Vail Daily letter: Politicians punish public
October 10, 2013
This is the 18th government shutdown. Well, it’s not quite a shutdown since 83 percent of the federal employees are still at work, definitely more sound than fury, but is there a way to stop the political irresponsibility?
In 1975, the Australian Parliament was dead-locked over a budget squabble, and the government was shut down. The governor general, Sir John Kerr, intervened and dismissed the Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, and appointed a replacement. Within a few hours, a budget was passed and four hours later Sir John dismissed parliament. Elections were held and a new parliament was elected. That was the last time the government was shut down. Sir John had the authority because he was appointed by Queen Elizabeth II who (technically) is the sovereign of Australia (Washington Post).
Plenty of irony in this story. Sir John was a native Australian who was appointed governor general in 1972 by then Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. Then, in 1975, Sir John dismissed Whitlam. At the time, the post of governor general was seen as ceremonial, but Sir John had other ideas about his responsibilities. Sometimes it just takes one brave person to step up to a challenge (Wikipedia).
Wouldn’t it be priceless to see the president and Congress dismissed over their poor performance? Incidentally, the congressional approval rating is hovering around 8 percent and the president’s approval rating is less than 50 percent, (Rasmussen). I suspect that everyone thinks their members of Congress are doing just fine, and the problem is the other congressionals. Might want to re-think that one.