Rudd’s plummet in the polls is interesting from a psychological perspective, even though it’s obviously not over yet. And Ross Gittins’s article on the topic got me thinking that politics is disturbingly similar to parenthood. (It’s not the first time I’ve thought so; the idea often crosses my mind when considering Middle Eastern politics.)
Apparently, what we really want from our leader is a bit of tough love. Someone who’ll do the right thing for the country (and world, in the case of climate politics) even if it hurts us a little. And because Rudd hasn’t don’t that, he’s become less popular. Instead of telling us that we can’t have any more lollies, he’s allowing us to keep the jar.
Perhaps our whole model of politics is wrong. We don’t need one Prime Minister (or better yet, President); we need two: a soft one and a strict one. How many parents operate like this? As children, we want as much as a softer parent will allow us, but we know that the stricter one is right.
Adding a new political role goes against my tendencies towards libertarianism and anarchy, but if my other ideas about politics were taken up (becoming republic, so we ditch the governor general; abolishing state government; dramatically reducing politicians’ paychecks and superannuation) it would more than balance out.
Jokes aside, it is kind of sad that we can’t have a political system based on the opinions of mature adults. Instead, when we’re not being cynically manipulated for a politician’s career, we’re disappointed because we’re not being babysat enough. Can we just grow up and get on with it already?