Allan Takes Aim Blog

The wonderful world of politicians’ promises

Posted on: 21 February 2013

The wonderful world of politicians’ promises

 It has to be said that our wonderful world of promises would be even more wonderful if it didn’t have so many people who make major and minor promises that too often they never keep. Unfortunately when major promises are not kept the wonderful world often becomes a world of despair while failure to keep minor promises often makes it a world of disappointment.

Generally speaking, minor promises are made between individuals and they are often made without any expectation of ever being held to account if the promise is never realised. That all of us make such promises should not be used as an excuse. The truth is, we shouldn’t make promises if we don’t intend to keep them.

It is true also that at times not keeping a minor promise can lead to trauma because the recipient believed the promise to be sincere. A common area where this effect can be seen is when one person promises another they will love them forever that the recipient takes seriously but is then broken. The tabloids are often full of reports of a suicide or homicide caused by a false promise. That’s the more serious side of broken or forgotten promises; broken romances that heal quickly are more usual.

But it’s the world of despair occasioned by the breaking of major promises that interests me. Many of these promises are made by government across a vast range of issues both national and international. At the same time promises are made by celebrities who no doubt mean them when they make them without thinking of the consequences, which is why they are often accused of making them in the interests of personal publicity. People tend to think this way because the promises often fail to meet the expectations of the people named as beneficiaries but the celebrities still get the publicity.

My main interest however lies in the promises made by politicians in their efforts to be elected to parliament. For example: recently an election was held for the seventeen positions in the ACT Assembly. Three parties gained enough votes to get them into the Assembly with the final result eight Liberals, eight Labor and one Green the result of which that a minority Government was established by the eight Labor and one Green joining together; whether or not it works remains to be seen.

I mention the ACT only because the same situation occurred at Federal level in 2010, the only difference: it was combination of Independents and Greens that allowed Labor to form a minority government. That situation prevailed until yesterday when the Greens walked away from the agreement they signed with Labor. I mention it because it has greater relevance at the moment due to the fact that Prime Minister Gillard has announced an election for 14th September.

Putting it politely, the performance of the Federal Government is not something to write home about. Since taking office in 2010 the Labor Government’s performance has been a litany of disaster The asylum programme for refugees has become a money making venture for criminal people smugglers who risk the lives of desperate people in search of a better life while  promised education funding plan and dental care for children are still mysteries.

The litany of failed promises is too long to print. Examples: the NBN, Pink Batts, BER, Carbon Tax, and Child Care Subsidies the thought of which would have you rushing for a bex, a beer and a good lie down.   Further failures in the litany are:  Grocery Watch, Fuel Watch and the $1 billion Cash for Clunkers

Of particular interest to me is the promised but unfunded National Disability Insurance Scheme which, when announced, I welcomed in my Chronicle newspaper column. Since that time however, it could appear that before my peer group (the over 65s) will ever benefit from it we’ll be pushing up the daisies.

While shortening the litany of Labor disasters in the interest of readers’ sanity, it would be wise to get ready for the coming Federal election and Labor’s litany of new promises and decide for yourself how many of them you think will be kept.

That said, however, before voting in September, you will also have to judge if you think the Liberals promises are more likely to be delivered.

Blog: Allan Takes Aim;;



1 Response to "The wonderful world of politicians’ promises"

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