Nazgul

Further to the post immediately below on Howard’s “gut the Senate” referendum scam, I see both Paddy McGuinness and Alan Wood have come out in predictable lockstep support of the Dark Lord’s proposal. Expect the other Wringwraiths to follow suit: Janet Albrechtsen, Miranda Devine and, on talkback radio, Alan Jones and Stan Zemanek.

But that’s only six. Any nominations for the other 3 ozmedia Nazgul?

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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Scott Wickstein
2022 years ago

But, Ken, who is the Chief Nazgul? King of Agmar, sorcerer, Spear in the hand of Sauron!

None other but Glenn Milne, the Poison Dwarf himself!

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Good point. Then there’s Piers Akerman, of course. How could I have forgotten him? And Andrew Bolt. Both can be relied on to take a staunchly pro-Howard line on just about any issue. That’s all nine.

I should note that you can make a similar list of pro-Labor pundits, but their allegiances are split between various leadership contenders. They think for themselves (after a fashion), or at least parrot the leaks and press releases of their favourite contender. The listed pro-Howard pundits, on the other hand, are all truly in thrall to the Dark Lord.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

Are you currently channelling Margo Kingston, Ken…..?

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

I just whipped into the bathroom to make sure I’d flushed the toilet.

Bargarz
2022 years ago

I can see John Laws, the Golden Hairpiece himself, dipping his oar in too. His mates on the other side of politics have had their own problems with the “unrepresentaive swill”.

bargarz
2022 years ago

Bah! I need more schooling or caffeine. Or both.
U-N-R-E-P-R-E-S-E-N-T-A-T-I-V-E

Dave Ricardo
Dave Ricardo
2022 years ago

I think at least one of the evil nine will oppose Howard on this, because (a) they are conservatives (or so they say) and so will oppose any radical change and (b) they realise that one day, maybe sooner, maybe later, the Labor Party will be back in government and this will give them the saloon ride to whatever they want.

Long term thinkers in rhe Labor Party might also decide that it could be a good thing for them not to have to deal with Lees, Brown, Harradine and the rest of that motley crew , and their successors, just to get legislation passed.

Dave Ricardo
Dave Ricardo
2022 years ago

By the way, it’ll never happen. Early on in Little Johnny’s regime he got upset at the Senate and proposed that it be elected by some non-PR method which would give him the numbers. This idea went nowhere.

And even if Little Johnny was hubristic enough to put his latest stream of consciousness up at a referendum, why does anyone think it would be get passed? The voters have shown that don’t want the government to have a majority in the Senate. Every election,the coalition parties get much a smaller vote in the senate than the reps. This is despite Little Johnny’s pleas to them to give him the numbers in the upper house and despite their recent willingness to reeelect him and his regime.

If this proposal goes to a referendum, the yes vote won’t top 45% nationally. And only that if the Labor Party supported it. And then there is the small matter of getting a yes vote in 4 states to pass the referendum. The smaller states would see this idea as a huge break on their power and influence. The voters in WA, Tassy, Qld and SA would be no more likely to vote yes on this than they would be to eat their own shit.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Bargarz,

It’s nothing to do with either schooling or caffeine. Like most people, you’ve just been proapagandized into believing that a parliament totally dominated by the 2 major parties is the way things should be. You (and the 2 major parties) define “representative” as excluding representation for the 15-20% or so of voters who don’t vote for either Liberal or Labor. The Senate is far more “representative” in a proportional sense than the House of Reps.

That said, I wouldn’t advocate PR in the Lower House because, although it produces a more proportionally representative result, it also leads to political instability and fragile governing coalitions. Better to confine PR to the upper house, with deadlock provisions so a government can enact legislation it really really wants, provided they’re prepared to run the gauntlet of a double dissolution. I think our system strikes an almost ideal balance betweem stable, effective government, democratic checks and balances and diversity of viewpoint through PR in the Senate. Short-term political events are making the Senate rather more obstructive than one might prefer, with both minor parties pitching for the hardline greenie/leftie vote, but that won’t continue indefinitely. Our constitutional structure is much too important to be sacrificed to immediate cynical political advantage, or John Howard’s irritation at the moronic bloodymindedness of the Greens and Democrats.

Jim
Jim
2022 years ago

What about supporters Gough Whitlam and Bob Carr – where do they fit in?

Dave Ricardo
Dave Ricardo
2022 years ago

Ken

1. The Senate is unrepresentative because all states have equal numbers of senators, not because minor parties have senators.

2. It is possible to design a PR system for the lower house that gives you stable governments. What it takes is a minimum threshhold vote, say 5%, to get a seat. Germany has this system and has stable governments.

3. The Greenocrats vote in the senate in accordance with what they and the supporters believe in. That’s not to your taste, but so what? They got elected the same as everybody else. No doubt, they would claim that their senate votes are in the national interest, and are not motivated by bloodymindedness. Why should they change what they do to fit in with your (or John Howards) definition of the national interest? Why should a special burden be put on them to sacrifice what they believe in to fit in with what other people believe in, when nobody else does it? For better or for worse, we have a confrontational, take no prisoners, winner takes all politics in this country. If you get the numbers in politics, you use them, ruthlessly. If that means stopping legislation you don’t like in the senate, thne you do it, even if the government has a mandate for it. It was ever thus. Very seldom do all political players sit down together and forge a compromise, consenus position. John Howard as much as anybody has thrived in and exploited this political culture. It is he who has proclaimed, a la Thatcher, that he is a “conviction” politician. He has no right to self righteously complain when occasionally he faces a road block or two. When he has he ever backed down on something he believed in because the other side had a right to get their program passed? Never, that’s when.

