Official News Of the Day Thread -African National Congress

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Ender Sai, Oct 11, 2005.

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  1. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    And that's always been the puzzling aspect of Kyoto. I suppose the US could have embraced the status quo, ratified the protocol simply for the PR value, and ultimately ignored what goals were actually spelled out. It looks good in the media but accomplishes nothing. At least both Presidents and Congress realized how foolish that would be. It was good that Gore "symbolically" ratified it, but he was also smart enough to stop there.

    In this case, I think the idea that the US is the last hold-out against Kyoto isn't negative at all, especially when one factors in how dismal compliance actually is.

    But what's more interesting with regards to Rudd are his calls for Australia to reduce its ties to international organizations while fostering a more independent relationship with its allies. Why, at the basic level, Rudd is Labor's IR version of Ron Paul.... ;)


  2. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    What you all have to realise is that Kyoto is symbolic, but that symbolism affords us a moral right to be able to pressure China and India to tackle climate change.

    This is another fron the US fails to engage China on, due to misunderstanding the culture.

    E_S
  3. Darth Mischievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 6
    China can't even keep lead paint out of their toys, so you're stating that they'll be really concerned about changing their ways if the US simply shows face by ratifying it? The trouble is that face is only skin deep. But, as long as one's 'face' looks like it has a semblance of honor, what does it matter?

    Sure, I guess we could ratify an agreement and then basically ignore it, and then pressure them to comply. Sure, it's the US' fault (as usual) they don't comply because we simply don't understand their culture.

    o_O

    Mr44 is on point here.
  4. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I'd much rather take an angle of not neccessarily pressuring China and India into it like that, but more by just talking to China and India of how can we work with them to help them make the jump to alternative energies with less pollution sooner than they otherwise would.
  5. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    What you all have to realise is that Kyoto is symbolic, but that symbolism affords us a moral right to be able to pressure China and India to tackle climate change.


    Sure, I'll grant that to a point. Except Kyoto was never engineered as a symbolic gesture directed at China or any other specific country for that matter. Most countries are having a difficult time meeting the reductions contained within it at the basic level. For example, Canada ratified Kyoto, and it's pollution rate grew faster after it signed on. The US signed in principle, but didn't ratify it, and its emissions have steadily decreased without it. What message does it send if none of the major players are even coming close to fulfilling the premise of Kyoto, and where does its moral superiority fall? If real progress was seen because of Kyoto, I'd see where the moral aspect could be played up, especially with relation to China and India. But China wasn't enagaged in any meaningful way because of Kyoto, and I'd say the two act independently of each other, and Kyoto almost had the opposite effect.

    If Kyoto existed as a symbol, it would have been much more effective if it focused on smaller targets that were universially recognized and then built up from there, instead of being a limited set of unrealsitic goals and targets. However, the framework was a UN developed document, so I suppose we should all feel lucky that it didn't start a war.

    As Hawk pointed out, Australia never ratified Kyoto either, but through short term programs is coming close to meeting the obligations anyway without being forced to. Now, Australia's short term has a limit, but as Rudd is now saying, it's going to be extremely expensive to continue on under Kyoto, not factoring in if Australia is able to meet the artificial goals.

    Is it worth it for the typical Australian citizen to pay an additional $2,000AUD a year for the next 4 years to meet the arbitrary standard of Kyoto? Is it worth it to have the educational subsidy reduced even more? Or would Australia be better served by coming up with a tailored, sustainable plan even if it means giving Kyoto the death it deserves?

    Those are political questions that come into play now that the power base has shifted.
  6. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    You completely and spectacularly fail to understand China and personify the problem with the US approach to China. Grats. :)

    Mr44, I'd say the election proved it is worth it to Australians to pay that extra $2000 a year, wouldn't you?

    E_S
  7. jamesdrax Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2000
    star 6
    Screw that!
  8. Jansons_Funny_Twin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    Ender, I respect your perspective on the Chinese, I really, really do, but I have to ask: Would the US signing Kyoto back then have changed anything? Would China have joined us? Would The rest of the world been able to keep up their ends of the bargain?

    We can talk about symbols, and I understand that the Chinese place a whole hell of a lot more stock in symbols than Americans do, but I don't see how ratifying it would have made a greater symbol than signing it (as we did).

    I think it's true, Americans do place more emphasis on "actions speaking louder than words," but it seems to me that both our actions and our words should have sufficed, which leads me to the conclusion that it's all a bunch of hogwash.
  9. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    Sorry to backtrack, but I missed my chance to post when the Khmer Rouge were still the topic...

