Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Quick Thoughts on the High Court, Work Choices and Federalism

Justice Callinan’s minority judgment in the recent High Court decision on the constitutionality of Work Choices legislation is proof (if any is needed) that it isn’t just “Howard-haters” and unionists who oppose Work Choices. If anything, it seems that when it comes to states’ rights, unions and State ALP governments are the last true conservatives left in Australia .

Certainly when I studied constitutional law in 1990 (I was taught by the not-exactly-conservative Andrew Fraser at Macquarie University Law School), it was conservative columnists, politicians and jurists who argued that Labor governments backed by ALP-appointed High Court judges were conspiring to transfer more State legislative powers to the Commonwealth.

Conservative jurists argued that our constitution was designed to provide the Commonwealth with only limited legislative powers as largely set out in Section 51 of the Constitution. They argued that activist judges were engaging in creative jurisprudence, ignoring the wording of the Constitution and the intent of its drafters.

Among politicians opposing creeping centralisation of legislative power was then Opposition spokesman on industrial relations John Howard. Today, Mr Howard is using the same powers and benefiting from the same allegedly creative jurisprudence to push through Work Choices.

It’s ironic that we see Quadrant editor Paddy McGuiness and ALP pre-selection aspirant George Williams on the same side defending conservative constitutional jurisprudence. But even George Williams is forced to concede that the Court’s decision is not surprising, given the “long line of decisions” since the 1920 Engineers’ case.

Similar arguments were raised last year by Professor Greg Craven. Craven described Work Choices as merely one element in ...

the greatest attack on federalism as a concept since World War II.


He also made reference to opposition to the laws by the Western Australian Liberal opposition.

Craven reminds us of the historical reality:

Labor always historically has tended to oppose federalism and conservatives have tended to support it. We now see a fundamental shift in Australian constitutional politics – a conservative government prepared to attack federalism.


Sir Robert Menzies will be turning in his grave!

© Irfan Yusuf 2006

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Irf,

The Left never remembers: you reap what you sow.

When they (foolishly) claimed victory in Tasmanian Dams, they set in train an inevitable sequence of events which will lead to the de facto, if not de jure, elimination of the states.

When you override an EXPLICIT power granted to the States under s.100 of the Constitution, with a vague power under s.51(xxix) then all I can say is...

Suck shit, Lefties.

You thought it was good enough to usurp States' rights back in 1982. But did you complain back then?

No, because THAT was a 'noble' Left cause. No principles at stake, it was all about getting the power you wanted.

I think the recent WorkChoices moves can be considered a suitable bite on your own arse.

Irfan said...

Thanks, anon, for your articulate response.

You describe the new Work Choices package as a suitable bite on my backside. In fact, it has been a financial boon for me! I've never had so much work in my life!!

Anonymous said...

I've never had so much work in my life!!

Negotiating your own AWA with yourself must be very hard work

Anonymous said...

anon @ 1249, no one could claim to earn as much as you. still, it's hard work bending over for judges and pollies ...

wali said...

I don't think "the left" are complaining about the loss of more states' "rights". The left would, by and large, like to see an end to anacronystic vestiages of colonialism. The colony/state system is the least efficient one available.

The objection to the loss in the High Court is solely based on loathing for the Workchoices legislation on the grounds that it is explicitly designed to make for a exploitative labour market. Simple as that.

Anonymous said...

"anacronystic vestiages of colonialism. The colony/state system is the least efficient one available"

Compared to what? Yes lets make Australia into Lebanon or Syria. Those are efficient countries? Go live in Lebanon or Syria Walid. Muslims should not comment on government. Muslims are here at our sufference. Your input is not required. You shouldn't even be allowed a vote. Keep your opinions to things that you are qualified in like drug-dealing and camel rooting.

wali said...

Anonymous said...
"Compared to what?"


Here you go pea-brain. Happy reading (assuming you finished year 12 ... is that a required qualification for working in Davie Clark's office yet?)

Anonymous said...

Wali the major plank of Federation was the White Australia Policy. You are not welcome. What's wrong with your own country? Too many muslims in it? Muslim's running it?

We are the inheritors of Anglo Saxon culture, the enlightenment, the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Rule of Law, the Industrial Revolution and the New World Order. You are just a sand-nigger hanky-head shepherd-rooting camel-stealer. Do we need lectures on the Australian Constitution from someone so pathetic that they believe everything they are told from a university as inferior as Griffith University? But hey I guess if you can believe the Koran you can believe almost any crap. Just because you voluntarily suspend your logical thought process doesn’t mean we should. Out of all the stupid muslims you might be the most ambitious. It is certainly ambitious for a muslim to try and put more than 10 words together without prominently displaying just how poorly the Labor education system operates in the way it turns out such mediocre people.

Wali you are not wanted in Australia. You contribute nothing. You either scare white women or they just laugh at you. You will never have one except by raping her. Please leave.

wali said...

Anonymous said...
"Wali the major plank of Federation was the White Australia Policy."

