Why you will never get who you vote for.

Romney vs Obama.

Gillard vs Abbott.

Left vs Right.

Red vs Blue.

You will never get what you vote for, in terms of policy, principle and good governance. It no longer pays to be a good politician- it only pays to be a crafty politician. And, based on the entropy of maintaining the status quo, those who defer change will always win.

Here are the reasons why:

If you have the wrong soundbite in the media age, the media will replay it ad nauseum and crucify you.
All you need to do is say something regrettable and, magically, there are microphones everywhere to confirm the fears of your political opponents. They can then replay the sound-bite without context and ad-nauseum until you are embarrassed out of office. Examples include:

You’re just part of binge cycle.

The cycle is this: right-wing conservative governments sell state assets, cut public sector jobs and work for government efficiency to howls of protest. A left-wing socialist government is then voted in and binge spends on pet projects, bloating the public service. We have a bipolar fascination with two diametrically opposed forms of government – an end up with the worst excesses of both. In truth, we should not have to do cycles of both so much as have two different states where only one form of government is implemented- Singapore (which is not a true democracy) is a decent example of this.

Welfare and entitlements are insidiously addictive, and nobody wants to give up their entitlements.

Once the left-wing government is in play, they begin handing out welfare, means testing so that only the “poor” (i.e. people who vote for socialists) can receive these benefits. These welfare receipients begin to plan their lives around the existence of welfare with no buffer for its removal; they come to rely on benefits, on “sit down money” rather than industry. In addition, the public service expands to service the politically correct programs dreamt up by socialists, such as Carbon Taxes. To fund these grandoise programs (which they place on the country’s credit card tab), they increase the taxes and regulatory burden on business, creating a “big government knows best” model. In combination with this, they modify workplace laws to suit the power brokers that brought the socialists to power, typically trade unions. From this the economy is hit by wildcat strikes by emboldended unions and industrial unrest. This makes it harder to do business in society.

This increases the chance of sovereign risk and reduces the attractiveness of a country as destination for investment. The businesses who then are saddled with more tax have disproportionate influence because they can afford to purchase double page advertisements in Newspapers and television advertising, leading to accusations that money can buy influence (typically by politicians adversely targetted by such influence!). On occassion these campaigns are highly damaging because they highlight the increases in taxes. The socialists are then voted out for mismanaging the economy.

Conservative governments instead attempt to shrink government and reduce the tax burden on constituents. They sell off government utilities so that those markets can be open to competition and private enterprise (who proceed to do things on the cheap); they cut back the public service that is bloated. With the money gained from the raids, the neo-cons organise pork-barrelling (such as tax cuts) tied to specific behaviours, rather than classes, hence are not means tested. This is decried by socialists as “middle class welfare” because it is “giving money to those who already have it.” The issue with this thinking is that the more affluent constituents frequently pay a larger part of the tax take. The issue of “fiscal responsibility” also paralyses conservative governments from undertaking big projects.

The one big project that the conservatives do not shy away from is the most expensive of all is war… the hawks are warmongers, where each missile is the price of a small car. War based on nationalism. War based on tradition and “doing the right thing.” Ultimately all wars are based on lies. If things go well, the coffers build up from lack of domestic spending, until it is time for the conservative government to be swept away by its hubris or contempt for the electorate. Socialists are swept out as a consequence of mismanagement, while conservatives are toppled by their own arrogance in times of plenty, and the guile of socialists who tap into public anger.

Now it is time for the socialists to squander those savings… the cycle begins again…

Politicians don’t say things to govern well, they say things to get elected.

From the above, it becomes a game of “not giving the game away” in terms of constituents and ensuring that their entitlements are protected. It pays to say the right things, such as “I’m a fiscal conservative” just so long as you are in election mode so that you can “change everything after you are elected” and out of reach of voters for three years.

Eventually the concept of “political discipline” comes in where, rather than speaking the mind and being frank, honest and principled to voters, one “spins” as much as possible to deceive voters with an image, a brand and a perception.

Politics then becomes a football game where one chooses a side and barracks for it… rather than reading policies.

Once the “brand” has been created, politics becomes less about principle and more like a football match, where one barracks for a “side”. The issue with this is that it no longer becomes about policy and principle, but about likeability and the cult of personality. Voters become more susceptible to “hating” one party and “loving” another, despite the merits of the hated and the sins of the loved. This takes politics from being a serious discussion between adults to a popularity contest between children.

Your opponents will always misrepresent you as a charicature

Some choice comments I have seen around the traps, showing that, in taking sides above, your political opponents will always dog whistle without sensibly debating policy. Steps such as labelling an opponent a misygonist, saying people are in the pay of “Big Tobacco” or “Big Oil” and using “class war” to rally the population, and throwing scraps to the voters who are “barracking” for you to confirm their prejudices.

Even the newspapers will pick sides in a partisan fashion, you have to read several newspapers to get the whole story:
The Age whacking the Coalition by repeating and agreeing with Labor’s attack lines over not talking enough about Asylum seekers to the Indonesian president (despite him talking about it and not announcing it to the media, Labor style)
The Age whacking the Coalition again
The Australian whacking the Labor party over internal divisons

Even the media watchdog is partisan, and blind to its own bias. Even issues such as climate change science have become less about facts and more about scoring points, where impartial regulators are forced to intervene in largely political discussions.

Everyone expects government to fix things for them.

At this point it becomes clear, that society is down the decaying path of hedonism, excess, selfishness and entitlement. Rather than rewarding industry, we penalise it. Governments attempt to “free” corporations of government strictures by privatising them… only to install regulations to force them to act as if they were still Government owned (Telstra, the incumbant telecommunications provider, is saddled with the “Universal Service Obligation” as a result). We have the birth of the cake pigs-

politicians and constituents who want their cake and to eat it to.

They want services, welfare and entitlements and they want someone else to pay for it.

The politicians oblige to buy votes, and allow constituents to vote for someone else to pay more taxes.

Eventually, the idling masses, who recognise that accepting money from welfare is easier than trying to set up industries that are overburdened with regulation, realise that they can form a voting majority that votes for them to work less and be paid more… the majority can raid the nation’s treasury to pay for largesse, as happened in Greece. The nation is then overshadowed by emerging economies such indolence does not exist.

Ultimately, societies fail when expenses exceed income, and socialism is expensive. Ultimately the socialists then look for people who are industrious and gullible to pick up the tab, as with the Germans vs the Greeks and Spainiards in Europe. Australia and the United States will go the same way.

Democracy is the road to socialism. – Karl Marx

Finally, there only appear to be two choices.

That is the biggest and final illusion. Are there only really two choices? Left and Right, socialist and neo-con? Perhaps the third force is Shariah…

How do we fix all this, that human greed is the centre of politics? A radical idea is this- one day we will be able to link everyone together using a computer. Insane, yes? But until then we have to deal with a dinosaur called democracy where mortals do their best to vote as much largesse as possible from the public treasury.

Tags: , , ,

Categories: Beliefs, Morals, Business, Politics, Law

Author:Richard Lee

Food Critic

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