Hi everybody! My posting abilities are a few days old, but I have been suffering through bi-annual horror of exams until today. For my first ever post, I have another interesting titbit/rant from the oft-train wreck that is the political world.
I went out for dinner tonight, and got home to find out we (Australians) have a new Prime Minister.
Which is fine. I get that we elect parties and they elect leaders.* But I am so sick of politics being about people and not politics. Some of this is due to the seeming inability of our elected officials to remember that their job is to administer a country, not bitch about each other. However to me, this phenomenon has largely been driven by the mainstream media’s incessant focus on the personalities of our party leaders at the expense of political issues.
As our first Prime Minister with two X chromosomes, it is unsurprising (and disappointing) that significant attention has been paid to matters outside of politics when it comes to Julia Gillard’s time in office.
But bizarrely (and somewhat gallingly) the media has taken it upon itself to shape the political discourse in our country, rather than just report on it. Last week, the editorial of a major newspaper called for Gillard’s resignation. Again, fine; an editor can write what they want in an editorial. But I do have a problem when said editor justifies it on the basis that Gillard's brand of leadership doesn’t offer “vigorous, policy-driven democratic debate”.
Now, I’m not denying that there were serious political problems (not least of which a hung parliament) that stifled progress in Parliament. BUT. My newspaper friends (because it really seemed to be print media driven): you are the people responsible for disseminating political issues to the population at large. Do your job. Instead of normalising discussions on personalities, instead of focusing on Julia’s new glasses or her knitting abilities, how about you actually do some newspapering on political issues.
* To be fair, she got voted in as PM in the same way that she just got kicked out, 3 years ago on Monday…
Rant aside, SO happy to be here!