Courier-Mail (and others) praise the Democrats!

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.


Like & share:


  1. Sorry about that, Andrew, but I think a few ideas need correcting.

    What Togret says is accurate. In the 50s and 60s most people had at least 4 children. They had to scrimp and save just to make ends meet. There was no wholesale disposal of unwanted items or unrealistic expectations, as there are today.

    My parents raised 5 children in a 3 bedroom war service home. Yes, it was a bit of a crush. Children didn’t get their own room, TV, sound system etc as they do now.

    A small number of mothers had part-time jobs. One we knew had a partially disabled husband, and another was a German migrant who did sewing at home while her 2 girls were at school.

    Women certainly WERE deprived of education during those times, even in the 70s. I should know. I was one of the women discriminated against, despite the fact I had won a scholarship.

    It was harder for women to get into teaching in the 70s, just as it is now. Any permanent work tends to go to young men.

    The contraceptive pill came into common use in Australia in 1960.

    My husband and I had to change banks in 1986, just to find one that would lend money based on the woman’s income.

    In 1987, I was fired by the Hawke government, along with many other women who had workplace injuries. The same happened to women in Queensland government – I think under Joh B-P (Nationals).

    Some of the people Tony might accuse of “rubbishing” what he deems to be the halcyon years, were actually there to experience them, including myself. My mother considered them a pain in the backside.

    However, I do completely agree with Tony in regard to the problems with Whitlam, Hawke and Keating. I think it is clear that the ALP has sold out not only the workers, but the general populace as well.

    But we must remember that Howard was, in many ways, just as bad – even worse.

    Now to get back onto the topic we are supposed to be discussing, I know that Andrew was seriously opposed to Workchoices, with good reason.

  2. [praise the democrats}

    Anecdotal stories around the campfire can be fun, but serve little purpose in trying to refute Tony’s account of his version of Australian social history.

    “It was harder for women to get into teaching in the 70s, just as it is now. Any permanent work tends to go to young men”.

    From ABS stats at [how does one hyperlink on this new non-improved blog site], we see that “in 1975, 59% of teachers were women. By 1995 this had increased to 64%. In 1994, 74% of education students graduating from universities were women compared to 69% in 1987.

    Now we could (without basis) extrapolate back to the 70’s and surmise that it was probably a 50:50 split in the 70’s, quite remarkable assuming all the barriers you suppose impeded women. I’d suggest some barriers were real, and some fabricated, but at the end of the day, 50:50 seems pretty close to the birth rate distribution (I’d better not nit pick on the actual birth rates).

    Feel free to nail Tony with actual stats from the 70’s.

    “The contraceptive pill came into common use in Australia in 1960”

    The pill was only introduced in 1961, so it would seem unlikely to have been in common use the year before. An irrelevant detail other than that it goes to the accuracy of your recollections of times long gone, or the validity of your generalisations (or other claims such as “preferential voting ripping the food out of the mouth of a Labor candidate”)

    I did live through some of these times, so claim some licence to comment on Tony’s “halcyon years”; by the light of the campfire, I long for some of the better aspects of those past decades.

    I do appreciate that like many here, you are a Howard kicker, but let’s see what impact our Mr Rudd has on Australian society (yes I know you did not tick “1” for K07), and see if there indeed is not a place for a conservative alternative to what Tony refers to as the two headed beast.

    [praise the democrat

  3. GZG:

    Whether you like it or not, males got into the Teacher’s College on lower scores in the 1970s.

    It doesn’t matter what ratio of male/female graduates you have. Males of lesser ability are given preference for jobs now, due to their low representation in our primary schools. I know plenty of teachers.

    Yes, there were some good things about the 50s and 60s. I think Tony was probably referring to the economy and the fact that we employed our own people in primary and secondary industries, instead of greedy employers taking the work overseas.

    Back then, the ALP protected the rights of workers.

    You would do well to be less critical of other posters. No one likes a smart alec.

    The introduction of the contraceptive pill is not an “irrelevant detail”. It has changed the very fabric of our society in many negative ways.

    I actually agree with Tony that there is indeed a place for a conservative alternative to what he refers to as the two headed beast.

  4. Everyone:

    Interesting diversions down all those by-ways …. now back to the Australian Democrats and the news[??] media.

