And it’s our fault. Because we love to see politicians getting their come-upence.
After all the rorting of the travel allowances and all the bad behaviour, is good to see them getting a bit of a public slapping.
Bronwyn Bishop and her helicopters and her egregious rorting of her overseas travel expenditure. Tony Abbott and his travel expenses to cover his bicycle riding and his trips to colleagues weddings. Trips to the polo, trips to grand finals, family trips to various luxury hotels and resorts. Travel expenses equal to the average workers annual salary. Eventually everybody gets sick of it so vengeance and retribution goes down pretty well in the public eye. But it diverts us from important issues particularly leading up to a general election.
In recent weeks, we have seen various acts of revenge and retribution. In some cases we have rejoiced in them.
Seeing Fraser Anning get an egg smashed on his head does have a certain sense of vicarious pleasure. But no matter how newsworthy, it was relatively unimportant. He is just an irritation on the body politic.
The immense discomfort of Pauline Hanson finding her lieutenants James Ashby and Steve Dickson exposed seeking money from the NRA in America must have given pleasure to millions. But they were just a sideshow. As was Hansen’s indignation at their shameful behaviour.
Now she is threatening retribution in the allocation of One Nation preferences. History indicates that they have never been a factor in deciding federal elections. Nor state elections for that matter.
Similarly, seeing Prime Minister Scott Morrison wedged over the question of preferences for One Nation was the case of “serves you right”. But the position of One Nation on how to vote cars is an irrelevance in most electorates and Morrison should have said so.
Unfortunately, all of these examples demonstrate a sad decline in the quality of political debate leading up to a Federal election.
There is no discussion about how we’re going to deal with climate change, about the correct level of carbon emission ( it’s 45%) and when we should retain it (it’s now).
There is no debate about attaining equitable funding for public schools. There is a long list of important public policy issues that need to be addressed by our politicians. And the public needs to know how they are going to be addressed during the term of the next elected government.
Instead politicians focused on relatively unimportant issues such as who was going to be placed where on how to vote cards.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a huge mass movement and everybody who went to the polling booths on election day refused to take a “how to vote card” and said, “No thank you, I’ll make my own mind up. And I’m voting below the line in the upper house”.
And that kept happening in every election from then on at every election