God help whichever party wins the upcoming election. They have to represent one of the most indecisive, argumentative and constantly dissatisfied democracies on the planet.
We don’t make it easy for our governments. We make them jump through all types of hoops to win our approval, and even then it’s still not good enough for us.
Eighteen months after our cash cow of a prime minister gave our undeserving selves $900 to spend on whatever we like (alcohol!), we all decided he was an incompetent fool and punished him in the opinion polls, which inevitably led to an embarrassing loss of leadership. At the time you glorified him as a political Santa Clause, yet eighteen months later you’ve ripped the reins from his hands and forced them upon Mrs Clause (sorry, Miss Clause). You couldn’t even last 3 years with a prime minister you so historically elected.
Next – to combat your constant bitching on the lack of climate change action – the government unveiled the Emissions Trading Scheme. But hang on, this meant electricity prices would rise. Hang on, what about our precious resource sector? We shouldn’t have to sacrifice our economy for future generations. God forbid we actually have to pay to save our own planet. So after years of pleading with the government to do something about climate change, we now decide it’s all just a bit too hard (i.e. we’re stingy) so we won’t worry about it until 2011.
However, it’s not just federal politics that is subject to our indecisiveness. Remember back to 2008 when Kevin Foley and his three chins called South Australians “a bunch of bloody whingers.” Those were the truest words I’ve ever heard from a politician – especially Kevin Foley – but he was dead right. At the time South Australians had been calling for the redevelopment of Victoria Park Racecourse. So the Government proposed a new $40 million grandstand. But hang on, the grandstand was too big (or not big enough), too expensive (or not expensive enough), in the wrong place, too unsightly for the residents of Adelaide City Council etc. Noticing a pattern here? You ask for something, the Government responds, you suddenly change your mind and blame the government anyway.
Don’t go anywhere just yet – I’ve got another one! Pretty much the only difference between Labor and Liberal at the state election could be seen in the hospital/stadium debate. In the end you chose Labor, and with that a redeveloped Adelaide Oval. But hang on, that’s all working out to be a little too expensive now, isn’t it? So now you’re all calling for Foley’s head, even though this is what you wanted.
See what I mean? How can any government keep up with us? We’re never happy. We demand everything, compromise nothing, and eventually decline it anyway. If a contradiction were a nationality it would be an Australian.
So come Election Day I don’t think I’ll vote for Gillard or Abbott. Because as far as I’m concerned I’m doing them a favour. I’m saving them from us, the indecisive, argumentative and constantly dissatisfied voters.
Novelist Steve Toltz said it perfectly: “When democracy works, the government does what the people want. The problem with that is that people want shitty things … the truth of the matter is there has yet to be a great democratic nation because there has yet to be a great bunch of people.”
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