When I witness the machinations surrounding this election, I am reminded of the gang I played with at Primary School; No real direction, going around in circles, hiding when viable, inventing monsters to contend with , and always ready to press the ‘liar, liar, pants on fire button’.
However, I regard Democracy as the most significant advancement of the human race – particularly because my primeval Uncle Peter helped create it. Consequently any merriment I gain from the irrationality of the last eight weeks is not relished because Uncle Peter’s creation has been driven to perform in an unintended style.
Democracy is about government by the people. Simple really, the Government is a reflection of what the majority of people vote for. Straightforward.
Saturday’s election has not followed this course. Whether we look at the House of Representatives or the Senate, the election’s upshot is the same, a minority of voters will control the Parliament – the Country.
Consequently a parade of media commentators, academics, and other luminary’s is besotted with the idea that the masses have lost their passion for the major parties. So the equation is simple, this mass of people have migrated to minor parties and independents.
Unfortunately the reality is not so simple. Whether we look at Hawke and Keating, Howard and Costello, Rudd and Gillard or Abbot and Turnbull, we see Governments attempting to implement their policies while having to bargain with independents and remonstration parties (which received a tiny number of votes). As a result, a Government, whether Liberal or Labor cannot proceed to implement extensive policies when they are battling a tight electoral cycle coupled with the necessity to do “deals’ with a range of characters ranging from millionaire coercers , Doc Martin models, or a Party based on naïve dogmas.
The rationale supporting this impost is that Meg Lee, Bob Brown or Nick Xenophon view themselves as the electorate’s minders and will compel whatever Government to modify their policies to reflect their version of what the majority of people intend. In whatever guise this is dressed we cannot identify it as democracy.
Therefore the Governments of the previous three or four decades are hamstrung by this disorder and spend thousands of hours organising the necessary comprises and then justifying them. How Labor or liberal would govern without this yoke is debateable. Nevertheless the nett result of the persistent compromising is tangible and of real consequence.
Undoubtedly, minority parties and independents can promise whatsoever because they will never be ‘in power’ in a real sense. Undoubtedly they can pledge whatever and create a bond with electors; this is crucial within current machinations. The net result is in this next Parliament members with a minute vote i.e. Pauline Hanson, Derryn Hinch, and Jacqui Lambie will determine what proceeds, what’s modified and what’s scratched. Again this is not democracy.
While major parties have to ‘deliver’. An opposition and voracious media are waiting for any deviation from the proposed administrating agenda and will pounce and punish the Government; this pounding is increased due to the net effect of social media.
The result – electors become disfranchised with majority parties not delivering. So the Greens are seen as ‘delivering’ and are elected! And the media and co. forecast the passing of the major parties!! Simple...
The electorate should have been permitted to deal with Abbots ’14 budget at the next election. Simple.
Instead we have confusion; what’s still viable, what will be feasible now that the liberals are re- elected isn’t defined or decided in any ‘real’ sense.
Nevertheless a peculiar logic pervades which denotes that the Christian party or Derryn Hinch will save us in the Senate. This isn’t the democracy Uncle Peter helped build.