A straw poll on the ABC’s ‘The Drum’ site shows fairly conclusively that Australians have pretty much had it with politics.
But maybe that’s not entirely accurate. Maybe Australians have pretty much had it with political parties. Maybe they care a lot about who or what represents them in the democratic system, and aren’t prepared any longer to allow political parties to be that who, or what. The recent failed experiment on Twitter – #twitparl, a roleplay intended to imitate Australia’s House of Representatives – proved beyond any doubt in my mind that independent representatives were far and away the mode of thought of those interested in the concept. Independent candidates out-numbered those who wanted to push their ideological barrow and by definition, that of their favourite party doctrine, almost 2:1.
John Faulkner’s parry and thrust into the gizzards of his own party during the week, and Malcolm Turnbull’s continual slices into the body politic of his, seem to say fairly clearly that the current party ways are not the right paths to be following. Turnbull, especially has a massive following among those who sit left of centre, and would probably ‘turn’ were MT to regain the leadership of his somewhat rudderless party. On the Labor side, most of the rusted-on adherents, myself included, despise what the party has become, the way it has fallen from it’s own self-imposed high moral eyrie in a bid to chase the conservative vote. It’s not my party any longer and it makes me incredibly sad to say that.
Peter Brent will doubtless have more to say on this subject during the week. He’s currently gathering stats, as is his want, but somehow I don’t think pure numbers will define the sentiment among considered Australians interested in their representation in the body politick