Posts Tagged ‘Westminster’

A sigh of relief or is there more to come?

April 24, 2017

 

Getting up early is a habit that I indulge in each morning. Around 6.30 am the kettle is put on. The kettle is made of stainless steel, has a whistle and its water is boiled on gas. It is almost the first sound that is heard in this household every morning. The silver crested cockatoos are usually the first at that lovely honeyed twilight betwixt dark night and morn’s light.

It’s been three weeks now since I had my morning’s coffee. I swapped over to tea instead.  Helvi still insists on her first drink to be coffee. Making both coffee and tea each morning is a rather nice change from the earlier solo beverage routine. This morning was special. France had voted.

Anxiety always follows me in a symbiotic relationship. I am sure things would just not be the same if all went smooth.  That was one reason I jumped out of bed with a bit more than the usual sprightliness this morning. Watching last night’s news with Le Pen and its right-wing antics had me all keyed up. Last time I felt similar pangs of fear was during the Dutch elections when Geert Wilders was in the running. I felt most ebullient when he was dealt a mortal blow. But…France seemed a different kettle of poisson.

What joy, what relief greeted me opening ABC’s news. Marine le Pen was second. The other main parties will now back the Emmanuel Macron who came in first getting 24% of the vote. The new wonder boy is likened to Canada’s Trudeau. He is on the right  side of politics but in a refreshing twist is actually promising an increase in welfare.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmanuel_Macron

Just cop this!

“he is “neither right nor left” and that he advocates “a collective solidarity”

And what really attracts me is the following;

“In his book Revolution, published in November 2016, Macron presents himself as both a “leftist” and a “liberal … if by liberalism one means trust in man.”[39] With his party En Marche!, Macron’s stated aim is to transcend the left–right divide in a manner similar to François Bayrou or Jacques Chaban-Delmas, asserting that “the real divide in our country … is between progressives and conservatives”. With the launch of his independent candidacy and his use of anti-establishment rhetoric, Macron has been labelled a “populist” by some observers, notably Manuel Valls, but Macron rejects this term.”[40][41]

France does not suffer from the Westminster political system,  wherein any change is almost impossible to achieve seeing the aim of the British system is to forever try and knock the opposition out by endless warring and shouting from a chair high up ‘order- order.’

With the German right wing in retreat the world is again showing signs that xenophobia and fear of the foreign might be fading. I don’t know how we in Australia will go. At least this government is also getting on the nose, and I don’t think Pauline Hanson is making much headway anymore either.

I feel so much better now, and might even have a coffee again.

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How Seniors grapple with complications of Governing.

July 7, 2016

Almost There

Almost There


Each evening, and with the demeanour of a black coated undertaker giving a quote for a juicy burial, we get to see our top AEC ( Australian Electioneering Commissioner) scrutineer on the telly, giving us solemnly the latest count on the last Federal Election. This commissioner is without bias and sworn to total independency as far as his political views are concerned. He is neutral. It is why he is very serious in his delivery of the latest numbers. He is so careful and weighs up the words carefully. If he was any more careful he would just cough slightly or wipe his chin adroitly. He looks as if he practised his art in front of his wife, or, in the case of no wife, in front of the mirror.

Now, faced with a battery of cameras he is without doubt having his moment of fame. Not, that he shows any enjoyment. Remember, joy could easily be seen as being biased. It would be surprising if he did not hold a political view. I would bet he is a conservative. How could anyone not become a scrutineer without also devoid of a free spirit? As our chief scrutineer intones the latest figures, the camera takes us to the room where a whole army of scrutineers are counting the voting papers. Row after row of tables covered with both green coloured and white sheets of papers. It is a very complicated affair, and for those not British born, too esoteric too even come close to comprehending. A bit like cricket really. Far too many numbers and variables.

The vote, and that includes all votes apparently, can go elsewhere in a process called ‘giving preferences.’ In a two horse race, ( I just learned this phrase recently) any vote to another party ends up mainly with either the Conservatives (Liberal National Party) or Labor. Labor without the ‘u’ in it! Another mystery. Yet, I remember many years ago back around 1977 or so, when I became an Australian national citizen, things appeared fairly simple. The ceremony for Nationalisation was held at the Sydney Town-Hall. We were given the choice to swear by oath our allegiance to Australia either on the bible or alternatively to the English Queen. I hope I have this right. I remember that it was a difficult choice, as I believe in neither.

