Politicians behaving badly.

It really makes you wonder what motivates someone to pursue a career in politics. Ideally, it is someone that is passionate about making a difference to society; improving conditions and creating opportunities for those constituents that they represent.

At a Federal level one would hope that politicians are concerned about the best interests of the nation. Developing and implementing initiatives that maintain the nation’s prosperity while creating opportunities for all through education and training, and in ensuring that we have adequate infrastructure to accommodate the population now and into the future.

While these are admirable pursuits, the reality is that many people enter politics purely for selfish purposes. The remuneration packages are generous, the perks free-flowing and the post-career superannuation superior to any other career choice in the country.

Some politicians abuse their position of power with outspoken vehement discrimination and hatred directed towards minority groups, while others masquerade their disdain under the guise of religion, “national security” or what they personally claim to be “unAustralian” without offering any rational basis for their views.

Some people are simply not suited to be representatives of the people and should never have entered politics in the first place. It is astonishing that some of them are still on the public purse to this day. I would nominate Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan, Christian Democratic Party Leader Fred Nile and more recently Labor MP James Bidgood for his torrid attempt to sell photos to the media of a man attempting to douse himself in flames in front of Parliament.

Add to this incidents of alcohol fuelled outbursts in Parliament, personal abuse, violence, and chair-sniffing incidents, and you really begin to wonder what calibre of people we have running the country.

Some people are calling for a code of conduct, others a breath-testing of MPs before they enter parliament.

Personally, I think that if we expect our sportspeople to be free of alcohol and drugs to play sport, surely we should demand our MPs to be the same when they are carrying the considerably greater responsibility of running the country. I don’t think it’s too much to ask.

reb

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54 Responses

  1. What you said. Ice cream for Reb.

  2. Yum ice cream! Thank you Ross!

    I hope that’s not Coogee Bay chocolate on the side!

  3. reb

    Great comments and I totally agree.

    Some people think the vitriol and abuse in question time is fun. I actually find it offensive that our representatives are incapable of sitting quietly and listening to each others point of view. The amount of times the speaker has to say order would atke up around 30% of question time.

    If a member of parliament is asked ot come to order then next time throw them out. It seems politicians themselves have absolutely no respect for our parliament. Imagine if the observers acted like the politicians, they would be thrown out quick smart.

    Having said that the insults and vitriol when the previous Howard Government was in power from Abbott, Costello and crew were nothing short of disgraceful.

    Some say if you can’t handle the heat get out of the kitchen. I say it is not a kitchen it is a parliament and should be treated with respect and dignity.

    They are all worse than children and act like spoilt brats at the trough of the never ending gravy train.

  4. reb

    Great comments and I totally agree.

    Some people think the vitriol and abuse in question time is fun. I actually find it offensive that our representatives are incapable of sitting quietly and listening to each others point of view. The amount of times the speaker has to say order would atke up around 30% of question time.

    If a member of parliament is asked ot come to order then next time throw them out. It seems politicians themselves have absolutely no respect for our parliament. Imagine if the observers acted like the politicians, they would be thrown out quick smart.

    Having said that the insults and vitriol when the previous Howard Government was in power from Abbott, Costello and crew were nothing short of disgraceful.

    Some say if you can’t handle the heat get out of the kitchen. I say it is not a kitchen it is a parliament and should be treated with respect and dignity.

    They are all worse than children and act like spoilt brats at the trough of the never ending gravy train.

  5. Unsurprisingly, “Iguanagate” state Health Minister John Della Bosca has rejected the idea of MP’s being breathtested saying that it is “innappropriate” for some types of workplaces.

    🙄

    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,24749476-29277,00.html

  6. …but sreb, Mr Bidgood was doing it for “charity”!

    (Once he was caught out, methinks!)

    Peanuts and monkeys, he obviously needed to supplement his income…Gawd knows what those bloody pensioners will get up to they only get about 20% of his salary…

  7. Good riddance to Andrew Fraser. He did stand up for getting improvements to the Pacific Hwy around coffs but other than that, lets just say that there are some things he did which didn’t endear him to me.

