Australian National University "future leaders" forum includes "discussant" and narrative re-definer Yassmin Abdel Magied
JM with the best commentary about TEN Network you'll read anywhere

Magied Must Go! She says Australia's parliamentary democracy "doesn't represent anyone" and Australians are thieves.

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Enough is enough.

Senator Abetz has reopened the Abdel Magied fitness enquiry.

Julie Bishop has no judgement.  She must ask someone who has to help her get to the right decision.

Magied must go!

Here's The Australian today.

Muslim activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied has declared Australia’s system of parliamentary democracy “doesn’t represent anyone”, and delivered a lecture on our inability to acknowledge that we live on “stolen land”.

The writer and mechanical engineer — whose ABC show was dumped last month — appeared on a panel at an Australian National University leadership forum in Canberra on Wednesday night.

Ms Abdel-Magied took a swipe at the media for taking the “easy option” and painting her as an “other” who poses a “threat”.

She also had a heated exchange with ANU Chancellor and former Labor foreign minister Gareth Evans, over the future of parliamentary democracy. “If you just play the GetUp! game or the social media game and don’t do the serious parliamentary game as well, if you don’t do that as well you’re missing a very important vehicle for actually getting decent policy,” Professor Evans said.

Ms Abdel-Magied said change was inevitable. “The traditional parliamentary system, I mean look at the photo of the House of Representatives,” she said. “It does not represent anyone.”

When Evans challenged her to run for office, Ms Abdel-Magied replied sarcastically: “You know how to get to office, I have to go to preselection, which works really well, and I have to go through all these other systems which for women and for people of colour are actually biased.”

Opening her talk, Ms Abdel-Magied acknowledged the Ngunnawal people. “We don’t know how to have a conversation about the fact that we’re on contested land, on stolen land,” she said.

“We don’t like to have a conversation about nuance or about history or about context, and so the reason that I choose to acknowledge at the beginning of this and every opportunity is because for at least a moment we can remember that we don’t exist in a vacuum ... that history makes us who we are, and that when we ask these broad questions about whether we’re globalists or nationalists, about trust in democracy, we have to think about who that applies to and how that’s actually worked for some people.”

She was asked by an audience member how she responded to people who had “been ferocious” to her following an ABC TV Q&A ­appearance in which said Islam was the “most feminist religion”, and her Anzac Day Facebook post: “Lest We Forget (Manus, Nauru, Syria, Palestine)”.

“I spent all my life in this country building this narrative of this chick who’s like a Muslim revhead who works on rigs who digs with the boys and blah blah blah,” she said. “One social media post ruined that, and that’s out of my hands. That’s at the hands of ­people who owns our media, who runs our country and has those conversations in our parliamentary chambers.

“Those sorts of power, those institutions of power are geared against people like me because they see votes in it and because fear is so much easier to sell.”

Another audience member who identified himself as “Kevin” observed that there were alternatives to western democracies, such as theocracies in the Middle East and “relatively benign dictatorships” in Asia.

“Do you think that as western democracies falter and are unable to respond to policy challenges meaningfully, such as climate change, those alternative forms of governance and arranging society become even more popular and more attractive?” Kevin asked.

Ms Abdel-Magied said it was a great question because it the assumption that the “neoliberalist capitalist project” had worked for everyone.

“Being born in Sudan and having grown up in a family where the view that western democracy has been exported by countries who have decided that western democracy is the only way that you can govern in a good manner, and that being challenged now, I think there are lots of Arab leaders now who are quite happy that Trump’s in power because they’re like, ‘look America always said that democracy was the greatest, look where it got them now,’ and that’s actually been a way that they’ve talked to their people and said, ‘this is why we won’t have democracy, because this is where democracy gets you’,” Ms Abdel-Magied said.

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