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Not Letting The Moss Grow

26/08/2010

“No, you can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
And if you try sometime you find
You get what you need”

So says the chorus from a song by the now geriatric rock band, “THE ROLLING STONES”. It is easy to take a swipe at the band, although in reality, they continue to be able to do what they do because they learnt a long time ago that although it is their band and their music, their careers are defined by their fans. Leaders of both parties take note.

Who ever forms government has to be prepared to play a game of give and take and they have to do so without letting their government stagnant. Like the moss that gathers on the stationary stone, they need to be careful of the tinge of green sentimentality in the community.

To hear rural representatives openly talking about their concerns for the environment and the options they wish to take to address Climate Change fascinated me. It turns out that under the last government Tony Windsor opposed both parties views on the reduction of emissions by 2020. Unlike the preferred Coalition and Labor figures bandied about between 5%- 25%, Mr Windsor proposed a 30% reduction! Just to put this into perspective, the Unions proposed a 40% reduction. But if anyone in this country wants to call Mr Windsor a ‘leftie’ to his face, you better have some damn good health insurance.

While Bob Katter was vehemently opposed to a Carbon Price and a ETS, he was adamantly crusading the use of Biofuel, Solar and Wind.  He also advocated a more “Direct Action” approach and pointed out that it was ‘nice for the Coalition to talk about it, and I’m glad the Coalition is talking about it, but Labor has been doing it!”

All parties all agreed that the building of a Broadband network is vital. But I doubt it will end up being the all singing all dancing offer proposed by the ALP or the demeaning petty offering by the Coalition. Somewhere between a rock and a hard place lies consensus. And that is the key to whoever forms government. To not let themselves be stifled and seem stationary and risk a backlash at any subsequent election, they will need to understand the subtle art of give and take.

Some think this could be very negative with some policies been passed in return for ‘gifts’ to the electorates of the independents. If this happens, then yes, it will be an almighty shambles indeed. I argue that it does not have to be the case at all.

Imagine the best elements of the ALP NBN package but tempered with the fiscal responsibility and more opportunity for private enterprise to be involved that the Coalition prefers. Imagine industrial reform that gives the Coalition some of what it wanted from it’s now dead, buried and cremated offering but tempered with acceptable social reform that the ALP advocate.

While the nation ponders the outcome of their vote and some cry that the sky is falling in, I think this is a great chance to actually create policies that has bipartisan support, or as much of it as humanly possible, in to play.

My mum loved to point out to me as a kid that I had one mouth but two ears. Politicians like to talk. I think its time they also learned to listen.

A. Ghebranious

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