A fountain of good ideas

If I were elected to office …

I’d put a big fat tax on bottled water and use the proceeds to install and maintain drinking fountains (bubblers) in public places and parks. When I was a lad they used to be everywhere, but they’ve slowly disappeared from the public landscape.

To move forward to past ideas, Vote 1, Me.

waterfountainUpdate 14 Feb 2010: Nice to see that after an upgrade of the south western entrance to Lambton Park, they reinstated the drinking fountain.

[This content was originally posted to Google Buzz, #57]

Low interest rates

If I were elected to office …

I’d reform the digital media communications space by allocating a dedicated digital TV and digital radio channel to the reporting of interest rate speculation. So called economic ‘experts’ could interview each other endlessly about whether and why interest rates will go up, go down or stay the same. There could be interest rate smack downs between the ‘going up’ experts and the ‘going down’ experts, with arm-wrestling contests, and GDP trivia quizzes to decide the winner. Hours of entertainment for the interest rate junkies.

Meanwhile over on conventional media, reporting of interest rates would be legislatively restricted to one day a month when the reserve bank board meets, in a speculation free zone. Vote 1. Me.

[This content was originally posted to Google Buzz, #55]

Birthday party

Neither Tony Abbott or Julia Gillard want to touch industrial relations legislation in the coming term of government, but

If I were elected to office …

I’d change the IR laws to mandate that every worker should have their birthday (or nearest workday) off from work.

This election, don’t think Labor party or Liberal party, think birthday party and vote 1, Me.

[This content was originally posted to Google Buzz, #54]

Putting the wind up education

If I were elected to office …

I’d do something about closing the education gap, and I’m particularly talking about the gap in some people’s education that makes them think leaf-blowers are a good idea. For these disadvantaged people, how about a 12 week Bureau of Meteorology course on that original and best of leaf-blowers – the wind.

For sanity and silence on the sidewalks, vote 1, Me.

windUpdate: This policy pledge was only half in jest, but my resolve has been stiffened when I saw on the streets of Mayfield today (the windiest day in three months!), a man using a leaf-blower.

[This content was originally posted to Google Buzz, #52]

Fixed terms

If I were elected to office …

I’d institute 4 year fixed term elections for the Federal parliament. No more “will he, won’t he, when will she” speculation about when an election will be due. No more calling of elections at the Prime Minister’s convenience. Four year terms instead of three year terms would also reduce the problem of governments bribing the electorate with re-election policies almost as soon as they are returned to office.

In my 4 year fixed term proposal, an early election could be called only in the case of:

  • a double dissolution (as per current constitutional provisions)
  • a successful vote of no-confidence in the government in the lower house
  • at the Governor General’s discretion (to allow for an early election in the case of persistent, overwhelming incompetence and/or corruption in a government)

For less elections, and less election speculation, vote 1. Me.

Sam Hilton – I’m voting for you!

[This content was originally posted to Google Buzz, #51]

Let me explain

Hey all you devoted Buzz followers of mine, in case you’re wondering why I’m being so prolific with these “If I were elected to office …” posts, let me explain. Since I live in an electorate where the result of the lower house ballot is a foregone conclusion, I always feel a little robbed of my role in the democratic process. These posts are somewhat of a compensation for me, and I have decided that at the end of the election period I will be printing out all my posts and sending them to my local member so that she will at least know what’s been on the mind of at least one of her constituents. (I will not include any of your comments unless you specifically ask me to.)

[This content was originally posted to Google Buzz, #50]


If I were elected to office …

I would eschew hollowness. An increasing trend I’ve noticed in recent years is politicians making promises for action so far into the future that they are essentially meaningless. A recent example is the Coalition’s promise to cut the company tax rate… in July 2013! i.e. if elected to office they would not have to do a single thing in their first term, which makes the promise feel a little hollow. Of course Labor is equally adept at this kind of hollowness – they’ve been promising to do something about CO2 emissions in 3 years’ time for the last umpteen years. Labor has even refined this long-term-hollowism to the stage of taking credit for things that haven’t happened yet!

“we will have returned the budget to surplus in 2013”

The tricky balance here is that politicians shouldn’t just be mired in short term policies in order to get elected. We want and need our leaders to have long range goals and targets, but I believe that there cannot be a meaningful long term goal without short term steps.

So for little steps towards meaningful goals, vote 1, Me.

Coalition plans company tax rate cut – ABC News

[This content was originally posted to Google Buzz, #49]