It has begun.
The pre-election assault on my letterbox. The daily pile of papers, pamphlets, postcards and letters from politicians.
A daily dose of party-platitudes and puffery, of promises and more promises.
Many of which will later become, if all previous elections are anything to go by, promises broken because they were not ‘core’ promises. :)
This time it’s the parties in our upcoming Federal election that are producing the onslaught. But the very same thing happens when there is to be a local government or a state election.
As a voter and a citizen, I am not really interested in reading any of this bumph.
Here is what I want from you, my representatives – or potential representatives – at all levels of government:
- Please step out from behind the puffery – away from the spin doctors and stylists – and tell me who you really are as a human being.
- Don’t just give me the party line. Tell me what moves you. What is your passionate vision for a better community, a better country or a better world? Help me see it and hear it so I can share it.
- Don’t tell me what your opposition is doing wrongly – I’m tired of the mud-slinging and name-calling that pretends to be political debate.
- Give me your honesty and take the risk of being truly transparent about what you believe and what you will try your utmost to achieve.
- Listen to my wishes, my dreams and my vision for a better world with an open heart and mind, whether or not you agree with me.
- And please show me a leadership style I can admire and respect, so I can offer you my good faith – and my vote.
I realise these things are way outside the power-broking context in which you are often forced to live and work if you aspire to a political position. So, if you will do these things for me, here is my commitment in return to you:
- I will understand you are juggling an impossible number of directly conflicting desires and demands from your constituents.
- I will accept that, whatever it is I am wanting you to do, there will be equally passionate voices in my municipality, state or country asking you not to do that very same thing.
- I will honour the fact that, as a fallible human being just like me, you are nevertheless doing your very best each day to create an even better world for all of us to live in.
- I will respect your honesty and transparency, even if I don’t happen to agree with you on any particular issue.
- I will listen with an open mind and heart to all you have to say, and will not judge you for any stumbles you make as you navigate the incredibly difficult maze you have entered.
- And if I meet you in any public forum, I will not bombard you with accusations or demands then blame you derisively for ‘ducking and running for cover’. Because I know I would also be likely to run away from such an attack! :)
If we can both agree to these things, we’ll no doubt be changing the face of politics as we know it.
And perhaps … just perhaps … we can start having real conversations and genuinely start working together to make a positive difference in this world.
Robyn Stratton-Berkessel says
Dear, dear Sue,
Yes, and I have come to accept we get what we deserve. We are co-creators of all that is in this world. We live in unprecedented times with such capacity to transform the whole kit and kaboodle. We have a myriad of ways to show our personal and collective power. As you are demonstrating, our voices are becoming louder, more extensive, more persistent and more expressive and passionate of the future we know we ALREADY HAVE THE CAPACITY TO CO-CREATE. Wake up, political players! Play as big as you can and show us you know we can create a world that is free of hunger, illiteracy, many diseases, and fossil fuel.
Thanks for your post to provide the opportunity to add my voice.
So beautifully expressed, thank you! :) Yes, yes, yes! I agree totally that we are indeed co-creators of all that is in this world. And that we ourselves help to create the politicians and the political arena we experience – including the adversarial struggles for power or the ‘bland’ and hollow spin doctoring we hear. If we AND our politicians can be brave enough to step up, speak out and be heard – from our most passionate and ‘highest selves’ rather than from a position of fear or the anxious avoidance of what we fear – then I believe we can truly work together to co-create the better world we’d like to see. Let’s stand for something meaningful – ie for our dreams and highest hopes – and see where those can lead us.
Well put and well meaning but unless we (you and I) can generate enough volume we will never be heard. It’s a bit like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing but no one else does!!
This year I have decide that if I feel strongly enough about a particular issue I was try to get it given enough publicity so that it can generate a groundswell of its own if it resonates with us…the general public…the real people.
What I have done is gathered some email addresses of Journalists and TV show Hosts and I submit the information to them for their consideration and to do with it as they see fit. If it resonates with them then they can investigate the facts and decide if they want to take it further.
The average Australian has a moan to their spouse or friends and then says “but I can’t do anything about it” and in our lovely apathetic Australian way we do nothing. Well just remember the old adage “For evil to flourish all it needs is for good men (and women) to do nothing”.
If you sent off a quick email to a person in the media with a carbon copy (cc) to your local member not only do you get the satisfaction of taking some action but you just may be able to get some action on the matter be it from the Journo or the Pollie or maybe even both.
It’s time for all of us to stand up and be counted!!
I believe that I have no right to whinge and moan unless I am prepared to put forward a solution and to DO SOMETHING about it. Don’t just pass on the problem, that’s too easy, pass on the problem with what you think may solve the problem. Who knows you just may have the right solution which no-one has thought of yet.
What I would like from Politicians of all political persuasions is that be accountable and if they make an honest mistake, as we all do from time to time, then they have the cajones to put their hand up and admit their mistake.
I for one am sick and tired of “teflon” Pollies who slide the blame off on to someone else, such as the previous government or their head of department If they are looking after a particular portfolio then they are responsible for what their department does. It is NOT good enough to say “I wasn’t aware of such & such”. If it’s their responsibility then they should know exactly what their Department is doing and what it should be doing. After all that’s what you and I pay them for, isn’t it?
I am also really annoyed at the huge amount of taxpayers money that is wasted unnecessarily usually on projects which are aimed at boosting the election prospects of a particular Politician or Party. A couple of examples would be the Afghanistan / Iraq wars (thank John) and the Home Insulation & Cash for Clunkers programs and others (thanks Kevin / Julia).
If our Pollies had to run the Government as if it were a business, that is balance the books and make each project cost effective, then we would all be better off. As it is if this was their own business then they would be bankrupt and out of business.
Well that’s my two bobs worth and just remember “if nothing changes, nothing changes”
Take good care of those that you love.
Hi Tommo, thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed and thoughtful response!
I fully agree that none of us can complain if we sit by and do nothing. It does seem to be an Aussie habit though. :) The old saying that we get the leaders – and politicians – we deserve is still very true I think.
But by the same token it seems that politicians themselves are constrained by the same impossible barrier to transparency and honest communication the rest of us complain about. A polly who raises his/her head above the barrier is likely to be beheaded by the very same folk demanding he/she does so!