Saturday, April 23, 2005

IN MEMORIAM: Sir Johannes Bjelke-Petersen (1911 - 2005)

I think all my Australian readers will know who "Joh" was but I would be surprised if any of my American readers do. Joh was for nearly 20 years Premier of my home State of Queensland. An Australian Premier is much more powerful than an American State Governor because he controls both the legislature and the administration. Australia seems to get on perfectly well without the American docrine of the separation of powers and, in a famous remark, Joh once revealed that he did not even know what the separation of powers referred to.

Joh led the National Party -- of which I was a member -- and was pro-business to a fault. As a result, Queensland saw an unprecedented rise in prosperity under his rule. During his time in office, Brisbane (the Queensland State capital) seemed to make the national news as often as Canberra (the national capital) because of Joh's total disregard for all Leftist pieties. In 1974, he gained a remarkable 59% of the popular vote. He was a great Queenslander and I miss him.

There are obits of him here and here. I have a previous comment on him here


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