    The Labor MP who took the photos of the incident yesterday should be dumped from the Party. That was a disgrace.

    reb, re the list of selfish reasons people go into politics, add the love of the game. Most of the politicians in the major parties simply love the game of politics, the adrenaline, the point scoring etc. They aren’t in it for the greater good and I susect some don’t even care for the ideologies of their party, just as long as they get to play the game. This aspect of it is pretty adictive as well and even those who enter for the right reasons usually get corrupted by ‘the game’.

  8. Dave 55

    Thats why we need more independents. Peter Andren (RIP) who in my opinion was the best politician ever,never played their games.

  9. I agree. I actually think an independent will pick up Fraser’s seat, particlarly if Labor runs dead and the greens direct their preferences that way.

    I also expect a large increase in the number of independents in NSW after the next election; as a reflection of the poor state of both majors in the State. Oh for the return of the Dems.

  10. Shane

    Ted Mack was another.

  11. TB,

    Have some sympathy for Tony Abbott. He’s been very unhappy since losing the election that his salary has been reduced to $120,000 per annum.

    He was complaining about how he would struggle to pay the kids’ private school fees etc.

    I think it was lost on him – the irony of worstchoices – when he was saying that if you’re not happy with your pay and conditions – “just get another job”

  12. Ted Mack was about the most ethical politician I’ve seen. We need to encourage more like him. The party structure has no place for people with his ethics and community alignment.

  13. 11. reb

    sreb, I wish he would get another bloody job – he obviously didn’t get the message the majority of the population gave him last time – we should call him Toby – his ears always remind me of jug handles 😈

  14. Dave 55

    Agree Ted Mack was another.

    As for the democrats I always voted for them in the senate to keep the other bastards on both sides honest. But they lost me and from what I can see, their many loyal supporters when Meg Lees jumped into bed with John Howard over the GST.

    At the time many people wanted John Howard to win government but did not want the GST and at election time the Democrats were opposed to the GST. So although the Howard Government won the election the democrats had control of the senate and I truly believe that was the strategy of the voters at the time to keep the GST at bay.

    I would dearly love to know what Meg Lees gained from switching as all she did was destroy the democrats who never recovered.

  15. maybe an psychological test before they enter politics would help to test their mental health.

    some of the weird things Heffernan has done and the obsessiveness of Mr Nile reflect there are some major underlying issues.

  16. Good Lord it gets worse!!!!!!!!

    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,24750362-421,00.html

    How do these people get voted in??

  17. Shane

    Strange how we (as a nation) punish the Dems for their one failure but seem to forgive (or forget) the failings of the other parties.

    Another (now) independent that is pretty good is Rob Oakshott.; I didn’t think much of him as a Nat but he pleasantly surprised me and represented his constituents incredibly well. I hope he does well in the Cth.

  18. TB @ 15

    FFS. Cut him adrift now Rudd, now I tell you! (maybe Fielding will have him)

  19. Dave 55

    I agree regarding the Democrats and our forgetting the failures of the others. Only problem is the GST was on peoples minds and still is everytime they get a phone bill or electricity bill or get the car serviced or do most things. Thats why the crucifixion continued.

  20. And the opposition unpleasantly bring together unrelated bits of information to make an invalid point (as they have done since becoming the opposition) and to bring in race nastiness.

    This is well worth reading on just how bad, hypocritical and nasty this opposition is.

    And the opposition demolished for their bad behaviour.

  21. “what calibre of people we have running the country.”

    The politicians don’t run the country and for that we need to be thankful. Sure some might think they run the country but trouble brews when they ignore advice and start making decisions they are not qualified to make.

