Australian Federal Elections 2010

September 8, 2010

By Padmini Arhant

Australia – Welcomes the first female Prime Minister Julia Gillard after the political stalemate Down Under yielded victory to the ruling Labor Party in coalition with Green Party Independent members to form a government.

The Australian federal election held on August 21, 2010 produced a hung parliament with the incumbent Labor party and the opposition Liberal party (conservatives in political ideology) winning 72 seats short of 76 required in the 150 seats House of Representatives elected to the Parliament.

Australian Green Party as the name suggests is renowned for environmental cause and increasingly becoming prominent in Australian politics dominant with two major parties i.e. Labor, the Democrats equivalent and the Liberal being the conservatives.

The two independent members’ conditional alignment with the Labor Party was reportedly related to climate change legislation and expansion of the fastest and sophisticated Internet broadband networks in the country.

Green Party proposals in the environmental and technological fronts are praiseworthy.

However, there is a greater need for the environmental groups and their legislators to review Australia’s role as the leading coal exporter to China and a competitive bidder in uranium supply to India – the two emerging economic powers with a huge energy demand could be encouraged to abandon fossil fuel and nuclear power for clean renewable energy sources.

Planet sustenance is dependent upon collective environmental goals. The industrialized nations have better opportunities and resources to promote clean energy options on their shores and abroad.

Although each nation bears individual responsibility in protecting the environment, their economic outlook on trading fossil fuel and nuclear technology would render the domestic efforts redundant.

Tsunami in the Indian Ocean could directly affect Western Australia sharing the coastal region with South East Asia. An environmental disaster in one part of the planet could be potentially devastating for the rest of the inhabitants.

Australian economic performance despite global recession is impressive. The GDP growth at 3.3% with 5.3% unemployment in July is a boost for the Labor government and now the political mandate for further progress across the economic and social spectrum will determine the coalition strength.

Congratulations and Best Wishes! To Prime Minister Julia Gillard of the Labor Party and the coalition partners for a successful term and a bright future to all Australians.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

California Status Quo under Republican leadership

February 5, 2010

By Padmini Arhant

Courtesy extended to enlighten the ignorant and the oblivious presenters representing the selective news media.

California economic and social calamity is falsely attributed to the “liberals” in the state by the illusionists in the magic kingdom.

Therefore, it’s important to dispel the myth and introduce sanity in the political discourse.

Being compelled by civic duty to lay facts against fiction – pervasive with respect to the California state affairs, the following data is presented for accuracy.

Fact Check: Source –
– Thank you.

The current governor is Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican who was elected on October 7, 2003.
He was reelected on November 7, 2006.

His current term will expire on January 3, 2011.

The Governor of California is the highest executive authority in the California state government, whose responsibilities include making annual “State of the State” addresses to the California State Legislature, submitting the budget, and ensuring that state laws are enforced.

*The Executive Budget – The governor has the final responsibility for preparing and submitting to the legislature an annual budget containing most of anticipated state income and expenditures.

The final budget requires a two-thirds approval of the legislature.

* The Veto – The governor has the option to veto a bill within 12 days after being received from the California State Legislature. The Legislature can override a veto by a two-thirds majority vote in both the Assembly and the Senate. The governor may exercise a line-item veto, rejecting individual items in any appropriations bill.
A Californian Perspective – By Padmini Arhant

Regarding “The final budget requires a two-thirds approval of the legislature”The Republican minority have successfully derailed legislation proposal to revive the state economy resulting in an embarrassing prolonged budget crisis.

Californians’ interest on every issue ranging from job creation, education, health care, energy to environment has been rejected by the Republican members due to the pesky ‘two-third’ legislature approval.

The republican minority in the State of California emulates their counterparts in Capitol Hill and takes enormous pride in the California Status quo, i.e. successive budget deficits with no revenue based on ideological stance against tax increases on wealthy corporations and individuals.

Furthermore, the republican fiscal policy dictated by the doctrine:

“Ready my lips, No New Taxes.” That cost the former President George H.W. Bush his second term – is the formula widely used with the draconian cuts affecting the large consumer population from the younger to the older citizens in the state and across the nation.

