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

troubles ahead for some « Previous | |Next »
November 19, 2007

The ALP 's confidence is growing. It is now outlining an extensive reform agenda on health, business deregulation, climate change, and education. They are even talking about recalling parliament before Xmas. All the Liberal Party has at this stage, judging by the news I've heard on Sky News at the Qantas Club this morning, is the politics of fear--- the ALP is now determined to kill the mining boom!

Bill Leak

What Rudd is referring to is a new wave of reform called the National Reform Agenda (NRA) , which like the earlier National Competition Policy (NCP) under Keating, is premised on co-operative federalism. Howard and Costello decided to bash the states rather than be statesmen and cooperate with the national reform agenda proposed by the then Bracks Victorian Government and bought to the Council of Australian Government (CoAG) in 2005.

The dye was cast then. Costello and Howard were strategically locked into relying on past economic achievements and union bashing rather than pushing forward to finish the uncompleted business of the NCP in water, transport, energy and red tape, and extending it into health care, education, welfare tax work incentives and the human capital agenda. Costello and Howard stood for the past, thereby allowing Rudd to step in a fill the reform vacuum and stand for the future.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 5:57 AM | | Comments (10)


hard to believe this mob got in last time, and by streets.

but that's what happens when your choice is "a" or "b". you hold your nose and vote for "least worst".

Howard and Costello have not so much vacated commonwealth state reform as trashed it with their hit and run hospital takeovers and war with states over infrastructure. The political differences between them and Rudd on this should not be underestimated.

The latest implied criticism of the States is the anti hoon and vandalism advertising by Liberal candidates. They all claim that this is a local issue for their electorate which they personally have uncovered. Desperate spin. Spinning out of control.


"water, transport, energy and red tape, and extending it into health care, education, welfare tax work incentives and the human capital agenda"

Most of these are either service provision or involve service provision in some way. Provide or privatise?

Given that Howard and Costello prefer the latter they have no reason to cooperate with the states. I wonder what, exactly, they think governments are for. I suspect their ideas are a little different from the electorates'.

That is a good cartoon with an apt summary.

Gary - You don't leave an e-mail address for suggestions. Have you seen the Australia-based site Borderlands at ? It's a zine that should interest you, especially its new issue on postmodern politics.


A quote:

The extent to which the policy-making procedures of the Howard Government have been subordinated to short-term politics in recent years is indicated by the theatrical interventions in the Murray-Darling Basin, indigenous affairs, and the Tasmanian hospital system. The decisions to launch these initiatives were taken without Treasury advice as to costing, without liaising with the relevant state authorities, and without prior consultation with stakeholders such as irrigators, tribal elders, and the Tasmanian medical profession.

It looks like an authoritarian approach to governance.

I heard something quite funny today from the horses mouth.

Rudd has recently called the Exclusive Brethren a Cult and has chastised Howard meeting with their leader (who actually lives in Bennalong) But he has forgotten to mention that this Cult sent their kids to the same school as him and the kids dad who is a brethren actually installed the Air conditioning in Rudd's house for him.


Well I think its funny!

It's more than privatisation of state utilites--eg., power. It's also about federalism: reducing the imbalance between federal and state revenues and responsibilities, reducing the wasteful duplication of roles — the buck-passing, the blame game and creating a system where problems get solved.

However, I doubt that Rudd, even though a moderniser, is prepared to grasp the nettle of federal-state financial reform. Will Rudd, as a reformer, grasp the mettle of micro-economic reform?

thanks for the Borderlands link. I know it and think that it is very good. It is where academia needs to go --online.

I'll check out the postmodern issue.