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The Forum > Article Comments > Itís the ground game > Comments

Itís the ground game : Comments

By Helen Pringle, published 11/9/2013

No one knocked on my door asking for my commitment. I received two letters from my local member.

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I received five letters from the Liberal party, as did my partner.The envelopes of which in no way indicated that they were Liberal party election propaganda material.
The letters were all "personally" addressed to me including the last one by the Abbott himself.
Strange how they (the senders) knew my address. My street address and my partners Post Office box address.
Posted by Daffy Duck, Wednesday, 11 September 2013 8:30:47 AM
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Duffy duck,
we got letters from the ALP so what's your point ?
Posted by individual, Wednesday, 11 September 2013 10:39:44 AM
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It isn't that often that I agree with Ms Pringle. On this occasion, I do so most heartily.

Politics in this country has become little more than a game played by a discrete and privileged bunch of people who - using our money, by the way - manipulate a tired and discredited system to their own pecuniary advantage. Any semblance of "presenting policies" or "committing themselves to their electorate" have long since disappeared in the mire of pre-selection deals, factional preferences and blatant, out-and-out lying, both to the people and to the media.

There is however a small flaw in the solution presented by Ms Pringle, one that she clearly recognizes:

"Of course, it is easier to recruit such a little army if you can inspire them in the first place."

The complete absence of the remotest vestige of ethics, principles or even honesty in the make-up of our political system makes such inspiration both difficult to find, and ultimately futile. Breaking the mould will take more than a "little army". It will take a massive, back-to-basics grass-roots movement, of the kind that brings a million people out on the streets.

This cannot happen, of course, as we are so fat-and-happy here, wallowing in one of the world's most comfortable economies and least divided populations. Change happens as a result of friction, and there ain't any of that here.

So I'm afraid we are going to have to to live with a laissez-faire electorate, and a blatantly irrelevant system, right up to the point where life becomes sufficiently uncomfortable for the majority of the people.

That will take a while, I fancy.
Posted by Pericles, Wednesday, 11 September 2013 10:51:04 AM
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I had a phone call from a volunteer ringing on behalf of my local member. The same local LNP member who's office had quite convincingly shown me last year when I needed help (or at least the hope that someone in government cared) that they were not interested and would not return calls.

The volunteer handled the call well and a couple of days later I got a call from the local member who reaffirmed my initial view that he had no interest in representing constituents or in working towards government that tried to be fair.

I don't much like people coming to my door promoting their pet cause be it politics, religion or whatever. When it comes to politics I doubt the fresh-faced person with a clipboard is going to cut it for me.

Better to not come to my door but if you do then it better not be just about how the door knocker will benefit from said party or candidate, they should have the experience to speak about the issues facing me who is not so interested in what I can get from the government but in reducing the governments impacts on my life and choices.

A also tend to get somewhat resistant when someone wants a commitment to what they are selling then and there. If I've sought them out and want something from them then maybe, not just because they have a clipboard.

The ground game for me is local reps giving a stuff about how government works for their constituents. The ones who know they can't solve all problems but care when they can't. The ones who have some interest in the 2 1/2 years when an election is not generally a pressing concern.

If a party has some fresh face volunteer's with clipboards and a good supply of shoes send them to my door sometime this year to find out what's important to me and where I think government could do better,

R0bert
Posted by R0bert, Wednesday, 11 September 2013 12:00:10 PM
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Gee, it's no wonder Helen works at a University. I mean, who else but an academic would have thought about active campaigning as a way of gaining votes? Still, it's reassuring to see that Helen maintains her disdain for the major parties. To do otherwise might have suggested to her fellow taxpayer funded academics that she had some respect for the majority of her fellow citizens.
Posted by Senior Victorian, Wednesday, 11 September 2013 1:15:51 PM
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Typically after an election those on the losing side tend to disparage voters for their 'ignorance' and 'casualness' in voting. As well, whipping boys are found and excuses made such as 'the government was in too long', which again sledges the voters for presumably not recognising the 'good'.

Anything to avoid critically examining the government's ethics and performance.

Contrary to what some believe, voters are not 'punters' (Rudd) and they rely on what they themselves experience daily of the government's impact on them. Also, it is not the government's disunity that was such a problem, rather citizens are repulsed by political pragmatists like Julia Whatshername defending and protecting rogues.

Surely now that the election is over there can be some honesty and frankness in the Labor organisation about the systemic problems it has along with the unions. They are not even content that the mildly reforming Rudd has been relegated to a back seat. Yes he has flaws and a leader he is not. But he did put a finger on what ails Labor. That is why he must be discredited again by his own party. They want him named, blamed and knifed all over again, lest he lift the hem again on corruption inside the Party.

But no, the spin continues!
Posted by onthebeach, Wednesday, 11 September 2013 3:37:12 PM
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