The two-party system after Wills

Issue 

The two-party system after Wills

The victory of left-wing independent Phil Cleary in the Wills by-election is a welcome result for all who recognise the rigged and corrupt nature of the two-party system. Wherever it survives, and not least in the European islands where it originated, the Westminster system is on the nose. There, a Conservative government was recently re-elected with an absolute majority despite the fact that a majority of Britons voted for other parties. The Scottish nationalists actually lost seats even though they increased their vote, and Labour emerged with a parliamentary minority even though it won the most votes.

Prime Minister Keating is presently searching for a little cheap popularity by plugging Australian nationalism, particularly around the peripheral issue of the flag. This might be useful if it also involved a thorough examination of all our political institutions inherited from Britain, and particularly the present voting system. Many mainland European countries have adopted far fairer proportional voting systems which make for much greater representation of minority views in parliament.

Yet, Australian politicians and the media react with outrage to the slightest threat to their positions of privilege and systems of patronage in the outmoded Westminster system. They were particularly incensed when the initial elections for the ACT House of Assembly failed to produce a carbon copy of federal and state parliaments.

There is already ample evidence that small parties and independents such as Phil Cleary and Ted Mack can play a useful role even in the rigged parliamentary system as it now stands. If the political system was genuinely democratic and reflective of the creative diversity of the Australian people, their role could be even more constructive.

Lockerbie and LA

All along the Libyan government has insisted that there are serious doubts that two of its citizens accused over the Lockerbie airliner bombing could be assured of a fair trial if they were handed over, as demanded by the wealthy nations on the United Nations Security Council, to United States and British officials.

Now the acquittal of Los Angeles police officers accused of beating Rodney King clears up any such doubts. There can no longer be any doubt that non-Europeans do not receive fair treatment at the hands of US legal authorities.

While the proposed trial of the accused Libyans would most likely be held in Scotland, the involvement of legal authorities linked to the US government greatly increases the likelihood of manipulation of the legal process and the verdict.

US law is no longer made by the people for the people, but by the rich for the rich, and nobody who is not rich can reasonably expect justice at its hands, whether they be black, Arab or poor white.