Posts Tagged ‘ Opinion ’

Anti-ALP swing to reshape landscape

Sep 24th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

Labor’s hegemony was an aberration matched only once in Australian history by a similarly brief period of conservative rule in 1969 and 1970. Projecting recent trends forward would see the defeat of the Bligh Government in Queensland next year, the Rann Government in early 2010 and the Rees Government in NSW in early 2011.



Trust Me

Sep 23rd, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

We’ve seen this kind of over-reaching from the Bush administration before. It has usurped far too many powers under a banner of urgency — think wiretapping — and abused those powers. Now, Congress and the American people are being told that unless they quickly approve sweeping executive powers for the bailout, capitalism may collapse. Even if this administration weren’t so untrustworthy, rushing ahead would be a bad idea.



Turnbull names team with economy in its sights

Sep 23rd, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

The new Opposition front bench rewards those who supported the new leader, but does not do so at the expense of the Coalition’s strengths. Malcolm Turnbull may have the massive ego that his enemies like to complain about, but it evidently has not prevented him from becoming a shrewder judge of power plays in the party room than he was 10 months ago.



Just a slight trace of blood on the carpet

Sep 23rd, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

The most spectacular victim of Malcolm Turnbull’s cabinet reshuffle was Tony Smith. The former Peter Costello supporter, who voted for Turnbull last year but switched to Brendan Nelson last week, paid a heavy price by being given the role of shadow assistant treasurer. Smith will be back at some stage but his only consolation yesterday was platitudes from Turnbull about being part of a crack financial team.



Generous to a fault

Sep 23rd, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

By figuring out who got what piece of the excess revenue that was generated by lower unemployment and the China-led resources boom since 2004, we get a better idea of the reform hurdles ahead for the Rudd Government. Assuming that no government will want to take money off people, how do you fix a system that is, in many respects, overly generous?



Cash for Trash

Sep 22nd, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

Some skeptics are calling Henry Paulson’s $700 billion rescue plan for the U.S. financial system “cash for trash.” Others are calling the proposed legislation the Authorization for Use of Financial Force. There’s justice in the gibes. While everyone agrees that something major must be done, Mr. Paulson is demanding extraordinary power for himself — and for his successor — to deploy taxpayers’ money on behalf of a plan that doesn’t make sense.



Mugabe survives, yet a shattered country can build anew

Sep 22nd, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

Whether Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, can help Zimbabwe escape the yoke of Robert Mugabe’s rule is not yet clear. The two bitter rivals have signed a power-sharing deal, a complicated arrangement that leaves Mr Mugabe as President and makes Mr Tsvangirai Prime Minister. The army stays under Mr Mugabe’s control, while Mr Tsvangirai apparently has the job of fixing the devastated economy.



New York trip an escape from the house of horrors

Sep 22nd, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

The Liberal leadership saga has overshadowed growing unrest within the Government over industrial relations, which the Prime Minister will again avoid this week. Some backbenchers fear Julia Gillard’s proposed industrial relations legislation is too similar to Work Choices. Last Tuesday, while Brendan Nelson was being dumped, New South Wales senator Steve Hutchins was telling a restive Labor caucus that the legislation was “Work Choices lite”.



Turnbull deploys women and young guns

Sep 22nd, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

The big losers in Malcolm Turnbull’s shadow cabinet reshuffle are Nelson backers Nick Minchin, dumped from defence to communications, and Tony Smith, who has been dumped from education to the assistant treasury role, although at least it is an economic portfolio. Arguably Tony Abbott, who wanted to move from the welfare portfolio, and Andrew Robb, who wanted treasury and got infrastructure, haven’t done terribly well either.



Rudd’s control issues

Sep 22nd, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

Former Labor Opposition Leader Kim Beazley’s argument was that the pace of reform under Kevin Rudd had been slowed by the constipation of process. His speech was about the centralised control being exercised by a self-confessed anal prime minister. Beazley’s point of departure was the administrative style of Bob Hawke versus that of Kevin 24/7. And it was the Duracell Bunny that came off worse.