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Tue Oct 1, 2013, 09:39 PM

Australia had a government shutdown once. In the end, the queen fired everyone in Parliament.

The United States' self-imposed federal government shutdown has a way of making people around the world shake their heads in bewilderment. As Georgetown professor Erik Voeten wrote for The Washington Post's new Monkey Cage political science blog, "I cannot think of a single foreign analogy to what is happening in the U.S. today."

But there actually is one foreign precedent: Australia did this once. In 1975, the Australian government shut down because the legislature had failed to fund it, deadlocked by a budgetary squabble. It looked a lot like the U.S. shutdown of today, or the 17 previous U.S. shutdowns.

Australia's 1975 shutdown ended pretty differently, though, than they do here in America. Queen Elizabeth II's official representative in Australia, Governor General Sir John Kerr, simply dismissed the prime minister. He appointed a replacement, who immediately passed the spending bill to fund the government. Three hours later, Kerr dismissed the rest of Parliament. Then Australia held elections to restart from scratch. And they haven't had another shutdown since.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/10/01/australia-had-a-government-shutdown-once-it-ended-with-the-queen-firing-everyone-in-parliament/

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Reply Australia had a government shutdown once. In the end, the queen fired everyone in Parliament. (Original post)
Seedersandleechers Oct 2013 OP
Skittles Oct 2013 #1
liberal N proud Oct 2013 #2
roamer65 Oct 2013 #3
pitbullgirl1965 Oct 2013 #5
Initech Oct 2013 #4
highplainsdem Oct 2013 #6
rug Oct 2013 #7
mysuzuki2 Oct 2013 #8
HeiressofBickworth Oct 2013 #9
brooklynite Oct 2013 #10
Violet_Crumble Oct 2013 #14
jwirr Oct 2013 #11
derby378 Oct 2013 #12
Buns_of_Fire Oct 2013 #13
RFKHumphreyObama Oct 2013 #16
Violet_Crumble Oct 2013 #15

Response to Seedersandleechers (Original post)

Tue Oct 1, 2013, 09:42 PM

1. love that look on the Queen's face

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Response to Seedersandleechers (Original post)

Tue Oct 1, 2013, 09:42 PM

2. Unfortunately it is much more difficult to fire these idiots

They have rigged the system.

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Response to Seedersandleechers (Original post)

Tue Oct 1, 2013, 09:46 PM

3. The PM was Gough Whitlam.

A very popular Australian Labor Party PM. It is not a good precedence to follow. It is now why many Australians want to become a republic and break links with the monarchy.

Note: The ousting of Whitlam as PM dismayed Christopher Boyce so much that he sold secrets to the Soviets as revenge, the topic of the movie "Falcon and the Snowman". Christopher said he heard CIA referring to Kerr as "our man Kerr".

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Response to roamer65 (Reply #3)

Tue Oct 1, 2013, 10:10 PM

5. Fun fact

The FBI had one of them cornered near the mental health home my mother worked at, near Pedley California.
The director of the home asked them to move away from the building to protect the staff and patients.

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Response to Seedersandleechers (Original post)

Tue Oct 1, 2013, 09:54 PM

4. Oh how I wish we could fire the fucking tea party.

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Response to Initech (Reply #4)

Tue Oct 1, 2013, 10:23 PM

6. +1,000,000

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Response to Seedersandleechers (Original post)

Tue Oct 1, 2013, 10:27 PM

7. Once.

 

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Response to Seedersandleechers (Original post)

Tue Oct 1, 2013, 10:44 PM

8. I am willing to admit that our rebellion against King George was illegal

Take us back and maybe the Queen will do the same for us! Let's face it, we are not sufficiently mature to govern ourselves!

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Response to Seedersandleechers (Original post)

Tue Oct 1, 2013, 11:53 PM

9. I was living in Australia when this happened

The core of the debate was, is Australia a member of the commonwealth where the Queen's Governor General has the right to sack the PM, or was Australia a sovereign country having duly elected the PM and not subject to the Governor General. I had a party during this time. One set of guests were students from the university (and therefore more liberal) and sheep station owners from the country (who were quite conservative). Made for some interesting dinner conversation.

P.S. And a symptom of the divide was that one side wanted to keep God Save the Queen as the national anthem and the other side wanted Waltzing Matilda. I think they finally compromised on Advance Australia Fair.

