Allan Takes Aim Blog

Politics: a cynic’s view

Posted on: 1 August 2012


The Chronicle. Published online every Wednesday at: http://www.chronicleonline.com.au

No doubt people who say politics is more soap opera than drama would have had their worst fears confirmed by the political goings on at both Federal and Territory level over the past few weeks. Doubtless too, people who think Australian politics have descended into farce would also have had their worst fears confirmed. Unfortunately, apart from the aforementioned, the worst fears of many categories of pensioners and others would be confirmed also as they contemplated how the CO2 tax, announced in the budget and brought into use on 1 July, would affect many aspects of their day to day living.

Indeed one very irate lady telephoned me to say that, despite the monies being paid to compensate voters for the increased living costs caused by the CO2 tax, disadvantaged voters would become even more disadvantaged while some who previously had not been disadvantaged would now fall into that category. She then went on to say if that wasn’t enough, when she heard the Administrative Tribunal had given federal politicians another pay rise of 3% to add to the pay rise it had given them earlier in the year, clearly they were not going to be disadvantaged.

But I find it disturbing that despite rhetoric to the contrary, politicians of all hues do not seem to be able to discard quickly enough the idea that we live in a participatory democracy where government heeds the voice of individual voters.

Instead, our once participatory system has been hi-jacked by political parties, controlled by ideological elites, who listen to individual voices only when it suits them while creating the following outcomes.

Outcome 1: Politicians are now held in poor regard by voters due to their failure to honour promises. Outcome 2: Political parties have become so riven with jealousy they form into factional ideological elites who while preaching tolerance are intolerant of beliefs other than their own seek.

Outcome 3: The agendas of each faction take precedence over the interests of voters. Outcome 4: When and if elected to government, the various factions combine to form a quasi but uneasy dictatorship.

As is usual with dictatorships, quasi or otherwise, many of its members become so seduced by the power given them by the dictatorship that keeping power becomes their all-consuming goal. In pursuing that goal and in an effort to give the impression they care for voters, from time to time they offer them titbits in the hope that not only will the titbis cover their intolerance but also their government’s mistakes.

Although a-political, I confess to sharing the view of many soi-disant political cognoscenti and commentators that the current quasi dictatorship seems set to lose power despite having followed the titbit route and a style of government based on the Robin Hood myth that robbing the rich to pay the poor will ensure success

Titbits apart, many people might take view that the government has practiced the opposite of the dictum attributed to Cicero in 55 BCE that: “the budget should be balanced, the treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt, the mobs should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence.

Based on the actions of Government action since the last federal budget, I can only conclude that the PM and her various Ministers are unfamiliar with Cicero

At the same time the Government’s actions detract from the message once used to attract migrants to the land of the Fair Go, where success is encouraged. Indeed on behalf of the Australian Immigration Department I was interviewed by Jonathon Aitken on Yorkshire TV in December 1968 as to why I was going Australia and why migrant James Jupp had returned to the UK. My answer: I was going because of the opportunities. As I recall, Jupp returned because he didn’t see why someone with his educational qualifications had to work in a menial job.

On the other hand and in keeping with my a-political stance, the time has come for the alternative Federal Government to show how its policy differs from that of the present government.
dca@netspeed.com.au
The Chronicle, For Canberra’s best community news. Press copy published every Tuesday. Online copy published every Wednesday at: http://www.chronicleonline.com.au

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