AS yet another poll confirmed a once all conquering political party is on track for a major upset, it occurred to me we are doing this all wrong.
Our politicians are more distrusted and disliked than football players and other fallen sports stars who have been in trouble for drunkenness, assault and worse.
And a lot of that is our – the voters’ – fault.
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We put more care, thought and resources into the local Thursday night touch football team than we do into selecting and preparing our political representatives.
Professional athletes are nurtured and supported from a young age, mentored to be role models (not always successfully admittedly) and drilled about the honour of representing their state and country.
Massive funding from taxpayers and supporters ensure their success which is fanatically reported on and televised to the adoring public.
But when it comes to our politicians, we scan a ballot paper, tick a name that sounds vaguely familiar and, voilà, a half-literate party hack who was the last one standing on pre-selection day gets into parliament.
No wonder we have so little respect.
If we demanded from our parliament and government the training, hard work and discipline of a professional sporting team, there would be increased accountability and results.
Coaches and trainers would prepare them for their new roles and would always be on hand in the background to ensure they continued working on their skills.
There would be still some trash talking but anyone who really misbehaved would appear before an independent judiciary where they could be suspended and fined.
To keep things interesting we could have state of origin contests with the NSW Government on important economic and business milestones.
Surely the post-parliament interviews would be a lot more entertaining: “Yeah, mate, it was a little scrappy but we are just glad we came away with a win.”
And we could have half-time entertainment!
I would draw the line at team sponsorship – I think we all know why.
Both sides of politics have shown they are already a little too partial to that sort of financial patronage.
But seriously, don’t we deserve an All Stars team?
We certainly pay them enough.
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