Gormless Oz political bloggers
Posted by Dave Bath on 2008-02-06
I just got a quickly-put-together personal email from a nice person inside finance.gov.au that included data damning most of the Oz blogosphere that make comments about politics, society, and have opinions about what our direction should be.
All but 19 readers of this blog or those reading/authoring posts in my blogroll or Technorati faves are too apathetic to comment on the future of citizen engagement with the government, where it really matters, but happy merely to preen themselves in public on blogs.
The response by the Oz blogosphere was disgusting, even though the consultation went for months, closing in December 2007. Most of you should hang your heads in shame.
Back in September 2007, Gary Nairn (one of the few Liberal MPs I had time for) tried to get feedback on how the citizenry could contribute ideas and feedback to government as they develop policy, via a Consultation Blog Discussion Paper (since moved here as at 2008-11-23) that asked very good questions, after providing very good background, and asked for additional comments, about what we should be doing to improve decisions by our politicians.
The email I received detailed just how hypocritical most Oz sociopolitical bloggers and lurkers are:
Unfortunately with this consultation most people did not provide permission to publish their submission, so we did not publish anything. We received only 20 submissions in total and with the exception of yours and one or two others the submissions largely [merely] answered the questions.
The questions weren’t exhaustive, nor were they "closed", and general comments were explicitly requested.
However, AGIMO and Finance are still trying hard to improve things. Even under Howard, the AGIMO folk were impressive, but it’s now looking even more optimistic.
There [are] however, exciting things happening in this space with the new government (Petitions Committee as a first example) and I look forward to developing the policies that support a way ahead in improving citizen participation in democratic processes. I trust you will continue to provide your highly considered feedback to government.
Well, at least I know my efforts weren’t wasted, and are indeed appreciated, even though I’d hardly consider myself one of the "best and brightest" who should be part of Rudd’s 2020 gabfest.
How come so many blog authors, far exceeding me in intelligence and authority, are unwilling to actually contribute to the debate in the fora that matter most – our parliaments? I cannot figure it out!
Perhaps it is reasonable to allocate speaking time at Rudd’s 2020 gabfest based partly on how much each attendee has demonstrated their earnestness in contributing to the national (or state) debate?
Hopefully, my j’accuse will get some of you doing the right thing in the future.
Notes / See Also:
- My submission to the inquiry as HTML via GoogleDocs or as PDF via WordPress.
- Robert Merkel of Larvatus Prodeo and The View From Benambra is not a hypocrite, as I know he contributed. Thanks Robert!
- From an emailed conversation with Jacques Chester of Club Troppo, I suspect he is also one of the "good guys" and wrote in.
- You can see an outline of my earlier submissions here.
- Earlier posts encouraging people to contribute to this particular consultation include:
- Etymology: From English dialectal gorm + suffix -less. Originally from Old Germanic *gaum-, ‘understand’. The ‘r’ found in this spelling is a vowel-lengthening device common in non-rhotic dialects of English
1. (chiefly UK, of a person) Lacking intelligence, sense or discernment, often implying lack of capacity of will to remedy the condition.
2. (UK) Inexperienced, naïve, innocent to the point of foolishness.
2007-11-29 Submission to the AGIMO inquiry about the Australian Consultation Blog