First of all I want to get this off my chest: “what a load of shit”. Now, let me get to the real stuff.
Australia is one of the truly democratic nations in the world. Sure, it isn’t perfect — like most nations it is run by wealthy white heterosexual men and has a long history of native blood going splat in the name of Christianity. But hey, which country doesn’t?!
One thing we can be proud of, despite our ills, is that we have a nation that is pretty darn good in comparison to other “democracies”. We have a system of compulsory, preferential voting that ensures everybody’s vote (whether informed or not) counts. We have a vibrant pluralist system (occasionally), a strong bureaucracy (despite it being undermined in recent years) with fairly good appeals processes, and most importantly, a parliament that allows for alternative policies to the government of the day. Not only that, we have two current affairs shows that ensure that just about anyone can get their opinions heard. Unless of course you’re a hippy, a bureaucrat, a welfare worker, a dodgy builder or any sort of do-gooder. Alas, I digress.
I was talking about how Australia is a democratic nation, with a parliament that allows for something that is strange to the likes of George Bush: a viable opposition. Mark Latham, as the next Prime Minister of this country, has the FREEDOM, through this DEMOCRATIC institution that he is about to lead, to express his point of view on Iraq. Now, I may diagree with Mark Latham’s position on many things, but on this one I think he is right on the money. But, that is beside the point.
George Bush walks around, bible in hand, dribbling rhetoric about “freedom” and “democracy”, but does not promote it in his policies, in his speeches or in Iraq. But of course, we all know that America is an autocracy disguised cleverly as a democracy. George Bush acts in spite of public opinion and without the mandate of the American people. People cannot forget that. But again, I digress.
This democracy that Australia has, as complex as it may be, is more representative than America. Here, the government of the day, for better or worse, has the mandate of the Australian people. Sure, they are accountable in the Senate, but Australians like it that way. If the ALP win this election, troops will be withdrawn from Iraq. This means that Mark Latham will have the mandate of the majority of Australians to withdraw troops from Iraq.
Surely George Bush would not argue with that? After all, he is such a huge fan of freedom and democracy…