What would your 75 ideas to “reshape the political culture” be?

“Inspired” by the Institute of Public Affairs’ 75 Radical Ideas to Transform Australia, Ben Eltham has made his own list of ideas that would make Australia a more progressive and fairer place.

It is actually a really good exercise to try. Quite often those on the progressive side of politics know what they oppose but find it much harder to articulate what they want. By jotting down your ideas, you get a sense of what your own policy programme would look like and what you would prioritise.

I started writing my own quick list of “radical ideas” in response when the IPA first released their piece. My 75 ideas were: 

  1. Abolish stamp duty and have a state-based land value tax to help fund public infrastructure and services
  2. Introduce a Progressive Estate Tax
  3. Abolish negative gearing
  4. Eliminate the childcare rebate and introduce universal early childhood education
  5. Increase the Medicare levy to fund universal dental care
  6. Eliminate the private health insurance rebate
  7. Make all income tax returns public
  8. Abolish the Senate & Upper Houses and introduce Hare-Clarke into Lower Houses in all Parliaments (where it does not already exist)
  9. Give employees co-determination over their workplace
  10. Introduce employee and consumer elected representatives onto Boards of State Owned Enterprises
  11. Make study leave a legislated right
  12. End mandatory detention and offshore processing
  13. End superannuation tax concessions for the wealthy
  14. End the funding of private schools and reinvest funds into public education
  15. Roll back copyright and intellectual property and only allow it in limited circumstances
  16. Legislate for at least six weeks annual leave
  17. Remove restrictions on secondary boycotts
  18. Legalise industrial action outside of bargaining periods and on non-industrial issues
  19. Make May Day, Eureka Day and Federation Day public holidays
  20. Allow optional voting from age 16
  21. Mandate the use of participatory and deliberative mechanisms in policy making
  22. Make TAFE and university education free
  23. Abolish the states & local councils and introduce regional and city government in its place
  24. Introduce a Robin Hood tax
  25. Introduce super profits tax on all mining companies and banks
  26. Introduce a Constitutional Bill of Rights
  27. Become a Republic with the Irish Presidential model
  28. Rewrite the Constitution to clearly delineate the division of powers between the Commonwealth and lower tier governments
  29. End the Northern Territory Intervention
  30. End compulsory welfare quarantining
  31. Sign a Treaty with the first Australians
  32. Introduce laws that stop media concentration and ensure media pluralism
  33. Introduce portable bank accounts
  34. Establish a new government-owned bank
  35. Introduce an Equality Act that incorporates all anti-discrimination legislation with a new strategic duty to reduce socioeconomic inequality, provision for equal pay audits and protection against dual discrimination
  36. Introduce congestion charges in CBDs with all revenue reinvested in public transport
  37. Restore indexation of fuel excise
  38. Getting utilities to embrace decoupling and incentivise retrofitting to improve energy and water efficiency
  39. Close the gap between corporate tax and top marginal income tax
  40. Reform capital gains tax by eliminating the 50% discount
  41. Abolish the baby bonus
  42. Create a single welfare payment with increased top-up payments based on individual circumstances
  43. Return employment services to the Commonwealth Government
  44. Strengthen privacy laws to ensure individuals control their own information & it cannot be a condition of use by corporations for products
  45. Expand the number of Commonwealth supported postgraduate places to make it more accessible
  46. Subsidise the part-time learning of foreign languages for adults
  47. Make it a right to request family friendly flexible work hours
  48. Remove restrictions on union bargaining fees and union shops
  49. Legislated rights for union delegates
  50. Make public transport free
  51. Campaign finance reform that allows participation of non-individual entities but does not allow the dominance of money
  52. Create a National Investment Bank
  53. Introduce a portable leave bank for all workers (personal, long service and holiday)
  54. Automatic and election day enrolment
  55. Elimination of fees to run for elections and lowering the number of party members required for political party registration
  56. Increase International aid to 0.7% GNI
  57. End the mining and export of uranium
  58. Legislate to clearly define casual employment and ensure there is a pathway to permanent employment for those in casual and part-time positions
  59. Extend the paid maternity leave scheme to cover give both parents equal paid leave for 52 weeks
  60. Return all monopoly infrastructure (e.g. poles and wires, water) to public ownership
  61. Link public funding of political parties to public transparency and enforceable internal democratic procedures
  62. Abolition of the efficiency dividend
  63. Make flextime the norm for all employees
  64. Remove the exemptions for religious organisations from anti-discrimination legislation
  65. Immediately legislate for marriage equality 
  66. Allow non-binding intiative and referendum
  67. Remove the requirement of where the national capital must be from the Constitution
  68. Supporting the creation of an international public ratings agency
  69. Creating a Chief Social Scientist position
  70. Give the Commonwealth Government sole power over water
  71. End the commercialisation of SBS
  72. Legislating for living wages
  73. Strengthening the rights of tenants
  74. Introduce pre-committment restrictions on gambling
  75. Give the Fair Work Commission the power to compulsorily arbitrate, not just concilliate, where agreements cannot be reached during enterprise bargaining negotiations

Thoughts and comments are more than welcome. 

You should try writing your own list too.


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