Our Elected Dictatorship

In some ways I find the Australian democratic system to be little more than an elected dictatorship. When John Howard was in power, and had the backing of the Senate I felt this to be especially true. In fact, it burned me to the core. Our current system means that 49% of the electorate can feel excluded, and I was one of them.

How is that right? That half of the population can be deadset against the leader and still be forced to put up with changes like WorkChoices. WorkChoices strangled all hope I had out of the Howard Regime, he was actively targeting people like me, who work so hard for only a little bit of money. He looked at people like us and said ‘No, I think you actually deserve less rights than you have.’ Less rights. We don’t even have a constitutional right to vote! The vote is outlined in Section 41 of the constitution, the Franchise Act, which can be repealed.

If all wind conditions are right, and the tide is in the Senate can be of absolutely no use at all. How can it function if it does not provoke debate? If there is a clear and safe passage for the bills to be put through by the party in power, because they have more seats, how is it functional? Its not right for a government in power to be able to do all it wants, its reign unchecked. But that is our elected dictatorship.

We’re not functioning properly, this is not the best we can do. There are other ways. I can’t sit here with no say in whether we go to war or not, or industrial relations, or reducing/increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Going to protests isn’t enough for me. That can’t be my only voice. Its not even a legal voice because we have no guaranteed right to assemble so.. I’m struggling. Ticking a box every couple of years to me is not a democracy. Is it to you?

The worst thing is, the writers who openly criticise on their blogs, or in their columns can go to jail for five years for criticising the government. Thank you, anti-terror laws. We can even go to jail without trial and be held there legally, last year that did not seem so far fetched to me. It was the way we were headed, had Johnny won the election again. We saw people being shot dead by police, as they slept in their homes, R.I.P. Mohamed Chaouk. Last year I felt bullied by the government and whats to say this year won’t go the same way?

Rudd is a man who congratulated Israel as a democratic state. Doesn’t that just chill you?

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22 Responses to “Our Elected Dictatorship”

  1. antireptilian Says:

    Join the club. Most “democratic” (laughs ass off at the idea that politiciancs actually give a crap about what the proles think) nations are under dictatorship at this time, and don’t even know it.

    It’s time to wake up to the New World Order…

  2. This Devil's Workday Says:

    I don’t know enough about politics to understand exactly how the senate works, but maybe the senate needs a permanent fixture of equal representation for each party?

    I must admit I thought Rudd was going to be great, and I still think he’s doing better than the media is trying to make stories from, but sometimes I get the feeling that perhaps his idea of government is just a little too interfering than I’m comfortable with. It always starts slowly. Still, it’s better than the stuff Howard started doing.

  3. This Devil's Workday Says:

    Oh yeah that top picture of Howard is the best. Laughed my ass off!

  4. Andy Says:

    Unfortunately, there is no system of democracy that is unable to be manipulated, including ours.

    The real problem is that people like you, who question the leaders and the system as a whole, make up a very small minority. If the electorate had any sense, they would only vote for independents in the Senate, making legislation reviewable by representatives who can’t rely on (nor be coerced by) the party machines. Essentially, as a people we are hamstrung by our collective apathy.

    Citizen-initiated referenda, and a recall provision are, in my view, absolute necessities for a properly functioning democracy. Of course, we’ll sooner see politicians vote themselves a pay cut than either of those two initiatives.

    I take it you are critical of the Israeli side in their conflict. I would be very interested to read your thoughts on the subject in more detail…

  5. LuLi Says:

    antireptilian – I haven’t really checked out the democratic states of other countries, but it wouldn’t surprise me that they were similar. I think the only place with direct democracy is a city somewhere in Sth America.. Possibly in Brazil or Chile, where the whole community comes together to decide everything with votes.

    We could try to do that over the internet some way.

    This Devils Workday – That sounds good in theory, but then you have the parties who are very extremist and represent hardly any of the community, so why should they get a substantial say?

    I’m very wary of Rudd, on one hand he seems to be onto a good thing, and then does something that completely makes me hate him.

    Andy – Definitely agree with you on the citizen initiated referenda and right of recall. If they break their campaign promises then they should be thrown out. Its only fair and would stop all the lying.

    I’m extremely critical of the legitimacy of the state of Israel and their occupation of Palestine, and how they treat the Palestinians. Its nothing short of genocide and terrorism on Israel’s part. I may have to write a post on it soon.

  6. antireptilian Says:

    Luli

    Ask yourself, how can party politics work if each party has to stick within political spectrum parameters, eg conservative/liberal..

