A question of trust

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I didn’t grow up in a family that was all that interested in the ins and outs of politics.

Casual observers, sure, but passionate campaigners, not so much.

That has very much allowed me to form my own political views, away from the influences many may find as they grow up.

Despite the sides of the political realm various people choose to put me on, I’m a classic fence sitter when it comes to politics – I call it as I see it and honestly believe that anyone who thinks a particular party gets it right 100 per cent of the time, including when they backflip, is deluded.

I’ve met some wonderful people associated with both of the major parties, and some real boofheads too.

I like to surround myself with people I feel I can trust, and I at least try to be someone other people can trust in the process.

It’s not that hard if you live by three rules – do what you say you will, be on time and write everything down.

Politics is a lot like life in that way – you have to figure out the people you can trust, those you can’t and make decisions based on that.

Now jokes about politicians and trust have been around longer than a New South Wales State of Origin losing streak, but that doesn’t mean we don’t live in hope.

As it stands right now, however, you have to wonder who you really can trust in the world of politics, in both the Federal and State spheres.

Angry voters used their lead pencils en masse at the last Federal and State elections to throw out Labor Governments they believed they could no longer trust.

Now, in 2014, we find ourselves in a position where those we called upon to fix the mess are raising our eyebrows as well.

As it stands, we’d be better off letting David Gyngell and James Packer run two political parties – it’d at least make parliament a little more raw and honest.

The State Liberals truly are in a crisis with ICAC claiming a number of scalps, including Barry O’Farrell and Mike Gallacher.

Suddenly the party that was swept to power after years of utter incompetence and scandals from Labor governments are themselves in the corruption spotlight.

It is very, very messy.

Yet John Robertson sits as the leader of a Labor Party that has surely not totally cleared all the skeletons from the very deep closet, given the last election was just three years ago.

March 2015 becomes very interesting – two parties with their tails between their legs, akin to a husband coming home from the pub late and asking for forgiveness.

Federally, Tony Abbott is facing enormous criticism ahead of the Budget, with expectations that he will indeed break an election promise or two.

We all say we’re not surprised but that should not be our throwaway answer. We should not accept that “it’s the way it is”.

So what’s the answer?

Do we implement more ways to hold our politicians responsible, such as public access to diaries and the like and a better way of keeping records of commitments and promises?

Sounds good in theory but the next question surrounds the messenger – the media.

Is the Australian media mature enough to handle having access to diaries, and knowledge of every meeting various politicians have?

Or will they simply turn it into a circus, hence feeding the circle of BS?

You get the feeling that we’re at a political crossroads here. People want to trust politicians, but politicians have to earn it. In the process, the media needs to resist the temptation to make politics out to be a soap opera.

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