October 24, 2005


Memo to Kim: Oppositions must provide propositions (Andrew Leigh, 20 October 2005, Online Opinion)

What is federal Labor’s top priority today? Ask a dozen politicians and party members, and you’ll probably hear that it’s to oppose the industrial relations reform package, critique the way the immigration department has implemented our tougher border protection policy, and stoke the fires of dissent over Australia’s continuing involvement in Iraq.

When your top priorities are to reject the other side’s top priorities, you know you’re in trouble. Admittedly, recent few weeks have seen occasional flashes of policy insight from the ALP, with new ideas from Kim Beazley on expanding trade training and building our capacity to fight terrorism. But if Labor is to win in 2007, the party needs to offer much more in this ilk. The only way for an opposition to deflect the perennial accusation that they are the nattering nabobs of negativism is with a deluge of positive policy proposals.

They face the same problem as the Democrats and Tories, all three having lost the race to be the party pof the Third Way. The only plausible policy options they can offer--using capitalistic means to achieve an end that provides greater social security--are gpoing to be indistinmguishable from the policies of the party in power, which they've been reacting against. It'll be good for our three nations as these parties resort to "me-tooism" but won't do the parties themselves much good.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 24, 2005 9:22 AM
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