Tuesday, September 07, 2010

A sense of relief as the independents decide

As I listened to the two independents I felt a sense of relief. Partly, this was due to the fact that a decision had been made. Partly, too, to the decision itself.

When I write professionally on this blog, I try to be objective. However, those who read the things that I write on will know that I feel that current structures mean that some of the things I think to be important have just been ignored. it's nice to have them forced back onto the national agenda.

But why a sense of relief at the support for Labor? Well, as Mr Oakeshott said, this is a bit of a judgement call. In my case, I have been very critical of the Rudd/Gillard approach to public policy. However, at the end of the day, the things that swung me in a personal sense were:

  1. Boat people. I became increasingly concerned with what I saw as the Howard Government's increasing inhumanity and breach of process in its treatment of refugees. I saw Mr Abbott going down the same path.
  2. Broadband. There may well be significant problems in the NBN proposal. However, I became concerned that the opposition's proposals were going to disadvantage the areas that I was especially interested in.
  3. Climate change. While I have mixed views on the climate change debate, I think that action does need to be taken. I thought that Labor was most likely to do this.
  4. New ideas. I didn't think that the opposition had had sufficient time to develop really new thoughts.

Note that I wasn't influenced by policies towards regional Australia. Neither Labor or the coalition started  with any really new ideas here. We haven't seen the offers from both sides, but I expect that they are in fact much of a muchness. The real debate is still to come here.

Now that a decision seems to have been made, I can go back to analysing policy as it emerges.


Geoff Robinson said...

I worry we might have lowest common denominator politics as seen in the last year with Labor scurrying to agree with the Coalition on these issues rather than working with the Indies and the Greens to achieve outcomes.

Jim Belshaw said...

I don't know, Geoff. I have no idea as to hwo all this is going to break in either political or policy terms. I can't see labor scurrying too hard or they lose their overall majority. I think that the more interesting thing is going to be to watch just how the Green's manage.

Rummuser said...

Jim, In India, the first question one would ask, is what is the quid pro quo?