This week I am fortunate enough to be doing one of my favourite things - driving around the great state of South Australia to have a chat with people in some of our regional communities.
It’s amazing how much you learn outside the Canberra bubble. It doesn’t take long to realise that so many people seem to have given up on politics and politicians.
In recent years, the political shenanigans have confirmed the concerns leading to a broad disillusionment with our political system. Sure, it is seen as a ’necessary evil’ but lacks the gravitas or respect it once held.
Despite the disengagement, there are some common themes raised in the communities I have visited.
Regional communities are worried about the increasing centralisation of services in major cities and the cost of using those services. This is particularly the case when it comes to medical care.
At least a dozen people have asked why the ‘do-gooders’ and the ‘greenies’ don’t advocate for better health services for regional communities like they are for the queue-jumpers on Manus Island.
‘They get food, housing, education and medical attention, which we pay for, when our own people just have to make do’ were the words of one regional resident.
‘Why are we sending billions of dollars overseas for foreign aid and to the UN when we have so many things that need to be fixed here?’ said another.
It’s hard to argue with common sense. Australia is a great country but it is far from perfect. Instead of trying to save the rest of the world we could begin the process at home.
Successive governments have crippled our electricity industry, packed our cities, saddled us with layers of bureaucracy and created an unsustainable level of government debt.
On most measures, our quality of life and the outcomes of government programs haven’t improved much in recent times. You can even argue they have gone backwards.
Most people instinctively know something isn’t working for them at the moment and government is the most likely suspect.
That said, many of those with whom I have met are deeply concerned about a Bill Shorten-led government. Not simply due to BS as PM but because of the strident and militant ideological groups that dominate the Labor Party and their likely coalition partner, the Greens.
Even traditional Labor voters don’t like the path of segmentation and division that Labor’s identity politics produces.
The recipe for satisfaction seems pretty simple. The entrepreneur simply wants to be left alone to build business, create jobs and generate prosperity. The workers want secure jobs, a living wage with an affordable tax burden.
So far, not one country South Australian has raised the need for transgender toilets, changing Australia Day or prioritising the ‘right look’ ahead of the right person for the job.
In fact, based on this recent trip, getting rid of half the politicians seems the most popular policy any party could pursue.
When that happens be on the lookout for flying pigs.
Things that make you go Hmm…
Some blue faces at the AAT, red faces at Chester’s office, beware unlocked cars at NSW servos and Australia’s AOC weighs 2032. The ACT bans hurting animal feelings as PETA attacks Steve Irwin’s legacy, the ABC has a Milo problem, the sewer throws up more surprises and amen to this colourful prayer for NRL common sense.
Feel the Bern on socialism, black humour has limits, PC reaches Danish unis and creepy China cracks down. Red tape could hamper new mobile tech, Tories likely first past post after Labour split, India has a bovine crime epidemic but is pressuring Pakistan on terror.