Friday, September 24, 2010

so, it seems that Australians are well hung...

I am, of course, referring to our recent Federal election...

I can honestly say that I am in two minds about this result.

A part of me is ecstatic that neither party holds a large majority in the House of Reps. That would lead to good, worthwhile debate over the issues that we, as a nation, see as a priority, right?

Unfolding events are starting to make me think otherwise. Our dear Mr Abbott (of previous
Abbott and Costello fame in the Howard years) is proving to be a debate wrecker, rather than showing a willingness to pursue an avenue of sincere, meaningful and much-needed dialogue and change. Recently, Christopher Pyne happily stated emphatically that the role of the Opposition was not to reach a consensus with the government, but to hold them to account.

To which our new Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen said:
"I don't disagree with Christopher that the job of the Opposition is to hold us to account. Yes, it is their job. But you can hold governments to account constructively. To give one example, when Tony Abbott announced his front bench he said, "Malcolm Turnbull is the shadow minister for communications. It's his job to demolish the NBN." That doesn't matter the NBN comes in under budget, ahead of time, works perfectly. It's his job to go out and demolish it because clearly that is a political imperative for the Opposition. So you're right. I think we saw Tony Abbott when there was a question about who would form the government say, "Well, we need a kinder, gentler polity. We'll enter into a deal with the independents. We'll have a new paradigm." Now, the only thing that's changed is that the independents chose to support the Labor Party. Now we've effectively seen that deal ripped up by Tony Abbott and the Opposition walking away from the pairing arrangements for the speaker, ripping that deal up, pointing to the constitution. The constitution hasn't changed. It's the same constitution as when they entered into the deal. They're now walking away from the deal. So I think there is a case for a constructive opposition. Sure, hold us to account. Sure, say when you think we're wrong but also come at these policy questions with some constructive approach, not just rip down, tear down, criticise everything that the government does and, frankly, all the evidence is Tony Abbott, while he's good at the sound bites, good at the negativity, good at taking an argument up, isn't very good at being constructive when it comes to policy substance."

A few days have passed since this discussion between the ministers on the ABC's Q&A. As predicted, the Coalition have announced that they will not support the idea of
pairing the Speakers in parliament... as it would be unconstitutional. I'm afraid I don't put much faith in a Constitution that doesn't fully acknowledge human rights and wholeheartedly embraces the concept of mandatory detention laws.

Poor Tony Abbott... he's so pissed off he "missed it by that much", to quote Maxwell Smart. He wanted to be PM, and he's upset that he has to wait a little while longer. Quite frankly, I'm waiting to see footage of him beating his fists and having a little tantie cos he lost to a
girl...

What scares me about all this though... is the question that is now residing in my mind:
Did we end up with a hung parliament because the population became THAT dumb that they have conveniently forgotten how we escaped the GFC under a Labor government?

There was a big swing to the Greens, which is a good thing. We need to have both major parties held to account and giving important issues such as climate change and immigration policy serious consideration. The Greens hold a balance of power now, along with our highly esteemed three
former National Party member amigos.

Labor seems to be taking the Greens seriously... so far...
But, I fear for the future. Mr Abbott is starting to show what he is capable of. He's not interested in making Australia a country to be proud of. He seems to be intent on spitting the dummy and making the ALP suffer immensely for not letting him have his time in the sun.

One thing's for certain though... it seems that either the next election is far more imminent due to extensive disgreement and opposing uproar from the Coalition, or it's going to be a frustrating and arduous three years ahead.

Ahhh, politics... I hate it.... and can't seem to stop talking about it in some way or another. To stop the discussion would make feel like an
apathetic citizen of Australia and the world.

To other matters...

The weather is slowly starting to improve. The temperatures are getting a little higher, and the motorcycle gear is starting to come out of the boot of my car in earnest. I have to start regularly riding again. I have missed it so. It's time to brush off the cobwebs and make plans on which route I want to take, where I want to go. Then, after returning to a feeling of ease on the road, I will decide on whether or not I want to resurrect the idea of crossing the southern states of Australia again. If I do that, I'm not sure I will return to pursuing the idea of fund-raising for MS research. I don't like the idea of being restricted by schedules and the like. I want to be free to roam where the wind takes me.

I still would like to embark on such a journey... as I've always said, it'd be good practice for conquering South America, or some other appealing continent. Besides, I think my blog and amateurish writing skills would benefit greatly from the experience, rather than devoting my words and energy to press releases and media liaison opportunities. Shit, I'm sure that a cure for MS is imminent... would a little bike ride like the one I have in mind make that much of a dent in the grand scheme of things? I think it would be pure arrogance on my part to think so...

As some of you know, I have definitely been taken down a peg or two of late. Sometimes, it feels as though its getting harder and harder to just bounce back from the blows as readily as I used to. I have been spending a lot of my
alone time contemplating, philosophising... I have always taken care of others, have always been worried about whether or not I can make them happy.... and it has never really been truly reciprocated. I guess I'm getting tired. I think a ride alone, cross-country, with the occasional post on the blog might be just what I need soon...

I don't want to
seek any more... I just want to be...

In the meantime, I'm keeping myself occupied with work... and classes... and medical appointments... The friends I do have are greatly appreciated, but I can't help thinking there has to be something more out there for me... If I never find it, so be it. I know I won't give up trying...

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