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The Forum > Article Comments > Political leadership when there are no winners > Comments

Political leadership when there are no winners : Comments

By Gary Neat, published 28/10/2011

Regrettably, the political leadership game in 2011 is essentially about making yourself a small target whilst at the same time creating a positive aura.

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Some stimulating points here Gary. My responses to a few of your questions:

- Is Westminster still the most appropriate forum in the 21st century for Australia? YES, it certainly works better than the presidential system in US
- Has the compulsory voting system outlived its original purpose? YES, for the reasons you stated
- Do we really need Upper Houses in our state parliaments? YES - Look what QLD (No upper house) got - rampant inappropriate and often destructive development.

Re charisma of politicians, I dont give a damn about it. I look at what Julia delivers ( and she's doing very well with legislation), not at her elocution and persona. She has the skill of obtaining consensus and compromise - very important.

Does Abbott have charisma? If so it's only of a base pugilistic kind and his stultifying, unrelenting negativity to any progressive policy makes me dread that he may ever become PM.
Posted by Roses1, Friday, 28 October 2011 3:23:05 PM
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unrelenting negativity
Roses !,
Which progressive policy has Abbott been relentlessly been negative to ? I have yet to see a progressive policy announcement from the present Govt.
Posted by individual, Friday, 28 October 2011 5:23:11 PM
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Are you deaf and blind 'individual'?

Carbon price - cheapest way to reduce emissions, formerly Liberal policy - Abbott says he will repeal and offers us 'soil magic' and expensive 'direct action' instead.

Mining super profits tax - a claw back of some of the resource wealth plundered by huge corporations,(many overseas) - Abbott to repeal

Pokies gambling control legislation - supported by 61% of the community - Abott to repeal.

Raising the tax free threshold to incentivise more people on pensions to enter the workforce. - Abbott to repeal.

These are just some of the progressive policies currently being legislated.
Posted by Roses1, Friday, 28 October 2011 11:43:55 PM
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"two tough, highly intelligent people"
No. They're really not. Unless providing the worst governance Australia has ever had, and being the most unpopular opposition leader ever are beach part of some clever scheme of theirs. Not to mention they let their offshore processing bill to flounder out of pure pettiness.

To fix these;

1- to get better, more independent leaders, we simply abolish parliament and compulsory voting, and make each ministry a separate body each with a directly-elected minister. That would increase the chances of independents filling appropriate roles (With a proper mandate to do so), and ministers are less likely to have to compromise with random backbenchers, and do not require the blessing of fellow party members to gain their positions.

2-Westminster is obsolete- and arguably has never been a good system to begin with (arguably designed to shoehorn unelected lords and monarchs to override democracy). For a REAL democratic system, refer to Switzerland.

3- Compulsory voting is a terrible idea based on a myth- that if an apathetic person is forced to vote, they will suddenly care enough about politics to get informed. They don't. And it shows in Australia.

4- Upper Houses are absolutely vital- especially considering that this allows me to vote for the "Save our Suburbs/State" party- which is vital for ensuring my rights are always protected regardless of who gets voted into state government.

5- The governor General should have some actual use- on condition that he/she is elected. Otherwise the position should be scrapped.

6- Most importantly- introduce binding CIR
Posted by King Hazza, Friday, 28 October 2011 11:59:00 PM
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Roses !,
I suggest you look up a thesaurus regarding the true meaning of progressive.
Posted by individual, Saturday, 29 October 2011 6:16:23 AM
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Individual,
I suggest you look up a dictionary to find the true meaning of 'thesaurus'.
Way back in the 60's, a young bridge painter appeared in a comedy skit on the Willesee show. He put a garbage can over his head and stuck a plastic sword through it. He became so wildly successful that Willesee brought him back for a serious interview. Willesee asked him very seriously what he thought about a controversial pay rise for politicians at that time (when everyone else was being asked to tighten their belts.)
The comedian replied "I think we should pay them more" which -in good comedic tradition- was about the last thing everyone expected.
"Why?" Asked Willesee.
"Well, maybe then we might attract a better class of person" replied Paul Hogan.
It should only have been politicians stupid enough or greedy enough or self serving enough to have taken him seriously.
You can never get a 'better class of person' by appealing to greed.
Posted by Grim, Saturday, 29 October 2011 6:53:15 AM
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