Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

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The Randwick Inclusive Power Sharing Arrangement – a Model for Tasmania?

Now that Tasmania has a 10-10-5 House of Assembly, how a government can be formed and made to work for the next four years in the best interests of Tasmania’s people remains a conundrum.

If honesty and policy alone were to drive the formation of a government, a Liberal-Labor coalition would be appropriate. However both organisations see this as damaging to their “brands” and “market share” (remember, these are businesses by nature and political parties by name only). Furthermore they are determined to prevent the Greens acquiring the status of a formal opposition.

With that option closed, Tasmanians struggle to imagine an alternative to what has failed twice before – an impossibly conflicted and inevitably unhappy “marriage” of Labor to Green or Liberal to Green.

The Liberals’ preferred solution (so poisonous to them they can’t bring themselves to mention it by name) appears to be marriage to the Greens. Labor’s preference is concisely expressed by Peter Tucker in his blog, (Article below):

“The “hard heads” in the parties [he means Labor] it seems to me would prefer opposition than minority government. They think that a couple of years in opposition can then be followed by a decade in power when the minority government inevitably fails.

But what if it doesn’t fail? What if minority outcomes are here to stay?

Politicians have to play with the hand dealt them. Real leaders step forward and make their own rules. They don’t see themselves as actors in some kind of play with a predetermined plot.

The door is open wide right now. Will someone be brave enough to step through?” (and, HERE)

All three parties have young, intelligent and well educated leaders. Are they capable of stepping through the wide open door and making their own rules? One way to do that would be to consider the remarkable innovation put into practice at the local government level where I live in the City of Randwick in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.

For a very long time, Randwick’s local government was dominated by the Labor Party. This reflected the working class heritage of the Randwick local government area, stretching from Botany Bay in the south to the edge of the more affluent Eastern suburbs to the north.

However in recent years Randwick has become “gentrified”, and the local Labor Party has been seen by more and more people for what it is – an arrogant, cynical and self-serving organisation, incapable of modernising and consistently failing its community. As a result, the Greens and the Liberals have gradually eroded the Labor vote.

Following a council election in 2004 for all 15 councillor positions, the number of Labor councillors fell from 8 to 7 and the Liberals (5) and Greens (3) found themselves in a position to end Labor control of the council − if they could come to a workable agreement.

The solution the Greens and Liberals devised is quite different to the conventional two parties-excluding-the-third proposals that are apparently being discussed in Tasmania today.

Instead, the Randwick Greens proposed and won Liberal support for an inclusive power sharing arrangement. This is how it worked:
The Mayoralty would be rotated between the three parties.
The first Mayor under the arrangement was the Greens leader Murray Matson, who became the first Green mayor of a Sydney metropolitan council; it was agreed that he would be Mayor for six months (this was later extended to 18 months).
The second Mayor for the next year was a senior Liberal Ted Seng.
Initially, the Labor Party refused to be considered for the third one year Mayoral term. However the most reasonable of the Labor councillors eventually agreed to participate and he in turn became Mayor for the next year.
The final year of the council’s term was taken by senior Liberal Bruce Notley-Smith.

This inclusive power sharing arrangement has transformed local government politics in Randwick. With all-out victory no longer seen as essential, councillors have had the opportunity to consider issues on their merits.

As the leading councillors of each party know that they will have a turn as Mayor or chairman of a key committee, ambition has been curbed. Each councillor appreciates that advancement and influence will come not from blind loyalty to a political organisation, but from mature conduct, responsible consideration of issues and a willingness to listen to the community.

Beyond changes to the culture at the representative level, Randwick’s Green and Liberal mayors undertook fundamental reform of the council’s culture and operations.

The General Manager appointed at the end of the term of the last Labor Mayor resigned and a professional executive search led to the recruitment of a highly competent, experienced and apolitical General Manager. With excellent cooperation between councillors and management, the council’s finances were reformed, new managers were recruited, operations and customer service were improved and environmental programs were initiated.

After long having a reputation as one of the most poorly administered councils in Sydney, Randwick is today ranked as one of the best.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Does the Randwick power sharing arrangement lead to chaos and stagnation?
No it doesn’t. Randwick city is thriving. The council chamber conducts itself reasonably well and the council’s operations are professionally run. Much of the deep cynicism about local government in Randwick has evaporated.