    Let’s use Swan and Costello as examples. It’s become apparent, that Swan is a good Treasurer because he listens to advice from Ken Henry and does not even try to influence Stevens at the RBA. Does anyone seriously suggests that Swan has his hands on the the economic levers? Does anyone seriously suggest that Costello was an economic genius (apart from his wife and himself)?

    No Treasurers are but the public faces and wise ones know that. Their job is to sell the economic decisions not to make them.

  22. With nowhere else to put it. I thought that the one-on-one Julia/Julie was interesting today. Just my own opinion but I thought that Gillard ran rings arounds Bishop during the deputies face-off. Bishop read from notes, Gillard addressed issues.

  23. Hear, hear…Nature 5

  24. TB @15,

    What can I say, I’m gobsmacked by that link.

    Heavens above!

  25. Nature 5,

    Good point. “Running the country” is perhaps overstating their competence.

    Unless of course, it’s the Liberal party we’re talking about..and the fine tinkering of the dynamic duo Howard and Costello, and their bunch of cronies who are tasked with making evry Australian live in fear.

  26. avb7@15

    If they had pschological testing parliament would be a very lonely place….!

  27. Deep breath number 1 (I’m in a better and therefore more pious mood today). Much as we may not like the Heffernans, Niles even the Hansons of our Parliament, and I don’t like any of them, we live in a democracy and they are representative of our very diverse range of constituents and cultures. Hate them all you like, those voters in the country different to you and I are entitled to representation just as are you and I.

    Deep breath number 2. Question time, as disgraceful as it is a representation of our elected representatives, represents a very minor portion of a heck of a lot of good work that Parliamentarians of all political persuasions do. Sadly, it is treated by our media as a sport and the Parliamentarians conduct themselves like brats, and are awarded points by a bloodthirsty media in the form of headlines. (How did ya like the 3 versions of “represent” in the one sentence?)

    Adrian, as always, 2 legs bad, 4 legs good.

  28. James of North Melbourne

    Yes we are not well served by the MSM. These days stories are dumbed down and analysis is appalling. Take The Australian as an example. It simply repeats the Liberal soundbites on cue.

    In my neck of the woods we have the Courier-Mail which is even worse, if that’s possible. Today’s big news – the front page – was about some unnamed bureaucrat who suggested that teachers shouldn’t use red pens to correct students’ work. Earth shattering, Not!

    But then again if one keeps buying same, then they are encouraged.

  29. Nature 5, I agree that red pens is not earth shattering but it bothers me that pollies (and beaurocrats) “waste” time on these trivialities that can eventually impact on our society (eg the constant debate on discipline when anyone with 1/2 a brain can see that kids are running riot with their rights but no responsibility) – side issue, apologies…

    …my own “theory” of why pollies and PS do this, is because they are incompetent at what they SHOULD be doing…one of the reasons many teachers engage in trivial fun exercises, rather than teaching…

    …i used to watch people (as a production manager and later training consultant) “pretend” to look busy because we hadn’t trained them correctly…my guess everyone on this blog knows someone who does that…works really hard – at nothing…

  30. Some people are calling for a code of conduct, others a breath-testing of MPs before they enter parliament.

    Personally, I think that if we expect our sportspeople to be free of alcohol and drugs to play sport, surely we should demand our MPs to be the same when they are carrying the considerably greater responsibility of running the country. I don’t think it’s too much to ask.

    reb

    Hear, hear. A bit of accountability and personal responsibility certainly wouldn’t go astray.

    As for their bloated super entitlements don’t get me started.

  31. TB

    “constant debate on discipline when anyone with 1/2 a brain can see that kids are running riot with their rights but no responsibility”

    Does the discipline problem lie with the schools? Or does it originate with the parents?

    Watch kids in supermarkets and the like. I certainly wouldn’t want to be a teacher that puts up with that crap. But then again, if you see how US parents indulge their children in real life, and reflected on the TV, you can understand why we are in this mess re children’s behavior.

