Presumed Dead is a novel about a fictional crime when an Australian city council is considering development of a casino resort. The story reveals how Westminster System politicians are inherently corrupt when their party is not seeking the public good. When a non-partisan mayor is elected, she safeguards the city’s fragile democracy.
Is it possible for politicians of all ilks to discuss ideas together, joining in solving problems and sharing in government? Or is politics better organised like football, with the players assigned to opposing sides? Neither the Australian Constitution nor the Local Government Act require political parties to exist — not any.
Our Westminster System of government emerged from Hegelian dialectical materialism, as discourse between politicians having opposing viewpoints, to arrive agreeably at new policies by compromise and synthesis.
Edmund Burke 1729-1797 was a statesman and philosopher who changed the concept of ‘politicians’ from grass roots community representatives to a professional elite.
‘Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.’
He was influential in the creation of strong, stable political parties.
‘When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle. ‘ A political party could oppose the monarch or other political factions.
Burke changed politicians from being representatives of the people into self-serving professionals who combine together as many do today.
Modern political parties have emerged with functional integrity, but low adherence to public improvements.
Political party activities in a fictional city council are in focus in a crime fiction novel ‘Presumed Dead’ by Martin Knox. A feisty independent woman councillor opposes a government’s plan for a casino. It has repercussions that could transform city hall politics. This exciting book addresses issues of political philosophy and critically evaluates public policy processes in a practical local government setting.
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