    The two party game is the political pigsty. It confuses us, muddies the water, and is used to mire our thought and purpose so that we cannot correctly analyse situations with clear unbiased view.

    We are slapped with the left hand, then with the right hand, time and time again, without letup. We put up with one party, replace them with the other, only to vote the original bunch in again years later. The main central agenda remains, while we battle with semantics that don’t mean anything.

    I agree with Andy, referenda, and god knows we have the technology to implement regular referenda, are the only check and balance. The power elites appear out of touch, because they are not serving the public. Instead they hold allegiance to other groups.

  7. LuLi Says:

    You’re right, parties can not just stick to conservative/liberal etc because sometimes that goes against the interests of the country. I for one, would not like to see a purely conservative party win any vote in Australia.. However, a purely liberal party could do a great deal of good.

    It is the two party thing that ruins us, and I hate it. I don’t want to vote for either and the party I think could do well will never get enough votes to get anywhere.

    We do have the technology, the internet would serve us well to vote on, after all it is safe enough for us to bank on, isn’t it?

  8. rayedish Says:

    I think that the South American country that you are thinking of may be Venezuela. Hugo Chavez is attempting to create a real democracy, but cops a lot of criticism in the MSM, especially from the US because of his attempts to nationalise the country’s industries, oil in particular. The Yanks HATE having their economic ambitions curtailed by uppity little democracies, especially ones on their doorstep, so he is portrayed as the devil incarnate for his attempts to secure both a real future and real democracy for the people of his country.
    And you are absolutely spot on about the limitations of the two party system and I am currently mourning the demise of the Democratic Party this very week in fact.

  9. LuLi Says:

    Oh ok, it could be Venezuela.. I remember it being only a city though it was a couple of years ago that I read this. Perhaps they moved onto the entire country. Chavez sounds like an angel to me.
    The yanks kill me with their demonising, when will they ever do something noble and for the good of no-one but the people?

  10. This Devil's Workday Says:

    Yeah you’re right. I don’t want those family first people having any more of a voice!

  11. LuLi Says:

    Bad, they scare me. Religion should not have any bearing on politics.

  12. Andy Says:

    You won’t find someone who is more critical of the transparently self-serving US foreign policy than I am, but Chavez is FAR from being an angel. Such organisations as the nominally-liberal Amnesty International have documented a series of human rights violations under Chavez’s administration, including extra-judicial killing, news media manipulation and censorship, The international media monitoring agency Reporters Sans Frontiers have ranked the freedom of the Venezuelan press pretty poorly (115 out of 168 countries.

    Chavez is no better or worse than a number of power-hungry right-wing regimes, he just happens to come from the opposite side of the fence.

    We have had eleven years of a hyper-conservative government in this country, and the damage it caused is evident to all but the most ardent apologists. However, just as much damage (although probably in different policy areas) would be caused by a government that was hard-left. The extreme wings of BOTH sides of the political spectrum come with no benefit to the people it should be serving.

    In my view, the real panacea will be when (or, more accurately, IF) we ever get a government that doesn’t form policy based on ANY political ideology, except for just doing what will make the lives of the community as a whole better.

  13. antireptilian Says:

    Andy
    Well said that man.

  14. LuLi Says:

    Sorry Andy, didn’t know any of that. Thanks for explaining his true character to me.

  15. clubwah Says:

    The British House of Lords is an unelected Senate – it seems to work fine.

  16. Andy Says:

    No need to apologise, Luli. I had high hopes for the guy when he first came onto the scene as well, but I suppose the old saying is true- power corrupts.

    I would be interested to see your views on the legitimacy of Israel, as well. I look forward to the read.

  17. antireptilian Says:

    Andy

    Have you seen John Pilger’s documentaries on Chavez?

  18. LuLi Says:

    Wah – Could be a viable option, I think I’m going to have to do some more research on better ways to run it. The Whitlam thing of 1975 just shows how cumbersome our system is during deadlock.

    Andy – ‘Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely’ will probably have validity forever. We humans are a tragically flawed bunch.

  19. Andy Says:

    Antireptilian-

    No, I haven’t caught those. If they are worth a look, I might have to try to hunt them down.

  20. antireptilian Says:

    Andy

    I think it is called “war on democracy” Most of his stuff is great.. check it out on google video

    http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=-4221598130733050551&q=&hl=en

  21. kaboose84 Says:

    Yeah but still, would you rather have a dictator that we elected? Or a dictator that put themselves in power? Maybe that’s what democracy gives us, the ability to vote for out dictator.

  22. LuLi Says:

    Well if thats democracy, then I’m not down with it. I need more input.

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