s Sublime treachery, delivered par excellence | I2P: Information to Pharmacists - Archive
Publication Date 01/07/2010         Volume. 2 No. 6   
Information to Pharmacists

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Regular updates from the global world of pharmacy.
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Feature Contribution

The New Competitors- Wholesalers, Manufacturers, Pharmacists and Nurses

Peter Jackson

As manufacturers get pressure from funders of their products such as the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) in Australia, they will look at reducing costs in the supply chain.
Quite commonly this will take the form of direct distribution to pharmacies (and other business formats) rather than through wholesalers.
Wholesalers in turn face a series of challenges that includes developing a range of efficiencies, the battle for pharmacy numbers, manufacturer strategy, generic strategy and vertical integration. However, this may not be enough and wholesalers may need to develop a strategy involving industry dynamics.
While there will be modest industry growth over the next decade, new products will not be the major generator and research indicates that growth of branded products will be driven by primary care.

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English Pharmacists See Opportunity - Australian Pharmacists Hesitate

Staff Writer

The health systems of England and Australia have many similarities.
However, one NHS rule that we have escaped here in Australia is the 48-hour waiting time guarantee for a GP appointment.
Introduced by the former Labor government, it is now being scrapped as an initiative of the new government to eliminate bureaucracy and targets that had no clinical justification.
Patients in England will no longer be guaranteed a GP appointment within 48 hours under a scaling back of all NHS targets.
Instead, doctors will be allowed to prioritise patients, affecting up to 189 million consultations a year.

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Remote Dispensing Expands Globally

Peter Sayers

Systems for dispensing prescriptions remotely have been available in Australia for some time, but have yet to gain traction.
These systems are characterised by having a TV link to a “live” pharmacist who is located remotely from the machine.
One of the first remote dispensing machines built using Australian technology and manufacture was ExpressRx.

Comments: 3

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How to measure competence?

Dr Linda Bryant (PGDipPharm, MPharm, DPharm(Auck), FACPP, FNZCP, FPSNZ, MCAPA)

The concept of ensuring that our workforce is competent is an excellent idea. At a time of rapidly changing clinical information, our undergraduate degree of 30 years ago (now doesn’t that make you feel old!!) is simply inadequate. For those of us that went to University we learned Knowledge, Understanding, Thinking and problem solving. The rest of us were taught on the job. Our work experience, built on this foundation, helped make us competent. The problem is – measuring that competence over time.

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Community pharmacy’s crystal ball is fogging up

Neil Retallick

At the Generics Conference held in Sydney a couple of years ago, when PBS Reforms I was the Government’s latest and greatest initiative to contain the cost of the PBS, a number of speakers addressed the impending impact of WADP or Weighted Average Disclosed Pricing.
Two of these speakers had developed mathematical models to chart the revenue and gross profit dollars that would be generated in the dispensaries of community pharmacies over the following years through to 2012 and 2013. In both instances, the speakers presented data that showed the dispensary revenue and gross profit lines decreasing quite dramatically as the effects of WADP took hold of PBS medicine prices.
These soothsayers saw gloom and doom in their crystal balls, or their spreadsheets if that’s what they preferred to use.

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Quackery, Skeptics and Acupuncture….

Chris Wright

The reaction to the little piece about Naturopathy and my doctor (published in a June i2P update) has caused some not entirely surprising flame bursting by those who believe a remedy must be science based.
Hmmm, a good point.

Comments: 2

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Show me the Money!

Peter Sayers

Well, we are past July 1 and there has been no official statement on how, when and where the 15 cent payment for electronic prescriptions materialises.
Government does not appear to have specified how it wants a pharmacy claim presented, and system vendors may not have included a module to create an acceptable audit trail as yet.

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In the midst of change – everything remains the same

Neil Johnston

Pharmacist survival strategies have essentially remained the same for well over a century.
In simple terms when pressure is applied to dispensary margins more OTC opportunities are developed.
A conscious decision is made to expand the range of inventory items in niche markets and then key items are discounted to expand market share within that new market.