4. The only reason the minor parties and independents have so much leverage in the senate ids because the Opposition votes against the government, as a matter of course. if they voted together, the minors’ 12 or so senate votes would count for SFA. Why is it bloodyminded for the greenocrats to vote against the government but not the Labor party?

If you don’t like having the Greenocrats in the Senate, don’t vote for them. If you want an all-encompassing, all suffocating, national consensus on everything, then move to Switzerland.

Bargarz
2022 years ago

Ken,

The vagaries of text strikes again! I didn’t make myself all that clear…

The schooling & caffeine remark was a snipe at my own poor spelling. The “unrepresentative swill” comment I made was really a nod to the fact that Labor also has frustrations with the Senate and would also love to see their powers reduced – hence the “”.

The meaning was misconstrued so my bad. :)

I agree with many of your comments RE: the two Party duopoly that is the House of Reps. In several federal elections so far, I’ve never voted for the same party in the Senate and the House of Reps. Call me a wavering voter if you will but to paraphrase Tim Dunlop, I simply don’t trust any of the parties with a blank cheque.

I’ve long been leery of the misuse by both sides of their purported “mandates” in order to try and ram through their own multipart platforms and then complain when the Senate raises objections.

The minor parties are powerless unless one of the major parties also backs them in the Senate.
Those who complain of Senate obstructionism forget that the Senators are a House of Review and are simply exercising their own mandates to their constituency.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Dave,

The Democrats have so many Senators at present because people like me voted for them as a moderate, sensible “balance of power” party that had alwasy remained true to the Don Chipp “keep the bastards honest” philosophy. They operated that way under all leaders up to Stott-Despoja. I voted for the Dems in the Senate in 1996 for precisely that reason. I didn’t vote for them in 1998 because they either didn’t have a candidate in the NT or the candidate was someone I couldn’t vote for in a pink fit (I don’t remember which now). By 2001 they had begun their long lurch to the left, so I didn’t vote for them then either. I suspect that the great bulk of Democrat voter support, and hence their current level of Senate representation, comes from people like me, not from the greenie/lefties who now seem to be their sole constituency. Thus I just don’t think it’s true to say that “The Greenocrats vote in the senate in accordance with what they and the supporters believe in. That’s not to your taste, but so what? They got elected the same as everybody else.” The Democrats are voting in accordance with what their narrow membership base now demands (green-left ideological purity), which is very different from the wishes of those who voted them into office in the first place.

Homer Paxton
Homer Paxton
2022 years ago

Unfortunately few of your nominations are allowed.

The are no female Nazgul.
Morever the Nazgul actually rode real horses thus The Penguin, Sir Paddy, Woody, Stan and even Alan Jones are disallowed on the fact they would kill the horses because of their weight!
Of course the Dark Lord would not worry about the Horses perse but the time consumption of finding further horses that would be killed.

Dave Ricardo
Dave Ricardo
2022 years ago

Ken,

you are extrapolating from your own experience to the entire Greenocrat voter base, which is presumptuous, to put it mildly. I use the term Greenocrat deliberately because the decline in the Democrats’ support is matched one for one with a rise in the Greens’ support.

One current polling figures, and recent state election results, it’s just not true that the “great bulk” , as you put it, of Democrat support has come centrists like you rather than green lefties. If it was true, tthose people wouldn’t now be supporting the Greens, who are further to the left than the Democrats ever were under Stott Despoja.

About 8 per cent of the population hold the very same green left ideology that you dislike. It might stick in your craw, but tough. That’s democracy. The same could be said about the same number of people who hold to the one Nation ideology, once captured by La Hanson, and since 1999 ever so cleverly rounded up by Little Johnny.

But suppose you are right. Then all those former Democrat votes will go to the major parties in coming elections, and the problem will be solved. As long as we have free and fair elections, and we do have those, these things have a way of working themselves out.

Gummo Trotsky
2022 years ago

Ken,

I don’t think Alan Jones really belongs in with the nazgul. He’s more a sort of Saruman the White figure – not so much in total thrall to the dark lord, as prepared to go along with him for his own dark purposes.

Thersites
Thersites
2022 years ago

Chief Nazgul? King of Agmar? sorcerer? Spear in the hand of Sauron ?

This site came with impeccable references and I hadn’t realised it was associated with paganism and witchcraft.

Where are the usual contemporary demons like the Neo-Con Cabals and the Elders of Zion?

cs
cs
2022 years ago

And then there is Christopher Pearson, and there is some loathsome toady who writes in the AFR, but he’s such a pile of warm lettuce that I can’t even think of his name … oh, yes … Michael Baume …

matt
2022 years ago

That pompous little shit David Flint will most likely emerge from under his rock. I’m sure the ardent constitutional monarchist will find some reason to support emasculating the Senate.

Scott Wickstein
2022 years ago

That’s a charming thing to say about someone you disagree with Chris. I hate to think what you’d say about me in one of my more tory moods.

Just because the media people act disgracefully doesn’t mean we need to act in the same way.

Thersites.

I’m too conservative to subscribe to leftish cabals, and too sensible to subscribe to conservative ones.

Therefore, Tolkien provides my daily dose of fantasy and unreality.

cs
cs
2022 years ago

Er … sorry about that Scott … must’ve been thinking out loud.

trackback
2022 years ago

He who is sovereign

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