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That was quick

December 22nd, 2016

Not long after the election, I perceived the signs of an emerging semi-formal coalition between the LNP and One Nation. Less than three months later, here’s Jeff Kennett, generally seen as a relative moderate in the Victorian Liberal Party, endorsing the idea.

To repeat what I said then, I remain convinced that this will prove a path to disaster for the LNP in the long run. One Nation is already repeating the history of meltdowns we saw in its first big run, and making clear that it stands for nothing beyond incoherent gesture politics. That’s true of rightwing identity politics in general, which is why I think it can’t last. It can, however, do plenty of damage in the meantime.

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  1. rog
    December 22nd, 2016 at 16:37 | #1

    Kennett is putting on a brave face “not drowning, waving”.

    Under Abbott the LNP became consummate wreckers and now they just can’t stop.

  2. J-D
    December 22nd, 2016 at 16:51 | #2

    The article quotes Jeff Kennett as saying of Cory Bernardi ‘This is an individual who, for some ego-driven reason, believes he has the answers to the world; he does not.’

    To me that seems an odd statement to come from Jeff Kennett, somebody who presumably is an owner of mirrors.

  3. rog
    December 22nd, 2016 at 16:57 | #3

    Builders hammers nails…

  4. Ernestine Gross
    December 22nd, 2016 at 17:53 | #4

    “incoherent gesture politics” – an apt descriptor, makes sense to me.

    Its sister descriptor might be incoherent gesture management – lots of it all over the place.

  5. Smith
    December 22nd, 2016 at 18:33 | #5

    Kennett was funny. Funner was George Christensen threatening to “pull the plug” and go off to some right wing start up party. George is the National Party Whip! He really needs a lesson on the Westminster system.

    Funniest was the announcement of the Greens’ Stalinist faction, complete with factional discipline, whose stated reasoning for being is to bring down capitalism. You can’t fault them for lack of ambition, that’s for sure. This is as opposed to what the Green Stalinists call the Tree Tories faction. Happy times in the Greens this Christmas, no doubt.

    It’s strange times when the most stable party is the Labor Party. But these are really strange times.

  6. Collin Street
    December 22nd, 2016 at 18:44 | #6

    To repeat what I said then, I remain convinced that this will prove a path to disaster for the LNP in the long run.

    So are all the other paths that the LNP might take. Keating’s neoliberalism can be reasonably criticised, but it worked; the flow of competent people to the LNP was completely disrupted, and since the early 90s the LNP has been running under:
    a: people who affiliated themselves to the LNP before Keating took office
    b: people who saw the LNP as a path to some nice grifting,
    c: blithering idiots

    After twenty-five years, pool a: is now basically empty; as the long-term chances of the LNP fell away, pool b: is looking pretty scanty too. All you’re left with is pool c:… and to rebuild a party staffed by pool C types you basically need to build a party infrastructure from scratch, and if you’re doing that
    + the residual value of the party as an organisation isn’t huge [basically the name/social positioning / goodwill]
    + and you have to fight with all the other people trying to do the same thing

    Not worth it. If you can build a party from scratch that’s a better choice, and if you can’t then you can’t save the LNP and shouldn’t try [although you might be able to pull some grifts on the way down, if you’re in pool b]. As a reasonably-successful corporate raider turnbull should have recognised this… but ehn.

  7. GrueBleen
    December 22nd, 2016 at 18:50 | #7

    @J-D

    Yeah, mate but when JGK looks in a mirror, he doesn’t see a reflection. And when I look at JGK, I don’t see a man.

    Now here comes the bit where, after replying to you, I diverge a little.

    ProfQ says Kennet is “generally seen as a relative moderate in the Victorian Liberal Party,“. I just really don’t know how that could be so, unless most of the Victorian Liberal Party is just a tiny bit on the left … on the left of Genghis Khan that is.

