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Dear Mr Rudd: Ideas for a Better Australia
"Dear Mr Rudd hopes to help resume the conversation between public intellectuals and government, which broke down so badly during the Howard years. It hopes to play a part in suggesting that solutions to our problems need not be framed by the neo-liberal and neo-conservative perspectives that have threatened to dominate public discourse in recent times."
"When I began commissioning the chapters for this book, what I discovered was that, among the commentators I approached, the hopes I felt about the new possibilities that would open up for Australia if a Rudd Labor government was elected were very widely shared. So was its main ambition - to issue an invitation to all interested citizens to participate in the discussion of ideas about how, in this new era, a better Australia might be built."
"During the period of the Howard government, the nation's critical intelligentsia had been treated by government ministers, Coalition backbenchers and right-wing commentators as un-Australian traitors. Unwelcome voices [...] had been, by one means or another, marginalised or silenced."
"With the coming of a new government, in an atmosphere of new possibilities, at the end of the barren Howard years, would there not now be an opportunity for conversation between the government and the nation's public intellectuals and independent policy experts to begin again?"
Paul Keating once said: "Change the government and you change the country." Just imagine for a moment that you were in conversation with the new PM - what would you tell him about your expectations and hopes for Australia's future?
In Dear Mr Rudd, leading Australian thinkers offer essays on key areas of interest: climate change, the economy, human rights, the republic, water and much more besides. Each letter is passionate and imaginative and will create discussion and debate. On the eve of the Australia 2020 summit, here is a set of new ideas to provoke and inspire - not just for our nation's leader but for all Australians.
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