A Plague On Both Their Houses

Given the fact that Hughesy's ruminations tend to become lengthy, rambling and unfocussed I try to refrain from political content, but after three days where the current federal election has diverted my thoughts from other, more positive matters, the chance to vent might expunge those thoughts from the mindset and we can pursue other directions as July rolls into August.

Frankly, I find it difficult to describe my despair and disillusionment at the way political discourse in this country has been hijacked. Hunter s. Thompson wrote about Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail. 

Fear and loathing doesn't begin to describe it.

It's hard to describe which prospect holds the greater horror. A Coalition victory and an Abbott government would be bad enough, but even if the current government is returned the margin's hardly likely to be sufficient to dislodge the current leadership group in the Coalition, and the prospect of three more years of Mr Abbott just saying No is almost as devastating as the thought of the man assuming the reins of power and deciding that this historic turnaround is justification for grandstanding on issues that really need considered and thoughtful dialogue.

Political discourse in this country needs to be about policy and ideas rather than negativity and electoral bribery.

There's a largish chunk of the Australian electorate that voted the way they did and maintained Mr Rudd's incredible run of positive polling because they thought they were voting for somebody who would actually do something.

Preferably, something along the lines he'd spruiked on the campaign trail.

So if I seem to be negative about Mr Abbott, don't get me started on Kevin Rudd. Electoral defeat by a Green candidate after a swing large enough to lose his deposit wouldn't even begin to even up the ledger of disillusion.

Actually, looking at these things after a very deep breath, it's obvious that there's no prospect of anything approaching meaningful change on the horizon. 

There are any number of matters where there are very obvious issues that need to be addressed and most of them end up running into obstacles in the form of an Australian Constitution that needs significant revision, which is only possible through the Referendum process, so you'd hardly expect the current situation to produce anything meaningful in the way of bipartisan support for a referendum question about the Murray-Darling system, for example.

Health, urban infrastructure, education, regional planning, public transport, the list of areas that need careful and considered attention just goes on and on, and that's without mentioning the continuing disastrous mess that constitutes Indigenous policy.

All those issues have significant constitutional implications, yet as soon as someone raises the question of a review of a document that was cobbled together over a century ago to get through a referendum what response will we more than likely get from Mr Abbott and his cohorts?

Constitutional change? Oh, you mean the Republic. We had a vote on that a while back. Your mob lost. Get over it.

It's a pity one can't use the same argument against those who'd propound it

 © Ian Hughes 2014