The government exists as the representative of ALL the people they rule.
Corporations exist as a representative of a specific active business interest. Unions exist as the representative of a specific active labour group interest. Communities exist as a group of people who share a culture of common goals. Eg, religious, sporting, business, social, craft, lifestyle, etc
In order to have a balanced society that operates overall for everyone’s benefit, then the government must act to balance the interests of these three kinds of groups. To provide and preserve that framework of mutual benefit and balance, somebody must act as the referee in disputes. It is essential that the referee is both beyond reproach and does not act purely in the interests of any one of those entities. That referee is the legal system, which is already kept separate from the operation of government under the doctrine of the separation of powers. This doctrine could be strengthened to change the way judges are selected from the current system of political appointment.
Here are some principles to guide the interaction of these groups and the roles the play. This should inform all legislative decisions
The People Come First
Whilst this is not an issue directly connected to the primary aims of addressing climate change in a world of neoliberal governments, this does bear a strong mention. The health of a nation contributes directly to its overall prosperity, so providing a freely accessible system to all citizens is in the best interests of any country. The Medicare system in Australia has been under attack from the neoliberal federal and state conservative governments since 1996. This has taken many forms, but the most insidious is the redirection of government money to pay the private health insurance industry to do work better performed by the government.
The primary reason given for the introduction of this system was to reduce the load on public hospitals by redistributing patients to the private system. This has proven to be a completely unsubstantiated misleading of the population as this reduction has never occurred. What it actually provided was taxpayer funding for wealthier members of society to jump the queue to receive surgery earlier than funding of the public system would provide. This now amounts to over $5 billion a year in welfare for the rich who simply don’t need it. Even factoring in the
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Australia could have an incredible future in designing, building and leading the world for electric vehicles…..
See more here: Electric Future
Australia could place itself at the heart of the most important technology, intellectual property and service industries of the next century. This combination effect would provide a solid future for Australia domestically as well as placing it as a central provider for the global economy.
1. Renewable Energy
Still a developing field in 2015, it ceased being emerging technology by 2010. Strong investment in developing the practical technology in Australia would provide both the means to escape the energy trap as well as an example of how countries can navigate the change away from fossil fuel dependence into a new environment of distributed electricity generation and off-grid solutions.
With Australia’s abundance of natural sources of energy, there is no excuse for the country to avoid its natural role in leading global development. In fact, Australian scientists have routinely been at the forefront of solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, wind, wave and tidal energy generation projects.
Why renewable energy?
Renewable energy generation is also the foundational change needed to shift the Australian economy away from its current reliance on fossil fuels. It is also the change needed to make electric vehicles a truly low carbon sustainable solution. Since
Active citizens make politicians work for them
“Toute nation a le gouvernement qu’elle merite. Every country has the government it deserves.” (Josephe de Maistre , Lettres et Opuscules Inedites (1851) vol.1, letter 53 (15 August 1811)
There needs to a be a large educational change to create a new generation of Australians who are taught about the operation of government from an early age, with that understanding increased over time with practical applications. A graduate from the education system should know exactly how to engage with government institutions at every level to achieve the results they require. This would in turn create a new culture of activism that would create new political organizations and motivations to build the diversity of opinion a healthy democracy needs to function. This process would drive us away from a two party system to a multi-party democracy where the final outcome is likely to far more balanced and actually work for the benefit of the people.
This education, however, needs to start with the current population who never received this knowledge and experience at school and need to be brought up to speed to bring our political parties into line.
Change media ownership and news services laws
An informed electorate seems to be something the old parties actively fear. Citizens of this type might actually start taking an interest in what they do and force better behavior by more actively punishing politicians who deliberately mislead them. This isn’t going to happen overnight and will take a changed education system and a lot of activists to bring to fruition over a generation. In order to give this future a fighting chance we need to reconsider the media’s responsibility to the people. This means some legislation to bring about these changes:
Restrict media ownership by any individual or corporate interest in Australia to no more than 40% of the total in that form of media (eg, newspapers, magazines, radio, TV).
o One of the aims of this is to break up the national syndicated media system to favour more local and diverse content production. The internet is already changing this balance; this needs to be accelerated.
Enforcement of 50% content to be 100% Australian produced on all media.
o Recycling cheap services from other countries, but primarily the US, is destroying these industries and communities in Australia.
Australian government policy must be aligned to the principle of recognising our geographical location in Asia and work to forge far closer cultural and economic links to all Asian countries.
The whitepaper ‘Australia in the Asian Century’ was produced with considerable effort from a wide variety of people and then shelved by the neoliberal Abbott government as soon as they took power. Whilst it received a lot of criticism for proposing approaches rather than very specific policy, the whitepaper seeks more to establish governmental goals, rather than specific policy applications. The idea of establishing the paper title as a fundamental goal of the Australian government needs to be reinstated and extended at the earliest possible moment.
“Australians need to act in five key areas in order to succeed in the Asian century.
First, irrespective of how the Asian century evolves, Australia’s prosperity will come from building on our strengths. We need to reinforce the foundations of our fair society and our prosperous, open and resilient economy at home. We need to build on areas where we already perform well, in order to extend our comparative advantage. Critical to this will be ongoing reform and investment
Australia should actively seek inclusion in the ASEAN group of countries to recognize our geographical location in that region and to further our alignment with the member countries. A free trade agreement has already been signed between Australia, New Zealand and the ASEAN nations, but this should be extended into full membership as a matter of priority. The resulting economy would be roughly double that of India and, with the inclusion of South Korea, would begin to be comparable to Japan. This would provide a huge strength in both numbers and economies to provide a counterbalance to the huge regional power that China, Japan and the US currently hold.
The proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RECP) currently being negotiated would increase the ASEAN plus Australia and New Zealand group to include South Korea, China, India and Japan; creating the world’s largest economic bloc. Consideration must be made as to the overall benefits of such an agreement over a bloc that excludes China, India and Japan. The latter bloc would provide balance in the region as opposed to making all the smaller economies subject to dumping, economic hollowing and other abuse from China and Japan in particular.
With the likelihood of