Monday, August 30, 2010

Little Tensions that the Hung Parliament has created

This week The Blowfly has been a 'sensitive new age blowfly' otherwise known in the surrounds of the garbage bin that is Australian politics as a SNAB.

A SNAB is particularly sensitive to the tension in the air and sometimes , if it gets too much, The Blowfly has to get into a politician's ear to seek refuge.

The Blowfly started counting all the tensions that have arisen because of the 'hung parliament' but soon ran out of wings and toes. Here are the tensions The Blowfly could identify:

  1. Bob Katter has raised the notion that his electorate is being affected by the ravages of 'economic rationalism'. He has pointed out that these policies affect his constituents more than those in the cities. In the country areas economic rationalism produces suicides and business failure as industries are decimated by competition from imports (such as bananas) and removal of tariffs (such as on sugar).When jobs go people often go because there are fewer employers to take up the gap.Rural communities often die as a result.
  2. The intellectual capacities of the public service , especially Treasury, has been challenged by the Opposition. The Opposition's economic policies would be too difficult for them to understand and evaluate. This is the Opposition's way of building a good working relationship with the mandarins that pull the levers on a day-to-day basis.
  3. People who are staunch members of political parties will be questioning their 'staunchness' . That is because they will come to understand the political power that Independents are able to wield in particular circumstances. Dyed-in-the-wool Nats, Libs and Labor people have been fed the line by their parties that the only way to achieve reform and change is to be a member of a political party. People who are in the seats of Independent members of parliament know better.
  4. National Party members will feel even more hatred and contempt for Independents.In the country areas usually you know what the word 'emasculation' means because you've seen it happen to an animal. When you join the National Party you do so because you believe that things will change by being in cahoots with the Liberals. Some come to realise that they are 'emasculated' by this arrangement.( Paul Lyneham has described the Coalition as 'an arrangement that saves the Nationals from having to think for themselves") When you see the light you either become disheartened,disillusioned or an Independent or advocate for an Independent.
  5. The National Party parliamentarians will become even more suspicious of their Liberal compatriots because the Independents are now setting the agenda. This is alien to good Nats who believe that they have ultimate wisdom regarding the agenda for regional Australia. The Nats will hate to see any progress attributed to the Independents because their own relevance is being questioned.And somewhere in some National-held electorate another 'faithful' member may seek to defect simply because they want to put the interests of their constituents before the interests of the Coalition.
  6. There is a classic battle continuing between two opposing forces in modern capitalism----the workers and the owners.In 2007 the unions found a winner in Rudd. In 2010 the mining industry decided to take on the unions and clipped their wings. That is why Arbib and Bitar have worked so hard to keep Labor in power.
  7. The parliamentary arm of the ALP and the unions, as backers of the ALP, are also examining their relationship publicly. Arbib and Bitar's roles also being debated within the realms of the Labor movement.They have been referred to as 'quants'----those who are simply interested in the outcomes of focus groups.They were also responsible for the fall of Morris Iemma in NSW who was trying to ensure that the state had sufficient electricity after 2014. While the unions are not against privatisation as such, they are against job losses. It is estimated that 3000 jobs would be lost if the last remaining state-owned power generators were sold off. Anna Bligh , the federal president of the ALP has already indicated that she does not want to see the NSW disease spread.The term 'faceless men' is now being used freely again.As Sydney-siders become increasingly grid-locked by their decaying transport infrastructure we will hear the term more frequently.
  8. The higher informal vote at this election has also caused many politicians to reflect on their own behaviour. This is a message from voters that none of the candidates are seen as suitable. If we have to go back to another election to solve this hung parliament the political machine both know that whoever can snatch these votes may well win the election.
  9. Christians and the Christian lobby are being pitted against young people.Many young people, who are heavy users of the Internet, are violently opposed to censorship of it. Many would-be Labor voters could be captured if the ALP was able to tell Stephen Conroy to desist from his initiatives in this area.But of course the Christian lobby would then question its support of Labor.This means that the interests of the Christian lobby are in direct competition with young, IT-savvy people who are the future of our nation---as is the NBN.Conroy seems incapable of seeing that child pornography will not be stopped by censorship. It will take police action.
  10. Sitting Prime Ministers somehow deserve to have their foibles ignored by their peers.Some people still think that Gillard 'knifed' Rudd whereas others believe that she should be granted some sort of medal for having removed a bad-mouthed, bad-tempered,pretend-Christian micro-manager from a position where he was about to totally stuff our country.It seems that 'ignorance is still bliss'.Especially in Queensland where no-one seems to be able to work out whether the ALP lost seats because of Rudd's mining tax or because Rudd was 'knifed'.
  11. Climate change may not be the 'greatest moral challenge of our time'.If it was then we would've heard something about it during the election campaign.Many scientists are appalled. So is Malcolm Turnbull.He put his leadership on the line over it and lost it by one vote.
  12. Hypocrisy is not a vote-loser in election campaigns.The thought of Tony Abbott passing judgement on KRudd's premature departure still makes me cringe.Tony Abbott telling us that he would 'never ever introduce Workchoices' made The Blowfly vomit.Why doesn't the media pick this up and highlight it? We might find now that the media are aware that they have a responsibility to question our leaders about the stupid things they say.The tension here is between the media and the people who read the papers and watch the TV.

The Blowfly is hopeful that these tensions will produce a better nation and a better quality of garbage in the bins around Parliament House where he has to live.

As he ponders Australia's plight The Blowfly concludes that the Australian populace have simply elected 3 Independent members of Parliament to assess the financial implications of the Coalition's election promises.

When they have done this and made up their mind we will have a Government.

The Blowfly has a quiet confidence that our nation is in good hands.

And he hopes the Independents have seen the words of Disraeli: "Next to knowing when to seize an opportunity, the most important thing in life is to know when to forgo an advantage."

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