The Queensland State Premier Anna Bligh visited the Governor this morning asking that Parliament be dissolved and an election be held on 21 March 2009.
This action is totally within the rules and part of the strong democratic system we are privileged to operate under in this State and in this Country.
But, is it morally corrupt?
Premier Anna Bligh took over the top job from Peter Beattie about 20 months ago so this will be her first time facing the election as Premier.
Premier Bligh has for 20 months been repeating over and over her commitment to run a full term. A full term would see an election in September.
Now, I am sure there are many who would point out that her words have more often than not been “an intention to run a full term”.
In my opinion, Anna Bligh has treated the electorate like brainless idiots. There is no doubt in my mind that she has wanted us to believe she will run full turn.
However, things are tough and are to get tougher. For one, unemployment will almost certainly rise and rising unemployment affects a Government electoral chances. As Prime Minister, her Labour colleague Bob Hawke was successfully re-elected on several occasions despite a severe unemployment. He didn’t run from the issue, he addressed it and communicated with the electorate. Among other things he restructured the automotive industry and manufacturing in general. He developed a compulsory savings system via superannuation and kept wage inflation to a competitive level via a structured arbitration system that kept lost work days to a respectable level.
In Queensland, we will go into a period of political inaction due to an election we should not be having yet. Government freezes during an election, decisions cannot be made and implemented at a time we need a Government actively with its hands on the levers supporting and communicating with business and employees. We do not need 5 weeks of political rhetoric and game playing.
And one other thing, Parliament was due to sit next week and now wont be.
Last Thursday, the state Treasurer Andrew Fraser together with Anna Bligh announced that the State was to have an estimated deficit of over $1 billion for the 2008/09 financial year. When you consider the original estimate was for a surplus of $800 million, revised in December to $54 million, this is a drastic turn around. By calling the election now, the Government is avoiding Parliamentary scrutiny.
The calling of an early election after leading the electorate to believe she will go full term together with avoiding the scrutiny of Parliament over the deficit leads me to have severe doubts about the credibility, leadership skills and courage of Premier Anna Bligh.
The question I therefore have to address is – “Is this the type of person I want to trust this State too during a period of tough economic circumstances?”
Right now, I am inclined to think she lacks the character to do the job.