I seldom discuss about Australian politics, though I have lived in Australia for about 12 years.
One of the reasons is that politics over here are just truly uninspiring. On the surface there appear to be significant differences in the policies and approach being offered by the two main political parties. However, in reality there is really not much of a difference. This is especially so in foreign policies, trades, defence and security, domestic policies etc.
Being a lucky country (with ample natural resources and relatively sparse population), Australia does not really need good and capable leaders to govern. It is a process driven country where, mediocre and inept politicians, together with the mass media play large part in providing high level of entertainments to the general public.
The state of the mass media is also another disappointment, to put it midly. Infact, I am disgusted with it. It is just another big entertainment industry, with little attention being paid to news objectivity, of being balanced or getting the truth of the matter. One really needs to wonder why the systemic villification of China by this nutcase reporter for Fairfax media, John Garnault, is allowed to set the agenda for Australia-China relationship. It was laugable and ludricous to see him given additional space by the papers to give words of advice in dealing with the Chinese on Prime Minister Julia Giliard first visit to China, as if he is an experienced diplomat or adviser.
Perhaps, there is a sense of anxiety with China’s meteoric rise that makes the elites and opinion makers think could threathen their sense of superiority , and thus embarked on path of crass propaganda. China is by far the most important Asian country for Australia, from the fact that much of Australia’s prosperity depends on China’s . China’s importation of iron ores and the influx of large number of Chinese tourists and Chinese students to Australia, brings very good money and by and large contributed to this extra-ordinary appreciation of the Aussie dollars. Without China’s factor, the economy will have nowhere to go, but down. In other words, , the high consumption and high living lifestyles would become untenable.
On the current state of Australian democratic system, here is what the gutsy lady Wei Chua at www.outcastjournalist.com has collated at :
Malcolm Fraser: “There aren’t enough people who have done something before they got into Parliament” (ABC Radio, 9 April 2011) The above is a comment made by former Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser on ABC radio about the important of having quality people in a political system. One need just to browse through the events that have taken place in Australia politics (Federal and States) over the last few months will be able to understand why Australians are so frustrated with the lack of deep thinkers and serious policy makers in our political establishment. Quality of leaders is not a problem in good time
In normal time when the world economy is booming, despite wide spread incompetency amongst the political leaderships, Australia is blessed by its natural resources and are able to flow along with the world trend of economic prosperity. Therefore, the issue of political incompetency within our current system of government has not become an alarming issue as it has yet to affect the livelihood of the average people on the streets. For example, Australia can simply ride on the wave of China boom such as:
1) ‘China the focus of our fortunes’ (WA Today, 27 Dec 2010)
2) ‘Good year ahead for investors, depending on China’ (The Australian, 29 Dec 2010)
The world has become so inter-connected that some problems are beyond our control
However, when the world economy has become so inter-connected that an event taken place in one part of the world could negatively impacts upon the rest of the world such as the global financial crisis ignited by the United State in 2008, and the subsequence global inflation due partly to the then Bush’s and now Obama’s administration so-called ‘Quantitative Easing Monetary Policy’ (plainly speaking, it is a money printing policy) that flooded the world with hot money and a depreciating US dollar. (Money Market, 25 Oct 2010 – ‘Is the US. Federal Reserve Setting the Stage for Hyperinflation?’)
There are of course many other international factors that resulted in inflation beyond our control such as:
1) The US administration irresponsible policy in the sudden converting of 35 per cent of US corn into biofuel without taking into consideration the immediate impact to the rest of the world due to:
a) US exports account for about 60 per cent of the world’s corn supply, hence a sudden shortage in supply of 35% of corn from US into the market causing the price to go up.
b) Many livestock farmers are using corn to feed their livestock. Hence, inflation on meat and meat related products as well.
As a result, the Independent UK (23 march 2011) reported a complaint by Nestle boss with a heading: ‘Biofuel policy is causing starvation, says Nestlé boss’.
2) The recent mass protests across the Middle East and North Africa have also got to do with inflation in food price and daily necessity. The political turmoil in the oil rich regions fuel inflation across the world in another front with a surge in oil price, and hence affecting the cost of transport, electricity and everything else due to such cost increment.
3) There are of course other factors that cause inflation such as the appreciation of the Chinese Currency and labour cost. Corporate greed is also a key reason, etc.