I don't know why it would be controversial, but Kevin Rudd's decision to hold a summit on creating a vision for Australia 2020 seems to have brought out some of the cynicism that was lacking in certain parts of the community under the previous Howard Government.
I've read and heard opinion such as "it won't achieve anything" and "this just proves that Rudd is a bureaucratic automaton without any vision of his own".
Well, in a democracy, I like the idea of non-politicians setting the agenda and coming up with a vision for the country. It's more democratic to have the public - albeit a select few - actively participate in setting the course for the country to follow. It will be all talked about in public and open for discussion by all.
Under the Howard Governemt, we had a pretty nasty vision thrust upon us and it came from backward thinking and mean-spirited Liberal Party politicians and a shadowy cabal of advisers to the former Prime Minister - not the least, the hypocritical meddling of the secret religious sect, The Exclusive Bretheren. Hypocitical because although their members don't vote, the organisation still felt it had the right to attempt (successfully as it turned out) to influence the Prime Minister himself, and Government policy in general. All the backroom manouvering and deal making done out of the public's gaze.
Now, under a Rudd Labor Government, we see an inclusive group of people who are experts in their field, discussing a way forward for Australia. Co-operative politics we haven't seen in this country since Bob Hawke was Prime Minister.
Australia will be a better place for having the sense last year to end the Liberal "dark-age" and herald a new sunny era in Australia.