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The Forum > Article Comments > Is political leadership a lost art? > Comments

Is political leadership a lost art? : Comments

By Ruth Townsend and Neil Glasson, published 2/11/2011

Today we are confronted by largely homogenised political parties, which do not seem to hold any particular long-term vision other than re-election.

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Thank you for the 'heads up' re the PBS, authors, in your sixth-last paragraph:

"The Gillard government is currently negotiating
yet another trade agreement with the US the Trans
Pacific Partnership Agreement. It appears at first
glance to be a seemingly relatively benign exercise,
but it has the power to drastically change domestic
healthcare policy. If Gillard fails to demonstrate
some courageous political leadership during these
negotiations, healthcare values established and embedded
by Ben Chifley, namely the pharmaceutical benefits
scheme (PBS) and its insurance of access to affordable
medicines for all Australians, will be but one area
that is emasculated by the deal.

This is Gillard's time. She should utilise the Occupy
Wall St momentum and define this moment by resisting
the US push for an unfair trade deal. This would prevent
a healthcare crisis from developing. Gillard will then
leave a small but significant legacy - as the courageous
leader who did not bow down to corporate US interests
and sell out the PBS on her watch."

`

Sadly, it seems PM Gillard may be too busy shooting messengers to hear you.

`

Seemingly having invaded the privilege of the Senate in using privileged testimony given by the Ombudsman to the Senate LCAR Committee on 23 September 2011 to force his resignation, thereby disadvantaging him, PM Gillard is perhaps upon the threshold of missing her moment. I wonder will she have the courage to pull back from the precipice and advise the Governor-General to ask the Ombudsman to reconsider his resignation?

At least, as authors perhaps disappointed at the apparent initial lack of response to this article, you can take heart that it was this morning topping the 'Today's most popular' display on the OLO Main Page. A first memento: http://twitpic.com/79y8wy
Posted by Forrest Gumpp, Thursday, 3 November 2011 5:43:29 AM
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A second memento: http://twitpic.com/7bxge8

Your article made it to the 'This week's most popular display' this morning.
Posted by Forrest Gumpp, Tuesday, 8 November 2011 9:29:17 AM
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Well, authors, as of first thing this morning, your article had risen another place on the 'This week's most popular' display on the OLO Main Page. A third memento: http://twitpic.com/7c9jcx

Further to the seeming 'messenger shooting' involved in the forced resignation of the Ombudsman referred to in the first comment to this article, it now seems as if the permanent head of DIAC, Andrew Metcalfe, has been sidelined. See: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-11-05/metcalfe-takes-extended-leave/3636996

Given that Metcalfe is credited with having advised the government as to the appropriateness of the 'Malaysian solution' in the first place, the fact that he has now been seemingly sidelined suggests that perhaps the Ombudsman was onto something well within the brief given him by the Ombudsman Act with respect to immigration matters, and that Asher's perhaps (and only 'perhaps') unwise seeking of a forum within which he could air his concerns as to funding to the Parliament was in reality justified, even if the way he went about it was not conventional.

Is it reasonable that willingness to admit a mistake should be expected as a necessary characteristic in a leader?

It would seem that facilitating the reinstatement of Allan Asher as Ombudsman would be the most practical way of making such an admission in the present PM's case, a course having the advantage of also defusing the invasion of Senate privilege, and usurpation of Parliamentary prerogative, issues that constitute the mistake made. Especially so in the light of what may be a newly-emergent aspect of the chain of circumstances that propelled the PM along the course she so mistakenly took. See: http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=4792#128310

I guess it all depends on whether she has the courage and will to step back from the brink.
Posted by Forrest Gumpp, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 11:01:33 AM
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