Tuesday, 17 May 2016

The Fools on the Hill

You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.
-An ancient Chinese proverb that's probably not Abraham Lincoln's

Less than three years ago, the Australian people have voted for the Liberal & National coalition to build a government headed by Tony Abbott with which to run Australia. It took less than a year for disenchantment with that government to take over, as indicated by the overthrowing of single term Liberal state governments in Queensland a and Victoria. It took a year longer for the Liberals themselves to get the point and demote Abbott.
If we examine the state of mind that had Aussies choose this failure in the first place, we can find its roots in what turned out to be false claims regarding the state of the Australian economy. Essentially, the Liberals claimed the then minority Labor government is stagnating affairs and that they'd do things so much better that everyone would be better off. It was the definition of a negative campaign, with its Juliar slogan and everything that went with it.
Fast forward a year, and all the Liberals had achieved in their term of governing was the cancellation of Labor's Carbon Tax. An amazing achievement for a country that deems itself an advanced 21st century society, I am sure you'd [dis]agree. That, plus a budget that declared an emergency (two years later we are still searching for that emergency) and tried to kidnap our Medicare and plenty of other things that do make Australia an advanced 21st century society.


Another way of telling this story is to say that the Liberals fooled most of the people some of the time before the previous elections. Alas, I cannot avoid drawing a far more damning conclusion.
With polls suggesting this year's elections has the two sides tied at 50%-50%, I do wonder what this is implying with regards to the Australian people's ability to learn from the past. Perhaps it is not the case at all that the Liberals fooled people; maybe, instead, it is us Australians that are simply foolish.

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