Saturday, November 10, 2007

Another blow to democracy

Australia has a robust media, one of the best in the world, but they are powerless against a political establishment intent on curtailing any real engagement in the election process.

Both major parties have imposed blanket control on candidates to ensure nothing is said or done which might cause the least ripple. The media are fed carefully crafted puff by political leaders who doggedly avoid any serious discussion of their issues.

It is called ‘The Seinfeld election’ a show without any story. Senior journalists refer to the ‘the desperate emptiness of this campaign’; composed of constantly repeated , focus-group tested, sound bites that kill language and empty it of all meaning.

The media control is so tight that most senior journalists have refused to be part of the travelling leader’s circuses. There is nothing to be reported, of any substance. The less experienced journalists will no doubt lack the experience to inject the killer question, but they will also lack the opportunity.

Even after non-candidate Robin (he of the underwear on the Town Green) failed to register the media are still talking to him, still running stories about him. We have been laughing all week that Robin is getting more local column centimetres and TV footage than all the candidates put together.

Partly that was the result of an uncommon honesty, going straight to the media when he failed to register, and telling them the truth. Partly it is because he injected a conversation into the campaign, something the media play with; more than bland media releases, the purpose of which is to avoid engagement.

Our politicians are gutting democracy, removing real discussion and avoiding real contact with voters. They can do it because in the end there are no real alternatives, they have tweaked the electoral system to ensure one or the party will win. Worse, we have reached a stage that there is no discernable difference.

The fascinating part is that others are now publicly attacking Robin, presumably trying to nullify whatever effect he is having in the campaign. None of the registered candidates are being at, just the one who missed the boat. We don’t think he did miss the boat, we think he hit the target well.

Robin has the attention of people and the media in Lyne, the electorate he intended to contest, and he will milk it further yet. So in the next week or so you can expect some more dress up and tell a story antics from the failed candidate.


D.K. Raed said...

I'm just starting to catch up here. Wanted to let you know how much I enjoy this long-john pic. I would definitely have voted for this man! ps, hope this avatar doesn't look too fortune-tellerish. I considered using the alien redhead you posted down below.

Cartledge said...

I should have his period undertaker in the next few days. He is doing an anti nuke piece in the local historic cemetery.
The avatar choice is good, nought wrong with a bit of art nouveau.