Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Major party politicians have low self-esteem

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-04-08

Peter Martin, The Age economics correspondent, gives a raft of facts ripping apart the percerptions of Greens voters as economic idiots, shows the major party mouthpieces as promoting incorrect perceptions, but doesn’t go far enough about what this means about voters.

One of his key points, about the difference between Greens and major party voters, is the following:

If the Greens have got it wrong on economics, then so too have the economics text books they seem to have read and so too has Ken Henry.

His list of items points to greater economic literacy and general awareness of current affairs among Greens voters, but doesn’t stress the wilful ignorance and stupidity of Labor/Liberal voters – especially on economic policy, the key spruiking point of both majors, and the key factor voters for the majors say determines their vote.

When someone says "X is of prime importance to me, but I will not ensure I am well-informed about X, even the general princples", it shows general stupidity and hypocrisy, which doubtless carries over into every other area of public policy.

It also carries over into their opinion of Greens voters and thus Green politicians, encouraged by the politicians in the majors who again, must be either ignorant themselves, or purposefully lying.

That the majors push against mainstream experts shows they must think (indeed know) the average voter is poorly-informed and wants to stay that way, that the voter most profitably wooed is a bogan.

So much for the politicians in the majors having a high opinion of the Australian people, however much they mouth the words.

So much for the self-belief of the politicians in the majors – they either know they won’t or cannot lead or educate the people, won’t or cannot inspire us to something better.

Perhaps I’ve been wrong thinking the politicians in the majors have hubris – perhaps it’s all just a face they put on to covert their own self-esteem issues – that low self-esteen probably justified.

The bottom line is that if we want good economic management, and evidence-based policy generally, then the sooner Labor (or preferably but less likely the Liberal Party) becomes the third party, becomes the junior partner to the Greens in government, the better.


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