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A proposal to amend the constitution to achieve long term benefits

Comments on Robert Gottliebsen “Abbott's controversial new foundation for Australia”, 29/01/2013, http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/How-Abbott-would-lay-a-new-foundation-for-Australi-pd20130129-4DSH5?OpenDocument

While the aspirations are fine, but to me Australia needs more bold and creative thinking.

Perhaps, the most important strategic policy Australia could do is to amend the constitution to achieve two important goals:

1. to enable a stable and more equal relationship between the commonwealth and the states. That will be a lot of work to improve the federation, but the past experience suggests that the federal government has too much power at the expense of the states to be a good federation.

2. to mandate a fiscal framework that automatically constrains any federal government's expenditures and revenue to not exceed a set ratio to the GDP.

Without a hard constraint, government of the day can choose easy and lazy ways as opposed to better and effective ways to govern.

With a hard constraint, political parties will have to compete for better skills in governing and administration, leave the private and household sectors with more resources to use and a better policy environment to be creative and better off.

Australia will be much better off if amendaments to the constitution to such effects are introduced. And the sooner it is done, the better it will be for all Australians.

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