Social Policy

Defining the role of the state

Policy making is closely related to politics, the polis and the rule of the state. It is usually governments that people target when they want policy change, particularly in Australia where we have traditionally expected them to fix our public ills. We have a long tradition of expecting state involvement in areas such as wage fixing, dispute resolution, utilities, transport and creating fairness.

More women in cabinet, but social issues slip agenda

The Julia Gillard’s “focus and firepower to pursue the government’s priorities” do not offer much hope of a political agenda that focuses more on social rather than economic goals. The priorities she has stated clearly are economic growth and jobs. A useful indicator of the way she sees priorities can be gendered reallocated portfolios.

Who should get a government subsidy?

There are a series of political issues at present that show the commentariat and electorate are remarkably confused about who should benefit from government payments and concessions. Are such payments mainly designed to help those in need, or should we compensate people who pay tax for not using the public services on offer?


Stop using the public service as political tools

Government bureaucratic advice that more boat arrivals would cause social unrest similar to the UK riots is both wrong and unacceptable public service behaviour.


Labor losing votes by neglecting social policy initiatives

How far should feminists be supporting Julia Gillard as PM because she is a woman and the first one in this job? I agree she has had some rough rides with some s-xist judgments and criticisms and unwarranted interest in her private life. However, these experiences have not seriously weakened her position as PM but the general direction of the party is a problem she and her supporters don't recognise.


Cox: child care shouldn’t be like dry cleaning, in search of a special offer

How can the federal government spend about $4 billion on child care a year and yet have little or no say in where the services are located or how much they charge? Could it be that a bad dose of neo-liberal market-based funding in the ’90s has undermined what should have been a community service and allowed ideology to override commonsense?


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