How Canberra ended up as the hub of the dud

Parliament House in Canberra.

Hub of the dud: Parliament House in Canberra.

The older I get and the more I look at it, it seems to me the higher the political level the bigger the incompetence of those holding the reins of power.

When you start looking at the political food chain these days, there’s a lot of talent content to make a difference at a more local level.

It wasn’t that long ago State Governments were headed for the garbage bin of history.

But now they look like equal partners with Canberra, which seems to be the central hub with the most duds.

Same with local councils.

While elections will sometimes throw up councillors who are completely out of their depth, there are some very smart people serving at the bottom of the political food chain.

So what happened to the “cream rises to the top’’ theory?

Frankly I don’t know, but if I were to hazard a guess I’d say too many good men and women have been turned off politics in the past 50 years.

For starters, it’s true that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely and if you’re making a difference on a local council why take the chance of being chewed up and spat out in the national capital.

I won’t even go near the dual citizenship saga, except to say it’s another piece of evidence they have lost the plot in Canberra.

When you throw together a bottomless pit of money and undreamt of power you get a mixture that would tempt a saint let alone a career politician – the dominant group in Canberra these days.

In the meantime, back here in the western suburbs where the real people with real problems live, our power bills are going up, our roads getting more congested and the trains can hardly keep up with the demand.

Most of us still have to travel for up to an hour to a job and our kids are struggling at school.

Back in Canberra, they’re just playing games; Shorten goes on radio to perform a rap song, Tony Abbott wants his old job back, while the massively disappointing Malcolm Turnbull just reminds us he and Lucy are voting yes in the postal survey.

Our muddle is not as bad as America’s but it’s slowly getting there.

It’s only a matter of time before a home grown populist triumphs over the major parties.

There’s still time to act, if they want to hear the message from the people.

But I’ve got a feeling the second rate people who run our country are too stupid to even hear the call to save themselves.



  • We are lucky to have compulsory voting because in the US Trump was elected by some 30pc of about 30pc of voters as only about 30pc of people bother to vote in their elections as they do in Britain. Some may think it is a pain in the butt but at least we have to take some interest in how we vote even if some of us make bad choices.

  • Some good points there. Good people don’t win seats in Parliament because most of the time it means selling your soul to the millionaires and billionaires who run this country. What I would give to hear more public figures in this country take politics seriously, without the literal song and dance or worse, the mind-numbing idiocy that makes my jaw drop with incredulity, because they are too lazy nowadays to even try to look like they care about what they’re doing. (I saw a throwaway comment by Matt Canavan earlier, hardly the only one to say things like this, but which is relevant. He says he doesn’t care if he loses his seat because he always thought taking care of his kid is more important than his job — it isn’t. Your one kid isn’t more important than the future of tens of millions of Australians and the planet they live on, but someone with so much wealth and privilege is totally blind to the reality of ordinary life and the risks the vast majority of us face from existential threats like climate change or fascism. Every influential public figure has inordinately more power to change the world than most individuals, and yet they squander it for their own self-interest.)

    But things will never change unless people start getting involved, taking control of things themselves, not waiting for corporations or politicians to do the right thing. If we want better we are all responsible for fighting and struggling for it.

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