Sunday, March 16, 2008

When corruption rules

Australia’s largest state by population and economy, NSW, has the sad distinction of a long history of entrenched corruption. One of the few state premiers who took a pro-active stand was Liberal Nick Greiner. Ironically Nick was trapped by his own ethical stand, but remains a beacon in my eyes.

With our current state Labor government lurching from one scandal to the next Greiner has recently been vocal on the potential for the states Liberals to lift their game and present as a realistic alternative government. Rightly he points out the fact that Labor should have lost the last two elections.

If the Labor government was so bad where was the alternative government? Busy engaged in an internal right/left faction struggle. We have noted this many times on Grub Street, particularly the attempted Christian right takeover attempt.

Accepting Greiner is no longer in the game the NSW Liberals still have a great opportunity with the current leader, Barry O’Farrell. It is not about high power, grandstanding, but effective leadership. It certainly is not about extremes, rather capturing that great vacuum now existing in the political centre.

The NSW Liberals have the great opportunity to read the tea leaves and position themselves as the reasoned, considered managers of this robust economy. The people don’t want the isms and the hard dogmatism; they simply want to get on with life without the dramas.

Once upon a time it was a Liberal belief that government had a responsibility to create an environment allowing business and the community to get on with life without undue intrusion. I don’t believe that means a lack of regulation, but it certainly means politicians managing the social/economic regime rather than their own corrupt self interest.

NSW desperately needs balance in government now; starting with a viable alternative to the Iemma feed trough fest. The sooner we have a strong opposition the sooner this current government will collapse under the weight of it own unending corruption.


lindsaylobe said...

I agree - Iemma and his party have been most disappointing, both in relation to his indecisiveness on corruption and in relation a number of bad economic decisions.
NSW is in danger of becoming a rust bucket unsustainable state.

Cart said...

It really is time for the state Libs to grasp the opportunity - for us all. Not sure about the Nats, but has been a while since they had any idea either.
I just can't work out how our political heavies forget Australia is essentially a middle of the road culture. Extremes always fail.