Two pieces on the editorial page of The Oz this morning, both saying something. The first was from Oliver Hartwich, Tony Abbott should follow Kiwi path to reform. The Kiwi path to reform seems to consist of two useful ideas: work out a valid set of priorities and then create a political constituency that will back the changes required.
Key’s recipe for implementing reforms is simple. His government spends at least as much time on carefully preparing policy changes as it spends on their implementation.
Ah, but you must also know where you have to spend your political capital. What sorts of thing has John Key being pursuing?
Since Key became Prime Minister in 2008, New Zealand has reformed a number of areas. The top income tax rate was slashed to 33 per cent while GST rose to 15 per cent. The government part-privatised some state-owned companies, particularly in the energy sector. It has become more difficult to remain on welfare in New Zealand with stringent work expectations introduced for benefit recipients. Fiscal policy has been tight with the budget on track back to surplus.
Sounds good. Sure no Senate in NZ but at least I can see that they have kept their eye on the ball. Meanwhile, what does our PM spend his political capital on? Another change we have to make is the title of the article. Here is where he spends his political capital:
I seek constitutional recognition of Aboriginal people in a form that would complete our constitution rather than change it.
Such cheap sentimentality is barbarous, absolutely inane. There is not a person out here who actually thinks it would make a dime’s worth of benefit to Aboriginal welfare but there are plenty of reasons to believe it would do damage to our Constitutional order. If this is really why h wanted to be the PM, one way or another, he won’t be Prime Minister for very long.