What day was it, when Australians jumped out of bed and said, “I no longer expect my Prime Minister to display any type of leadership and vision?”
What day was it, when we lowered our standards?
Today I watched Scott Ludlam’s speech to the Senate “Our Vision for Western Australia” The first thing that struck me, was not the eloquence of his speech, nor the insightfulness of his speech, but the fact that I have never heard our Prime Minister Tony Abbott give a speech with such leadership, vision and clarity, than what I have just witnessed. This type of speech from Tony Abbott? Never.
What day will it be, when Australians jump out of bed and say, “You know what? If I am going to vote for you, I deserve better than what you are giving. I deserve to hear something like this…”
From various political parties and leaders over the years, we have had some great leadership and vision and some great speeches. Whether we agree with their ideologies or policies, regardless of the Government of the Day, all former leaders were committed to their vision for our nation. Some delivered great speeches with clarity and purpose, some with anger and frustration and some with the excitement of one’s own heart. Regardless of party affiliation, we as a people, historically have expected leadership and a great vision for our country. We wanted to know what changes were ahead of us. How would the Government improve the country, protect the people and most of all, would the Government’s decisions provide a fair go and equal opportunity for all?
A review of campaign speeches over the last twelve elections, commencing with Bob Hawke’s speech in 1983, shows all successfully elected Prime Ministers gave an election speech, that was in-depth, gave background to various concerns for Australia and their vision for the solution and why and how and often when. The average word length for these speeches was 5071 words long. Mr. Abbott’s election campaign speech was just a mere 2834 words long and noticeably absent in the compare and contrast were any of the above inclusions.
The other noticeable difference in all the speeches over the last twelve elections is that if you view them, you will see ideas generated paragraph by paragraph. Even the shortest speech (John Howard’s of 2045 words in 1996) encapsulates his vision in paragraph form.
If you are a bored nerd like me, you can read all the speeches here – enjoy!
I have found it most alarming and most disturbing undertaking this research, to discover that voters were satisfied with Tony Abbott’s speech enough to vote for his party and hand him the Prime Ministership and his speech did not contain one paragraph; but was a series short sentences of one liners. It was on the basis of a series of one liners, that voters chose to commit to him and trust this man to make decisions about our future. I’ll say it again….A series of one liners is all it took.
Voter Apathy in Australia was the highest at the last election, with the lowest percentage of the voting age population turning out to vote, since 1946. This is consistent with voter disengagement and hence lack of political awareness. Making the pop-culture of sound bites and three word slogans easier to absorb (and vote for).
Voters didn’t ask for more, or require more; because they settled for a lesser standard.
I now understand why so many voted for Abbott and why so many now are Marching in the streets. I’m also asking people to “Turn the Ship Around.” We need to engage more, expect more and demand a higher standard! We need to demand more speeches like Scott Ludlam’s!
Yes, Abbott and Co, used the great marketing psychology of one liners and effective slogans to woo the voters on the day; but then again, so does the Demtel man and the Shamwow man; and although they are very convincing, we seriously don’t see them as Prime Minister material, but yet….
Considering the massive turn out at MarchInMarch, there are very large groups of people within our great country who are seriously unhappy with our current Government after such a short time. I hope all voters in the future demand to the minimum the standard of Speech Scott Ludlam has given to the people in his most recent speeches in the Senate. I ask each and every one of you to remember this great one liner, chalk it up to experience and to always think before you vote:
experience is what you get, when you didn’t get what you wanted (Randy Pausch)
Think Before you Vote. Join a political party like the ALP or Greens or other left-wing/progressive parties. Make sure you know who preferences who. Get Active. Get Engaged. Discuss issues with family and friends. Share information on Social Media. Join Get Up! or MarchInMarch. Read a wide range of news media, including Independent Media. Work hard to prevent Conservative Governments like the Liberal-National Coalition destroying our great country, embarrassing us on the world stage and instilling great hardship on our loved ones, friends and neighbours and on our communities. You CAN make a difference!