Forty-second parliament: open thread

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Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

701 comments on “Forty-second parliament: open thread”

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  1. GG, couldn’t agree more, it now becomes practical measures to improve housing, health and welfare. This will be the real test of our resolve, no more using the issue as a political football.

  2. [All peoples views are valid.]

    No they’re not, not if they are wrong. Some views are right, some views are wrong. Anything else is post-modernist quackery.

    For example, Nelson’s speech today argued that people – acting out government policies – had the “best intentions” when removing children from their parents.

    Nelson completely misses the fact that the policy was WRONG. It is not enough to have “best intentions” when what you are doing involves breaching the natural rights of other human beings.

    If you think “best intentions” is a reasonable excuse, then you don’t actually believe in human rights. If you don’t believe in human rights, you don’t believe in democracy.

    [John, I agree with you totally part of Keatings problem was he only listened to the arty crafty]

    No. Keating understood what the term “human rights” means, whereas the previous government didn’t.

  3. Ironbar loudly reciting the Lord’s Prayer leaves me nonplussed to say the least!
    Original sin, Wilson, is what God is still blaming us for.
    “Please God, it wasn’t us. It was Eve. We can’t be blamed for her wrong”
    Tell that to your constituents, you mongrel.

  4. [No. Keating understood what the term “human rights” means, whereas the previous government didn’t]

    ShowsOn is that why he was best mates with Suharto?

  5. [Ironbar loudly reciting the Lord’s Prayer leaves me nonplussed to say the least!
    Original sin, Wilson, is what God is still blaming us for.
    “Please God, it wasn’t us. It was Eve. We can’t be blamed for her wrong”
    Tell that to your constituents, you mongrel.]

    Reciting the Lord’s prayer is pointless, it should be scrapped.

    We are humans, we need to fix our own problems. If we can’t do that then nothing else will fix them for us.

  6. [ShowsOn is that why he was best mates with Suharto?]

    He wasn’t best mates with Suharto. Avoid lying, it doesn’t help your lack of argument.

    Or perhaps you are suggesting that Keating should’ve gone to war against Indonesia? If that is the case, why didn’t Howard do it when he was P.M.?

  7. In the context of a people in our parliament today who have a culture and dreamtime that goes back eons, the Lord’s Prayer sounded anachronistic.
    We are not simply a Judeo-Christian society, as was so vividly illustrated in the past 2 days in Canberra.
    Interesting that the man proclaiming it with the loudest voice breaches the very basis of the Christian doctrine. Not much ‘loving one another’ happening in that heart.

  8. ShowsOn, First I believe we both support the Rudd Government’s apology and out of respect to today’s message I think we can leave the debate about the Keating Government to another day!

  9. Well I realise people’s biases will show here but I just wanted to add that I thought it was one of Rudd’s best speeches to date. It was dignified, more human than some of his past efforts, and not too long. More like that, please.

    Also a major item introduced already – legislation for the dismantling of WorkChoices. If the coalition is stupid enough to block this in the Senate, the DD trigger will be pulled rather swiftly I should imagine. Even delaying it till 1 July will do little for Coalition support, as Labor has a clear mandate to move on this issue.

    I would like to know if there is any opinion polling suggesting that the majority of people want anythign other than an end to this system. I would have thought with the tightening in the economy since the election, WorkChoices can only have become even more unpopular. Julie Bishop’s position that this will risk higher inflation is absurd and she should eb challenged on it. Workchoices cannot both control the risk of inflation from higher wages and increase wages at the same time!

  10. [ShowsOn, First I believe we both support the Rudd Government’s apology and out of respect to today’s message I think we can leave the debate about the Keating Government to another day!]


    [This is getting out of hand. We need Martin B to declare a ‘moratorium’ on the use of that expression.]

    It was used appropriately.

  11. In writing previous post a DD election would be interesting for the Government is committed to cutting spending and we have had several rate rises although they would have happened regardless of who run last November

  12. I agree whole heartedly about scrapping the lords prayer.

    The scouts went halfway in the early 90’s with the scout promise.

    It used to be “…do my best to honor the queen and god…”
    It got changed to “…do my best to honor the queen of Australia and MY god..”

    Maybe something like that, which caters for most people is a good starting point.

  13. It does seem a little inconsistent that MPs can choose to swear a non-religious affirmation rather than an oath to God, but then have to go and recite the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ before the beginning of every Parliament.

