Friday, March 12, 2010


I’ve spent three days in Australia’s capital city. The first thing that strikes the visitor is how self-important the city is. Parliament House is a huge building inside a circular piece of land and all around is a wide and spacious area dotted with other large buildings and statues. The area looks like it's trying to be Washington D.C and they even call it 'Capital Hill'. It's handy for when you are lost, for you simply scan the horizon for it, but otherwise the area is a sterile, forboding place. A sweeping vista of land leads from the parliament to the lake, and from the other side of the lake to the war memorial. Nearby, the old parliament house has been converted into a Museum of Australian Democracy, recording the 2000 years of development of democracy, as though this was a historical process that was always leading up to a culmination in Australia’s form of government. It is as though this nation - which although geographically large is only a small country of twenty million people - is stamping its foot and saying ‘take me seriously!’ Having said all that, I did enjoy my time here though. I sat in the public gallery of the House of Representatives and heard them debate paid parental leave policies. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said 'fair dinkum' at one point and another politician said it three times!

1 comment:

  1. I always find it hard to take Aussie politicians seriously when they speak as they general sound as though they are in a pub after a hard day on the farm.