Why is Australia’s mindset so far behind its neighbour New Zealand?

With the New Zealand Prime Minister visiting Australia, I thought it would be fitting to reflect on a few contemporary issues that distinguish the two OECD nations.

Kiwi’s cop a lot from Aussie’s, especially to do with Sheep, but I have to say that they are so far ahead in front of Australia it’s not funny. New Zealand have successfully introduce an Emissions Trading Scheme and are working hard to invest in renewable energies; they are willing to stand up to the US and not bend to their every desire; NZ have banned live exports since 2003, recognising the cruelty of the industry; and they have a much more democratic federal parliament, with a minority government made up of 4 parties (National, ACT, United Futures and Maori) and an Opposition made of Labour, Greens, Progressive and 2 independents! Not to mention they actually have a party representing the Indigenous peoples and acknowledge their traditional ownership through a Treaty they signed decades ago.. The list goes on..

Now I’m sure some will read this and say, if I like NZ so much, why don’t I move there? Sure enough, with such a progressive approach, even with a conservative government for the previous four terms, it is tempting, but I love my home country of Australia. I want to see Australia progress past all of this political nonsense, and actually come to the forefront of progressive countries around the globe..

I used to think the mindset in Australia was due to our isolation from the rest of the world, but reflecting on NZ’s accomplishments, I’m now not so sure..

In any case, I hope we can look up to our neighbours, rather than down; appreciate their magnificent political achievements and not only follow in their footsteps, but catch up to where they are at present.

– Ban Live Exports! (even the Indonesian Agricultural Minister has admitted that Indonesia aren’t worried because they can import meat from NZ – FROZEN MEAT because NZ don’t live export: see 6th last paragraph @ ABC NEWS – http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/15/3243901.htm

– Standing up to the US and not agreeing with everything they do.. After all, look at the current state of the USA, do we really want to end up like that?

– Implement a Carbon Tax (to be an ETS)/ETS and start reducing emissions. Invest part of the revenue into a publically-owned renewable energy firm that will invest in renewable energy projects and pay a dividend back to taxpayers, similar to the UK Conservative Governments Green Deal, See: http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/tackling/green_deal/green_deal.aspx OR http://www.neweconomics.org/projects/green-new-deal OR http://www.greennewdealgroup.org/

– Encourage political representation for the Indigenous Peoples of Australia and sign an official Treaty.

– Encourage more political parties to give wider representation to the people of Australia in parliament, and bring about true democracy!

As I commented on another article, I think we should externalise the factions, this way parties can be true to their word and judged on their merit.. Unlike at the moment, where you’re constantly guessing what’s going on with each Union Boss within the Labour Party, and who’s pulling the strings within the divisions of the Liberals, not to mention the Nats that are a faction to themselves.. I admit though, at least the arrangement of the coalition is a step in the right direction of externalising factions i.e. Libs plus Nats..

Labour needs to split in two and form a Red-Green Alliance with the Greens, Libs should split into Turnbull’s side and Abbot’s side, and stay in bed with the Nats.. Throw in a few independents, and one or two more minor parties and that’s what I’d call a real democracy!

Any other ideas?

Don’t wish to be complaining, but I think in these aspects we can do more.. We are lucky in what we have in terms of lifestyle and freedoms, but politically we could be doing more.

 

I should add though.. NZ aren’t perfect.. No country is..
NZ has the same flawed economic model, which has made the country very trade dependent and destroyed the domestic manufacturing sector and limited a high-tech industry.. Similar to Aus, sadly..

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