“He who commands that law should rule may thus be regarded as commanding God and reason alone should rule; he who commands that a man should rule adds the character of the beast._
— from Aristotle’s Politics
BACH, Siciliana (Alberto Lodoletti, piano):
The topic of changing Australia’s systems of Government based on British history, at large, is for sure not a new one and will raise to be subject of attention, – not only now but in years ahead. This because it seems more clear that existing powers can’t be the vibrational equivalent of the desired future of this increasingly diverse and multicultural continent.
Australia is about the 12th largest economy on earth with a GDP larger than various very prosperous countries. The measure of national happiness scored at the OECD’s “Better Life Index” that high that, whilst Australia not being a military superpower, at least this country seems to be the lifestyle super power.. I guess this is better than the other way around.
As a country Australia still enjoys a commercial influence with for instance the Macquarie Group being based in Sydney being almost the world’s largest non-government owner of infrastructure. The last from the Chicago Skyway to the BBC. From Indiana Toll Road to Thames Water in London etc.
In terms of diplomatic influence Australia is clearly becoming perhaps more than a “middle power” with rising impact via the APEC and the G20.
Australian prime ministers show themselves more on the international stage. However during the last decade the political environment within Australia has everything, apart from being a driving cultural force. Australians are increasing uncomfortable with the increasing low quality “Canberra fare” and all what happens around Parliament House.
I can’t answer the question why things evolve this way but share the same observation as many others in Australia do.
It is interesting to see that this country with almost the most stable economy in the developed world experienced the most volatile politics. The last of such a nature that it would be unable to coop in case of any major event or disasters would occur. The domain of politics in Australia has not the capacity to deal with major events as there is ongoing friction with hardly any quality discussion on the future of this country.
Australia’s good fortune flows at large from it wealth of natural resources, neither from the radiance of its parliamentary democracy nor related with it’s legal system. The historical origin’s with Britain are somehow lucky as on its own Australia never invented a system of Government designed for the nature of its country and its future, like the US did with a new constitution and its first President George Washington in 1789.
Unlike most Prime Ministers in Australia his legacy was exceptional. Both his leadership as citizen, general and finally as President kept the inexperienced US at that stage well on track through difficult times. He understood the needs for his country, he believed in what he wanted, like John Adams , Thomas Jefferson and many others. Needless to say there were flaws in some US Presidents as well, some more serious than others, – but the US would never existed any longer if they wouldn’t have fixed a system of own unique Government which suits the country, not being a replica of British systems of Government. True, a major adaption is likely still required to keep in line with the changes of times.
Within the dimensions of Australia, rather than devoting real time to directional leadership, – the current PM’s of Australia spend a disproportionate time in Parliament sessions, often making libelous statements and attacks on opponents of the opposition party, and vice versa, – and not spending the required quality time with Party delegates and “select advisers” on the future of the country and the required policy propositions to be presented. Besides this a PM is never real sure about his place because as the opinion polls go down, he or she may be well replaced by an opponent within his own party, without the country having a vote in this.
The state of affairs where Federal decisions are made in the current “Chambers of Canberra” are not reaching any ideal quality criteria for a country the size and the opportunities of Australia. It is often one attack after the other and the purpose of meaningful discussions on issues really relevant for the country are often completely lost in an environment where people are allowed to ridicule each other at a cost of levelheaded discussions.
Where corners are cut on the quality of discussions in Parliament, corners are cut on the quality of the future of this country. The last at the cost of all citizens and tax payers. This has now been going on for many years and it almost seems that this culture in Australian politics seems the accepted standard where progress on significant matters are insufficiently made.
If the level of leadership is not raised at the level of Parliament or PM, the progress of the country is delayed or takes the wrong direction, – and from this point of view we see an almost dysfunctional structure insufficient balanced with the needs of this country’s future. The quality is there but the structure does not allow excellence in government or in reaching proper legislation, and this should not be the accepted standard, – neither for now nor for the future. If this will continue we may well end up being “the less lucky country.”
Changing this requires constitutional adoptions on significant paragraphs. The last requiring proper thought debate and revision. It perhaps needs a referendum as well.
