The good news is that at least part of the nasty, smelly, political wind coming our way in 2013 will be avoided by the Prime Ministers announcement yesterday of the September election date. The context of the statement, that she wanted to remove the uncertainty that accompanies an election date announcement, and allow people to plan for the year is nonsense. The only people whose lives are run by election cycles are the pollies and the befuddled bureaucrats supposed to do their bidding. The truth is that the loss of political initiative and flexibility afforded by being able to call the election at short notice, is outweighed by the costs of continual leadership speculation, the ugly spectre of by-elections labor would certainly lose, and the value of being seen as trying to be positive about the long term, and sensible policy development.
The bad news. This current shambles of a government will probably be replaced by the largely invisible, talentless, non entities of preening self indulgence that currently inhabits the opposition benches. The only one of them who appears to be able to make an intelligent argument, supported by facts, logic, and wit is Malcolm Turnbull, who it seems will struggle to keep his vitriol in check in the face of the rampant “ordinaryness” of his party and coalition colleagues.
Where are the John Buttons, Fred Dalys, Peter Walshs, Paul Keatings, Tim Fischers, Lindsay Tanners, and Jim Killens of past Parliaments when you need them. (most of these examples from my memory seem to be Labor???) Like them or not, agree with them or not, at least you knew they stood for something, what it was, and they were prepared to openly debate the merits with facts, listen to divergent views, and set out to turn them around through adult conversation and debate, albeit laced with humor, sarcasm and irony.
It is going to be a very long year!