Has power sharing with the Greens eroded the political base of the Liberals?
No, the Liberals are slightly stronger than they were before.

Has the refusal of most Labor councillors to participate in power sharing with the Greens strengthened Labor?
No, Labor is perceived as a bad loser, uncooperative and an obstacle to reform. The gradual decline in Labor’s support has continued. The Labor councillors who were most disruptive left the council at the 2008 election. On the other hand, the Labor councillors who were cooperative have retained popularity and influence and provide a basis from which Labor can reform and renew itself.

Are the Greens kingmakers? Does this make them arrogant, dogmatic and uncooperative? Are they imposing “loony left” and “tree hugger” policies on the community?
No, the Greens have had policy victories and certainly have influence, particularly in areas such as planning, environmental programs and climate-related initiatives. However they have lost on many issues when Liberal and Labor combine to vote against them.

Has the arrangement given a “leg up” to the Greens, allowing them to increase their influence and their vote at the expense of all others?
No. On occasions the Greens misread the community and had to reconsider policies. Their vote strengthened at the 2008 council election, but not dramatically.

Is power sharing forever?
No. In fact the 2008 council election weakened the power sharing arrangement in a quite unexpected way. The Labor numbers dropped by two with the election of independents at their expense. This has reduced the influence of the Greens by allowing the Liberals to put together majorities with independent and disaffected Labor councillors. This year’s Mayoral election in September will determine whether the inclusive sharing concept can survive. However whether or not the arrangement survives, it is indisputable that Randwick has had four good years out it. Having experienced both the bad old days of Labor dominated Randwick and the inclusive power sharing experiment, I have no doubt the arrangement greatly benefited the citizens of the city, the council staff and managers and the councillors themselves.

Could such a model work in Tasmania?
Certainly Tasmania is a state and not a city council; the range of powers of its parliament is greater and there are more complex and contentious issues than those that are dealt with by local government. However with Commonwealth control increasing in most traditional areas of state responsibility (education and health being the latest), the gap between a small state government and a large and rich metropolitan city is inexorably closing. Arthur Sinodinos, John Howard’s former Chief of Staff recently expressed it thus:

“the health network proposal is the harbinger of the federation inexorably dissolving into a quasi regional model along British lines.”

The gap between a large local government and a small state government can only narrow, and lessons learnt about power sharing in the former can inform the latter as it deals with a broadly similar challenge.

To quote Peter Tucker again:

“Real leaders step forward and make their own rules.”

I believe that the best way forward for Tasmania is for its three talented young leaders and their substantially refreshed teams of parliamentarians to stop listening to the old men who seek to direct and control them.

They should also close their ears to the machine men in the party hierarchies, the spin doctors and all the other hangers on who make their living out of the chronically conflicted, adversarial and uncreative nonsense that is the norm for Australian politics.

Instead, the leaders should together devise an inclusive power sharing arrangement, along the lines of what has worked so well in Randwick, that can govern Tasmania cooperatively in the interests of the Tasmanian community.

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. joey

    April 5, 2010 at 1:53 am

    Phil #15 “Isn’t Switzerland a wealthy country full of happy people?”,

    as long as the trains run on time.

  2. William Boeder

    April 5, 2010 at 1:17 am

    Andrew #23. So far the Greens are the only Party that have stated their willingness to come to the table, so why ask such a tomfool question?

    Debacle: sudden overthrow or collapse, overwhelming disaster.

    Your reference to a debacle is not by the actions of The Greens.
    This self inflicted Lib/Lab manifestation held by each towards the Forestry industry, is nought to do with any other political body.
    State history tells me that there is seldom any attendance to matters raised by The Greens that have been given respectful attention.

    Seek your answers from the people that have allowed this issue to become so out of kilter.

    Your comments have the air of deprecation toward The Greens, so for now, how about you return to your political heroes for their own clever method of digging themselves out of the pit they now find themselves deeply embedded within.

  3. Andrew

    April 4, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    There’s a lot of talk about WHO gets to govern, but very little about what they’d actually do, and surely that’s at the heart of any cooperation.

    The greens talk about being happy to cooperate, but what sort of compromises are they prepared to make on key issues? And a few key issues stand out like sore thumbs. Old growth Logging. The Pulp Mill. Climate change… Actually those collapse into one issue. Old growth Logging. How could they support a government that did not put an end to Old Growth Logging?

