If “democracy” is the punchline, what was the joke?

Australians’ cup of democracy runneth over.

Those lucky souls in the lucky country have the opportunity to change Prime Minister in a few short weeks’ time.

The state of New South Wales getS to change their parish council too.

How exciting!

Except, Australians get a new Prime Minister every 18 months anyway, whether they voted for one or not.

Seriously, they do.

Of course, this leads to a surplus of ex-Prime Ministers. By May this year, the list of people who are still alive and claiming the not-insubstantial pension and benefits of the highest office in the land, will probably look like this;

Bob Hawke (run out)

Paul Keating (bowled)

John Howard (bowled)

Kevin Rudd (1st innings run out, 2nd innings bowled)

Julia Gillard (run out)

Tony Abbott (run out)

Malcolm Turnbull (run out)

Scott Morrison (bowled)

That’s a lot of pension payments, allowances for an office and staff and, of course, the free Qantas first class flights for life.

Thank goodness the Australian economy can afford it. Oh, wait…

Voting is compulsory in Australia. Let me repeat that; it’s illegal to not turn up and pretend to cast a vote in elections.

Chances are, you’re reading this in a jurisdiction where voting isn’t mandated, so you might think there’s something to be admired by this system.

Well, consider the probability that a voter of above average intelligence could navigate and make sense of this voting form;

If you choose to number your preferences “above the line”, the candidates then distribute your secondary votes as they see fit, should they not win a majority of primary votes.

If you choose to vote “below the line”, you can distribute your votes to each individual candidate.

Either way, it’s not clear what each person stands for or what commitments they would give to vote in a particular way should they find themselves in office. There’s an awful lot of single-issue candidates in that list, one assumes the well-informed “high information” Australian voters have read each and every manifesto and election promise these people have pledged.

Yeah right.

Bill’s Opinion

Many of the great leaps forward of the human condition involve a critical mass of the population agreeing to believe a man-made concept. The value of money is a great example of this; a dollar has worth because enough people agree it has. When that changes, the value of money collapses very quickly.

Democracy is a similar fallacy that works because we say it does.

On March 29th, 17.4 million voters in the UK may discover that fallacy isn’t as robust a concept as they previously thought.

With a system as laughable as this one, the people of Australia may not be far behind in that discovery.

5 Replies to “If “democracy” is the punchline, what was the joke?”

  1. Democracy works because they say it does and the majority believe them.

    It saddens me to read that list and realize that there is every likelihood that the Hawke-Keating political leadership years may well have been a once in a lifetime out right successful partnership. First class the pair of them both singularly and as a partnership, they were the ones that got Aussie into shape and into the global market and realize all the benefits that have flowed to us ever since, never have so few owed so much and all that. The last of the great and visionary Australian political leaders it seems to be. Not many know this but Hawke contrary to his pre-leadership ACTU days actually dismantled the well entrenched and dominant collective bargaining system as it was known in Australia.

    And can anyone explain to me why ScoMo doesn’t go the Full Monty, draw a line in the sand and appeal to the Conservative rump of Australia. Something like, out off the Paris Agreement, drop income and company tax rates, take a knife to the public sector, confront the growing union movement square on, set the battle scene you are ether with us or against us. It’s the only way he and his party is going to have the slightest chance of a political victory and he certainly has nothing to lose and everything to gain in doing so.

    1. “And can anyone explain to me why ScoMo doesn’t go the Full Monty”

      Just a few reasons off the top of my head;
      – none of them believe in those things
      – none of them would be competent to deliver them even if they did
      – a 3 year federal team (and halve that for the PM) isn’t enough time to get even close to delivering it

      Pointless hoping for something that would require a change in culture, people and constitution to achieve.

      1. Points #2 and #3 are valid.
        They don’t matter, due to Point #1 being 200% correct.

        Scomo is too busy telling me in a choking voice, to “hug someone” tonight.
        He wishes he was female, so he could put on a scarf for better Muslim-hugging photo opportunities.

        He doesn’t even understand that I didn’t know any of the people at Al-Noor Mosque, I wouldn’t have much liked them had I known them, I don’t feel any grief for people I didn’t know, while I’m horrified at the slaughter, & want to see the perp hung in a cage in central Christchurch, my main question is why were the NZ (& Oz) security services asleep at the wheel?
        My main concern regards the Mosque slaughter is which of my freedoms is Scomo going to take away when he closes the stable door on the well & truly bolted steed named Brenton Tarrant.

