Allan Takes Aim Blog

ACT Opinions

Posted on: 5 October 2012


Elections: Democracy’s market place

I wonder what overseas readers and viewers (if any) of ACT Newspapers and ACT TV News programs think about the current ACT election campaign and what the result will be? From the occasional comment it seems they think politics in Canberra are not much different to the politics in their own bailiwicks. I can’t say I’m surprised.

As to my thoughts about the current ACT election campaign the most interesting candidates I’ve met are minor party and Independents plus a few non – front runners from the major parties. Unfortunately, it seems the media have decided already that only front runners from the Labor, Liberal and Green parties are worth talking to.

If so, then how will voters ever know what other parties and Independents think of the ACT’s health services, education system, arts and environment programs, et al, is a mystery as media doesn’t report them in much detail. In effect, The effect of this is that the media is deciding ( barring voters exhibiting a peculiarly human trait of rebelling like sheep being herded into a particular political paddock) what they think the make-up of the next ACT Government should be.

This was brought home to me today as I listened to the Ross Solly show, one of the ACT’s principal political information programmes, on ABC 666 at 8.30 am. The three politicians on the show were: Katy Gallagher, Labor – Jeremy Hanson – Liberal, Amanda Bresnan -Green. And if that wasn’t insult enough to minor parties and Independents, this week’s City Chronicle only presented six brief bios of Molonglo candidates, 2 Labor, 2 Liberal and 2 Greens, Molonglo’s 23 other candidates were left out in the cold. Perhaps next week they’ll be in the warm?

I’ve often heard alleged political pundits say that one of Australia’s greatest values is the right to vote. And it is, if you know who and what you’re voting for. But making sure the “right “is right means that people should be able to listen to or read the policies of every candidate so that they can cast their vote for the candidates they think have the best ideas.

Today, unfortunately, that idea has gone by the board. Elections have now become popularity contests that parties with the most money use to promote their favourites. This process is known as Democracy but, if this is Democracy then, based on my observations, Democracy has been bought off in Canberra. One might say it has gone walkabout.

Even more unfortunately, history shows bought government has never been good government.

dca@netspeed.com.au; http://www.donallan.wordpress.com

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