Cherchez la femme! Credlin, and Abbott’s downfall

2 Dec

 

Credlin and Abbott

 

Journalist Peter Hartcher has written an analysis of former Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s downfall, titled Shirtfronted, and published in five episodes in the Fairfax press this week.

Episode two is all about Peta. Credlin, that is, Abbott’s controversial former chief of staff, who is, practically universally it appears, credited with contributing in a rather spectacular manner to his downfall.

Hartcher describes the relationship between Abbott and Credlin as “co-dependent,”citing the former PM’s “agitation” when separated from Credlin in the most ordinary of ways, such as having to travel in separate cars, or not having her arrive as expected out of a lift. These type of anxieties are more usually associated with that stage of infancy when the baby is becoming aware that its mother is a separate entity and not an extension of its own being, and every separation and absence is regarded by the infant as a catastrophic abandonment of the self that provokes intolerable anxiety.

So I guess Hartcher’s use of the clinical term “co-dependent” is appropriate in the circumstances. It certainly sounds like a psychologically mangled union, and one wonders how Abbott’s wife, Margie, tolerates her husband’s intense and very public emotional involvement with another woman. As another of the symptoms of co-dependency is tolerating and thus enabling a partner’s destructive and self-destructive behaviours, maybe the diagnosis extends to the marriage as well.

Be that as it may, I am conflicted about the criticisms directed towards Credlin by the LNP, journalists and commentators, not because I’ve read anything about Ms Credlin that causes me to feel sympathy for her, or empathy, but because it is impossible to tell in a situation such as this how much of that criticism is to do with her actions, and how much is fuelled by sexism and anti-woman attitudes and resentments. There’s a cohort of males (supported by co-dependent females) who tend to blame women simply because we exist, with our breasts and our vaginas and our sexuality, not to mention our opinions.

This cohort tends to be conservative, religious, controlling, and threatened by anyone who is not them, and many are to be found in political circles as well as in the fourth estate. So while Peta Credlin has by all accounts behaved offensively on many occasions to many people, one has to remember who is narrating events.

Abbott’s extraordinary protectiveness towards Credlin seems to indicate he put her well-being before his own, and that of  his party. She did/does indeed have excessive control over his emotions and his psychology, causing him to blind himself to the consequences of his bizarre loyalty to her.

His need of her, powerful enough to cause him to put at risk the job he’d craved for years, certainly sounds self-destructive, and it must have been particularly galling for his ministers to understand that in any fight, he’d be on Peta’s side, not theirs. You’re just a staffer, Credlin is reminded by Eric Abetz after a rather tumultuous episode, at which Abbott was present. She’ll apologise in her own way, the PM told Abetz, who apparently never noticed if she did.

Then there’s the tearful tantrum Credlin threw over The Australian’s journalist Nikki Savva’s criticism of her, when both she and Abbott  attempted to have Savva sacked as retribution. “I don’t have to put up with this shit!” Credlin reportedly howled.

Personally, I think Abbott would have gone with or without Credlin’s influence, however, their relationship can’t have helped his cause, internally or in the public sphere. What the Credlin factor actually demonstrates is Abbott’s weakness of character: the leader of a country isn’t in the job to prioritise his personal emotional and psychological cravings over the welfare of his party and his country. Abbott did just that, making him even more dangerously untrustworthy all round than he was already.

Abbott’s main concern was always Abbott, and will remain so. Even his protection of Credlin was essentially about himself: he needed her, and had to keep her by his side in order for him to function.

Hopefully, none of this will concern us again to any great extent. He was a most unsuitable leader, who made his personal needs and bizarre ideology central to policy-making, not the needs of the country and its people.

Any PM who can’t stand on his own two feet, as Abbott clearly could not, is bad for the country he leads, and about as far from being adult as anyone can be.

The personal is still and always will be political. Yet we almost always underestimate its influence, to our cost.

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49 Responses to “Cherchez la femme! Credlin, and Abbott’s downfall”

  1. doug quixote December 2, 2015 at 8:37 am #

    Unfit for office – any office.

    If I posted that once I posted it a hundred times over at Bob’s blog, and possibly here as well.

    It was always all about Abbott, psychopathically determined to rise to his position of greatest incompetence.

    He nurses his wounds, gathers his aggrieved supporters and dreams of a return, a Second Coming.

