Understandably, there are plenty of media stories in recent times noting the imminent end of the Democrats’ presence in the Senate. No doubt there’ll be more over the next week or so. It was sweet to read in today’s Courier-Mail editorial that the Democrats demise “is unfortunate”.
They state that the party “earned a deservedly high reputation for being scrupulous and tough in negotiation”, their “achievements in that period were considerable in areas ranging from taxation, to the environment, workplace reform and immigration” and “despite the pain the party caused both sides of politics over the years, it was far removed from ‘unrepresentative swill’.”
I suppose I could have a whinge about how it would have been much nicer to get that sort of endorsement before the election, but they could have taken a “good riddance to that useless mob” line, so I shan’t complain.
I might keep adding links here of other articles on this topic (mainly so they’re all in one place if I want to find them again later).
Other media articles on the end of the Democrats’ time in the Senate:
- An AAP piece, through the West Australian’s site, with another (belatedly) praiseworthy assessment:
Despite the party’s many troubles, federal parliament will be a lesser place without the Democrats. They really have helped keep the bastards honest, shining a light into the often murky recesses of major party politicking. They have blazed trails in important policy areas, such as stem cell research, paid maternity leave and the environment. When they had the balance of power they generally wielded it responsibly, judging legislation on its merit. And when they did not have the balance of power, they still contributed much to political debate.
- The Adelaide’s Advertiser’s site repeats the mythology that the Democrats ‘drifted from the centre to the left’, but also gives some moderate praise along with a slightly oversimplified but not totally off the mark assessment of where things went wrong:
The Democrats have made a difference. Australian politics will be the worse for the loss of a genuine third voice, a third choice. In the end, and perhaps unfairly, history will remember the Democrats for a single phrase – keep the bastards honest. Ironically, it was the Democrats’ own internal dishonesty, first towards centre-of-the-road policies and ultimately disloyalty to their own leaders which crafted their demise.