After the announcement of the Australian federal election, opposition leader Kevin Rudd stated "The greatest risk to Australia's future is for the Coalition to return and nothing changes. I'm offering a plan for Australia's future."
1) Why would we want change?
Unemployment is at terrific, low levels and looks set to fall even further as the effects of WorkChoices do exactly what they're meant to - make it more attractive for companies to hire workers.
The economy is going gangbusters. This drivel about it being fuelled exclusively by the mining boom and that, effectively, Blind Freddy's dog could achieve the same result fails the scrutiny test.
The government has zero debt meaning that a large percentage of the budget does not have to be spent paying the interest bill.
2) What would we change to?
Rudd wants to ratify Kyoto. Our Kiwi cousins did that and now have a half-billion dollar bill to pay. If we achieved the same result then given the size of our economy it would cost $2-$3 billion and do absolutely nothing to avoid, as Al Gore puts it, "a planetary emergency" given China adds an equivalent to Australia's total CO2 output every three months or so.
Rudd's plan is to wind back WorkChoices. Whatever you think of Labor's proposed IR policy the reality is that the election of a Labor government will see corporate Australia pause for thought before hiring new staff. People won't forget Julia Gillard's threat for business to fall into line "or else" in a hurry.
Rudd will bring in high speed broadband. Bully for him. We're all for that but the reality is that it will happen in a year or so anyway so it seems a massive price to pay for a front bench including intellectual minnows like Garrett and Albanese, and class warriors including Gillard and Carr.
Rudd's argument that nothing changing is a threat doesn't seem to be very persuasive to me.