Comments: 2

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Sublime treachery, delivered par excellence

Chris Wright

It’s probably all been said but that astonishing ascent of the Member for Lalor Julia Gillard has nailed yet another nail in the coffin of our long cherished democracy.
Again, the power-crazed toe-cutters of the Labor Party were unable to muster the restraint required to allow an elected comrade see out the full game.
The bitter hatred (which is often factional but not necessarily in this case) that lurks behind closed doors was just too much. In the end those who read from the Graham Richardson manual on dealing with personnel superfluous to current requirements acted with rare brutality and “Kevin 07” became “Kevin gone to political Heaven” in a blink.

Comments: 7

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Cutting Carbon with Hydrogen Batteries

Staff Writer

TELSTRA'S mobile base stations and some exchanges could soon be backed up by energy efficient hydrogen fuel cells that promise to deliver a 20 per cent carbon emissions reduction compared with the diesel generators currently in use.

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The RACGP announces its new President

Staff Writer

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Claire Jackson as President-elect.
Professor Jackson is a GP and GP Supervisor in Inala, Brisbane and is Professor in General Practice and Primary Health Care and Head of Discipline at the University of Queensland. She has been chair of the RACGP Council and the RACGP Queensland Faculty. She has had significant involvement in health reform in many areas, serving on the National Primary Care Strategy Expert Advisory Group and providing a commissioned paper for the National Health and Hospital Reform Commission.

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Outliving most of the world, but not healthy in every way, says nation’s health report card

Staff Writer

The national health report card released by the AIHW gives a pointer as to where primary health care funds are going to be directed to, and a guide as to what "specialties" will need to be invested in by pharmacists.
And following similar lines, the education that will need to be provided to back those specialties.
A systematic approach to developing and marketing pharmacy clinical services is long overdue, and leadership is stagnant.
What can be done?
In practical terms - probably nothing until after the next federal elections, but that gives a small window of opportunity for our lead pharmacy organisations to work out a plan of action and support each other in the process.
Political game playing, whether at the local, state or federal levels, is crippling initiative in all sectors of the economy - but in particular, health.
And pharmacy needs to attract some urgent funding to initiate some primary health care projects that can soak up some of the surplus graduates before it is too late, and we lose these valuable human resources.
It would also be interesting to know what impact existing pharmacy activities contribute to the report card statistics.

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Reviewing the Pharmacist Code of Ethics

Staff Writer

Renewing the code of ethics for pharmacists in the wake of the recent changes to healthcare legislation will be among the topics considered at a wide-ranging ethics conference at the University of Sydney (17-18 June 2010)
World-renowned ethics expert and Laureate Professor Peter Singer will deliver a keynote address on World Poverty: What are our obligations?
The Australian Association for Professional and Applied Ethics conference is being hosted by the Faculty of Pharmacy, under the theme Ethics in the Professional Life: Past, Present and Future.

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Study finds antidepressants not working in older men

Staff Writer

A recently published study in the journal PLoS-One has found that more than half of older men who use antidepressant medication or psychotherapy are not responding to treatment.
Lead author, Professor Osvaldo Almeida, Research Director of the Western Australian Centre for Health and Ageing at The University of Western Australia, said the finding was surprising and alarming.

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Tests help predict falls by Parkinson’s sufferers

Staff Writer

A group of tests may help predict which people with Parkinson's disease are more likely to fall, according to a study by Queensland University of Technology (QUT).
The study results were published recently in the American Academy of Neurology's online medical journal Neurology®.

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Cling Wrap Catches Carbon Dioxide

Staff Writer

High tech cling wraps that ‘sieve out’ carbon dioxide from waste gases can help save the world, says Melbourne University chemical engineer, Colin Scholes who developed the technology.

