Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Australian Election, 2013: The choice that really isn’t
I’m afraid it’s time to reflect once more about the sad state of politics in Australia. I’m not interested in the personalities of the leaders of the main political parties. Do I really care if one or both of them are occasionally cranky? Some of the greatest leaders and politicians in the history of the world had personalities that made it difficult to be in the same room with them. Who cares! What I really care about is whether our leaders have a creative vision. The most creative, visionary people in the world, I suspect, are often proper bastards. It goes with the territory. They are also people who are prepared to take risks and take a stand, even if it is unpopular.
Frankly, I don’t even care about huge budget deficits. Robert Menzies was a conservative politician who was prime minister of Australia for a total of eighteen years through the fifties and sixties. Not once did any of his governments deliver a budget surplus. Once upon a time (in a galaxy far, far away) governments sought to improve the life and well being of the people of the nation for which they took responsibility; and they didn’t depend on ‘market forces’ alone to achieve this. In my opinion, the history of the last fifty years is ample proof that market forces do not, of themselves, make this world a better place, and often make it worse. ‘Growing the economy’ simply doesn’t cut it!
We are told that we have a choice in this election, a choice between two visions for the future of this nation. I see a vision from neither of the leaders of the major parties. All I see are managers, potential managers, not visionaries (their other main concern being, of course, to get elected). They are merely quibbling about the details. Here’s a thought. If you were to pop all of our politicians from the two major political parties into a large hat (Bob Katter must have a spare one somewhere), then draw them out one by one and assign them randomly to one of those parties, would we actually notice any difference? I suspect not. This is why many people will no doubt vote for one of the minor parties, or vote informally. We are totally and completed deluded if we believe that either of the major parties present us with a real choice.
There is just over a week to go to the election as I write this, and it is all pretty depressing.