A drifting democratic cosmopolitan nation

Australian politicians, aided by proud ‘ethnics,’ claim that the nation has a greater variety of ethnic communities and languages than anywhere else.  But Western democracy, as prevailing in Australia, is just a contest between 2 major political entities; electors have no say about those nominated to represent us.

We also have no idea about the competence of those granted the right to govern us. And currently, one might ask whether we are ruled by Papal ‘Bulls,’ since the leading politicians of both sides of politics seem to be Roman Catholics (in spite of people of that persuasion being no more than about 25% of the population).

The flowing are extracts from my book “Musings at Death’s Door: an ancient bicultural Asian-Australian ponders about Australian society.” Refer Ch.4 ‘On governance.’

“The term good governance cannot apply without quali­fication to Australia. We are subservient to, or controlled by, foreigners in key areas. Our regulatory agencies, whose responsibilities are to protect the public, seem somewhat tardy in taking wing against predators; their strike rate also seems very low. The stimulatory financial assistance pro­grams initiated by the federal government to counter the threatening global economic depression at the end of the first decade of the current century reportedly led to much waste and abuse; yet, the public service departments responsible for managing the programs at state and federal levels, and their ministers, came to no harm.

A shopkeeper perspective brings in more immigrant mouths than we need. There seem to be large pockets of under-employed and able-bodied unemployed who prefer to be on welfare. Pensions galore allegedly enable three genera­tions of a family to live with security, and not that frugally either. Enterprise is thus over-run by dependency. Our politi­cians play silly games in parliament. And recent prime min­isters have adopted a presidential stance: ‘My government’ or ‘the government’ has been replaced by ‘I’. The ‘lucky’ country?

However, we citizens are not simpletons. We rank poli­ticians as low as we do used-car salesmen and real-estate agents, which is probably unfair to these latter occupations. We distrust politicians as a species, although there are some wonderful exceptions. Our unspoken thoughts are how we can ‘keep the bastards honest.’ We know that we are not well governed. But … are the residents of other nations more equi­tably governed?

Recently, Australian politicians were described as ‘mono-cultural.’ The prominent players on both sides of the political fence were said to be right-wing (Roman Catholic?). They were therefore said to be quite separate from the multicul­tural and political mix of the population. They were also described as not capable of good policy directed to the long-term interests of the nation, because of their pre-occupation with politics, the politics of minor difference, not policies. In this they are aided by much of the media.

What an assessment that was. However we, the hoi polloi, are quite safe from being totally bullied. Every three years or so, the political parties suck up to us. We allow the seemingly superior bidder a turn at the wheel of government. We thank God, the planets, the fairies, or whatever is responsible for us being able to choose. Not that the differences are significant.

… … On a broader issue, as long as foreigners choose to acquire more and more of our resources and enterprises, we will eat well. Security? Our stepfather will surely protect us! Ultimately, it is that amorphous ‘fair-go’ ethos of the old Anglo-Australian which will ensure that our rulers do not rip us off. Many a political peacock has lost its feathers at short notice. So mought it be!”

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