  8. hc
    December 22nd, 2016 at 19:18 | #8

    Kennett is a loud-mouthed buffoon. Like many other defeated ex-pollies he cannot let go. The problem is not that the Federal Liberal Party will run off the rails if it unites with One Nation. It has already run off the rails and currently cannot deliver a sensible conservative agenda. And, of course, it has never been a genuinely, “liberal” party.

  9. GrueBleen
    December 23rd, 2016 at 01:20 | #9

    @hc

    Actually, Kennett was, and likely still is, a nasty, intolerant bully who is indeed afflicted by a massive attack of relevance deprivation syndrome* (like Rudd, Abbott and Amanda Vanstone more recently).

    * TM Gareth Evans – also a nasty little (in every sense) bully.

  10. Ikonoclast
    December 23rd, 2016 at 06:20 | #10

    If all the right-wing politicians are now stupid or trending to stupid (and they are) why are they still in ostensible power or just getting into ostensible power like Trump? Have the people gone stupid like the politicians; a mass trend into stupidity of voters and politicians alike? Is the quality of voter and politician alike now irrelevant?

    The power in the system has slipped elsewhere. It no longer with voters and politicians. Orthodox politics has become a theater of the absurd and irrelevant. The power now reposes with oligarchs and corporations and the money and corporate control they wield. These are the people who run our society and they have largely made parliamentary democracy their plaything. Parliamentary democracy now functions as a pretence, a theater of distraction and a fig-leaf. It suits the corporate oligarchs to stuff it with buffoons.

    The people are witnessing the supplanting of parliamentary democracy by corporate power and they do not yet understand that this is happening.

  11. paul walter
    December 23rd, 2016 at 06:22 | #11

    I wish I felt happiness at it, but it is the closest scenario, thus an indicator of the level in which life is run in this country.

    I’ve just come from a glance at the Age on line. Does any one remember when it was a real newspaper, not a comic book.

    All is comic book, and the politics is just typical of life in general in this era.

    There must come a time when a price is exacted for wilful idiocy as lifestyle.

  12. J-D
    December 23rd, 2016 at 07:34 | #12

    @Ikonoclast

    The power in the system has slipped elsewhere. It no longer with voters and politicians.

    You write that as if you suppose that there was a time in the past when power was with voters and politicians, and something significant has changed since then. But when do you suppose that was? If you read more widely, you can discover that essentially the same complaints — that real power lies with wealthy oligarchs and the politicians are largely their playthings — were being made a century ago. We aren’t witnessing the supplanting of parliamentary democracy — it’s about as powerful as it ever was, because it was never as powerful as some people imagine it was. (It’s also not as powerless now as some people imagine it is, but that’s a separate argument.)

  13. suburbanite
    December 23rd, 2016 at 08:01 | #13

    @Ikonoclast
    It’s a bit more simple than that. Right-wing nuts are gaining power because their own parties have lost control – Trump was their last choice – and the left isn’t exciting anyone because they have no residual ideology left to explain their policies.

  14. Collin Street
    December 23rd, 2016 at 08:33 | #14

    If all the right-wing politicians are now stupid or trending to stupid (and they are) why are they still in ostensible power or just getting into ostensible power like Trump? Have the people gone stupid like the politicians; a mass trend into stupidity of voters and politicians alike? Is the quality of voter and politician alike now irrelevant?

    They were always stupid. There’s never been a smart person on the hard right, pretty much ever: what’s happened is that the centre-right membership of the right-wing movements has collapsed, leaving the hard right exposed.

  15. John Bentley
    December 23rd, 2016 at 08:35 | #15

    While I agree with much of the above comment especially the last by J-D, I’ve always said that the winner of the last Federal election would be the winner of a poisoned chalice. The COALition has been the “winner” of that chalice and is being seduced by a minor party who promises that they have the correct antidote to the aforesaid poison. Of course they don’t and the only one that exists comes at an exorbitant cost.

    I liken our predicament to that of a bus full overblown pollies who are hurtling down the road to oblivion, the driver is deaf mute, the navigator is blind, the Melways is upside down and the page we want has been ripped out! We haven’t got the balls to pull up, take a breather, take a detour, take a bex or a lie down, we just keep the pedal to the metal!

    What I’m trying to say is we don’t have any leaders or leadership, just a rum bunch of misfit sycophants crawling over each other in order to make a quid, get their name in the local rag or whatever. Until we can become a cohesive unit aka your local footy (whatever flavour) there’ll be no such leadership and that includes the shortened detour.

  16. Collin Street
    December 23rd, 2016 at 09:26 | #16

    Except, of course: Victoria is doing pretty damned well, no? ALP government. Queensland is doing OK, no? ALP government. Western Australia is f****ed: LNP government. NSW is f****ed: LNP government. ACT… OK. ALP. NT… better than they were. ALP government; back when they were f****ed: LNP government.

    And so forth. There’s only one party that’s held office recently that’s been grossly unfit to hold office, and that’s the coalition. All your complaints? Are true, ish, but essentially only of the coalition.

  17. Ikonoclast
    December 23rd, 2016 at 10:22 | #17

    @J-D

    You take a snapshot now and one a century ago and conclude there was no change in the interim. Your implied flat graph needs a few more data points in the interim, maybe decadal points. If that was done and if we could create a valid metric for level of effective representative democracy, I think we would find the graph rising and falling over that period, with some blips. Of course, my statement has an important “if” in it.

    However, your model appears to be of democracy and other political forces as static whereas mine is a model of democracy and other political forces as dynamic; as being developed, as interacting, as waxing, waning, cycling, sometimes dying out and so on. I think history as a complex process supports the dynamic model implicit in my views. Your static model and under-sampling cherry-picking designed to support your static model illustrate the fundamental unreality and in-applicability of your position.

  18. Ken Fabian
    December 23rd, 2016 at 10:49 | #18

    As long as our primary public informers – the media pack – fails in the responsibility and trust that ought to be fundamental to that role the well practiced blameshifting for the messy consequences of preferring truthiness over informed decision making will allow “the meantime” to persist a long time and make the damage all the harder to recover from.

    Turnbull may well be judging it correctly – if he was ever sincere in having a more inclusive, middle way agenda. Holding firm and challenging the far right faction would result in an unmanageable split that even News Ltd couldn’t give a positive spin to. A coalition of One Nation with Christensen style Nationals and Bernardi (and perhaps Abbott) style Liberal defectors looks like an unstable mix that, on the facce of it couldn’t win over the electorate …but then there is the example of Donald Trump.

  19. J-D
    December 23rd, 2016 at 13:49 | #19

    @Ikonoclast

    I don’t believe in a static model. Of course the graph moves around over time. I still don’t observe the evidence for a major recent downward inflection. Certainly you haven’t produced it. I ask again, what is the period of time which you perceive as the peak of the democratic tide?

  20. GrueBleen
    December 23rd, 2016 at 13:49 | #20

    @J-D

    You write that as if you suppose that there was a time in the past when power was with voters and politicians,

    You write that as though you’ve never heard of Andrew Fisher and Joseph Benedict Chifley -and maybe even John Curtin and Stanley Bruce.

  21. GrueBleen
    December 23rd, 2016 at 13:57 | #21

    @Ikonoclast

    Have the people gone stupid like the politicians…

    Gone” stupid ? When were we ever not “stupid” ? Perhaps you have the time, the knowledge and the skill to understand every little issue that faces our modern world, but let me confess: I don’t, not even close. Yet I am smarter (higher IQ anywaY) and more informed and rational than any poiltician I know of, and probably at least 95% of “us” too.

    How do you stand on the Ikono scale of political virtue ?

