After another week of failed national government, both specifically around the Jenkins report, stalling on a federal integrity commission, voting to make it harder for charities to advocate for worthwhile systemic reform and the general - as Karen Barlow puts is ("So long, Federal Parliament and thanks for all the chaos", canberratimes.com.au, December 4) - battering to "transparency, accountability, integrity and even basic civility ... in 2021" and "a parliament oozing chaos", what are we to do as citizens?
Watch like it is a spectator sport as the election campaign unfolds? As Karen Barlow (again) says: "Election 2022 is likely to be win or nothing for the current leaders".
Well actually, it is going to be win or lose for we the people in regard to good government (integrity commission, sensible rules on political donations and elections) and what we expect good government to deliver us, such as a safe climate, habitable planet, job security, compassionate social security, affordable housing and a fair go for everyone whatever their circumstance.
To quote the filmmaker Michael Moore, democracy is "a participatory event. If we don't participate in it, it ceases to be a democracy".
So in the ACT we need to be interviewing the candidates as they emerge during the upcoming election campaign to see what they will do personally and within their parties to ensure we get a good government which is going to deliver for us all.
The ALP will win the next federal election. I confidently predicted the last so-called shock result. It was no surprise; remember the pre-poll budget?
I did however have Chris Bowen leading the ALP into this election and it appears I am very mistaken.
Following recent sensible declarations by Anthony Albanese, Scott Morrison will drag this out until as late as possible. Meanwhile Peter Dutton will shorten (pun intended) as Morrison's successor.
Did social media trolls inspire the PM's infamous "coal" stunt in Parliament and Tim Wilson MP calling Zali Steggall's constructive idea of an independent climate commission (like the UK's) treason?
Did social media trolls make the Australian Parliament an unsafe place for women?
Or, is it a case of entrenched political cultures needing handy scapegoats?
Ron Gane wrote a beautiful letter about the loss of his wife. It was a letter which made me pause and think.
On Monday (December 6) you published a letter from a lady who showed little respect for his love for his wife or his sincere belief that she had gone to a better place.
How does Ron feel after reading that letter? Does the letter writer care or is her belief more important than Ron's loss?
I have noticed how nasty many Australians, and I mean many, have become towards their fellow human beings in recent years.
My wife lost her dearest and nearest friend, a cousin, not long ago to asbestosis. She went through over 10 years of what it seems many fellow Australians would consider unnecessary pain.
But to my wife and her friend it was 10 years of joy, of sharing stories and of getting together and drawing strength from each other. She died peacefully surrounded by caring people, including the medical staff.
We and her many friends miss her very much.
Could we please try to be respectful of other people, even those with different beliefs to ourselves?
Congratulations to The Canberra Times for highlighting the issues surrounding Afghan refugees in Canberra. ("Refugees treated like 'animals' in Canberra", December 2, p4).
People should rightly be disturbed hearing of the pathetic treatment given to people who worked as our allies and supporters in the disgraceful war in Afghanistan.
This story by Karen Barlow, should also highlight our oppressive treatment of all refugees in Australia. It seems that even those who have helped us become collateral damage once here.
We have poured billions of dollars into the pockets of security firms to persecute and imprison people whose only crime was to come to us for help when their society was destroyed by our wars.
We would do well to remember that the reason people have become refugees over the past 20 years, is in great part due to the politically motivated destruction of the social and domestic fabric of both Afghanistan and Iraq. Australia's part in both of these disasters can be rightfully placed at the feet of John Howard.
The political capital he sought by partnering in these wars has become a millstone of debt, death and social misery around the necks of Australian citizens and refugees alike.
Oliver Raymond (Letters, November 29) sarcastically wrote of me as "signing himself 'earth scientist'".
For Oliver's information, I graduated with a PhD in geology, now commonly referred to as Earth sciences (e.g. ANU's Research School of Earth Sciences). My upper-case E was changed to lower case by The Canberra Times.
I am not "an apologist for the fossil fuel industry"; in fact the opposite. Fossil fuels should be phased out as quickly as practically and economically possible - beginning with thermal coal. Mining and use of coking (metallurgical) coal cannot cease until "green steel" technology (steel making using hydrogen) is mature about a decade from now.
