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More Than Luck: Ideas Australia Needs Now... Edited by Mark Davis and Miriam Lyons

The Centre for Policy Development, an Australian based progressive policy think-tank, has produced its first hard copy book ‘More Than Luck: Ideas Australia Needs Now’. It’ also available for free pdf download at their website ( www.cpd.org.au ). The book is a collaboration by policy analysts and public figures from a diverse range of backgrounds with the unifying thread of promoting progressive, practical and solution-focused policy to Australia’s social, sustainability and economic problems. The book goes beyond the usual criticisms of current policy blunders and political incompetence to actually provide constructive criticism and viable solutions to the often complex dilemmas our country is facing and will face in the coming years.

The book challenges our current government to adopt strategies which go beyond the mere ambition of re-election, and to actually implement policy which affects real change and is progressive enough to break free from the current political climate of pandering to big business while not wanting to upset voters from the middle-class mindset. It challenges Gillard to actually make Labor stand for something, which for those of you who have watched Labor’s performance over the past few years will welcome with open arms. The book doesn’t just target the government, but also emphasizes the role the Australian public has to play in progressing change- “When we stop paying attention to politics we make it easier for politicians to stop paying attention to us”.

The content of the book itself is very easily digestible. Chapters are brief and focus on specific policy areas such as education, human rights, the economy, sustainability, Indigenous issues and strategies for strengthening democracy in Australia. Highlights include a courageously innovate new system for Medicare, addressing social apartheid in our schooling system, and an analysis of the implications for Australia not having a Federal Charter of Human Rights. Also of note is a sobering expose of the current policy toward asylum seekers and the media fed frenzy surrounding ‘boat people’.

Overall this book is a breath of fresh air in what has been a particularly stale period in governmental policy. The main challenge will be for the ideas put forth in the book to be widely disseminated enough to have an impact. Having great ideas is the first step, but getting politicians to adopt these policies and think beyond the framework of the 3 year election term will require some considerable effort...

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Comments

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