A Bloomberg writing on Australia’s election was published in the Today paper in Singapore.
I’ve included a copy of it below – you can click on the image iteself to read the larger version, but I wanted to include a key paragraph here.
“The nation’s failing infrastructure, overstretched education system and increasingly polarised economy need addressing, and now. Instead the election campaign is being driven by focus-group research and populism. So lacklustre is the discourse that politicians are competing with Masterchef.”
And yes, the election debate played second fiddle to Masterchef. Probably because most have determined that it is a soup of weak ingredients, that will pander to the public’s taste, no matter if the resulting leadership leads the economy into a shadow of its former self.
Unfortunately, I agree with Charles Waterstreet:
“This country votes with its stomach. Bellyaching is the national pastime.”
We Australians are acting like spoilt children, where we insist that the government must protect us and take action, however we throw tantrums when the medicine or consequences are delivered – running a country takes money, and we should appoint leaders who know how to run a country. The bloke down the pub may bitch about what he read in the newspapers or on the internet, but WTF does he know about running a country. And now our so-called leaders pander to these focus groups???
Australia’s business community is just as guilty – consider the backlash over mining superprofit tax, where businesses can arrange for leaders to be ousted. Yes – let’s increase GST and take the money from the guy earning $400 per week. Assholes.
Our first female prime minister is pandering to the popular vote, and instead of being a role model that women can look up to, her wallowing in the mud with Mr Dick Sticker (aka Tony Abbot) is resulting in the situation as described in the Bloomberg article (image above):
“Since this election is about nothing, lots of focus is on Ms Gillard’s lifestyle. Is a woman perceived to put career before family a good role model, journalists ask. It’s irrelevant to her leadership skills – not to mention unfair”
Sorry Julia (I’m an Aussie – we call our polly’s by their first names), but if you’re not going to stand up and be counted, then perhaps you don’t have the leadership skills. Although this is not one-sided – Mr Dick Sticker is, in my opinion, is as weak and populist as she is, and perhaps that is not surprising… John Howard spending a decade with his head up the US’ arse has probably blinded the Liberal party now that their head is out and they are looking at the sunshine for the first time in ages – and realising that there is not much of it about. But then again, perhaps the population is getting the leaders it asks for?
We can’t really point fingers at government and industry without looking in the mirror ourselves. And honestly, which intelligent, sensible, sensitive and capable person do you know who would volunteer to put up with the crap that the media, heads of industry, other government personnel, and the population in general dishes out?
I love Australia, but at the moment, it’s democracy looks like a high school election of the most popular prefect and school captain. Not a choice of who is seriously capable of leading our fabulous country.