I think its time to spread the word on what is going on halfway across our globe in the land down under. For most Americans, these issues are probably unheard of, but I think this is important as it shows how politicians the world over are all the same. Same type of person, halfway across the world….
First off, I like this article about recent scandals: http://libertygibbert.wordpress.com/2011/08/19/parliament-on-a-knife-edge-part-ii-end-this-nonsense-now/
From that same story:
Apperantly, using a Labor credit card, a sitting member of parliament has been bailed out by his political party and they have allowed this certain individual to continue to pay for other things not just sex. This is because under law a sitting member of parliament can NOT be bankrupt.
And some interesting back-story to fill in the details of why this apparently minor scam matters:
To start, the current PM (basically president) of Australia is Julia Gillard. She was basically sworn in as we in the US refer to it as on June 24, 2010. In her position of power, she has caused nothing but trouble. First off, she promised when campaigning to be against any form of “carbon taxes” and the first thing she does after becoming PM has been to slowly establish a frame-work to tax carbon in Australia.
This seems rather par on course for politicians..as they say one thing, and do another. Another issue is that her Government is as weak as it can be. This means that the loss of any one member of its majority would cause another PM to be appointed who would more than likely call for elections at that point. This is because the Australian Labor Government (which is what the coalition or majority Government that backs Gillard is mostly of) has a rather weak leadership position and most Australians are against Gillard for the simple reason that she promised while campaigning that she would not institute carbon taxes and went ahead and did it anyway. This and numerous other smaller issues have been basically cramping the average Australian to the point that they have this picture that politicians in their capital have lost perspective and have lost any sort of actual compassion for the normal person.
To them people are just numbers, and this is a similar issue facing both the UK and the US. I might write about how this issue of elitism being out of touch is really just par for the course across the English-speaking world, but for now rest assured that in Australia its causing quite a commotion.
Although I did not write much on this issue, I hope this does help put some of the current scandal into perspective and why it matters. (Go to my link to get more information on the scandal in general, and in my opinion a better understanding of the issues involved).
Some other things heating up in Australia include the convoy which is slated to arrive in the capital tomorrow. In addition, this grass-roots opposition to the government which is calling for new elections is gathering steam. It will be interesting to note how long this current PM of Australia will really last with such a low popularity rating and so many Australians against carbon taxes.
The loss of just one supporter would mean the Government of Gillard would fall, and so to stop that from happening, they are willing to join a conspiracy after the fact to keep every member of their coalition from being removed from power. Never become complacent in the Government, it is after all more likely to be the tyranny that our founding fathers here in the US warned us about.
Good summary Ben, and thanks for the link. Of course, it’s easy for Americans to understand Australian politicians – because they’re exactly like yours! The convoy arriving in Canberra today represent a rough equivalent of your Tea Party movement, except that many of its members are life-long Labor Party voters, not simply disaffected conservatives. That gives the movement, should it take off after this week, a potentially broader base than the Tea Party.