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Now you see it …

THE Gallop Government’s backflip on the premium property tax was a refreshing victory for common sense.

It’s a pity, though, that it probably only came because a Federal election campaign was under way and a silly move by the State Government was hurting Kim Beazley’s hopes of becoming prime minister.

Perhaps this result is the only good thing about the extremely short political terms that we work with.

Australia seems to be constantly in election mode due to the short cycles we have compared with many other countries, where a four-year term is standard and five years is common.

If you think about it, we in WA have been on election footing for more than a year.

The finance brokers’ scandal, which peaked in the middle of last year, started the phoney war in State politics as the Court Government sought to hold off an election in the hope that some good news would come along to rescue it.

It didn’t.

The WA election in February, combined with the Queensland result at the same time, put John Howard on notice and effectively started phoney war part two, the Federal version.

With the Liberals on the back foot and staring down the barrel of a poll defeat in March, they had no choice but to wait for something to happen to distract the populace.

Clearly that has happened and Mr Howard’s patience has paid off.

There is no doubt he is the best politician we have seen for a long time. Federally, Labor has struggled to make the most of its early lead. It has scored no direct hits and left the Government to make headway using policy, heightened with a touch of anxiety since September 11.

It is a long time to endure electioneering, unless you love politics.

And all this comes when you

feel Governments haven’t been

in long enough to do their job.

The Howard regime has not had enough time to put the GST in place and let it settle down so we can decide without too much emotion whether or not it has been a good thing for the country.

Perhaps it’s time to look at longer terms for Governments.

At the end of the day, we vote them in to a do a job and we should give them time to achieve something. Theoretically, that should give opposition parties time to develop some policies or devise a budget that doesn’t divide society.

A closer look

A QUICK word about Business News’ latest initiative, 40 under 40.

One of the problems for businesses is public relations.

It is seen by many as a boring and stuffy world of suits riding along on the backs of 80-hour-a-week workaholics.

Still others see it as rich people getting richer.

Invariably, those who reach the pinnacle often fail to capture the public’s imagination because the average person can’t relate to them.

Alan Bond, for all his many faults, won the hearts of the population because he appeared to be warm hearted, generous and fun loving. The pity is it was mostly with other people’s money.

Movie stars and sports people have obvious talents that are attractive to many. But in business, we rarely see much of the success story until it is complete.

Without seeing the hard climb, it is easy to assume someone has taken the lift to the top floor.

Hopefully, our efforts to find the top 40 under 40 in WA will help change that perception of business.

By identifying the up and coming talent, I believe we will present a more human side of business.

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