The Western Lines

August 28, 2009

John Howard rejects an Australian Bill of Rights

Filed under: bill of rights,democracy,John Howard — ralphbuttigieg @ 4:47 am
The other night John Howard attacked proposals for an Australian bill of rights correctly seeing it as an elitist attempt to weaken democracy:

The adoption of a charter or bill of rights would represent the final triumph of elitism in Australian politics: the notion that typical citizens, elected by ordinary Australians, cannot be trusted to resolve great issues of public policy, and that the really important decisions should be taken out of their hands and given to judges who, after all, have a superior capacity to determine these matters.

The three great guarantees of Australian democracy are a robust parliamentary system, an independent and incorruptible judiciary and a free and sceptical press.

Our parliamentary system has many flaws but ultimately it sets the tone of national debate and ought to be the ultimate decision maker. It is the identifiable and collective representation of public opinion.

I do miss our former Prime Minister.

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