    But as to the behaviour of the pollies. It was the Deputy Leader of the LNP who raised the issue of red pens in Parliament. He should have been ridiculed for raising a non-event. Instead the MSM including the ABC ran with the story. i know we are approaching the ‘silly season’ but that was crazy.

  32. …my own “theory” of why pollies and PS do this, is because they are incompetent at what they SHOULD be doing…one of the reasons many teachers engage in trivial fun exercises, rather than teaching…

    …i used to watch people (as a production manager and later training consultant) “pretend” to look busy because we hadn’t trained them correctly…my guess everyone on this blog knows someone who does that…works really hard – at nothing…

    Ah TB, just couldn’t resist a dig at the teachers could you. At least you can admit that your training organisation had it’s failures too. Or are you actually implying that it is teacher training that is at fault and not necessarily the teachers 🙂

  33. Tracie, discipline lies with parents, schools (’cause they spend six hours a day there!) and society!

    All you have to do is watch TV but the language and vision is astounding…why is 21/2 Men on at a 7:30 timeslot and that other moronic show The Simpsons…and that is just two…

    ……children absorb information during the first five to six years of their lives faster than at any other period…

    …watch the adverts after 10:30, I don’t care if they pixilate the tittilation any intelligent kid can figure it out…some of it is plain bloody embarrasing and I grew up in workshops and the army…our standards have dropped and we (probably you, not me) will suffer the consequences…

    …I’m certainly not religious but today’s society does easily conform to a certain Sodom and Gommorah story I recall…let’s hopewe don’t suffer the same fate…history often repeats if we don’t heed its message…

  34. “Tracie, discipline lies with parents, schools (’cause they spend six hours a day there!) and society!”

    Not exactly. Parents have legal and moral powers not available to schools and the wider society. Parents can still ‘smack’ their children while schools can’t. That’s a power differential of some significance. Parents can put enormous pressure on schools but schools can’t really pressure parents to change their behaviour.

    While all have a role to play, let’s not kid ourselves that the responsibilities and the powers are equally shared. Simply, the child’s behaviour is, by and large, down to the parent(s). A school can help or reinforce ‘good’ behaviour but can’t be the cure all for bad behaviour. I have never met a teacher yet who encourages bad behaviour but I have met any number of parents who permit or ignore bad behaviour.

  35. #27. James of North Melbourne | December 4, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    Adrian, as always, 2 legs bad, 4 legs good.

    Not as always, that’s an exaggeration,.

    And it depends on what the two legs are on and what the four legs are on.

    As always it’s never as simple or black and white as you aver.

  36. TB, I think you might be missing out on the subtlety of The Simpsons mate. I agree about 2 & 1/2 Men & sundry other loads of tosh eroding the social fabric, but The Simpsons is Gold.

  37. Wow what did I say to instigate that TB?

    In some respects I would agree with you regarding standards dropping, especially in what is now allowed on TV.

    Those stupid ‘Sniff & Stiff’ (?) erection dysfuntion ads get to me not to mention the one with the orgasmic woman in the background. Then there’s the phone sex stuff which ruins alot of good late movies on the weekend. I can’t help but suspect that these ads (the phone sex ones) are targetted at teenagers anyway, I mean, would many grown men actually bother? Surely an X rated movie on the plasma TV would be better if you were that way inclined?

    Makes the whole idea of internet censorship rather ridiculous IMO. If the Govt and Fundies First have a problem you think they would start with TV.

    One really has little choice about being exposed to ads such as this, except for not watching the networks in question. This is one of the reasons our TV is almost permanently on ABC ot ABC 2 (we don’t get SBS).

