The Price Of Political Fear by John Faulkner

From Senator John Faulkner’s address to the 2012 H.V.Evatt Memorial Dinner on April 28.
When Faulkner speaks, it is always an inspiring and uplifting moment, the full address is worth the time The price of political fear. Below is an extract:

Australia has had for most of our national existence a broad consensus that government should take responsibility to provide a far greater range of services and regulate a far larger number of practices than in many other countries. But in recent years that consensus has begun to deteriorate: instead of belief in the potential of co-operation and the role of government in creating and guiding that collective effort, there is distrust – distrust fuelled by some members of the political class, for their own short term electoral gains.

2010. As we all know, the Leader of the Labor Party, Julia Gillard, and the Leader of the Liberal Party, Tony Abbott, entered into negotiations with independent and minor party MPs, and sufficient of those MPs determined to support the formation of a Labor Government. The Governor-General, informed of this fact, issued the appropriate commissions in accordance with our Westminster system of government, as Governors-General have been doing since Federation.

And yet, we hear constantly from the conservative coalition and their allies in the media that Prime Minister Gillard is “unelected” and the government she leads is illegitimate, because it is a minority government: as if the normal operation of Parliamentary processes – which were designed to cope with not just one, two, three or four parties, but any number – are some sort of sneaky underhanded trick.


no Opposition has gone as far as the current Opposition, led by Tony Abbott, as to undermine, through their political rhetoric, public trust in electoral and parliamentary process. Tony Abbott has sunk to new depths.

To read more: The price of political fear

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