Make a Damn Case

What any reforming government needs is an electorate that has been shaped to be more likely to accept reform. Maybe not for any specific change; sometimes you just have to spring-it-on-them. No, what is needed are voters with a feeling for the broad issue, and that some action is warranted, even if they aren’t sure […]

Councillor 11% Stays Very Quiet

Leichhardt’s Councillor 11% – vote-losing machine Mayor Rochelle Porteous –    hasn’t popped up yet to discuss Saturday’s election. When your most notable achievement in a couple of years of Mayoralty is to lose your party more than 10% of the vote, it’s understandable if you take your time. Nothing on the Greens site. Nothing […]

More Calls For Reform Balls

I’ve always loved Julie Novak – in the public sector reform sense of love, that is. She operates on the technical side of what is a highly political zone, but her take is the same as mine: Since public sector employment costs average about 44 per cent of general government sector operating budgets in the […]

Ergas’ Analysis Shows Up The Dilettantes

Henry Ergas  nails, with forensic thoroughness, the nonsense that passes for regulation review at the Federal level. In truth, it’s a nonsense at all levels of government, but the Feds are the paradigm case under the current government. The way in which he does it – seriously, looking to the long term –  calls to […]

So, Hope For Councils

Big day for local Liberals across NSW yesterday. Some notable results in Waverley, Parramatta, Strathfield and elsewhere. Marrickville may well have voted in its first Liberal councillor. THE Greens suffered a voter backlash across the state yesterday, with swings of between 10 and 15 per cent against the party in most parts of NSW. But […]

Excise The Tumour

Encouraging sounds from the Federal seat of Melbourne. It may not be ‘good politics’ in every electorate, but it’s time the Liberals deliberately put The Greens last on every How-to-Vote. Across the board, from local to state to federal. At every election, every time. Preferencing the Greens in seats like Melbourne or Grayndler may damage […]

Y=C+I+G

Steve Kates at Catallaxy Files and assorted other Austrian-influenced economists have been banging on about how it can be misleading   to drive policy based on the national accounting identity  Y=C+I+G (and extensions). At its most banal the identity implies that – in theory – total income in an economy equals total expenditure. It’s the […]

Play The Bully Card, Then Bully

Ahhh, yes, it’s always the Centre-Right that teeters on the edge of incivility and the resort to threat and violence, isn’t it? When you define as bullying  the attempt to hold  accountable  a politician in power, because bullying is bad, especially of a woman, and then resort to it in the same tweet, it kinda […]

Media Conflicts of Interest – Quadrant Online

Undeclared bias is a problem in reporting, but the answer isn’t the limitation on speech the Left is demanding. The solution is to help media consumers choose between outlets by requiring the same transparency of journalists that journalists demand of politicians. Recent attacks on media freedom from the Left – Finkelstein, Bendigo MP Steve Gibbons, fellow Labor […]

Going Soft – PM’s Media Move

Just sat through an appalling soft-ball interview between PM Julia Gillard and the stand-in JJJ breakfast host Lewi (podcast may be available later  here). In itself this isn’t notable. Any time a Green-Left politician hits JJJ it’s a love fest. No, I noticed because, like Wayne Swan’s move to play the old class envy card […]

New Media Shames Old

The last 15 years of media appear to be a story of print’s decline and broadcasting fragmentation. But that’s just the sort of creative destruction you expect in a mature industry with a big technological component. A deeper change is the emergence of an alternative accountability media. This change has fully revealed the way the […]

Gonski GosPlan Comeback

We need to address our education failures. Our government needs to recognise that money won’t do it. And to realise that GosPlan-like 15 year  targets  plastered over  a dysfunctional system will achieve nothing. It is a iron law – perhaps Falk’s Second Iron Law – that public sector producers will always claim poor quality product […]

Basket Weavers Bow Out

A bizarre generational divide has emerged while I’ve been working the streets for the current local council elections. When you’re handing out for a centre-right party in the Sydney’s Inner West, you expect abuse. When I started a few years ago, old timers told me to take tissues to deal with the spit. The young […]

Beware Bullying

Our social and media treatment of bullying needs an urgent examination. Nothing says that more than the fact that I feel I need to tread carefully and express myself with caveats and qualifications.  And that’s not because of current celebrity travails and defamation laws. The bullying bandwagon is definitely short of space; from MP speeches […]

Dissent Is Only Good If You’re Winning

The New Left is overplaying the outrage game so badly that in years to come it will be a study in propaganda failure. Away from the shaping and scolding of their teachers, one can imagine the teen contempt students would have for the constant shock, outrage, inhalations and fake swooning our opinionistas  pass off as […]