I find listening to Parliamentary broadcasts while working away to be both informative, and strangely relaxing.
Listening to the antics of politicians, the machiavellian machinations of party politics and bloody-minded power-plays for the simple sake of being able to wield power at the expense of the people, reminds me that dealing with lying, two-faced brokers in the commercial funding arena is pretty small cheese after all.
The Senate is being broadcast today. The government is attempting to have it’s Industrial Relations legislation passed through the Senate process, in what has been accepted by all parties and independents, save for the coalition parties, as a proper timetable. 27 March is the date the government wants the discovery, public scrutiny and committee stages completed by. The coalition thinks this is far too short a time period, and in a complete about face and totally hypocritical stance in direct comparison to the ram-rodding attitudes the coalition adopted when in government, they are stonewalling debate on the matter.
High politics is taking place, which has been clearly identified by Greens speakers Senators Nettle & Seaworth, Senators Bartlett and Murray of the Democrats, and even the doyen of dunderheads, Steven Fielding. Thirty-one days is the time period being debated, which Andrew Bartlett has summed up on behalf of those in favour as being short, but acceptable when considered in relation to the governments position on the former ‘Workchoices’ legislation and its election primarily on the basis of promising to abolish those laws. Frankly, I think he’s quite right, as he usually is. A longer time frame for public scrutiny of the proposed changes would be appropriate, however there are external pressures on the government, which we’re all aware of, that require consideration.
I listened to Julia Gillard introduce the initial Bills into the House of Representatives yesterday, and on the face of that presentation, the changes ‘seem’ to be akin to a return to enterprise bargaining. I suspect there are burrs under the saddle with regard to a longer term to abolition of all Australian Workplace Agreements by 2010, but with some restrictive caveats to do with illegal strike actions, Union participation and such like. Ergo, the legislation does require scrutiny. Thirty-one days is not untoward.
It is clear to me, listening to this debate, that the opposition parties have every intention of delaying and frustrating the government’s efforts to have the former ‘Workchoices’ legislation repealed. The coalition parties still retain the numbers in the Senate, and, to my mind, are going to use those numbers between now and 1 July to stymie, obfuscate and frustrate any and all government actions to have legislation passed which formed part of the government’s election platform, and therefore it’s mandate from the people. I’m disgusted, but not at all surprised at the duplicity and sheer arrogance of the opposition. Hypocrisy of the highest order.