Not anymore. That great Australian tradition is as dead as your brain.

"You are not welcome."

Sure I am. I think you'll find the problem you're having is that YOU'RE not welcome. That's why you're complaining so bitterly. Your bigotry, your immorality, your general lack of the best markers of human civilization are not welcome.

"What's wrong with your own country?"

This is my country. My family has probably been here long than your Johnny-cum-lately squatter-arse. Why don't you go back home to where-ever you came from, squatter-boy?

"Too many muslims in it?"

What, you mean here in Australia? Hardly. There's only about 300,000 Muslims in Australia.

"Muslim's running it?"

Muslims running Australia. Not yet, give it time .... ooga-booga.

"We are the inheritors of Anglo Saxon culture, the enlightenment, the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Rule of Law, the Industrial Revolution and the New World Order."

What? Not Anglo-Celtic culture? You're a Saxon? But the Saxons were the repulsive, murderous barbarian hordes from Europe. These were the guys who were five hairs shy of baboons while at the same time the Muslims in Bagdad were building universities and libraries. Dear of dear. Your aspirations really are low, aren't they?

And anyway, what's with all this other stuff? The enlightenment wasn't an Anglo Saxon phenomenon. It was French. The Renaissance wasn't Anglo Saxon. It was kicked off by the Italians. The Reformation wasn't an Anglo Saxon phenomenon - it was German. The Rule of Law wasn't an Anglo Saxon invention. All societies - going back to the dawn of civilization in Mesopotamia - have had rule of law in some form or other.

"You are just a sand-nigger hanky-head shepherd-rooting camel-stealer."

False.

"Do we need lectures on the Australian Constitution from someone so pathetic that they believe everything they are told from a university as inferior as Griffith University?"

Oh, don't like Griffith? Would you prefer the Uni of NSW then? Or maybe you're just opposed to that thar book-learnin' in general.

"But hey I guess if you can believe the Koran you can believe almost any crap."

Well, there are limits - for example, crap on the BNP website.

"Just because you voluntarily suspend your logical thought process doesn’t mean we should."

This proposition does not logically follow from anything else you have said. Please consult an elementary text on logical deduction. Oh, that's tight - you're opposed to higher learning. Never mind.

"Out of all the stupid muslims you might be the most ambitious."

While eliminating racism is certainly a noble goal, it is hardly an ambitious one.

"It is certainly ambitious for a muslim to try and put more than 10 words together without prominently displaying just how poorly the Labor education system operates in the way it turns out such mediocre people."

The Liberal Party was in power when I was at school, so it would be more accurate to call it the Liberal Education System.

"Wali you are not wanted in Australia."

Sorry, the evidence is to the contrary. If anything, racist Johnny-cum-lately squatters like yourself are not only fading away into an ever-smaller minority, but the majority people cheer this fact. Hazah!

Anonymous said...

"...while at the same time the Muslims in Bagdad were building universities and libraries...."

Mesopotamia had the advantage of being the most fertile place on Earth with naturally growing wheat. With such a head start and such fabulous civilizations you would think that the Middle East would amount to something. But it doesn't.

Isn't it amazing that despite such a headstart the Middle East has been passed by the West and is falling increasingly behind. That might be because the average IQ in the Middle East is 90 whereas in the West it is 101.

Or it might be because the people in the Middle East are just stupid sand niggers worshiping fallen meteorites and reading nothing but the ravings of some crazy rapist called Muhammed.

Or it might be that apart from being stupid and crazy they are also lazy and prone to hysterical mindless extremes of emotion.

If Baghdad is so wonderful why and muslim culture so great why aren't you living in the Middle East?

Perhaps the Mongols are to blame? They knew what to do with muslims. In Baghdad they killed every living thing and built a pyramid of skulls. The muslim world is so pathetic they still haven't recovered from it. We should act like Mongols to all muslims.

Anonymous said...

Hajah? We say Nutspah to dat!

wali said...

"Mesopotamia had the advantage of being the most fertile place ON EARTH..."
Never heard of Asia or the Americas, have you? You poor, poor fool.

"...with naturally growing wheat. With such a head start..."
Yes, wheat is the difference between great societies and not. BAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHA!

"...and such fabulous civilizations..."
Oh wait! Now they ARE great civilizations after all? My, my - how opinions change in the blink of an eye.

"...you would think that the Middle East would amount to something."
BTW: Did you watch the opening of the 15th Asian games in Qatar? Certainly better than the last Olympics ceremony. Do you ever know where Qatar is?

"...whereas in the West it is 101."
And yet yours is in the 80s (which is probably when you were born.)

"...prone to hysterical mindless extremes of emotion."
Oh, you mean, for example, by mindlessly, hysterically screaming out bizarre stereotypes such as "just stupid sand niggers worshiping fallen meteorites"?

(Playing with you is like a cat playing with a wingless, retarded moth.)

WorstChoices said...

WorkChoices is a steaming sweltering croc. It will cost the Liberal radicals the next election. Rudd 4 PM!!