That the Howard Government has failed the Australian Economy

A few days ago I got invited to participate in the Melborune Uni Debating Society’s annual debate “That the Howard Government has failed the Australian Economy. Andrew Charlton, author of a recent book called (inevitably) Ozonomics pulled out and I’m the consolation.

Regulars at this blog will know that I’m not much of a fan of ritualistic political point scoring – only because most of it tends to be talking at cross purposes and argument by word association. “You have the nerve to mention <<insert word that got you going here>>, when your side can’t even <<insert pet peeve here>>.

Anyway as I’ve been watching what there was of the Government’s policy agenda melt down to things like taking over a single hospital in a marginal seat and sending the AEC into Queensland to interfere in local politics, as I’ve watched one major policy after another – Aboriginal sexual abuse, water to name two – cobbled together with a a kitchen cabinet of favoured officials and staffers rather than developed according to due process, I’ve become more and more motivated by a desire to say that this isn’t normal. That it’s not expecting too much to say that while politicians will always have to play politics (and will willingly take on the burden), most politicians – at least the ones that rise to the top of their parties should be expected to do better than that.

And I’m afraid an old bit of Labor propaganda about the Liberals in Australia is being illustrated yet again. It needn’t be this way. There are exceptions – I can name them, Kennett, Greiner and Hewson – but the sad fact is that the Libs are by and large not much interested in policy.

It’s a pity that such an important side of the ideological spectrum is so badly represented.

It’s on in a an hour or so! Pamphlet is here. (I hope – I’ve not uploaded a pdf for linking before – only done graphics).

6:30pm, Tuesday, October 9
Melbourne Uni Law School
185 Pelham Street, Melbourne

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Sinclair Davidson
Sinclair Davidson
16 years ago

Sorry to miss it. Please post your after-debate impressions.

Graham Bell
Graham Bell
16 years ago

Nicholas Gruen:

Spot on!

Was lucky enough to grow up in an environment of vigorous discussion of political and social issue. No wonder I get really cheesed off with the unproductive TweedledumB-Tweedledee rubbish that is dished up as “politics”[wtf!] in Australia.

You called it “ritualistic political point scoring”. My oath!

Hope your evening out wasn’t another waste of time.

John Crockett
John Crockett
16 years ago

Howard would agree . In his aspiratinal nationalist speech he said that there was too much emphasis placed on institutional process.You’re having a Katrina revelation Nicholas.


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