Is it just me or is the political climate in Australia reaching new lows every day. I have heard and read some appalling things from politicians in recent days (actually that’s been happening for months, but there’s a certain intensity to it all now), some things that make me wonder what planet… or what century… our politicians inhabit. It certainly doesn’t seem like they are in the same stratosphere or time period as me. And what is with the media (and a certain brand in particular) dictating to the public what we should be thinking and how we should be voting as front page headlines. Impartial, balanced media I think not!
Having said all this I think most pollies are the same, they all (or the vast majority) put themselves up for such public positions for the right reasons. They want to make our country, or part of it, a better place and have some idea how they think that should be done. Whether or not I agree with those ideas or the ways they might be implemented, I believe their intentions are generally good. In this way politicians are kind of like teachers, whether or not you agree with their style or methods the vast majority of teachers do the job because they want to make a difference to the lives of kids. Some do this more successfully than others, just like politicians.
I also believe that in general and despite what their political opponents, the media and especially radio shock jocks say, most politicians don’t deliberately lie or mislead the public (there are, however, exceptions to this statement…. Howard’s children overboard scandal springs to mind immediately). I do agree that there is a lot said and a lot promised in election campaigns perhaps without full costings or investigations to back up these promises. But it does leave a sour taste in my mouth when I hear the label ‘Liar’ bandied about in reference to various politicians on either side of the spectrum. I just don’t buy it. Don’t we all make promises or commitments which prove more difficult to keep than we first thought. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve promised to get tests marked and returned to a class by a certain date only to have to explain that it wasn’t possible despite my best intentions. And if we’re going to accuse one political leader of being a ‘liar’ or breaking a promise I think the label should be applied to them all. There are plenty of examples from just about every government Labor and Coalition alike. Can we just get beyond that criticism and focus on what is happening, not what coulda, shoulda, woulda been. Understand that circumstances change and so, therefore, do the policies any government can fulfill.
And as for all this stuff about the economy. Am I the only one complete sick of the focus on deficit/surplus, whether we’re in the toilet or flying high economically and whose done good or done bad. And worse whether we can trust the public servants working in treasury. They must be feeling like they’re professionalism is being questioned by the entire country… I think I know that feeling, something teachers deal with regularly. Don’t most people understand that the economy is effected by far more than what happens on our own fair shores and that in a completely volatile global environment making predictions becomes just about impossible. Give the poor buggers in Treasury a break, I say.
In all what I’m looking for from the rest of this election campaign (surely it’s nearly over already) is a discussion on policies that represent our modern and sophisticated society. A recognition that we’re mostly intelligent beings who don’t need all this political talk dumbed down for us. And for god’s sake make it all stop soon!
And…… rant over, happy voting!