Sunday, October 17, 2004

Constitutional power and health care

Right from the start, let me admit I didn't get such a good grade for a recent essay on Consitutional powers. I am no authority and am happy to be corrected, but as I understand, the Commonwealth can only legislate on subjects for which it has the power to do so under s51 of our Constitution.

Apparently, our federal government is sick of being blamed for poor State management of health and education. The solution? A more 'interventionist' policy. According to the Herald-Sun (which the reader believes at their peril) John Howard is planning in his fourth term to sort this mess out by telling the States how to run a hospital system and school curriculum.

Again, correct me if I am wrong, but does our government realise they have NO power to legislate on health or education? Incidentally, this is why State governments run hospitals and schools as it is, because the federal government is simply prohibited from doing so.

I would suggest that if the federal government was allowed to be 'interventionist' in health and education, it would have been doing some major intervening a long time before Mr. Howard and his bright spark friends came up with that idea!


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