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Old October 14th, 2009, 10:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
Rick
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The Argument / Topic Discussion Thread

Don't think we have one of these yet, so i'd like to make one. I (or one of you guys) will throw a topic in the air, say a choice between 2 options that relate to civics, history, religion, science, morality... Whatever, but that are relevant in some way. Basically it will be an argument thread... But not a heated one. People for argue for and WHY, and people against REFUTE. The responses will be relevant, clear and detailed. No pointless shit like "Lawl, X is clearly better than Y *end post*.

This weeks topic is: "Federalism or Unitary State in AUSTRALIA" - Are the States becoming redundant, or are they still relevant, but being strangled by the Commonwealth / let down by poor representation.

In case you hadn't guessed, I'm reading about this at the moment, but have always had the conversation in my head because of clear poor performance in the last few years. So let's begin.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 01:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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States are redundant. Modern communications and systems - if implemented correctly - would eliminate the need for a third of our public servants at all levels. Unfortunately you're never going to be able to do anything but duscuss the notion.

States are the obvious ones to go because they are the poorest performers. What's worse is the more they have to manage the poorer they perform when compared to their peers (NSW I'm looking at you). Singapore has a far better public service than I could ever hope that Australia will.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 03:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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People that use religion to justify anything, regardless of the religion and what they are trying to justify... just shut the fuck up.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 03:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I was thinking about the states a couple of days ago. Would some states be given favouritism if state govts were abolished? Or does that happen anyway under the current arrangement?
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Old October 15th, 2009, 03:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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ahhh FUK OFF
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Old October 15th, 2009, 03:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
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ahhh FUK OFF
It's not an attack on public servants bucko, lol. Just the topic of the week because it's relevant, and people have an opinion about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flip'
People that use religion to justify anything, regardless of the religion and what they are trying to justify... just shut the fuck up.
Not entirely on topic, haha. But true too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winmar
I was thinking about the states a couple of days ago. Would some states be given favouritism if state govts were abolished? Or does that happen anyway under the current arrangement?
I suppose that would come down to how much the fed would be making / investing in projects in those states?
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Old October 15th, 2009, 03:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah that's what I mean. Some states might get more than others (per capita or whatever), and I wonder how it would be allocated. I wonder also how it is in Britain, where they have a different setup. In Indonesia the less populous islands get a bit narky about Java getting so much funding and investment.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 03:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Have you seen the marvellous roads in Canberra? Meanwhile my motorbike disappears down potholes on New South Wales' national highways. That's what we'd get for everything if the states were abolished. I don't think the hospitals or schools would be any better than they are now, especially after they got sold off. to private investors.

I'm actually kind of for abolishing the states. It'd be cheaper if nothing else. I just have no illusions of the Commonwealth handling things any better.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 04:16 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Isn't the whole point of the local council, state government, national government meant to be to allow ALL people to "have a voice"?

ie, local council deals with whatever affects their area.... state government keeps all the local councils in line.... national keeps all the state governments in line?

My only concern for abolishing the three tier system is if we just have a national representation, what happens to the "little issues" that affect only a smaller part of the population (say filling in potholes on a town street). To have those sorts of decisions centralised, instead of removing red tape, we're just adding more in a different location
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Old October 15th, 2009, 05:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Singapore has a far better public service than I could ever hope that Australia will.
Singapore is virtually a one-party fascist dictatorship, so I'm not surprised by this.

I think Federalism is the only system that can work here, but I think the main problem is that the Constitution is too restrictive on Federal intervention in State matters. Australia is so large that even if the States were abolished, you would still need a bunch of departments set up to look after the areas the States currently manage anyway.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 05:50 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Singapore is virtually a one-party fascist dictatorship, so I'm not surprised by this.

I think Federalism is the only system that can work here, but I think the main problem is that the Constitution is too restrictive on Federal intervention in State matters. Australia is so large that even if the States were abolished, you would still need a bunch of departments set up to look after the areas the States currently manage anyway.
I was waiting for you turn up. Some have suggested that the constitution be amended to more clearly outline WHO has WHAT powers and WHO is responsible for WHAT, being that accountability and responsibility are a huge problem. As it stands it is pretty jumbled, with clear examples being the federal intervention on public education etc.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 05:51 AM   #12 (permalink)
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That's the point I was making... even if we totally abolished the states, we'd still need local representation being such a large country geographically
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Old October 15th, 2009, 06:04 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I was waiting for you turn up. Some have suggested that the constitution be amended to more clearly outline WHO has WHAT powers and WHO is responsible for WHAT, being that accountability and responsibility are a huge problem. As it stands it is pretty jumbled, with clear examples being the federal intervention on public education etc.
I've been busy getting shit together for the magazine...

