Thursday, October 11, 2007

Yays! and Boo-hiss-boos for Krudd

The Yay!: Krudd's money meets his mouth to promise a referendum on fixed, four-year parliamentary terms. And about frickin' time. It is a joke that the election can be called at the whim of a PM - particularly one like this sweetheart, who'll stall as long as electorally possible in the pathetic hope he can still conjur up some last-minute dirt to fling.

Why do we think J-Ho's not putting us all out of our misery by just calling the damn thing? Because his good mate Dennis ShamIam is telling him not to. Personally, I reckon election dates should be determined by we great unwashed voters, not some party hack posing as a journalist.

Four years is a logical term of office. Less elections mean cost savings to the taxpayer and provide elected governments a proper period of time in which to implement its agenda. Fixed dates provide electoral certainty - particularly in these new uncertain times, thanks J-Ho - which in turn strengthens a democracy and its citizens' confidence therein.

The only real negative corollary to this I can see is senators getting eight-year gigs from half-elections. The concept of Barnaby Joyce and/or Steve Fielding wielding significant clout until 2013 is ... scary, to say the least.

Still, you'll never have an entirely perfect system, and this will at least be an improvement on the current one.

The Boo-hiss-boo: Finally, a glimmer of hope Krudd was going to provide us with a genuinely significant point of difference from the Libs: a plan to collaborate with other Asia-Pacific nations to lobby for the abolition of capital punishment - no ifs, no buts, no exceptions.

The fact is, what Robert McClelland highlighted is absolutely correct: The Howard government claims to oppose the death penalty but the opposition is equivocal, subject to what is or is not electorally popular. Krudd has completely caved on this, purely because of McClelland's so-called 'insensitive' timing - and once again shows himself as a little bit different to Howard, but not much, and not where it really matters.

You either support capital punishment or you don't. Similarly, you either respect the laws of other nations or you don't. Either option is fine, but you must be consistent. This government has not been - remember Shapelle Corby and Thomas McCoskar? - and all I saw McClelland doing was pleading for consistency. This was a perfect opportunity for Krudd to clearly distinguish himself and his party from J-Ho's, and he sank.

Don't forget, a lot of terrorists seek martyrdom; in their fucked-up brains, they believe it's helping their deluded cause being executed before the worldwide media after they themselves have executed civilians. Why give them what they want?

And if you're really enthusiastic about effective state punishment, what's better: Depriving a murderer of his life or of his remaining life's liberty, to be aware every day that he'll never be free again? I would've thought the latter would be more appealing to the salivating law-and-order shriekers.

At times like this, Krudd's strategies make me think Peter Hartcher is into something labelling him 'Kevohn Roward'. Still, if there's one thing more offensive than Krudd, it's the government's response to him. Here are some pearlers:
J-Ho: He should have been man enough to have accepted responsibility for it, instead of trying to blame somebody else.

Let's just skip past Tampa and AWB, yeah?
J-Ho: If you're the leader of a government and a party and something good happens, you get some of the credit for it. If something bad happens you've got to wear it.

Oh - except of course for interest rates. We'll take sole credit when they're low and blame every other conceivable external factor when they rise. That's cool, yeah?
J-Ho: In the end, I think when Mr Rudd talks about the blame game what he's really saying is it's never his fault, it's somebody else's.

I'm ... just lost for words really. Read Other Sam on this instead. I'm too gosh darn diddily, tootin-tiddly mad.

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At 14/10/07 3:23 pm, Anonymous Andrew said...

I haven't got anything to add, but I really enjoyed this serious post. :D

At 15/10/07 11:19 am, Blogger Jeremy said...

Four year terms are a cop-out. Referenda giving politicians MORE time in office will never pass; particularly in our system, where four year terms for the HoR would mean EIGHT year terms for the Senate.

Fixed three year terms is the proposal Rudd SHOULD be putting, if he were serious.

At 14/1/08 7:37 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that St KRudd has decided not to oppose the death sentences of the Bali bombers and essentially repudiated McLelland's speech, I'd be happy to read your views on the matter.


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