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A LIAR’S ALLOWANCE! May 4, 2014

Posted by wmmbb in Australian Politics.
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Rule of thumb, somewhat nasty with respect to the PM:When he makes a promise or declaration take it he means the opposite of what he says. That presupposes you can bear listening to him, which I find difficult. I find it difficult to listen to Tony Abbott.

I live in a political dream world, and that disqualifies me from any judgement in relation to what is politic.Ideally, rather than the current environment of political conversation, in which people were expected to state truthfully their positions, in particular on climate change, I would like them to feel obliged to state their position.

Why is the political environment as it is? We may need to develop a model to answer this question. Some of the factors, would I suggest include: the adversarial political frame, election campaigning, especially marginal seat contests, the self-perceived role of important players in the MSM. Following the ICAC revelations, it seems necessary to include political fund raising.

If as insurgent political scientists, we had such a model we would be able to run every conceivable variable, and adapt the political system work better. The problem of course that democracy assumes truth, whereas political reality – the political environment – assumes professional, calibrated public relations and spin. The system, on this assumption, is fundamentally corrupted by its environment and any changes made to variables, and therefore the working out of processes can lead to improvement, but not fundamental change.

Without truth, democracy is in permanent deficit. This is not quite analogous to the proposed structural problem in the budget, but rather to the increasing levels of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere and consequent increase in the amount of greenhouse gases.

What is to be done?  I suggest – isn’t cynicism marvellous? – to give each politician a liar’s allowance, much like an expense account. You then would have appointed independent auditors (how appropriate?), and so have a genuine Commission of Audit. If any politician, with a right of appeal, exceeded their allowance, they would be required to resign.

The presumption underlying this proposal is more radical than the suggestion in that it would require the citizens to take charge of their democracy. How might that be done? I think it must start with individual responsibility, working out to local responsibility and then extending outward. At least, this aspect is not original.

Let’s ask a science fiction writer. We cannot go wrong. And Adam Roberts is selling his book. His TED talk:

We might pause to question the assumptions made. Is the US a democratic state? Is Australia? Does violence actually work, beyond short term results?

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