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Response to Seedersandleechers (Original post)

Tue Oct 1, 2013, 11:54 PM

10. ...after which, I believe, the Government took away the Queen's right to intervene

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #10)

Wed Oct 2, 2013, 04:27 AM

14. I don't think they did...and it wasn't the Queen who intervened...

It was the Governor-General. From what I remember of what I read about it, the Queen wasn't even aware it had happened till after Whitlam was sacked by the GG, which makes sense because she's apparently very very reluctant to get involved in any political stuff in most Commonwealth nations...

The reason it hasn't happened again is that I don't think there's ever been a situation since then when either major party controls the Senate. It's always the Greens and independents who hold the balance of power.

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Response to Seedersandleechers (Original post)

Wed Oct 2, 2013, 12:19 AM

11. So we cannot fire them - can we impeach them? Or recall them?

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Response to Seedersandleechers (Original post)

Wed Oct 2, 2013, 12:36 AM

12. Come on, now - John Kerr isn't exactly the Queen, now, is he?

John Kerr fired Parliament, not Queen Elizabeth. The only thing the Queen can do on her own is appoint a new Prime Minister if the UK Parliament isn't able to elect one by themselves.

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Response to Seedersandleechers (Original post)

Wed Oct 2, 2013, 04:09 AM

13. Maybe we're approaching this from the wrong angle.

Australia is a big country, and they've got a lot of unused land in the outback.

We have a group of people who are clearly dissatisfied with our form of government. Some even want to secdee (sic).

I think we might be able to work something out here.

Here's the deal: Australia takes our teabaggers and other assorted vermin to populate the outback, and we'll give them something yet-to-be-announced.

The United States rids itself of the political equivalent of crab lice.

The teabaggers can run around the outback like Lord Humungus in a tri-corner hat and off themselves to their heart's content.

And Australia gets... well, Australia kinda gets the short end of the didgeridoo, here, but surely we can sweeten the pot. Look, I've got US$8.45 here that isn't doing anything that I'm willing to chip in, and I'm sure we can raise a little more, maybe with a telethon or something.

That's my first offer. Over to you, Australia.

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Response to Buns_of_Fire (Reply #13)

Wed Oct 2, 2013, 06:12 AM

16. Thank you for your generous offer to us Aussies. But I'd feel guilty

with the prospect of you being so generous and us giving you nothing in return. I'll never been comfortable with unrequited generosity. So I'd like to suggest a few things that we could give you as a token of our deep appreciation for your gift


We'll happily take Barack Obama and, in exchange, we'll give you our new Prime Minister Tony Abbott to govern your nation. Abbott is the most right wing Prime Minister we've had -with very reactionary views on women, racial minorities, GLBTQ issues, climate change etc who is essentially an Australian version of George W Bush and who would be right at home with the tea party ideology. He's also got a great personality -as evidenced throughout his political career, for example when he insulted a dying anti-asbestos campaigner who was in the final stages of his battle against cancer, when he made fun of a colleague who had just attempted suicide and when he made creepy, sexist comments about one of his female candidates. If you liked Bush, you'll just love Abbott. It'll be just like the old days!

We'll also send you our assortment of right wing tea-party types here to compensate for the losses of your tea-party types to our country. We wouldn't want you to feel deprived by the loss of your fellow tea party patriots without giving you some sort of compensation.

And since Rupert Murdoch has renounced his Australian citizenship and assumed American citizenship, it's only natural that we should transfer all the benefits that he now enjoys over here in our country to his new country of residence. So, since he controls approximately 70% of the print media here in Australia (including most of the major broadsheets of each state), I propose we transfer that over to the US and give him control of the Washington Post, the New York Times and the major (and some of the minor) newspapers of each state. In addition to letting him keep his FOX news empire.

There's more we can give you as a gift of thanks for your tea-party donation but let's just start with these three suggestions for now

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Response to Seedersandleechers (Original post)

Wed Oct 2, 2013, 04:55 AM

15. The article's got the bit about the govt shutting down wrong...

I just checked with my dad, who was a public servant (that's federal employee in Americanese) back in 1975. While he said that public servants went on strike and went to rallies protesting Supply being blocked in the lead up to the dismissal of the PM, it didn't get as bad as it is in the US now, and they got paid (the Supply bill got passed once Fraser stole power) and no government worker was told to go home like they have been over there...

Sacking the PM was really bad and not something to be looked at as a good outcome. The equivalent in the US would be Obama getting sacked by a ceremonial figurehead, the Republicans taking power, and then somehow winning the next election in a landslide.

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