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The Forum > Article Comments > Dare to hope for progress > Comments

Dare to hope for progress : Comments

By Mercurius Goldstein, published 1/11/2007

Who dares to hope that future governments will once again exist to serve the people?

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These are noble ideals and perhaps hold promise for the 2009 election.

The essential problem of all political systems is that those who have the power to create good law, will not do so if it diminishes their control. For enlargening the power of the people, there must necessarily be a subtraction of power from those individuals who rule us. So they do not act.

Observe that most (all?) laws passed are to limit freedoms and impose further controls over the population, not to grant greater freedoms.

A immigration minister has the power to deport, or to imprison, especially if you have a mental illness.
The AFP have the powers of the former Eastern European secret police.
Even the petty by-laws of the local council can wrap you in red tape.

The politicians and the officials will work hard and long to preserve their position and maintain their distance from those who validate their power.

Unless democracy runs through the entire rulership and is not some token gesture made every three years, these noble ideals you have proposed, will remain words and not deeds.
Posted by roama, Thursday, 1 November 2007 8:53:56 PM
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Your fictional "Australian Progress party" policies are not that dissimilar to the Democrats' or even the Greens' policies.
The only motive I question is to "Reduce the total size of federal government as a share of GDP to below 20 per cent". Why should this matter? Most Scandinavian economies tax at rates close to 50% of GDP, and come far closer to achieving the other ideals listed than any ultra-low taxing government that I know of. Now it may well be that 50% is unnecessarily high and wasteful, but ultimately, as long as everybody has enough to enjoy the benefits of a "vigorous, prosperous and harmonious Australia", then why should it matter?
Posted by dnicholson, Thursday, 1 November 2007 9:07:19 PM
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childish nonsense. this person has the 'fairy godmother' disease common to ozzie chatterati. "woudldn't it be loverly.." with some political lyrics.

the reality is oz is a modern oligarchy, masquerading as a medieval monarchy pretending to be a democracy. one consequence of growing up in such a society is a populace of gormless blobs who can't even imagine participating in real democracy.

go back to yer lattes and the fashion mags or form guides, politics makes you look foolish.
Posted by DEMOS, Friday, 2 November 2007 6:59:25 AM
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DEMOS... I can't help but feel your consistent negative harping about the doom and gloom of Australian politics makes you sometimes appear as tunnel-visioned as the many fundamentalists on these threads.

We get it. A direct democracy would be better. Okay... moving on.

(Plus, while I do agree a direct democratic system would be better, I don't think things are quite as bad here as you think. Believe it or not, we're not all merely puppets of the system, and you can actually engage with some politicians. They may be a dodgy mob by and large, but they're not the alienated vampires you paint them as).

They're nice thoughts Mr Goldstein, though I can see certain problems arising, and the devil's in the detail. The gun point for instance - okay, I broadly agree with targeting offenders not hobbyists, but that can also be used as an argument to relax gun laws in general, creating loopholes that could be abused - which would probably be anathema to myself, and many who would probably form the centre-left support base of the party.

It would be nice to see a party that does cater for the centre left - the democrats have all but imploded due to infighting, and the greens tend to be more of a fringe left party.
The ALP is now drifting to the right alongside the coalition, and Howard has pretty much removed the liberals from their small 'l' liberal tradition on social policies and taken them into conservative territory.
We then have the Family First and One Nation style parties, which as far as I can tell, are either catering for disillusioned Nationals supporters or are based on mild xenophobia tempered with conservative credentials.
Most independents are either rebel conservative National MPs, or with a few exceptions, lack the experience to be a true contender.

Not much for a centre-left voter to choose from.
Posted by TurnRightThenLeft, Friday, 2 November 2007 2:05:08 PM
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Except TRTL, from a policy point of view, both the Dems and the Greens are virtually identical, and both center-left.
Neither is proposing anything extreme like re-nationalising previously Government-owned infrastructure or services, or even decriminalising illegal drugs.

The Dems' "infighting" is nowhere near as bad as the media make out (I have a quite close association with them), arguably their biggest problem is inability to attract sufficient funding for decent self-publicity, and that Lyn Allison unfortunately lacks the necessary charisma to be the leader of a major party.

I've said it here before, but if voter who wanted to see the return of a strong center-left party voted either Greens or Dems (or both!) in front of the ALP, in BOTH houses, we might eventually get one.
As long as progressive voters keep assuming that it's safer to vote [1] ALP because they don't really think the Greens or Dems are in a position to run the country, or because they don't understand how preferential voting workers, we'll be stuck with a conservative ALP.
Posted by wizofaus, Friday, 2 November 2007 2:21:52 PM
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Surely the ideal political party would reflect the basic political principles of the Australian people, which are:

1. The government is the ENEMY of the PEOPLE, and can never be trusted.

2. No taxation with or without representation, with any deficiency in government accounts being made up from the sale of politicianís assets.

3. The main problem with elections is that no matter whom you vote for, a POLITICIAN is ALWAYS elected.

4. ALWAYS vote NO at referendums.

The moral principles on which an ideal government was run would have to be those of the New South Wales Corps.

The only way that any government could operate along the lines suggested by this article would be one that had invented a way of printing gold.
Posted by plerdsus, Saturday, 3 November 2007 5:20:42 PM
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