Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Border closures

are playing havoc with our lives and our economy. Downunder has been almost completely shut off from the rest of the world for over eighteen months now. 

There have also been internal border closures - between the states. My brother and his partner, both fully vaccinated, are not allowed to visit the Senior Cat (or me and Middle Cat).  Phone calls are not the same but at least they have been frequent, at least twice a week. My nephew cannot come from another state even though he is also fully vaccinated.

All this has made Downunderites a little more aware of the rest of the world - and aware of how small our population really is. We have about 25.7m people altogether. Compare that with California which has around 39.6m people.  At the last census one state here had 251,396 people another had just over 500,000. 

And each of these states has a separate state government. There was once a good reason for each state to have its own separate government. Before Federation (1901) the vast distances made it difficult to communicate easily and rapidly. Local people had to make decisions about local matters and they often had to do it quickly. Now you can pick up a phone and talk to someone without delay. (Okay it might not be the person you hoped to talk to but you can still get a message to them very quickly.) There is technology which allows us to have meetings where we can see each other without even being in the same room.

It would surely make good sense to be rid of state governments and state borders - or would it? I can understand people feeling attached to "their" state - even though I feel no particular attachment to the one I live in. I don't feel any particular attachment to the country I live in. I suppose my working life has been too focussed on the international community for that. 

My preference would be for a national government with regional councils or shires for very local matters. I really don't see the need for a state parliament (with an upper as well as a lower house) for a quarter or a half a million people. It would surely save a lot of money.

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