    Megan [24th June comment] hit the nail right on the head about the 100 words covering the Australian Democrats 2007 election campaign launch.

    This is worse than what happens in a brutal dictatorship …. where everyone knows the consequences for openly disagreeing with the ruling clique, so fairly reliable news travels by word-of-mouth – much more slowly than in our glorious democracy – but word gets through just the same.

    Here, the citizenry are conned into believing that if the news[??] media gives undue emphasis, prominence and time or column-centimetres to a story then it must be important, relevant and worse yet – indisputably true. Conversely, if a story is given little prominence, if it is trivialized or if it is omitted altogether then the citizenry are conned into believing it is unimportant, irrelevant and sometimes not to be taken seriously or, in some cases, rather dodgy.

    Unless a country has an independent, fearless. fair and honest news media, it cannot be considered anything but a sham democracy – no matter how pretty is its system of government nor how noble is its constitution.


    You might even want to join. I’m sure you’d like chatting to some of our older members whose membership dates right back to the labor split.
    Who knows we haven’t listed a candidate in your area you might want to stand and your might even be able to get GZG’s Vote


  6. Lorikeet: With respect, I’m unconvinced (on your say so) that “males got into Teacher’s College on lower scores in the 1970s”.

    Certainly, the ratio of male/female teaching graduates does matter, given the pressing need for good male role models in an increasingly fatherless society. I could well see merit in a case for such a practice in current times with just 20% of primary school teachers being male [ ]. No apologies for being non-feminist by the way.

    The introduction of the pill was indeed relevant to society – I did not suggest otherwise.

    Don’t take my criticism of your claims personally, I just don’t like seeing glaring factual errors. At least it seems that yourself, Tony & I have some consensus regarding a need for a conservative alternative, but from just where might a “third head” arise (would the DLP form part of a 3 headed beast Tony?)

  7. “we employed our own people in primary and secondary industries, instead of greedy employers taking the work overseas.”

    lorikeet for someone who prowls the aisles of supermarkets seekign every known bargain imaginable, not to mention advising bewildered middle aged men on same, it is ratehr odd that you expect “greedy employers” to prodcue product on shore for five times the cost of producing it offshore. For what “Community service” maybe.

    If you want to be angry about this be angry at the tariffs which protected these same industries, enabled them to stay lazy and not re-tool or invest in new capital and the unions who “protected” the poor workers by driving up wgaes and conditions that were only sustainable in a sheltered workshop economy, you can also be angry at us, yes all of us, who are happily paying $10 for garments / products / made in China, that even I can rember paying more for 10 years ago.

    When the inevitable had to happen during the 80’s, interestingly only an ALP government had the courage to do it.

  8. Ken:

    A lot of my bargain buys are on fresh produce which is hopefully grown here, and doesn’t attract GST. When people are living on low incomes, what are they supposed to do? Pay twice as much for the other items?

    I don’t think free trade agreements do anything to help us.


    My male cousin got into the Teachers’ College on a lower score than a female friend, which I assure you was quite commonplace. It took him 2 tries just to pass his Year 10 English. Would you want him teaching your kids?

    To get good male teachers into a primary school, you need to pay them a decent wage. I don’t want young men who can’t even spell being employed ahead of more competent females.

    It’s an educational issue as much as a gender issue.


    “The Conservative Alternative” would need to have attitudes that were less anti-social than some of the comments here would suggest.

    Gee, that’s not a bad slogan – might come into use when people get sick of Labor.

    I’ve been asked to stand for local, state and federal politics before – mostly on public transport, neighbourhood noise, societal discipline and moral decay.

  9. GZG.

    I find that unlikely. Besides there is already a third head of the beast.
    Its that sore not unlike a boil under the left head. (The Greens)
    But with a bit of luck and a lot of carbon tax we should see the end of that festering sore and look forward to a healther time in 2010.


  10. Lorikeet: Maybe, just maybe, your female friend told a porky, and didn’t really get as high a score as she claimed.

    Then again, in the current system of OP scores, I note a clear position that not all students with a specified cutoff score will gain entry (ie. a course may cutoff midway within a given OP).

    There is no mention of gender handicap at UQ’s B.Ed info’ page at . Do you retain your opinion that it’s “harder for women to get into teaching …. now” ?

