I worked the first 15 years of my career in small-to-medium sized enterprises. As a senior strategist and 'right-hand man' to three different managing directors in three different firms, I saw up close how to (and how not to) run a small business.
I saw the tremendous efforts that business owners took to keep their firms afloat, how hard they worked to keep staff on through the lean times so they could be there in the good times, how they sweated on every client's order, and how carefully they managed cash-flow, debt and fiduciary duties.
I also saw that those same skills and practices don't scale up to the level of national governance. Yet that is exactly what too many Liberal-Nationals (and a few Labor) polticians mistakenly assume. And that explains why Australian governments have lost 'the vision thing' over the last two decades.
Yes, its vital for politicians to have a professional career, background and skill-set that pre-dates their involvement in politics. But if they come into government assuming that the national accounts work the same way as their small-town accountancy or legal firm, we are headed for trouble.
I intend to re-awaken Australian politics from the neoliberal slumber of the last 30 years. We need to restore the vision that led to the establishment of great national enterprises such as our public education system, the national energy grid (renewable this time, of course!), universal medical care and mass transportation networks (this time with high-speed rail and broadband!).
But if we continue to allow the small-town accountants to continue to run the show, we'll get none of the above. Instead, we'll see more of the 'going out of business' privatisation sale that we've been subjected to in recent decades.
I want us to once again find the courage to dream big about Australia and Australians. I want to restore a spirit of generosity to the national discourse. I reject the meanness and pettiness that has characterised the policy agenda of recent conservative and Labor governments. If you too share these feelings, please consider giving your high preference to my preselection bid. Thanks for reading!