Archive for the ‘Federal Politics’ Category

TV review: Q and A

August 16, 2011

Gosh isn’t the ABC’s Q and A a hit and miss affair?  The only thing you can rely on is the smugness of its host.  Good example of how even one “dud” among the five panellists can drag the whole thing down.  Usually I last about five minutes before switching over to watch something honest – like some crappy American cop show that doesn’t pretend to be anything other than wallpaper for the eyes (well, eine kleine fascismus too).

Last night Malcolm Turnbull (the once and future king of the Liberal Party) was on.  Call me insane, but I think Gillard has a chance against the clown who deposed Turnbull (one T. Abbott, aka the Mad Monk). But this guy, he would wipe the floor with her.  Articulate, sensible-seeming, patently intelligent.  Even, gasp, willing to accept science even when it tells him things he would rather not hear…

The rest of them were pretty good, and the woman who had been in Howard’s government seemed like she was willing to listen, think etc rather than just vomit up talking points… 

Presumably, normal Q and A service will resume next week?


That pesky section 96

June 26, 2011

Treasurer has stick to keep states in line
David Uren 23 December 2010 AFR

Leading state tax expert Neil Warren said the commonwealth simply had to repeat the strategy it had used to seize income-taxing powers from the states in 1942, when it resolved to reduce grants to the states by one dollar for every dollar of income tax they raised.
“The states challenged that in the High Court in 1946 and lost. Section 96 of the Constitution says the commonwealth can do whatever it likes with its grants to the states at its discretion and there is nothing the states can do about it,” Professor Warren said.

[War is the health of the commonwealth!]

The Federal Budget cycle

June 22, 2011

Ah, useful context…

With our short three-year – or less- political cycle, it was almost conventional wisdom that an incoming government would need to “go hard” in the first budget, consolidate in the second, and spend in an attempt to win the next election with the third.

The big budget gamble
John Hewson
Australian Financial Review May 11