A Week in Politics – A Cry of Frustration

Oh but I am so tired of politics and I bet I’m not the only one.  I work in the Australian Public Service and have done so for many years.  I understand the differences between the political parties and they way they are organised and I have quite a few friends and acquaintances who had regular contact or worked closely with those in the Prime Minister’s offices. So I feel I have a bit of an insight as to what goes on.  And I will say up front I’m a Labor supporter because I like their overarching social policies.

That said, like many I’m sick and tired of watching the media circus that politics has become.  The five second sound grabs that are then mulled over ad nauseam by the media, interpreted by other politicians and used as footballs to curry favour with the Australian voters. It overrides all the hard work that goes on by the often denigrated ‘bureaucrats’ to do things right and provide advice and policy implementations that are good for Australia as a whole – those policies the elected government want implemented – whatever political flavour they are.

Politics is a difficult profession.  It seems to me many start out their careers with worthy ideals and the notion of doing something good for Australia. But to do so they have to be in positions of power.  To get there they have to make deals with other politicians who want different things – they make deals and compromises that eventually start to erode their fine ideals.  A perfect example is the last election – Ms Gillard, whom I respect, had to make quite a few concessions to the independents to gain Labor its win.

So a party and its leader get into power, and they start to implement the policies that the Australian public voted them in for.  At that stage they have to get their legislation through two houses of Parliament.  This is supposed to be the system that makes sure that any legislation is vetted, commented on, etc for the benefit of the Australian public.  But is it really?  Is it instead in these days of instant news and sound grabs the media that has more of an influence than the Parliament?

We voted for the members of Parliament but we the Australian public have absolutely no say in who says or does what in the media.  Yet we are confronted on all sides with loud shoutings from radio jocks who have their own agendas as do newspapers, news broadcasts and various internet and electronic media outlets.  Overall we need many sources of information if we, the public are to make up our minds, but these days it has become so vitriolic and nasty it is hard to see the forest for the trees.

So it goes with the current so-called political ‘crisis’ of leadership in the Labor party.  From what I can garner from friends and acquaintances, there is only a slight chance of a leadership change.  But the whole incident is fanned into being by the media which has little interest in what any political party might have as good news and only reports on the sensationalism of the bad news.  And I suspect the media is used by those who want power to cause the crisis – and may I say from both sides of the political arena.

I just wish our politicians would focus on running the country and not on power struggles and infighting – and believe me when I say that also goes for both sides of politics.  They all say they want to get on with running the country but are side-tracked by all this brouhaha.

I bet if there was a poll that actually sought the opinions of more than 1000 targeted people, enough people to be statistically significant (I believe most polls use about 1000 to 2000 out of 22.5 million which doesn’t seem that significant to me) we might find there is a total apathy toward all this ruckus.

Of course we, the public, are the architects of our own frustrations because we watch, listen and browse the media and they make money providing us with the five second sound grabs, the ongoing commentary and then, like me, we complain.

Do I have an answer?  Unfortunately not.  But it still makes me wish there was one.


Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.Isaac Asimov