Progressive Essays

Craig Emerson, Bob McMullan and Lindsay Tanner today released a trio of "Progressive Essays". In their words, the essays are "designed to engender constructive debate about new policy directions". The three are by Craig Emerson (on what Labor stands for), Rodney Hall (on arts policy), and yours truly (on schools policy). I’ve posted them below, though regular readers of the blog will have seen an earlier draft of my schools paper.

Download emerson_craig__what_does_labor_stand_for_in_the_21st_century.doc

Download hall__rodney__arts_policy.doc

Download leigh_andrew__a_progressive_case_for_educational_reform.doc

And yes, Emerson and McMullan are still languishing on the backbench.

Update: Media coverage in the Age (ouch!), the Courier Mail, and The Australian.

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6 Responses to Progressive Essays

  1. Guy says:

    I look forward to reading them Andrew. This is the sort of thing that the ALP needs to do more often.

  2. Mike says:


    Thank you for responding to my email on your paper. I was really only typing it as a blog comment. Had I thought you were going to look at it and respond like you did I would have taken a little more time and worded thing a little better.


  3. Mike says:


    I read you paper thinking this will be a typical cry poor type approach. I have to be honest and say I dont have a huge care factors for funding of the arts.

    Having said that in the last year I have attended a performance od WASO and been to the art gallery of Western Australia. So I am not a total heathen.

    Any policy that is revenue neutral and has the impact of getting the money where it belongs has got to be a set in the right direction.

    From a philosophical point of view I can not see that art and science are the same. The pay backs being so different both in fiscal terms and impact on community. I would agree that certian science is so far out there like string theory as to border on science fiction and perhaps it should be funded out of the arts.(Only Joking)

    Arts funding is important even if it is not important to me. We can not let it go the way of the NEA in the us where it is farcical. good luck trying to get the changes put through.


  4. Sinclair Davidson says:

    Why ouch on the Age comments? As a personal observation, I would have thought your brand of ‘US style liberalism’ (for wont of a better term) would be more successful with the electorate than the current ‘Australian style progressivism’.

  5. Andrew Leigh says:

    Sinc, I’m of course in total agreement with you on the strategy point. But for someone who has a big soft spot for the ALP, the line “The call by economist Andrew Leigh closely echoes changes pushed by the Howard Government” still kinda bites.

  6. mike says:

    I have started to write a responce to Craigs essay on several occasions. My last draft of ramblings went on for about three pages. It probably would go on for a lot more.

    The problem is that I start to get incoherant as I ramble on with ways and means.

    My opinion is that it is the faithful driving the party car and no one seems willing to stop and ask for directions. You have to look to the unfaithful to find out what you doing wrong.

    I want you to embrace a theme for me An Easier Road to Wealth and Good Health for all Australians. When you can address these issues you will be on the right track.

    For the record that theme was what I was calling my notes to respond to the essay. I am loathed to really write the paper as I lack the academic back ground of so many of the people associatted with this site.

    I do know that if you can respond to that theme you will realise that it embraces all the ideal of the Australian Labor Party.

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