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The Finite Game Of Scomo And Albo… Oh, And Nato (which is obviously Richard Di Natale!)

There’s a book called « Finite And Infinite Games » which was written some time ago. Over the next few years, it’ll become more famous because Simon Sinek references it for his latest work, « The Infinite Game ».

Simply, finite games are the ones with a clearly defined winner, while infinite games keep going. A game of chess or football is a finite game; getting fit might be considered an infinite game.

When it comes to some activities, you may have some people playing a finite game, while others play the infinite game. You may be trying to raise enough money for a house deposit, while Andrew is trying to become the richest person in Australia. Your game stops once you have a certain amount of money, while Andrew needs to continue going even he does become the richest person because there’s always the risk that someone will become more successful than he is.

So if you consider politics in terms of finite and infinite games, you can see that there are all sorts of finite games that can be played. As an Opposition, Labor might like to play, « Let’s make Angus Taylor resign in disgrace! » Ok, in the current environment that’s not very likely because it doesn’t seem to matter what any minister does, they simply say something like: « It was a member of my staff! » or « I made a mistake and paid the money back! » or « That was against the rules but the rules were changed once we realised that most government MPs had broken them. » After that, there’s a bit of tsk, tsk and then they go on their merry way.

But the big finite game in politics is: « Let’s win the election. »’

Don’t get me wrong. Of course, this is an important game because not only do you get smaller offices, but there’s actually not a lot you can do in Opposition, even if you’re the Labor Party who seem to be getting asked about their policies more often than the actual government… However, it’s a problem when you become so obsessed with the finite game that you forget that some people are actually hoping for an Infinite game from their leaders.

The question for Labor and The Greens is which is more important at this point in history: the finite or the infinite game?

In days gone by, I would have said:

My admiration for The Greens was the fact that they were always playing the infinite game; they were actually trying to create a better future. My admiration for the Labor Party was the fact that they actually got into government and were much better than the Coalition. My admiration for the Liberals was their belief in individual liberty…in theory, at least. My admiration for the National Party was that that they had the sense to realise that they could attach themselves to the rump of the Liberal Party and join in the spoils of government even though only represented a very small percentage of the overall population. (No, I don’t mean country people. They haven’t done that for years; they represent the small percentage that are actually National Party members and you have to admire that in the same way that you admire the way cockroaches will survive nuclear war!) My admiration for One Nation is that Pauline represents the people who can’t string an intelligent sentence together. And she does this admirably by not even… sentence… forget the intelligent bit… we don’t need to… intelligent… I represent the men and people… that’s all right for city… but… look…

Anyway, I think you can see that I’m losing my admiration for just about all political parties and I’m wondering how we get even one of them to focus on the infinite game. How can we get even one to say, “Fuck this opinion poll shit and fuck what the focus groups say, this is what we believe and this is important and if we go down, then so be it…”

But I guess that’s not the way to fight a war. After all, didn’t the ANZACs decide not to charge because they’d lose? Didn’t all the diggers just come back because the Kokoda trail was full of hazards? No, they fought on. (See we can all invoke the silly war shit when it suits us.)

I better stop before I say: Lest we forget and have to leave the country like Yassmin.

On other matters, I have to say that I was gobsmacked by the story about China trying to get someone elected to Chisholm. All I can say is thank God we got Gladys who assured us that she was never a member of all those Communist Party groups and thank God that we have Scott who told the media that they take these allegations seriously, because I find it pretty hard to take anything coming out of Canberra seriously these days!


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  1. pierre wilkinson

    Oh how I wish that ProMo is definitively finite
    and his government too
    but who has vision these days?
    apart from pauline’s xenophobic send them all back to where they came from policies
    we have a dearth of any directives never mind aspirations

  2. Phil Pryor

    So, all is well in conservative government ranks, with Scummo, Dicko, Pusso, Lyo, Crooko, Poo-o, Shitto, Dillo, Thiefo, Extorto, Mc Who-o, Joyce-Proddo, Hanson-oozo, Fat George-filipino-spendo, Dutton-ohno, and all the other little devious turdos. Charmingly pooey…

  3. New England Cocky

    The nat$ in New England have been unable to man all the election booths with locals for over 40 years at every level of government elections, council, state and federal. Volunteers are paid to travel into New England from metropolitan Liarbral electorates and surrounding electorates held by nat$ to keep the “reds under the beds” and applaud David Drummond who retired in 1961.


  4. wam

    Unlike you my admiration of the greens hinged on their care for their name in the present, They were willing to go the hard yards to preserve wonderful natural assets. As did mundEy and the BLF
    Bob Brown was a powerful leader and an admirable man.
    When the realisation of political power became the prime concern my respect waned and eventually disappeared with the party votes with the rabbott. The creation of thediludbransimkims was the convincing chapter in the greens pragmatic make-over that put power first people second and women in their usual place.
    I believe in ‘freudian slips’ and expect your order of ‘admire’ was, one, your omission of the other extremist was two and your nats observation completes the triplet.
    Sadly the greens supporters cannot accept that the nats win seats because they are supported by over 50% of the electorate the greens have one seat gifted by tanner and remain extremist using volume to make millions.
    It would be interesting to know if you have friends or relations who vote for the Nats and have heard their opinion of the slogan, using your order greens and labor.
    But who cares scummo rules, he can find distractions, is not troubled by opposition on the morning shows and will claim credit for any action arising from their inaction. thanks boobby.

  5. James O'Neill

    One way to effect some significant change in conduct is to have an electoral system where the support a political party has is reflected in their seats in parliament. It is an enduring disgrace in my view that a party with about 4% voter support has the seats in the house that it does, and the Green Party, with at least 3 times as many votes has only 1.
    Most of the civilised world has a pr system. Why is Australia so out of step other than it obviously benefits the existing party of governance.

  6. Wobbley

    Hey Wam, you sure your on the right site? Sometimes I think by way of your comments that you may have strayed from your familiar place to be. Sometimes just sometimes it seems like your a troll. Sorry but if your a “progressive” sometimes it comes across as you having centrists views which are on the right side of the line these days.

  7. Josephus

    Wam is not always easy to understand, so no matter. Perhaps I am a long nose, whatever that is.
    Oh for evidence-based comment always, please Moderator.

    Yes the Greens think of the future beyond the next election, which is odd of them. However, the main problem with our voting system apart from the powerful hate machines of the popular Press, Radio and TV is that election results do not reflect the proportion of votes cast.

  8. One Foot In The Grave

    Thanks Phil,brightened up an otherwise shitty day.However………..KARMA.

  9. wam

    No progressive here just a simpleton that has voted in some 23 federal elections.
    Just an oldfolk singing, ho chi minh principled greenie of the 60s a bleeding heart, Aborigine loving homophilic god and greenhouse gas hating leftie.

    My fear is people here do not have friends and relatives who support this government and accept the perpetual lies:
    labor cannot manage the economy
    labor cannot operate on its own and must include the green and the unions.
    My first principle is no lnp government can be elected without low paid workers, pensioners and the unemployed being scared into voting for them. I saw, heard and felt the fear generated by the caravan. I wondered about the timing till the AEC cash was announced when it became obvious what I saw that shocked me was seen as a stimulus by the greens.
    Albo must address the economy lie to regain the frightened defectors.
    He can do little about the second because narrow nose has an agenda that is not to my liking nor to 90% of Australians.

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