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Christian based service movement warning about threats to rights and freedom irrespective of the label.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"
Edmund Burke
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On Target

3 July 1981. Thought for the Week: NO 4-year parliaments; NO fixed terms; NO simultaneous elections.


By Eric D. Butler
In a letter dated April 14th I asked Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Tony Street, to provide me with a list of the States being invited to the Melbourne Commonwealth Conference late in September, and to indicate those States, which the Fraser Government considered as democratic. On May 20th, I received a letter from Mr. G.R.Ashwin, a First Assistance Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, stating that Mr. Street had asked him to reply to my letter "dealing with the Government's policy on sporting contacts with South Africa." My letter did not seek any information concerning the Government's policy concerning sporting contacts with South Africa. I am familiar with the humbug, hypocrisy and double talk used by Mr. Street and his Prime Minister in an endeavour to justify their vicious anti-South African campaign. What I wanted to know was what Commonwealth States were regarded as democratic. Mr. Street obviously does not want to answer that question, because to do so would be to admit that many of those being invited are dictators.
By his refusal to admit this in writing, Mr. Street, echoing his Prime Minister's attitude, further confirms the fact that the government knows it is practising a type of diplomacy which should shame every decent Australian.

Prime Minister Fraser has demonstrated that he is a shallow, pigheaded man by his constant reference to his alleged success concerning Rhodesia. Every informed authority on Rhodesia, now so aptly described as Zimbabwe (Shona for a heap of ruins), knows that developments in what was once the most promising example of a successful multiracial country on the African continent, are following the same disastrous pattern in every part of Africa from which there has been a premature withdrawal of the European colonial power.

Forcing the British and other colonial powers out of Africa has been a long-term Communist objective. The Communists have over a long period of time built up a team of experts on African affairs, men who know far more about the realities of Africa than the Malcolm Frasers. The Communists know that the premature removal of European colonialism, and the mass exodus of Europeans, must result in the chaos, bloodshed and general disaster, which is now a feature of "liberal" Africa.
Even Kenya, long hailed as an example of successful independence, is sliding down the general African slope towards growing famine and tribal friction.

Nothing so graphically demonstrated the nature of African psychology than the standing ovations Idi Amin received at Organisation of African Unity (OAU) conferences when the former dictator of Uganda was striding the African stage. The same OAU is now demanding that New Zealand be isolated internationally if the South African rugby tour of New Zealand takes place. A relatively short time ago it would have been thought impossible that Australia would be siding internationally with African tyrants against their fellow Anzacs across the Tasman.

Prime Minister Fraser, feverishly seeking to further the New International Economic Order strategy, is making it clear that he is prepared to sacrifice Australia' s kith and kin, as he did in Rhodesia, to pursue his objectives. He has sought and gained the strong support of Fabian Socialist Pierre Elliott Trudeau in his pro-NIEO campaign. He is prepared to sacrifice the South Africans, even though the very African States he is attempting to court are, while publicly criticising South Africa, increasing their imports, much of these vital food supplies, from South Africa.

One of Malcolm Fraser's strongest allies in the betrayal of Rhodesia was Nigeria. Mr. Audu, Nigerian Foreign Minister says concerning the anti-New Zealand campaign, "I suppose there is no harm in becoming a pariah State along with South Africa. New Zealand wouldn't be missed in the Commonwealth. How many are there? Two-and-a-half million people?"
As an estimated two million Biafrans were killed, or died from the famine created by the tribal war in Nigeria, perhaps it is not surprising that Mr. Audu feels little concern about two million New Zealanders.
But what about Australians? Are they prepared to back the Audus of Africa against their kith and kin in New Zealand?

Australia failed the test when the Rhodesians were betrayed. It is unthinkable that they allow New Zealanders to be betrayed. The coming Commonwealth Conference in Melbourne might decide once and for all how much value is a Commonwealth in which there are such sickening double standards. If Prime Minister Muldoon is forced to defend himself at the Melbourne Conference, it is to be hoped that he adheres to his suggestion that he could raise the question of the lack of human rights in some States criticising New Zealand.

In an interview I did with Sir Roy Welensky, former Prime Minister of the Central African Federation (broken up by the treacherous British politicians), some years back, Sir Roy urged that the only value of a Commonwealth was that there be rules for the members. He suggested a two-tier membership, one for those accepting the Monarchical system of government, and one for those who rejected this. If Malcolm Fraser continues to support the Mugabes of Africa against New Zealanders, who are not only fellow Anzacs, but are loyal to the Crown, he must be rejected in the strongest possible way by Australians.

Instancing the case of Irish independence leader Parnell, rejected by large numbers of Irish Catholics because of his mistress, Kitty O'Shea, Enoch Powell once suggested to me that some peripheral, unforeseen issue often exploded into a major impact on events. How ironic is a game of football resulted in helping to clarify the future of the Commonwealth and much else! And forced Australians to have a look at themselves, their values and their loyalties.


A letter in "The Australian" urges Prime Minister Fraser and Opposition Leader Hayden to unite in opposing Sir Charles Court's suggestion of secession by West Australia, stating, "The sovereignty of the States must remain dependent at all times on the overall sovereignty of Australia." This is a dangerous falsification of the realities of the Federal system. The Federal Government was created BY THE STATES, TO SERVE THE STATES. There would be no talk of secession if the Federal Government were acting as a servant instead of being a master.