In the absence of pragmatic approach to the burgeoning economic crisis,

The “Golden State,” is now a bankrupt state under Republican leadership with a state deficit at a staggering $19.9 billion and still bleeding because of the dominant Republican ideology in the State Assembly and legislature akin to the republican representatives’ performance in the United States Congress.

California has been under Republican duress regardless of the party ratio. The State Treasury is forced to issue I.O.U’s to creditors and furloughs (mandatory reduction in working hours) to the state employees in the year 2009 and 2010.

In addition, California being the eighth largest economies in the world is governed by clueless Republican leadership determined to drive the state economy over the cliff with the Republican candidates vying for the governor position to exacerbate the crisis, otherwise to accomplish the task.

Similarly, the Republican candidate – the Hewlett Packard former CEO, Carly Fiorina competing for the U.S. Senate against the incumbent – Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer, is conspicuously avoiding the public furor over the massive layoffs carried out under her management, reportedly leading the company to the brink of insolvency.

Conservative media and press is aggressively engaged in camouflaging Republican leadership and the minority representatives’ flaws by denigrating the democratic majority in California, dealing with a similar dilemma experienced by the fellow democrats in the Capitol Hill.

With democracy undermined during the national and state elections and expected to worsen with the Supreme Court conservative justices’ decision, it’s necessary for the Californians and the rest of the nation to be discerning in the media propaganda targeting the captive audience and concerned citizens.

Democracy is meaningful with citizens’ participation in the information process to counteract the widespread rumors, distortions and fear mongering tactics applied to evade responsibility in various discipline – predominantly by the controversial news media anchors/talk show hosts and last but not the least the selective legislators as the elected representatives.

Citizen reaction and involvement is the effective means to bring about the ‘Change,’ desperately required in the state and national politics.

Reality being – the political decisions or the lack thereof determine the ‘average’ citizens present and future.

So, please remain alert and exercise your democratic rights by calling your representatives to perform their duties for which they were elected to the public office.

Democracy thrives with the well-informed electorate.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

International Event – Education under Attack in Australia

June 4, 2009

By Padmini Arhant

In continuation of the topic on racial attacks against Indian students (from India) in Melbourne, Australia, the incident in the new millennium strikes resemblance to apartheid in South Africa until it became free in 1994.

Australia designated as the industrialized nation, multicultural yet homogenous society…devoid of major ethnic representation in politics, democratic with mandatory voting (the only democratic nation to impose penalty for not voting) and,

A willful participant in all U.S. led major conflicts from Vietnam to Iraq – is a commonwealth nation sworn allegiance to Great Britain’s monarch as the head of the Republic.

The nation from “down under” celebrated bicentennial in 1970 and 1988 to commemorate the permanent white settlement is not a young republic and not new to controversies either.

Source – Wikipedia (The Free encyclopedia) – Thanks

“The bicentenary of Australia was celebrated in 1970 on the 200th anniversary of Captain James Cook landing and claiming the land, and again in 1988 to celebrate 200 years of permanent white settlement.”

Australian history mired with brutal killings of the Aborigines, the original inhabitants of the biggest island on earth and systemic abuse of the indigenous population and culture continues until date.

Sadly, Australia founded as a convict colony by Great Britain that outlawed its own citizens for petty crimes like stealing a straw or a loaf of bread to homicide. Australia essentially served as “Guantanamo Bay” for the then colonial Great Britain well into the early twentieth century. The exhibits tell tales in the notorious Port Arthur prison, a tourist site located at Hobart, Tasmania.

Australia upon becoming republic while maintaining the British Royalty as the head of the state until now embraced White Australia Policy abolished in 1973.

Source – Wikipedia (The Free Encyclopedia) – Thanks

“The White Australia policy stands for the historical policies that intentionally restricted non-white immigration to Australia from 1901 to 1973.”

The xenophobia attributed to – "It is not the bad qualities, but the good qualities of these alien races that make them so dangerous to us. It is their inexhaustible energy, their power of applying themselves to new tasks, their endurance and low standard of living that make them such competitors."

Australia along with its commonwealth partner Canada rejected the trade sanctions against the former Apartheid South Africa and refused to commit to the toughening sanctions proposal by the delegates from Africa, India and Guyana during the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers’ committee on South Africa, in Harare and Canberra in 1989.