    I don’t think we’ve seen the last of him yet, as he eyes off Rudd Redux as a precedent and a model.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Jennifer Wilson December 2, 2015 at 1:46 pm #

      Yes, you’ve said it here DQ, & we’ve all agreed.
      I will be most surprised if his dreamed of comeback has legs: I think his position is weaker than Rudd’s, together with the LNP’s pathological fear of changing leaders AGAIN…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Florence nee Fedup December 2, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

        Not sure I agree. Well Turnbull obviously doesn’t believe they will keep him no matter what he does. Never seen new PM with so little authority. This week has revealed overseas and here, a PM with no guts.

        This afternoon disgraceful performance by a PM should never had occurred in question time.

        It was not a matter of standing by Brough, Not needed. All PM had t do was follow normal procedure as FM said. Ask, no order Brough to stand aside until police finished their inquiries. Not matter of deciding guilt.

        Why hasn’t this happened. Why did PM allow matter to become toxic.

        Should never appointed him is first place. That error one can forgive. One can’t forgive what has occurred since.
        \

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson December 2, 2015 at 8:46 pm #

          I don’t understand Turnbull. I think he’s in a very strong position because of their reluctance to change leaders again, so he could take a lot more risks, you’d think. Instead, he seems totally cowed & possessed by the RWNJs

          Like

  2. hudsongodfrey December 2, 2015 at 12:43 pm #

    Or she could just have been the female equivalent of that hardest of all individuals to find, the proper “yes” man. Somebody who always tells you just what you want to hear. Having such an individual to rationalise your every desire for power or success might be quite endearing indeed, perhaps even seductive. I wonder whether any politicians and perhaps a few of us would find such an ego stroking irresistible.

    Doug is right though. If ever there was any doubt the Abbott was eying a Rudd Redux like Lazarus act, then it may have been open by his latest attack upon the remaining Bishop, she of the death stare, in which allegations of lies, damned lies and disloyalty have been flying thick and fast.

    Dare I presume to diagnose the mad monk is suffering from a form particular form of narcissism accompanied by delusions of grandeur that could easily be fed by a Machiavellian henchperson? Perhaps all that remains is for Turnbull to ask, “Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?”

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jennifer Wilson December 2, 2015 at 1:48 pm #

      I would hate a yes person in my life and would smack them upside the head after a while.

      What’s scary is that Abbott passes for functional in so many minds….
      But I’d be willing to lay a substantial wager that he won’t come back.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Fiona December 2, 2015 at 2:38 pm #

        I’m willing to wager that abbott will give it a red hot go. He most likely won’t succeed, but I think he’s more than capable of a Billy Hughes. After all, what employment prospects does he have? No, stick in Warringah for as long at the local libs will put up with him. Gotta pay off that $700K mortgage somehow.

        Liked by 1 person

        • hudsongodfrey December 2, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

          Billy Hughes though is acknowledged as one of, if not the leading contender for, the worst Prime Minister ever.

          Do we have an embassy in Mongolia?

          Like

        • Jennifer Wilson December 2, 2015 at 8:52 pm #

          He might give it a go but if he succeeds I’ll , well I’ll, well, I’ll I will….

          Liked by 1 person

      • hudsongodfrey December 2, 2015 at 3:24 pm #

        Let’s just say Abbott seems to be burning more bridges than he’s mending and hope he’s for the high jump at the next election. I couldn’t think of anything more depressing in Australian politics than the infinite regress it’d take to return him to office.

        As for “yes” people ditto, but then only a few of us would want to keep one around. I’m not saying she was a sycophant though. I think she was a big part of his effectiveness in opposition. Yet by the same token it reflects ill on both of them that in government she seemed to manage to isolate her charge from the reality of what the people as opposed to a few diehards on the right of the party wanted.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. jaycee December 2, 2015 at 5:23 pm #

    For someone “outside the orthodox establishment” to gain political power or influence, a kind of unorthodox method is required. Credlin at some point saw a chance of power via political influence through the “trousers-man” Abbott. She played the cards dealt to her gender when in such a situation.

    I am reminded of Cleopatra, without an army, vulnerable but intelligent…she saw where her power base was ; Caesar..to Julius Caesar; War-lord, imperator in all but title, she presented herself as concubine..she succeeded, but after his assassination, she had to flee back to Egypt..When Marc Antony became one of the triumvirate of leadership, she again saw an opportunity…to the general ; Marc Antony, Soldier, hungry for power, but never a imperator, she presented as a Queen. She read her men like a book.. Again , she succeeded.

    In both cases the intelligent , but vulnerable person used the key to the weakness of the person they sought to manipulate..The strategy was faultess if risky, the result was inevitable, as the person of strength they came to dominate became through their sapping of personal strength a weaker person and thereby open to attack.

