Readers’ views on the election, interior design, the Union Jack and more.
MICHAEL SCHILLING: The SA government’s early release of its policy platform and now the release of its costings have to be applauded, at least from a serious and informed voter’s point of view. Politically, it was always risky not knowing how the opposition would react and whether such a move would sway voters in the end.
As it stands, it looks like it has made little difference. Weatherill aimed for the ideal, whereas Marshall aimed for the Achilles heel. And this is where some of the differences seem to be. A nice leader may produce a ‘feel good’ situation but what this state needs is more than that. SA needs to be about winning, creativity, and taking some risks in order to throw of the mantel of complacency and mediocrity. Some would even give us the label of mendicant and rust bucket state – unfairly perhaps. To counter that we need a leader and a government that is prepared to weather the storm after making some hard but necessary decisions in order to give our economy the kiss of life, and that means more than more of the same. Whatever the election outcome, we need leadership with more courage, determination, and some fresh and novel ideas. That is the first priority, not the colour of the flag.
RICHARD ABBOTT: Well tomorrow is the day that we voters must decide if policies announced by politicians are designed to ensure members are returned to their seat or policies designed to ensure a better South Australia.
Remembering also that the keys to the new policy cabinet are now thrown away for four years and that even a week is a long time in politics.
MICHAEL LARDELLI: Labor MP Steve Georganas complains that election posters on our streets are “visual pollution” and “should be banned” (Time to ban election posters, InDaily, 11 March 2014). As one of the people who was out until very late on the evening of 14/15 March putting up election posters (for the Stop Population Growth Now party) I have to say that that is a bit rich coming from Georganas when it is clear that Labor put an enormous effort into a saturation poster campaign to attempt to grab almost every prime roadside pole position – and thereby restrict opposition voices. But if Georganas and other incumbent political voices such as Labor’s Michael Atkinson and Dignity for Disability’s Kelly Vincent want to discourage roadside election posters (which are by far the cheapest form of election advertising available and so are very important to the minor political parties) then may I suggest a compromise solution?
The current Labor government introduced discriminatory legislation that makes it much more difficult to register a political party in SA if that party does not already have a representative in parliament. This greatly restricts alternative political voices in our “democracy”. Therefore, in compensation, why not ban parties with parliamentary representatives and elected independents from erecting election posters while allowing non-represented parties to do so! This would very greatly reduce the number of election posters on our streets while stimulating the public’s awareness of the minor voices. This is only fair since, once elected, our parliamentarians can tithe a fraction of their handsome taxpayer-funded salaries towards supporting party expenses (for more expensive forms of advertising) while unrepresented parties can only draw on private donations.
ANDY ALCOCK: In a period when our country is being led by extremely conservative leaders who seem to be adopting terrible policies in the areas of human rights, social justice, national independence and environmental responsibility, it was great to read Michelle Grattan’s article, Changing the flag unpatriotic? Not in NZ (InDaily, 12 March 2014).
Three cheers for New Zealand’s leaders for taking the decision to change their flag to show their greater independence from Britain. And the question arises, why can Australia not follow NZ’s lead? Most Australians who want true independence would like to see a truly Australian flag that would not have the Union Jack. According to Billy Bragg at the recent WOMADelaide, even many British feel that the Union Jack is too dated to be the the flag of Britain – especially as Scotland will probably secede in the near future.
Of course, NZ has shown the way in another regard as well. Its anti-nuclear policy means that US nuclear warships are forbidden from landing in NZ ports. Despite this, NZ has been able to maintain friendly ties with the US. It would be very positive if our leaders showed greater independence from US policies.
I find it interesting that those who maintain that it is realistic that we should retain the Union Jack on our flag because of historical reasons. Our more recent history indicates that we should also place the Stars and Stripes on our flag as well as the Union Jack. Many of us who travel abroad would be aware that many other people in other countries would consider this appropriate due to our servile approach to US policies.
J. MELBOURNE: Without wishing to insult anyone’s personal taste, I wonder why so many homes in InDaily’s property section are mainly decorated internally in laboratory white as their main “colour scheme”? It does make these homes look like the inside of a research establishment – and yet there are so many beautiful colour schemes available.
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