Margot Saville in Monday’s Crikey excoriates the NSW Liberals’ campaign launch for listing too many policies:
Power bills, fast trains, police stations, is this what state politics is reduced to — a laundry list of focus-group findings? Where’s the vision, the passion? Why is the campaign just “It’s Time” rather than “Vote for Us Because We are the Best”? With respect to the good people of Western Sydney, when it comes to a change of government, I’d like to feel a little more excitement.
Really? Well, I’d like a bit less vague “vision” pablum and more advocacy for and debate about actual policies. Why should we care about something so nebulous as how “passionate” the leader of a parliamentary party is? We’re not asking them out on a date. We’re not asking them to rock our world. We’re determining whether the votes they intend to make in parliament match what we’d like to see happen.
I don’t need a “leader” to “lead” and “inspire” me. I need a representative who will vote on my behalf as I’d like him or her to vote. And that’s on specific issues, on specific policies, on specific legislation.
We had various journalists over the weekend complaining about the vacuous state of political dialogue in this country (on Insiders Fran Kelly’s reference to the “Why Australian Politics Is Broken” article in the Age decrying how politics is simply viewed by the media through a prism of point-scoring between the two big parties prompted Glenn Milne to use it to attack Julia Gillard). Surely this sort of thing, where the media don’t just treat policy debates with a lack of interest – they actually argue that it’s a distraction from the real game – is a large part of the problem.