    There’s many other issues of course, but mostly they’d be up for discussion. Whereas when it comes to the Logging debacle, the rhetoric is so heavily embedded in the identity of all the parties, that it’s hard to see how cooperation could be achieved.

    So what of this the proposed style cooperative issue by issue style of government? Well, it’s hard to see how it could help the Greens in the one area of their policy that dominates all others. Surely for them this is a road to failure?

  4. Mike Bolan

    April 4, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    Politics is only a contest in the minds of the parties.

    Instead of division, these people could be finding ways to represent us, to deliver on our needs, to assure that the public services provide valued services at a level of quality consistent with the taxes that we pay.

    But they’ve fallen for their own fantasy of themselves as key decision makers, notwithstanding their evident lack of skill and experience. They have become the mouthpieces of the bureaucracies, dooming themselves to explanations of why this or that crisis couldn’t be helped, and what a fabulous job they are doing, or would do if they only had more money and power.

    These symptoms are well known and form a predictable pattern of responses when insecure egotists push themselves into positions for which they are unsuited. Their constant dependence upon the bureaucracy forces them into taking decisions that are not in the public interest. It also takes their attention away from representation and shifts it into ‘explanations’ for worse service and financial waste.

    We’re reaching a stage now where only appearances differentiate the various contenders.

    If we were to measure politicians by results, surely that last decade would be cast as a wretched failure.

  5. frank nicklason

    April 4, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Thanks Peter.
    I think there would be winners but perhaps not in the traditional sense of the word.
    Politicians would clearly be winners.
    As a group they are currently not highly ranked in terms of community appeal and respect. This largely relates to perceptions of immaturity and egotism. This image is created by viewing their performances in Question Time for example. Politicians are generally not seen as trustworthy and delivering on their promises.
    In fairness to politicians theirs is the toughest of jobs. Politics, currently, is a ruthless contest, community expectations are not necessarily realistic, and the media can be unforgiving and sometimes unfair.
    Politicians could be winners if they approached their job in a more collegial way. A more satisfying job with better policy development and better outcomes would surely ensue.
    With better results the professional reputation of politicians would improve in the electorates they serve.
    And of course we, the community, would be winners.

  6. Peter Fagan

    April 4, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Thanks to all who have commented on my article for their positive responses. I am encouraged that this radical proposal has received a fair and open minded hearing.

    As Frank Nicklason #5 has said, all three parties must deal with the outcome the voters delivered:

    “Tasmanian people now overwhelmingly wish for the best possible to be made of the situation at hand.”

    Red Bob #7 counters:

    “In fact, if either major party went into a formal agreement with the Greens they would be breaking clear campaign pledges not to do so.”

    Yes Bob, Labor and Liberal pledged not to do deals with the Greens. But they also contested the election on the basis of an implicit commitment to provide goverment. Both organisations knew they had no chance of winning a majority. If Labor now says they do not intend to contribute to government, why did they even contest the election?

    Frank Nicklason #19:

    “There is another game we can play.
    That game is the win/win game.
    When we engage in a win/win game, rather than experiencing negativity, we have positive feelings such as enthusiasm, attentiveness, interest, and inspiration.”

    With regard to winning and losing, I drew the attention of TT readers to the Randwick solution because it operates on the premise that the election produced NO WINNERS and NO LOSERS. It offers ALL those elected, who neither won nor lost, the opportunity to do what they stood for parliament for in the first place – contribute to the government of Tasmania in the interests of all Tasmanians.

    The Randwick solution lances the boil of highly competitive, adversarial politics by giving each party a turn at providing the leader. In a four year, approximately 50 month term, it would see Nick McKim as Premier for 10 months and Will Hodgman and David Bartlett as Premier for 20 months each. I invite every reader to imagine the implications of that.

    If managerial and administrative reform accompanies political cooperation, as it did in Randwick, the solution can begin the necessary process of transitioning the Tasmania Parliament, and in fact the entire system of state government, from what we have today – a failed, pseudo-independent state – into what I think John Lawrence would agree with me it needs to become – some sort of super-regional council.

    I urge readers to also read Peter Brenner’s article “Co-operate! (1)” published today on TT. This gives an idea of the sort of positive political and administrative transformations the Randwick solution can help Tasmania to move towards.