    On your information, I certainly wouldn’t want your cousin teaching my child Grade 10 English, but perhaps he’d have something to offer a grade three class or could teach secondary school physical education (though he did pass that English eventually). Certainly I agree with a preference for literate teachers! Did he end up succeeding as a teacher after the rigours of uni?

    Was that a tacit expression of interest in Tony’s political “offer” when you referred to past offers?

  11. KEN:
    Spoken like a true globalist stormtrooper. (Typical ALP/liberal Voter of today)
    Let the market and the Transnational companies rule the world. Lets De Industrialise the west, exploit and enslave the 3rd world.
    By the way Ken with all our tariffs gone lets start asking the question ?
    What is the tariff level on our manufactured goods into china – 70%
    Does America that promotes this nonsense have a free market – No
    Can we export our primary products to Europe free of tariffs – NO
    or our rice to Japan – No, or are Pork to Canada – NO.
    Is there anywhere besides New Zealand that we can export our manufactured goods free of tariffs. – Not many. We sold all our tariff rights down the drain. Paying slave labour and having armed troops standover workers to produce goods for the west is not want I’d call competition. But it allows us to promote it by purchasing $5 Shirts. What is the number one rule of any national Economy ?
    Produce as much of your nations requirements as you possible can and export the surplus. Dont import everything and be vulnerable to all outside influences. (Only the translational companies profit by that) Infrastructure that is crucial to the well being of our nation to be held in public hands including, communications, water, power, rail, health and education. Free market yes, true competition yes – Globalism – No.
    Keating and Hawke and now Rudd stand for none of these. A wealthy economy is one that imports little and only exports its surplus.


  12. GZG:

    Believe whatever you like, but the cutoffs were lower for males entering teaching in the 1970s. That’s a fact.

    My cousin would have made a better Phys. Ed. teacher. He was a state athletics champion.

    Yes, it’s still harder for women TO GET A JOB AS A TEACHER, at least in a primary school. This is quite different from just getting into the course or passing the exams. Preference is given to males who cannot even spell, purely because there is a shortage of males. I’m not sure why this is so hard to understand.


    On the news recently, there have been reports that people are paying high prices for free range eggs that have been collected from debeaked chooks. They only have “free range” around a barn, where I guess they are so cooped up that they need to establish a pecking order.

    It was also reported that if you’re buying name brand canned or frozen vegetables, they are likely to have come from overseas.

    This is another example of someone selling out our farmers in favour of those growing vegetables amongst raw human excrement.

    These kinds of sellouts commenced decades ago, and more recently have been moving apace.


    Ditto to pretty much all of that.

    Now let’s get down to the bottom line, if it isn’t obvious to anyone. The aim is to turn us into a third world nation with a global government.

    I still haven’t read any books on these matters, so I haven’t been influenced very much by anyone else’s ideas.

    The USA is quite a bit smarter than we are. Get everyone else to disarm. Expect everyone else to have free trade. Expect everyone else to be Green. These are all good ways of taking control.

    My youngest son had it worked out when he was only 12 years old.

  13. Well I guess thats an image thast Ok for you Tony. Me I’m past sipping iced tea and martinis on the verandah of the bungalow while the fuzzy wuzzys tend to the sheep with no chnace of attaining any of the wealth I aspire to hold onto.


    What do you term anti Social. Lorikeet ?

    Books. The Best ones are Graham Strachan’s Globalisation 2001
    (The Demise of a Nation) Printed in 2001
    The 2nd Book Grahams Strachans 22 Steps To Global Tyranny. 1989

    Perhaps after reading these books you too will become passionate about whats happening to our country.


  15. Tony:

    I thought it would be patently obvious that I DO CARE about what’s happening to our country.

    There are quite a few meanings and usages of the word “anti-social”.

    When blogging here, I’m often using the meaning “not caring about the less fortunate among us”. John Howard had it down to a fine art.

    It would take me too long to give all of the other possible meanings, some of which I also sometimes use.

    I will try to get those books from the library soon.

  16. OK – this is all still way off-topic, so I’ll close off this thread now. A reminder too that the comments policy on this site seeks to limit personal abuse of other commenters.

Comments are closed.