General Question

jlm11f's avatar

What are the major political discussions in your country?

Asked by jlm11f (12358points) September 30th, 2008

Since Fluther has a lot of Americans, I am sure everyone knows of the Barack-McCain arguments and has a good sense of how Americans feel about their current President. But this question is for people living in other countries. Do you like your country’s current president/prime minister/government? Why or why not? What do you and your friends argue about with respect to politics? Which “party” do you affiliate with? This Q is really for me (and perhaps other Americans) to learn more about the politics in other parts of the world. plus, i need a break from the continuous Bush-McCain-Obama crap.

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22 Answers

SpatzieLover's avatar

Where are the Aussie Flutherer’s ?

fireside's avatar

@PnL – what bush-mccain-obama crap? is this an election year? i must not have noticed

jlm11f's avatar

3 GQs and no answers? ....:( i guess there are fewer non-americans on Fluther than I realized

fireside's avatar

well, to be fair. It is 5am in India.
and midnight in France

(i think)

Give this one some time maybe

Bri_L's avatar

I theenk theese ees a goot questionn.

Boot my eenglish ees noott sook gott

girlofscience's avatar

I’m trying to think of Fluther users around the world. wildflower is in Ireland, right? I’m sure she can chime in about how she feels about the Irish government. Shall we try to think of other non-American Fluther users and summon them?

jlm11f's avatar

let’s see…wildflower, osullivanbr, fabulous, bluemukaki, shrubbery, joeysefika, yannick, MacBean (or is it McBean?...one of them…i think) richardhenry, Skyrail, iwamoto, Vincentt are the ones that come to mind when I think about it. Maybe none of them are interested in politics bait

shrubbery's avatar

Here I am! But I’ll have to come back. I want to write a good answer so I’ll do my research first :)

jlm11f's avatar

noo. no research is necessary! i just want to hear what you think haha

shrubbery's avatar

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT:

An introduction:
Our local government is similar to yours- we have councils, mayors, etc.

Our states are different from yours as in there are no Governors, here it is a Federation of states not a Commonwealth, and we have a parliamentary system at the state level. We have state Premiers but they have no executive power in their own right, they are the elected leader of their party.

Federal government is elected by the people like in the U.S but voting is compulsory. It is similar to the U.S as in it is a two party system. Our parties are the same as in the U.K, Liberal and Labor. There are also the Nationals and the Greens who can go into coalitions with the two major parties. The Liberals, up until the 07 election, were in power for 11 years. This whole time the leader was John Howard.

We have two houses of parliament at the Federal Level, similar to the U.S, but instead of congress and senate we have House of Representatives and the Senate. The Prime Minister is the leader of the governing party, however, he does not have the same executive power as the President. In fact, the Prime Minister is elected the same as any other member of parliament, and he just happens to be elected by his party is their leader.

Queen Elizabeth II is technically the Queen of Australia. Her representative in Australia is the Governor General, and once again, technically, he is the highest authority in Australia. In 1975 the Governor General actually exercised part of his power and sacked the Prime Minister. This is unlikely to happen again and while we are a constitutional monarchy, it is mainly symbolic now.

And now commentary from a Liberal voter (my dad): Labor, the current government, are more left-wing (and aligned with unions, socialist?), Liberal are more right-wing (conservative?), however in reality in recent times there is very little difference between the two parties, particularly in budget manner.

If you had to compare with the two parties in the U.S, Liberal are more similar to Republicans and promote a more capitalist society, whereas Labor are more like the Democrats, and promote a more socialist society.

The debates between the two parties are very similar to the debates in the U.S, they argue about the economy, social welfare, and they blame each other for all the problems in the country.

All of the above was put together with the help of my parents, who are Liberal voters. Most of my family are liberal swayed, so that is how I am influenced and that will be where my view comes from, but here is what I’ve picked up, in a nutshell:

I didn’t like John Howard much when he was around. But that was because I was an ignorant hippy child and hated politics because I didn’t understand it, and because I just could, as it had nothing to do with me (voting age is 18). All I could see was that Liberal were chopping down old growth forests and I can’t even remember what else (oh yeah, Iraq and his seeming devotion to GWB, bleugh – see bottom of my answer for more info on this). Now that Labor are in power and we’ve got Kevin Rudd, I’m wishing ol’ Johnny was still around.

The problem is the Labour Government and Kevin Rudd are all talk-talk-talk-propose-speculate-create-a-committee-to-look-into-it-talk-some-more and no action.

I reckon the only reason Labor were voted in this time was because Australia were bored with Liberal, had forgotten what happened last time they voted Labor in, and because of the unions. As was said above, Labor are affiliated with workers unions in Australia. They appeal to the ‘little people’, the workers, and because these people aren’t educated enough to know any better they think ‘Oh he’s talking about us, let’s vote for him”. I mean as was also said above, there aren’t any huuuge differences between the parties, and I don’t have a problem with people who know what they’re talking about voting Labor, it’s just it’s not fair to lure those in who don’t know any better and because voting is compulsory this has a great influence.

However, none of the leaders at the moment appeal to me, so if Liberal had stayed on and Johnny had retired (which he almost definitely would have done, he’s pretty much a dinosaur), we would have got Peter Costello, who just makes me gag. Then there’s Brenden Nelson, ew! And I don’t remember the other guys name… I don’t know who else there is for Labor but hopefully if Liberal don’t make it back in next time round someone better will take over for Kevin Rudd. Kevin Rudd is a twerp and boring as all hell. He avoids questions and just craps on with an obviously rehearsed speech about what he wanted to say all the while just bashing Liberal and not actually saying anything of substance.

