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article imageOp-Ed: Democracy Australian style — Disgusted and angry

By Paul Wallis     May 10, 2019 in World
Sydney - In other countries, elections "loom". In Australia, they babble on for what seems like centuries and simply annoy people. This election faces a totally infuriated electorate.
Australian lack of enthusiasm for this election was so obvious that it even got an article in the New York Times. The article is appropriately called Election Day Is Coming. Australia Says: ‘Meh.’ That’s pretty accurate, and it reflects a complete loss of respect for the political system.
The Australian political system is a two-party system which has been shooting itself in the foot regularly, usually when the foot or feet is in the mouth. Australia has had five prime ministers since 2010, including the removal of three sitting Prime Ministers. That's quite enough you'd think, but there's more… So much more.
A couple of years ago we discovered that many of our sitting parliamentarians didn't even know of which countries they were citizens. Under Australian law you must be an Australian citizen to sit in Parliament. For 18 months, we heard nothing from government but the hideous sucking noises of people trying to excuse their way out of that particular mess.
Most of the preceding electoral term has been taken up with bitchy snitchy political faux pas of all descriptions, including one Australian politician having his electricity bill paid for by a Chinese company. You can imagine how well that bit of news was received.
Electoral non-topics
In fact, whenever anything happens, real or imaginary, it seems to be an excuse for all other subjects to be dropped. That's a bit of a pity, because there are a few other subjects Australians would like to talk about.
Some of those subjects are:
• Truly insane increases in the cost of living, including up to 60% rises in electricity charges in recent years. Businesses and everyone else are getting hit hard. We even had one poor soul in New South Wales wondering if she could afford to charge her electric wheelchair.
• Major increase in homelessness during a period of near full employment. Wages are stagnant, but about the "working poor" seem to be on the rise.
• A huge, truly murderous and persistent drought which is trashing our agricultural sector and sending food prices up. This drought also comes with a dazzling example of hopeless waterway management, millions of dead fish and other aesthetic pleasantries.
• A financial services Royal Commission which had us listening to approximately 3 months of senior bank executives saying they had no idea what was happening. Credibility, zero.
• We are currently having an aged care Royal Commission to finally deal with the decades of complaints from families about truly hideous cases of elder abuse. This situation is utterly hideous, inexcusable, and by rights should be dealt with by firing squads, not the judiciary.
Cost of living is (3.23% higher than the United States) an issue chiefly because absolutely nobody on either side of politics ever addresses practical issues related to paying for things. Prices have gone up across the board, and even for a rich country, they are excessive.
• Education is absurdly expensive. We need a whole range of skills, and we have only so many places in our universities. They simply do not have the capacity to do this volume of training. The reaction was to cut funding by about 50% over the last several years for training colleges called TAFEs.
• Health prices and expenditure are equally out of control, for no obvious reason. We can afford to provide any type of medical services as required, and we are sending people broke getting those services. What the hell are we paying taxes for?
• Taxes are another sore point, but for a very different reason. In the past, taxes were paid to provide services. Now they are paid to provide wonderful subsidies to extremely rich people, foreign companies, and practically anyone who can get their snouts in the trough. Popular, not.
• The environment is another major sticking point. We have the dubious distinction of being the most extinction-prone nation in the world, and things are not looking good.
This is mismanagement on a colossal scale. The simple fact is that Australians simply do not believe anyone is going to do a single thing about any of these issues.
The anger
The anger is real enough. It's a matter of opinion whether any politician on Earth has the slightest idea how much misery they cause on a daily basis, but in Australia, they obviously don't have a clue. Mind you, that's not really defining the issue – They don't seem to have a clue about anything else, either.
Our particularly stupid deregulation and privatisation initiatives have created a whole stack of parasitic environments, in which the public is basically sucked dry. We had a perfectly good, if somewhat clunky, range of publicly owned services. Governments in those days could keep prices down easily. Instead, we sold off all the publicly owned utilities and major cash cows, and then wondered where the money was going to come from. At this rate, we'll need to have full-time auditors just to see how much public money is being siphoned off by these vermin.
It is not saying too much to say that politicians have gone from being merely despised to being actually hated on a personal basis. So little has been done in the last nine years about so many critically important issues that even forgiveness is not an option.
In one of the richest countries in the world, we are now looking at the "American option"– A small collection of extremely rich, useless and vacuous clowns on top, a destroyed middle-class, and a total lack of relevance, let alone competence, at all levels of government. We don't like it.
Governments are supposed to manage countries, not turn them into their own personal piggy banks. No politician is immune to law, and none of these bastards have the right to disclaim responsibility for their actions. It is absolutely intolerable that this level of mismanagement exists at all.
The bottom line is we need vertebrates to run this country. If ideological cowardice is anything to go by, we don't have any. Australian politicians spout their ideological convictions like burst sewers, with much the same result.
Where exactly are these ideological convictions, you miserable bastards? Or are they is meaningless and pointless as you seem to be? We've got enough two-dimensional pseudo-people in media, without paying you idiots to do the same thing, and do it worse.
The funny-ish side
Hilarious in context, some bright soul has managed to introduce a whole stack of the American-style disinformation on social media. Exactly why they think this rubbish will work in Australia is anyone's guess.
We've been watching it for years on social media. Fake news and scare campaigns now have the impact of a napkin being thrown at a Mack truck. Most Australians are quite happy to despise the fake news cycle, and any more of it is reflecting very badly on those doing it.
Also highly amusing at the market demographics being used to persuade Australian voters. It looks like the image of the Australian voter hasn't changed since approximately 1949. In any public space containing Australians, there will be more degrees than a couple of thermometers, and we are still talking about "little Australian battlers"? Nobody in this country should have to battle at all. The only thing "little" about Australia is the very small, fixated minds running it.
Some black humour – Australian politicians are famous for parroting the phrases given to them by their press advisors, usually three or four word sentences. Slogans, buzzwords, and keyword phrases which were probably extinct in 1995 are still very much in vogue in Canberra for some reason or other. That is funny, and It does more or less keep them off the streets and out of the garbage cans. It's not easy to be that out of touch, 20+ years later.
Independent parties of all stripes, colours and polka dots are now infesting the Senate. The Senate has become a sort of synonym for ratbag groups of all types, and in our many recent hung Parliaments, these nutters have a voice. Most of the independents are single-issue parties, with a few "personality" parties with highly visible leaders and a complete lack of talent as their major recommendations. The Senate ballot paper is predicted to be roughly the same size as a football field for this election.
Politics is no more or less than a racket, very much like organized crime, in so many ways. Politics needs government, but government doesn't need politics. The rest of this century isn’t going to be easy, cheap, or simple. The less political dead weight we have to lug around, the better.
Post script: Must apologise for the typos in previous edits. Voice to text, when it doesn't want to work, is much like a political platform - Nothing useful, nothing necessary, and irritating all round.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Australian Federal election 2019, Australian tax subsidies, Australian political issues 2019, fake news and Australian elections, Australian homelessness
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