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Heave away you ruler kings- the South Australian election
With the state election a month off, public focus is now on the political parties and their leaders.The parties provide little alternative for voters. Regardless of their social progressivism or conservatism they seem equally wedded to unfortunate and discredited economic rationalism.
Nonetheless we can say the election is to be contested between the Liberal’s and their new leader, Isobel Redmond and an eight year old Rann government currently paying the price for complacency in the wake of former Lib leader Hamilton Smith’s unfortunate fall.
They are caught in the dreaded pincer movement of colluding issues; Rann’s alleged antics with a barmaid in parliament some time back has focussed the public’s consciousness back on the Rann government and its policies, outlook and decisions; to “hear” alternate messages from the Liberals (usually ) on one hand and /or excluded or silenced social groups.
Arguably, SA governments over the last generation have followed a trend right across Australian politics over the last fifteen or twenty years; a trend most associated with NSW, where a disturbing democratic deficit has been revealed, which does not augur well for the future regardless of who wins the next election here either, since the most disturbing thing about NSW is its use within political parties as a conscious blueprint for other regions.
As the Rann government has become more presidential, the public has sensed a greater exclusion, mirrored in the concern over the Rann government’s distaste for a Corruption Commission watchdog.
Is the sense of a need for one echoed in public concerns over the numerous and ugly landswaps, open-slather CIC based deals with developers, removal of council (hence public) powers of input, scrutiny and veto over inappropriate “developments” in people’s home locales?
The Libs, by contrast, seem finally to have learnt the lesson of opposition: shut your mouth and let the other side be the issue, instead. In doing this they have followed the example of Rudd in 2007 and Rudd Labor is no reforming political unit. So what would we expect from the SA Liberals?
Unfortunately, more of the Olson/Rann type of politics!
Labor has floundered, with the spot light attracted by Michelle Chantelois also alighting on issues that the state government has failed to respond reasonably to, usually to do with “developments” involving public land or resources, or the public interest.
They follow in an ignoble tradition pioneered by the former Brown-Olson government.
The action has included the notorious PPP’s where public money is employed to buttress privatised water, electricity and transport; as well as recently, more intangible issues to idea production and socio cultural reification. Derivatives, to use a familiar term, of these include funny asset and land swaps such as the St Clair Park, hived off to developers while the public foots the hidden cost of rehabilitating nearby industrial land. And god knows the funny financing that must go on behind the walls of secrecy that are FOI and commercial in confidence.
But if you're careful enough to pick up “local rags” from other suburbs, you will find that just about every new “reformed”(defanged) council precinct in the metro area is faced with problems created when the new barge arse “development at any/ every cost” mantra that so antagonises the public. Currently battles are under way right across town- Goodwood orphanage, Thorndon park, Le Fevre Peninsular, around the (privatised) airport, the Chelsea movie theatre, Glenside and the entire heritage precinct of the City of Adelaide and North Adelaide City, accompanying a sustained onslaught against trees of any sort, so long as they are Aussie native flora, as well as much Heritage bluestone as possible; this to make way for as much jerry-built, badly constructed and climate-inappropriate sardines cans as possible, for future generations to curse us over, as they will all the other ecological vandalism we’ve committed over the last fifty years, knowing full well what we were doing.
For Rudd to unnecessarily ramp up the population to thirty five million, despite the system’s inability to cope even with the current twenty-two million?
And it all hinges on this notion fed us that economic stability will be robbed from us if we don’t have every river in the country polluted, every native tree axed and as many native fauna species wiped out.
Same as we are told we are on the way to ruin if we do not privatise or censor education and the internet, dumb down the media so the public are discouraged from considering real issues that also effect them and wherever possible discredit any science that warns of threats to sustainability. And as things stand, this is the future role of SA: as the typical example of a dried out husk of a once vibrant community now peopled by the dumbed-down and a few well informed but disenfranchised other people gnashing their teeth in frustration on a well-grounded fear of the consequences, as the processes gather apace.
For the many have been mislead for many years and will as likely vote for Rann out of a Chicken Little-ish fear that jobs will be taken if everything is not done strictly on the developers terms.
And that is extortion, nor democracy