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Attila the Pun
Tuesday, August 31, 2004
 
More Green scrutiny

Their policy on constitutional reform makes interesting reading. How does this:

1.6 Australia’s constitution and public institutions need fundamental change, which should be brought about through an ongoing participatory process.

square with this:

2.2 propose that vacancies in any House of Parliament (local, state or federal) should be filled by a member of the same party selected from a list submitted at time of election by the political party concerned

Surely a 'participatory process' would allow me to vote for a new candidate when the one I originally voted for retires, dies etc? Slotting in a hack picked by the party room is not democracy.

2.4 propose that section 44 of the Constitution be amended to remove the prohibition on public servants and other holders of an office of profit under the crown from standing for election.

Considering the number of ex-school teachers in the greens, this one is no great shock. Labor would love it as well.

And the Republic?

2.10 reform regardless of the ‘no’ vote at the 1999 referendum.

Don't like the result you get? Just ignore it and demand 'reform' anyway.

Economics:

2.2.7 keep natural monopolies and other essential public services under public ownership and re-establish such ownership as necessary

Thats called nationalisation folks.

2.3.3 return the Reserve Bank to a twin target policy on both inflation and full employment, with targets set by the Commonwealth Government

So no more independent Reserve Bank?

Taxation is always fun:

3.3.2 introduce a greater range of marginal tax rates on a sliding scale, with particular increases for people earning high incomes

One wonders what the Greens consider 'particular increases' and 'high incomes'. They don't say of course - all their policies are deliberately vague. That is the benefit of heckling from the cheap seats - your own positions are never scrutinised properly. If they wish to be a serious contender, this has to change.

And you can forget about working hard and leaving something for your family - they want a piece of that as well:

3.3.11 an inheritance tax on estates with a total value above $2 million and including the family home
3.3.12 a supplementary gift tax designed to prevent the disposal of an estate prior to the death of wealthy individuals


3.3.14 an amendment to the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 to stop family trusts being used for the purposes of evading tax.

Depending on the actual amendment, I actually agree with that one. As does Costello I think, but he has never been able to get it through the party room.

Foreign investment is of course anathema to the Greens, but so is Australians investing apparently:

3.3.22 seek to ensure that all income share dividends, including fully franked dividends, are taxed at the marginal personal rate for individuals and the company tax rate for companies

3.3.23 make special arrangements to ensure there is no double taxation for small business owner–operators.

Mmmmm - double taxation. How equitable. Oh, and as well as increasing tax rates, and increasing the medicare levy, they also want to introduce an environment levy and a carbon levy.

4.3.12 support enhanced anti-monopoly laws in Australia to stop companies, whether nationally or internationally owned, from gaining domination in the Australian market, as is the case at present in the media industry

So nationalising some industries, and maintaining government monopolies in other industries, is good, but private monopolies are bad?

The definition of human rights also comes in for an extension:

1.1 Participation in the arts is a human right. All Australians must have the opportunity to explore themselves, their identity and creativity, their communities, history and environment through the arts.

It sounds like there is a fair bit of self exploration going on down at Greens HQ

1.3 Government must take responsibility, through legislation and direct support, for:

- ensuring the media reflects the diversity of artists at local, regional and national levels

Oh great - more government control of the media.

- helping create conditions whereby artists can earn a living from their art.

We do that already - its called the marketplace. If people like your art, they will pay you for it. If they don't, then you need to find a new job. Simple really.

I won't delve into their drugs policy. The Herald Sun is pushing it as a major thing, but frankly it doesn't bother me (nor affect me) half as much as the economic side of things.

Immigration

Always a touchy subject for the Greens. The die hard environment wing hates humans, and wants as small a population as possible. The rest of the party wants open borders and as many people in here as can afford the smuggling fees. They acknowledge this:

1.2 while immigration has the potential to add to pressures on the Australian environment, this concern is tempered by our:

- humanitarian obligation to accept refugees and reunite families

But then don't say what they plan on doing about reconciling it. When it comes to migration however, they do want a focus on:

3.1 Australia’s immigration program concentrate on family reunions, refugees and other humanitarian streams

3.2 the family reunion program be extended to encompass all interdependent relationships, including same-sex and intersex relationships

3.3 criteria for eligibility be reviewed to ensure potential immigrants are not unfairly discriminated against by, for instance, the preference to be fluent in English

So less skilled migrants who speak english, and more family reunion migrants who don't contribute to their new country, and will be provided with taxpayer funded:

social security
legal and interpreter services
English language classes
appropriate programs to ease transition to Australia’s multicultural society
post-trauma counselling where needed


There is a lot more, and I may go into it when I have the chance, but it can be summarised thus - massive tax increases on individuals and companies, coupled with huge increased government spending and regulation of the media, industry and the labour market, as well as an open border policy and a complete cradle to grave welfare system. 1970's England, here we come!


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