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Oct 11, 2012

Editorial call for early election; Labor hits the skids

… Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. … – US Declaration of Independence.

Editors tend to ruminate on many matters, mainly issues of the day.  Politics as such often feature in these columns, more so than was the case in the past owing to the rapid growth in the size, scope, and cost of the state and its growing influence in the lives of the population at large.  Politics, politicians, party and government actions, and laws are right up there in editorials.

Criticism of the government or opposition of the day is reasonably common in the mainstream media, but calls for a government to dissolve and go to an early election is fairly rare among the major players.  Labor has reached such lows and loss of credibility and stature that such a call has now occurred: 
ONE thing has become clear in the aftermath of the Peter Slipper affair - Australia cannot endure another 12 months with a dysfunctional Parliament. It was always likely that a minority Gillard Government would struggle to be effective - that is, more often than not, the nature of minority governments. 
But the toxic nature of debate, the poisonous character assassinations and the absence of any positive intent has gone on long enough. The Australian people deserve better and they deserve to be heard. 
The Slipper debacle has been an enormous embarrassment for Labor but not even the party's most ardent supporter could pretend that it is an isolated incident. Take your pick: the tensions with former PM Kevin Rudd, the leaks, the infighting and the Craig Thomson affair all stand alongside the appointment of Mr Slipper as Speaker, a move that had nothing to do with good government and everything to do with propping up a shaky administration. 
Everyone knows that these are challenging times that would test even a strong leader. At home, the economy demands a firm hand but instead we have a Government that expends so much energy on simply staying in power that it is distracted from confronting issues such as jobs, housing and infrastructure. … 
… The answer to the problem is simple and obvious: Australia needs an election. We need a government with a working majority and the ambition to do what's best for Australia and not just for itself.
We have for a long time had a government which has concentrated on self-preservation rather than pursuing any sort of agenda.  For a libertarian, this should actually be an advantage, - a dysfunctional government is likely to do less damage.
Sadly, this is not the case in this instance as the independents and disgraced former party hacks keeping the government afloat dare not act on any form of principle they may discover or accidently encounter.  To do so would guarantee the end of their careers.  None of them will survive an election, so they have to back the government in order to stave off the inevitable till the end of the current term.

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