Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year: What I hope For

WOW! Sydney's fireworks are still the best!! Awesome! You can see some images of NYE from around the world at:

It was great, but it is a moment in time. A moment where people forget their troubles, express their good wishes to others, and enjoy themselves.

Today, after the party hangover clears, brings a new reality. What do I want for this year? What are my "new year resolutions"? Mine is simple: I resolve to help our politicians develop better public policies - policies that are in the best interests of Australia, rather than political self-interest, or the interests of "the Party". Some examples of public policy that need a re-think:
  • Hospital / health management: How much, if any, should the Federal Government manage? It is undoubtedly in the best interests of Australia's people that the Federal Government be responsible. State politicians are reluctant to hand over anything - it would affect their budget, the size of government, and the number of Ministers drawing Ministerial salaries. The Federal Government knows it's a dog's breakfast, and will cost more to fix than the savings retrieved from the states & territories. Political self-interest is impeding good policy.
  • Climate Change: political half-truths & mis-truths are being used to protect the interests of large political donors,and to propagate populist (but largely incorrect) fears. IT is in human nature to try to control our environment, that's why we build houses, so why would politicians not try to control climate change to benefit people? The cynical, but correct, answer is political self-interest, or the financial interests of the political party.
  • Refugees: The release of Cabinet papers from 30 years ago show that our politicians, especially those from the Liberal & National Parties have learnt nothing. They still popularise xenophobic ideas, and seek political opportunism at the expense of good policy. Liberal Party and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's pronouncement that he would simply turn away boatloads of refugees knowing that they would likely sink and drown, is the latest example of bad policy for political expedience. The Federal Government politicians are little better - they seek to placate populist public opinions, and the Opposition, for their own benefit, rather than deal properly with a difficult issue.

Happy New Year for 2010 - now, go to work on our political leaders and local members.