Then, the government sponsored Anti-Asian immigration sentiments surfaced (subjecting all nations in the geographical regions of Asia) in mid 1985 – 1989 represented by the former Liberal Prime Minister John Howard as the opposition coalition leader during that time. Mr. Howard wasted no time in pushing Australia to forge alliance with Europe against the viable and pragmatic choice, Asia.

Ironically, in the Australian politics Liberal party represents the conservative view and policy. There are other parties such as labor, democrats, green peace…advocating for social, economic and environmental issues.

On August 31, 2001, the SOS from a Norwegian cargo ship “Tampa” with desperate Afghan refugees comprising mostly children and women aboard rescued from the sinking ferry off the Indonesian shores, rejected by the Australian Prime Minister John Howard with no outcry or uproar from mainstream Australia. Any protests held were predominantly by muslims and other minorities along with the refugees on board seeking relief.

The newly independent and poorest nation, East Timor volunteered to accept refugees and requested the international community to pay for the cause. Again, the offer was declined by Norwegian and Australian government.

Ref: World news –

UN: Australia should take refugees

Australians ignore plea on refugees – The Guardian, Thursday 30 August 2001 08.36 BST

Reflection:By Padmini Arhant

It’s important for the world community to understand the plight of the Aborigine population with no sign of progress in the twenty first century. The appalling infant mortality combined with the young aborigines dying at alarming rates in police custody from suicides and other controversial treatment is a reality in the remote Australian outback, the permanent settlement allocated for the forbidden indigenous group.

Further, the living conditions for the aborigine is deplorable and conscientiously deprived of basic education, health care and job opportunities. The average life span floats around mid thirties for the fortunate survivors of the harsh existence in the proudly acclaimed land of diversity.

The aborigine status quo prompted the Nobel Peace Laureate, Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa to criticize Australia – “Clean up your own backyard prior to finger pointing at others on human rights” during his visit to the island nation.

Shifting focus on the continuing harassment and violence against student immigrants from India or elsewhere – it is a serious and an embarrassing issue for the country in the forefront to condemn atrocities particularly in the poorest and developing regions of the world.

The media across the board thrives on negative reporting by producing images and events in bad light about the poor and developing nations and cultivates ignorance among the general population.

There is an inherent discriminatory practice against targeted groups within the society and often experienced at work force denying jobs and promotions under the guise of the requirement of “unique Australian expertise” regardless of credentials and experience from advanced nations.

The selective employment process eliminating qualified students and immigrants not barring equal entitlements to anything and everything as taxpayers is suggestive of blatant negligence to care for the segment significantly contributing to the economic growth.

This so-called cultural misunderstanding is a misnomer given the extensive travelling by the average Australians to exotic locations in Asia such as Bali – Indonesia, Phuket – Thailand, Colombo – Sri Lanka and last but not the least destinations in India.

The law enforcement authorities responsible for the protection of citizens and visitors to the country allegedly did not make any arrests in the burgeoning racial attacks in public transport and a particular incident involving the petrol bomb thrown at an Indian student in his residence.

Social behavior of citizens is a collective responsibility and shared by parents, educational system, legal and law enforcement authorities alike with the human life and safety at risk in public areas and privacy of their home. It would be inappropriate for all those crying foul to the call for government intervention given the socialist system in Australia.

The Australian government and educational institutions profiting from the lucrative educational venture have a legal and moral responsibility in ensuring equal humanitarian rights for all in their domain. Australia’s reputation lies in the fair and proper treatment of the temporary and permanent migrants with respect and dignity under humanitarian law.

Australian High Commission in New Delhi, Mumbai and other cities in India has an ethical duty to verify and investigate exploitation and fraudulent claims against their accredited agents hired by them to enroll students in Australian institutions.

In other matter, Australia’s position has been contradictory in more than one respect.

While, proclaiming to be a an environmentalist…Australia is the major exporter of fossil fuel – coal to the leading polluter China and vigorously competing for uranium supply to India and other nations.

Australian landscape is truly a paradise and nature’s best gift to mankind. However, Australian society has failed to meet adequately with the challenges of promoting multiculturalism desperately required for its own survival and sustenance in the competitive global economy.

Nation’s progress rests beyond investment in infrastructure and best reflected in the tolerance of human race.

Hopefully, with the Labor government under the leadership of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant