Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

Uncivil wars

By Chek Ling - posted Tuesday, 22 November 2022

I wonder if contempt is merely a symptom rather the cause of our corrupted democracy.

The real cause is likely to be our Two-Party-Preferred (2PP) electoral system which is afflicted with the winner-takes-all (WTA) mentality. 

Parliamentary sittings have become brawling spectacles performed for a population habituated to aggressive macho behaviour.


During the week before the recent Melbourne Cup, it was said that an increase in domestic violence was to be expected after the Cup. Men supercharged by aggression on the field and barracking on the stands, not to mention copious alcohol during and after, would end up unleashing their aggression upon women in the privacy of their homes. The same, it was also said, has happened after every AFL game.

Aggression is institutionalised.

Contempt is but a corollary of aggression that is primed in Parliament, in sports and in all the battlefields in our democracy.

And worse still, our democracy is unrepresentative.

In the 2019 Federal elections the Greens got about 10% of the primary votes, yet their presence in the Lower House is not even 1%.  The democratic principle of one vote one value has become a sham.

One consequence is that trust in our politicians has been declining. Now only one in four or five voters trusts the elected representatives who are by and large selected by their mafia-like Party machines.


A fish rots from the head. That rot has now spread to every part of our polity.

The debasement of our parliament, the consequent spread of that rot throughout the polity, is the more likely cause of the sorry state of our democracy.

Just imagine if the Greens had had their democratic quota in the Lower House for the last ten years! A coalition government with the Greens would have been inevitable. And that would have tempered the barbarity of the climate wars which have deepened the division and anger in our country over so many issues.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. All

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

7 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Chek Ling arrived in Melbourne in 1962 to study engineering, under the Colombo Plan, from the then British Colony of Sarawak, now part of Malaysia. Decades later, the anti-Asian episodes fomented by Blainey and later Hanson turned him into a mature age activist.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Chek Ling

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Article Tools
Comment 7 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy