A 21st century brand of politics

Jamie McIntyre launched his 21st Century Australia Party (21CA) campaign at the Glen Innes Services Club on Monday night, revealing the party’s 24 point plan in front of a crowd of 50 citizens. He outlined his plan to revamp the entire political system, the voting system, and the education system among plenty of other big claims. The 21CA see this as a grand plan to be carried out over the next 10-20 years, streamlining government offices and levels of government, putting power back into the voters hands by allowing the people to vote on-line on major policies, creating an independent board for government spending, and educating people in the ways of finance and the business world.

“There has never been a  better time or atmosphere to enter politics as there is now. There is a big gap for an organisation to come in and disrupt the two major parties and return power to the voters,” Mr McIntyre said.

What he didn’t do was go into any detail about local issues, issues that the New England electorate, where he wants to win a seat, need solving in the immediate future. Issues that will win the seat, such as local hospitals and health services were not locally addressed, doctor shortages didn’t get a mention, roads were not mentioned, children services in the region were not spoken of, and electricity prices were skipped. The fact of the matter is Mr McIntyre had a few good points and ideas in his plan, but he may be jumping the gun a bit, he has to win the very important seat of New England before he could implement any part of his programs and ideas, and to do that he needs to do more than ingratiate himself with the people by saying he is local, and is a farmer. He left the crowd unsure of whether he was fully aware of local issues, and if he did there was certainly no details as to how they would be addressed.

The 24 point plan began with voters getting to vote on all major policy changes, and went through the government spending and the deficit, putting government money in the hands of an independent board, although he didn’t quite know who would vote this board in.

 Education reform is a major policy for the party, especially as Mr McIntyre is an educator, he wishes to “replace the 19th century industrialisation system, with a modern day 21st century education system based on practical knowledge and financial education.” It was also claimed that this major reform can be done without one extra cent of revenue, as well as teachers getting paid more from efficiencies gained and equipping all school children with a tablet at the same time. 

Point number 5 was the abolishment of state governments altogether, claiming that Australia has become an over governed nanny state, and by doing this it would free up billions of dollars I revenue lost in political red tape. Mining tax and carbon tax policies would be overhauled with the proceeds of taxes going back into the environment, Australia Post would become a government backed bank competing against the big four banks to keep them under control through competition, payroll tax would also be reduced or removed for companies with less than 200 employees, as well as lowering company tax for small businesses.

Some policies were quite obtuse and very different in their goals. The 21CA would introduce a fee for immigration that could potentially raise $15billion. The proposal is to charge any immigrants $75 000 to enter Australia, taking the incentive away for people smugglers, with the added extra that immigrants would be able to pay this back over a set period of work such as the Higher Education Scheme.

 Point 12 is a plan to ban cigarette sales to anyone born after the year 2000 to cut back on health costs. People born after this time would still be allowed to smoke, but would not be able to purchase the products. Turning the Northern Territory into a special economic zone was another idea, building a huge city to support the infrastructure needed to turn the state into a giant Asian food bowl was an example.

There was also the stock standard and mostly necessary policies of a royal commission into unions, overhauling the health system, building a high speed rail network down eastern Australia, overhauling the social benefits system, unrolling a cheaper more efficient NBN, and addressing water storage issues throughout the country by building giant environmentally friendly dams. 

All of these policies and a few more were addressed, but addressed briefly and without any finer detail into how they would be funded and implemented, although he did say we could learn how to implement policies from China, as it is something their government is very adept at, as well as saying that we should address environmental issues like China and India do as he believes they are world leaders in that regard. 

Mr McIntyre was not afraid to throw some barbs around, especially at the Labour party, and not surprisingly at Tony Windsor. He even called Wayne Swan a communist on several occasions and assured us that corrupt unions are currently in charge of the country and running us into huge amounts of debt every day, suggesting we may be on the path of Spain or Greece if we don’t do something about it soon. 

The 21CA believe the wealth creators in this country are being punished with huge company taxes and taxes such as the carbon tax, which are inefficient and do not give incentives for business and growth in Australia, McIntyre was also very critical of the fact that Australia is in the middle of the biggest mining boom we have ever seen, and yet don’t have any money put away, and are running at a huge deficit. 

“The biggest issue we face is wastage in all three levels of government, I don’t care which party’s adopt our policies, it is not about power it is about change,” Mr McIntyre said.

There was a lot of talking being done, and at times it did feel like a business seminar. The New England will need 21CA to address the immediate issues in the region immediately if they are to get the votes and attention they are craving at the election. There were some very interesting ideas, thoughts and policies put out there, as well as some dubious and peculiar ideas. Once the detail, structure, and planned implementation of these ideas come out it will be easier to asses, one thing is for sure though, the New England is in for a very entertaining and interesting race for the seat.

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