To what depths are party politics and the shallow media-aware antics of the major parties dragging us? Perhaps parties should become simply the voice of their ideology and the people elect ‘non-party-specific’ candidates, those best qualified to fill the many varied positions in government. THEN, the parties could present for discussion their ideological approaches to Australia’s needs, after which elected parliamentarians would vote.
Sally Young is an associate professor in political science at Melbourne Uni. She also writes for Election Watch. Sally says that with this election there does seem to be an awareness of problems in how Australian elections are ‘conducted, reported and debated’. She makes the following points:
Because of the parties’ own internal processes, their lack of connection with voters and communities, and the lack of attention to policy research, it seems they
“just can’t do detailed policy planning…
Politicians can no longer deliver ‘sound, forward-looking policy in any consistent or coherent way’ because of ‘deep, systemic problems with our liberal democratic system itself.”
An issue confronting all those writing about what goes on around Australia, is how do we ensure the future of quality journalism here? Australia, Sally writes, is ranked 26th in the Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index. We come behind:
Policy development may be suffering but there is growth in policy analysis among several newspapers, websites, public broadcasters and independent outlets, all seeking to fill the analysis gap.
Don’t focus groups communicate these concerns?