My personal views on Politics and Religion are sure to alienate every other living person on the planet. This is exactly how it's supposed to be, since every person on the planet is entitled to have their own personal views on things. If you are apt to experience outrage when someone's views differ from yours, I suggest that you read no further. Ever. Anything. Unless you like being outraged (which admittedly many people do, given the popularity of outrage-promoting TV shows such as The News.) In that case, my best advice is to do whatever you want, and don't blame me.
I find Australian politics to be fascinating.
Like most statements about politics, this one is also an outright lie. The truth is that I find few things to be more irritating than politics. To my mind, interesting questions are scientific, philosophical or engineering in nature and not the endless random noise about who supports what or whom. It's Celebrity Gossip and nothing more.
In Australia, the conservative pro-wealth party is called The Liberal Party of Australia for some reason. This would be like the US Republican Party calling itself The Gay Communists of Atheism Party. The word "liberal" is such an epithet and insult in the United States that the casual use of it in Australia still sounds weird to me.
I also consider it to be blatant false advertising. "Vote for lower taxes on the rich, fewer immigrants, more corporations, less health care, less welfare, less education, and more Religion in public life. Vote Liberal!" Say what? That stuff isn't liberal, it's head-in-the-sand 17th-century Conservatism.
Meanwhile the liberal side of politics in Australia is called the Australian Labour Party for the very compelling reason that they needed to have a different acronym (ALP) from the other guys (LPA). This is also a bold move that the US Democrats are too cowardly to take: openly declaring their support of labor unionism.
Back in the 1800's when the lines were being drawn globally, progressive socialist intellectual marxist bolscheviks ("liberals") decided they needed a voting base slightly more diverse than that of over-educated and under-experienced idealistic university students, and so they recruited blue-collar workers to their side by promising better wages and conditions. This was accomplished first through unionism, then violent communist revolutions, later through government-mandated conditions of employment, and later still, total government oversight of every aspect of life. Early attempts at totalitarian control utilized a kind of secret police called The Secret Police, but now most governments do this simply using the tax code. I'm not talking just about Russia here, but every nation on the planet including the USA.
But what they didn't count on was the underlying conservatism of blue-collar workers,who tend to believe in family life, religion, national patriotism, and sports. And so to maintain this tenuous grip on blue-collar support, the liberal Labour Party, just like the conservative Liberal Party, has to pretend to like all those very conservative yet very populist things as well, making the conservative Liberal Party and the liberal Labour Party visibly indistinguishable from each other. But behind closed doors, Labour Party leadership are still essentially intellectual communist atheists. Australia's Prime Minister for example is a woman who openly lives with a man to whom she is not married, and has done so for years. In America, many people think it's still legal to stone monogamous adulterers (aka "liberals") to death. Can you imagine a man or a woman in a de-facto relationship running for office in the US?
This brings me to the parliamentary practice of making one of their numbers the de-facto (har!) head of state. It's like putting one of the chickens in charge of the henhouse, which seems to me like an enormous conflict of interest. Who is representing her electorate while Julia Gillard off being the Prime Minister?
To be effective, any legislative body needs to have a common enemy, specifically a chief executive or President as head of State. Otherwise, they do what the Australian Parliament does all day, which is bicker and snipe at each other rather than figure out how to settle the President's hash once and for all.
Every statement heard in parliament is made solely to denigrate the other party simply for being the other party. The LPA trashes the ALP for supporting policies that the LPA itself supported not more than a couple of years ago. There is nothing substantive or intelligent ever said within those walls. I find it to be pure childishness and a complete waste of the taxpayers' money.
But would it be any different if Australia had a President instead of a foreign Queen as head of State? Based what I hear from the USA, the answer would have to be "no."
The late and famous Douglas Adams wrote in one of the Hitchhikers' Guide books that no one who seeks power can ever be trusted to have it. In his universe, the real leader is a hermit who doesn't give a toss about power, and makes decisions on a purely rational basis (he asks his cat) rather than based on what is more likely to get his party re-elected.
J.K. Rowling, whom you may have heard of if you've been anywhere in this Solar System during the last 15 years, also writes that those who crave power should under no circumstances be allowed to actually have it. Everything I am unfortunate enough to read about politics confirms these views for me.
The solution? First, we should immediately ban all political parties forthwith. They have never done anyone any good whatsoever and are a hinderment to real democracy. Secondly, adopt real democracy, which is making decisions by the majority voice of the people. Democracy did not originally mean creating popular celebrities who would then make short-sighted decisions based on how to best remain in power.
We have the technology now. Why not have politics without politicians?
But doesn't someone have to be in charge? No problem. You've heard of Jury Duty, right? Pick citizens at random to fill the seats. You have my personal Guarantee that they will be no worse than the politicians who lie, cheat, steal and deal to get where they are. Or your money back.