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Tea tree oil offers hope to skin cancer patients

Staff Writer

Tea tree oil may be used in future as a fast, cheap, safe and effective treatment for non-melanoma skin cancers and precancerous lesions, according to researchers at The University of Western Australia.
A three-year study by the University of Western Australia Tea Tree Oil Research Group has found solid tumours grown under the skin in mice and treated with a tea tree oil formulation causes inhibition of tumour growth and tumour regression within a day of treatment. Within three days, the tumours cannot be detected.

Comments: 1

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NPS Replaces TAIS Service

Staff Writer

NPS will discontinue funding the Therapeutic Advice and Information Service (TAIS) for health professionals as of 1 July 2010.

A guide to medicines information resources has been compiled on the NPS website which can be accessed via the health professional web page. Please note that some of the listed resources are freely available and others for a subscription fee.
Follow this link http://nps.org.au/medicines_information_guide.

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Consultant Pharmacists Freed Up

Staff Writer

The following press release issued by the AACP confirms changes to the HMR model that will at last see an opportunity to professionally collaborate with GP’s and to build a relationship with hospitals.That it has taken so long to deliver the obvious is sad.
But not to dwell on any negatives, it now frees up consultant pharmacists to develop independent business models to deliver services in a more economical, timely and streamlined fashion.
It may also open a secondary market for e-document exchanges capable of quickly sharing information for intended recipients.

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Vitamin C plays vital role in battle against cancer

Staff Writer

New research from the University of Otago, Christchurch, shows that vitamin C can help curb the growth of cancer cells.
The study, led by Associate Professor Margreet Vissers of the University’s Free Radical Research Group, is the first real evidence of a connection between vitamin C and tumour growth.
Associate Professor Vissers says “Our results offer a promising and simple intervention to help in our fight against cancer, at the level of both prevention and cure”.
The article is in the latest edition of the prestigious Cancer Research journal.

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Gut flora study gives insight into obesity

Staff Writer

A UQ academic's research into whether nature or nurture influences the development of gut flora has been published in Nature and may hold the key to understanding obesity.
Dr Florent Angly said the fundamental research was significant since some forms of obesity could be caused by the action of microbiota.

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At last - a peak national pharmacy group in formation

Staff Writer

A forum initiative developed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has seen discussion on the early stages of the first truly representative peak national pharmacy body.
It is presumed, when eventually formalised, that this body will be capable of generating national policies that will bind its membership and provide a cohesive single face for the "whole of pharmacy".
It is also presumed that this group will have provision to absorb emerging and new pharmacy organisations.
PSA is to be congratulated on taking the lead role in the establishment of the initial forum that is certain to win support by all pharmacists in whatever sector they work in.
In the current climate of severe political and commercial pressures on pharmacy, one wonders why it has not happened a lot earlier than this, because the disparate ambitions of various pharmacy organisations up to now has definitely worked against the best interests of the pharmacy profession as a whole.
i2P has often commented on this issue and the need for a peak body that is truly representative of pharmacy.

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Youth lead the adoption of e-health

Staff Writer

The ‘net’ generation, spanning 13 to 33 year olds, has embraced technology as the norm and is expected to adopt e-health as just par for the course in their highly connected lives according to several leading youth health experts.
Jonathan Nicholas, Chief Executive Officer of the Inspire Foundation, the organisation behind the web-based mental health support service for young people, ReachOut.com said, “As an organisation that uses the internet to connect with young people, we see a number of benefits for young people flowing from the proposed e-health record.

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US ‘Renaissance’ in pharmacy’s role as a vital health resource

Staff Writer

Pharmacists in Australia may be forgiven for feeling invisible as they search for roles and activities that gainfully utilise their experience and skills.
New projects and programs often mention "allied health" and nurses, but not pharmacists.
There are probably two major reasons for this problem:
* The Pharmacy Guild of Australia (PGA) has allocated resources exclusively to PBS-centric activities.
This has led to a reduction in jobs for new pharmacists and a surplus human resource. This is in stark contrast to all other health professions that seek to increase their practitioner numbers.
* GP lobby groups have promoted the use of practice nurses in key areas normally in the pharmacy domain. This has had the effect of increasing the number of "short" consultations, with the GP providing evaluation and the practice nurse to complete the work.
GP lobby groups have also been active in suppressing pharmacy initiatives particularly in the concept area of medication continuance.