Even so, it was a mass ceremony with hundreds of European migrants. No good being surly, and in any case, a cup-o-tea with Arnett’s biscuits, compliments of the salvos followed. I duly went on the stage and was giving a certificate of Australian Nationality. This certificate is in a box somewhere together with my high school diplomas, birth/marriage certificates and other washed up flotsam of time gone by. It is funny, that till this day I am still reluctant to accept so much that seems incomprehensible. This finding of so much that remains incomprehensible is an attitude of the curmudgeon. An obsession with the finicky. Just because I became Australian doesn’t seem to include me in the welcoming psyche of just acceptance on how things can be different in different cultures.

Going back to the voting. I read up about the Westminster system and the Adversarial part of it. I will make greater effort in understanding that the senate voting does not coincide with voting for the lower house except with a double dissolution of both houses. I will try and understand that some senators run for a six year period but others just three years. Further more, I will desist trying to come to grips with the preferential system of voting. I will desists asking; but why? I will resist, writing letters to the ABC, on why I think a multi party system would avoid all those preferential votes going anywhere accept there where the voter voted for.

I want to be a true believer, an Australian.

The latest! A tumultuous night.

September 14, 2015

photoflooded river

It had to happen. A new Prime Minister for Australia. He is Malcolm Turnbull. A rich man who doesn’t need the job but whose whole adult life has been driven to become a PM of Australia. An ex-banker and  top notch legal eagle married to woman whose family  is famous and highly regarded. If Australia had royalty, the late Robert Hughes of the Fatal Shores and world’s best known art critic and his QC brother Tom Hughes would both be Emperors. Our new PM’s wife is Lucy Turnbull daughter of Tom Hughes. She was Sydney’s Lord Mayor during 2003/2004. It is of course one of the oddities of our language and  culture that a Lord can be a woman. It is no wonder things about the English lend themselves to great TV comedy. Of course a female Lord is balanced by a male worker in a hospital  called a sister or even, if of a higher order, Matron!

No matter what, last night’s drama was played out on TV. Millions settled on their couches after about 4pm and followed the show. The world of Twitter and face-book went in overdrive. A secret ballot ( the second within six months) was taken after all the Liberal MP’s, ministers, backbencher et all filed into Parliament House. It was great drama. The triumphant Malcolm duly appeared as the victor on TV and gave it his best not to look too smug, giving due praise to the vanquished Tony Abbott whose whole life had also been geared to become a PM. He did, but was unable to see out his first term as PM. Not a good rapport card!

It seems he was unable to shake off his perceived brilliance as opposition leader and for two years as PM remained as if in opposition while being PM, continuously attacking his opposition and failing badly to come up with anything  in the area of making policies. He was famous for three word slogans;  The perennial ‘stopping the boats’, ‘stopping  carbon tax’, ‘leaders not leaners’ and of course, ‘ jobs and growth.’ Of course, the Westminster system thrives on adversity and invites attacking in ‘holding to account’ much more than seeking consensus. He had great trouble resisting doing things on his own bat. The bizarre Knighthood to Prince Phillip was a huge blunder.

No matter what, as a human being he must be hurting badly. His ambition to be seen as a good PM now denied. He too worked towards that his whole life. He failed in becoming a Jesuit priest but overcame by entering politics.  Of course, he did manage to get to the top job but his defeat last night an unimaginable and undignified knock-out blow.  He would know as an ex boxer.  In leading one has to take the people with you. That was something he failed in. He kept making ‘captain’s calls’ and when there was a spill and secret ballot six months ago promised to be inclusive. He said and I quote “today is the first day of a new and more inclusive Government”. As the weeks went on, things went bad. Costly helicopter flights to private functions. All and sundry dipping into allowances, hiring limousines and whooping it up in overseas first class travel with spouses in tow.

It is strange, but the present state of our Strata- adventure seemed a bit like last night’s political drama. The people were not taken in consideration. A decision to spend $40.000,- was a captain’s call by a single person if ever there was. Of course the spending  of owner’s money without them knowing anything about that was ludicrous. How did anyone think they could get away with it? I had a call yesterday and spoke with the NSW’s Fair Trade and was reassured that an new meeting has to be held and that all owners have to be informed of a decision to consider painting. After that, if the majority approve, the sinking fund has to have the funds to pay for it, either by waiting or raising a special levy. Oddly enough, The dept. of Fair Trading  named as Strata Manager  someone I never heard off. Is there now a new manager? What happened to the old one?

We shall see.