Democracy turned feral?

Wednesday 11 August 2004 11:57 AM

Is it the constitutional monarchy system that's flawed, as Ted O'Brien (11/8) insists? Or is it democracy turned feral? First it was Dr Hollingworth. But there, a legion of grounds were advanced for his gross unworthiness. He was a Christian clergyman and a Howard appointee. He had made some seriously bad calls, and he handled media questions badly. A litany of flaws worthy of the gallows, so off with his head! An extraordinary case, apparently. But this time it's different, albeit shrouded in mystery. Richard Butler? No religious affiliations. Appointed by a Labor Premier. No heinous offences dredged up from the past. And only one fleeting opportunity to offend a poor innocent news crew. It's hard to share Mr O'Brien's confidence that things would be so much better under a republican constitution. It's not a pleasant thought. But could it just be that the Hollingworth case has etched a terrible flaw into our national psyche? Is hounding senior figures from office becoming the latest national blood sport? If so, it will be immaterial who holds the top job, or how they got there. Forget the republic, the monarchy, and even the Olympics. Better look in the mirror first.