Allan Takes Aim Blog

Never mind the oracles: think for yourself

Posted on: 21 June 2010


 First published The Chronicle, Canberra, Tuesday 14 June 

Although the time has not yet come to get serious about the people we should elect or re-elect to govern the ACT, the political oracles think the day isn’t far awaywhen we should start to get serious about who we want to govern the nation. However, guided by past experience and because the alleged inside knowledge of the oracles has not seemed to invest them with the ability to prophecy with any degree of accuracy as to which individuals or party should be elected, people might be wise to look for answers elsewhere.

Based on my personal philosophy of not asking others to do what you’re not prepared to do yourself, I took my own advice and set off in search of answers. What did I find? I found almost as many answers as there are fleas on a mangy dog and too many for me to include in this column. But not to leave you guessing, here is a selection.

Answer 1. Consult a gypsy with a crystal ball. Answer 2. Find someone who follows the system some of our ancient forebears once thought infallible: read the entrails of chickens. Answer 3. Ask a Druid Priest. Answer 4. Find someone who knows how to cast rune stones.

If you do not find these suggestions satisfactory you might wish to adopt Answer 5, a practice increasingly popular today: write the names of candidates on a piece of paper, then take a pin and with eyes closed move the pin up and down over the names. When your inner sense says stop, the name over which the pin has stopped is your choice. I am given to understand this system is commonly used for picking winners of horse races. If that is so, perhaps this makes it an appropriate system for picking winners of political races.

However, if you decide to use System 1, if the gypsy’s crystal ball is scratched or chipped the image of the person the gypsy thinks you should vote for could be so distorted and inaccurate that instead of voting Liberal, you could end up voting for the candidate representing the Pro Nudist Party whose sole policy is: Bare everything to the voters!

On the other hand if you choose System 2, to avoid a contaminated prophecy make sure the entrails come from a freshly killed chicken. Failure to do this might mean that instead of voting Labor the entrails might suggest you should vote for the Anti Nudity candidate whose sole policy is: Keep everything covered up!

And though consulting a Druid Priest had been suggested to me, because I didn’t meet any during my search made it obvious that trying to find one would be difficult. On the other hand I did meet a lot of people who spent their time casting inscribed stones. Unfortunately the inscriptions on the stones were not written in the Runic alphabet but in English of the kind that the only result the users would get would be a charge for either defamation or obscenity. That apart, no matter which system they chose the risk of prophesying wrongly is high.   

Although the oracles say the election is not far away, people shouldn’t rush to make a decision about how they should vote. They would be wise to remember the adage: marry in haste: repent at leisure. Indeed going on recent polls I think many who voted to elect the present government are now in a state of political repentance.

This also seems to confirm what I found out during my search for answers that peoples’ cynicism about the major parties Labor, Liberal and the Greens – who also claim major party status – is at a very high level. To put it bluntly: few believe any of them.

People are cynical also because they are fed up hearing parties blaming each other for lack of progress in curing the problems of affordable housing, homelessness, mental health, obesity and poverty et al. But perhaps the most bitingly cynical comment was that those who want to become politicians do it to feed their egos. Worse, if elected, quickly they become exemplars of the ‘I’m alright Jack’ school of politicians.

dca@netspeed.com.au

The Chronicle for Canberra’s best community news. Published every Tuesday

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2 Responses to "Never mind the oracles: think for yourself"

Am happy for you to copy and post it

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