Sir F. Chook, Inventor of Leopard Oil

Likeness captured upon a daguerrotype machine in Japan, July 1891

Lettres

Wherein the Author reflects upon certain topical & personal issues of the Day.

The New Government

Penned upon the 28th of November, 2007

It’s been four days since we in Australia elected a new government. I’m still trying to decide what may come of this, so, excited as I am, I haven’t said much about it yet – but I will quote an article by Shaun Carney from The Age which I think sums up what we know so far quite well:

“There was something faintly pathetic in Turnbull’s public acknowledgement on Monday of the need to ratify the Kyoto Protocol — not because of anything he said, but because of what it told us about the way the cabinet process had become misshapen under Howard. Turnbull, as environment minister, favoured ratification. His prime minister refused point-blank; he’d formed some sort of weird ideological-political pact with his Republican friend George W. Bush. Ipso facto Australia signs but doesn’t ratify Kyoto, even though the man charged under the Crown with responsibility for the environment thought this was the best thing for the country. Soon, the new Australian government will ratify Kyoto and, as another example of just taking care of business, will offer an apology to the indigenous people — both places Howard was determined that he and the country would never go. When they happen, most of us will wonder what the fuss was about. The country will move on and Howard’s obstinacy will look silly.

Australia needs the Rudd Government to be a decent, honest, effective, forward-looking administration. But just as importantly, it needs a Liberal opposition with the same qualities. This isn’t just offered as a series of feel-good bromides. For the past 10 years at least, the pursuit of political advantage has had far too much effect on policy debates.”


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