The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
The Forum - On Line Opinion's article discussion area


RSS 2.0

Main Articles General

Sign In      Register

The Forum > Article Comments > Cost-shifting, blame-shifting and profligacy > Comments

Cost-shifting, blame-shifting and profligacy : Comments

By Paul Kerin, published 6/9/2007

We live in one of the most over-governed nations on earth: abolishing state governments would save about $30 billion.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. All
"Howard recently called for us all to become "aspirational nationalists". Probably by design, no one has been able to fathom what he meant by that."... says Paul Kerin.

Sorry, but it's pretty clear what Howard is doing here with his use of 'aspirational' everything.

It means absolutely nothing, but it sounds good. Wait for 'aspirational democracy', aspirational egalitarianism', 'aspirational fair-go', 'aspirational Christianity' (but never 'aspirational Islam') and so on.

It also allows Howard to show that he is not 'forcing' people to think like him, unlike those Stalinists-in-the-ALP-with-their-union-bosses-driving-everything.

In the same manner, Howard has purloined all those other phrases that clutter our 'Aussie lexicon', like 'quintessentially Australian' and all those awful ones all politicians so love- battler,mateship, fair go, egalitarian/ism, and so on.

Howard is not alone here, in this 'phrase theft'.

Only today Beattie was giving us the 'Aussie values' crap too.

See The Oz, 6/9/07 p. 5, 'Millionaires row slapped down over land grab'.

Here the filthy rich have stolen public land to extend their jolly gardens down towards the seashore. Instead of Beattie simply calling them thieves he had to invoke 'Aussie values' and declare his, perfectly reasonable, action to retrieve these 'enclosed' lands were all to do with ' a fair go for all Australians' and that he 'love[s] egalitarianism', whatever that means... could be a case of aspirational egalitarianism here perhaps?

Shame Beattie doesn't believe in a 'fair go' or 'egalitarianism', whatever that means, for the Aboriginal peoples we all thieved wages from years ago, isn't it?

Howard's silly phrases also show how desperate he is, which is more to the point. And instead of pretending to understand them as some deep and mystical message, they should be seen as a shallow and rather sloppy massage.
Posted by The Blue Cross, Thursday, 6 September 2007 9:58:59 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Wont work!

A bureaucracy is needed to restructure bureaucracy. Bureaucracy only expands. That is as ironclad as the law of gravity.
Posted by healthwatcher, Thursday, 6 September 2007 10:00:25 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
If we're going to play around with the structure of government, I think we need to move away from the locality based representative system. Rather than electing a representative of a particular geographical area, I think we should elect a representatives directly to ministerial roles. That is directly vote for the Health Minister, Education Minister, etc. In effect allowing the public to chose, for example, the Labour Party's health policy and the Liberal Party's education policy. Each of these Executive Ministers would then be responsible for their own taxation/budgets, allowing for not only clear political accountability but financial accountability as well.

It would be necessary to have a form of senate to balance these executive roles, which would be similar to the current state based representatives, albeit without the state divisions. This would be to limit the powers of the specific executives and allow for the complex balancing of the national agenda.

Essentially, I think a fine grained, compartmentalized democracy with clearer roles and better accountability is the way we should move, rather than towards a more centralized and monolithic government.
Posted by Desipis, Thursday, 6 September 2007 11:54:26 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
UTTER HOGWASH! It's edge-fiddling on an issue you appear to know nothing about.

I totally disagree. "we must abolish state governments - and beef up local governments".

Local Councils hardly have the capacity to deliver the services required from State and Federal partnerships. Most of the 157 Councils in Queensland are struggling in a "BACK_WATER".

The federal government has done little on infrastructure... we have a Federal economy smoking on socio-economic indices under the lid.

At ground levels we have not the skills education, nor political will to up-grade ourselves (expeditiously) to install the socio-economic platform for services needed, as they are and will be required in coming years.

Many regions lack the pure access to pure social capital.

We are not applied enough and nor do we have the advocacy and resoures to take on the research, diplomacy nor accountablity of issues required to work with a entirely centeralised located federal government. (Those already busy would be busier or else just plain out to lunch!).

Consultancy is a key communication issue when it comes to getting things inclusive and done.

Agreed, we are in some ways vulnerable to the same things ie: access to good economic governance and regional trade markets... See APEC's issues for regional-isolated economies.

We need institutional and adminitrative reform across all government and community processes.

We need to pro-activate civic participation productively, so no one gets left out. This is up to us as citizens to do more to understand.

We are seculor, reluctant to change, we have honest and geniune grassroot problems that would only become more economically bi-polar without the right balance of inputs to build infrastructure at all regional levels.

Redtape has to do with people, administrators and governments everywhere. The Beattie reforms as they have proven in other regions are an instrument toward positive change, in this decade ahead.

Whether these reforms work is up to every citizen living in the Queensland, to work towards creating network-partnerships for change within their own communities.

From this base we have a stronger position to reach the ears of any government.
Posted by miacat, Thursday, 6 September 2007 12:58:21 PM
Find out more about this user Visit this user's webpage Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
The author points out why we had small local governments in the first pace, with one of the points being low population densities, then carries on to argue that we need to get rid of small councils because of their tiny populations. Huh? I used to live in NSW's smallest (by population, 250 ratepayers) shire, which also had one of the largest areas. Everyone knew every councillor, and held them to account publically. An amalgamation was chosen with another local rural shire, so that amalgamation with the local municipal council would not be forced (as the municpal council is constantly broke and bickers amongst itself for years before coming to a decision on anything).

Rather than forcing amalgamations, other options such as equipment and resource sharing should be explored first. Basically this is what gives economies of scale, and if it cant work as a sharing arrangement, then it wont work for amalgamated entities either. Local councillors get very little pay anyway, so the number of politicians at local level isnt really that big of a concern. Especially given that the more local they are the more accountable they will be held by the public.
Posted by Country Gal, Thursday, 6 September 2007 1:17:50 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
We are not “one of the most over-governed nations on Earth”. The comparison with the United Kingdom is false and of limited relevance in any case. I have just counted the number of politicians in England. There are more than 30,261 members of the European Parliament, the UK Parliament, the Northern Ireland, Welsh, London and eight unelected English regional assemblies and the various county, district and borough councils. That is one politician for every 1,983 people, not one for 20,000.

To put it another way, the UK has one politician for every 8 square kilometres, and, if the author’s figures of 22,600 Australian politicians is still correct, Australia has one politician for every 34 square kilometres.

If you are a resident of Bedford, you will be governed by the Bedford Borough Council, the Bedfordshire County Council, the regional assembly, the UK Parliament and the European Parliament – and, Australia, with only three tiers of government, is supposed to be over-governed. Please!

I do not know where this move against the states comes from, but it is not well argued.

Removing an elected tier of government will not reduce bureaucracy
Posted by Chris C, Thursday, 6 September 2007 1:38:23 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. All

About Us :: Search :: Discuss :: Feedback :: Legals :: Privacy