The recent brewing leadership spill of the LNP coalition seems to be a bright shiny golden arrow pointing to the number one problem in Australian politics.
Australian voters just don’t pay enough attention.
If you put a 1 next to your local LNP member on your green card in the 2013 federal election you should have known Tony Abbott thought human caused climate change was total “crap”. You should have understood that “Stop the Boats” meant you were voting for a system that rejects those most desperate for our help and sends them paddling into a realm of uncertainty (especially on our behalf) where safety is not only doubtful but completely disregarded as a priority. You should not have been shocked by the austerity of the Federal budget since it was what was promised from the get-go. You should not have been shocked by the cuts to ABC, SBS, Education and health since it was outlined in parliament regardless of any promises made on election eve. You should have known that policies like the Paid Parental Leave favoured the wealthy over the poor and never once was it implied that a father might choose to take six months off work rather than a mother.
So why, when such a huge majority of Australian voters did want an LNP government, are we up in arms about our current leader? To be fair, Abbott and Hockey are delivering on their ultimate sanction: returning to surplus through austerity measures. Perhaps it is that voters just hadn’t thought this far ahead, or thought hard enough about consequences of these solutions. Do they not understand how economics and austerity work? (the obsession with surplus might suggest not).
It seems to me, that the Abbott led Libs and Nats were able to make their resounding whopping of Labor Party butts through a masterful use of slogans, emotive rhetoric and media made effective by a disregard for solid truth by we, the voters. Politicians have come to realise that in our fast-paced, face-value loving 21st century society, appearances matter more than reality.
Politics is just another form of competition and survival of the fittest. Through apathy of your average Australian voter, politicians have been able to make the competition easier for them and less beneficial to us. The unbalance made worse by the 60% of voters that are rusted to one party or another with unflinching devotion.
Is all this to be healed by a change in leader? No. Because this is how a modern democracy works, it is the same horse with a different jockey (or “captain” in Tony’s terms). Not long after the election of 2013 Malcolm Turnbull was asked on live TV why the government was choosing to go ahead with his lacklustre NBN policy when there are clearly better options available to us through modern technology. His response was that this was the policy taken to election, it has been voted on, the people of Australia have spoken. According to politicians this is how decisions must be made because it makes life a hell of a lot easier for them. After all, they are the professionals whilst we are the amateurs.
So if you are someone who voted Liberal in 2013 and have found yourself scratching your head or feeling disappointed in our PM then next time make your vote count. Do your research, question your own philosophy and above all else critique, critique, CRITIQUE because the truth is, they need us to survive.