    Credlin knew / knows exactly what she is / was doing. She has admirable intelligence, but unfortunately for her, the “host” is weak. Perhaps though, like Cleopatra, she will stay loyal “to the death”, HER choice of male “concubine”.

    Liked by 2 people

    • doug quixote December 2, 2015 at 7:22 pm #

      Apparently Cleopatra tried it on with Octavian (Augustus) but found him a cold fish.

      But I don’t think Credlin deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as the female Pharaoh. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Wilson December 2, 2015 at 8:45 pm #

      That’s a pretty interesting take on the situation, jaycee. I’ve been wondering how Credlin’s faring now, with her “host” in such reduced circumstances.
      I also wonder if her position with Abbott was intended to lead her into a safe Lib seat, if things had worked out…

      Like

  4. doug quixote December 2, 2015 at 7:30 pm #

    The Saturday Paper rated Abbott:

    (Quote)

    “It is no exaggeration to say Tony Abbott is the worst prime minister Australia has had. To the extent that his brief and destructive leadership of the country is remembered, it will not be remembered well.

    Abbott is a prime minister without a legacy. In attempting to defend one this week, he came up with not much: some jobs, a few trade agreements, an infrastructure project, a border protection regime founded on human rights abuses, a royal commission so compromised by bias its own commissioner had to consider removing himself.

    Abbott governed for the past and the few conservatives desperate to continue living there. He governed against science and in contempt of the environment. He governed in opposition to social equality, in terror of reform. His was a government of fear and avoidance, a rolling sideshow anxiously avoiding the fact it had nothing to add and no idea what to do.

    Abbott spent his time in opposition degrading the office of the prime minister. His was a campaign of debasement: a coarsening of debate, a running down of the respect once stored in the institution. Those who say he was a fine opposition leader do so in error. There is no victory in destroying what you set out to win.

    On prevailing at the 2013 election, he placed on his head a small and tinny crown. He did nothing to repair it in the years that have passed since. Indeed, he added only to its dents and tarnish.

    He treated law like a plaything. He made policy at odds with the country’s own constitution. He fought consensus and held out against change. He refused humility. He let run the island camps where women and children are raped and men killed. He turned in from the world. He mocked treaties. He failed obligations. He fed prejudice wherever he could.

    He was a coward with reform. He left the tax system lumbering and unfair. He failed to articulate policy. He hectored the ABC, cowing it and becoming ludicrously involved in editorial processes. He shunned innovation. He craved distraction.

    Abbott’s great fear, and the fear of those people left supporting him, is tomorrow. He is fearful of same-sex marriage. Fearful of an economy remade by climate change. Fearful of the fair distribution of taxes. Fearful of power as it ebbs away from the places where it was once concentrated. But tomorrow is always close; his prime ministership was always doomed.

    Abbott is an experiment that failed. He is proof that Australia cannot be governed from the far right, just as it cannot be governed from the far left. He was the last hope and final holdout of a group of people wishing desperately against a modern Australia.

    His time in the office leaves a hole in this country’s agenda. A period of incompetent stasis. Two wasted years we must now hungrily get back.

    He will not be missed. He should not be praised. He was a failure selfishly wishing that the world would fail with him. We can only hope his like will not be seen again.”

    (End quote)

    Their editor must read my posts.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Alphonse December 2, 2015 at 8:09 pm #

    The last thing a warrior needs is another warrior – even if she can keep his diary and wipe his nose. It was wasn’t mutual loyalty – it was narcissism. We’re the biggest badarses and who cares what those snivelling wusses are wittering on about.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. gorgeousdunny1 December 2, 2015 at 8:14 pm #

    I can understand your mixed feelings. The Liberals and the MSM have been quick to unload on Credlin and to a lesser extent Hockey. A lot, including Credlin and Abbott have seen it as rampant sexism, which it is.

    Where it gets harder to feel empathy is that she has been the same herself in her attacks on Gillard and on other Liberal females. She was unloaded on so savagely as a scapegoat for the others’ collective guilt. They knew very well Abbott was from the lunatic fringe with barely a coherent idea or vision in his head. He couldn’t even bullshit his way through complex situations. The one thing he could do, perhaps from his experience in reporting, was string together slogans to simplify a situation. The party must have known there was no vision or plan for government. Perhaps they imagined he’d quietly fade away.

    The Press Gallery, with a very few low-key exceptions were identical. It helped that Murdoch supported him and that many felt that one day he’d be the only employer. News Ltd staff became players, but all the others readily joined in the congo line.

    Credlin deserves much less of the guilt than the others. She was given the task of making a sow’s ear credible, which she managed in opposition by running the tightest of ships and keeping Abbott on a very tight leash, released only for stunts. Her problem and Abbott’s was that it was unsuited for government, as distinct from media coverage.

    It wasn’t an opportunity for paying out on their pet hates, which both of them did, starting with the proposed 6-month delay in the young getting the dole. It just kept getting worse from there and no amount of media boosting could change it.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Diane Pearton December 2, 2015 at 8:46 pm #

    I think that Credlin was as much the victim as Abbott was. The Libs elected Tony Abbott to get out of facing up to the responsibility of action on climate change.

    Having worked with him for many years, members of the Libs were well aware that Abbott was unhinged, had no capacity for the gruelling workload of PM, and was as dumb as dogshit. Basically, ‘in your guts you know he’s nuts’ is a sympathetic character assessment.

    Hence Credlin was forced to take on a ridiculous task. To manage the crazy, to nurture but hide the crazy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson December 2, 2015 at 8:50 pm #

      Unhinged and dumb as dog shit. Excellent description Di.
      I can’t come at victim, though.

      Like

    • hudsongodfrey December 2, 2015 at 9:57 pm #

      Okay so the right of the Liberal party are climate change deniers. Their agendas also track squarely with big oil and big coal interests who doubtless poured buckets of cash into the party coffers alongside the support they’d been lent by the Murdoch press.

      Another way of looking at it was that Hockey got off his leash as did Pyne, and Credlin was unable to stop Abbott from hemorrhaging at the mouth.

      So whatever Turnbull represents we can rest assured that it isn’t the owner’s first option. It’ll be interesting to see if he’s Murdoch’s preference come the next election.

      Abbott I hope is gone because I think most would agree that his sniping from the cheap seats has already become deeply loathsome. I for one would nevertheless be greatly relieved to see him leave politics.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Diane Pearton December 3, 2015 at 7:54 am #

        I think that unless Shorten is gooooooooone it is probably irrelevant who Murdoch (the guy’s gotta be passed his use-by date?!) wants.

        I guess what I am saying is that the Libs who voted for Abbott (even by one vote) still make up the party, so the toxicity remains, Turnbull (or Abbott/Credlin) or not.

        Liked by 2 people

        • hudsongodfrey December 3, 2015 at 10:43 am #

          If opinion polls matter as much as they appear to have done over the earlier part of this decade then arguably there’s a complementary shift in the focus of media influence.

          Rather than following the conventional wisdom that might even see us want to extend political terms from three to four years, now the people are willing to basically give an incumbent about 18 to 24 months before calling shenanigans. Whether that actually means campaigns like the one mining companies used so effectively to cripple Labor’s MRRT, or the utter con jobs of trickle down economics and climate change denial are more or less potent ways to win political influence is harder to gauge.

          The formulaic trajectory for a first term government used to be first term honeymoon and razor gang, second term consolidate your mandate, third term pork barrel, think of some way to extend your mandate and try to get reelected, rinse and repeat. The job of opposition was to keep your head down without being so absent as to be a irrelevant, and maybe replace a tired journeyman leader with a shiny new up and coming clean-skin in the run up to an election.

          Abbott broke the mould in opposition by realising the 24 hour news cycle and poll driven politics allowed him to run hard in perpetual campaign mode throughout most of his term in opposition, then damage already done he ran deep and silent save for the odd three word slogan throughout the election campaign. The problem was that he expected to put us back on the old formula when he got into government. He wasn’t met with an opposition in relentless campaign mode, but he didn’t count on the Senate sticking two fingers up at him and making life incredibly difficult. Say what you like about Labor’s internal meltdowns, at least they still managed to leave a legacy of legislation that got done. Abbott departed on a duck!

          Sometimes it takes a progressive stance from the traditionally less receptive side of politics to afford an idea whose time has come its due. I wouldn’t be so churlish as complain he was stealing Labor’s thunder if Turnbull moved on climate change, asylum seekers, same sex marriage, aboriginal recognition or a republic. Some of those issues that would seem partisan on the lips of an incoming Labor government are likely to gain traction as argued with a conservative framing since by the time any social change gains political momentum its probably almost conventional wisdom in the minds of most people.

          Counter intuitive as it seems and putting economics aside, (uncharacteristically of the voting public’s famed hip pocket nerve), we could be moving into a political phase wherein Senates will never favour governments simply because of the way recent performances have undermined our confidence in them. With that in mind it could at least be hoped that Labor’s inclination would be to pass any progressive initiatives Turnbull sees fit to offer us.

          Beyond that the matter of the election will invariably revert to type, resting on the ability of leaders to articulate an economic future Australians actually believe in. Maybe Shorten has some powder kept dry for that day. He’ll be running against a GST increase, so my tip would be to mention cake, and mention it often!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Diane Pearton December 3, 2015 at 4:59 pm #

            Agree, agree, agree! I do think that if parties put up some kind of manifesto, as in days of old (feeling oldish), they might have an arguable mandate and expect to see some support even from a senate full of independents, and leaders might see their term out, but the precedent of the campaign against the MRRT could well frighten the horses for any real political progression.

            Liked by 1 person

          • doug quixote December 5, 2015 at 9:12 pm #

            The Senate passed good legislation, what there was of it, and those bits which honoured election promises.

            That the rest was rejected was due to it being bad legislation and breaches of promises solemnly made.

            That, and the negotiating skills of a boa constrictor.

            Like

            • hudsongodfrey December 5, 2015 at 11:25 pm #

              I agree a lot of it had to do with how bad some of the policy making truly was. That and the fact that Abbott, whose negotiation skills famously lot him government after the 2010 election, all but point blank refused to talk with the Greens.

              Like

              • Diane Pearton December 6, 2015 at 7:27 am #

                Blaming the Greens AND refusing to talk with them seems to apply to both the conservative parties. Very disappointed this week with Tanya Plibersek trotting out the six-year-old whinge re an ETS that she herself must have wanted to be better, if she has any green credibility??

                ALP was negotiating with Turnbull’s Libs at the time, and because he thought that he didn’t need them, didn’t negotiate with the Greens.

                Liked by 1 person

                • doug quixote December 6, 2015 at 7:36 am #

                  Half a loaf is better than none. Labor negotiated half a loaf from the Looters Party. The Greens were miffed that they’d been left out and they insisted on a whole loaf; the Looters took the opportunity to give them none.

                  It is the tragedy of the Greens.

                  Expect more of the same.

                  Liked by 2 people

                  • Diane Pearton December 6, 2015 at 7:48 am #

                    I don’t agree. Had the ALP negotiated with the Greens they might have got half a loaf, as they did when finally Julia Gillard did talk with them.
                    While both parties keep treating the Greens like they’re way out there, the rest of the planet is recognising that the Greens are mainstream.

                    Liked by 1 person

                  • Jennifer Wilson December 6, 2015 at 4:39 pm #

                    Sometimes half a loaf isn’t better than none. Not saying in this particular instance, but challenging that notion as a general principal…

                    Like

                    • doug quixote December 7, 2015 at 7:33 am #

                      Context, Guinevere!

                      All generalisations are dangerous, even this one. 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Jennifer Wilson December 7, 2015 at 7:40 am #

                      I’m wracking my brains to find one example that disproves your maxim DQ.
                      Bear with me 🙂

                      Like

                    • hudsongodfrey December 7, 2015 at 5:20 pm #

                      It shouldn’t be that hard. It may just break the internet. Stand back we’re about to violate Godwin’s law…….

                      The half a loaf shared with Hitler would have been better shared with almost anyone else. Hence a case where no loaf was better than half.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Jennifer Wilson December 7, 2015 at 11:26 pm #

                      Oh my, HG, you’ve Godwinned.
                      That’s what it took, and you did it.
                      Salute

                      Like

                    • doug quixote December 8, 2015 at 1:01 am #

                      Now that does breach Godwin’s Law. The gratuitous introduction of Adolf when it was apparent to blind freddy that the context was vastly remote is simply appalling.

                      HG, you should turn in your badge. 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) December 8, 2015 at 5:58 am #

                      Noting the achievement of the probability of one under Godwin’s Law, can I ask if it would have made any difference if the half-loaf was pumpernickel?

                      Liked by 1 person

                • hudsongodfrey December 6, 2015 at 11:07 am #

                  I’m not ready to accept that Labor are conservative relative to the Liberal National coalition, but I know what you mean, and I think its a real problem.

                  As I think I’ve probably said before we need either to persuade Labor that their interests lie in representing the progressive side of Australian politics, or to build the Greens into something credibly beyond being still seen in the eyes of many as a one issue party.

