Agreeing to disagree – governing Australia 70



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With both the Labour Party Conference and the COAG meetings taking place this week, we’ve seen a political hotbed of policy issues debated and it seems that we are set for a whole lot more debate, without any real prospect for action. Except maybe for that all parties will continue to agree to disagree.

Yes, we seem to be headed down the road less travelled by countries such as the United States, where the major political parties are so diametrically opposed, with a population so evenly spilt in their political preferences, that the idea of consensus and progress are all but extinct.

Couple this with the notion that debate seems to be completely random, possibly dictated by whatever is trending on social airways, one can be excused for thinking that our parties have lost their ability to talk, listen, plan, write and then work bloody hard to put policy into place.

Back home, as the Labor Party contemplates their begrudging acceptance that the Government’s ‘turn back the boats policy’ has actually worked, rather than smile and get on with the next issue, the government are hell bent on debunking the Labor party’s newfound position, as ill conceived and ‘not really meaning it’.

As the ABC So eloquently put it, all that was required was ‘a brief but satisfying round of “I told you so”, followed by the indefinite satisfaction that comes with the capitulation of an adversary, or having been vindicated in a notoriously dicey judgment call?’

Move on in other words.

Also to come out of the Labor Party Conference is news that the party are considering whether to force a vote on same sex marriage, so that its members are bound to vote for same sex marriage, with the threat of party expulsion looming for those that oppose gay marriage. What’s wrong with our political system when a person, be it an MP or a member of the voting public is forced to do anything? Isn’t the whole notion of our political system based on the right to decide for your self; to cast your own vote, even with the party walls? That’s healthy debate right?

It all reeks of political mismanagement and reactive governing. The GST debate at this week’s COAG meeting is another prime example. Sure the debate needs to happen, but what’s wrong with sticking to the whole of tax system review currently being undertaken (again) and properly debating its findings? Kevin Rudd will attest to the personal and political destruction caused when you ignore a wide-reaching review only to operate in isolation and make a captain’s call. It doesn’t work.

Maybe our judgment is clouded by now more fond nostalgic memories of past political foes, but there was a time in this country, where the governing party, would be afforded the courtesy of running it. Bipartisan support for good policy was commonplace. Healthy debate followed by a round of short re-writes would see those policies which generated more political divide find at least some common ground; at a minimum a platform from which the opposition could live with. There was a respect for the governing political party – a respect that allowed them to get on with the job they had been elected to do.

Nowadays both side of the political fence seem to want to do everything they possibly can to avoid well-conceived plans, making decisions, stickling with them and economic progress.

What do you think? Do our governments need to start accepting that bipartisan support for good policy is good for the country? Do they need to put their personal persuasions to one side?



Starts at 60 Writers

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  1. ask a question of either side and you never get an answer – all you get is a go at the other side – we want answers to big questions and we get nothing – I can’t remember when politics were so negative – they both must think we are stupid

    1 REPLY
    • I think we must be stupid – at least the majority – for having voted in a government that works against our common good. That destroys the environment, devalues the Australian worker and the Australian dollar. That thumbs its nose at our laws, adding things into our Constitution to suit their ideology, reducing our freedoms, trashing human rights, and signs insane free trade agreements and for even considering the TPP. This government has set Australian against Australain, filled the populace with fear and loathing and anger. Yep, they know we’re stupid.

  2. The people have to wake up to these politicians they are just making so much money now. They dont care who is in as long as it is LNP or Labor. Come on we need a party of over 60s LOL. You people on this page have been through it all like me and that is why the government want to get rid of the oldies, we have seen too much.

    4 REPLY
    • we sure do need some politicians who will stand up for the over 60’s. cant see it happening in my lifetime. should be enough of us disgusted with the way Australia is going. LNP and Labor are just looking after themselves, to reap as much as they can

    • Yep and sadly I cant do much, having tried to stop corruption in all 3 levels of government i am almost in bed full time. The government has a way of getting square with anyone that crosses them LOL.

    • Yes let me know if you find one LOL. In my area even when poor old Pauline tried the party was hijacked by the Nationals.

  3. On any issue people will vote with their feet, whether is is bipartisan or not.Political Parties need to listen more to what their voters are saying. I vote ALP but I sit right in dead center of many views. For me it could be just a simple jump to the left to vote Greens if I don’t agree with any issue

  4. The one thing I have learned is they will go with the populist vote, that is something that has changed over the years, in the past the Political Parties were divided and the divide was clear . They won’t listen to us, the voters, they will do what their polling tells them to do

    1 REPLY
    • I agree! They are all there for their own gain, the perks they receive keep them hanging on, and then when they eventually get kicked out they get some huge pension

  5. Until we get a Senate that will debate and look at all issues ,instead of just saying no, nothing will happen for either side . Most Senators these days have their own agendas which is good but don’t affect all Australians

  6. Seems to me that to become a politician these days all you need is long arms to pat them selves on the back.

  7. Years ago Politics was about bartering, if you wanted something, you went to the party that was in and put your case forward, they then said well we want this, so the bargaining started…of cause we only had 3 major parties then not all these other stupid fractions
    that think they are it and a bit….it used to go back and forward until both sides got what they wanted….we need to go back to those days.

    1 REPLY
    • the good old days are gone judith forbes we now have world wide debt and a silly idea by the population that paying that debt off is some sort of personal attack …bit like saying i have maxed out the bankcard cant get a loan BUT I DEMAND A LOAN TO BUY A MERCEDES…..greece springs to mind 3 BAILOUTS and still GREEKS ARE RIOTING IN THE STREET BECAUSE THE LENDERS WANT THE MONEY REPAYED…….sometime ..the differance in australia between parties is one believes the greek way is ok and the other thinks the greek way will bankrupt us as it has greece

  8. The one thing that really annoys me is that they seem to spend way to much time telling us what is wrong with the other Parties, instead of telling me that ..tell me why is so good about your Party and explaining to me what your policies are about, we have way to much secrecy now and to much placing of blame to distract from issues

    1 REPLY
  9. So bloody childish, mean & trivial! Scornful. Shame that it’s gone this way! Cannot stand politicians of any ilk now!

  10. I believe this is a result of the constant negativity and attacks on Australian society by the liberals. I’ve never been a fan of liberal government, but Menzies would be rotating at high speed in his grave. I’ve never felt threatened by a government before.

    5 REPLY
    • I really became threatened when the Labor/Green government came in, everything I believed in was shattered. Geez, they could and did take money out of our unused ‘rainy day’ bank accounts, yep our hard earned taxed money, theirs to rape and pillage, and of course so called ‘lost’ super. Wow! THIEVES!

    • Dear Marie, they didn’t TAKER your bank money, they removed it to a safer place so that the bank robbers couldn’t wear it away with their multitude of taxes! It was always there to claim. Of course now the liberals have reversed it so the banks can get their fees again! I am surprised that anyone would support the liberal agenda of robbing everyone except the super rich….. but then people are strange….

    • Marlene darling, it is the super rich who employ people. Without the people with money we don’t have jobs! So obivious! Get your head out of the sand.

    • Sweetie Pie, it is NOT the super rich who employ people! The mining industry only employs 1.6% of the workforce, for example. It is small business who employ most of the people. The super rich bring in overseas slave labor on 457 visas – they do not employ working australians.

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