I was just browsing what various bloggers have been saying about the implications of the Chinese stock crash/correction, a matter I don’t profess to understand. While reading Simply Left Behind (the non-rapturist’s guide to the galaxy) I spotted this under his masthead:
“Liberals got women the right to vote. Liberals got African-Americans the right to vote. Liberals created Social Security and lifted millions of elderly people out of poverty. Liberals ended segregation. Liberals passed the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act. Liberals created Medicare. Liberals passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act. What did Conservatives do? They opposed them on every one of those things…every one! So when you try to hurl that label at my feet, ‘Liberal,’ as if it were something to be ashamed of, something dirty, something to run away from, it won’t work, Senator, because I will pick up that label and I will wear it as a badge of honor.” — Matt Santos, “The West Wing”
Meanwhile, the ?Liberal? Party here in Australia is cracking down on dissent in its own ranks: PM berates Liberal critics.
JOHN HOWARD has backed worried MPs in marginal seats who are concerned they are being put at risk by their outspoken colleagues who have safe electorates.
During yesterday’s party room meeting, a handful of marginal seat holders urged their colleagues – speaking out on issues including David Hicks, the Qantas sale, and AWB – to rein it in because it was creating an impression of disunity.
Kerry Bartlett, whose safe NSW seat of Maquarie was reduced to marginal in last year’s electoral redistribution, urged those in safe seats to consider the consequences of their actions….
I would worry too, because people like Bruce Baird and Judy Moylan create an impression of integrity, and we can’t have that, can we?
Last night I watched the farce that is Senate Question Time. Theoretically, and sometimes in practice even, QT gives an opportunity for backbenchers to raise matters of concern, and (fair enough) for the Opposition to quiz or needle the Government. Too often lately it has been an opportunity for government ministers or their representatives to obfuscate, field friendly set-up questions (“Dorothy Dixers”) and to exercise their childish mantras (“Labor walks two sides of the road” etc) at every opportunity, even when the relevance to the question is hardly discernible. It also gives scope for flinging words like “hypocrites” and “fraudsters” back and forth, most of that yesterday coming from the government side.
Some see it as par for the course. Certainly it has been going on for a long time. I think it is time all those pollies stopped and thought about what they are supposed to be there for. Unseemly last night’s display certainly was, and the more the Libs mantra-ed the more I tended to despise them. That is just me, perhaps, but I still regard these blatant bits of rhetoric as tawdry and cheap.
Here is a funny snippet from Question Time in the House of Representatives. “Australian politicians high and giddy while in parliament. First up is Paul Neville from the National Party on 15 February 2007. Followed by Liberal backbencher Andrew Southcott in 2006. Then finishing with a statement from Christopher Pyne.” (Posted by unalive who has an amusing little collection.)