Iain Hall's SANDPIT

Home » Australian Politics » Hicks off the leash

Hicks off the leash

Over the years I have been rather hard line about the activities of David Hicks so the news that he is to have the control order lifted when it expires shortly makes me just a little concerned.

david-hicks1

David Hicks

FORMER Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks is considering writing a book after he is released from his control order this Christmas, but is content for now to continue his job of potting plants in a Sydney nursery

After Australian Federal Police confirmed last night they would not apply for an extension of the control order on Mr Hicks, which includes a strict curfew and bans him from using the internet or a public telephone, he described the decision last night as “a great relief for my family and me”.

“I owe the Australian people a lot,” he said. “The decision not to renew my control order will allow me … to move on with my life. Thank you.”

The AFP confirmed late yesterday it would not renew the order, just hours after Mr Hicks launched a video appeal for it to be lifted.

The fact that he is holding down a job, has a steady relationship and appears to be doing the right thing by his kids suggests that the time might well be right to take him off the leash. I sincerely hope that his apparent good intentions are borne out by good actions for the rest of his life.
Cheers Comrades
8)


39 Comments

  1. Hello, is this Iain Hall’s blog? Someone seems to have hijacked his David Hicks post and made Iain sound like an , er … ‘old softie’. I’m impresssed.

  2. Iain Hall says:

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating and Hicks seems to have done all of the right things since his release so I am being reasonable 🙂

  3. David Davidson says:

    He supposedly did “the crime” (??????? never really proven tho), and now he has done the time.

    It’s time to leave him (sort of, although all the world’s intelligence communities will be watching him), alone.

  4. Iain Hall says:

    No David he Admitted* that he did the crime in letters to his dad but as you say he has done the time so the time has come to give him a chance.

    * I’m not interested in debating the legal technicalities again and I stand by my arguments in the previous posts on this chap.

  5. David Davidson says:

    Fair enough.
    Me thinks the years spent in Guantanamo would be enough to turn anyone around, if at all possible ?

  6. Iain Hall says:

    Well time in solitary does give a chap a chance to really reflect on the course of your life.

  7. JM says:

    “… makes me just a little concerned.”

    This is not off to a good start.

    “The fact that he is holding down a job, has a steady relationship and appears to be doing the right thing by his kids suggests that the time might well be right to take him off the leash.”

    Hmmm. I can think of someone I know in my neighbourhood who holds down a good (pretty spectacular my most standards) job, does the right thing by his kids but who has never been on the leash ….

    ” I sincerely hope that his apparent good intentions”

    … and who has good intentions (reserve questionable logic question for later)

    “… are borne out by good actions”

    who happens to disagree strongly with just about everything one Iain Hall has to say (except for certain features of automotive engineering).

    That would be me.

    Glad to know my freedom is subject to your oversight and approval Iain.

    “… for the rest of his life.”

    Lovely way to win arguments hey? Nice work if you can get it.

    There is a term for this sort of thinking: Fascist.

    Iain, seriously, I think you need to do a top-to-bottom review of your political philosophy here. If you honestly believe that a person who has paid their debt to society (or alternatively never had any debt to pay in the first place, take your choice) needs to have their activities circumscribed by the arbitrary judgement of some self-appointed crew of moralists ….

    … then you really need to consider whether maybe, just maybe that crew may not always be your crew.

    Me. I’ll go with a pluralist, secular democracy every time.

  8. Iain Hall says:

    Glad to know my freedom is subject to your oversight and approval Iain.

    Really JM we all have “freedom” within the society we live in only if that freedom meets with the approval of our peers, thus if our peers decide that say buggering children is forbidden, then those who take up that hobby we can expect that the society will show its disapproval and impose sanctions on such “hobbyists”. You are being facetious here JM to suggest that someone who have dabbled in the Jihadist game should not be the subject of continued scrutiny until there is certainty that they will not go back to the bomb.

    “… for the rest of his life.

    Lovely way to win arguments hey? Nice work if you can get it.

    Every person of good will will be hoping that Hicks is in fact sincere here, I know I certainly am, and I have been rather harsh about his activities in the past, but the reality is that for every individual who does make good with their lives after committing crimes, there is an equal of greater number who go back to re offend, all That I am doing here is expressing the hope that Hicks makes a go of his freedom and this opportunity to make a new life. What is wrong with that?

