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The Forum > Article Comments > Was the Summit a success? > Comments

Was the Summit a success? : Comments

By Andrew Leigh, published 23/4/2008

At Kevin Rudd's 2020 Summit many nuggety little ideas emerged; not just in the official documents, but in conversations between participants.

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Three ideas from the summit that are not new but need promoting and extending are: the Golden Gurus volunteers, artists in schools and closer links between business and schools. Not re-inventing the wheel, just more spin.

Kevin Rennie
http://laborview.blogspot.com
Posted by top ender, Wednesday, 23 April 2008 10:17:38 AM
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Let's not judge anything quickly yet.

Let's wait for the PM'S report before making a final judgement.

However, even with the three ideas mentioned by Andrew in his article
it sounds as if the Summit did achieve a great deal.

I'm optimistic about Australia's future under the current leadership.
Posted by Foxy, Wednesday, 23 April 2008 3:11:14 PM
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REPUBLIC NOW!

Congratulations to Summiteers Bob Debus and Maxime McKew. Get on with the Republic! Preferably within two years, not by 2020!

The Minimalist idea of a two stage process is ridiculous. "Do you want a Republic?" and then "What kind of Head of State?" The voters could rightly ask "Just what kind of Republic do you have in mind for us?" Tell us first!

Other strange Minimalist suggestions have been aired. The same mistake was made by the ARM in the early 1990s. We need a Maximalist, strategic plan for the Republic, now.
The Republic issue was only very superficially debated in the 1990s. The only topic of debate was the Head of State issue and even since the loss of the 1999 Referendum very few groups have failed to develop a strategic plan to talk about "What kind of Republic? In 1999 research clearly indicated that the voters lacked sufficient information. An education revolution? How about a booklet about Republican and constitutional options in everybody's post box, to begin with, now.

There is a very strong case for rewriting the entire Constitution. Some examples: replacing the dysfunctional federation with a much better decentralised system of governance; replacing the electoral regime (single-member districts) with proportional representation - party list system; doing away with dysfunctional aspects of the Westminster system (in particular that Ministers should be in and off the Parliament, resulting in functional amateurism of government throughout Australia); introducing a Bill of rights: creating reserved seats for Indigenous representatives in Parliament; limiting the powers of the executive government in dragging Australia into silly wars without popular or even parliamentary approval, changing the procedure to amend the Constitution (section 128) to include popular initiative and recall like in Switzerland; safeguarding the environment by entrenching protective guarantees in the Constitution, recognising the right of women and minorities in the Constitution; committing any Government to protect the sovereignty of the nation, both in terms of political and economic sovereignty.

My book is about a Maximalist Republic.

Klaas Woldring, author of How about OUR Republic? BookSurge 2006
Posted by klaas, Wednesday, 23 April 2008 5:10:07 PM
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I didn't watch it all, but from what I did see on MSM and elsewhere prompts me to paraphrase a line from "Jesus Christ, Superstar." - "They're very strong on what and where, but not so good on how."
Now that the gummint has a raft of proposals let's test it's ability to consolidate some kind(s) of policy by taking the suggestions and turning them into practicalities. I believe that will illustrate the success or not of the summit.
Posted by enkew, Thursday, 24 April 2008 6:21:10 AM
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Nuggetty little ideas did not a successful Summit make.

The absence of big ideas on underlying issues made it a dismal failure.

We need a strong society with a strong rule of law, good governance and a reasonable quality of life for most of us, for all the little ideas to take root and grow.

If we don’t have the basics, then we can forget about achieving significant improvements in the better distribution of wealth and health for various disadvantages sectors of society.

If these basics are under imminent threat of going into decline, then we may as well forget about the small side issues altogether.

Well, there is a very real and present threat to the very basic values of our society, and indeed to the very fabric of society, which underlies every issue discussed at the Summit. It is rapidly rising fuel prices, or the energy crunch, or peak oil or whatever other name you want to give it. This, in combination with the mindless drive for rapid continuous economic and population growth, constitutes one issue that far outweighs everything else put together.

And Andrew didn’t even mention it in his article.

The “frission of happiness” could only have been felt by narrow-minded naďve people who either believe that our utterly cheap-oil-dependent society can continue on its merry way in the face of rapidly changing oil-price-driven economics without any negative effects, or are able to completely blank out the enormous elephant in the living room.
Posted by Ludwig, Thursday, 24 April 2008 8:06:16 AM
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Used to agree with the authors sentiments once upon a time, until l stopped reading my own agenda into a simple ceremony that is about remembering the price of humanity's ultimate failing. Its simply a case of 'lest we forget', much like say not forgetting genocide (ww2 nazi germany).

Unfortunately folks have a tendency to complacency and there's no harm in teaching kids to look both ways before crossing and to maybe reflect upon that flower laden telegraph pole we just passed.

The author says "Anzac day is a day of delusion: we have created a day of celebration of nationhood when we need a day of recognition that war is nothing but the ultimate human failure." Now, thats not in the least bit delusional. Especially considering that society and civilisation (ha) itself is built on a foundation of blood and bones.

Maybe the author is deluded in denying some of the more base characteristics of humanity. It aint all peaches and cream and no amount of romanticism will make it so.
Posted by trade215, Thursday, 24 April 2008 12:24:59 PM
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