I’m going to start out up front by saying I’m not an expert in political theory in any way shape or form. Having said that, I’ve travelled all over the world and seen and experienced many different cultures. I’ve watched and read the news from multiple sources on a daily basis and it seems to me entirely possible that what’s happening in Egypt today, Tunisia just recently, and perhaps some other Arab states in the near future, is the birth of real, genuine democracy for these countries. Continue Reading
There’s nothing like a good public scandal to polarise opinion. And any scandal that involves international politics is right up there. I’m talking, of course, about Wikileaks and its erstwhile founder, Julian Assange who is currently in prison for, apparently, sleeping with the wrong girl. At least, that’s what the story appears to be about. But it also appears to be about political arm-twisting, loss of face, political laziness, and a sudden, burning need to not only shut the gate after the horse has bolted, but to go out, chop down the tree, saw the wood, throw on some hinges and build the gate from scratch.
I know this is going to sound odd and a little strange – but I love voting. I don’t love elections – god, how much more boring could they be? – but I do love voting. Now, I admit that my love of voting is relatively recent. It was about ten years ago when I stepped into a polling booth, picked up a pencil and paused to take the moment in. No, I wasn’t on some sort of drug, nor was I dazed from a recent knock on the head. At least, not the kind you’re thinking of.
In recent weeks, the tragic suicides of a number of teenagers due to bullying has really raised public awareness of this vile and insidious behaviour. Bullying in any form is unacceptable – but those victims who suffer bullying because of their sexuality, get a double dose. Not only do their peers attack them, physically and mentally, but some sections of society – mostly religious – see nothing wrong with persecuting children because of their (sometimes only perceived) sexuality.
Back when John Howard was PM, a federal program was put in place to supply religious chaplains to schools, paid for by the government. This funding has now been continued for the next two years, despite a national campaign to bring it to an end. It’s interesting that, in a country where 70% of the adult population says that religion is unimportant in their lives, the government is prepared to provide religious advisors to 100% of the nation’s school children. I have to ask, why?
They say a week is a long time in politics. Three weeks however, suddenly seems like a century. Yes, I know we had to wait for them to finish counting the votes – but the three independent MPs who are to decide the fate of Australia were perfectly able to complete all the discussions they needed while the counting was being done. So what’s the hold up? I know I’m not alone when I wonder whether all the attention these guys are getting is slowing them down a little. Bob Katter has become a national celebrity overnight. Usually, you have to make a sex tape to get this kind of attention!
For those of you living under a rock for the last four days (or living in the US, which can, on occasion, mean the same thing) Australia’s Federal election yielded a stunning and history-making ‘no result’. The buzzards are circling, there are a few rats deserting various sinking ships and sub-editors the country over have completely run out of headlines that successfully pun on the word ‘hung’ without saying exactly how well.