Sunday, 25 March 2012

The election result in Queensland

has apparently resulted in the sinking of Bligh's ship, indeed the Bounty has apparently sunk to the point where only the mast is showing.
The final results are not yet known but it looks as if the former government may be left with less than a cricket team. No doubt those who wanted change are cheering loudly. Nevertheless the size of the win may not be a good thing. It will have national repercussions.
We need a national election. There are a number of reasons for this. One is that there has always been a question over the legitimacy of the present government.  It would not have mattered which side had taken government they would have had to depend on cross benchers. The problem has been that some cross benchers went against the wishes of their own electorates. They may believe that, in doing so, they obtained things for their electorates they would not otherwise have got but the fact remains they did not respect the wishes of their electorates.
We also need an election because the present government is putting in place a number of policies for which they do not have a mandate, even if they had won the election outright. These will be difficult, indeed probably impossible, to completely dismantle but they are going to do damage to the economy. The government is attempting to sell the so-called "carbon tax" as an environmental measure. It is not. It is designed to raise more revenue. It is not designed to change the behaviour of "big polluters" - or anyone else.
The tax on mining will also slow growth and is going to be held up by a challenge in the High Court. There are also issues with the protection of employees rights, with health, with education, with other environmental measures and with the failure to support small business while propping up the car industry although there is apparently no guarantee that all car industry jobs will be saved.
The government however is desperate to remain in power as long as it can. Only that way can it hope to claw back some of the support it has lost. Only that way can it get policies in place and make it difficult, or even impossible, for any other government to dismantle them. That they do not have the support of the electorate is immaterial to them. They believe they know best. That they were not elected to do these things is not an issue. Now that they are there they intend to "do what is best for the Australian people".
Somewhere along the way they have lost the plot completely. Their role is to represent our wishes. The new government in Queensland is going to have to be very careful to listen to the voters of Queensland. It is their job to represent them, all of them.
It is time we had the opportunity to tell our national government that as well.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And Bligh should have to remain in her seat - or pay for the by-election! Ros