  22. GrueBleen
    December 23rd, 2016 at 14:11 | #22

    @paul walter

    Does any one remember when it was a real newspaper,

    No, and I’ve been reading it on and off (though mostly on until recently) since 1955 (I was 12) when the Symes had been publishing it for 99 years already.

    Back then, patriotism and the flag, monarchism and Her Most Glorious Majesty and staunch Menzian conservatism and anticommunism were the enforced public face – the ‘political correctness’ if you prefer – of Australia.

  23. J-D
    December 23rd, 2016 at 15:52 | #23

    @GrueBleen

    You write that as though you’ve never heard of Andrew Fisher and Joseph Benedict Chifley -and maybe even John Curtin and Stanley Bruce.

    You write that as though you’ve never heard of the contemporary allegations that Stanley Bruce and his government were mere puppets of the plutocrats and oligarchs of the National Union, or of of the contemporary complaints about how the Scullin government of which Ben Chifley was a part was compelled to do the bidding of Otto Niemeyer and the bondholders he represented.

  24. Tim Macknay
    December 23rd, 2016 at 18:31 | #24

    Happy holidays one and all.

  25. GrueBleen
    December 23rd, 2016 at 22:09 | #25

    @J-D

    Stanley Bruce and his government were mere puppets of the plutocrats and oligarchs of the National Union

    Really ? This ‘National Union’ of a few so-called “elites” from Victoria ruled Australia with an iron fist. C’mon J-D, pull the other one, it whistles ‘Dixie’.

    As to Scullin and Niemeyer, well obviously the Bank of England also ruled Australia with an iron fist and at the same time as the National Union, too. And of course, Niemeyer just waltzed out to Australia on a British gunship – remember Australia was still a colonial Dominion at the time, not an independent sovereign state – and just issued orders which were obsequiously obeyed.

    Yep, if that’s what you believe then far be it from me to attempt to dissuade you.

  26. John Quiggin
    December 24th, 2016 at 08:13 | #26

    Please adopt a more civil tone, everyone

  27. J-D
    December 24th, 2016 at 10:01 | #27

    @GrueBleen

    I didn’t assert that ‘Stanley Bruce and his government were mere puppets of the plutocrats and oligarchs of the National Union’. I referred to the fact that there were contemporary allegations to that general effect. It’s not my opinion that it makes no difference who won elections then, but it’s also not my opinion that it makes no difference who wins elections now.

    It’s my judgement that Ikonoclast (and the many people who make complaints framed in similar terms) are exaggerating in two ways which have a cumulative effect of producing an exaggerated contrast. On the one hand, the dominance (or supposed dominance) of non-democratic influences over democratic influences in the present is being exaggerated; on the other hand, the dominance (or supposed dominance) of democratic influences over non-democratic influences in the past (typically an unspecified past, which may be the product of mere imagination) is being exaggerated.

    Australia today is not nearly as democratic as I would like it to be (and neither is the world in general). I would like to see Australia (and the world) become much more democratic. I would agree with Ikonoclast that it is essential for people who think and feel this way not to be deceived by democratic formalities into failing to recognise the huge obstructions to real democracy. But I also think it’s a mistake to frame the discussion in terms of a decline from a mythical lost golden age of true democracy, or in terms of a supposed recent sharp downward turn in the graph.

    For these reasons I think it’s relevant to point out that complaints like Ikonoclast’s about the dominance of oligarchic plutocrats are not a new phenomenon but are a recurrent feature of Australian history (and the history of other countries, too). That doesn’t mean I think they are or were wholly accurate (although I also don’t think they are or were wholly baseless).

    So, in short, I don’t actually think that Stanley Bruce and James Scullin were mere puppets of oligarchic plutocrats, but I also don’t think that Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott, or Malcolm Turnbull were or are, and I am reminded of this by the similarities between Ikonoclast’s complaints about the state of politics now and past complaints about the state of poitics then.

