A Senator, friend of mine, recently and despairingly said, “Our political system is designed to keep good people out of politics.”
From much commentary made in the run-up to our forthcoming ‘double-dissolution’ election next weekend, it is interesting to count the many times those sentiments have been expressed, only the words vary.
Is this a recent despair over how very few fine and noble people there are with a clear understanding of the benefits of limited constitutional government?
Is it only recently that we have realized how few of our present politicians are patient enough to explain to the electorate that we – the – people can make better decisions for ourselves, without surrendering our lives to the political approach of “if you vote for me I’ll steal some money from ‘other people’ so I can give a special favour to you”?
No, it was the subject of discussion last century, when economist F.A. Hayek asked, “Why do the worst get to the top?” He explained this process in detail in his various writings.
Even before that, as shown in G.P. Baker’s biography of the Roman General and Master Politician Sulla (139 – 78BC), similar questions were asked, “There are some systems which naturally take control out of the hands of good men. There are even some which necessarily put it in the hands of bad ones.”
So, what can we do about this as voters, as we walk up to the polling booth on Saturday?
Perhaps we should read carefully the proposals put to us by the candidates and vote for those who promise to do less, at other people’s expense. Vote NO to those who seek to ‘buy’ your vote and vote YES to those who seek to ‘earn’ your respect and through that, your vote.