In the US the opposite is occurring, mainly because of the fractured health service that exists in that country. However, while it can be said that Australia's health system may be better, it seems to be dysfunctional for the moment.
This may represent an opportunity for pharmacy if it can be properly articulated to politicians.
It appears that governments only turn to pharmacy when they need bailing out.
The end result always sees pharmacy disadvantaged as policies and promises are inevitably changed.
The following story recently appeared in Drug Store News

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Complementary and alternate medicines

Neil Johnston

There are many views held in pharmacy as to the efficacy and value of complementary and alternate medicines.
At i2P we endeavour to cater for all perspectives by publishing the views of skeptics such as Loretta Marron, who takes a “no holds barred” approach, and insist that the only perspective for medical professionals to prescribe/sell drugs be evidence-based.
On the other side, we recently published an article by Chris Wright (a regular i2P author), who is not a pharmacist but has a good working knowledge of pharmacy.
He opted to take acupuncture treatment from his GP instead of consuming anti-inflammatory drugs.
His GP gave him the choice.
Chris’s article drew strong comments from the “evidence-based perspective”.
(Follow this link to view comments at the end of the article)
Chris chose acupuncture because he felt it would work for him.

i2P asked Mark Coleman to make a comment which appears below the news item that originally appeared in Pharmacy News on June 24 2010.
Acupuncture is mentioned in the last line of that news item.

Comments: 1

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Sublime treachery, delivered par excellence

Chris Wright

articles by this author...

Chris has spent many years in the pharmaceutical industry and is semi-retired.
He has an interest in supply chain procedures, and work flows within community pharmacies, and he provides consultancies around those activities.

It’s probably all been said but that astonishing ascent of the Member for Lalor Julia Gillard has nailed yet another nail in the coffin of our long cherished democracy.
Again, the power-crazed toe-cutters of the Labor Party were unable to muster the restraint required to allow an elected comrade see out the full game.
The bitter hatred (which is often factional but not necessarily in this case) that lurks behind closed doors was just too much. In the end those who read from the Graham Richardson manual on dealing with personnel superfluous to current requirements acted with rare brutality and “Kevin 07” became “Kevin gone to political Heaven” in a blink.

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Thank goodness the titan of Canberra, the indomitable Laurie Oaks, forced the Member for Lalor to at least display a degree of nervousness regarding her role in rolling the boss.

So, we now have a Prime Minister and two State Premiers (Keneally & Brumby) who are yet to face an election, which would give them the right to occupy the offices they currently have no moral right to enjoy.
This circumstance is blight on our democracy.

Whatever the presumed faults, personal idiosyncrasies, polls or backroom intrigue that brought down Kevin Rudd he was our serving Prime Minister and deserved to be accorded due respect and tenure.
If these political assassins treat a Prime Minister in such a manner what hope do we have as mere mortals? And let’s not kid ourselves, we are treated as idiots by government.

I mean fair dinkum, is Barak Obama going to be callously marched out of the White House carrying a cardboard box with his desk calendar and family snapshots just because the hatchet men aren’t happy with his performance in dealing with BP?

No, of course not.

It should not escape most that one of the main reasons Kevin 07 knocked off Little Johnny is the fact he was not aligned with a faction and therefore not subject to the rampant insider dealing so ingrained within the Labor Party. Also, Kevin 07 was certainly able to get traction with the Christian vote due to his preferred Sunday pastime. This sort of escapes me a bit, as we are truly a secular society. Well, this writer likes to think we are anyway. After all, the very impressive Josh Frydenburg is now the member for Kooyong, which is of course the bastion of Liberal heartland.