  7. frank nicklason

    April 3, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    What Karen #17 is advocating is a shift away from the old zero sum game approach to life, or, more correctly, to survival.
    In a zero sum game there are winners and losers. The more you win the more your opponent loses, the sum of your win and your opponent’s loss is zero. The classic example is two small children fighting over a single lolly.
    The zero sum game is where we evolved from. It is the game of survival in a harsh and predatory world. In a zero sum game you have to play dirty, or you might die. It’s flight or fight, the better you are at it the more likely you are to get your genes into the pool.
    Zero sum games necessarily stir negative emotions: fear, anger and revulsion. These were valuable emotions when we were threatened with predation, trespass, and loss. When we experience these emotions our focus is narrowed, we become suspicious and intolerant.
    There is another game we can play.
    That game is the win/win game.
    When we engage in a win/win game, rather than experiencing negativity, we have positive feelings such as enthusiasm, attentiveness, interest, and inspiration.
    Just as negative emotions have a survival benefit so do positive emotions. The evolutionary purpose for positive emotions is an expansion of our intellectual, physical, and social resources. Rather than anger, fear, and mistrust the positive mindset is expansive, tolerant, and creative.
    The win/win mindset more open to new ideas and co-operative coalitions.
    By promoting the of building up of resources positive emotions foster resilience, i.e. more reserve to draw on in times of threat.
    The positive emotions are associated with win/win situations, when co-operation is the order of the day.
    Now is a time when there are threats common to all of humanity and we need to co-operate to build resilience to cope with these challenges.
    The real leaders will be those who choose the win/win approach and steer us away from the law of the jungle which we have been enduring too long.
    It is our choice to make.

  8. P Burns

    April 3, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Whichever way you look at it, 24% voted for power sharing and 76% did not. The public includes as many people with an IQ below 100 as it does with people with an IQ above 100. Thats why you have Brenton Best win an election over a vastly superior candidate in Shane Broad, yet both are from the same party. The population will elect their like and having just spoken through our democratic process they get what they deserve.
    The Liberals have spent the past 4 years supporting the Labor Party in most votes in the Assembly. Why do you think things will change? The State is a mentally lazy state as pointed out above and we have mentally lazy politicians, some just re-elected for the fourth time.
    All of you listen to the voters, they voted for mediocrity and thats what we got. Get used to it.

  9. Karen

    April 3, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Those Tasmanian parliamentarians who offer up their handshakes to those of other colours will be admired.

    It will prove to us where their interests lay – with the future health and success of our very special state. It will show the public that “power plays” are a thing of the past and that “compromise for solutions” are desired for the future.

    If the governor can objectively create the environment to broker such an agreement, he will also be admired.

    Selfish sandpit politics is soooo boring … we’re over it!

    Give us something different and exciting; something we can really be proud of, please, dear pollies.

  10. Pete Godfrey

    April 3, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    The tired old argument that because the liblabs stand in favour of the pulp mill or stand against any power sharing arrangement is just that.
    It is well known that many voters can’t be bothered to even study what their candidates stand for let alone what sort of character they are. There is a well known case of a Braddon member that should show that case.
    The whole situation for me was summed up when an old lady rang up Coxy before the election and stunned me with her statement that ” if it is a choice between a 4 lane midland highway or fixing the hospitals then I will have to go with Labor and get the hospitals fixed”
    Unfortunately folks there are many more like her who have no hindsight or inclination to actually turn the braincells on.
    Voters vote for their chosen team hoping they are on the winning side. No different from a football match.
    Those who want to see things change will have to find a way to get through to people like that old lady. We may need to buy up all the TV stations to reach them.

  11. phill Parsons

    April 3, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Whilst some may read this to guage opinion they will be mistaken to think that only a few have an interest in seeing the a minority government situation work with the best of all ideas coming forward.

    Long has disputation worked to divide but some may have noticed in the health debate at the National Press Club how poorly disputation was rated and how well solutions were. The worm turned regardless of sides.

    Part of McKim’s magic is that solutions based appraoch.

    Diehards can learn but most likely they will remain bitter and twisted from their combat in the theatre of politics.

    Outside of this both those who offer to make it work and those who do will be rewarded.

    Those who obstruct with petty point scoring will have to take the lesson again until they too change.

