November 25, 2007

What will change under Kevin Rudd's Labor Govt?

I am dumb about Australian Politics, I didn't even know Kevin Rudd has become the Prime Minister of Australia until I read few blogs. OK, I asked a friend of mine, Teju who is a Political Science student researching at one of the Australian universities.

My question was "Now, Kevin Rudd has become PM and Labor Govt is back in Power. What it will mean for Australia and for Australians? What changes are on cards?"

Here's her elaborate reply.

"I do not think it should change much. Expect industrial reforms. Other than that u wont have much difference.

For instance, Taxes, Education, (with one difference HECS will NOT have to be paid by students when they are studying like USA), Health, Infrastructure, Transport all this will remain same with not much policy difference. Infact, the education fund which Peter Costello had introduced this budget is an innovative idea.

For policy on asylum seekers, immigration, Kevin Rudd's Govt will be tougher plus like the Democrats in US they would support Australian firms, Organizations rather than too much foreign companies (No mercy for Outsorcing). Since they believe in better in greater protectionism than republican or liberal governments in Australia. So it might not affect current international students like me as such but it will affect future students since the labor government might not have a very open door policy.

Experts say Labor Govt. will sign Kyoto protocol but, really it wont make difference since Kyoto has only aspirational targets for countries. If countries want to be serious on climate change then they must have justiciable or rather enforceable targets . Those targets are not present in any international framework nor is the labor policy clear on that. Labor has not specified whether they are interested in having green coal technology or introducing carbon tax. So, in summing up, not much change if you look st the detail of the policy though on the face of it, it seems labor will sign Kyoto.

On Iraq, they will withdraw the troops but anyway if u think of Australian;s contribution they are not playing a major role as main combat bridges like the US military but helping and facilitating local Iraqi police. Australian soldiers are based in the south of Iraq which is relatively quieter than Baghdad where the US military is fighting. The Australian military is helping in nation building work like training police, helping in infrastructure building.. even if they pull out it would not make such a strategic difference to the overall strategy of USA in Iraq. It sounds nice for Australian people to hear that they are not in Iraq. On the contrary, labor has said it would increase its military personnel in Afghanistan in the fight on terror so, this government will be as hawkish as the previous govt on war on terror."



How much do you agree/disagree? What changes do you think, that will happen under Labor Govt?

Update: Just got an update from the same friend on "What will be the future of Democracy in Australia?"

"One other thing is even tough we would not see any fundamental change in the direction of Australia's democracy. This election indicates the triumph of the democratic process and the increase in Green's vote which in turn helped the laobor party that it in many ways helps in bringing a diversity of views and voices at the national level. Since the unique way the Australian system is set up and to a great extent the difference between the federal politics and state politics, I think it was good to have a change at the federal level after eleven and half years of one government.

A point one must note in all this is that, all around the country this is only the second time in Australia's history that all the governments state and federal have been labor governments and it seems until the liberal party gets its act together especially in New SouthWales, they have very little chance of wining government there.

"The liberal party's future and relevance is at cross roads since, it has no strong state opposition leadership that can take up the challenge strongly at the state levels against state labour governments and it is also out of power at the federal level. The liberal party will have to go back to the drawing board and re-fashion itself and re-orient its vision in terms of following a more compassionate, conservative populist movement and appeal to Austrlia's middle class and Howard's battlers' who spectuarly deserted the coalition in this election because of IR reforms or work choices. On the one side, it is great to see a change of governmnet at the federal level but looking at the state of the liberal party in the states in Victoria, NSW, SA, it might be not necessarily be good for a healthy and robust democracy since a representation of one party views/ideoloy is always a determinet to the very basis of democratic political participation."

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