Author Topic: Hey suzette! Or, new Oz politics  (Read 3030 times)

fern hill

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Hey suzette! Or, new Oz politics
« on: November 27, 2007, 10:38:34 PM »
I just saw suzette logged in. I've been reading and can't tell. Are things, and what things, gonna be different?

suzette

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Hey suzette! Or, new Oz politics
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2007, 02:10:42 AM »
:lol:   Wow, my own private thread!  

Things are looking interesting so far, as it happens.  The first thing new PM Kevin Rudd (aka Heavy Kevvy) has asked his MPs to do is to go into a couple of schools in their respective electorates and find out what they need.  Education up to the end of high school is actually administered at a state level, mind you, but he's been making noises about closer relationships between states/territories and the Federal government.  

The second thing he's asked them to do is to visit homeless shelters in their electorates to find out what the situation is and get suggestions on what to do about it.
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He says some time during the next couple of weeks he expects his parliamentary colleagues to have visited homeless shelters in or near their electorates to report on local supply and demand situations.

"When I visited homeless shelters during the campaign the turn away rate for people who presented [at] homeless shelters was horrific," he said.

"Turn away rates of something like 80 or 90 per cent. Now this is just wrong in a country as wealthy as ours."
Full story.

This was a pleasant surprise to me.  It hadn't been mentioned during the campaign, and for a leader coming in in a blaze of glory, probably not the sexiest banner to be waving straight up. I take it as a good sign.

The big, big thing that's looking to change is so-called Work Choices.  This is said to be the legislation that cost the Liberals the election, and rightly so. Very briefly, Work Choices was a change to industrial law that weighted the advantage very much in the employers' favour, and scrapped long-standing workers' rights such as penalty rates, sick leave and so on, and made employers exempt from the unfair dismissal laws. There were wholesale dismissals around the country as soon as it was made law, and wholesale protests followed.  Labor's election campaign focussed very much on the promise to scrap the whole thing.  They won in a record landslide. :)

Kyoto's another biggie.  To be ratified forthwith.  

And "Sorry". That is, an apology to Indigenous Australians for what's known here as the Stolen Generation.  This was a Very Big Deal during Howard's reign, and he steadfastly refused to enter in to it, but expressed something like "deep and sincere regret".  It's one of the many things that marked his government as mean-spirited and selfish, and unfortunately smeared the country in the same way.  When I was traveling overseas this kind of thing was raised with me time and again.  How shameful.  

Anyway.  I've been very brief in my above summary because they're all topics that I could write pages on.  To answer your question in a slightly different way, Fern, I think (hope) that this government is going to be a bit kinder. More inclusive.  *sigh*  Heaven only knows we need it, both within our country as as international citizens.  I read the other day that Australians, as individuals, as second only to the Irish in the amount of money we donate to charitable causes, yet as a nation our foreign aid and the like is way, way down compared to other wealthy nations.  Just goes to show how out of step with common Australians the last government was.  It looks as though Labor are going to tip that balance back.  

Let's hope so, eh?

Hope that answers your question to some degree.  I'm just hacking away quickly while Lofty has the kids down at the shops for a wee while.  Anything else you'd like to know or want clarified, just ask.

fern hill

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Hey suzette! Or, new Oz politics
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2007, 06:44:21 AM »
Wasn't Iraq one of the big issues? Will Rudd pull your troops out?

suzette

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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2007, 07:10:28 AM »
Not such a big issue, no.  We had a lot of other pressing issues that took the priority.  Surprisingly, I'm not entirely sure what his stance is on that one.  I think he's for pulling out, but don't quote me.  I'll check it out and get back to you.

fern hill

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Hey suzette! Or, new Oz politics
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2007, 07:53:30 AM »
Well, that's what I get for reading USian headlines. It's always all about them, innit? (The only USian telly I get is PBS. Even there, they do stories like 'Killer Earthquake in Peru! How It Affects Us!')

GDKitty

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Hey suzette! Or, new Oz politics
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2007, 09:20:41 AM »
Thanks for the summary, suzette!  Very interesting!

Must be quite heartening to hear a pol in POWER take on homelessness.  Whenever somebody brings it up over here, the right cries "Class Warfare!" etc.  

Anyway, it's great to hear your POV and I look forward to more updates ;)

suzette

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« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2007, 08:22:43 PM »
Yes, Ms Kitty, it IS heartening!  Amazing, actually.  You know, the line that Howard kept pushing during the campaign was "If you change the government you change the country."  Finally, something we agree on.  I think the meanness of the last government was finally starting to hit home to many people, mainly through the Work Choices business, and people wanted a change in the country.  Australia's better than that.  We're better than our treatment of refugees, we're better than our treatment of Indigenous people, we're better than snatching away the rights of the weaker members of our community.  I truly believe that the voting reflects that.

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Well, that's what I get for reading USian headlines. It's always all about them, innit?
:lol:  How true.  I heard it mentioned on the radio this morning that the US ambassador was leaning on the new PM to maintain troops in Iraq, but that Labor was still planning to withdraw.  When and how I couldn't tell you.  For the most part the US (as a political power, that is) is an irritant to us here, but one to be ignored as much as possible. We're very much intertwined with them politically and militarily, and probably to a much greater degree than Jo Average realises.  We'll never be rid of them.  But for the time being we just tend to avert our eyes in embarrassment and talk about the cricket instead.

fern hill

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Hey suzette! Or, new Oz politics
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2007, 08:32:19 PM »
Quote from: suzette
For the most part the US (as a political power, that is) is an irritant to us here, but one to be ignored as much as possible. We're very much intertwined with them politically and militarily, and probably to a much greater degree than Jo Average realises.  We'll never be rid of them.  But for the time being we just tend to avert our eyes in embarrassment and talk about the cricket instead.


Ah, Australia and Canada have so much in common. I really wish this aspect was one. We can't ignore the bastids.

Good luck to you and yours, suzette. Hope springs, eh?

suzette

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Hey suzette! Or, new Oz politics
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2007, 08:40:31 PM »
Quote from: fern hill
Ah, Australia and Canada have so much in common. I really wish this aspect was one. We can't ignore the bastids.
Yeah, I think about that a lot with regards to your unfortunate proximity.  When I was in Canada I could see the coast of Washington from the beach just around the corner from where I was staying. It was weird.  I suppose it's a bit hick, but they've always been such a big, ugly boogie man.  And going through US security at Vancouver airport (WTF??) was genuinely alarming.

Quote from: fern hill
Good luck to you and yours, suzette. Hope springs, eh?
Don't it just?   :wink:

fern hill

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Hey suzette! Or, new Oz politics
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2007, 10:44:39 AM »
Dave at TGB has some details of Rudd's plans for a partial troop withdrawal from Iraq.

 

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