Feb 122008

Listening to the opening of the 42nd Parliament this morning, I was struck by the instigation of what I trust will continue to be a part of the traditional ceremony, a ‘Welcome to Country’ from the traditional owners of the land upon which the seat of federal government sits.

Regular readers will know that I don’t support to intended proceedings tomorrow for personal reasons, however from the perspective of looking to the future and not the past, I applaud the actions of this new government by including the indigenous population in the opening of what is essentially an anglo-european construct.
I also applaud the appointment of Harry Jenkins, member for Scullin as the 28th Speaker. There’s some solid tradition in his appointment, as his father, also Harry Jenkins now deceased, held the post as Speaker of the House during the Hawke Labor government, 1983 to 1986. I notice that David Hawker, the out-going Speaker, spoke in welcome to Mr Jenkins. I couldn’t help but wonder how many listening to him were grateful for his passing. Hawker can’t possibly be said to have fulfilled his duties with an unbiased ethos. He was clearly out of his depth in the Speakers chair, which was probably why the Howard government had appointed him.
As with most listeners to Parliamentary broadcasts, I’m looking forward to the resumption of sitting, both in the House of Representatives, and Senate. I believe it’s important, that those of us who elect people to act in our stead in a representative democracy, ought to take notice of and pay attention to those people and their actions. Democracy is only as sound as the ethics of those who enact it. If more Australians took notice of and involved themselves on the political process, as corrupt as the party system may appear to be from time to time, the better government we’ll ultimately receive.
We are the government of Australia. Those we elect only merely act in our stead.

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