Whilst Australian seems to have been recession proof till so far, thanks to its resources and industrial people, not at large thanks to politics, – it is just the mockery in Canberra which makes Australia not politician-proof and with the lack of real leadership it is questionable whether this country can sustain on the long term. The last as quality and integrity in politics is a need to lift the country on endeavors within reach to succeed, on a different cultural spectrum, where people are engaged as well with day-to-day politics rather than disengaged and frustrated.
THE Gillard government spent a record $35 million on market research last financial year as it tried to read – and bend – the public mood.
With all respect for the British Nation on which much is based on in Australia about the structure of Government, Australia has grown the last 50 years to an entirely different Nation, with a different culture, in an entirely different hemisphere and with both clearly different interests and neighbors. The structure of Government which is good for Brittan is not necessarily good for Australia with its different dimensions for the future. And like the UK structure of Government would not fit the US, worse actually would have delayed the progress in the US, – similar but different, the UK template of Government is neither efficient nor right anymore for Australia, with too many things at stake, still too much progress to be made to make this young country more successful.
Whilst the balance of powers within the American Constitution in today US realities, are not always ideal in the expressions of it , the structure of Presidential powers balanced with adequate legislative powers with an impartial Judicial domain (controlling and preventing the errors of those powers), are far more preferable for a country like Australia in an adapted and more refined format. A more superior level of content within the structures of Government will raise the adequacy of Australian politics, both at home and abroad.
Where Australia has the potential to excel when real leadership and the most ideal legislative powers are able to take the needs of this country step by step forward, – we now face the reality of a current government structure, as once implemented as the replica standard for Canberra, now restricting the desired choices. Choices on the direction for this country in decades to come. But more favorable than witnessing the possible decline if the situation as it is does not change.
The reflections in public and TV on the level of discussions in Parliament are often uninspiring and the quality often so poor that people far too often in the democracy as we have, are disengaged and not really knowing what to vote anymore when it is election time. It’s almost a symptom of the decay of a democracy where the structure of the democracy for this particular country has never been subject for proper discussion,- as false sentiments seem to be the motivator to carry on like we do.
The structure of government can be like the power of an engine, and if the structure of the engine is outdated or poor, the running of the vehicle is poor. In Australia not fit for the rugged country site. In Australia –speaking about government neither fit for the mix of people nor for the desired progress being in the mix when the right circumstances are created. Not by pointless discussions in Parliament but by fruitful discussions and legislation within the required standards of politics, the last which failed the country for some years already because the sickness at the very heart of government spreads in the activities of Parliament. The only Liberal and broader viewed representative who could raise to statesmanship is the Republican minded Malcolm Turnbull, but he is not in the right position.
When Governments show that their words and actions match, people know they can trust their Governments.
People don’t care how much their Government knows, until they know how much their Government cares, and then their work is not design but destiny as the country feels understood in the desire to move forward.
And as such the sacred fire of liberty and progress can be once more ignited when government for the people and from the people is preserved and maintained on the destiny of the republican model. The last will fire up the country into a new direction through compassionate people with strategy and vision,- taking the leading edge on true government for the people and from the people, – in words and deeds not expressed as yet!
Even if you don’t agree -as yet-, give it at least some thought – because the mediocrity of keeping the situation as it is, will not likely be a shining light for the future of this continent with such increasing challenges to face as a nation and as a people. Good leadership lifts a nation. Second-rate leadership may tumble a nation into a plunge. The last which may even be the case in a republic. Hence the process of searching and agreeing on the best possible Constitution is the primary step to get the engine started…
And I would say: Let’s go for it, and let’s do it good, – and let the people being responsible for it, potentially, come up with a draft. A draft, representing a constitution, and with revisions being required, then being the best possible constitution which ever existed!
As with such constitution, we can select, go through the process, do the work, – to get really the best possible people leading this country!
And mind you, – I say this as simply a GP in a country town in South Australia, – not being fully familiar with the politics in Canberra, – but I just see that it can change, .. that it needs to be changed for the better, ..and that it invites to be changed, .. adding value to the foundations and the future of this country, – and I say: