Blind Faith vs Earning Respect

In an article today in the Sydney Morning Herald, Ross Gittens goes on at length about how Australians have become unwilling to "back" a leader.  He prefaces his argument within the context of the proposed Levy for to repair Infrastructure in Queensland and the opposition its caused.

Gittens opines that the public has lost the ability to fall in behind the leader, just because they are the Leader.  He says that we’ve become prone to arguing the toss as opposed to falling into line.  He goes on about a lack of loyalty towards government.

The funny part is the sheer irony in the article, its almost contradictory.  He laments the "deathbed bastardry" of Kristina Keneally or the "utterly obstructive behaviour" of Tony Abbott.  This is the kind of comedy that can only come from a journalist pretending to be a pundit.

Let’s examine the situation for a moment using Ross’ own examples.  First of all, people struggle to respect government because of the "bastardy" they subject us to.  Look at at Kristina Keneally, she is our third Premier in NSW since the last election.  After internal infighting caused the fall of the elected Premier and his Treasurer, we ended up with a former Garbageman nobody had ever heard of because he was a good little factional puppet. His reign was measured in days.  The Labor Party factions then foisted upon us Keneally who’s equally been an utter disaster – the power debacle probably the most poignant.  She actively undertook a campaign to prevent the public from knowing what was going on.  How can you respect that?  That would be forgetting the fact that her government has suffered innumerable corruption scandals and has entirely lost the confidence of the electorate.  If Keneally and her ilk had respected us, the electorate and our will, she would have went to the polls early and let us choose.

Then there’s Julia Gillard.  She came to power through a coup executed again by internal Labor factions over a Prime Minister who led his party from the wilderness and didn’t even make it a single three year term.  She at least had the courage to call an early election to legitimise her behaviour but then she got thrashed and finished second.  No matter, she then cut a deal with two "independents" who openly went against the will of their own electorates to retain power.  In exchange, one of the "independents" actively lobbied for a cabinet seat behind closed doors.  The other "independent" OPENLY said that he supported Gillard because she wouldn’t call an election and challenge him for his seat.  Screw the will of the people, politicians have superannuation to accrue.

Then there’s Abbott who is the "minority" leader with the most seats of any party in the lower house, thus representing the most Australians.  He’s deemed "obstructive" and a "wrecker" at every opportunity for "opposing" government policy.  With respect to this levy, he’s actually put forward suggestions on how to pay for it WITHOUT the levy.  Are we now not allowed to have opposition, Ross Gittens?  Can we not even have opposition when they put forward alternatives?  I hear Hosni Mubarak is going to be looking for a job soon, perhaps we can bring him in to satisfy Mr. Gittens.

Basically, people don’t respect politicians in power because they lie and promote their own self-interest ahead of the good of the country at just about every opportunity.  Julia Gillard has backflipped on several promises made during her ridiculous election campaign and capitulated on anything necessary to retain power.  She threw money at rural areas to win the support of the two independents and having gotten smashed in Queensland last election, who wouldn’t think this levy is a means of raising more political capital in Queensland?  Keneally and Labor have treated the voters of NSW like mugs for the last three years – why should anyone respect her?

Respect is earned, not just given away willy nilly.  Government as whole has the problem that they’ve turned the Federal Budget into a magic pudding of special interest and vote buying.  If the politicians behaved in a way worthy of respect, displayed some principles and character, then perhaps people would respond accordingly and pay them proper respect.

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