Soapbox - 21

To govern, in the simplest of terms, is to direct and control the masses.

For centuries people have appreciated the fairness of majority rule. In a democracy you have a say in who you are governed by, which should theoretically mean that policies are implemented which bring about the greatest good to the greatest number. But what good is your vote if you know nothing? Do you know, for example, if your Prime Minister is doing a good job? Do you really have any idea? It’s a huge opportunity, and a privilege, and it pays well. The competition should be fierce and John Key should be striving to impress us, constantly informing us of the developments he has contributed to our society, and his ideas for the future; but when’s the last time you even heard from him?
   Considering the responsibility he possesses, the thousands of your dollars you let him allocate, the fact that he controls the laws and regulations you live by (at least you do if you don’t want him to lock you up), he doesn’t tell you much about the day-to-day goings-on of his office ... Why not? Is he that bad at his job? Or does he just not want us to know what’s going on? (Trust me, it’s not the incompetence option.)
   A term in government is three years, a long time, and there are hundreds of issues he has to consider over that time. What are they? What’s the last bill he passed? Wouldn’t you like to know his train of thought on every issue, every upcoming problem, every justification that goes through his head, or at least have the opportunity to find out without having to listen to the mind-numbingly boring parliamentary radio? Why do we only get the opportunity to hear the leaders of the various parties in a well-controlled debate once or twice every three years? Why aren’t they meeting every week, okay fine you have to start somewhere, every month or two months … or three. I thought a lot of parties have opposing views don’t they? Then why aren’t they demanding that they debate the issues over the television and try to get their opposing point across to the public?
   Maybe they’d say that they’re too busy? Well I’m sure we’ll be able to find someone to be straight up with us considering the salary we’re offering. 
   Just because you have to pay tax no matter what party is in power, doesn’t mean they aren’t spending it on very different things. Where is the accountability, where is the receipt at the end of the news? The page or two on the tax they received, the tax they have accumulated overall, and the tax money they have spent each week. I don’t mean down to the last cent, but it’s hundreds of thousands of dollars a week spent, how about a bit of a summary? It’s your money they’re spending … let’s see if it matches up. If addressed I can imagine John Key shifting his eyes left and right and mentioning something about the cost of broadcasting and accountants … The cost!? It’s our money you’d be spending, let us worry about the cost, on the top of that page at the end of the news isn’t going to be the cost of informing us, and getting the airtime each week, it’d probably be something you’d never agree with if you had any idea.
   Imagine what monthly broadcasted debate could do for the country. I don’t mean the non-regulated ranting matches you see most of the time either. No, I mean interviews run by competent non-biased reporters that stop the politicians mid-sentence if they’re avoiding and running circles around the question asked. Reporters that don’t stand for schoolyard yelling-over-the-top-of-each-other marathons. Just imagine every voter being neutrally informed. Not being swayed this way and that by photo ops and billboards come election time. The country might actually improve, equality might come a step closer, who knows, maybe people would actually start to pay attention.
Posted 2:23am Monday 20th September 2010 by Samuel JK.