Government By GetUp!

It seems that the election yesterday has resulted in close to a dead heat between the major parties – a hung parliament.

This can be seen as a major problem in that it can stop legislation going through, or, as I like to think, a huge opportunity for good sense.

And this is why:

When you look at things rationally, you discover that under all the rhetoric governments are limited by the amount of money they can raise in taxes. Since there are therefore limitations on what they can spend, they enact legislation to create a legal framework for the dispensing of those funds. Most of the time they try to curry favour with the electorate by trying to get the electorate to focus on petty things that will get the electorate hot and bothered so that they are distracted from the important matters of state.

Right now there are only a few really important things that need to be dealt with. I would suggest that they are (in no particular order): Health Care (under which I would include Aged Care); Energy Supply; Communications; Climate Change.

If you think about some of the other things that got column inches during the election, such as refugees and/or boat people, you would have to say that this is something that is hardly likely to have any real impact on the country at all in real terms – other than for the country's good. If people want to come here, let them come and let them work. Then you get more workers who contribute to the ecomomy, pay taxes etc. But give them “refugee work visas” which allow them to work but not to bring their dependent relations, just their immediate family (wives/husbands/children). Saves a huge amount of money on housing them, on chasing them through the oceans, and stops negative publicity around the world.

How to deal with Climate Change. Recently there have been studies published about the effect of introducing carbon taxes in Denmark. It seems that what happened there was that as a result of the cash raised from carbon taxes being directed toward companies that improved/reduced their carbon footprint, what happened was that there was an increase in GDP and a general benefit to the economy. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that a Cap and Trade scheme or a Carbon Tax are different, but should result in the same outcome – reduced carbon into the atmosphere. Governments of either persuasion should get away from spending huge amounts of time discussing boat people and getting a very small number of people all excited about queue jumping, and start spending their time understanding the way to enact legislation that will simultaneously reduce carbon into the atmosphere and improve GDP. This can be done.

Dealing with the mining industry. The reality is that the mining industry takes material out of the ground that will never be replaced. They also employ a lot of people. What they don't do is to innovate. The mining industry should be provided with an incentive to invest in new technology that adds value to raw materials by processing them in Australia. At the same time companies that don't invest in new technology that are in the resources sector should have to limit the pay of the CEO. Very simple proposition that deals directly into self interest. If the CEO invests in new technology he can be paid whatever the shareholders will tolerate. If not his rewards are limited. No new taxes required. Just investment. Creates jobs, creates new IP, and attracts graduates and capital into the country…

Health Care and Aged Care. Same approach as for the mining industry but for the pharmaceutical industry. Create salary caps for execs where the companies are not involved in R&D and benefits where they are… A carrot and stick approach for all.

Now having said this, I suspect that what will happen over the next six to nine months is that the true colours of the leaders of the two major parties will emerge… Tony Abbott will be revealed to be to the right of Ghengis Khan as time goes by, and Julia Gillard will be revealed to be a very smart and controlled leader who is nevertheless too far to the right to be a true representative of the workers in Australia.

My hope is that somewhere along the line the liberals will realize that for there to be real unity in Australia they are going to need to get back to Malcolm Turnbull, and the Labour Party is going to have to find a way to bring back, as impossible as it may seem, Kevin Rudd.

And in the mean time this country will move more and more to being governed by Get Up!

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