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The Forum > Article Comments > A better society > Comments

A better society : Comments

By Phuong Duong, published 20/12/2007

The task before Kevin Rudd is to inspire the nation with a vision of the society Australia can be.

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Let us manufacture our own vision from now on, rather than just shifting it from a reliance on Pax Britannica to Pax Americana.

Also remember it is a vision based on the superiority of the English-speaking also, only hoping with the rise of China and India and Japan playing a waiting game, that my present 14 great grand-kids may be educated a bit different?
Posted by bushbred, Thursday, 20 December 2007 11:02:49 AM
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The challenge for all political parties is to articulate a vision, to energize the public intellect, and to promote an idea of their country that voters will accept.

The Liberals are certainly in a mess. That probably gives Labor two terms to get it right (from its perspective).

But there's no profit in going back to the past to find the way to the future, and the union movement in particular must realise that. Labor's accession to federal power is not a meal ticket. The accord with the Australian people that Labor must now put in place demands acceptance within the ALP that today's society is no longer a collective.

The real challenge is to weld individual enterprise to community interest. It will be fun watching Prime Minister Rudd work that one out.
Posted by Scribe, Thursday, 20 December 2007 12:10:34 PM
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I think we should lose the messiah complex or prepare to be disappointed.

It seems to me the great political compact in the West, Australia included, is that the 2 major parties in each country representing usually the 70 - 80% number of people, have converged ideologically.

We are all progressive liberals / social democrats and have been for years.

And we punters love it - we may all abuse our pollies for arguing and featherbedding and so on but we are generally happy as long as they do not look like they are going to do anything which might endanger our doles, pensions, wage increases, or super benefits.

Kevin will be Howard Lite. If he is there long enough he may be able to make the sort of evolutionary changes which Hawke and Keating managed which transformed Australia.
Posted by westernred, Thursday, 20 December 2007 2:03:55 PM
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This author is sadly unaware of Kevin's history in Diplomacy and Queensland. In Queensland he was known as Doctor Death for his closure of hospital beds and attitude to HR within the Qld. bureaucracy. He was no friend of the people. He was a very minor diplomat in China and his actions were highly regulated.

If he expects great things to come from those experiences the author will be sadly disappointed.

'Labor governance is about asking citizens to balance self-interest with the common interest... This is where John Howard’s legacy will be eroded.'

That balance can only occur if certain economic disciplines are maintained. ie Low inflation, low interest rates, high employment and an education system that produces worthwhile outcomes.

The experience with Labor Governments is to throw money at problems without improvements in outcomes and to blame others for their failures. One only has to look at Indigenous issues, health and education ... all up to now State areas of responsibility.

So what happened today: A new era of Co-operative Federalism. Now those areas of health, education and Indigenous Affairs are to be shared between Federal and State Governments. Oh and today Kevin announced a $50 Billion grant to the states to reduce hospital waiting lists. That's over and above what he promised during the election campaign.

Bali, what a farce? Is this Kevin's diplomacy at work? No targets but a committment of $200 Billion Annually to save 3rd World forests. Spending also unannounced during the election.

Workplace relations. Just today we saw the Unions dominating Gillard. The promised 2010 removal of Unfair Dismissal laws for small businesses is being bought forward to 2008.

One month review: one broken promise and $250 bil extra spending.

But all's ok we signed Koyoto... truncated the "intervention" in to dysfunction NT indigenous communities and ignored the plight of seriously abused kid's in Queensland.

Yep John Howard's legacy is starting to be eroded already...but not as the author would recognise...in fact the author will probably be cheering ... uncritically and blindly.
Posted by keith, Thursday, 20 December 2007 5:54:24 PM
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I think that the Multi-nationals and the likes of Woolies and Coles will take umbridge to a truely egalitarian society.No Govt in this country will dare take on the big boys.Just look at the price of fuel and the fact that we have had the fastest growing food prices in the Western World.Lots of investigations,but no results.Just gutless Govt that pays lip service to accountability.
Posted by Arjay, Thursday, 20 December 2007 11:05:32 PM
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that's your fault, rj. you want to led by the hand to the promised land, no effort from you.

if you, and a few hundred thousand other ozzies demanded citizen initiative, the people of australia could direct their country where they thought it should go. but you all are content to sit on your collective arses and watch the pollies and corporations do as they please. not entirely content, no shortage of empty whingeing.

"you get the government you deserve" is precisely true, and a nation of sheep can expect to be sheared regularly, and butchered when it suits their masters.
Posted by DEMOS, Friday, 21 December 2007 5:39:33 AM
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