Thursday 1 February 2018
“What is good government?” I asked myself. After some deliberation I came up with this: “Everything that the Coalition is not,” I mused. But I’ll have a stab at it.
“Good government is about making and implementing decisions that serve the common good. That give security to the people it governs. Follows the rule of law and is truthful about its intentions. When making decisions it must be responsive to the will of the people. It should allow its citizens to be participatory in the function of government. It should be inclusive, equitable and supportive of the people’s right to know. By equity, I mean the people have a right to a fair reward for the fruits of their labour. And above all it should be answerable to the people.”
I then asked myself how the Abbott/Turnbull governments stacked up against my thinking, and I had to admit they have been deplorable. Now there is nothing new in that. I have probably ranted more than most writers on this site about the Coalition’s capacity for bland ineffectiveness.
This Government came to office saying they were adult and trustworthy. They have not been. In writing today I sense a light at the end of the tunnel – that an end to its appalling corrupt behaviour is coming to an end.
Bill Shorten’s intent to carry through with a national ICAC with teeth might now put to an end to the sort of nonsensical extremist behaviour we have witnessed from the neo-conservatives.
And yesterday, contrary to everyone thinking they were deliberate leaks to hurt Abbott, the ABC had obtained not just a few sheets of paper that came to it in the most extraordinary way, but thousands of cabinet documents.
A few Ministers both past and present might feel under some pressure in the weeks and months ahead. Although I must say that much of what they released yesterday was already known. Perhaps from the release of the balance of the cabinet papers might come a cleansing, or greater understanding of the operation of government might take place.
Shorten also alluded to the restoration of our democracy, maybe then when the dust of their dismissal has settled a new form of democracy might begin.
My thought for the day
“Of all the things the voter must consider when confronted with the ballot sheet none is more important than the performance of the incumbent.”