Sid and Sod #819



Spock and the Republicans


Democracy and the Zamia Palm

(I wrote this in November of 2006.)
(A decade on, with events in Turkey, Thailand, Burma, on the) (African Continent and elsewhere it still seems relevant.)

bar - stones

Macrozamia riedlei, the Zamia Palm is a pretty, palm-like plant of South Western Australia. It is also quite poisonous and has lead to the death of many imported herd animals. Yet the original inhabitants of the area, both human and animal, all lived comfortably with this plant and were even able to add it to their diet.

Macrozamia riedlei (Zamia Palm)

I am led to wonder about other transplants and importations. Democracy is a wonderful political invention. There is no doubt of this fact. It is also a recent evolution in history. It may even be a short-lived failure. Yet if it were so, it will be remembered as a beautiful failure.

Perhaps we should look as closely at Democracy as we do at our plants. Should it be grown in all soils? Does it need a special fertiliser? Could it be poisonous in some climates?

A quick overview of the origins of Democracy would note that an aborted form occurred in Ancient Greece. That Democracy, in part, grew out of the very bloody French Revolution and was immediately transplanted to North America. That it also grew out of the 13th century Magna Carta in England. This was a slow gestation and it was not until the early years of the 20th century that it finally bore the fruit of electoral equality in Britain and its Empire. Europe also saw a successful flowering of Democracy.

There have been many attempts to transplant and impose Democracy into other parts of the world. Most have failed and the transplant has turned poisonous. Much of Africa is ruled by poisonous mutations of democracy. Other variations can be seen in much of Asia and Arabia. Democracy seems to work for a while, then it degenerates into a dictatorship of the small majority. Genocide and electoral manipulation leads to that small majority entrenching itself. Without the correct soil and nutrients, Democracy rapidly mutates into a poisonous caricature.

My American friends often tell me that they do not live in a democracy. That the USA is a Republic. Looking at the political garden in North America, I tend to agree. Democracy has failed that particular transplant. It now exudes a noxious patronage which is afflicting the whole system.

Our headlines at the moment, without mentioning the word, are about America’s urge to transplant democracy yet again. This time into Iraq and Afghanistan, Iran and North Korea. As political horticulturist I fear for the twisted forms these experiments will take.

Like the Zamia Palm, Democracy can be fatal to those who have not been acclimatised to it from birth.


Street Wisdom

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Street Art

Found in Bunbury

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This Land Was Your Land

So now we look forward to another three years of a Coalition Government.

The Abbott/Turnbull Government did a good job implementing some of the IPA’s 75 dot-point ideas. However there are still many as yet unimplemented ideas. The Coalition, with its huge majority in the Reps thought it was going to be immortal and so did not have to rush things.

The new Turnbull/Whoever Government knows it only has this term to complete the real Conservative plan. The one no one talks about. The one where Australia is sold to all their supporters. And the Bill Shorten-led ALP has proven that the electorate does not want that to happen. The next election will return Labor  to the Treasury benches.

With a fractious Senate, a bare majority in the Reps and falling popularity in voter-land, Turnbull will have to give all he can to the IPA to keep the position he paid a million dollars to hold. He may not get the full three years. In fact this divided Government may not get the full three years.

Things are going to get a lot worse for us ordinary folk. Medicare and pensions will be just the tip of the ice-berg. By the end of this Government we probably will not have a public broadcaster to rescue. We shall lose all credibility as a provider of Foreign Aid. Our USA-China problems will be exacerbated.  The Union movement will be completely emasculated. Don’t even think about the possibility of taxation fairness or economic recovery. We will be lucky to salvage a -A rating by the end of this term.

Things will get so much harder for the average Australian and it will be because the Coalition will be pushing as much through to benefit their cronies as they can before losing the 2016/7/8/9 election. Whenever it is.

A maximum of three years to pad their mates wallets before the hard times of an honest Labor Government.


Street Wisdom

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