The Viewpoint - Keeping Pollies off the streets

Friday 25 March 2011

The Viewpoint - Keeping Pollies off the streets


by Mat Churchill

You know what's wrong with the Federal Opposition? Well I'll let you form your own viewpoint on that. My question relates more to the term itself.

Regardless of which political party is in power there is always an Opposition. By its very nature It is their job to oppose the Government, and what a great job they do of it too.

Day in day out at both Federal and State level we see crippling inaction. Why? Because virtually every single plan the Government has, the Opposition is up in arms about it.

The abuse flies across the floors of Parliament. It reminds me of a couple of two year olds fighting over a toy, one of whom only wants it because the other one has it.

Then the scare campaigns start, broadcast over every media medium they can get their face, voice, and text on. We're bombarded with images of arguing politicians (Does Barnaby Joyce do anything other than yell over the top of others?), and the inaction continues unabated.

When was the last time you heard the Government release a policy and the Opposition says "You know what, that's not bad at all"?

Putting a price on carbon is the latest in a long line of issues. On one side you've got Julia Gillard who broke an election promise by planning to introduce a carbon tax. On the other you've got Tony Abbott who yesterday didn't believe the climate science, today he does, and tomorrow, well, he'll wait to see what the polls tell him to think.

The Greens seem to be the only party with any consistency. They established their values when the party was formed in 1992 and have stuck to them regardless of popular opinion.

Now, where was I? Oh the 'Opposition'.

Here are a couple of ideas I'll throw forward for your consideration. Some are never going to happen, some should, and some are just the ravings of a madman:

  1. There should be no political advertising, especially at election time. They are pointless, annoying, and have only two purposes; slag off the other party and promote fear.
  2. There should be no media coverage of politics. That way people can judge on what they experience, not what they see, read, and hear which can be biased depending on the media outlet (just like I'm biased towards the Greens in opinion pieces like this).
  3. The Opposition should be called the 'Reviewers'. They are there to play a more passive role, but if the Government is clearly leading us up the garden path then they can step in and exert influence (no I haven't thought about how this could work).
  4. Politicians should have day jobs. That way they don't become so desperate to cling onto their parliamentary roles that they will do and say almost anything as we see today.
  5. Is there such a thing as a nice, caring Communist Party?

How does the country benefit when its people just switch off to important issues because of the frustration they feel watching our politicians deal with them? The answer is that it doesn't. But at least it keeps the Pollies off the streets.