    I think this ritual needs to be scrapped entirely, as it is completely against the nature of our multicultural country.

  14. [It used to be “…do my best to honor the queen and god…”
    It got changed to “…do my best to honor the queen of Australia and MY god..”]

    Better, but I’d remove “queen of Australia” and replace it with “The Australian People”.

    Our government is there to represent US, not someone else who lives in another country.

  15. What a great day, the opposition and government standing together to recognise the past injustices.

    The proof of the racist nature of the removals, the past policy and wording from the WA, QLD and NSW protectors of aboriginals, was read into Hansard as were first hand accounts of those who were stolen.

    It leaves no doubt as to what was being apologised for and isolates those who pretend it was done with good intentions.

    Credit to Nelson, he also helped make it an historic day, as for the MPs who boycotted the apology and parliament, it will also forever be on their record in hansard that they did not attend or deliberatley left. Future historians can make of that what they will.

  16. Jen 107

    Here here! Howard banging on about us being a christian society was one of his cleverest efforts at rewriting our history. But it was always a lie. For anyone who actually reads history books, Australia was one of the LEAST religeous countries in the western world through most of its history. Even for the anglo-saxon immigrants, whether you were descended from Irish catholics, Scottish protestants (or the relative minority of anglicans who were actually english), you tended to forget about religeon once you got to Australia. Religeous figures who were successful in Australian history were respected for doing social welfare work, not evangelising. Perhaps its only purpose was to serve as a marker of “class” in schooling. But even then, in a society that proudly said it was “classless”, how significant was that anyway?

  17. If I could just lob something in here – one of the tenets of postmodernism, as popularly received, is that there is more than one dominant progressivist narrative, and other points of view deserve exploration. In certain respects, the examination of the narrative of indigenous peoples and something like, say, an apology on behalf of a nation is very much in a post-modern intellectual tradition. I’m sure that Howard probably thought an apology was ‘post-modernist quackery’.

  18. re DD
    Bring it on.
    Would love to see Sophie Mirrabella get another whack, especially after today.
    Couldn’t be big enough or dedicated enough to attend the first sitting of parliament.

  19. BUT back to the point – wow, what a day. I almost feel like cheering for the Australian cricket team. Or at the very least travelling proudly on an Australian passport again.

  20. Here is some bile from Liberal hack Dennis Jensen:

    “There was a court case involving the Commonwealth and the finding of that, upheld on appeal, was that in the case of the Northern Territory there never was a policy of removing Aboriginal children based on race. Based on that, what are you apologising for ?”

    OK. So according to Jensen stealing children from parents didn’t happen in the Northern Territory, so that means it is OK for it to happen elsewhere.

    Why the hell do we elect thick people to parliament?,25197,23206555-5013871,00.html

  21. 123
    Yes Pancho.
    Musn’t little the grubby little people undermine such an historic and momentous occasion.
    What a proud and dignified race of people the aboriginal people are. Watching their faces as they listened to Rudd’s speech from the public gallery was moving beyond words.

  22. I wonder what Fran Bailey, facing an appeal and possible second election in outer Melbourne, thinks about any stalling tactics on the repeal of Workchoices? It wouldn’t help her chances. ROTFL

  23. #123
    Dennis Jensen also rackons global warming and climate change is a myth. He’s also a pro nuclear scientist I balieve. Says it all really…

  24. [Dennis Jensen also rackons global warming and climate change is a myth. ]

    LOL! Thanks for reminding me! I forgot that he was that idiot more concerned with global warming on planets other than Earth.

  25. John Howard is the ONLY living ex-Prime Minister did not attend the “Apology”.
    Was he so scared that people would throw eggs on his face or he boycotted
    this historic event?

    Anyway, I’m glad Howard did not turn up to the event. He would just spoilt
    the moment.

  26. Howard would not have been welcome. It would have been bad taste on his part to attend. Also, it would not have made any sense for him to be there, given his stand on the issue. Completely inappropriate in every respect for him and for us.

  27. Howard should have attended, then we would have had an unbroken period of recognition from 1972 to the present, from Gough as PM in 1972 to Kevin as PM in 2008. As it is we have this 11 year gap. Both sides showed overwhelming support for the apology so it was not a political thing, Howard by not attending emphasises the 11 year gap.

