Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Hector was under a cloud today (the annual rains have arrived in his current Balinese location) and so, confined to cage, he had little to do other than waste time browsing the Internet. Well, that’s Mrs Hec’s view.

As a result, he came across some prime intelligence: a lot of people believe politicians behave unethically and that some are dishonest.

He did so as a consequence of polling by that energetic Australian-based global sampler of people’s considered opinions, Roy Morgan. The survey related to Australia and New Zealand – not exactly a prime market for political skulduggery but interesting nonetheless. It forms part of a global study of the phenomenon of political ambiguity to be released early next year.

Hec’s view of politics and politicians is that both are necessary evils. Someone has to run the country. The public services do that, of course, but in most polities they need politicians to give them their instructions. Only in some countries are the public servants the de jure as well as the de facto governments.

He has a couple of friends in the Australian capital, Canberra, more than usually raucous members of the black cockatoo population of the area, whose favourite trick when a new parliament is convened is to fly over the gathering and lose their own deposits in carefully aimed directions. Several galahs have complained bitterly in the past about their activities.

Come to think of it, Hec knows of a couple or three galahs in the political arena himself. But he insists they are not venal, just vexatious; not unethical, just incapable.

Morgan’s sampling, released just weeks after an Australian election that the only fellow who didn’t think he should lose lost in a landslide, shows that 44 per cent of Australians believe political leaders behave unethically.

It was presumably a standard sample poll, so it would probably represent the views of the 50 per cent of Australians who, not to mince words, couldn’t give a rodent’s rear end what political leaders do provided they keep out of their way.

And most likely the views of the self-proclaimed elite (at last count 98 per cent of people elected themselves to this category) who think they could do a better job of running the country than anyone who first has to run for office.

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