Here is a great article that I really implore you all to read to get an idea of what’s going on.

Just a little disclaimer: This is from a 16 year old who can’t vote for 2 years and doesn’t always pay a great deal of attention to what is going on in this country. I must say I’ve been far more interested in your election race than anything around here lately, and before that my thoughts were focused on the war in Iraq, which I was completely opposed to until my Dad went because I didn’t understand it. I didn’t understand what the Australians were actually doing over there until he went. That’s why I didn’t like John Howard at the time, but I realise what he was doing now. The Australians were there to work directly with the Iraqis, trying to teach them how to sustain themselves. I don’t believe Kevin Rudd should have withdrawn them just now. All their work might be lost and things will fall into turmoil again. Now that they’ve left, their work is unfinished. The British have moved in to take over their positions I think, but I’m not sure. I just think the troops should dribble out very slowly, as long as they continue to teach and support the Iraqis and then they will be able to help themselves by the time everyones out. Buuut anyway it’s too late now and obviously a lot more people are happy that they’re home so yeah.

Hope this is what you wanted, PnL :P
Enjoy reading… :D

joeysefika's avatar

AUSTRALIA
To add my two cents on the Australian government I’m going to write a very angry anti-establishment rant. Firstly I don’t like either government system, the Liberal or the labour parties. The liberals are a bunch of old conservatives who liked to see Australia governed by Australians, they were the ones who implemented the White Australia Policy and have always been racist and backward in their views and policies. For example former prime minister John Howard refused refuge to a sinking ship full of refugees, instead he had them sent to a camp which was not technically Australian soil then deported back to their original country. He also refused to acknowledge the Stolen Generation where 1000’s of Aboriginal children were taken from their parents and put into white families, this happened up until the late 70s’

The labour party, in essence are communists. They have the unions which are basically soviets formed to govern for the people. The leader of the Labour party and our current Prime Minister is Kevin Rudd a twerpy little mouse of a man who apart from talking on about nothing and going to Strip Clubs has changed about one thing which was apologizing to the Aboriginal people about the Stolen Generation.

As for political discussion amongst peers it is mainly a Labor or Liberal side, much like the ‘are you a Democrat or Republican’ although a few of my peers are in the same boat as me and don’t support either government because neither seen suitable candidates to run a country. I would much rather support a smaller party such as the nationals (not the greens, never the greens) because the nationals actually have some decent strategies. Unfortunately they cannot be elected unless they’re in a coalition.

NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand politics are very similar to the politics in Australia except our two main parties are the Nationals and Labour. The Labour party are the current party in power and have a fantastic leader Helen Clark she has changed so much in New Zealand like phasing out the unions making it a much less socialist Labour party, which is a good thing. The Nationals are only slightly right wing and therefore do not push conservative values on you, they are a very ‘on the fence’ type of party who get stuff done but don’t want to upset anyone and this works most of the time. Because in NZ we actually give our native people rights, unlike some countries (see above) we also have a Maori party who look after much of the maori affairs such as land and treaties when NZ was colonized. NZ has many more sub parties than Australia so coalitions are usually the only way to win a majority.

So yeah thats about it, if I think of anything else i’ll post it!

shrubbery's avatar

By the way, I’ll come back and explain about the Greens tomorrow, they’re always fun :)

galileogirl's avatar

Calling a Republican a “liberal”, partner? Them’s fightin’ words! I’ve seen Republican womenfolk swoon jes’ hearin’ the “L” word. Maybe that’s why they prefer England where their counterparts are pasty-faced Conservatives instead of Australian hairy, bronzed Liberals

osullivanbr's avatar

Do you remember that episode of the Simpsons when Homer was sent to mind the bee to keep him out of the way.

Well, I wouldn’t let the Irish Government mind that bee.

shrubbery's avatar

galileogirl- the names mean nothing. just what they’ve always been called, they don’t reflect anything.

Bri_L's avatar

@ osullivanbr – hehee Best reference ever !

girlofscience's avatar

@Bri_L: Give osullivanbr some lurve then!!!

osullivanbr's avatar

I’m flattered but I don’t swing that way. Oh hang on, sorry, my bad.

Bri_L's avatar

@gos – good point! lurve to you for keeping me on my toes!

galileogirl's avatar

shrubbery: sometimes names mean a lot, If you come from Alabama and an Aussie tourist called you Yank, you might take umbrage. Everybody knows that to many Republicans, LIBERAL is a 4-letter word, no matter what the context.

shrubbery's avatar

Ah I see, GG, well here in Australia, at least, ‘Liberal’ and ‘Labor’ have no real meaning.

jlm11f's avatar

Joey, Shrubbery – Thank you both for your amazing and informative answers! I feel better knowing about the government and state of affairs in 2 other countries yes, i know australia, is actually a continent I wish others would have contributed cough osullivanbr :P cough, because I feel that people from other countries know all about American politics but it isn’t vice versa, which is rather unfortunate. I think if people here had a better grasp of world politics, that would better shape our own opinions on various matters.

Once again, thanks again for spending all that time and effort on your response!

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