    There is a term for this sort of thinking: Fascist.

    JM you are such a dour judgemental fellow aren’t you? Now I could point out that my moral and ethical stance is a million miles away from any definition of Fascism, that I do not support the control, by the state, of production or industry, that I don’t support the militarisation of society, that I have a commitment to personal liberty that is almost consistent with an anarchist philosophy but I suspect that it would not make any difference to your opinion of me.

    Iain, seriously, I think you need to do a top-to-bottom review of your political philosophy here. If you honestly believe that a person who has paid their debt to society (or alternatively never had any debt to pay in the first place, take your choice) needs to have their activities circumscribed by the arbitrary judgement of some self-appointed crew of moralists ….

    I am more than fifty years old JM and I have spent a good part of my lifetime honing my political philosophy and I am actually quite comfortable with the state of it at present. In terms of my attitude to the justice system I think that taking up Jihad is analogous to kiddie fiddling and just as I want to give any paedophile who has done his time the chance to make good with the rest of his life I am mindful of the harm that he could do to innocent lives should he decide to return to his old ways. We as a society accept that their continuing liberty is at the pleasure of the people. Hicks is no different. You may nurse the fantasy that he is a “noble victim” but he did what he was accused off, and he admitted it, and his activities have not been “arbitrarily circumscribed” He has like so many criminals, been allowed to incrementally enjoy more freedom as he proves himself more worthy to be accepted back into the mainstream of society.

    … then you really need to consider whether maybe, just maybe that crew may not always be your crew.

    Is this some kine of weird leftist code? because it makes no sense to me.

    Me. I’ll go with a pluralist, secular democracy every time.

    You see this is the problem with your value free leftist thinking, You suggest that all social systems are of equal virtue and that none should be privileged above any other, which is the stuff of nonsense.

  9. David Davidson says:

    JM
    Pluralism is a terrific ideal to strive for, but in reality, that is a long, and for the most part, a painful journey. But for pluralism to succeed, there must be detente, between the individual religions or sects, with a certain level of understanding for it to work. In that, none, are superior to the rest. That is where pluralism, or multi culturalism fails miserably. You will always have one branch of the society, always pounding the rest, with their way, being the “better way” ? What has been the largest trigger of war, on this miserable little planet, since we began to walk upright ? Not hard to guess, religion !

    As for being let off the leash. We are all in someway, “on a leash”. To have a peaceful progressive society, that includes people from all religions, and differing socio economic ideals. We must all have tolerance, to live together, to form that society. Therefore, we must all make sacrifices, and develop a code, that we can all live by, or we have nothing more than an anarchist state.

    In Iain’s defence, how can you call him a “fascist” ?

    Hicks made a choice. One that, for the most part, our society has deemed an incorrect one. We have rules in this society, and he broke them. He was caught, and whatever we say about the process, was punished. As he has “survived” his punishment, it has been decided, that he is now able to return to the society. BUT, in doing that, there must be restrictions, that he must follow, the same as the rest of us.

    Iain.
    Your last paragraph is a worry ?

    “You suggest that all social systems are of equal virtue and that none should be privileged above any other, which is the stuff of nonsense.”

    Don’t you see that for a planet of differing religions, social systems to survive, and live together in some sort of peaceful cohabitation, ALL must realise that they are no better than any other ? It may be a simplified utopian view of things, but it is the only way this planet will stop killing it’s habitants in the long term ?

  10. Iain Hall says:

    David
    what i was trying to say is that we can’t pretend that every conception of how society can be made is equally good either for it’s citizens or the rest of the world. There are some ways of making a society that are clearly better than others and I happen to think that ours is pretty close to be as good as it gets. JM seems to be frightened to make such judgements.

  11. David Davidson says:

    In that regard, yes, I agree.

    A society’s outward projection, is dependent upon the eyes that are viewing it ? My perception of a society’s success, will no doubt be different to yours etc. Our society has a long way to go, but we show promise.

  12. JM says:

    “… we all have “freedom” within the society we live in only if that freedom meets with the approval of our peers …”

    BS. If my opinion differs with yours but I cannot express it I am not free. If you are in the same position you are not free. If one of us is not free, none of us are free.

    [shambling child sex strawman nonsense deleted, not worth responding to]

    “We as a society accept that their continuing liberty is at the pleasure of the people.”

    !!!! Not in any modern society that I recognize. We Europeans got rid of the stocks and witch trials a long time ago.

  13. Mark L. says:

    JM is right, it is not popular consent that defines freedom, it is the rule of law. They are two radically different things.

    Hicks has been dealt with by the law, from start to finish, fairly or otherwise – so he should now be free. ASIO and the AFP will watch him and spy on him (they’ve got to do something to justify their multi-million dollar budgets) but at the end of the day I suspect it’ll be a pointless activity.

  14. JM says:

    Me “… then you really need to consider whether maybe, just maybe that crew may not always be your crew.”

    Iain: “Is this some kine of weird leftist code? because it makes no sense to me.”

    crew [n] [slang] Gang of organized criminals and/or thugs usually working for authoritarian leader and charged with carrying out acts of violence or intimidation to further economic and political interests of the organisation. Modern slang often used in association with the Mafia [op cit] but also in other contexts [cf. neocon, brownshirt, fascist]

  15. Iain Hall says:

    JM

    “… we all have “freedom” within the society we live in only if that freedom meets with the approval of our peers …”

    BS. If my opinion differs with yours but I cannot express it I am not free. If you are in the same position you are not free. If one of us is not free, none of us are free.

    But I am not talking about freedom of speech I am suggesting that none of us have total freedom of action in any society,you for instance can not just take any car that you fancy nor can you commit acts of violence without expecting sanction from your peers(via the police and the courts) We are all free to act within agreed limits and as long as those limits are reasonable and agreed to by the people that is about as free as you can get and remain part of society.

    [shambling child sex strawman nonsense deleted, not worth responding to]

    No Straw in my example at all JM

    “We as a society accept that their continuing liberty is at the pleasure of the people.”

    !!!! Not in any modern society that I recognise. We Europeans got rid of the stocks and witch trials a long time ago.

    Yes JM even in Europe you have to respect the law of the land when it comes to limitations upon how you may act which is my point.

    Mark L.,

    JM is right, it is not popular consent that defines freedom, it is the rule of law. They are two radically different things.

    The rule of law is only legitimate when it has the consent and acceptance of the people, thus our liberties which are defined in the law, are clearly at the consent of the people as well.

    Hicks has been dealt with by the law, from start to finish, fairly or otherwise – so he should now be free. ASIO and the AFP will watch him and spy on him (they’ve got to do something to justify their multi-million dollar budgets) but at the end of the day I suspect it’ll be a pointless activity.

    Yet you have made the argument that a Kiddie fiddler teacher should have ongoing suspicion, supervision and exclusion from his profession even when he has served his sentence so what makes a Jihadist any different to that teacher?

    JM,

    Me “… then you really need to consider whether maybe, just maybe that crew may not always be your crew.”

    Iain: “Is this some kine of weird leftist code? because it makes no sense to me.”

    crew [n] [slang] Gang of organized criminals and/or thugs usually working for authoritarian leader and charged with carrying out acts of violence or intimidation to further economic and political interests of the organisation. Modern slang often used in association with the Mafia [op cit] but also in other contexts [cf. neocon, brownshirt, fascist]

    Yeah I knew the meaning of Crew in contemporary slang But Your original statement still makes no sense whatsoever.

  16. David Davidson says:

    JM & Mark L,

    You are partially correct. Freedom is a right.

    BUT

    It is a right that has to be earned, and respected. It is too easily lost, as you have graphically noted. With all freedoms, there are associated responsibilities.

    Your talk about brownshirts etc is fascinating. Extreme example, but fascinatingly flawed none the less.

    The law, our law, is written, and enacted out of societies concerns. That is why we have elections, and a parliament, and why the middle east countries that suffer such problems, do not. If you break societies’ rules, you can lose your liberty. If you threaten societies’ fragile balance, you can lose your liberty. What is wrong with that ? So you should. The “many” should always out value the “few”.

    As for watching Hicks, you betcha, I would, no hesitation. He has a lot to prove, in regards to seeing if he wants to become a contributing part of our society again. His choice, as it always has been. I feel slightly sorry for him, for what he has been thru, but his path was picked by him, not us, or the rest of society.

  17. JM says:

    What’s so hard to understand?

    “If you honestly believe that a person who has paid their debt to society … needs to have their activities circumscribed by the arbitrary judgement of some self-appointed crew of moralists ….then you really need to consider whether maybe, just maybe that crew may not always be your crew.”

    You say you’re in your 50’s, surely you’ve heard the cliche “what happens when the boot is on the other foot”?

    Or are you actually proposing a system where there is no possibility of the boot ever being on the other foot?

  18. JM says:

    David: “The law, our law, is written, and enacted out of societies concerns. That is why we have elections, and a parliament, and why the middle east countries that suffer such problems, do not. If you break societies’ rules, you can lose your liberty. If you threaten societies’ fragile balance, you can lose your liberty. What is wrong with that ? So you should. The “many” should always out value the “few”.”

    Normally, I wouldn’t bother to respond to gibberish like this, but since David and Iain seem to be supporting a system where my personal liberty would be subject to their approval, I will.

    I’ll take the core of it first: “… why the middle east countries that suffer such problems, do not. If you break societies’ rules, you can lose your liberty …”

    I can’t work out if this means that middle eastern countries do not have law, or if you can only only lose your liberty in countries that have laws established by elections and a parliament.

    Both alternatives are absurd. The law in Saudi Arabia where you can lose a hand for theft and a woman her head for being a rape victim is not something we’d enact here. But it is the law. And short of invoking extra-territorial provisions like the various UN charters, what the Saudi’s do is perfectly legal.

    It is the force and violence of the state being applied to those who society disapproves of – ie, law. And last time I looked Saudi has neither elections nor a parliament. There is no association between the law and a full franchise democratic electoral system.

    What makes that law unacceptable to western societies (who don’t approve or thieves either, and until recently used to treat rape victims pretty badly) is the democratic theory developed during the Enlightenment and established in the US Declaration of Independence and the constitutions of the US and France.

    Namely that all persons are born with all rights and any circumscription of those rights is limited and only in the form of a delegation upwards to a democratically constructed state and only for agreed purposes, principally the improvement of peoples lives.

    The people have no responsibility to the state, rather the state has only responsibilities to the people. The people retain all rights not delegated upwards. There is no quid-pro-quo where the state says “we’ll handle social security for you, but you have to curb your tongue”, or to put it another way “shut up or you’ll lose your social security, and if you make too much noise we’ll chuck you in jail and throw away the key”

    Which is what more or less what David and Iain are proposing here in respect of Mr. Hicks.

    Basic democratic principles require that the state protect minorities, even if that is a minority of one, from the tyranny of the majority.

    What’s wrong with you two? Did you lose your copies of the Tom Paine Reader somewhere? I believe Collins still publish it regularly in their Classics line and it should be readily available in your local book store.

  19. Iain Hall says:

    But what is your point JM?
    I am saying that I many other people are willing to give Hicks a chance to prove he is a reformed man, just as we would for any criminal who has done his time , You seem to be suggesting that we (society as a whole ) does not have the right to be concerned that someone like Hicks may re-offend.
    As David Davidson suggests He will quite rightfully be watched and scrutinised until we are sure.

    Dare I say “cobblers” to your Boot analogy? because I don’t get where you are trying to go with that either. I would expect nothing less for myself had I done what Hicks has done in his life. You seem to be suggesting that throwing your lot in with Al Qaeda and the Taliban is no more serious than shoplifting.

    JM cont

    Normally, I wouldn’t bother to respond to gibberish like this, but since David and Iain seem to be supporting a system where my personal liberty would be subject to their approval, I will.

    Everyone’s personal liberty is subject to the approval of the society as a whole if the society you live in will not protect your rights to liberty in its law you can claim them till the cows come home but it will make no difference in the real world.As I said an earlier comment your rights to liberty are not absolute or without limit. Are you suggesting that they are?

    Namely that all persons are born with all rights and any circumscription of those rights is limited and only in the form of a delegation upwards to a democratically constructed state and only for agreed purposes, principally the improvement of peoples lives.

    Really? you may be born with “rights” but such things are entirely illusory (or academic) unless the society that you live in will respect them through the common law here our society does and I appreciate it everyday.

    The people have no responsibility to the state, rather the state has only responsibilities to the people. The people retain all rights not delegated upwards. There is no quid-pro-quo where the state says “we’ll handle social security for you, but you have to curb your tongue”, or to put it another way “shut up or you’ll lose your social security, and if you make too much noise we’ll chuck you in jail and throw away the key”

    Bollocks !!!
    Each person who lives in a society has a responsibility to respect it’s laws and if you have transgressed those laws to accept the judgements of your society.You seem to be terribly keen to confuse having an unbridled right to express your opinions freely with the societies right to proscribe unacceptable behavior.

    Which is what more or less what David and Iain are proposing here in respect of Mr. Hicks.


    No it isn’t

    Basic democratic principles require that the state protect minorities, even if that is a minority of one, from the tyranny of the majority.

    Yes but when that minority (even of one) has taken up arms against our society then we have the if they want to live amongst our community we right to demand that they prove they are not a continuing threat.

    What’s wrong with you two? Did you lose your copies of the Tom Paine Reader somewhere? I believe Collins still publish it regularly in their Classics line and it should be readily available in your local book store.

    Tom Paine is not the be all and end all on human rights 🙄

  20. JM says:

    Iain

    When I look at Hicks I see 4 things.

    1. “Dumb berk”. A naive kid who played at being a mercenary in a cause he supported (which was incidentlly illegal under Australian law at the time, and for which he could have been prosecuted)

    2. A person who has been convicted and served the prescribed sentence and who – by definition – owes nothing more to me now than the kid who shot my dog some 30 years ago and is now walking the streets having paid his fine and community service. ie. zilch.

    3. A person convicted in grossly warped legal process that was simply a figleaf for “well we’ve locked you up and tortured you for 5 years now, and we’ll keep on doing it until you confess”

    4. George Orwell. Who went to fight in a war against fascism overseas for a cause he believed in. Known to you and I as the Spanish Civil War. Unfortunately, as per point 1, that altruistic purpose is now illegal. It now appears, (Gitmo being the prime example, but your support for that nonsense being a secondary one) that the state no longer cares about legality of any recognizable form, and feels able to do just what the damn well it feels like.

    Nice company you’re keeping there Iain.

  21. JM says:

    Good grief, I actually agree with Iain on something:

    “Everyone’s personal liberty is subject to the approval of the society as a whole if the society you live in will not protect your rights to liberty in its law you can claim them till the cows come home but it will make no difference in the real world.”

    Simple logic. Can’t ague. If we let the mob out of the gate, then yep, my rights will last about as long as it takes to light the bonfire.

    But let’s take this bit: “… if the society you live in will not protect your rights …”

    Isn’t that my point?

    Doesn’t the whole moral force of modern democracy derive from its willing to protect my rights come hell or high water? As opposed to throwing them away when the mob gets out the pitchforks and torches?

    Iain, you are proposing that my liberty be subject to the whims of the mob. Just because you’re part of the mob at the present time doesn’t make you safe in the future.

    The only thing that will do that is adherence to some basic principles – principles you have spent quite a bit of energy here, opposing.

  22. Mark L. says:

    The rule of law is only legitimate when it has the consent and acceptance of the people, thus our liberties which are defined in the law, are clearly at the consent of the people as well.

    That’s where it draws its legitimacy from. But the people do not necessarily shape the laws, or we would be in thrall to populists and the media. Why do you think 70% of the population supports capital punishment, yet our legal system has outlawed it?

    Yet you have made the argument that a Kiddie fiddler teacher should have…

    Blah blah blah… I said no such thing. Up goes yet another strawman.

  23. David Davidson says:

    What you are proposing JM, is a state based on totalitarianism. Nice ! NOT

    Hicks was caught, cold. As he was involved in a military action, his case was destined for a military tribunal. There, he was not entitled to certain rights, that civilians are. He had an advocate, and one that fought so hard for him, that it looks like he has permanently damaged his own career, in the process. They interviewed the guy a couple of years ago. He was judged, as it was a military crime, under military law. I will not judge that process, not up to any of us. I am ex military, and understand the process. It is harsher, and the penalties are harsher. To you, this may seem a travesty of legal rights, but as far as I am concerned, he got what he deserved AT THE TIME.

    “Normally, I wouldn’t bother to respond to gibberish like this, but since David and Iain seem to be supporting a system where my personal liberty would be subject to their approval, I will.”

    WRONG !

    Someone’s liberty is only curtailed, when they are seen as either a danger to the society they terrorise, or have perpertrated a crime, against that community. Walking around with a bloody rocket launcher, over the shoulder, me thinks, pretty well qualifies for that.

