Sunday, March 25, 2007

NEW NSW Government

The NSW State Election (Sat 23-March) has returned a Labor Government with Morris Iemma as Premier of NSW. The seat majority will be similar, but the % swing needed by the opposition to win next time will be reduced.

It's now time to get over the most negative political campaign that I can remember; some say ever. Both sides targeted and attacked individuals.

There were many promises made to the people of NSW during the election campaign. This is now the time to deliver on some of those, and to change or adopt others for the sake of good governance. Much as I don't like politicians NOT saying what they will do, you must now do the following:

  • re-new your ministry: replace the incompetent, the megalomaniacs, those with marginal ethics, with competent, ethical people.
  • restore the independence of the Public Service, especially the heads of departments, their deputies and Ministerial advisers.
  • restore public confidence in the Parliament of NSW by ensuring that Question time is used properly; that Ministers answer questions; that Parliamentary time is not wasted on personal abuse; and that members are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol during sitting times.
  • develop a set of proper, ethical standards for politicians, especially those leaving Parliament who want to work for organisations with which they had involvement at Ministerial or higher levels, and which involved the distribution of public money to those organisations.
  • restore the proper functioning of FOI laws. For the last 20 years governments have been obfuscatory in the extreme when information that might show Government Ministers in a "bad light" has been requested. FOI, especially through the media, is one mechanism where the voting public can gain the accountability it deserves.
  • develop a sustainable water policy, by re-examining all options. Relying on a single answer is probably not in the best interests of the people of NSW.
  • develop a proper public transport policy that includes project management to develop infrastructure and appropriate timetables to carry people quickly and effectively.
  • use the State's AAA credit rating so beloved of previous governments, both Labor and coalition. Such a credit rating is only worthwhile to voters if it is used to negotiate good rates for short, medium and long-term borrowings. Those borrowings should be used to develop the infrastructure in transport, health, education and policing that are needed to deliver the services for which you are responsible.
  • Ensure that the principles of the Separation of Powers are reinforced - that no politician interferes with the proper functioning of Police work or Educational curricula, for example.
A government that governs well has little need for the myriad of "spin-doctors" that currently plague us; and individual and collective social well-being is increased.

The Analyst