime Minister, I have already sworn 5 people into these ministries. Can you arrange for each one of them to send me a letter affirming that they agree to you also being sworn into their ministry?’

Forgetting about the legalities of it all, it would have been an act of common courtesy for him to do this with those Ministers.

However, the creation of a Royal Commission into Robodebt is a totally different matter.

This scandal was a horrible persecution of people over false accusations of theft that caused awful grief and suffering for sins they did not commit. It caused suicides and breakdowns in mental health. And it was carried out by a government that regularly denigrated welfare for the poor but happily gave tax cuts to the wealthy which was pure welfare at its most corrupt.

I fervently hope that the perpetrators of Robodebt wind up with the heavy fines or jail sentences they deserve.

There is no GOTCHA in this one.

The same cannot be said about the Royal Commissions into Trade Unions instituted by the previous government. It was a pure witch hunt & produced close to nil in its results. An absolute disgrace.

Let me close with this positive comment on the possibility of a world without GOTCHA.

When I was writing my book DINNER WITH THE FOUNDING FATHERS, I discovered that in the first decade after Federation in 1901, the Australian Parliament did not have a majority government at any time. Indeed, it had five Prime Ministers in that decade – Barton, Deakin (3 times), Watson, Reid, Fisher. They had no GOTCHA moments as they respected one another and passed some of the finest legislation in the history of our nation, much of which exists still today. They respected one another and amiably negotiated legislation at the Melbourne Club over a fine glass of Red.

Anthony Albanese and Peter Dutton should try it. The Commonwealth Club in Canberra would happily welcome them.

May we dispense forever with the politics of GOTCHA. It really is trivia but it produces minimal benefit and huge division.

In the cause of peace.

Everald

While you are here on my website, click on BOOKS and buy one – or 2 or 3.

ULURU REFERENDUM.

It is now time for Australians to vote in a Referendum that embeds the basic principles of the Uluru Statement into the Constitution of Australia.

This historic milestone must not be delayed beyond this year and, as the Prime Minister has affirmed that his government is ready to pass legislation enabling the Referendum to be held, it is highly possible to achieve this.

As my contribution to the debate, here is wording I believe should be voted into the Constitution as Section 129, with the heading FIRST AUSTRALIANS.

*An Assembly will be established called FIRST AUSTRALIANS, in acknowledgement of the heritage of the oldest culture in the world.

It shall

*be elected by a democratic vote of indigenous persons managed by the Australian Electoral Commission.

*consist of not more than 50 members who shall serve five year terms.

*formulate policies relating to the livelihood of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and present these to Parliament annually.

Parliament shall have

*no obligation to approve the recommended policies, but shall debate them and formally convey responses to the Assembly within one year.

*powers to make laws relating to the functions and procedures of the Assembly.

Let me have your thoughts on how these words can be improved.

In doing so, I suggest you note these thoughts.

I have used the least possible number of words as the more words that are used the more doubts can be created in the minds of voters by opponents who see words as an opportunity to nitpick.

I am aware that significant leaders of indigenous communities would like the name of the Assembly to be FIRST NATIONS VOICE but I have the firm view that this will cause the referendum to fail as many Australians will feel that it recognises indigenous people as a separate nation.

The Constitution states that to gain approval, a Referendum must not only gain a nationwide majority of votes for YES, voters in four out of 6 States must vote YES. This is a huge task and I hope that you will join me in working for its achievement.

It is important that FIRST AUSTRALIANS is part of the Constitution rather than it being created by an Act of Parliament as that can be amended or removed by a subsequent government.

As this year is the 30th anniversary of the Mabo decision of the High Court to recognise the land rights of Indigenous Australians, it is fitting that Australia now takes this next step forward in continuing to achieve a just society.

Written with a genuine sense of history in the making.

Everald

PS. Read my book DINNER WITH THE FOUNDING FATHERS to discover why aborigines, as they were then called, were omitted from the Australian Constitution.

EVERALD@LARGE

Click on Books.

HUNG PARLIAMENTS ARE AN ASSET OF DEMOCRACY

A revolution will occur when Australians vote in Election2022.

A considerable majority of us will express our profound disgust with a decaying political establishment that has long since ceased to serve our nation. We will vote in huge numbers for candidates who do not belong to a political party.

This will mean that no Party will win enough seats to form a government, thereby enabling Independent MP’s to determine who will lead Australia for the next three years.

At this point, the Governor General will be in a position of immense power in deciding who will lead Australia.

He will take advice from all sides of the political composition of Parliament, but he alone will determine what happens next.

The Constitution of Australia does not state that there will be an officer of the Parliament called the Prime Minister. It bluntly and solely says that the Governor General will appoint Ministers.

So it was that the first members of an Australian ministry in 1901 had to decide who they wanted to be their leader. Then they advised the Governor General to appoint Edmund Barton as Prime Minister. The tradition has continued to this day with every Governor General acknowledging that the leader of the winning Party would be Prime Minister.

In the event of a Hung Parliament, there is no winning Party so the Governor General will, at his sole discretion, invite the Leader of one of the Parties to form a Government. He is not required to invite the leader of the Party that won the most seats.

This right was affirmed when a Hung Parliament occurred in 2013. The Liberals had won one more seat than the ALP, but the Governor General invited Julia Gillard to form a Government because the Independents and small Parties advised him that they would support her, not Tony Abbott.

So, what will happen if there is a Hung Parliament after Election2022?

We must at this point note that the Constitution does not recognise Political Parties in any shape or form. They simply do not exist. They are a political contrivance of the Members of Parliament.

In choosing a Prime Minister, the Governor General can only deal with persons elected to the House of Representatives and is not required to choose the Leader of any Party. He is required to choose someone whom he believes can form a government and give that person a fixed number of days to do so. If that person fails to get a governing team together, he invites someone else.

