Friday, 20 August 2010

Poll Day - Australia

Australia goes to the polls tomorrow.
Politics seems to have lost its way
Public opinion polls dictate policy decisions on difficult issues
Elected prime ministers are toppled by their own party
Tony Abbott (Liberal/Conservative) speaks empty rehearsed lines
Julia Gillard (Centre left Labor) seeks to reinvent herself mid campaign
and invokes mysterious notions of democracy to excuse a lack of leadership and courage.
Bob Brown (Greens) sells an idealised vision of the future
Joe Hockey (Shadow Treasurer) can barely cope with the most rudimentary notions of economics
The media ask inane questions and publish opinionated drivel
Debates are glorified press conferences
The old fashioned Town Hall public meeting returns
and is turned into another version of an opinion poll

It's depressing.
Gone the days of my local candidate
standing on the back of a truck with a dodgy PA system
Gone are politicians with ideas and convictions
In their place we have manufactured and cautious campaigns
and slogans slogans slogans
Moving forward; we will we will we will;
Stop the boats; great big new tax;
It's all bullshit written by some computer program
that thinks we're all idiots.
and sadly it works -
many of us are just that
with no grasp of the true issues or the options.

I'll vote tomorrow
I would even if it weren't compulsory.
One pleasure I'll have is voting for Kevin Rudd
even though his party dumped him.
He's my local representative.

The other is seeing my children (in their twenties)
become really engaged with an election for the first time.
(The main chartacters are so absurd they've grabbed their attention -
perhaps for all the wrong reasons)
It's ironic that it's probably one of the worst examples
of democracy I've experienced in a long time.

I'm going to an election party tomorrow night
in character as a politician who no one has heard of.
Another irony there.
This politician is long serving but stands for nothing.
No profile, no position, no name.


Elisabeth said...

Steve, I'm with you on this one. It's been a grim election and yet strangely for all the inanities - perhaps because it feels as if there's so much more than usual at stake - I've noticed more people seem to care.

I'm terrified at the possibility of an Abbott win. Anything else I think I could cope with. But then I think we've coped with worse and we do after all live in a democracy, for all it's flaws, as someone else posted somewhere else.

It could be worse for us. We could live in a dictatorship. The same sorts of places from which so many of the asylum seekers are fleeing.


little hat said...

Elizabeth, If there is a God please let him/her spare us from Tony Abbott. I agree with your thoughts re democracy but I can't be as generous as you towards people who only appear intent on gaining power.

And yes it has ben a strangly transfixing political campaign.

Stafford Ray said...

Do not despair. Our leader, Mr 'turn back the boats' Abbott, has solved the high speed broadband problem. He has pledged $100 toward the development of a pedal-wireless version for the bush!

Sorry Steve, as much as I would like to come to Loani's party, can't be there. Manning a booth all day then up at 3 Sunday to take IXL to Noosa Farmers' Market.

Helen said...

'manufactured and cautious campaigns' .... truer words were never written.

Jennifer said...

I agree with every single thing you said Steve. My blood pressure has risen a little just thinking about it. Politicians and parties have become PR firms' biggest clients, and I'm guessing it's the same there in that it's the taxpayers who are paying for the PR firms to design public opinion polls around the hoped-for reaction and the follow up sound bites.

Big news in the states last week was Fox "News" contributing $1 Million to the Republicans. A "News" company. "News!" I can't understand how it became even legal and why nobody seems to care.

If the same company owns the television station and the advertisers and the PR firms and now the politicians... they used to call that fascism.

Sheesh - you'll be sorry you got me started!