Goodbye and good riddance!
As usual, the frequency of blog posting has skidded to a virtual halt these last few weeks. And as usual, my excuse is the same, so I won't bore you all with the detail. I could not, however, allow this post election week to pass by without some mention of this momentous occassion.
I don't think there is any doubt that I am pretty satisfied with last Saturday's result. It is important to make clear, however, that my joy does not come through any great support for Rudd, but like so many, for my deep disdain of the Howard government. I also take great comfort in the knowledge that the Australian electorate is concerned about more than just their wallets, that they do in fact give a stuff about other things. I don't mean to say that economic management is not a big factor, nor am I oblivious to how important such an issue is to young families with mouths to feed, and minds to educate, and 30 years of mortgage repayments ahead of them. This, however, is not the only issue that holds importance for families, or for Australians in general, and I am most comforted to know that this has prevailed.
While I fully support Rudd's promises to roll back work choices, sign Kyoto, and issue a formal apology to indigenous Australians for the stolen generation, the promise I really want to see realised is the restoration of proper parliamentary processes, and a return to ministerial responsibility. No more passing the buck down the chain to the public service, or private companies doing outsourced work on the governments behalf. Our system relies on ministerial responsibility, and ensuring proper accountability within government ranks is paramount. This, I suspect will be one of the most difficult promises to keep, particularly if the Rudd government enjoys a long stint in office like the previous government. Mistakes will inevitably happen, and ministers will be asked to take responsibility. How Rudd deals with these situations will be most interesting .. particularly if/when his own support as leader is in doubt.
I think Paul Keating summed up my feelings about Saturday's result best. When asked on ABC radio if he felt happy upon hearing of Rudd's win on Saturday, he sternly answered, " .. no, I was just so relieved that the toxicity of this government had gone".
Couldn't sum it up any better. I don't fear a new direction for this country John, I've been hoping and waiting for it for a very long time!