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beware the reborn centralists « Previous | |Next »
February 11, 2005

Huge reform expectations are now building up around the Coalition's control of the Senate after June 30th. With no effective opposition in the Senate for the next decade, the diverse political tensions and oppositions will now shift elsewhere.

There are many faultines within the Howard Government. The succession is definitely one of them:

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Will there be an orderly transition on time (next year)? I doubt it. Howard looks as if he is digging in for another election

Unlike Keating, Costello has not made a big mark on public policy since 1996. What has Peter Costello done by way of fundamental reform of the economy? Hasn't his 8 year reign as Treasurer been mostly about the administration of the deregulated economy established by Hawke and Keating? Is that a plausible account of the last nine years?

Is the Treasurer, and PM aspirant, hopeful and heir apparent, now going to start making his mark now? Peter Costello hasn't really distinguished himself from John Howard and stated what he actually stands for. Perhaps he's now going to step out of the shadow and find his voice? Will we now hear much more talk of supply-side tax cuts growing tax revenues and the economy?

Industrial relations is seen as a component to an "enterprise culture". Business is putting lots of pressure on the Howard Government to seize the historic opportunity of Senate control and go for broke in radically reforming the labour market.

Is the need to find his own voice the reason why Peter Costello is returning to his New Right roots and publicly campaigning for radical industrial relations reforms, and using the constitutional head of power (corporations power) to override the states and form a national industrial relations system?

Costello is going to use his hands on the levers of power to treat the states as constitutional pariahs. He is acting like a wolf to shake the independent life out of the states. Why would you trust the commonwealth on this?

Will the states voluntarily give over their power to Canberra, or will the Commonwealth impose its will by using the corporations power?

Why should the states kowtow to Costello's latest centralist enthusiasm? Why should the states contribute to their own culling and allow themselves to become clients of the feds? Would that not be the end of the federalism of the constitutional founders and framers.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 3:51 PM | | Comments (0)
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