No future for politics deaf to the electorate

It is as pointless to shout
It is as pointless to shout "Hanson doesn't have a clue” when the choice is those who have at best ignored the plight of those they are meant to serve. MICK TSIKAS

AFTER a campaign that ran for half of the last term of the Obama presidency, an America that had reached out to embrace hope was left with a choice between a tired old white woman at the end of her run and a tired incoherent old white man of questionable business practice.

One has amassed a fortune while in office as Secretary of State, charging small ransoms to address big business who were willing to pay for benefits that will remain unclear.

The other has run his businesses in a manner that could well have been used as an example at last year's Senate inquiry into construction industry insolvency to explain evidence given by the Australian Tax Office and ASIC of an emerging business model that used bankruptcy and liquidation to avoid debt.

What comes now will be interesting but potentially not as world-changing as many suspect.

The Democrats went into the contest ignoring the message that was sent loud and clear by Bernie Sanders and his legion of enthused supporters who, like those who backed Trump, have had enough.

In the end, those who had lost all hope outweighed those who still had some.

It is ironic the ranks of the hopeless have been filled over time by an economic model their champion wallowed in.

Yet he was able to connect to the yearning for a past many of them never experienced and in the end overwhelmed a Republican Party which, in its insipid collection of other pretenders, had no answers of its own.

Sanders' soft socialism, which had drawn huge crowds across the country, was never going to be the choice of the Democratic Party machine.

What this all means for Australian politics will be of endless speculation as the Turnbull government continues its own internal struggle between the centre and the extreme right.

What the US election result has shown is that when reaching out to people disenchanted about stagnating household incomes, increasing job insecurity, growing workforce casualisation and the lack of a clear way forward from current circumstance, old approaches don't work.

We saw in Australia in Fairfax in 2013, Clive Palmer upset the conservative apple cart tapping into a disenchantment he ultimately did nothing to sate.

And we have seen it in the rebirth of Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party whose Senators are arguably no more ignorant, ineffective or incapable of forging a better future than many who occupy government and opposition benches in parliament.

Razor thin government majorities in Queensland and the Federal Parliament aren't signs of a healthy democracies.

They point to a disenchanted and uncertain electorate with little faith in what either side of traditional politics has to offer.

Is that any wonder?

The tax system rewards cheats and fudgers, CEOs receive hideous bonuses for slashing the pay and conditions of their employees, politicians pass seamlessly from government to the employ of companies who benefited from the policies they delivered and do so carrying with them the ample residual rewards of office.

And at a local level, councils which once prided themselves as the level of government closest to the people are now corporatised, their planning schemes meant to reflect the will of the community the subject of "discretion" arguably discriminately applied and debate conducted behind closed doors.

Those that believe there things pass unnoticed or don't matter are the fools - certainly not those who use the democratic process to seek another path.

That that are vulnerable to those who play to their fears or exploit the lingering prejudices of their upbringing does not make them stupid.

They have been smart enough to see through hypocrisy, half-truths and lies they have been told, measured and found false.

It is as pointless to shout "Hanson doesn't have a clue" when the choice is those who have at best ignored the plight of those they are meant to serve.

It's not hard to stoke disenchantment among those used as the shock absorber for an economic model that rewards the few with riches and most with longer hours for less pay and increasing job uncertainty.

Our entrenched political duopoly ignores at its folly the circumstance an increasing number of Australians find themselves in, saddled with huge debt for the family home and doubtful about the incomes that sustain it.

Topics:  donald trump hillary clinton my say opinion us election

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