At this point, the Independents have a key role. The Governor General will ask them who they will support as Prime Minister. They can choose anyone whom they wish from the members of the House of Representatives.

It is highly unlikely that they will choose either Morrison or Albanese as both will, at that point of time, be regarded as losers.

My gut feeling is that they will recommend either Jim Chalmers or Tanya Plibersek from ALP or Josh Frydenberg from LNP.

Whoever is commissioned as Prime Minister by the Governor General will have to win a confidence vote in the House of Representatives before he or she can begin to govern. If that fails, the Governor General will start the process all over again. But this wont happen as the newly Independents will be keen to show their worth to the nation.

Then Australia will enjoy enlightened government for the first time in a long time. Every Bill will be debated and upgraded before it passes Parliament. This will represent democracy in the manner in which it was originally intended..

If this scenario concerns you, just study the first ten years of government after Federation began in 1901. There was no majority government during that time, yet profound legislation was passed and some, like the age pension, survive to this day.

To ensure that this works well, make sure you vote for the best person on the ballot paper, not a political party. If the best person happens to be the endorsed candidate of a political party, that is good. We want a Parliament of quality parliamentarians, not political hacks.

The vital issue is that, when Parliament has to seriously negotiate every piece of legislation, it provides an opportunity for voters to convey their views to local members as they know that the MP will not be obliged to follow their Party line. It will constantly enhance democracy.

So if you are someone who has voted for the same political party all your life, please change that dreadful habit as it conveys to everyone in your family and social circle that you have a closed mind. You are really not that sort of person.

Yours in the quest for good government.

Everald

Voters are in revolt – fragile power will see a long succession of one term governments.

AS MY long-term readers will have noted, I spend much of my leisure time doing as much reading as I can, and I find it to be a most pleasant and rewarding life experience.
I tend to concentrate on books relating to history, politics, economics, religion and ethics, together with good novel to end the day.
A fascinating discovery of my greying years has been a realisation that no matter what subject a book is about, it has as an inevitable background the exercise of power irrespective of whether it is political, military, financial, spiritual, family or the influence that lovers exert on one another.
So, the use and abuse of power is a huge facet of humanity that intrigues me constantly and often sends a shudder down my spine when I contemplate its excesses.
Clearly, there is no way that I can cover all aspects of power in one newsletter, so I will concentrate on political power for the moment.
The holding of power in politics is a very temporary thing. It constantly moves from one person to another and the loyalty on which it is based is always fragile.
Added to the fleeting reality of power is the fact that a politician needs access to a considerable amount of money in order to win power, but often finds that money flows only to where power is or is likely to be. So he or she has to create an illusion of power as they realise that money a politician receives from loyal friends is just breadcrumbs under the table. Many an MP has found that his friends have given money to an opponent because they think that person will win and they want to have a link to the power that a winner will exercise.
Right now in Canberra, power does not seem lie with the Prime Minister. It appears to rest with a rabble of fickle Senators who switch their loyalties freely and vote on whims. Quite extraordinarily, a significant block of those Senators are controlled by a leader who is not in the Senate and who won his seat in the House of Representatives by less than 100 votes. Yet, the media flock to him because they believe that he has the power, at least temporarily to run the country and therefore their readers will want to stay in close touch with him.
There have been many times previously that Prime Ministers have had to handle a hostile Senate, but have nevertheless been able to manage the problem. But, we now have a situation where our current Prime Minister could be witnessing a dilution of his political power. He will be very aware of the fact that he won the leadership of his Party by just one vote, and he will be keeping a close eye on those of his MPs who hold marginal seats, as they will switch loyalties very quickly if they feel in danger of losing their seats.
So, power in Canberra is always very fluid, as Kevin Rudd discovered in 2010 when he totally lost his power in a matter of hours. It had dissolved without him being aware of it.
This brings us to a consideration of the power that voters have.
Right now, it is an undeniable fact that voters are utterly disillusioned by politics and politicians more so than any time in my life. They are disgusted with the antics that they see in Parliament whenever it sits, and most have little sympathy for the Prime Minister as they remember his three years of extreme negativity in the Gillard years when he constantly promised reforms that he would introduce when he won power. For a wide range of reasons, this reformation has not happened.
Adding to voter disenchantment is an incredible trail of corruption in the NSW Parliament and in Trade Unions associated with the ALP, plus the sad sight of the Victorian Premier holding desperately to power.
So, it is inevitable that a huge anti-establishment mind-set has taken control of the political climate. This is shown by the huge swing against the Queensland Government in two recent by-elections. The voters are simply in revolt. Whoever is in power at any level of government anywhere in the nation will be removed at the next election, whether they be left or right.
What this means is that Australia is about to see a long succession of one-term governments at Federal and State level, and this will go on for at least a decade until outstanding leaders emerge who can command political respect and bring with them a new batch of quality MPs who are not party hacks but have managerial competence, public respect and an understanding of the integrity required to exercise power wisely.
Those new leaders will survive only if they understand that power is much more than the ability to raise enough money to win and to carefully control the aspirations of ambitious MPs. It is indeed the power to competently govern, implement reforms gradually in a way that voters can understand and accept, then create an era of stability and trust, both of which are hugely absent right now.

We desperately need our own Lincoln right now. In fact, we needed him yesterday.

 

The war over power prices.

The “war” over power prices reached a crescendo last month with the Prime Minister and Premiers blaming one another for the excessively high power prices from which we currently suffer.

However, we should all stop playing the blame game for a moment and agree that it is long overdue for us to acknowledge that price rises have little to do with the carbon tax, because our power stations are antiquated, inefficient, environmentally unfriendly and poorly managed. We need to spend billions replacing them with the world’s finest technology, including our first nuclear power plant.