So, it’s goodnight Irene for The Australian Democrats. It’s a shame. I mean, one-legged vegan bisexuals and drunken Goths aside, once upon a time, say, late 80's and early 90’s, the balance of power in the Senate was in reasonably good hands. From Don Chipp to the brilliant Janine Haines to beard-lovin’ Cheryl Kernot, the Dems’ mantra of ‘keeping the bastards honest’ was fundamentally noble, and they stuck to it as best they could.
There was much to like about them. When holding decent numbers in the Upper House they were vigorous in fighting for concessions on any bill that seemed unfair to any reasonable thinker (though this backfired on them when Meg Lees went all retarded and shit on the GST), but they were never stupid enough to totally block supply. There was a country to run, and they were just sitting there with 10% of the numbers, representing the 10% of us that voted them in. There's a bit to be said about proportional representation, and indeed, Stottster said in Parliament yesterday, "We have achieved a great deal, we've changed the political landscape for the better, transforming the Senate from a house of the living dead to a genuine house of review." In their final hour, give them that spot in history.
They did my vote proud, unlike Bob Brown who got my vote two elections ago then pissed on that vote by turning his back like an 8 year-old baby on the President of the USA. Yo Bob, I voted for you to speak on my behalf, not not speak.
Now who’ve we got as a ‘third voice’? Well, there’s the Nationals, but they’re just a federal faction of the Libs. The Greens? Family Fucking First? Nope, they’re all shit, and all we can hope is that traditional argey-bargey between emotionally corrupt ALP factions will keep the machine in-check. Kind of like Nietzsche's notion of Dionysus pulling one way and Apollo pulling the other and the tension between the two is life. Unions pull one way, the chatterers pull the other, the tension between the two is ALP policy.
The Australian Democrats were almost perfect in theory. Not left, not right, just decent. But as a mathematician once told me, “In theory, theory and practise are the same. In practise, they are not.”
Vale, The Australian Democrats.