In an endeavour to keep up with my brother and his latest election ramblings (definitely worth a read!), I thought it was high time I threw in my political two cents worth. Actually, no, thats really not the case. There’s no way I could produce post as classy or as knowledgable as J did. But while we are talking politics, check out a very interesting article we discussed in a class of mine today, based on an ABC doco series called The Howard Years (has any one seen?)
Do you know how John Fahey, then finance minister, found out that Australia was changing to a GST system? He saw Howard announce it on a Sunday television program. I’m sure that was a shock, no doubt. And then there was the Pacific Solution, hurriedly thrown together in an effort to find a country, any country, that would take those Australia didn’t want, and a very signficant letter that was pivotal in establishing East Timor as an independent country – a letter that didn’t even go pass Cabinet.
I understand that in certain, highly volatile and critical situations, it is highly appropriate and very necessary for the leader of a democratic nation to make an individual decision on how to move forward. Is it democratic, however, to bypass important mechanisms of our political system – consultation with stakeholders, the public and especially cabinet – particularly for non-urgent, but incredibly significant decisions such as the introduction of GST, the Pacific Solution and support for East Timor independence?
Gets you thinking…and of course, I’m not so naieve to think this behaviour is limited purely to Howard and a Liberal Government…