                  While both Labor and the conservatives remain fixated on economic paradigms from a different century we’re not going to get anywhere. Unionism only has a constituency insofar as employment exists and Supply Side economics only matters if what you’re supplying requires a labour force. Modern Australia has changed and has either to reinvigorate its STEM sector through the embrace of new technologies, start to diversify the way resource wealth is distributed, or both.

                  It doesn’t much matter in that sense what mechanism we adopt to ensure the technology change that comes from “greening” the economy come about. It only matters that it provides certainty for investment and creates jobs that leave behind a social dividend.

                  Like

                  • Diane Pearton December 6, 2015 at 12:42 pm #

                    I would LIKE to think that the ALP is not conservative, and I think that it’s members aren’t as conservative as the parliamentary party, but it’s recent record is not convincing except in comparison to LNP, as you say.
                    The truth is that our system is not representative really. It would be very difficult for example, for me to run for parliament. i was asked to, but I don’t have the leave. For a lot of average working people, this could be an impediment, hence we’re not getting the average joe/joanne candidate.

                    Like

                    • doug quixote December 6, 2015 at 12:53 pm #

                      It’s one thing to run, it’s another to expect to be elected.

                      As a Green, you will need to be no.1 on their Senate ticket, or a high profile person like Adam Bandt in a tiny number of seats.

                      BTW, do we want an average joe/joanne?

                      Like

                    • hudsongodfrey December 6, 2015 at 1:18 pm #

                      As a matter of fact I don’t think anyone gets into parliament on the basis that they’re just taking a few years’ leave from their “real job”. Some have to leave to avoid conflicts of interests and most because of the demands it makes on their time. So even at the point where you decide to run without really expecting to win, you can hardly ask an employer for leave since it basically says you don’t really want your current job.

                      When you think about it the idea that you have to kick down the doors of parliament or take to the streets to force your views on society might be just a bit retrograde compared with just being demonstrably right, persuasive and in the majority. Whether there’s a way to pursue activism though online democracy, I hope, but I don’t see those in power voluntarily giving any of it up. I see a whole n’other conversation we need to have about the nature and purpose of power within a democracy begging questions about why we don’t use the technology we have to increase participation in smarter ways.

                      Like

  8. Diane Pearton December 6, 2015 at 6:39 pm #

    I meant leave to electioneer. And I think that it would be a much better parliament if people were to be in parliament for a few years and then go back to their jobs. Just as I think that school principals, department staff and even union representatives, for example, should return to the coalface. Thus they could make decisions of a practical nature, and not lose sight of the core business.

    DQ, yes, I think that an average joe/joanne would be an improvement on the calibre of politician that we have been seeing.

    Why don’t we use technology to increase participation? Why don’t we use it even to make voting fairer?
    We could have equal numbers of ballots with each candidate in spot one, two, etc. Thus doing away with benefit of donkey vote, deals and scrums to walk through at the voting booth.
    If we are banking online, why are we not voting online?

    Like

    • hudsongodfrey December 6, 2015 at 7:31 pm #

      Well I guess you could argue that candidates maybe deserve whatever financial support might be available to fund campaigns, I just wouldn’t want anyone to turn it into an exercise in milking the public purse.

      Average Joe’s; well, which of then hasn’t at least tried to lay claim to the common touch? My reservation being that one prominent case we could’ve done without was Pauline Hanson.

      Technology perhaps coupled with optional preferential voting might well be systemic improvements we could use, but the wider possibility of seeking public assent on an even more regular basis is what really interested me. How would it change the dynamic if the opinion polls we currently see took the form of a weekly plebiscite, raising the possibility that public opinion was what really steered the government. Do you then think the people could be relied upon to get it right, or would it descend into mob rule?

      Like

      • Diane Pearton December 6, 2015 at 7:39 pm #

        I don’t think that I have your confidence in the wisdom of the mob or their capacity for understanding the big picture!

        Liked by 1 person

        • hudsongodfrey December 6, 2015 at 8:24 pm #

          No. Well that was the conclusion I hope I hinted at also.

          The combination of technology and democratic ideals seems to imply more direct public involvement. Yet, clearly anyone with the nous to be sceptical of the invisible hand of economic self-interest would also ask the same question by extension to the political system. You may seek permission incrementally through a succession of mini plebiscites without necessarily addressing attention to whether any greater good or social contract is attended to.

          I fear the bigger problem may be that governments don’t seem to be very interested in doing their job.

          Like

  9. simon December 17, 2015 at 9:15 pm #

    well I think your over thinking it,
    they probably fracked like the hungry political beasts they both are, and were very very close……. the affair of the heart

    Liked by 1 person

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