Well, most of the votes have been tallied and it looks certain that Queensland has returned the hapless Labor administration to power for god only knows why.
This is a great time to be in politics because it’s quite clear that the voting public are
complete idiots easily swayed – in state and federal terms. I’m still dismayed by the LNP’s decision to run a clean (not dirty) campaign since it is expected (usually) that the party in opposition should be attacking the shortcomings of the party which is in government.
Instead the opposite occurred, which is a bit unfair since the LNP were not in power! Labor were effectively bad mouthing the LNP’s financial policies. That’s fine and well, but it’s completely hypocritical when Labor’s own track record can only be considered.. shoddy. Voters obviously overlooked this obvious hypocrisy and paid ineptitude with another term in office.
The incumbent government is showing all the signs of following NSW’s slide into ruin (I am qualified to make this statement since I lived in Sydney during half of Bob Carr’s reign of evil) however Queenslanders are obviously too blind (or indifferent) to notice. Fine, but I don’t want to hear the complaints about how the state government is messing up [traffic/health/education/environment] (pick a topic, really) in Brisbane in two years’ time.
Personally, I feel that the government should change parties roughly every second election (or more regularly if the elected party proves less than apt at keeping promises or showing generally poor skills in governing). By voting in the opposition the electorate sends a clear message to both major political parties: get your act together.
Suddenly time in office becomes precious, and governments will learn to properly scope what they wish to achieve. What this gives the populace is better government.
Now – to the second issue. We need to pay for better representation.
Yes, you heard that correctly. I am saying we should pay more for better politicians. I do not mean to pay more for the existing crop/quality of politicians which is, quite honestly, lacking in many respects.
Why? Well, for one thing: to be competitive.
We (as a nation) do not treat our politicians with much respect despite the floodlights which are shined onto their families and into their personal affairs. Their character is constantly questioned and impeached in the media and the Australian public probably rates politicians amongst the lowest of the low.
Having said all that – were is the incentive for smart, passionate, competitive and talented people to run for public office? Especially if they can earn quadruple the salary working in the private sector with no scrutiny from the populace or the biased mainstream media?
Secondly, what does it say when the Prime Minister earns far, far less than any CEO of a Fortune 500 company? Who would give up being Treasurer of BHP to be Treasurer of Australia? We all seem to think politicians live on a gravy train, but the reality is that we don’t offer enough incentive for good people to run for office. Have a think about that for a moment.
Singapore has it right – I believe they pay their Prime Minister an annual salary in excess of one million dollars. Their treasurer makes something close to that as well.
What do they get in return? Really well suited leadership who are willing to do the job properly. People who would otherwise stay in the private sector and make extremely decent money for themselves, but only serving the interests of some big multi-national.
If we want better government then we need to employ better people to represent us. It’s a pretty obvious statement to make, and it’s about time Australia became more realistic.
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