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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

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October 26, 2004

I'm trying to work on dialup in a coastal town in South Australia on an old computer. It is dam near impossible to read the newspapers online since everything takes so long to upload.

In the short-term we have this comment on economic governance and political power in an open market-based economy and a changing political culture:


The cartoon highlights how much the ALP surrendered the economy as an issue to the Coalition; and how much John Howard and Peter Costello have positioned the Liberal Party as the guarantor of rising living standards for both the working and middle class. They are the guardians who, as the new centralists and nationalists, keep the economy strong and protect family living standards and values.

Maybe the ALP will become a little less centralist, more respectful of federalism and more considerate of the concerns of those who live outside the eastern metropolitan heartland. Maybe its bright young policy makers will stop seeing the outlying states as provinces full of hillbillies with deep prejudices, low moral tone, running noses and dirty feet living in shabby suburbs.

Maybe they will start to confront the ALP's deep anti-federalist prejudices now that the ALP is in power in all of the states in the federation. Maybe they ease up ontheir old policies of financial brutality and legislative mugging.

Maybe the ALP will start to think in term of regional differences, regional development and fostering green manufacturing to help address the need for a more sustainable economy. The ALP has little by way of energy/industrial policy other than signing up to Kyoto, increasing Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (MRET) to 5%.

Good policies for a sustainable economy would be more useful than all the hairychested tough economic talk about making savings by eliminating all the waste, duplication and inefficiency of federalism; or the gilded rhetoric about these savings being the golden key to overcoming poverty, unemployment, low education and disease.

Here's hoping the ALP makes contact with the realities of federalism and stops trying to make the states the clients of the commonwealth.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 12:01 PM | | Comments (0)