John Lord, asked the question this morning in his ‘Day to Day Politics’ column, why would you reward a party another three years in office when they have demonstrably governed so badly?
The answer is simple. We should not.
What sort of message do we send our politicians when we reward poor performance? It is clear that in both politics and the private business sector, poor performance is often rewarded with promotion.
But is that what we should be doing? Should not we, the people, be setting the example? Should not we be saying poor performance is not going to be tolerated? It’s not that long ago that this very government was telling us, in opposition, how poor the performance was, of the previous government.
We recall all too clearly, the debt and deficit disaster, the alleged corrupt nature of the then PM in some obscure dealings she engaged in, prior to entering politics. They railed against a treasurer for inconsistent estimates of the deficit. They promised not to cut spending for education, health, pensions, the ABC and SBS.
No sooner did we agree with them and offer them the opportunity to show us how “adults” conduct themselves in office, that they begin conducting themselves no differently from their predecessors. They cannot control the economy, 14 ministers have been replaced or resigned, some under suspicious circumstances, the deficit is larger and more unpredictable and they have broken a myriad of core promises.
Poor fools us.
Yes, they did make one significant correction. They dumped their leader, a buffoon, an embarrassment, someone who was simply out of his depth. But in their haste to correct this appalling image, they forgot to dump his policies as well.
In short, nothing changed beyond a slap of paint on the front door. But that seemed to do the trick. Six percent of the population thought that was enough and changed their preference. How shallow can we get?
So now, brimming with confidence, believing they have pulled the wool over our eyes, they are out to deceive us further by cranking up a minor issue that no one rates very highly, so they can go to another election and trick us even further.
We know that if they win they will resurrect all those broken promises they have piled up in the senate. Having lied to us from day one of their tenure, they now want to continue what they originally set out to do.
So, my question is, why would we re-elect a party that has been so dishonest from the very beginning and give them another opportunity to insult our intelligence? Why would we want to do that?
Are we really that stupid?