Sensible federalism vs aspirational nationalism
I’ve been thoroughly underwhelmed by the undeclared election campaign over the last couple of months. Labor has been moving towards the kind of small target strategy that performed so well in 2001. Meanwhile, Howard’s complete conversion to pork-barrel politics has now acquired the label “aspirational nationalism”, which is appropriate enough given that the term “aspirational” appears to mean “a shallow person with no ethical values who splashes money about without any clear sense of priorities”.
So I’m pleased to see Rudd taking a step back towards sensible policy with his proposal for a complete Federal takeover of the public hospital sector to be implemented if co-operative Federalism fails to produce an agreed national reform plan. Unlike Howard’s various ad hoc grabs for power, this would actually lead to a more sensible alignment of political power and responsibilty.