December 08, 2003 | Peter

Ah, the Democrats….

I’ve got a soft spot for the Democrats – I think what they were trying to do was a legitimate experiment in Oz politics. But with all the structural change that has hit them, like the rise of One Nation and the Greens, it seems to be a lack of discipline by their own pollies that will do them in.
Personal abuse and violence have no place in civil society, let alone politics, and Bartlett has to cop it sweet. I will say though that I’ve heard worse stories about people being physically monstered in parliament, but I suppose there was no video to back up the accusations. As for the wine sent as a sorry gift, that just sounded like a dumb joke to me. Humour, as all those supposedly witty political memoirs remind us, is all too rare in Oz politics, probably because the pollies tend to take themselves so seriously.
Anyway, the Democrats could well be history now, and in the final analysis, they only have themselves to blame. So which parties will the various Democrat senators wind up in now?

Posted by Peter at 10:37 pm | Comments (3) |
Filed under: Uncategorized


  1. Hey even before Bartlett’s Boozy Bitch-brawl Bonanza (alleged), One Nation was beating the Democrats in the polls (see the Morgan poll results for 29/30 November 2003 here: I know there are lies, damned lies and statistics, but when the party-most-likely-to-have-its-members-lynched-by-the-thinking-population beats the Democrats consistently in the polls, it’s time to pack up and go home, or at least join the Greens. After all, there’s no other party still in the left in Australia.

    Comment by jj — December 9, 2003 @ 10:21 am

  2. A harsh assessment, but probably true. I’d sheet the Democrats’ decline and likely fall back to Meg and Andrew. In trying to make the Dems real players, they just managed to split them and show the gaping ideational hole at the centre. I know which party Meg and Andrew belong in.

    Comment by peter mcmahon — December 9, 2003 @ 11:37 am

  3. One way of looking at the Australian Democrats is to see them as a radical centre.
    That centre has different strands that needed to be woven whenever the strands unravelled.
    25 years is a good balancing act on the tightrope.

    Comment by Gary Sauer-Thompson — December 9, 2003 @ 2:06 pm

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