Well, as my contribution to this thread - which isn't too much in relation to policy, I have the following things to add about the upcoming election :
- I, and very few people I know, liked Julia Gillard
- I, and few people I know, like Tony Abbott
- despite his record, Kev is likeable
- Turnbull is also likeable
- I hope Hockey never becomes leader - his behaviour after Rudd became PM the first time was deplorable, childish, and spiteful
Ie. I'd love to see a Rudd Vs Turnbull contest, but that's unlikely to happen.
On Govt over the last few years :
- Minority govt is always the most difficult situation to govern from.
- The greens weren't compatible with Labor, and in my opinion, the greens did themselves a lot of damage with many of the comments they made on non environmental issues.
- that damage extended to Labor too
- During this time, the Libs had an almost 'we'll say no to everything' policy, which is quite a selfish policy.
On the election itself :
- I hope that the Libs don't win by a landslide. Landslide victories almost always lead to bad govt (possibly worse than minority govt victories)
- I'd be rather surprised if Labor won. They certainly couldn't have under Gillard.
On the State of the budget :
- it hasn't been too bad. (if anyone needs an explanation, that's fine, but I'd suggest you look up ABS federal revenue statistics for the last 2 decades first)
- it's going to be a tough road ahead for any govt.
- interest rates nearing rock bottom are worrying me, for :
- there may yet be another world recession, and sometime in the next 15 years, a depression.
- if there are no interest rates to stimulate the economy (and while it's tough at the moment, it's no where near as bad as it can be), then the stimulus comes from lending.
- the problem with borrowed stimulus is that it benefits companies, and the tab is picked up by the taxpayer. Effectively, taxpayers subsidise business...the larger the bill, the greater and longer ongoing the subsidisation
On the boat people issue - I rather liked the Malaysian Exchange idea. It would actually have stopped the problem altogether (my view of the problem is not that they are coming to the Australia, but that they sail past many other countries to come here - meaning they aren't true refugees).
And secondly on that issue - I do wish that either govt would come up with a working 'integration policy' for true asylum seekers. One that, among other things, does not include them moving to a suburb where all the others from their original country reside - for allowing this actively works against integration.
On Ford closing shop :
- no country on earth does not protect some industries (the only developed country to ever try a totally free market, NZ, went backwards under that policy)
- industry is wealth, for at the end of the day, wealth = assets (money is a representative form of assets), and assets are produced through production (though money is produced in a broader way).
- other than production, it comes down to skills, knowledge and service (a specialised form of labour) to generate monetary wealth.
- the govt has been granting millions of dollars to keep Ford & Holden producing local vehicles, which costs all taxpayers. The careful reintroduction of some import duties would help save industry, along with the skills and knowledge that such industry possesses.
On Education Reform :
- I would love to see reform that takes eduction to the very basics : teach reading, writing and maths very well. The rest, quite honestly, is icing - but icing on a soggy rotten cake doesn't work (so get the cake right).
- I would love to see reform that separates the 3 r's, making them primary to all pre tertiary education, and any other subject be allocated time from the remaining time slots available.
- teaching children their 'rights' only gets them in trouble, as they think they know all about their rights and challenge people based on this (for the challenge is usually done in a disrespectful way; and often - having only been taught the basic concept of 'rights', they don't comprehend the full implications, leading to errors in judgement). Anyone old enough to predate this stupidity knows that parents taught their children respect, rather than rights...which worked many times better for both society and the children themselves. That is to say - this should be done in the home, not at school.
Hah, there's lots of other things I'd like to see in politics, but ah well.