Perversely, Kev’s replacement is a member of the Socialist Left and is an Atheist to boot. The contrast could not be greater and most voters should rightly be appalled that they have been duped.

Kevin Rudd had the less than endearing habit of saying; “You know what” before launching into his own peculiar version of “Polly-speak”. The new PM has followed suit but has dropped the “What” and settled for telling us; “You know”.

Take this little grab, for example; (discussing her Atheism)

“But during my adult life I’ve, you know found a different path”.

Or; (commenting on the Christian vote)

“Look, I’m, you know, worried about the national interest, about doing the right thing by Australians and I’ll allow, you know, people to form their own views on whatever is going to drive their views”.

Well, Madam Prime Minister, we don’t know what you know, nor do we know what you plan to do with the knowledge of what you know. However, I’m sure we are all seriously tickled pink that you are of a mind to allow us the freedom of our own views.

What a wonderfully magnanimous gesture, one I’m sure we all cherish as we slowly come to realize that in spite of the recent emotionally violent coup d’etat we still do in fact live in a free country.

In a few short days the Labor Party lost an amount of credibility that will be hard for many to recover from. This situation was helped along of course by the timely outburst by Kristina Keneally that declared gay people to be “sinners”. Her uncle (by marriage), Tom Keneally AO must have wondered if his enthralling and provoking non-fiction work of 1998, “The Great Shame” has taken on a whole new meaning……..one wonders if discrimination is becoming de rigueur rather than passe.

One suspects that one of the genuine icons of Australian history, Peter Lalor, would be appalled that the occupant of the seat that bares his name engaged in seditious behavior not similar to those who charged him with treason.

After all, his famous speech of 1854, which included the Eureka oath, makes a complete mockery of the notion that many of our politicians have any of the values so apparent in some of their forefathers.

"We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties"

As for the election, bring it on and let us demand a fair go is given to those elected by the voters, and that the will of the people is never again taken lightly by those who place their own naked ambition above all else.

 

Chris Wright.

 

 

 

 

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Submitted by Peter Kennedy on Wed, 28/07/2010 - 13:07.

Gee, I didn't expect to be accused of "poisonous condemnation" just because I dared to point out that some of your statements are not factual. Why bother having a comments box if you only want comments that agree with you?

My comment about our "petticoat government" was an attempt at what's technically called "humour". Sorry you didn't get it.

Keneally had stated that she supported same-sex "couples" adopting children when announcing that she was introducing legislation to allow this.
She was asked how she could take this position contrary to her professed Catholic beliefs.
She replied: "Jesus sat with the sinners and the saints and he was not a man of judgment but rather a man of love".

Bizarrely some then complained about this reply because, they asserted, same-sex couples are not sinners.
Even more bizarrely, Keneally then clarified that she too didn't mean to imply that same-sex couples are sinners!
No, I can't work out what Keneally's point is either.

My point was simply that it's patently false to claim that there was an "outburst by Kristina Keneally that declared gay people to be “sinners”".
In fact she went out of her way to say (quite irrationally) the exact opposite.

Submitted by Peter Kennedy on Mon, 26/07/2010 - 11:22.

Men in the Health sector, especially in NSW, are feeling a bit of angst now though. The Queen, the Governor-General, the PM, all four Cwlth Ministers with Health portfolios, the NSW Governor, Premier, Deputy Premier and Health Minister: every last one of them a woman!

Submitted by chris wright on Tue, 27/07/2010 - 16:21.

Gee, I didn't expect a thesis full of poisonous condemnation just because I'd expressed an opinion.
Ahh well, I accept that I'm a humorless intellectual nuff-nuff and in future I'll try to confine myself to boring old factual comment.....yeah, right.
It may shock you to learn that I'm well acquainted with the difference between a Prime Minister and a President. Equally, I'd be delighted to be shocked to learn that you understand the difference between comment tinged with an element of humour and Hansard.
As for the relevance of the number of women in positions of power in NSW....your point is?
And as for Queens, I know a few who would take issue with your defense of Kristina Keneally's comment about gay sinners. The fact is the comment did not need to be made in the first place if your assertion is correct.
Yeah, well.......maybe we both need to get a life.