        In real life, my business pays tax like a donkey, an amount Ten times the net operating profit.
        Far from the govt being any help, the main threats to my business (after the Bank foreclosing) are all government imposed.
        Underpayment of staff is about to be criminalised, while the award under which I operate now has more than 10,000 separate pay rates & allowances, plus more than 3,000 different employee classifications.

        Other aspects of the business now hold criminal penalties personally for me if a staff member makes an inadvertent mistake, or doesn’t quite do something properly……… in a country pub!

        The number of Gods I have to pray to are now too numerous for me to keep track of.
        There is one person on the payroll whose job title is “Compliance Officer” (a sick joke in a country pub)
        Their role is to maintain a filing cabinet & a spreadsheet of all the pointless government compliance & paperwork we have to maintain.

        Thought crimes are the most serious.
        Example: I have to maintain & update a “Smoking Management Plan” – filed with the Dept of … fucked if I know what dept…… the Dept of Smoking … perhaps.
        Any changes to this plan must be notified immediately. (You very quickly lose track of the number of these things which have to be filed)

        Anyway.. one of the sections in this Smoking Management Plan is all about the reason I maintain this plan.

        I wrote “Because the Law says I have to” (true)
        I’m fed up to the back teeth with this sort of bullshit, & at the time the filing of this plan was occupying 2 to 3 hours per day of all my key executive staff.
        However, writing that reason, got me a concerned phone call from one of the officials in the Dept of Smoking.
        He’d visited my venue, & was concerned at what would happen to me if I stuck to my guns on that point.

        I stuck to my guns.
        The official phoned me again, had a long telephone chat to me under the cone of silence. I changed my reason for writing the plan to some bullshit reason that sounds like it came out of Enid Blyton.

        The “Fire Safety Management Plan” I have to write, is 63 x pages in length. This is in addition to complying with all the First World Fire Safety & Equipment laws.

        Scomo doesn’t even understand this stuff. Tony Abbott didn’t understand it.

        I can’t wait to vote these cunts out.
        I’m all for Fraser Anning, at least he’s not a cuck who backs down at the first bit of hard going.

        1. @Steve I have worked in many boozers and cellars around the world including Aussie in the good old days.

          Don’t know if you are old enough or been here long enough to remember the now well gone Big O pub in Cairns. This was the infamous end of the road boozer for ever Aussie Bikies, packed to the rafters, live bands, bikes, no cops, massive sessions.

          I lived in Cairns for a bit and got offered a job there because of my cellar experience. So I went in during a quiet week day to meet the owner and get shown the ropes. He said to me whatever you, don’t go down, I said what do you mean dont go down the cellar, he said no on the deck if there is a brawl. The guy I was placing was in hospital because he went down and copped a terrible flogging.

          It was all female bar staff as well, it was that rough that my mates and they were real tight asses wouldn’t come in for a free middy.

          A big strapping cane cutter from Mareeba came down to Cairnsfor the weekend and was in the pub celebrating his 21st birthday. He was a bit messy but okay with it and when he decided to leave he purchased a bottle of bourbon from me over the bar to take away, happy days. He comes back in a few minutes later, he had dropped and broken the full bottle and had the bottle neck with the unbroken seal and claimed that mythical rule that if the seal isn’t broken I had to replace it. I told him that that was an urban myth and no can do, so he leaned over the counter and was that strong he lifted the cash register up with a scooped over arm at that length and I banged it and held it back down on the counter. He then tried to get over the bar for a piece of me and I had my hand on his forehead just holding him back, the whole bar including the bar chicks then congregated around us and started chanting fight, fight, fight!

          It was subsequently defused, just as I was weakening in strength and spirit by the Old Bill as I had called them when he first came back in.

          By the way when I was working in there I was also working in the recently opened Colonial Club as their head cocktail barman as I also had bit of experience in that as well, so it was one extreme to the other. Picked up so many lonely upmarket totty at that bar as well, but the true love of my Cairns stint was a pommy lass that done bikini car washes and drunk at the Big O.

  2. Not disputing what you said but their voting rump certainly do believe in those type of policy settings. Fucking mental as anything that they don’t and probably wont go for it.

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