Following the decimation of the Labor Party in the weekend’s Queensland state election there are a number of seemingly insurmountable issues to be reckoned with.
Not least is the reality that in contemporary Australia we have a problem in national politics – the population is fed up with it!
The blame is often pointed at leadership and there is no doubt that this plays a part in the problem. The latest leadership challenge between Gillard and Rudd was not fought on policy but on personality. The other side of the political spectrum is equally reproachable, mindlessly opposing almost everything that proceeds from the government and failing to provide a policy position on basically anything.
Our national leadership is unimaginative and uninspiring, a sentiment constantly repeated throughout media outlets. There seems to be a shortage of principled thinkers willing to take risks on their convictions. As Malcolm Fraser noted on Monday, the Federal Parliament is “a place … littered with apparatchiks.”
With such uninspiring leadership the population, particularly the young, become disillusioned with the political process. This is perhaps best indicated by the sharp decline in political party membership.
But to argue that all political disillusionment proceeds from uninspiring leadership is shallow, a clawing at what are ultimately symptoms in order to find a cause.
What might then be the cause? There is of course no simple answer, though I have my suspicions. Read the rest of this entry