    Your personal liberty is not dependent on us JM, but on rules, that the community (not the state), over many years, have deemed necessary to PROTECT that community at large. The state writes those laws, with final approval from the community, as it should be.

    “Both alternatives are absurd. The law in Saudi Arabia where you can lose a hand for theft and a woman her head for being a rape victim is not something we’d enact here. But it is the law. And short of invoking extra-territorial provisions like the various UN charters, what the Saudi’s do is perfectly legal”

    A reasonable argument JM, if you live in Saudi Arabia ? This is acceptable and legal there, but NOT here. Our society has decided not to follow the strict old testament type of justice. I would like to think, now that we are in the 21st century, that we are slightly more even handed.

    As for “watching” the guy ? If he moved into my neighbourhood, I would demand he be watched as well, same as any parolee is. We have only heard a minute part of this particular story.

    Orwell’s journey thru the Spanish Civil War permanently moulded his brain, towards the futility of war in general. A fair image for the time. No one in the Spanish war strapped bombs to their chests, and blew up school busses, or cafe’s did they ? We have to stop this type of combat behaviour, and as far as I am concerned, in battle, being an ex serviceman, anything goes and often does. Don’t kid yourself JM, this is a war, and being guerilla in nature, will probably rage for decades. The perpertrators don’t follow standard rules of war, so extreme measures must be used, to try and quell it. I have no problem with these measures at all.

    The State, by it’s very nature, must protect it’s citizens, however it sees fit. It it’s judgement is deemed incorrect, or excessive, we decide that, the next time they produce themselves for judgement at an election.

  24. JM says:

    David I confess to being completely baffled by this accusation:

    “What you are proposing JM, is a state based on totalitarianism. ”

    I don’t think anything I’ve said could be construed that way, but if you’d like to be specific perhaps I could understand your point (or rather correct your impression).

    “Your personal liberty is not dependent on us JM, but on rules, ….”

    Which you are proposing (justifying in Hick’s case) that we throw out at the first sign of stress – which is all that remainder of your lengthy comment is arguing: “the war on terror is a guerilla war, it will be long and harsh and our normal rules are outmoded and should be discarded [etc, etc]”

    Sorry, I happen to believe that adherence to our principles is important. Today they came for Hicks, tommorow it may be me. Therefore today I defend Hicks – even though I do not agree with him – because only that way will I be safe tommorrow.

    “The State, by it’s very nature, must protect it’s citizens,”

    Yeah, that’s its primary role, no argument.

    ” however it sees fit.”

    No. Absolutely not.

    The state is an institutional fiction, not society itself. It has no more consciousness, opinion or right to “see fit” about something than that given to it by its citizens in the form of its legal structure.

    That is basic democratic theory and has been so since Socrates.

  25. David Davidson says:

    You have the point JM.

    ” however it sees fit.”

    No. Absolutely not.

    Perhaps you think that we turn everything over to the government unchecked ? Absolutely not. that is why we have elections, ombudsmen and other protections built in. If the judgements made by our governments, in such a scenario, are deemed heavy handed, or against simple human rights, that would be decided by the electorate at large, at the next election. Checks and balances, always the keys, to ensure, that our society, does not end up like the ones we are fighting ?

  26. Iain Hall says:

    Mark

    That’s where it draws its legitimacy from. But the people do not necessarily shape the laws, or we would be in thrall to populists and the media. Why do you think 70% of the population supports capital punishment, yet our legal system has outlawed it?

    If the people do not shape the Laws then you must be suggesting that they (the laws) have sprung into existence by the will of whom? God?
    As for capital punishment being supported by the people that is as it has ever been and it demonstrates the way that our society has the checks and balances that David has been talking about.

  27. Mark L. says:

    I didn’t say they DON’T shape them, I said they do not “necessarily” shape them. Something of a difference there Iain old chap. I’m sure if we held a referendum tomorrow then capital punishment would be back in… as would flogging kids at school, poofter-bashing and the like. Luckily application of the law is in more enlightened hands than the general public, who can act as peers in a jury trial but play little role in sentencing.

  28. Iain Hall says:

    You know what Mark I think that you are, at heart, profoundly opposed to democracy.