  28. paul walter
    December 24th, 2016 at 10:22 | #28

    John Quiggin :
    Please adopt a more civil tone, everyone

    Wish you and yours a happy Xmas.

    In awe of you, as ever.

  29. Jim Rose
    December 24th, 2016 at 15:15 | #29

    About half of one nation voted 2nd preference labour so it is an astute strategy to live with them in the short term. Trouble is about they are the type of people who do not work well in groups as the current nonsense over that Western Australian senator shows.

    I doubt one nation MPs will be anything more than a rabble of independents within 12 months. Place your bets.

  30. GrueBleen
    December 24th, 2016 at 16:28 | #30

    @John Quiggin

    Aww, c’mon ProfQ, what did I do wrong this time ?

  31. GrueBleen
    December 24th, 2016 at 17:13 | #31

    @J-D

    Hmm. Ok, well maybe it was my turn to be just a bit too literal minded. Because I was going to ask whatever happened to the evil rule of the H R Nicholls Society – much worse than the National Union.

    However, the issue surely is “what is a democracy” ? Was the Roman Republic a “democracy” because the Plebeians, and only the Plebeians, elected the ‘Plebeian Tribune’ who had very strong democratic rights and powers, including veto over Senate made laws – such that the position was amongst the first things Augustus Octavian destroyed by absorbing the Tribune’s role and function into his own powers.

    But I have a very simple idea of democracy: it is that all representatives (ie at every level of governance) are directly elected (ie ‘electoral colleges’ are out) and that if an elected representative is ‘diselected’ – voted out – he or she accepts that and stays voted out (ie no coups) plus the ineluctable requirement to be subject to periodic elections where the period cannot be significantly extended by act of the representatives. In short, we the people directly elect governments and we can sack governments and when we sack them, they stay sacked.

    Apart from that though, I never expected that all and every source of “power or influence” would be elected to government. Unions are not, business groups are not, etc. Indeed, I would be very suspicious of a system in which only elected governance representatives had any power. Checks and balances, you know and the ongoing right to civil disobedience.

    Ok, that’s me: simplistic to a fault. Now, pray tell, why in your view, Australia is “not democratic enough”. And don’t forget Edmund Burke’s dictum that the worst thing any elected representative can do is surrender their own sovereign judgement to that of their constituents. Is anywhere that practices Burkeism democratic ?

  32. John Quiggin
    December 24th, 2016 at 17:52 | #32

    @Jim Rose

    I agree with this prediction.

    @GrueBleen

    Not directed at you in particular, just noticing an increasingly sharp tone in general

  33. totaram
    December 24th, 2016 at 20:58 | #33

    I am in agreement with GrueBleen’s view that our societies and technologies have become so complex, that no one can hope to understand them sufficiently. The Dunning-Kruger syndrome rules supreme, and people are easily bamboozled into believing almost anything, depending on who can shout the loudest and most often (money).

  34. GrueBleen
    December 25th, 2016 at 00:04 | #34

    @John Quiggin

    That’s a relief, because I wasn’t trying to be overly sharp.

    But I find that if there’s passion, there’s sharpness (not always intentional) and if there’s no passion, what are we doing this for ?

    But, of course, your blog, your call as to how much sharpness is too much. I just personally didn’t think we’d been so very bad.

  35. Nicholas
    December 25th, 2016 at 09:05 | #35

    I agree that the LNP will probably suffer some electoral cost from allying with PHON. However, by far the greatest cost will be suffered by mainstream centrist and centre-left parties continuing to neglect chronically high under-employment, unemployment, and precarious employment. I don’t see the Greens or the ALP engaging with that key problem in a substantial way. The chief economic policy goal of the federal government needs to be full employment (real full employment, not the Clayton’s full employment that mainstream macroeconomists talk about), with price stability and sustainable resource use.