A Canberra actionist (A.C.T.) has had a reply from Senator Kerry Sibraa (A.L.P. - N.S.W.) listing three points which, he believes, are the principal reasons for the support of fixed, four-year terms of parliament for Australia: We make comment on each point. We have no doubt at all that practically all politicians really do believe that four-year terms of parliament are in the best interests of their electors, and Australia. It is so easy to brainwash oneself with an issue which is so much to one's own advantage. For example, all of us can think up the most excellent reasons why we should win the major prize in the lottery.
Point one: "Fixed terms of Parliament ensure stability of Government and predictability of the democratic process." An opinion only. We do not agree. A fixed term ensures stability for that period for the elected politician, not for a government. Parliament could well be in uproar during this period, and how could such a situation ensure "predictability"?
Point two: "Four year Parliaments ensure greater consistency and greater continuity in legislative programmes and greater stability and security of the democratic system." This is a re-hash of point one, above. Our comment is the same. Senator Sibraa continues point two: "I believe that one of the reasons for the political instability in Australia during 1972-75 (The Whitlam Years ... .On Target) was that the Labor Government was being continually forced to confront the threat and/or reality of an early election and could not therefore plan a legislative programme for dealing with outstanding economic, social and political problems." Our comment: Gibberish! Gough Whitlam, the Prime Minister of the Labor Government of the time, brought on the 1974 Election himself, because he wanted it for his Government's political advantage, and which almost came off. He won that Election (Mr. Snedden was Liberal Opposition Leader then). Furthermore, many of the "outstanding economic, social, and political problems of the day were created for Australia by the actions and activities of the Whitlam Government itself. When we mention that Mr. Whitlam' s sought after political advantage "almost came off", we refer to the events of December '75. Had it not been for the Governor-General's dismissal of the Whitlam Government, it would have governed, or been expected to govern, until 1977.
Point three: "Simultaneous elections for both House of Representatives and Senate constitute an accepted part of the democratic process in Australia whereby the regularity of Parliamentary elections is maintained." Yes. We agree that this "synchronisation" is a more convenient arrangement. BUT, Senator Sibraa does not mention that principal objection. He continues: "The only reason that the two Houses have been throw out of synchronisation has been the tendency of successive Tory (sic) leaders, from Menzies to Fraser, to seek short term political advantage by taking one House of Parliament only to an early poll. Our comment: Probably valid criticism. But all political leaders seek political advantage for their governments. Remember Gough Whitlam in 1974. This election followed a double dissolution of both Houses; however, our point still holds. Senator Sibraa ends: "Simultaneous elections in no way weaken the role of the Senate. On the contrary, the role of the Senate is strengthened by virtue of the fact that half the Senators are required to face the electorate at precisely the same time as Members of the House of Representatives, thereby ensuring that the Senate is kept relevant, responsive, and contemporary in its views."
Quite a mouthful; and our comment: How can he be so dogmatic that "simultaneous elections in no way weaken the role of the Senate" when we have never had mandatory simultaneous elections? This was the reason for the 1977 Referendum held by Malcolm Fraser's Government at the time of the Federal Elections in that year. The "Simultaneous Elections" part of this Referendum was defeated. Now the politicians are trying to sneak it in the back door disguised in a "four-year terms" referendum for the Commonwealth Parliament.

State parliaments are not bound to a 3-year term by State constitutions and can legislate for 4-year terms. They could well await the result of a Commonwealth referendum before doing so: if this were rejected. State legislation on this issue is unlikely, in our view. New South Wales may be the exception. Senator Sibraa states that the role of the Senate is strengthened because half of its Members now face the electorate each three years. Be this as it may, he misses the point altogether. That point is, that if the Senate is tied to Lower House elections, it can be intimidated by the Government of the day. It's no use saying that this couldn't happen, because it could, if the referendum is carried. Senator Sibraa is no doubt thinking of a future referendum being carried with a "fixed term" clause; and this could complicate the situation, in that Senators would have a "safe" term of Office: however, we have doubts that the "fixed term" phrase will be embodied in the future referendum, as we have strong reasons for suspecting that the real purpose of the exercise is to bring the Senate under the domination of the Government of the day in the Lower House.
"Pass this legislation, you Senators, or we'll take you to the polls"!
In a highly charged political atmosphere, with the media taking sides, as they do, most Senators probably wouldn't welcome this pressure, and would submit quietly. The dangers are obvious. Senator Sibraa concludes: "I hope that you can see the validity of my arguments and perhaps change your mind on these issues. No, Senator, we'll give you the benefit of the doubt, and concede that you are probably most sincere in your views; but you are mistaken. Your "arguments" are not valid, overall, and our mind is certainly not changed. A vital point for actionists to bear in mind is that legislation for a referendum must be introduced and passed by both Houses of Parliament. Important action for actionists now is to alert Senators to the dangers involved in "simultaneous elections" to the Senate, their chamber. We oppose fixed terms because of our belief that all politicians should be kept at peak performance at all times. If his term is fixed, then there is the temptation to become lax for that period of time: to sharpen up only when the next fixed election comes around.
NO 4-year parliaments; NO fixed terms; NO simultaneous elections.

© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159