Submitted by Peter Kennedy on Mon, 26/07/2010 - 11:00.

Incumbent Prime Ministers have the right to remain in office so long as (and ONLY so long as) they retain the support of a majority of elected members of the House, and have the right not be removed for any OTHER reason. Rudd obviously understands this better than you do, as he resigned as soon as he realised that the majority of elected members of his party (who comprise a majority in the House) no longer supported him as their leader.

If, as you claim, the ALP members' decision to change their leader was the result of their being manipulated by (unelected?) "power crazed back roomers", well nobody is forcing anyone to vote for the ALP or to become or remain a member of the ALP or any of its factions. Do you think that the removal, in exactly the same way, of the party leaders Turnbull, Beazley, Latham, Downer, Hewson, Hawke, Peacock, Hayden, etc.etc.etc. was also "undemocratic in spirit"? Why?

If there is any genuine "angst in the community at the manner in which K. Rudd lost his job", I suggest it is only among people like yourself who are labouring under the misapprehension that an Australian (or British, NZ, Canadian, etc.) Prime Minister is the equivalent of a President of the USA. Admittedly they are partially excused because so many in the media (who should know better) subtly or otherwise promote this delusion - I suppose it helps them to sensationalise such events as Rudd's removal and so increase the number of readers/viewers/listeners and so increase advertising revenue. And in the case of the ABC on this occasion, whipping up the drama and importance of the event so that it can pat itself on the back for having been the first to break the story.

Submitted by Peter Kennedy on Thu, 22/07/2010 - 09:49.

And Keneally and Brumby, just like Gillard, have faced and won many elections by the people of their electorates. And won the leadership of their parties by the democratic vote of the democratically elected members, just as Rudd did in a party vote orchestrated by party factions. (Remember a bloke called Beazley?) The factions (parties within a party) themselves being yet another expression of democracy.

And as far as I know all Christians believe that all men are sinners. It's extremely weird that you find it a "great shame", "discrimination" or that "the Labor part lost credibility" because Keneally simply pointed out that gay people are not excluded from the standard Christian doctrine that all men are sinners.

Submitted by Peter Kennedy on Thu, 22/07/2010 - 09:33.

I didn't think it was possible, but you've managed to be even more devoid of rationality than your pieces on so-called "alternative" medicine.

We (the majority of Aus voters) did NOT elect Rudd as our president as the Yanks elected Obama. We elected members of the ALP as the majority of those we elected. I'd like to think most of us did so because we supported that party's policies, not because of who its chief spokesman was, much less where (if anywhere) he worshipped (Anglican church, same as Howard). It is utterly absurd to claim that the fact that the party has elected a new spokesman (after Rudd resigned and only one candidate stood for election by the party members) "has nailed yet another nail in the coffin of our long cherished democracy"!! Elected members have been forming, dissolving and re-forming parties, and changing their leaders since the dawn of our democracy, in fact it happens less frequently now than it used to.

Please don't attempt to comment on politics until you have learned the most basic features of our democratic Westminster system of government. Australian voters have never elected a Prime Minister!

Submitted by chris wright on Sat, 24/07/2010 - 09:18.

Hmmm, you make some good points.
However, I didn't think it unreasonable to suggest that the behavior of the power crazed "back-roomers" towards K. Rudd was undemocratic in spirit and therefore at odds with the Westminster...yeah, that's probably not quite right. The Obama comparison was to simply suggest incumbent leaders in a free society must have the right to remain in office and not be removed for the wrong reasons.
If this is not valid there would not be the level of voter angst in the community at the manner in which K. Rudd lost his job
Damn pity if we all thought the same thing, eh?

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