  29. David Davidson says:

    Don’t know about that Mark.
    I think, over the entire history of Federation in this country, only 2 referenda have succeeded. All the others, have been defeated, as they are seen as a scheme, by the Federal Govt to subvert power, or increase their power base. I think, even if they introduced a referendum, to reintroduce capital punishment, it would be defeated along the same grounds, as all the others have. We have (at least I think most of us), have grown up, with a healthy, if not paranoic mistrust of the power we have instilled in our leaders/parliament. This is a good thing. Always checks and balances.

    I grew up in the violent state school structure, with the cane and strap, got a couple myself ! It didn’t do me any harm. I am of average temper me thinks, and don’t want to go and blow up the world (only certain parts of it 🙂 ?)

  30. Shawn Whelan says:

    The founding fathers of the USA did not mention democracy in the Constitution. This was deliberate and the USA is actually a constitutional Republic as opposed to a democracy.

    Are We a Republic or a Democracy?

    We often hear the claim that our nation is a democracy. That wasn’t the vision of the founders. They saw democracy as another form of tyranny. If we’ve become a democracy, I guarantee you that the founders would be deeply disappointed by our betrayal of their vision. The founders intended, and laid out the ground rules, for our nation to be a republic.

    The word democracy appears nowhere in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution — two most fundamental documents of our nation. Instead of a democracy, the Constitution’s Article IV, Section 4, guarantees “to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government.”
    cont.

    Democracy vs Republic
    Looks like the stopped clock got the better of JM again

  31. David Davidson says:

    I think Shawn, after the (what did they call it ?) “Australia Act 1988” ?, aren’t we still called a constitutional monarchy ? The Queen is still technically, our “Head of State”, with the GG being her representative. I think, if I remember correctly, that all court appeals to the Privy Council, ceased on the bi-centennial. They created the Full Bench of the High Court here to take it’s place, so “technically” we are a republic already, without the nametag ????
    Our method of democracy is open to all forms of corruption. Preferential voting can always be manipulated, with transferral of preferences at the whim of the candidates, and this has been always seen as dangerous and open to corruption. Yanks have the right idea, first past the post, the one with the most primary votes wins. When we vote, we unwillingly could vote for the last person we prefer. It sort of contradicts my argument above, but once power is obtained, there are checks and balances, to try to ensure some sort of honesty.

    We are sort of getting away from Iain’s topic tho aren’t we ? We are fortunate, in that we have strict laws regarding the freedom of people to make, and attach bombs to their limbs, on their journey towards martydom ? Thank God for that.

    Maybe, our system is not such a bad one after all ?
    😉

  32. Shawn Whelan says:

    DD,

    I am a Canadian and I think are parliamentary system is similar to yours.

    Ben Franklin said “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”

    Winston Churchill
    “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried.”

    Winston Churchill
    “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

    Karl Marx
    “Democracy is the road to socialism.”

    Winston Churchill
    “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

  33. Mark L. says:

    You know what Mark I think that you are, at heart, profoundly opposed to democracy.

    Just like I think you’re a bigoted closet Catholic? 😉

    I’m no fan of populism and mobs, so yes, I’m opposed to direct democracy. But that’s not what we have today. In this political system the people, by and large, are kept at arm’s length from the reins of power and I kinda like that – it’s the buffer between knee-jerk collective viciousness and good sense.

  34. David Davidson says:

    Shawn,

    Touche !

    DD

  35. JM says:

    “Looks like the stopped clock got the better of JM again”

    Tsk, tsk Shawn, if I didn’t know better I’d think you were just trying to provoke me.

  36. Shawn Whelan says:

    JM,

    I just find it interesting that it is a rare day when the broken clock is not correct more than you.

  37. PKD says:

    Shawn does seem rather obsessed with ‘stopped clocks’ – someone should teach him how to change the batteries, along with his tune!!! 😉

  38. Shawn Whelan says:

    PKD
    If I did fix the broken clock and set it to the wrong time it would be just like you and JM. Always wrong.

    Personally I think it is better to leave it broken and challenge PKD and JM to be correct more than twice in one day.

  39. PKD says:

    Does that stuff actually work in when you’re in the school playground Shawn?

Comments are closed.

Welcome to the Sandpit

I love a good argument so please leave a comment

Please support the Sandpit

Please support the Sandpit

Do you feel lucky?

Do you feel lucky?

%d bloggers like this: