The Age the other day had a piece by Ross Gittins:
It’s a sad commentary on modern politics that no mainstream politician would dare suggest we vote for them because they’d best advance the public interest. They know that we know their greatest interest is in advancing their own career – so, to attract our votes, they offer bribes.
They’ve trained us to see elections as transactional, not aspirational. You want my vote? What are you offering? And is that better or worse than the other side’s offering?
Bleak – but correct.
I now have the misfortune to be in a ‘safe’ seat. As I said elsewhere, that mean two things – life tenure; and not having to answer correspondence.
Would that I had one of those independents to vote for.
The day that the Gittins piece appeared, a pamphlet arrived in my letterbox from the ‘safe’ aspirant – of whom I had never heard and whose name I will probably never hear again.
Sure enough, tradition demanded that he offer to buy my vote. ‘$15 Million to upgrade Whitten Oval. $4.7 Million to deliver the Vietnamese Australia in Footscray.’ And so on.
Were these bribes really necessary?
Some of these people could watch Coriolanus again.