    Isn’t Switzerland a wealthy country full of happy people?

  12. William Boeder

    April 3, 2010 at 9:56 am

    In light of further comments expressed toward this excellent Peter Fagan article, I offer some additional comment as to the actuality of such as the party policy, when such as party policy becomes counter to the wishes of most whom vote under the banner of this or that party being given the leadership in State government.

    There is also contained in references here and there as well as this initial article, the apparent concept of which party may be mightier than the others when contesting for State party leadership,

    Why must the voters of this State be herded into those particular party policy strategems even though not all those policy strategems are to the wishes or interests of said party voters.

    The suggestion that the best of each of the present (3 political party) individuals, thus be considered to form up as our new government, does have huge merit in its suggestion.

    This is an interesting concept, In that it will shake off and so discard the shackles of the old dedicated heard-headed party approach to form a new, but in fact old government.
    I for one do not anticipate that any good outcome for Tasmanians will arise whilst there are dictatorial old rogues in the form of aging Senators of the ilk of Eric Abetz for instance?

    For without such intolerant incumbent wizards of the ancient party dance, freedoms of thought and new and better considered directions could immediately form from within this newly conceived process, thus to see the appointment of bright new untarnished parliamentarians now on offer today, becoming the ruling 25 of our State.

    Then as the result we will see the will of each sector of our represaented communities given its then warranted discussion, consideration and possible implacement into our Tasmanian government strategies.

    This comment is one that may appeal to some and may also attract critical disregard from others, yet it is not inconceivable, in that it helps to rid the parliament floor of its long term corporate aligned flunkeys that only serve corporate intersts, above and beyond the more important concerns of the State’s citizens.

  13. dave t

    April 3, 2010 at 3:43 am

    Sounds like the Swiss Federal Council. That power sharing arrangement has lasted for more than 100 years. Kind of makes the discussion of the difference between a large local council and a small state moot.

  14. Karen Weldrick

    April 3, 2010 at 2:37 am

    The Liblabs govern for power not policy, which is why we have the current little-boy-spit-the-dummy I-don’t-want-to-play-unless-it’s-my-rules scenario. They don’t really CARE about getting their policies through … they just care about being in power.

    If they DID care about how they were to best implement their policies they would be researching ways of working together to negotiate their outcomes. And there are many successful examples, from Denmark, New Zealand, ACT, Randwick and others, for them to choose from which show this is achievable and stable. They just don’t have the will.

    So, yes, the governor forcing the dummy-spitters to share may be the only solution. I sincerely doubt they are capable of anything more mature.

  15. frank nicklason

    April 3, 2010 at 12:57 am

    Yes Phill that’s what I was trying to say.

  16. phill Parsons

    April 2, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    Nobody knows the answer to the question how many voted LibLab because they said something specific, in this case not to have a coalition with the Greens.

    More specifically methinks Hodgman promised no Ministeries for Greens and Bartlett no deal to share power.

    However almost all Tasmanians want a government that provides services efficiently.

    It is up to those elected to make that happen.

  17. frank nicklason

    April 2, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    Red Bob is right. There is no hard evidence available to tell us whether Tasmanians want a formalised power sharing arrangement or not. It would be great if we could get some, an opinion poll perhaps.
    It seems to me that, at the moment, many Tasmanian people will take what has happened in the past as the most likely predictor of what we are in for now, particulary as the early indicators are not positive. Sue Neales articulated those concerns in the Mercury today.
    I think most people would feel more secure and positive if Mr Hodgman and Mr Bartlett or Mr McKim underscored their recognition of the need to co-operate (if they do recognise that need) with a written agreement.
    As both Liberal and Labor campaigned for majority government on the basis that that it would provide more economic and political security we can assume that they still see that security as a worthwhile ideal.
    Perhaps the leadership will come from the Governor. He may speak to both Mr Hodgman and Mr Bartlett or Mr Mc Kim and insist on a written agreement as a prequisite to Mr Hodgman forming a government.

  18. Karen

    April 2, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    The only party leader to espouse parliamentary co-operation prior to the election, was the Greens’ Nick McKim.

    This, together with the “No Deals” stance of the LibLabs, will prove to the public who to blame if this parliament falls apart.