    Which is why I think the internet porn issue is just an excuse and ultimately the internet censorship is about well … censorship and creeping totalitarianism perhaps 🙂

  38. boss boys… could you please send me a note letting me know why those two clips where deleted. If thats a bit to much for here then OK, NP.. can’tt see the problem to be honest

    xox – Another girlzz

  39. Tracy – you didn’t instigated that – Wild Turkey did 😉

  40. 32. TracieofFNQ

    I suggest you return to your education post and read what I wrote re unis and teacher training…plus the quality of recruiting…

    …nice dig about my training – the mining company that we developed as an RTO in Central queensland is now referred to as the model for competency based learning in the industry…and as The Minister often reminds me – we are retired now – we don’t have to prove anything…

    34. Nature 5

    …didn’t say they were equal, you did. Society diminished the rights of teachers to discipline, therefore society has some responsibility. I know that parents can “smack” – discipline is more than corporal punishment. …and I agree wholeheartedly re parents abrogating their responsibility – please don’t put words or concepts into my posts that I haven’t even considered myself. As a parent and grandparent I am well aware – and would never expect – teachers to “bring” up my children – unfortunately other parents and society do! Red pens? I always used red pens – bloody big ones!

    36. Toiletboss

    Gold to you HD but not to my six, seven and ten year old who see adults vilified…not so subtle my friend…even as cartoon characters…

    37. TracieofFNQ

    Tracie you really do need to read what other posters on blogocrats write – I’ve been advocating that the government start with control of the mid-day movies on TV, before they even try to net nanny the internet, for over twelve months on both Blogocarcy and blogocrats…I’m sure you know that many of us have views very similar to your own…step back and count to ten before you attack…you just might find some allies…unless you prefer to be a lone wolf!

  41. “please don’t put words or concepts into my posts that I haven’t even considered myself.”

    Sorry about that. But it is a very strange request.

    ‘Concepts … that I haven’t even considered myself’

    Hmm? Very puzzling. Please explain.

  42. TB you were the one that admitted to failure in your system so why do you expect better from others?

    And with regards to your retort to may comment at (37) I was AGREEINIG with you NOT attacking. Maybe you should read what others write, and not assume antagonism when there is none.

  43. 42. TracieofFNQ

    Maybe its your writing style?

    41. Nature 5

    What about this for starters

    While all have a role to play, let’s not kid ourselves that the responsibilities and the powers are equally shared.

    I never kid myself nor assume any equality between parents, teachers and society – as a matter of fact I made a general comment about rights and responsibilities – my comment about teachers (that you and Tracie always defend so vehemently) was about fun exercises as opposed to meaningful learning…

  44. Maybe, TB though after re-reading my comment at (37) I am still wondering how you considered this an attack on your good self?

    Please explain?

    BTW the first comment I made on this thread was at (30) directed to Reb, and then a second at (32) relating to your dig at teachers.

    when did I even mention disciplining of children, let alone whose responsibility it is?

    Whick is why I started comment (37) the way I did. And then I agreed with you, so I’m not sure what your problem is.

  45. TB. Have a good night.

    “Meaningful learning'”

    Gee TB the thrust and parry of debate, the give and take, they seem to be missing.

    Perhaps it’s because you, to use your own words.

    “don’t have to prove anything”

    Who asked you to prove anything? It seems debate is problematic. For me at least I know nothing. But I have an inkling to question. Sorry if that offends.

  46. Happy to start form scratch Nature 5, If I misunderstood your posts – apology back!

  47. Today is Friendly Friday 😉

  48. Good idea Alastair!

    How about we have a friendly friday frolykz?

  49. Nice idea Reb.

  50. Absobloodylutely!

  51. Bah humbug!

  52. “Gee TB the thrust and parry of debate, the give and take, they seem to be missing.
    47. Nature 5 | December 4, 2008 at 10:22 pm”

    Actually when you made that comment it reminded me of something i read once but cannot find.

    Apparently something in parliament, i think it is the table the govt and opposition debate across, is approx. two and a half sword lengths wide- just in case.

    This comes from the time when parliamentarians took their weapons with them into parliament. The right to bear arms is English and they took their weapons into parliament several hundred years ago, apparently. If what I have been reading is correct.

    I think politicians taking their swords into parliament would definitely make things more interesting

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