Howard's aspirational nationalism is a technique to legitimise the decline of the states. Under Howard this decline is driven by three forces: first, the need to run a more globalised Australian economy and eliminate in many areas separate state regulatory arrangements; second, Howard's determination to impose his reform agenda upon the nation (witness WorkChoices); and third, his efforts to build partnerships between the national government and local community (witness his schools policy, community water grants, Australian Technical Colleges and the effort to save the Mersey hospital in Tasmania).


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