August 17, 2012

Horse 1348 - We're Fine It It

After witnessing Picnic & Sportsday in London, in NSW we now turn our attention to local government elections. To be totally honest, I have no idea who the candidates are apart from their handbills and don't really know what the biting issues are which plague my local council area. Everything as far as I can tell works reasonably well and local government services are all really quite very good... And I'm fine with that.
Politics generally in the 21st Century is far more sedentary, settled and dare I say it, civil, than the 20th and 19th. Politicians themselves are not being asked the massive questions any more and the voting denizenry of various countries are for the most part, fine with that too.

Elections in Australia, Britain, Canada etc. and hillariously in Belgium have all of late returned hung parliaments (in the case of Belgium, it took 535 days before a government was formed). This isn't because of some massive impasse of politics but rather the general stoppage of really big ideas being presented to the general public by parliaments, and we're fine with that.
Looking back the other way, problems which were presented to parliaments even as little as 150 years ago, included issues such as cholera outbreaks, mass starvation, poverty, infant mortality, wars being fought by expansionist powers in the name of securing resources like minerals, land and slave labor, but most of these things have been more or less sorted out. The issues that we now present to our parliaments involve exceptionally low numbers of "illegal" migration and arguments about who should build infrastructure. Very little discussion is brought to parliament about the matters of life and death itself any more, and so politicians themselves are no longer legislating on these issues but have morphed into becoming little more than administrators, and we're fine with that.

The average pundit now shows up once every 3-5 years depending on the level of government, quietly grumbles about having to show up at all (but is either blissfully unaware or willfully ignorant of the people who in fought and in some cases died for their ability to show up in the first place), makes a few almost illegible marks on a printed ballot paper, next tothe names of people they've never heard of, then equally as blissfully goes away and spends the next 3-5 years quietly grumbling that "the government should do something", and that something usually involved giving them more money... and they're fine with that.

Collectively if politics is uninspiring and dull, it is because we're all fine with the way the system currently works. If we don't like the major political parties, we do have the right and ability to vote someone else in but we don't because we're seemingly fine with it.
Ordinarily I'd suggest that the electorate needs to stand up and take responsibility for its politicians, parliaments and governments but I'm beginning to think that they already have done by default; even if it involves quiet grumbling. Otherwise, we would not be fine with it and actually change them all, and maybe in ways that were done in the 20th and 19th Centuries, and more recently in the Arab Spring.

Overall though there doesn't need to be a revolution to change the system of government we have because by default... we're fine with it.

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