Writing in the AFR (on website tonight, in the paper tomorrow), the IPA’s John Roskam writes:
If Daniel Andrews were a bank chief executive instead of a state premier, he would have been forced to resign weeks ago. And the person leading the demands for Andrews’ resignation would have been the Prime Minister himself, Scott Morrison.
Fair point and entirely true. Roskam further adds:
It’s easy for prime ministers to give free advice to bank board members. Politicians are forever telling CEOs and boards how they can run their companies better. It’s interesting, given how much politicians think they know about private enterprise, that so few of them ever make a successful transition to careers in the productive economy.
Here’s something about private enterprise that most politicians also don’t know. There is a provision in the Corporations Act that allows members (shareholders) to requisition a general meeting and to add and remove directors through that mechanism. It’s not a perfect analogy but it is kinda sorta a recall election and a citizen initiated referendum.
Our political masters like to pass laws to make directors accountable to shareholders but they won’t allow similar mechanisms for governments to be accountable to citizens.
There should be no doubt that if Australia had better government we would have been in a better shape going into #CovidCrisis2020 and we would have better managed it.
Rather than funding and fighting over sporting facility toilet blocks, our government could have been better planning for a pandemic like the Taiwanese and South Koreans did.
Rather than hiring Directors of, inclusion and intersectionality at a salary of $192,800-$249,700 plus superannuation, they could be cutting payroll taxes allowing business to hire.
The reforms that come out of #CovidCrisis2020 should not be limited to economic reforms only. There needs to be significant structural reforms, ie democratic reforms, such that government does what it is supposed to do rather than the stuff our politicians like to do. Using the banking analogy, make government basic again.
Recall elections. Citizen initiated referenda. Federation reform. The end of horizontal fiscal equalisation.
There needs to be a mechanism to remove a corrupt or incompetent or combined corrupt/incompetent government without having to wait the requisite 3 to 4 years for an election. Governors and Governors General won’t do it. Citizens would if they could.
There needs to be a better mechanism. If your house is on fire, you should not be required to count to 1,000 before calling the fire department.
TAFKAS knows this will never happen, much like the necessary economic reforms. But he can dream. It’s all down hill from here.