What choice does he have?

Yesterday, in response to this post about Malcolm Turnbull, and my bitching about his substance free politicing, Lee asked in the comments, “What choice does he have?”. So here are a couple of policies that Malcolm and the Libs can have for free, courtesy of Dave from Albury.

  1. Oppose the National Net Nanny proposed by Stephen Conroy.
  2. This should be an easy one for the Liberal Party to sell. National scale internet filtering will increase costs and reduce performance of every internet connection in Australia, that’s bad for the Libs business constituency.

    Mandatory filtering is a free speech issue, does anyone want the Federal Government deciding what we can and cannot see? This will play well with the large pool of Coalition voters who are still convinced that the ALP are secretly planning to institute communist rule, despite failing to do so during the Whitlam, Hawke or Keating governments.

  3. Shareholder Reform. Make it easier for shareholder resolutions to be included at companies AGMs
  4. Today, one hundred signatures of current shareholders are required for the lodgement of a shareholder resolution to a companies AGM. Bearing in mind how difficult companies often make it to get access to their share register, it is incredibly difficult for anyone who is not already part of a large organised group to put a resolution to their fellow shareholders. Changing this to something like the US model, where all that is required is a $2000 holding, would encourage shareholders to have a greater say in how companies are run. This goes further than Turnbull’s limp wristed remuneration idea as it would allow shareholders to make their feelings known on a range of business practices, eg environmental or ethics policies. Surely this would be a boon to the ‘shareholder class’ that we ‘aspirational’ Australians are all supposed to be joining?

That’s just two policies, both of which fit in with the Liberal Party’s commitments to individual responsibility and a strong free market. They each require careful explanation, which is why I suspect there is no chance that they will be presented to the public any time soon.

2 thoughts on “What choice does he have?

  1. On the first point, I’m pretty sure they are opposing it, or at least ridiculing it as a broken promise of fast broadband. The problem with a ‘free speech’ argument is the counter argument of ‘then you’re for child pornography’ argument. It is the old, support the war or you support terrorist, you are either with us or against us. It is never a foolproof political argument to make, especially when your Liberal base wants to ban a whole lot of things.

    As for the second suggestion, what would this do for directors liabilities? If I get screwed, as a customer of a major corporation, by a negligent decision forced upon an educated board by thousands of dim-witted shareholders (the same dim-witted shareholders who voted for Howard), who would be responsible? Could HIH just say, the shareholders could have voted to stop this and they didn’t?

    I’m assuming that laws will have to be created to either give the board a line of veto or indemnify them against any actions arising from such a resolution. If shareholders vote in the way that you maintained in your last post, then surely the board would seek to hide behind the cover of a ‘shareholder mandate’ when making questionable decisions.

    Shareholders are rarely informed enough to make critical business decisions. I doubt that many of us could grasp how making a decision on environmental grounds will affect the employee in the storeroom or the share price.

    Ultimately, I think that the problem that you have with Malcolm is the same one that he has: neither of you think he should be a Liberal. He just has to act that way to get elected.

  2. Perhaps we should ask ourselves, what would Turnbull have done differently if he was PM today instead of Rudd.

    He would have ratified Kyoto, said ‘Sorry’, abolished workchoices and made pretty much the same decisions in light of the present economy (if not been a fraction more moderate). One thing additional that he might have done would be to use the economic downturn as an excuse for some much needed tax reform.

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