Tuesday 25th of June 2024

The Canberra view (Don Aitkin)

I read NHJ in two big hits, and a lot of it hit home. As someone who had something to do with the work of the AEC in the 1970s, and knew earlier Commissioners well, I cringed at the chapter on the AEC. What have we come to? And the dreadful subjection of respect for our Parliament to the need to bow low before leaders of larger countries than our own, Yuk!

Two small points. There has been a century of growing 'apathy', not simply eight years. The modern party system works very well in allowing us to get on with our lives and to revert to being citizens only at election time. We've got to overcome the feeling that that's still OK. Your first suggestion at the end is an excellent one, but it's only a beginning. Second, please don't use 'Canberra' as a shorthand for the Federal Government. It's demeaning to those of us who live there, and it's demeaning to your own capital city. Remember, the PM and family have chosen not to live there.