    There will be no “welcoming back of Labor with open arms” by the public if this government doesn’t work in a few years – there will only be ANGER towards both of the major parties for letting it happen.

    In seems that, if Tasmania’s natural resources had not been treated so badly by LibLab governments in the past, then a Greens party would not have evolved.

    Now there is a Greens member in each electorate, because of an increasing desire among us for management towards a sustainable future.

    Governance for a sustainable future can only be achieved through co-operation between us all, but especially by those in parliament.

    There is NO TIME ANYMORE for a few egomaniacs to sit around in their high castles, forcing only their agendas upon us.

    I want to see ALL of the elected members put their egos aside, by aiming to manage Tasmania with the inclusive, co-operative care it so desperately needs, and with which it can achieve so much.

  19. Red Bob

    April 2, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    I would like to recap Frank Nicklason’s first few comments above because I think he has made an excellent point, though not the one he was hoping for:

    “Both the Labor and Liberal parties campaigned on the basis of seeking ‘stable majority government’ and not doing (power sharing) deals with the Greens. Around 76% of voters chose candidates from one of these two parties. Have, therefore, Tasmanian voters rejected co-operative power sharing between the parties?”

    Frank says he thinks not, but offers little credible evidence to back this up.

    I would not suggest those three-quarters of voters have specifically rejected cooperative power sharing, but nor can either major party claim to have a mandate for seeking one.

    In fact, if either major party went into a formal agreement with the Greens they would be breaking clear campaign pledges not to do so.

    Given there was acceptance from Labor and Liberal leaders of the idea that the party with the most seats or, in the event of a tie, the most votes, should be able to govern, there is no need for a formal deal.

    None whatsoever.

  20. William Boeder

    April 2, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    A Well written article by Peter Fagan with excellent comment offered by Frank Nichlason,

    Such can be the simplicity to solving what is becoming a Party-attitudinal dilemma.
    To all those clingers and parasites that seek to attach themselves for their own gains to such as a political party movement or group, off with their heads!

  21. frank nicklason

    April 2, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Both the Labor and Liberal parties campaigned on the basis of seeking ‘stable majority government’ and not doing (power sharing) deals with the Greens.
    Around 76% of voters chose candidates from one of these two parties.
    Have, therefore, Tasmanian voters rejected co-operative power sharing between the parties?
    I don’t think so.
    The Tasmanian electorate is smarter than that.
    Voters are well aware that election promises are not always kept, even if they are sincerely given. They consider other many factors when pondering their choices, characteristics of individual candidates for example.
    We can be fairly sure that Tasmanian people now overwhelmingly wish for the best possible to be made of the situation at hand. Our future depends on that.
    Whichever politicians are developing and executing policy, that policy must be based on the greater good and have the best evidence and thinking to support them. Decisions must not be made on narrow party, power broker or individual interests. Rock throwers and behind the scenes saboteurs, simply intent on personal and political gain rather than genuine reform and progress, will not be judged well and they face electoral fallout.
    Of course, as Peter Fagan and others have said, political ability and talent is not confined to any individual party.
    The best results will come if the courage to shake off the dogma, legacies and personalities of the past is found.
    Power hunger, self interest, self righteousness and lack of creative, good faith leadership are key obstacles.
    The Randwick experience suggests that the prize is attainable.

  22. Rod Broadby

    April 2, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Obviously the voters are trying to lead the way away from the mess a single party dictatorship created while looking after themselves and their mates. Hopefully the Liberals will get Eric off their shoulders and work towards voters needs and interests rather than continue the adversarial thuggery of the past. We will know who they are, because we will either want them back, or want to get rid of them.

  23. salamander

    April 2, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    How fantastic for Randwick, let’s hope they manage to re-elect such a successful triumvirate.

    Bartlett is a prime example of “two-headed Tasmanianism”, he needs to rethink his priorities if he wants to be part of the changing times.

  24. Wendy Heatley

    April 2, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Enlightening article, Peter.

    Tasmania has a great opportunity to lead the way in Australia by implementing co-operative Government. All the evidence shows that if we are to resolve big issues and move forward the Government needs to work collaboratively – internally and with the community and business.

    In our legal system, the adversarial model has been largely superseded by alternative dispute resolution because it results in better outcomes for everyone. It is time our political system followed suit.

  25. phill Parsons

    April 2, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Hear, here.

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