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Somehow our timid democracy trundles on

Asian Cup football final at Stadium Australia, 2015 - sport is a great comforter for Australians who feel the world has gone awry (Austadiums)


ADELAIDE - Even though any objective survey of modern Australian politics leads to despondency, we should bear in mind that the two biggest spending political parties performed rather badly at the last election.

Also, perhaps we should bear in mind that spending by our political parties is dwarfed by the colossal sums spent in the USA, where money doesn't just talk, it positively shrieks.

So, as bad as it is, Australia's democracy trundles on, made at least semi-wholesome by the tendency of Australians to regard politics and politicians with suspicion and, sometimes, outright contempt.

Cheerily, as the conservatives drift ever further to the right, seeing fit to praise flawed men like the recently deceased Cardinal George Pell (who a former prime minister would like to sanctify), the hole they are digging for themselves gets ever deeper.

In particular, young people seem to be giving up on the Australian Labor Party and the Liberal-National coalition in greater numbers.

All this bodes well for the future, provided the ALP does not succumb to the 'woke' elements in the party and elevate its concerns above those of ‘ordinary Australians', whoever they may be.

I am trying desperately to be more upbeat about politics and the future, even though I think 'Western civilisation' is currently doing rather badly and, as a consequence, the forces of autocracy are feeling encouraged.

The truth is that our procession of leaders since 2007 has spent too much time procrastinating, prevaricating and muddling around.

The absence of clarity of thought about critical issues and the lack of decisiveness in action are conspicuous in a host of ways.

Policy timidity is the hallmark of the so-called ‘progressives’.

The conservative right seems determined to move in ways that are resolutely wrong even as they meet the demands of their irrational base of neo-liberals, conspiracy theorists and evidence deniers.

All this is reminiscent of years before World War II, albeit perhaps not quite so bad.

Hesitant as their support may be, at least the democratic world is enabling Ukraine to confront Vladimir Putin before he has become the mighty, maniacal modern equivalent of Adolf Hitler.

I just wish they would realise that Ukraine must be enabled to win, not to merely not lose.

Anyway, all this is beyond our control, so perhaps just focusing on the footy and cricket is the best strategy.

Certainly, most of our fellow citizens seem to think so - and they may well be right.


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