The decline and fall of political culture

The one article after the other is being published about the ‘mess’ federal politics is in here in Australia. Granted, there is quite a bit going on, with PM Turnbull forced into appointing a Royal Commission, the discontent about the whole way he is dealing with ‘religious protection’ amendments to the Same Sex Marriage bill, the rebellion of the Nationals and the dramatic outcome in a recent state election which some want to blame on the state of federal politics, and more.   There is good reason to be worried about the decline of our political culture. The disrespect for those in authority (i.e. the Prime Minister as the leader of the government) over the past several years has certainly contributed to that.

However, the blame for this political brokenness should not entirely put at the feet of the present government. Or rather, it should mostly put at the one who seems to benefit from this all: the leader of the Labour party, Bill Shorten.

‘Bill Shorten has been at the heart of the cultural breakdown of our body politic for years’, Peter van Onselen writes in an article in the Australian.

Van Onselen is a professor of politics at the University of Western Australia.

At the end of his article he comes to the conclusion that ‘the politician with the dirtiest hands is Shorten. Nonetheless, he’ll probably soon become the biggest beneficiary of the appalling political culture to which he has contributed.’

If only the voters would see this too…