Thursday, 3 January 2013
Fools galore here!
If there are policy failures, as inevitably there will be, it will be a problem throughout the country instead of being contained to one state.
In theory, the current arrangement gives the states a chance to try different systems in areas such as health and education and allows the best ideas to be used across the federation.
Competition is also encouraged between states to generally improve the nation. Maybe in practice this is just expecting too much good sense.
Andrew Haldane, Port Lincoln, SA
IT is indisputable that we are over-governed and badly governed. As Bob Hawke states, "in ideal terms, what you have got now is the last thing you would have".
There are, however, a few issues that should be addressed. First, a national government would have to be located in a place that epitomises modern Australia. Canberra represents the past and is testimony to the danger of stacking a town full of politicians and bureaucrats.
I suggest Alice Springs. It is centrally located and has a variety of challenges that might, at last, get the attention they deserve. If our future lies in Asia, we should stop huddling in the southeast corner of Australia.
Second, the selection of representatives must ensure we do not have an overabundance of time-serving party hacks whose total knowledge of life is their political party.
Third, the Senate can be abolished, though I must admit a few are worthy of a seat in the lower house.
Jim Wilson, Beaumont, SA.....................................................................
BOB Hawke's suggestion is the best made by any politician since the federation. Now all we need is citizen-initiated referendums and we will be in the 21st century.
Bill Sisson, Port Douglas, Qld
BOB Hawke calls for the scrapping of the states to aid co-operative "reform in the national interest". One has to concede Hawke did seek to achieve consensus between government, business and unions. However, the Greeks learnt long ago that government works best when it is close to the people. Who really wants to be run from Canberra?
Bill Webster, Holland Park, Qld
THERE has been an outbreak of centralism among former political leaders in recent days. They all want the abolition of the states.
If they really believe that the Australian people will vote for such a massive change to the Constitution, requiring a majority of voters in a majority of states, they are living on some very remote planet.
The states ensure that political power is distributed rather than concentrated in Canberra. State premiers have in the past played a vital role in the political life of the nation.
Ray Evans, Newport, Vic
IT'S hardly news when a former prime minister suggests Canberra should have all the power. Of course Bob Hawke would have liked to brush aside the states.
Australia entered the 20th century as the most prosperous country on earth. By the time Hawke took over, eight decades of federal trade and labour protection had produced the most stagnant and backward of all the Western liberal nations.
Paul Keating made Hawke look like a brilliant prime minister by realising that runaway government was the problem, not the solution, and finding ways to cut it down to size for the first time in 82 years.
Hawke's throwaway comment about clearing the states out of Canberra's way shows that he still, after all these years, doesn't understand why his government was so successful.
James McDonald, Annandale, NSW
ROB Oakeshott and Tony Windsor have more political clout than the MPs voted in by the West Australian electorate. Is this Bob Hawke's idea of federalism?
Mark Payne, Secret Harbour, WA
Posted by Geoff Seidner at 8:59 am