Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Look, It's a Complicated Issue

Consider Gough Whitlam, arguably Australia's most famous Prime Minister (in Australia at least). Here's some edited highlights of his achievements:
  • Created a national health care service
  • Abolished the death penalty
  • Established Legal Aid and no fault divorce laws
  • Gave Papua New Guinea independence
  • Established diplomatic and trade relations with China
  • Introduced the Racial Discrimination Act (which despite its name, prevents racial discrimination)
He was PM for about three years, and had a hostile senate (which is to say he needed the support of a party besides his own to get bills through). Everybody in Australia knows how Gough's political story ended (sigh, here you go) so it wasn't necessarily a recipe for political longevity, but it does show that being in power does allow a leader to institute change.

Every time I hear a Rudd or Turnbull or one of their lackeys claim that introducing climate change policy is complicated, sensitive and potentially Bad For The Economy and that a working party with a broad-ranging mandate should be set up by 2015 to deliver its findings in ten years at the most I think: what would Gough do? The answer never involves a working party or a steering committee.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, but taking action that *may* be unpopular with the populace would see messers Rudd or Turnbull out of a job.

    The alternative theory (and far more frightening) is that we have a couple of dimwits vying for control of the nation, a theory which is probably closer to the mark.

    I think Paul Keating also has a fair bit to say about the current crop of politicians, always entertaining seeing him froth at the mouth in a 7.30 report interview...

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