The system has not been set in concrete. It is not sacrosanct. And it is not perfect. No system ever is. So why not spread the advantages and disadvantages of the different systems?
It’s time to change.
Indeed. I couldn't imagine a more heartfelt plea for the benefits of a republic. After all, our current constitutional monarchical system will see us at some point writhe under the prattish Charles or his prattish offspring.
But it hasn't been set in concrete. It isn't sacrosanct, and it isn't perfect. No system ever is. So why not seize on the benefits of a republic and stand proudly as Australians free of the British yoke, without resorting to the nonsense that the Governor General is the head of state ...
Oops, as usual, I see I've entirely missed the point. It seems that there's revolutions worth talking about and then there are revolutions where none should speak its anti-monarchist name ...
Let's ditch preferential voting - but only in the House is the Flint cry - yah hah me hearties, fifteen men on a dead man's chest - for constitutional reform, but it's not about the monarchy. No, no, no, let's kill off the evil of preferential voting instead.
The sole discernible reason? Well Tony Abbott would have won the last election, it would have been a landslide I tells ya, and the three independents would have been toast, and there wouldn't have been a Green MP and Mr Wilkie wouldn't have been there either (hello Ms Maguire, could you scribble a few words about how irritating it is that Mr Flint should scribble unkind words about Mr Wilkie, using the 'Mr' in such an offensively insufferably condescending way).
Yep, the election didn't go the way Flint wanted, and independents stalk the national stage, so it's time to devise a new system that will deliver the proper result.
Suddenly I'm excessively cheerful about the way the independents have made it into the house. Why it brings out the Janet Albrechtsen inspired Tea Partier in me.
The rest of Flint's piece is blather about how it's important to maintain a monopoly of power between the two parties, while at the same time sounding populist by worrying about the increasing concentration of power in Canberra ...
Along the way, Flint delivers insights of relentless silliness:
We are turning our states into the equivalent of healthy adults who are welfare dependent. Is it any surprise, then, that at least the NSW government is dysfunctional?
Say what? The dysfunctionality of the NSW government has nothing to do with the cavortings of the NSW Labor party? Yep, unrelenting is the relentless silliness ...
Well if you want to build sand castles in the air, feel free to read the rest of the meanderings of Flint, as he frolics through all kinds of alterations to the current system.
It's a kind of visible embarrassing daydream - Christine O'Donnell might see it as some kind of masturbatory excess - in which a revitalised system manages to smote the evil Greens.
Flint's idea of democracy is to reduce it to the tried and true tram tracks along which the trams can run with monotonous predictability:
Preferential voting was introduced in the House to advantage one side. It now advantages the other side, but that will change. But it potentially gives undue strength to minor parties who can offer their preferences to the major parties. At present there is really only one, but that will change too. Just recall the DLP, the Democrats and One Nation.
Uh huh. But was there, deep down, anything wrong with any of these parties expressing the interests of their minorities, and even having the odd seat in the lower house, even if most had to take a seat in that castle of unrepresentative swill upstairs?
Sure the Democrats never managed to keep the bastards honest, and got a bastard shaft when they did their own bits of bastardry, and sure One Nation is just the bastard parent of the bastard foolishness known as the Tea Party, and sure the DLP was just a lot of ratbag fundie Catholics seeking to impose their bastardry on the nation ... but didn't Brian Harradine do a splendid job pork barreling for Tasmania?
Of course we use bastard in its generic abusive sense, and without reference to children whose parents have rightly refused to get married, as either a protest against marriage, or until gay marriage is introduced and all can share in the joys of marriage ...
And of course none of these parties ever exercised the charm or appeal that made us vote for the Happy Birthday party.
But it's typical of the oppressive rigidity of the ruling elites - yes, we're talking about David Flint and the British monarchy, with tongue firmly in our cheek - that they should seek to do down any alternative views of the world which might differ from their own, rather than debate ideas robustly and from all sides.
Because you see Flint doesn't like the Greens:
The Greens’ preferences are the principal reason why today Labor is now a “no dams” party. It is even why back burning to prevent bush fires has been so limited. It is the reason for vast parts of the country and seas being subject to controls which many believe to be excessive. That is why the Wild Rivers Act was introduced into Queensland to limit the development of Aboriginal land.
Uh huh. Four legs good, four dams better ... and many believe the lack of controls in the past has led to half the country being dug up and shipped to China, a process still ongoing ...
But never mind, it seems suddenly we're going to be subject to a newly competitive approach to life:
Other countries have long used the first past the post system. In other areas of life - sport, schools, universities and business - first past the post rules.
Oh joy, oh bliss. First past the post. Perhaps then we can apply that to other areas of life. Like constitutional monarchies. You know, instead of having someone from the house of Windsor squat at the top of the totem pole by virtue or limitation of birth, we might have someone actually living in country as head of state ...
So why should we give voters for small parties second, third, fourth or more votes both in the House and in the Senate? Those who vote for the major parties in effect only get one vote. The minor parties ought to be satisfied with the Senate.
Yes, and the constitutional monarchists should be satisfied by shifting to the UK. Oops, I hear they're talking about adopting elements of Australia's current voting system. No joy there ...
Naturally a ramble like this brings out plenty of hearty squawking, and so the comments below are also a mine of riches.
Many of them more coherent and sensible than Flint's scribbles. One even has the cheek to explain the difference to Flint between back burning (when fighting a fire) and hazard reduction, designed to reduce fuel load.
But that's what happens when you parrot the usual nonsense without having the first actual clue you're scribbling about.
Even more reassuring? The stark reality that nothing Flint suggests will come to pass in my lifetime or his ...
But I still give the republic half a chance, if tossers and degenerates get out of the way ...
Memo to The Punch. Whatever you, please don't ditch Flint's furious scribbles, give them a preferential vote in your editorial policies. Sure in a first past the post world, you might prefer others. But please allocate preferences, and allow him second, third, fourth, fifth, heck even tenth slot whenever he offers up a piece.
That's the virtue and joy of a preferential system, since sad to say, if it was first past the post, Flint would be somewhere back at the rear of the field struggling with his horse and his whip, flogging said dead horse.
And if you keep Flint on The Punch there's a bonus ... he won't be doing damage to more sensible publications elsewhere.
An eccentric journal needs its eccentrics, and Flint suits you down to the ground ...
(Below: but at least Flint always introduces a light headed sense of frivolity).