The Rudd conservative social democrats

Over at Catallaxy, Jason Soon is highlighting the conservative nature of the Rudd government.

In this post, he picks up on the campaign being run in recent days by The Australian on the government’s IR legislation, which will have very negative effects on restaurants and cafes. Modern left-familists and 1950s conservatives are united in trying to make life difficult for those operating outside 9 to 5 Monday to Friday (except of course the Rudd government itself, with its absurdly over-worked staff).

In this post, he has another go at the government’s internet censorship regime. I think the outrage in question may rely on older laws, but even 20 years ago Labor would not have been on the side of the censors like this government is.

He could have added the activities of Nicola Roxon, a 21st century version of the 19th century temperance activist.

And let’s not forget that Rudd is outdoing Howard on family handouts.

On the theory that all Australian governments are some mix of conservatism, liberalism and social democracy, I thought this one might be predominantly liberal and social democrat, but at this stage it looks like it is predominantly conservative and social democrat. My two least-favourite parts of the modern Western tradition.

Government and private sectors both closing schools

The 2008 ABS schools data out today illustrates my point that the party in power doesn’t seem to greatly affect the market share of private schools.

In the first full year of Labor in power federally, private schools had an unusually large market share gain of .45%, above the .39% average during the Howard years. Government school enrolments fell in absolute numbers rather than the more usual pattern of recent years of simply growing more slowly than private schools. This was entirely due to government primary schools; government secondary schools recorded an increase in enrolments.

If the number of private schools drops it will actually be continuing a trend in the independent sector, which had a net loss of 1 school in 2008. The state-level data shows clearly that these are net effects. Victoria and NSW gained independent schools, while Queensland and Western Australia lost independent schools.

The government sector lost 18 schools, with NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and the ACT all recording losses.