Allan Takes Aim Blog

The dizzying world of politics

Posted on: 25 April 2012

Published in The Chronicle Canberra, Tuesday 24 April. Published online Wednesday, 25 April at:

With political football now an international game played in virtually every country in the world, many people interested in politics who tried to keep their eyes on the political balls being kicked around in the games played in the global political arena would, in all probability, have experienced serious bouts of dizziness.

The reason: across the globe, free speech and democracy do not enjoy the same popularity they have in Australia, while the quality of politicians in countries without these gifts is often questionable. Nevertheless I hope that, over time, as free speech and democracy make their presence felt, the quality will improve. But I also have another hope: as the quality of the political players in these countries improves, I hope not too many of them try to model themselves on some of Australia’s well known political players.

So who should be their model? Should it be the soon to depart parliament Green Senator Bob Brown, thought by some to be a man of integrity and exemplar of the good politician, who, over the years, has shown considerable political skills? Indeed some environmentalists think him a political saint while less fanatical people see him more as political sinner and anti-progress politician who would keep all Australians deprived of the benefits that resource mining and nuclear energy can bring.

He talks much about equality which sounds strange in a society that boasts of its egalitarian status. And writing as someone who, when young, lived at the bottom of the wealth ladder and once climbed it not quite to the top, but now again if not quite at the bottom, close to it, Senator Brown’s solution of taking from the people who have grown rich from mining to give to the poor, will turn Australia into an even more unequal society.

I’m not sure how much experience Senator Brown and his supporting coterie of environmentalists know about being poor but take it from me that having grown up poor midst a community of poor people, most discovered that in return for the charity legalised by politicians as welfare they were expected to vote for them. Effectively they were being asked to take a bribe.

But enough of Senator Brown: what about Labor, Liberals and The Greens at the next ACT election? As an apolitical citizen, my hope is that the next ACT Government will not be composed of elected but often inadequate members who owe their position in The Assembly to leaders of party factions. In truth, faction leaders are really gang leaders who control inadequate members some of whom some succumb to a form of Stockholm Syndrome.

So which party do you think will form the next ACT Government? Will it be Labor, Liberal or The Greens or will the current system that some people have labelled a dog’s breakfast continue? With Australian politics in a chaotic state, who can say?

In the ACT and despite Government after Government promising cure to the problems of transport, education, health, housing – with particular emphasis on homelessness – and planning and despite streams of letters to the editor, the problems remain. Indeed as I look back over the years, I have no great confidence in that whosever forms the next government will solve them particularly if the ACT ends up with a Government where the green tail is again wagging the government dog. Not that I would be happier if, should the government change, the tail of the developers’ mutt wagged the government dog.

On the other hand I would be happier, if the ACT’s apathetic voters showed their alleged political savvy and said it’s good government we want, not a political club where politicians want to show how good they are at slagging opponents, of which a good example is the recent pot calling the kettle black slanging match about the time sheets of people employed in the office of the Opposition Leader.

While the Opposition Leader was guilty of poor management, nevertheless it mystifies me how time sheets in the Opposition Leader’s office ever became a Freedom of Information issue and media story, when the previous Chief Minister had the same thing happen in his office but without mention by the media?
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14 Responses to "The dizzying world of politics"

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