Friday, 12 March 2010

By carefully removing words

from their context the present state government has managed to make it appear as if the leader of the opposition supports dangerous criminals wandering the streets and an equally dangerous nuclear waste dump in South Australia.
What the leader of the opposition actually said is, of course, something quite different. Her comments in respect of criminals were to do with the fact that she was giving an undertaking not to interfere in the workings of the courts, in particular the Parole Board and that she felt nuclear waste should be stored outside the metropolitan area rather than in the CBD.
There are, I think, very few people who would argue that the doctrine of separation of powers is essential to democracy as we know it. The Rann government has, notably, interfered on a number of occasions. It may be a popular decision to continue to keep someone behind bars when they have served their minimum sentence and even to say that person should never be released but that is something for the courts to decide. It is not something for the government of the day to decide.
As for the nuclear waste dump the answer is surely that, if we are to have the benefits of nuclear medicine then we will have nuclear waste. It will have to go somewhere. It would seem to make sense to store it away from areas of high population density. What is more we mine uranium and sell it to others. We can hardly argue about the need to provide facilities to store the waste.
But, taken out of context, these are powerful and emotive issues. It is the way politics works.
All that may however pale into insignificance. I had it confirmed beyond doubt yesterday that the current transport minister had, quite deliberately, been delaying signing off on the access taxi vouchers essential for two election candidates with disabilities to get to meetings and out on the hustings. What he has effectively been doing is denying them the right to campaign. The leader of that tiny political party had a massive stroke on Saturday night. He died on Tuesday night. His last day alive was spent trying to get a minister to obey the law he is supposed to uphold and the minister was holding back. In a democracy that is absolutely unacceptable - and no, I am not taking anything out of context.


Rachel Fenton said...

It is an horrendous abuse of powers but unfortunately an all too common one.

(Sorry for my absence of late - will get up to speed soon!)

catdownunder said...

Was just about to send you an e-mail to check if you were okay!
Hang in there!

Alison said...

WOW. Does the media know or care?

--AlisonH at

catdownunder said...

Hello Alison! Long time no hear - how did you find me here? Ravelry I suppose?
As for the media, yes they know - a radio commentator made it very public but will probably cop it when the politicians refuse to go on his show. Our current premier (bit like a state governor) is a former journalist and knows exactly how to manipulate the system.