22 August 1999
Editorial opinion expressed on this site is unbiassed by any advertising dollar.



While Australians are in the mood for constitutional change, perhaps they should plan to do more than mere cosmetic surgery.  Perhaps there are improvements that could be made that would address some of the shortcomings evident in the current political system.  SPIN came up with a five minute list of problems with the existing system:

  1. Politicians use legislative powers to enrich themselves by giving themselves surreptitious pay increases & unwarranted remuneration. (e.g. NSW Govt. Christmas incident, 1997)
  2. Politicians rorting the system by giving themselves unsupervised allowances. (Federal travel claims rorts, 1997-8-9)
  3. Politicians using of money from selling off of statutory organizations to pay off political favors. (Telstra) or just using public funds to pay off for votes in sensitive districts.
  4. Politicians rorting the system by their appointment of cronies to statutory organizations.(e.g. SOCOG, Australian Wool Board, Qantas, etc...)
  5. Politicians manipulating outcomes by their control of the timing and phrasing of questions when legislation or referenda are offered to the public. (e.g. Republic)
  6. Political manipulation by "bundling" of electoral choices (GST, Telstra...).
The US constitution, although one of the world's greatest, is not necessarily the constitution to emulate.  There does seem to be some room for improvement as for example in lobbying and impeachment.  The Californian Citizen Initiated Referendum or the Swiss Canton systems do seem to have come up with a more equitable & less corrupt solution.

Instead of appointing windbag lawyers & political cronies (whose findings we suspect are predetermined by their politician patrons) to investigate and advise the Australian public, perhaps we should have a public media investigation and an internet report to the Australian people on alternative political structures, with particular attention to the above listed abuses of power evident with the present system.  Perhaps we could vote by email on various models, using some sort of preferential system to arrive at a consensus.

Lets get it done right this time.  In 1901 we compromised & accepted second best, which is why we are doing it again in 2001.  It might take another ten years, lets get it right this time!



The reason that Matahir will get away with it while Suharto didn't has probably got everything to do with racism and nothing to do with corruption.  The Malays are a thin majority in Malaya, and they are not oriented towards business.  The government has enacted racial laws giving commercial advantage to the Malay race.  Hence the Malay majority will tolerate a vigorous democratic opposition, but their vote will be unaffected.  The Indonesians are doing violence to their miniscule proportion of Chinese, and this will harm their commercial success.


Yugoslav General Petar Gracanin has reported that the Yugoslav army was likely to go to Kosovo in the next few days to take up posts along the border with Albania and Macedonia.   This is a consolidation of the recent Yugoslav victory in it's defensive war with NATO.

The reason that this war did not end with what looked much like a NATO surrender is that Clinton & Blair considered it a very important term of their surrender to Serbia that it not look like a surrender.  But on an examination of the terms of Rambouillet it can be seen that NATO got zilch.  It wouldn't surprise SPIN if reparations are already being paid to Yugoslavia.

Softly Slobbo.   Softly Slobbo.

The only battle not won by Slobbodan was his own indictment.  The acceptance of that bloodless defeat would have been a small sacrifice for a patriot in return for the victorious ending of his nation's war.

With the Turkish earthquake taking the world's stage, SPIN anticipates a rapid fulfilling of the other secret terms of the Yugoslav victory.

This page published 22 August 1999.