The Australian parliament spent one billion dollars (0.3% of GNP) on a building to house itself. I would have liked to vote on whether we spent that billion that way. Given the chance I would vote to sell it to someone. Failing that, make it a public museum or library for ordinary people & send the politicians back to old parliament house.
I would have liked to have had a chance to not ratify the Indonesian treaty that Paul Keating made in secret with Suharto. I REALLY hated a treaty being made on my behalf but in secret from me. I thought that in democracies we elected representatives, not rulers. I REALLY resent a treaty on my behalf with that pretend democracy. Isn't it time we took the treaties power away from the prime minister?
The Australian government, unnoticed by most, is currently (July 1998) negotiating to establish a "permanent world war crimes court" in the UN. This court (as I understand it) would be allowed to try an Australian citizen, using trial procedures, evidence rules and laws which were determined by a simple majority of nations.
After the fiasco of UNESCO I am suspicious of United Nations established organisations, especially those established where votes by illiberal regimes might be used to control the rules or the agenda. I would like to see commentary on this important matter by our opinion moulders. I would like an amendment to the constitution that required that all treaties had to be ratified by two thirds of the Australian people.
RIGHT TO SILENCE. RIGHT TO FREEDOM FROM ARBITRARY SEARCH.
The immurian & elitist regime in the United Kingdom has enacted away the "right to silence" for it's citizens. Arrested people are warned that if they fail to give a complete explanatory statement immediately to the arresting officer, then that failure will serve to discredit their explanation when they are brought before a Judge.
The Northern Territory has similarly threatened to legislate away the right to silence.
The government of New South Wales in Australia has granted to it's police force the right to search any person whom they suspect of carrying a knife.
POLITICIAN'S SUPERANNUATION & OTHER REMUNERATION.
After eight years service Australian parliamentarians get a lifelong CPI indexed pension payable from the date of retirement from parliament. In late December 1997 at a few minutes past midnight on the last sitting day before Christmas of 1997 the NSW State Government Parliament passed an innocuous looking amendment that grouped their electoral spending allowance with their parliamentary salary for administrative purposes. Our selfless parliamentarians had surreptitiously increased parliamentary pensions by about 30%. When the plot was exposed, (probably by some unnamed but thrice blessed secretary in government) member's explanations seemed to follow the line: "Gee whizz, we didn't realize that we were doing that for ourselves!".
Federal parliamentarians are given reimbursement for expenses based on their self documentation of time spent away from home base on official business. It has been such common practice to claim the maximum expenses allowed without consideration of the actual cost that the Federal taxation office has drawn up requirements that reimbursements be included with income, and travel & accommodation receipts then be used to reduce that income.
Needless to say, the system has been rorted, with politicians claiming maximum overnight accommodation costs while sleeping in their car by the roadside.
Perhaps Australian taxpayers should seek to remove temptation from parliamentarians. Perhaps a pay package fixed at twice or three times the average (or modal or median) weekly wage? Return travel allowance by second class transport from parliament to home once fortnightly? Accommodation remuneration fixed at a maximum of $80 per night, receipts required? Perhaps we should compel parliamentarians to partake of the same superannuation scheme that their laws compel ordinary wage earners to use?
Government is not a business, and people motivated by money are not the kind that we want sitting on the treasury bench. If government ministers find money to be so important, one is led to wonder what rewards they are finding in politics. Perhaps there are financial rewards not generally known for those occupying the treasury benches?
In the USA the XXVIIth constitutional Amendment reads:
Some retired Australian parliamentary ministers seem to have cosy financial relationships with some of the regional dictators (or cronies) whose regimes were spared deserved criticism while the minister was in office. I would not suggest that any of Paul's dealings with the Matahir government would be improper. (what? *surprise* He doesn't do business in Malaysia?)
Am I unreasonable in thinking that such relationships are improper?
If Mr. Downer retired from politics I imagine that he might establish a good career as an expediter of trading agreements with Indonesian businesses (at least while any of Habibe's friends still were in business).
Habibe, Suharto - same kind of ruler. Both exploit & oppress the Indonesian people.
For other shifty legislation see the HEALTH page & the GUNS page.
Isn't it about time that we revamped our
In the USA the fastest growing party is the "Libertarian
Party". The libertarian party is not about licentiousness or
about the Liberal Party. It is about small government. It
about government not making laws other than to protect the individual
the harmful acts of his neighbour. It is about self determination
& maximizing individual liberty.
Anybody interested in joining the Australian libertarian party?archives