Observations of an ordinary man


Political Bloat

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Recently a friend on Facebook (and in real life!) posted the comment:

Can anyone tell me why we as a society reward psychopathic behaviour in our leaders?

My reply was:

It seems every new government seeks to be distinctively different from the previous government. The previous government promised no carbon tax then hastily developed a poorly devised one to meet the requirements of their political “allies”. The current government seeks to dismantle that and replace it with an equally poorly thought out policy because to keep the carbon tax and just fix the issues would imply that the previous government had it right. In the end we have a bunch of bloated incompetent policies because nothing is ever developed, just torn down and hastily rebuilt.
I dream of the day when politicians act in the best interests of the country, not themselves or against the opposition.

It got me thinking a bit about what our government actually sets out to do. Whilst they were in opposition, they spend much of their time opposing anything the incumbent government proposes or implements. Once in power they set out to dismantle or if the policy is actually working and beneficial, “fix” it. All they end up doing is making a bigger mess to clean up. If they are lucky enough to win a second term, then they can start to actually implement change that can have a positive effect. That is, if they haven’t created such a huge mess in their first term.

Party politics is crippling the nation’s development. Activities are based around being different to the previous government. There is very little view as to what is best for the nation, just what is best for the party. The current system does not allow for any long term strategies to be able to be realised.

Our previous government undertook a massive review of our education system which yielded a set of recommendations that, if implemented, would help create a better and more supportive education system. Then they decided to try to implement only a subset of them which leaves us in no better a position. Why? Well the full set of recommendations would require more money and a lot of time and because there was the opposition breathing down their neck ready to cry out about government overspending. Then the new government gets in and tries to invalidate the results and decide we need to go back to the drawing board. So another review will be done in “a more targeted way”, which is code for “we already know what the results will be, we just need to get the right consultant to validate it”.

What happened to the long term view, the desire to build the nation? We need to stop looking at the short term and look to the future. Our country is stagnating under the political bloat and unless we wake up we’re going to end up with a country that looks like a house of cards.

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