Political excitement and razzle-dazzle from Nick Xenophon

Potential kingmaker Nick Xenophon has named his policy priorities for negotiation with Labor or Liberal to form a government after the July 2 election


And what a riveting listed it is. Just stuff to inject some passion into the death march towards July 2.  But has he really been able to tap into what voters are most concerned about.  Perhaps these are just “sleeper issues” and will burst into prominence in the last two weeks of the campaign.

First on Senator Xenophon’s list is a demand to change the basis for government purchasing decisions. He has long advocated a preference for local procurement.

Second is a demand for greater transparency in government.

Third is Senator Xenophon’s original cause on entering politics 20 years ago, gambling reform

His fourth demand would be to change the emphasis in health care towards more preventative measures.

Finally, in schools policy he wants to find “how to empower teachers to be better”.

Nick Xenophon has created a political brand around championing the less high profile but often important issues. But it has been a tactic that has been based on political expediency and opportunism. He works with what is available. This is not to say he’s not a highly principled politician. He is.

But this list of priorities really condemns him to the category of nothing more than a political irritant, someone who is not taking a stand on the important issues of the time such as climate change, how much Australia is prepared to pay for it’s health and education systems and the role of equitable taxation.

Nonetheless, there is a chance he will have seats in the lower house and will undoubtedly be exerting exceptional influence in the Senate. The difficulty is that voters do not know where you stand on major political issues.


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