  28. Denis Jensen, the ceramics engineer, wrote a piece for online opinion which is very supportive of nuclear energy, and in it spruiked a product called Synroc which he claims is the answer to storing nuclear waste. Synroc is, of course, a ceramic. I wonder if Mr Jensen has some sort of interest in Synroc.

  29. ShowsOn @ 90 –
    I also hope Rudd makes Downer life-long ambassador to Iraq.

    As much as I’d like to see the back of his lordship, don’t you think the Iraqis have suffered enough? I’m sure inflicting Dolly on them would violate at least one article of the Geneva Conventions, and quite possibly all of them!

    Far better, IMHO, to give him a hammer and ship him off to help in the reconstruction of Timor Leste. While he’ll probably be as useless at that as everything else he’s tried, it just might get him reflecting on his part on that country’s destruction!

  30. Interesting first Question time,

    first point I like the new Speaker’s approach

    Second point Swap Wayne Swan for Lindsay Tanner

    Third point who are the Two Women MP’s sitting directly in camera shot, could they show a bit more life by at least nodding.

    Finally, Tuckey is an A grade tool with his carry on about cheer squards

  31. I’m pretty sure Tuckey’s toolish behaviour is genetic. At the very least it’s heavily ingrained – certainly I’ve never seen him act any other way. Nice to see that Gillard’s response was stiletto-sharp…

    On this morning’s events, just an immensely satisfying thing to hear after so much intransigence over the last decade. As Rudd said, there’s a long way to go, and it sure won’t be easy. But I really want to hope that this time something will be done – and given Rudd’s tone and the bright faces on show today, I like to think that it will be.

    Chris Pearce’s behaviour was truly unforgivable. Just a disgrace.

  32. When Hockey stood up in question time, during Swan’s answer to a question, and made a point of order about ‘relevance’ he almost brought the house down!

    Well, one side of it, at any rate. Lots of merriment!

  33. John Howard was out for his morning walk while “the Apology” was happening in Canberra. Still had bodyguards with him. Do all former Prime Ministers have bodyguards? Surely once ‘they’ are private citizens such security is unwarranted?

  34. Chris Pearce’s margin in Aston was cut by 8% in Nov to now be about 5%.
    Even ardent supporters would be shaking their heads and embarrassed at his behaviour. Pearce must be really confident of that 55% thinking like he does!
    Show your lack of support by absenting yourself (like others) or by opposing and calling for a division. He didn’t do either.
    To attend and then behave like a schoolboy shows how far the Libs, with members like him, have yet to travel.

  35. Also, from the draft minutes of Parliament:

    14) Ms Vamvakinou, 2:56:15 PM, to Ms Plibersek (Minister for Housing), Point of order, Mr Tuckey, 2:57:29 PM, Ms Plibersek, 2:57:54 PM, Point of order, Mr Tuckey, 2:58:35 PM

    Member ordered to withdraw

    Speaker ordered Mr Tuckey to withdraw for 1 hour for disorderly behaviour, 2:58:53 PM, Ms Plibersek, 2:59:11 PM

    My, the man really is a fool.

  36. Greens Leader Bob Brown’s move to amend today’s Sorry motion by adding a commitment to offer, “just compensation to all those who suffered loss” was lost when the government, opposition, Democrats and Family First all voted against it.

    “This was a timely move to ensure that proper compensation flows from this great symbolic Sorry Day in Australian history. The government’s policy to refuse compensation is wrong. As time passes, it means that many more of the Stolen Generations will die without due recompense for the harm done,” Senator Brown said.

    He’s right.

  37. For those who might not know where the fool acquired the epithet “Ironbar”. The more things change etc.
    Wikipedia excerpt:
    Tuckey is one of the most colourful and controversial figures in Australian federal politics. In 1967, while a publican in Carnarvon, he was convicted of assault after striking an Aboriginal man with a length of steel cable. It was alleged that the man was being pinned to the ground at the time.[1] He has had the nickname “Ironbar” ever since. Tuckey’s criminal conviction for this assault did not hinder his political ambitions. It is believed that Tuckey is the first federal Minister to have a criminal conviction for violent assault.

    Although many of his constituents are Aboriginal Australians, Tuckey has long maintained his opposition to Aboriginal political causes such as land rights and native title. He has been criticised for not doing enough for Aboriginal people and of having become wealthy at their expense when he ran his hotel in Carnarvon prior to becoming a politician.

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