A SURVEY reported in August found that 85 per cent of respondents felt most or all of our politicians in our nation were corrupt (‘Overwhelming majority of Australians believe federal politicians are corrupt’, Guardian 21/8/18) . Two thirds of Australians supported the formation of an anti corruption body that had support from the Labor party whilst the Liberals have resisted the move.
Only 46 per cent of respondents reported that they trusted their state and federal politicians. With such low trust and such a high perception of corruption it would seem that our democratic system has failed us. Perhaps the problem is that we have a representative democracy where out of touch politicians represent the whims of the populace.
Living in their ivory towers has isolated them from the reality facing the people they represent. A direct democracy could heal the discord between the political elite and the citizenry; giving people a meaningful voice through a vote on policy proposed by the council.
Our vibrant city of Newcastle could become the breeding ground for a direct democratic trial where the local council can present proposed bills to the people for their vote. If approved at this lower tier bills can be debated by the council for approval.
Fahim Shamsuddin, Maryland
YOU CAN’T TEST EVERYTHING
WITH 10,000 people at a music festival, what facility could authorities in all reality provide to accurately test pills at the gate? What happens then if the okay is given to a particular pill and an attendee swallows three pills instead of one and dies?
I have been a registered pharmacist since 1965, have listened to many angles on illegal drugs and suggest that the only solution is confiscation and prosecution of the perpetrators. Wake up Australia, how about some common sense?
Richard Devon, Fishing Point
TOO MUCH ERROR ON TERROR
PETER Dutton is once again looking foolish after Fiji rejected the claim that an Australian terrorist did not have dual citizenship (‘Dutton stands firm against Fiji on Prakash’, Newcastle Herald 8/1).
Doesn't anyone in Peter's department check these details before making grandiose media releases? When our federal government appeals to popular opinion, the ploy usually blows up in their faces. Taking citizenship away from convicted terrorists was meant to garner voter favour and appease the hard right of the Liberal Party.
The proviso that terrorists must have dual citizenship was not checked by Dutton's department. A phone call to Fiji could have saved the day. It appears his department decided not to do that, instead to save on phone calls and make a big media splash instead. I believe we will see a lot more blunders as the Coalition tries desperately to save their sinking ship.
John Butler, Windella Downs
SLIPPERY SLOPE TO DEMISE
ALLAN Earl (Letters, 7/1) asks: why do I want to deny him the right to die?
The right to die means the duty to kill, inevitably compliant medical professionals, which can only undermine patient trust in doctors and nurses.
So even people who don't participate in the killing/dying process are affected.
Putting one person down makes it that much easier to put someone else down, and the right to die too easily becomes the duty to die, to relieve the unbearable suffering of relatives who are tired of nursing home visits and need the assets of the soon-to-be deceased. Euthanasia is never a solo action, and objections to euthanasia don't have to be religious.
What of the place of the religious argument, that human life is 'sacred', in public debate? For Tony Emanuel (Letters, 5/1), religious groups have disqualified themselves by not joining the Green/Left progressives on their high moral ground on a whole range of issues.
But I say the religious argument supports non-religious objections to euthanasia based on real life experiences. Even some non-religious might query Mr Emanuel's labelling the right to die like a dog as a 'privilege'.
People mostly act as though human life is 'sacred' without consciously acknowledging the fact. All beliefs, whether religious or secular, affect the lives of others, and all have a place in the public square.
Peter Dolan, Lambton
PICK TRUMP, PUTIN OR OTHER
WHAT model could we use for a republic? The American model as shown of late under Trump, or the Russian model under Putin with both a president and a prime minister?
We follow the British system of government and its legal system to a degree, mostly successfully. The only contentious issue to my mind is the sting attached to the British crown, perhaps.
I say cut the string, but keep an independent Governor-General elected by the people, or both the elected government and the opposition, to keep the bastards honest.
Colin Diplock, Rankin Park
NOTHING WORTH SALUTING
NAZI salutations in Australia (‘Anning under pressure over right-wing rally’, Herald 8/1)? Can someone please purchase some history books for those who choose to exhibit this vile act?
Hopefully they'll learn of the sacrifice made by a generation of young Australians, men and women who traded their youth, their limbs, their sanity and in many cases their lives to defeat the revolting, murderous tenets of Nazism.
I sincerely hope that those who revel in the Nazi salute are just ignorant.
John Lawton, Belmont
BOARDERS AREN’T BORING
CONGRATULATIONS to Jason Nichol of Adamstown (Letters 7/1) on such a thoughtful letter regarding the closure of boarding houses.
I too am absolutely outraged by the despicable behaviour of the Newcastle City Council who display such arrogance with little or no regard for those less fortunate.
The Carrington boarding house was one I passed often while dog walking, the residents took such pride in their building with planter boxes filled with flowers that they nurtured; and a polite hello to all who passed by.
It warmed my heart to know that those residents had a clean and happy environment in which to live. All suburbs benefit from such a mixture of residents.
My only conclusion is that when our next Council elections are due we vote with a strong voice and hope that we have independent candidates who have a genuine desire to listen to their electorate.