  36. totaram
    December 25th, 2016 at 18:41 | #36

    @Nicholas
    Absolutely agree, but it is not possible, given they all believe in neo-liberal macro-economic mythology. Even Wayne Swan does not accept (I have an eye-witness account) the three sectors financial identity, that the private sector cannot pay down debts if the govt. sector does not have sufficient deficit to cover the trade deficit and more. This is just financial arithmetic, but if someone doesn’t believe it, you have to think that there is something seriously wrong.

  37. J-D
    December 26th, 2016 at 06:37 | #37

    @GrueBleen

    It’s interesting that you invoke Burke in a discussion of democracy. Burke wasn’t a democrat.

    People use the word ‘democracy’ (and the related form ‘democratic’) in a variety of ways, as I expect you’re aware.

    One useful way of using the terms is at a higher level of generality/abstraction, where it refers to the idea of people having influence over decisions that affect them. It’s something like this that people are doing when they refer, for example, to ‘industrial/workplace democracy’ or to ‘democratic schools’.

    That is the sense of the term that I have in mind when I write that Australia is not nearly as democratic as I would like it to be. Under the Australian political system, people have some influence over decisions that affect them, but not nearly as much as I would like them to have.

    There are other useful senses of ‘democracy’ and ‘democratic’, which are related to the highly general one but more specific. But that’s a separate discussion.

  38. GrueBleen
    December 26th, 2016 at 07:40 | #38

    @J-D

    It’s interesting that you invoke Burke in a discussion of democracy. Burke wasn’t a democrat.

    Certainly you, and I expect many others, would question Burke’s ‘democrat’ credentials. Yet he functioned as a directly elected representative in a mildly liberal nation with moderately inclusive voting franchise. So, isn’t that democratic ?

    Thus the issue comes down to what you, and maybe others, mean by “influence over decisions“. Why could it not be so that by electing Burke – presumably a man holding views that are at least simpatico with his electors – to ‘express’ their desires in parliament as ably as he is capable, they are, in fact influencing the decisions they care about. And if he ceases to adequately fulfill that role, the constituents will simply elect somebody else.

    I don’t know how directly it needs to be to meet your criteria. Perhaps in a Trades Union, the members could vote on every single decision if the executive, and that would have to be considered ‘influential’. But in decisions affecting a modern state as a whole, that would not be entirely practical, even in an electronic ‘vote from home’ age. (You did see, and do remember, The Rise And Rise Of Michael Rimmer, yes ?).

    So, what do you mean by “influence” and how do you envision it being expressed, especially where there are multiple competing brands of opinion that will democratically demand to be taken account of.

    Perhaps, in the reality of modern large and complex states, the best we can manage is to go half-Burkean: directly elected representatives who mostly vote as they see fit, but who at least try to stay in touch with their majority constituent beliefs and opinions because they want to be reelected next time.

    Which is kinda what we have now, isn’t it ?

  39. GrueBleen
    December 26th, 2016 at 15:02 | #39

    And before I forget, I have reservations about ProfQ’s declaration that in cozying up to PHON “this will prove a path to disaster for the LNP in the long run“.

    My take is that while it may cause some pious wailing and gnashing of teeth in the short to medium term it will be quickly forgotten, whether PHON is merged somehow into the LNP or whether it simply self-destructs.

    Even the Coryites won’t cause much hassle: who remembers the New Guard of Australia or the League of Rights nowadays ? About as frequently mentioned as the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) is by the ALP. And the DLP too.

  40. J-D
    December 26th, 2016 at 17:37 | #40

    @GrueBleen

    I am deliberately invoking a sense of ‘democracy’ and ‘democratic’ in which being democratic is a matter of degree, and democracy is not something you either have or don’t but rather something you have more or less of. It is inappropriate to try to shoehorn that into a binary classification of ‘democratic’ and ‘not democratic’ (although that may be appropriate with some other related but more specific senses of the terms). There are many different ways that people influence decisions that affect them; voting in parliamentary elections is just one of them. If you’re asking me to recommend one specific model of democracy you’re misunderstanding my point. If you’re suggesting that the arrangements we have in Australia now represent the highest degree of democracy that it’s technically feasible to achieve, and that no feasible increases of democracy can be conceived, then I disagree.