Banning fracking would indeed mean the "sudden death of the gas industry". The gas industry is huge, and shutting it down suddenly would cause economic and employment chaos.
Mr Raymond is also wrong to accuse me of not caring about farmers' groundwater. In my November 23 letter I wrote "Fracking ... risks polluting the groundwater commonly used by farmers with the toxic chemicals in fracking fluid".
Mr Raymond should read my letter more carefully and think again.
David Perkins' letter on the urgent need for sensible, cooperative international action for a better, safer future (Co-operate or perish, December 1) mentions one point in passing ('the age of empire is over') that deserves some expansion.
Yes, the days of the conquistadors have long gone. In more modern times the attempt to regain a colony failed after a 30-year war. The French aim to re-establish an Asian colony allowed legitimate Vietnamese independence to be a communist cause. The southern army saw itself merely as a substitute for American soldiers, while the north was aiming for a unified, independent Vietnam. No wonder the resistance to northern forces crumbled when the Americans left.
Vietnam showed independence to be a powerful motivator. Remembering Vietnam, the Chinese will be wary of invading Taiwan. Not only would an invasion be costly to their international standing, but the sheer military cost of invading a well-armed and fiercely independent nation would be great.
The stupidity of the Greens has no limits. They have learnt nothing from the 2010 climate debacle with the Rudd government. Whilst Labor's 43 per cent climate target is too modest for the Greens it is a vast improvement on the Liberals' target.
The Greens should also be aware that the Labor Party at least believes in climate change and, if they win government, could be expected to be more ambitious in the future. The Liberals will do as little as possible.
So what have the Greens done? Come out swinging against the Labor proposal. The only winners from this approach will be the Liberals. The Greens really do prefer the empty glass to one that is half full.
At the car races on the weekend our Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, asked the nation, "how good is Bathurst".
Ironically we no longer have a car industry and now watch American Fords and German-made Holdens compete because of the Coalition's failure to support local industry.
Australia is one of the lowest countries in the world for sovereign self sufficiency; a fact highlighted by the pandemic. We could be utilising the abandoned Ford and Holden plants to build electric vehicles but that would too forward thinking for a PM constantly looking in the rear-vision mirror.
Relying on agriculture and multinational mining companies for wealth and importing everything else must be moving Australia closer to becoming a third world country.
While I always enjoy reading the Today in History column I would have choked on my Weet-Bix (if I had been eating them) when I saw that on Tuesday (December 7) the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbour didn't make the list. The attack brought the US into World War II and changed the course of history.
Mr Greg Hunt says his kids told him: "Dad, this is your last chance to be a proper Dad". I don't buy this. Does it mean that all the politicians including our own Prime Minister who has two beautiful daughters are not proper dads? Mr Hunt should come clean and say he is burned out.
Your headline read: "How Defence was able to withhold info" (canberratimes.com.au). My lasting memory of Defence "info" was the senior Army officer's spokesperson at a press briefing praising the helicopter crew for saving their aircraft. Little if any mention was made about the environmental devastation that was underway.
What a totally foolhardy, stupid and completely unnecessary stunt on the part of the Prime Minister to do a "hot lap" in a supercar at Bathurst. Does ScoMo's narcissism and penchant for being in front of a camera know any bounds? Clearly not.
So female Northern Territory senator Sam McMahon throws several punches towards Nationals federal director Jonathan Hawkes and this barely rates a mention anywhere; If the genders were different, would that have mattered to the media?
Some commentators say Gladys Berejiklian may not be suited for Liberal preselection in a federal seat because of the pending ICAC investigation. I disagree. I think she will she will be an excellent fit for the Coalition front bench.
The Canberra Times Saturday pie chart shows the thoughts of Canberrans. Would you, on your weekly questionnaire, canvas support for easing the penalties for the possession of currently illegal quantities of narcotics? This may help our politicians in their vote .
The late Peter Cundall was not only a gardening expert. His story of a Korean War incident, in The Anthology Australian War Writing, is a harrowing piece of great writing.
Who banned the use of the word "affected"? Why is everything now "impacted" regardless of the degree to which things are affected?
The last week of Parliament reassured us that "two bob watches" are still made in Australia and that many MPs are just as mad as they are.
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