I love John Howard tbh. Today he announced that should any local councils in QLD wish to conduct polls or referendums to see if the residents are happy with the local govt. amalgamations, the federal government would foot the bill. This is certainly a welcome releif as the State Govt. is in the motion of making new laws to prevent local councils from conduction polls umong their citizens.
I honestly cannot understand why people are considering voting for a federal labour government when all the state governments are nothing short of a ****ing mess, and Kevin Rudd plans on given them MORE money to **** things up even more.
I really don't get this issue so please fill me in.
Provided your garbage gets taken out, the street lights work, the pot holes get filled, the parks get looked after, who gives a rats if there's 150, 75, 50 or 30 councils? Council boundaries were often set up in times when it took half a day to travel 10 miles.
I'm unsure as to whether the data is correct or not, but isn't the point that a number of these councils aren't viable? If they aren't, why do you want them around when you decry the states for not being financially responsible?
As for the PM's plan, if he has his plebiscite, what happens if the residents don't want to amalgamate? What effect will it have? Will he then go in and prop up a council that's losing money? Mate, if he does, that's absolutely the most ridiculous policy since the six colonies formed a federation. Whether he even has the power to do it is another question.
And of course his idiotic plebiscites will get up because only the people who give a big enough rats will vote and those people will be the ones who don't want to amalgamate. How laughable - a non-compulsory plebiscite to decide if people don't like the letterhead on their rates notice changing, and if they don't like it we'll either do nothing about it because we don't have the power to (it can't be trade or commerce) or we'll bale out a mob which can't afford to buy a new garbage truck.
Why do you blokes love the tough love from JWH but can't stand it from anyone else? Bizarre, frankly.
Edit: I'm gonna write to Howard tomorrow. There's a pot hole at the end of my street big enough for a small dog to lie in. The council's done nothing about it so the swinging voters in our street are demanding the federal govt get involved, because the states apparently can't even competently buy road fill. Hope he steps in - a matter of national importance you see. Only problem is, we're in a safe liberal seat with a liberal council that does jack ****. Wonder if he'll help?
What a crock of crap it all is. Straw clutching at its worst, frankly.
Last edited by Burgey; 07-08-2007 at 04:08 AM.
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Anyway, if the amalgamations was all about helping out the "unviable" councils, then please explain why the Palm Island council (and numerous others up north) was left as is, when their financial difficulties are well publicised. The whole process is nothing short of a ****ing joke. It's as un-democratic, and un-****ing-Australian as a process could ever be. The law he's planning on putting through state govt. is basically revoking our right to have a say on the matter.
As for what Howard is doing, you're totally missing the point. No he's not going to run around and prop up councils, and he's never had to in the past. He's giving the citizens a chance to actually have their say, something which Peter ****ing Beattie is not doing.
As for the number of councils, i give a stuff how many their is, because i can almost guarantee you i won't get those basic services in a toowoomba council. The amalgamation might have worked had the rural councils been amalgamated together, but you've go to be kidding me if you honestly beleive that the rural areas are going to have a fair representation, and receive their fair share of services in when the majority of the population of the shire lives in the city. Sure i can understand why the Toowoomba people, or people such as yourself (i assume you live in a city?) don't give a stuff about it, because it's not going to affect you.
It's more than the Letterhead on their rates notice that's going to change, the entire community is going to be affected by it, and that effect certainly isn't going to be a positive one!!!!!!!!
(I apologise if none of what i'm saying is making sense, but i am honestly shaking in utter ****ing madness about the whole situation)
The Queensland government is pretty dire at the moment. I haven't given it much though but if there was a state election right now I might possibly betray my family and vote coalition.
I don't think KR is proposing to give the States more money. Rather, just give them more discretion as to how they spend it. Currently, much of it is tied up in specific purpose grants - which, as its name suggests, gives the States little discretion as to how those grants are spent.
Loving the railing against the dying of the light from our CW conservatives in here. I just find it ironic that the Libs are either genuinely unable to see, or just being ostriches with their heads in the sand, the parallels between the situation in 1996 and the situation today. Comments like "its time for a change" etc might be glib and over-simplifications but they're also fairly accurate. Howard hasn't suddenly become a raving senile, nor an incompetent. But the truth is that he's maybe been operating on borrowed time for longer than anyone realised until Rudd presented a credible alternative and suddenly people realised the emperor had no clothes. Consider - he's fought and won a couple of elections in a row now where he's either received a leg-up from external factors, or the ALP severely shot themselves in the foot. The Tampa issue, followed within a fortnight by the 9/11 attacks, and then the Mark Latham factor, presented Howard with the opportunities to stay one step ahead for a long, long time. And credit where's its due, he did so brilliantly. But the ALP have actually got themselves organised now, and in Rudd they've got a candidate who the public appear to be quite comfortable with, and well-disposed towards. Rudd is not a loose-cannon like Latham, he's not going to win the election for Howard. In fact, he's modelling his campaign, so far as I can tell, on Howard's campaign of 1996 - jettison anything that has proven unpopular in the past, attack the government on issues that have proven to have resonance with the electorate, and otherwise make yourself as small a target as possible so they can't shoot you down. Singleton told Andrew Robb after the 1996 election that its hard to score when you never have the ball, and that's what Rudd has done to Howard. Plus the government has made a hash of its efforts to regain the initiative to the point where even those who take only the most casual interest in politics are getting the impression that its desperate flailing, not genuine policy.
The phony election has gone for so long because Howard won't call it until the APEC summit is done. It has, in all reality, probably been too long for the Government. I don't think even as skilled an operator as Howard can salvage this from here, barring some monumental stuff-up on Rudd's part. And I don't think anyone else in the Government can realistically do more than Howard will.
And honestly, they probably deserve to lose. The Workchoices thing was a probably the last of the great revolutions that Howard wanted to achieve, and its probably not coincidence that it was left til last - it was always going to be the most decisive and bitterly resented in some quarters. He achieved, largely, what he wanted to there, and honestly probably did so in the knowledge there would be a political cost. The government harps on the low unemployment, but the reality is that while the economy has been going generally well, there are some serious problems that have been allowed to fester - most significantly the ridiculous levels of household debt that have been fuelling the ongoing growth of the economy. We, as a country, have been living beyond our means, and its only going to take a couple more interest rates rises and one external shock and a lot of people are going to be severely in strife. Already the number of housing repossessions and defaulted loans has doubled in the last couple of years. Buying a house within the limits of the major cities in this country is now officially out of reach for the average family - the loan ceiling for a family on the average income is less than the cost of a house anywhere but in the rural fringes on the outskirts of Sydney and Melbourne. Add to this the Iraq war, which has been largely a disaster in strategic terms, and almost entirely a disaster in the political sense. That's a lot of problems for the government to explain away. And the problem for Howard is that he can't credibly blame the economic issues on the states, whether or not there may be some justice in his claim, because at the last election he ran on the claim that HE was the one responsible for the favourable economic conditions, and that HE would maintain them. He sold that message so well that people actually believed him and are therefore suspicious when he backs away from it.
All of these issues contribute to, and crystalise in, the sense that "its time for a change". People have stopped listening to what Howard has to say, and just like Keating, once that happens to a pollie, they're pretty much a shot dog.
'Copperfield,' said Mr. Micawber, 'farewell! Every happiness and prosperity! If, in the progress of revolving years, I could persuade myself that my blighted destiny had been a warning to you, I should feel that I had not occupied another man's place in existence altogether in vain.
- Wilkins Micawber
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