Choosing who stuffs up the country

ELECTION time. What a relief!

Once again I have been given the opportunity to exercise my democratic right to choose who stuffs up the running of the state.

That should be easy. If you look back through the newspapers for the past 150 years it appears that every government has always stuffed up.

It’s funny that we rant on about how incompetent the government is, but we never rant on about the incompetence of the people who choose them.

When the government announces it’s raising taxes or reducing the pension, you never see a newspaper headline that’s says to the reader: YOU IDIOT!

Voters — the majority of them anyway — get what they deserve. If that doesn’t frighten you, look at America, where it’s Arnold Schwarznegger and (once) Ronald Reagan.

Performers, for heaven’s sake. Not performers in the business sense, but performers in the clown sense.

It’s my belief this happens because voters are mainly concerned with who has the nicest face!

I know there are some people out there who want to know what the government’s policy is on taxes and public safety, or roads and jobs. But mostly they just want to know if the people who are run the country (or the state) are nice people.

Of course they’re not. For a start they break promises. This is a basic principle of electioneering. So basic, in fact, that we no longer really care very much.

We’re much more impressed with someone who makes extravagant promises they have no intention of keeping than someone who says: “I can’t lie to you — wages will not go up, and medical fees will increase and you’ll be generally worse off.”

There’s no logic to it. Serial murderers generally have nice faces. That’s how they get their victims. If they had the mad eyes of a weasel and Dracula teeth people wouldn’t go close enough.

It’s the same with politicians.

It’s probably fair to say that you could cover your head in a towel and walk along Flinders Mall any day — or night — of the week and pick people who could do as good (or as bad) a job as the ones we’ve got.

One day it will be a reality TV show. We’ll start with a parliament of cabinet ministers and every week we’ll vote one off. Come to think of it, that might be better than the system we’ve got now.

As things stand I know that when I wake up on February 8 nothing will have changed. The things I really care about will still be there, like a splinter in my sock.

The bank will still not have enough tellers. Robots on telephones will still ask me to press a button for every conceivable need but the one I have. The driver of the car behind will still be too close. The neighbour’s dog will still leave turds on my lawn.

Now, give me a party than can sort that out, I’ll become a card-carrying member!