Archive for June, 2011


Feel like Politicking?

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A few months back a family friend asked me or wondered out loud what my political bent was. The question popped back into my head while I had the ABC’s Q&A Gen Y edition running as background noise on Monday night. I said back then when asked, that I didn’t really follow politics and didn’t really have a preference, but this was not entirely true and was more evasiveness than an answer. Because I didn’t really want to get into some discussion about politics or justify why I supported the side of the political line I do. Firstly I think the whole idea of following a political party and debating the policies is a pointless exercise and secondly because I think our choice in support is a rather limited choice at best and I have my doubts as to whether we really have a choice at all. But for the record I swing between the Greens and Labor and have been voting Greens at the majority of Elections in the last few years, unless there is a direct threat that the Liberal Party might gain parliament, then I vote Labor. The last election was a Labor vote because the idea of having Tony Abbott as Prime Minister was a chilling proposition and not something I wanted to live with for the coming 3 to 4 years. But if I was pressed on why I have a preference for Labor, then I’d have no better answer than, because it is like Religion. We follow the political party our parents support, in much the same way we follow our parents religion.

We won’t often see a person that was raised with Christian based belief system then having an apostasy and turning to Islam. Same with politics, perhaps apostasy in politics is a more frequent occurrence than with religion but as a general rule the politics you grew up with will be the same you stick with. I could be way off the mark here but it seems a reasonable supposition as any. For the most part we live in an apathetic society and elections aren’t really anything more than an inconvenience to a great many people and although there are swinging voters who may base their decisions upon the policies being marketed come election time, I think a lot of voters are life time supporters of the party they belong to by birth and won’t ever change their vote regardless of the political policy being put forward. I grew up in Labor electorate and for the most part I remain in a Labor electorate, so I’m like the lifer in a lot of ways. If I grew up on the North Shore I’d more than likely be a Liberal Party supporter. It’s a simplistic view but as a rule of thumb it’ll work for the majority as well I think. Besides, I think the better part of any electorate has little faith that what is being flogged as policy during election time will transpire into policy during the course of the term of Government. I think we can safely safe that politicians aren’t exactly the most reliable people to keep their promises and are known to bend the truth, just a little.

My lack lustre and rather apathetic swing to the Greens is more a statement of my total lack of faith in Government and a wish for a change in the paradigm. A paradigm that has grown tedious and obnoxious, my vote reflects this attitude more than it directly supports the Greens policy. I do think environmental issues need to be more directly addressed with firm policy and not the current soft approach that treads carefully around the issue so as to not jeopardise re-election, which is the downfall of the system we have. There can never be any long term vision because policy is ephemeral, perpetually on the precipice of being overturned by the next in line. Perhaps big policy decisions ought to be put to a republic vote, a referendum conducted, which no Government could overturn. If we’re to rely on the Liberal/Labor paradigm then we may as well stop all discussions on the environment and any other major issue and continue on our merry way. Pissing about politicking carbon taxes is merely obfuscation. I support a carbon tax if the money is used to actual fund renewable energy research and implementation but in a more realistic view, the money will just be pissed away on bribing voters come election time. The whole political system is more about these bribes and middle class welfare than actual governing. It really doesn’t matter which party is in Government, for me at least, because as a SINK (Single Income No Kids) I’ll be paying more in taxes than my dual income with kids, fellow citizens. I’ll get shafted which ever way I swing my vote.

I dislike that we only really have two parties that we can effectively choose to govern the country and I say govern rather broadly, when what happens is not Government but pandering to voters with misinformation and politicking while the real masters, Big Business decides the true policy agenda. I wish the Greens would win an election, If only because the bickering between Labor and Liberal becomes a tiresome and tedious circus, which we are exposed to on a daily basis. For the most part, it is merely a bunch of clowns running a show of one-upmanship and finger pointing without making headway in finding solutions to the real ills of society. Having a change in the politicking happening on Late Night television would be a change for the better and if the Greens were in power it would be at least a tri-party circus and might actually be entertaining rather than the bland see through politicking that the current two party farce exhibits and has the nerve to call itself politics.

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