Williams' Word | Another call for a federal election

ELECTION TIME – PLEASE?

The results of the Queensland election show clearly the mood of the Australian voters. Those election figures must send a very clear message to the federal politicians that the people are far from happy with our ineffective Coalition Government. 

Maybe it’s time for Mr Turnbull to admit defeat and call an election.

It seems there is no alternative. We really do need a federal election if we want an effective government and that is sad because Julie Bishop and Malcolm Turnbull have shown themselves to be a good team, but the combination of resignations (because of that dual citizenship issue) and the constant sniping from some members of their own team have almost brought parliament to a standstill.

It’s time the Liberals called it quits and stepped aside to reassess their place in Australian politics – is it a liberal or a conservative party? So far, all we know is that a powerful section of the group that is supposed to be leading our country has become so destructive that the current team is incapable of doing its job.

It is time they all stepped aside and made some decisions about their future. The voters are not being treated fairly, largely because a powerful section of the group is simply destructive, rather than working for a better Australia.

It goes back to the time when Julia Gillard was Prime Minister and that group stubbornly refused to support any worthwhile policies she presented, no matter their value. They opposed everything. Then, when their team came into power their first step was to ignore all the pre-election promises they had made and introduced that ridiculous 2014 Budget that was rejected by the parliament.

Since then, ever since the Coalition elected Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister, that group seems to have had one purpose in mind and that was the destruction of their own leader.

The Coalition should step back, admit defeat, re-assess their place in Australian politics and be honest with the voters – are they a Liberal or a hard-right Conservative Party? Recent history has shown they can’t be both if they want them to run our country. 

POLITICIANS DAMAGING OUR DEMOCRACY

Australia surely needs a good, effective Liberal Party – just as it needs a good and effective Labor Party and the Greens – but it is getting difficult to justify support for our current government that regularly tumbles over its own incompetence.

That recent tipping off the media by one of their PR people about a police raid on a union office shows clearly that it was part of a scheme hatched by the present government in its constant campaign to destroy the Labor Party.

Sure, politics has always been a blood sport but the present team appears to be putting great effort into damaging Labor by chasing the unions, while avoiding any action about the dozens of service station owners and other employers who steal from their employees by underpaying them. Someone should tell them they are expected to be have some more positive policies for the future of our country.

That plan to open a huge coal mine in Queensland is a good example. Where are the elected representatives with enough courage to stand up to the ‘money men’ who can see no further than some very rich people making themselves even richer? Where are the statesmen who are prepared to stand up and fight for our future generations?

Indeed, where are the honest men who are prepared to tell the decision makers to be realistic with the claim that the mine will create 10,000 jobs? This is nonsense and they know it. In supporting that mine they will be complicit in a deal that enables a foreign country to supply a product that will certainly cause even further damage to the Barrier Reef and the health of our planet. Our political representatives need to stand in front of a mirror and ask themselves what their descendants will think of them and their actions to protect our planet. 

MAINTAINING OWNERSHIP

There is no doubt that the problem with the cost of electricity goes back only a few years when all the pollies seemed to support privatisation of everything possible, including all the electricity services – and they made a real mess of it. In all their enthusiasm to sell a system that was created by and paid for by past generations, the pollies of the major parties didn’t even have the sense to ensure that the new owners had to accept responsibility for the maintenance of the generation systems or to replace them as they aged. 

Governments in the past did put great effort and lots of public funds into creating a large and effective infrastructure for future generations. The current teams seem to have forgotten that.

The privatisation era was a series of terrible deals carried out by incompetent negotiators. This would never have happened in the past when Members of Parliament had a direct input into people-owned enterprises. The governments of the day believed that the people should own such vital infrastructure. Imagine how healthy our Commonwealth finances would be today if we had not gone through that big privatisation disease! 

Imagine if we still retained, say, 45 percent of the Commonwealth Bank. Sure, private enterprise can probably do a better job than governments at managing such enterprises but why not create a policy that limits these sales to, say, 55 percent of the enterprise. It would mean that private investors could buy the majority of shares and actually run the privatised enterprises and we, the people who invested it their creation and development, remained merely as shareholders, the same as any other investor. These days we have lots of highly educated politicians who could become board members representing the public shareholders. We would still be part owners of the many buildings we, the people, financed but now rent back.

But, somehow, methinks our present parliamentarians, of whatever party, would have trouble accepting such a concept.

  • Ray Williams has been a Post columnist since retiring from the newsroom in 1993.

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