Saturday, March 26, 2011

Fixed Four Year Terms Seemed Like a Good Idea

Overnight here in Oz our NSW State Labor Government has been predictably routed after four years of disfunction and eight years of empty political policy announcements. The outcome reflects the infighting amongst Labor over the privatisation of 'electricity' in NSW.
They dumped a Leader then spent 3 years fighting over the decisions while about once a month a Minister resigned due to corruption, mismanagement or scandal [often undeserved but brought to light by enemies]!!

Even so it comes at the end of a period of total disfunction:
- Announced, re-announced and cancelled rail projects
- Electricity
- Parachuting of candidates
- Corruption amongst powerbrokers
- Colleagues turning on each other
- in house leaks against Ministers
- Cross City Tunnel
- Sydney Metro
- It goes on and on...

The problem goes way back to a perception we were sick of quick Elections and the bringing in of fixed four terms... which seemed like a good idea at the time... and even saw the Governor seeking legal advice 12 months ago as the public outcry to 'bring it on' dominated mainstream media...
Basically, the state has been waiting for March 26th to turf out a poor government which shouldn't have been elected four years ago but confirmed that every month since. Nathan Rees was a good Leader who was axed after infighting and Kristina Keneally would have made a good Premier. She is a person of insight, intelligence and gravitas who is well grounded and did a credible job of 'reinventing.' But as they say 'the people had stopped listening' and this was always going to happen. That to me explains the poor polling and lack of impact of the generational change.
Never in my lifetime did I ever expect to talk about "The Liberal Member for the State Seat of Newcastle"!! Jodie McKay has done a good job after being 'parachuted' in and causing major ructions last time around... to no avail in the end.
Prior to all this I had been thinking about 'getting involved' and had identified that the local branch meets monthly at a local Club... I'd love to be engaged in community political activity and have carried that since High School BUT my own future is suitably in flux at present and I didn't have the energy right now.... in any case the local Member Sonia Hornery has done well despite marching to a different drum than the party machine in advocating local issues!!
Finally, the Greens and Independents have shown how their fortunes are tied to public perception and 'the times'... Independents came in due to disaffected Nationals voters who showed their feelings about the decision to back Labor Federally and I think the 'carbon tax' cost the Greens...
Climate Change needs a big picture focus on language which allows the public to enter the debate and to clearly understand what measures will help and what they'll cost... the sooner the better, just not simply tied to the sometimes extreme 'green' view.
Hmmnn, interesting times... 'Liberal Member for Newcastle' are you mad!!!!
At the end of the day privatisation, failure to tackle long term issues like transport, health and planning show self interest, lack of compassion and people unable to translate their community minded motives into constructive change and progress across the state... "Blessed are those who use public office for their own advancement ahead of the future of a statewide group of people" I guess...

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