So, we have a new Prime Minister and a new government (or at least will have once they are sworn in). Now the rancour of electioneering has passed, here’s what I am hoping.
- That Tony Abbott rises to the challenge of high office to be a good, or even great, Prime Minister. For me the measure of this will be the degree to which he leads the country into being more connected, equitable, just and caring toward each other and the world;
- That the new Government immediately reneges on some of its campaign promises, namely the decision to chop $4.5 billion from the aid budget and its draconian proposals on refugees. When in Opposition you don’t have the benefit of advice from the public service so you will always make some stupid promises. I’d rather the Government admit that, discover the value of aid and more humane ways to stop the drownings at sea and move on.
- That the demands of responding to climate change be taken seriously. I can’t see that it’s politically possible for them to keep the ETS, but surely with good advice they’ll be able to deliver something better than their direct action plan;
- That indigenous rights and development progress in leaps and bounds. Mr Abbott has signalled he wants to deliver in this area by pulling indigenous affairs into his office and I hope he has outstanding success;
- That the Opposition get itself into shape, free of the bitter divides of the Rudd-Gillard years, and be a good Opposition. By this, I mean that they test the Government’s policies and create a genuine contest of ideas. This will keep the Government on its toes and functioning well.