Democracy. Is The Media Or The Miner A Greater Threat?

If you have been paying any sort of attention to the media or pub talk over the past week or so, you could easily be forgiven for think that we have a free and independent press in this country, and that a shareholder wanting to have a seat on the board is one of the greatest threats to democracy this country has ever seen.

Though is it really?

First of all, it shouldn’t be too strange to see that most of this is coming from the media itself, mimicked by boffins in government who like the things the way that they are. After all it is only the media themselves who believe that they are the Fourth Estate, boasting that the media’s function is to act as a guardian of the public interest and as a watchdog on the activities of government.

Putting aside any personal opinion that you may have of Gina Rinehart and her desire to get a seat or seats on the Fairfax board, lets look at this objectively and from another angle.

With the exception of the taxpayer funded ABC and SBS, and privately owned 9 Network, the other media outlets in this country are publicly listed companies. 11 out of 12 of Australia’s capital city daily newspapers are owned by either News Limited or Fairfax.

Why should we treated these media companies any differently than those other companies that are listed on the Australian Stock Exchange?

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The Case Against The States

As could be expected, and with almost predictable regularity, the debate over Australia becoming a republic is slowly starting to gain momentum again. This time it is being helped along by those who are feeling the early stages of relevance deprivation syndrome, in no part due to this country’s new found interest with the monarchy. Dr Williams’ article in The Courier Mail being the most recent case.

Whilst this discussion may be an emotive subject for the average Australian, the relevance and importance of Australia becoming a republic is of little consequence to reducing the increasing pressure that we are all under to make ends meet, whilst the far more relevant question is not even being whispered.

Do we need to have state governments?

For a relatively small nation of 22 Million people, we appear to be over governed and I doubt that there would be anyone, apart from politicians, who would disagree with it.

The existence of three levels of government is restricting the economic growth of this country, and wasting tax payers money due to the duplication and triplication of responsibilities.

Funding for roads, health and education are a prime example of this. Looking at roads in particular, each level of government has particular roads that they are responsible for. All of which are in a state of disrepair.

How many State Government approved projects though out the country, have been canceled after they were rejected by the Federal Government?

Two examples from Queensland over the past few years come to mind straight away.
In 2009 we saw the Traverston Dam Project, which had been approved by the Bligh Labor Government, rejected by then Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett.
And more recently, the Alpha Coal Project approved by the Campbell Newman led LNP Government, and delayed by the current Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke.

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Republic: To Be Or Not To Be?

This question alone is usually enough to get even the most sedate politically apathetic person fired up, and happy to voice their views on the subject.

Very rarely will you hear anyone say that they don’t have an opinion on the matter or really care one way or the other, with people being either for or against the idea.

There are those who believe that the time has now come for Australia to cut ties with the United Kingdom and take it’s rightful place on the world stage as an independent sovereign nation.

Whilst those on the other side of the fence support our current system believing that there is no need to ‘fix’ that which is not broken. Asserting that it has served us well in the past, and will see us through into the future.

Can either side claim to be right in this discussion, and if so, which one?
In this two part post, I will discuss the arguments and reasons put forward by both sides, starting with the pro-Republic side.

Australia isn’t an independent nation without becoming a republic.
This is statement couldn’t be further from the truth, because Australia became an independent nation on any one of the three dates listed below.

10 Jan 1920 – As a member state of the League of Nations.
Article X of the Covenant of The League of Nations guarantees soveriegn nation status when it became part of international law

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