When the Constitution was being written, the biggest problem was appeasing the various Colonies, especially the smaller ones who wanted protection fearing that the Federal system would disadvantage them. So there was a lot of concessions made to make sure the States didn't really lose their influence over the things they already controlled. Parkes and the other Fathers of Federation looked at both the US system and the British one and tried to come up with a mixture of both. The biggest issue with the Constitution is that it was written in the 19th Century. Regardless of how forward thinking these things are, there's no way to tell how they'll reflect the values and needs of a community 100 years later.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 01:55 AM   #14 (permalink)
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It seems to me that this issue hasn't really been that informative / argumentative. Anyone have any suggestions for topics?
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Old October 16th, 2009, 04:37 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I think it's been pretty informative... but not argumentative. Maybe we're all just too kind :P
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Old October 16th, 2009, 05:58 AM   #16 (permalink)
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People just haven't got heated, like you instructed, Rick. Where's Josh? He'd get someone fired up.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 12:20 PM   #17 (permalink)
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New topic: Are Manly the most overrated team of the last decade? Haha, just kidding Josh if you're out there.

I don't think it helps that a lot of us are Atheist and open minded, otherwise i'd put a 'Religion' debate out there.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 03:40 PM   #18 (permalink)
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How about this one

Is the internet destroying our ability to communicate?
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Old October 16th, 2009, 05:40 PM   #19 (permalink)
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How about this one

Is the internet destroying our ability to communicate?
Guh?
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Old October 16th, 2009, 05:48 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Ok maybe not us... but as a society as a whole.

I ask because I was at my nieces 13th birthday party a couple of months back and despite there being 10 or 12 kids there, I've never heard a quieter bunch. Most where either tapping away on their phones or netbooks. Eventually my sister got jack of it and forced them into party games (you know, stuff kids are supposed to do).

And let's not even get started on net-speak
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Old October 16th, 2009, 08:52 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I'm reminded of a story in the news a few months ago about a British couple who did the online dating thing, got involved, and then found out they lived a few houses away from each other. You might think, if not for the Internet they may never have met. But you might also think, if not for the Internet, they might have met years earlier.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 09:04 PM   #22 (permalink)
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How about this one

Is the internet destroying our ability to communicate?
You could say that it swings both ways. On one hand, people don't bother ringing people or visiting them AS much in most cases any more, so things are becoming a lot more 'digitised'. On the other hand, we're able to keep in contact with an unprecedented number of people - friends, strangers, newly aquinted etc. I don't think it's destroying communication AS A WHOLE. It's probably taking away from some fields, like face-to-face communication, and being enhanced in other. I mean come on, we're a species that is designed to read facial queues and gestures... We are at the point now that we're having to adapt those skills to the internet, and infer a tonne of information from text. It's actually pretty incredible. It really depends how you view the statement 'destroying communication', i think, because in many ways, it's making it more efficient, on a larger scale, with more information able to be sent, so you could easily say that it's improving it - at the expense of traditional values.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 09:59 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Woo 5,555 posts for you, Rick.

I reckon I keep in touch with more people these days than I used to, but probably don't actually see as many.

God it sheets me when people meet socially and then get their phones out and start playing with them, as if the people they're interacting with on Facebook or via sms are more important than those they're with in person.
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Old October 17th, 2009, 11:12 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I reckon I keep in touch with more people these days than I used to, but probably don't actually see as many.
This.
But its not such a bad thing, because when it comes to friends interstate, I can keep in touch via emails and msn, more often than I am financially able to actually see them.

I do find that with some people, they txt and instant chat their way into arguments that could've been avoided, had they talked in person.
There are some things that you just really can't talk about, unless in person.
Facial expressions, hand gestures, body language are all lost, people take things the wrong way, they then need to meet in person to properly talk things through for resolution. This of course doesn't always happen, and friendships are lost.
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Old October 17th, 2009, 11:31 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I think it's just a transitional period. The generation coming up now know nothing else but Messenger and mobile phones. I'm pretty sure there would have been similar discussions about how the phone would depersonalise society when it was being introduced. I think that it would be a massive mistake to fight the trend of keeping up with Facebook, etc, purely for the sake of being in touch with society.
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