Silence the best policy. The good political sense of Tony Abbott is continuing. Remaining largely silent is exactly the right thing to do while the verdict on who wins what is awaited from the Australian Electoral Commission. The place for negotiations with the balance-of-power-holding independents is in private and not in public.
Finding sufficient ways to reaffirm independence. A fascinating feature of the new parliament, whichever major party forms the government, will be the way the independents try and reaffirm to their constituents that they have retained their independence and not sold out to whoever it is they have given the nod to govern to. A clever government will provide plenty of scope for amendments to its legislation.
White papers and joint committees. Governments tend to act like they are the fount of all knowledge and prefer to present legislative proposals as a fait accompli. Now that we will have a government without the numbers to dominate either the House of Representatives or the Senate, things will be different. Expect to see many more proposals coming forward as White Papers with the government accepting debate and thus ideas before the introduction of Bills to change the laws. For some matters, like, for example, what to do about climate change, a greater use of Joint Parliamentary Committees with members from the Reps and the Senate to make recommendations would be sensible.
Not as simple as Richo says. With the threat or prosecution no longer hanging over his head for past involvement with financier Rene Rivkin, Graham Richardson has burst back into the political limelight as a commentator. Last night he was sharing his eminent good sense on the ABC’s Q&A but I did think he got it wrong in dismissing the difficulties involved in dealing with a minority Senate.
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The former Senator recalled his own days in the chamber to remember that governments normally managed to get through their major proposals without controlling the numbers. What he did not take account of, by my reckoning, is that the Greens are a different kind of group to the Australian Democrats and the Democratic Labor Party that have held the balance of power in the past.
The Democrats were quite definitely middle of the road being founded by a former Liberal Minister Don Chipp and that they retained some of those founding centrist views was confirmed when the goods and services tax was voted for.
I cannot envisage the modern-day Greens ever doing anything like that.
A bit cheap and personal. First the ear lobes and now the nose. The tabloids just can’t help getting personal.
Page one of this morning’s Gold Coast Bulletin
The new libertarian Four Corners. There was nothing even-handed about last night’s ABC Four Corners treatment of the world’s economic condition. The program showed a Swedish-made documentary distributed by Journeyman Pictures that gave a picture of the impending gloom and doom that is to come from governments of the world following down the path of economic stimulus.
Overdose — the next Financial Crisis was described by its director Martin Borgs as being inspired by reading Johan Norberg’s book Financial Fiasco, which Norberg dedicates to his son, with the words “Alexander you will look back on this as the good times”.
“And that frightened me,” recounts Borgs. “I wanted to know why. And I realised it’s because we’re making all the same mistakes that started the current crisis.”
Borgs used Norberg’s book as a road-map for his documentary that showed why it was the Swedish author in 2003 shared the gold medal of the Friedrich August von Hayek Stiftung, with former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and European Central Bank chief economist Otmar Issing.