By Darryl Mason
(graphic from smh.com.au front page)
What has happened in the NSW government is a fucking insult to democracy. Not only do we not get to vote for the leaders of our major political parties, we don't even get a say in who becomes premier is anymore.
A campaign for early elections by the Sydney Morning Herald is an interesting start to returning a semblance of democracy to the people of New South Wales, but what exactly is a newspaper doing publicly campaigning for the dismissal of a government?
From the Sydney Morning Herald :
It is about a system of government that locks the people of NSW into a four-year fixed electoral cycle, that reduces the voters to bystanders in an endless rotation of ministers and premiers - with no way of bringing on an election.The Sydney Morning Herald is clickbaiting readers to sign a petition, but it's unlikely to achieve much, besides hits to their website. The NSW government needs to hear the call for early elections loud and clear, in person, at the gates of parliament.
The people of NSW, who elected Morris Iemma in 2007, have seen that choice overturned, and overturned again, until they now have a government they scarcely recognise. And that government is overseeing a decline in the quality of services to the public.
Hospitals are understaffed and over budget. They cannot pay their bills. Waiting lists for elective surgery are growing. Public transport is in disarray and its future is in doubt for want of adequate planning. Roads, railways, buses and ferries are dilapidated. So are our schools. Police resources are stretched. Looming over all the problems, explaining them and perpetuating them, is a budget shortfall that results from the Government's inherent inability to manage its affairs or anything else.
Blockading the front and back of state parliament for about a week should give the new unelected 'premier' the message loud and clear that no-one in NSW is prepared to wait until 2011 to have a real, viable say on the future of this disturbingly corrupt, inept, backstabbing, ridiculously chaotic government.
update : The Daily Telegraph is in on the petition clickbait now as well.
Dave Gaukroger at Pure Poison :
All that these two newspapers have achieved with their campaigns is that they have lost any claim to be disinterested reporters and commentators. The NSW print media has shown that it is willing to actively campaign against a sitting government, making a mockery of their role as the fourth estate. This is not a sign of a healthy and informed democracy.
Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell Explains Why Petitioning For Early Elections Might Ultimately Be More Effective Than Pitchforks And Torches :
....as in September last year, when Nathan Rees was installed by the same factional bosses behind Kristina Keneally's rise, the choice of premier wasn't by the hands of NSW voters but by, in Rees's words, "the malignant, treacherous and disloyal forces" of the NSW branch of the Australian Labor Party.
Four premiers, five health ministers and six police ministers since 2005 are signs of both a dysfunctional government and a lack of respect for the public, which is meant to be the basis of our democracy.