Sunday, January 29, 2012

Take your partners for the next dance

The political dance has long held a fascination for me. I can’t really jig, but then I am fairly inept at real politics. I guess the problem is that I take it too seriously, expect better performances than seem to be humanly possible.
We don’t have a federal election due in Australia soon, but we have a ballroom full of willing competitors. The USA are having their preliminarily heats providing dance floor spills and thrills aplenty. Both offer a sad, disenchanting view of political life and aspirants.
Prime Minister Gillard should be sitting on top of the glittering ball, being generally successful at delivering worthy performances in most sections of the comp. Her biggest skill though seems to be the one that will see her limp off the floor, missing one shoe perhaps. Our Julia at deflecting the failings of opposition leader Abbott back onto herself.
Time and again Abbott should be hoist on his own petard, and the chivalrous Julia steps in to take the blow. It is breathtaking to watch the incredible transformation, the shift of focus, a foot gently removed from Abbott's mouth and planted solidly in her own. I wouldn’t really mind, except for a morbid fear of an Abbott lead government in this country.

Circular Firing Squad
A shift of focus to the USA GOP primaries race could probably rate as a displacement activity, although it should concern Aussies who is in the White House. We do tend to become tangled in US policy, at all its extremes.
This race has been characterised as a ‘circular firing squad’. Front runners Romney and Gingrich have inflicted such serious electoral damage on each other there is talk at this late stage of introducing a new, electable candidate. What has been fascinating, like Abbott these aspirants are adept at shooting themselves in the foot, without suffering any harm.
A long held dream has been to see a credible, capable set of opponents, showing the positive skills which might thrill us with the spectre of the political tango. They need not be boring. They need not ape each other’s steps and routines. Diversity provides powerful benefits in any field of endeavour. My dream is for solid performances, the sort which serve to grow the confidence of nations, not constantly drain it away.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Experiencing a wilderness

WOW!!! A keyboard under the fingertips again. Eons in the wilderness, with only an antediluvian cell phone at hand blogging gave way to contemplation and the odd tweet. That plus reams of hand written notes for an ongoing wilderness inspired project.
Limitations on commenting are possibly just as well, given the strange behaviour of supposedly progressive politicians; so strange the conservative side are in danger of self-harm. As WSJ recently noted, the Congressional GOP appeared to be forming a circular firing squad trying to find their new place in the political landscape.
 In Australian the conservative opposition are so intent on opposing they have become typecast as ‘The NO Team’, giving the minority government more than a little hope of survival. Like elsewhere the parties are in disarray.
My old ‘Aunt Sally’, Silvio Berluscone is gone – hoist on his own petard. The Middle East despotic regimes are imploding one by one, without outside assistance. There is still injustice aplenty, still regrettable laws, often backed by ‘progressive’ leaders. All of this happened without the benefit of my input. Amazing!
Good old economics is behind a lot of this fascinating political/social behaviour. Certainly in conventional terms Obama would be toast with the current US economic dynamic, but his opponents are intent on showing they would be far more destructive. Economic ructions might  have changed expectations.
The increased spread of social media is informing unrest around the world, spreading quickly to those who might never known they had alternatives. More power to them. To be sure, those unused to being challenged react harshly. But their very actions, the violence and bloodshed, are fuelling the resolve of emerging revolutionaries.
It would be remiss not to mention the Occupy Movement, though apart from the catchy 99% there seems to be a lack of handles to grab. I think I understand the reasoning behind the movement, or at least the desire to find their voice. Unfortunately poor articulation of the economic arguments underlying the movement, the lack of cohesive target demands, has so far negated their real potential.
Still, it is wonderful that all this goes on, for better or worse in my absence. Even better to know that my humble opinion is neither needed or missed. That revelation probably won’t change my readiness to comment. I blog, therefore I am? The truth, as I found, is that I am even in the silent wilderness.