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I grew up under a 14 year gerrymander, where less than 30% of the vote kept the ruling party in power. Where bulldozers moved out at 3AM to demolish National Heritage sites, so that the land could be sold “for the sum of one dollar” to political cronies. Where police would direct traffic around cranes that were hoisting gaming tables into illegal casinos in the middle of the city centre for all to see.

And yet, I have not been more ashamed of our political process than this current election campaign.

Watching the two primary parties (Labor and Liberal) maneuvering for position is like watching an election campaign run by ten-year-olds telling us that we shouldn’t vote for the other party “because they’re poopyheads.”

It’s really gotten down to that sort of juvenile level. I’m surprised they’re not calling each-other’s policies “gay” in disparaging sneers, quite honestly. Is this who we are?

And sure, dodging questions is a time-honoured political tradition, but these days it seems to be being done with all the skill and grace of Tommy Cooper pulling off a card-trick.

Hint: When a polly dodges a question, it’s because they either don’t know the answer, or think you’re not going to like the answer. As we pass through the final days before the Federal election, take a moment to look at which questions are being dodged, and which are getting direct answers.

The media campaigns are slick, dripping with the polish of switched-on ad-agencies, but the messages are just ugly name-calling and disparagement. Some of them are even funny, in the way that jokes about cripples are funny. ie: Only in the most abstract.

And at least one has been pulled for copyright violations. Wow. We really thought that one through before putting it out there. Are we to expect similar foresight from policymakers?

Our minister for for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy claims to have never heard of ACTA. The opposition leader seems to have as much idea about broadband as he might about deep-space pulsars.

And the election-campaigns have devolved to petty name-calling – even more so than is usual. It’s tragic, and not very mature. It strips the respectability from those party-members who are actually deserving of it, in both camps.

Mud-wrestling would be a more mature option.

We have, it seems, largely come to think of this poor level of behaviour as normal and expected; and that’s perhaps even sadder, because we’re encouraging it as a society.

Each election, my father would opine:

Just look at them,

a nasty lot.

Like choosing to be hung

or shot.

It’s tough to disagree with him, but those are looking like rather better options in the face of the campaigns that the parties have mounted this year.

I recommend Below The Line, for those of you wanting to get your Senate ballots sorted out in detail, in advance. You likely already know exactly what you want to vote for and against. Prepare now, and get yourself sorted so that it is quick and easy this weekend.

Categories: Australia, Opinion, Politics, Rant.

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