I obviously agree with last week’s editorial by Michael Giles. In fact, only a welded on Liberal or Labor supporter could do otherwise.
It did, however, leave one of its own questions unanswered, a reply to which may have informed the rest of the piece.
The question related to the current crop of Canberra politicians, and pointedly asked “Where the hell do they get these people?”
A likely answer, which wasn’t stated, is that they come directly out of the Liberal and Labor party machines.
Because it has been noted by many observers that a worrying percentage of both parties’ candidates have never had another job outside of politics, and that the only fresh and bold ideas which are put forward invariably come from the dwindling percentage who actually had a life before they entered the fold of a political party.
And this raises another pertinent question.
Could the sorts of reforms that are required to lift Australian politics out of its power obsessed three year merry-go-round actually be enacted by political parties, given that they may spell the death of party politics in general?
I am talking about such things as ending political donations full stop, so that governments aren’t obliged to look out for their benefactors. Also, getting rid of taxpayer funded advertising trumpeting the achievements of the government of the day is creakingly long overdue. Being prepared to look seriously at the “common good” outcomes of negative gearing as it affects the property market for first home buyers might be next cab off the rank.
And then comes the giant of bringing corporate, political and top public service salaries and benefits back down to the more earthbound realities that the rest of us live amongst.
Surely it would only be community representatives who were free of party allegiances who would be able to propose and support the necessary legislation to do these things.
So perhaps that’s where the political leaders of the future need to be found; well and truly outside the moribund party structures which have foisted the current mess upon us.
It starts to sound like an “Independence Movement” doesn’t it, requiring courage, tolerance and good clear minds. Because the community is a wide and varied thing, which will provide wide and varied candidates.
And I wonder whether their first move, once they had the power to do it, might be to ban political organisations.
Full stop, party’s over, and may the last one out empty the pig trough back into public funds where it may actually do some good.
We live in hope, and thankyou to Michael for the lead in.
Roger Thorrowgood, Inverloch.