this is not politics

What really scares me as a swinging voter is the bile, ignorance and vitriol I see on both sides of the political debate.

This is not a state of origin game. We should not be barracking for two teams as though it was the wallabies vs the all blacks. I don’t care who the coaches or the captains of the teams are.

On both sides of the debate I see supporters who deride each other as stereotypical societal caricatures. No one, not the members of parliament, not the media, not the prolific bloggers, the social media elite nor the man on the street is talking about what matters.

Policies.

Legislation.

Solutions.

The whole political discourse is broken. The tail is wagging the dog. Politicians are being directed by the media to discuss trivial banality at the behest of the public who feast on the drama like a badly rating reality TV show where everyone is seeking to see who can jump the most sharks.

Enough is enough already.

The media need to make a choice. They can recall their journalistic roots and own the mantle of balanced, neutral and objective reporters for the public good or they can just admit they are purveyors of infotainment opinion pieces with no more value than a round of self-flagellation.

We want and need the best interests of the country to be put first. As a parliamentary member, it is your duty to make that happen and not just when your party is in majority power.

As a member of society you should be ashamed, nay, outraged at the behaviour of politicians and journalists both.

We need to send a huge collective message to both. We are not willing to put up with this any further.

Next time a journalist bemoans the fact that they are “forced to report on leadership spills” remind them that it is their job to ask the questions. It is very hard to discuss caucus machinations when asked “what is the minister’s reaction to Indonesia’s call to increase beef imports?”.

Next time you see something like this ask the journalists – why was that not considered news? An integral aspect of the media is that of having the power to construct for us our understanding of the world beyond our personal knowledge and experience. Of course the media has to cover all topics … it is after all news. However, they can also choose to be ethical. They can choose to say enough. If they don’t, then we should challenge them and remind them of their responsibility.

Every time we keep silent, we endorse this spiralling decrepitness.

Enough is enough.

To the politicians I say : Show me your policies and I’ll tell you what your motivations are.

To the media I say : Give me the news and not your views.

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