    It's good to see the tribunals are finally underway, but Duch's bail hearing is far less exciting for me, (and, I suspect, most following the story), than the recent arrests of Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan, and Ieng Thirith and Sary. They've had Duch for a long time, ever since they found him in hiding. Khieu, Nuon, and the Iengs, on the other hand, had been promised immunity by the Cambodian government in the past, and have been living in peace as known private citizens for a decade. It's been in question if they would ever be arrested at all. Samphan and Nuon had deals with Hun Sen (the corrupt, on again-off again leader of Cambodia) at the time they surrendered in the late nineties, and Ieng Sary surrendered even earlier and recieved a pardon from King Sihanuok.

    I never expected them to actually arrest Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith, even after Nuon Chea's arrest a couple months ago. Around that time, I was chatting with a survivor about Chea's arrest, and I expressed my doubt that the Iengs would ever be arrested even if Samphan went down, due to the special nature of Ieng Sary's immunity. He was pretty confident though, based on the secret list of five "suspects" handed in to the tribunal in July. He figured Ieng Sary, Khieu Samphan, and Ieng Thirith had to be the last three names on the list.

    In any case, it remains to be seen if they'll all even survive until the trial. They're all very old, and many key figures in the regime have already escaped trial by dying before they could be prosecuted, including Ta Mok, ("the butcher" and head of the most brutal regional government in Khmer Rouge Cambodia), Khieu Ponnary, (Pol Pot's wife, Ieng Thirith's sister, and a ranking member of Angkar from the start until she was debilitated by schizophrenia), and Pol Pot himself.

    As to whether the tribunals hinder or help "moving forward", well, my first-hand experience is limited to Cambodian-American refugees. Furthermore, the ones who I've spoken to about the genocide and the tribunals directly are few and exceptional, due to the touchy nature of the subject. But from what they've told me, the average refugee doesn't like to talk about the genocide, but appreciates deeply the notion of justice being done to the perpetrators.

    Those I've talked are also quick to point out that Cambodians continue to suffer under subsequent governments. Though an improvement over Angkar's rule, Hun Sen's government is pretty damn corrupt and ruthless itself. I'd go so far as to say, (from my outsider's perspective as a scholar of Cambodian history and politics), that Cambodia has never had a decent government in the modern era, even in the relatively (relatively) democratic years following Sihanouk's initial abdication, prior to Lon Nol's brutal regime (the brutal regime directly antecedent to Pol Pot's).

    As far as the tribunals causing division, this is to be expected, particularly since the Khmer Rouge controlled parts of Cambodia until very recently, and, in many ways, they still do.

    The Anlong Veng region, for one, is supposed to be very nostalgic for Khmer Rouge rule today. Ta Mok, the last active leader of the Khmer Rouge, is very well thought of there (despite his moniker meaning "the butcher").

    Furthermore, one of the greatest dilemmas of this particular "genocide" is the difficulty of separating perpetrator from victim. The Khmer Rouge were ethnic Khmer and their victims were, by and large, ethnic Khmer. Certainly, people of partial or total Chinese or Vietnamese ancestry were at greater risk, as were educated, wealthy former-urbanites, but the truth is that when the true "genocide" was underway, anyone could have been killed at any time, for any reason.

    Today, you find former "Khmer Rouge" of all walks of life. Hell, Prime Minister Hun Sen was a Khmer Rouge cadre before defecting to the Vietnamese, who gave him his first real taste of power as a foreign minister in their puppet government after they inva
  10. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    E_S: Why does ad hominem tu quoque translate into moral pressure?
  11. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    Because simply put, telling the Chinese how to behave causes them to lose face which guarantees they'll do the opposite of what you want.

    So, when America, comfortable in it's capacity to lecture others, says to Beijing "lower your emissions", Beijing will resent the intrustion into "domestic affairs" and say "Why should we be held to limitations when you are not?"

    And they'll be right.

    What I never got with Mr Howard was that he didn't sign kyoto yet he understood this. We withdrew from broad UN dialogue that was critical of Chinese human rights to engage bilaterally, and for greater traction with China. It was, and will likely remain the case, that Beijing would use Canberra as a conduit to Washington for face saving.

    China's emissions will likely dwarf the great waste of the US, and without any form of "moral" authority to engage them with, they will never agree to binding targets on our terms.

    And you ought believe China would drag us down with them.

    E_S
  12. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    Ender: How do you feel about Rudd, and did you vote for him?
  13. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    Well, I was voting in the electorate of Fraser which is a safe Labor seat, and in parliamentary democracy we don't vote for our Prime Minister. I voted Coalition. However, I would say this election was a referendum on Messers Rudd and Howard. As for thoughts; well, he was a Coalition politician campaigning for the Labor Party.