  41. GrueBleen
    December 26th, 2016 at 20:32 | #41

    @J-D

    It is inappropriate to try to shoehorn that into a binary classification of ‘democratic’ and ‘not democratic’

    Ok, but I thought that’s what you were doing when you categorically declared that “Burke wasn’t a democrat”. That sounded binary to me, viz, whatever democracy is, Edmund Burke isn’t it.

    Now I can grasp the concept of ‘graduated’, really I can, but I can also grasp the idea of ‘threshold’: below which nothing, above which a graduated something. Again based on your Burke pronouncement: he is below the threshold and therefore isn’t ‘democratic’.

    If you’re asking me to recommend one specific model of democracy you’re misunderstanding my point.

    And if that is genuinely your interpretation, then you are misunderstanding me. I do fully appreciate that “There are many different ways that people influence decisions that affect them. I am quite accustomed to the idea of negotiating with the people around me. And I’m familiar with the idea of campaigns – advertising and other – and with lobbying – professional and amateur – and with various forms of blackmail and/or vote buying etc etc. All being various ways of “influencing decisions”.

    And are they all degrees of democracy ? Or are some of them – in a quite binary yes/no way – not, or even anti-democracy ?

    Then you go on to say:

    If you’re suggesting that the arrangements we have in Australia now represent the highest degree of democracy that it’s technically feasible to achieve,

    to which I reply: why on Earth (or any other life supporting planet) would you say that ? What did I say that you’ve interpreted in that way ?

    I have more or less supposed that Australia has achieved the minimum level capable of being called democracy, and when you write that “Australia is not nearly as democratic as I would like it to be.” you might then go on to formulate how it might become more “as democratic as I would like it to be.” Can you ?

  42. J-D
    December 27th, 2016 at 05:04 | #42

    @GrueBleen

    Yes, but that’s not the point, so why do you ask?

  43. GrueBleen
    December 27th, 2016 at 07:51 | #43

    @J-D

    why do you ask?

    Gee, J-D, I really don’t know. But let me postulate: maybe it’s simply curiousity on my part, that you’ve been so insistent that Australia isn’t as democratic as you want it to be, that I’m just curious as to what you think might be done to rectify that. Is that a possible explanation, perhaps ?

    But then, let me contemplate:

    that’s not the point

    Do please explain, as to a simpleton, what exactly is the point – or to be more precise your point.

  44. J-D
    December 27th, 2016 at 21:25 | #44

    @GrueBleen

    Do please explain, as to a simpleton, what exactly is the point – or to be more precise your point.

    I thought I had already explained that, but perhaps this will make it clearer:

    Ikonoclast was making a mistake which involved confusing two different propositions, one of which was that Australia could be more democratic and the other that Australia once was more democratic; for people who would like Australia to be more democratic (a category which evidently includes Ikonoclast), it is a mistake to focus on an illusion of the past.

  45. GrueBleen
    December 28th, 2016 at 08:23 | #45

    @J-D

    I thought I had already explained that

    Goodoh, then.

    And now that’s been explained, perhaps you could explain the following comment by Ernestine Gross in a different post:
    “Troy is obviously smarter than I am. I shall try to avoid repeating the mistake of getting myself entangled with your posts.”

  46. J-D
    December 28th, 2016 at 10:39 | #46

    @GrueBleen

    Evidently Ernestine Gross thinks it’s a foolish mistake to engage in discussion with me, but if you want to know why she thinks that, I think you’ll have to ask her.

  47. GrueBleen
    December 28th, 2016 at 16:47 | #47

    @J-D

    I think you’ll have to ask her.

    Naah, I think I’ll just let sleeping dingoes lie.

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