    ES
  14. darthdrago Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2003
    star 4
    So why is it Labor Party and not Labour Party instead? Has E_S's greatest nightmare finally come true? Has the American cultural conquest of Australia finally happened? :D
  15. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    So we have the end of the Howard era. I think Howard will be looked upon as one of Australia's greatest Prime Ministers but also as a PM that lost touch at the end of an 11 and a half term in office. Imagine how revered he would be if he had stood down 18 months ago and let Costello lead and lose the election. Still, his concession speach was gracious and spot on in that he leaves office with a country generally in better shape than when he assumed office.

    Rudd will make a fine PM I think and I agree with E_S that he in not a typical "Labor" politician - compare Rudd to that buffoon Latham for example, or Keating for that matter. Like chalk and cheese. Rudd and Howard are so similar that I think the Australian public voted for a younger Howard in Rudd, with some policies aimed at fixing our hospitals and education systems.

    Iraq did not really play a big role in the election, certainly not as big as climate change.

    I voted Coalition at the last election and Labor at this election and I think I voted the eight way on both counts.

    Let's wait and see what unfoled. The most intersting thing will be the Liberal party leadership battle. I think Malcolm Turnbull must be the next leader, the rest should not contest for the same reasons that Costello backed down - new blood, generational change. I just can't see that with Abbott or Hockey.
  16. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    Labor's roots lie with an American living in Australia who mistakenly suggested the charlatan misspelling was "progressive".

    E_S
  17. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    Pffft. What do Australians know about democracy. We give them democracy and they elect Hamas instead of Fatah. It's almost like they don't care about the Kashmir region, and want the Shining Path to win in Vietnam. Thank Jebus Chavez won in New Zealand; he'll keep those socialists in check.
  18. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I've always thought it was a bit unfair how the Boxing Day Tsunami was the final push for Latham the way it was.
    I will say this though... I'd love to see the Australian voting system for House of Reps taken up here in the U.S.
  19. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    I've got Labor voting colleagues, jubilant at Mr Rudd's victory, confessing they never wanted to see Latham elected to office. So yeah, no loss.

    E_S
  20. DeathStar1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2003
    star 4
    ES

    I asked you about the elections in the '2008' election thread...so I'll just transfer (and add) my question here.

    Why do you think people threw out Howard? What did you think of him as PM and what do you think of Rudd?
  21. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    DS

    It's a combination of factors and I don't think there's any one sticking point that caused it.

    My personal feeling is that the Liberal Party lost this election about 2 weeks ago. They released some very good policies - and I say good because the Labor Party summarily copied 90% of each of them, and Labor were voted in - but they campaigned negatively.

    Kevin Rudd talked about a plan for the future. He wisely never articulated too much detail because he was well aware John Howard, with his experience, would have tried to and perhaps succeeded at tripping him up.

    So the contrast was clear - the future, or the past, really.

    I think the Liberal Party fundamentally underestimated Mr Rudd, and his appeal. They tried on numerous occassions to goad the man who has an egomaniacal bent into losing his temper and failed.

    The unpopularity of the liberalisation of workplace laws played a part. Not because of the reality of those laws, however, but because of the way the unions painted them - "sure, you're fine now, but certain doooooooooom awaits you around the corner!" - in a successful fear campaign.

    If I had to give the election result a thematic summary, I'd say it was a choice between new ideas and a fresh perspective, or a government with a successful 11 year record not looking forward.

    What do I think of Mr Rudd?

    I think the man is a conservative in the wrong party but it's really hard to say. Time will tell what deals were struck and what alliances forged.

    E_S
  22. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    Gordon Brown take note. ;)
  23. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    I think the reality of Worchoices laws played a big part over union scare mongering. Workchoices went too far and affected and alienated a whole lot of white collar workers, particularly in the banking sector, rather than just blue collar workers who aren't Liberal voters anyway.

    Howard then alienated big business who loved Workchoices by introducing the "fairness" test which made the whole Workchoices exercise pointless. The whole point of AWAs was to contract out of award conditions and thereby save business some money. The fairness test required business to compensate the worker for any lost entitlements, thereby bringing back the "no disadvantage" test that Workchoices did away with.

    Workchoices was a catastrophe. I wouldn't be surprised if the new Liberal team scrap it as an opposition IR platform.
  24. beezel26 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2003
    star 7
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1lYCbjzQ4I

    a better explanation of australian elections.

  25. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Poor Howard... he's bennalong gone now.

    My two comments on that youtube video...
    great use of "no. no different", and Peter Garrett totally should've been Lobot. Because I've never seen Bib Fortuna have a short and jocular conversation.
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