Well, the election is over. Democracy has done its job, we have a new government, and we have a new prime minister. We have a new prime minister who is a bit of a nerd, really... when his colleagues use words to describe him like "formidable intellect" and "incredibly hard working and disciplined" you know that nerds are taking over the world.
I think there is consensus having the election over is a good thing. I was one of the volunteers at the school barbeque yesterday dispensing sausages in bread for $2 a pop (if we're all going to be forced to vote, the local primary school may as well take advantage of it). There was much muttering around the barbeque about the amount of money spent (wasted!) on advertising during the election campaign... and all the better ways this money could have been spent. I've decided the following rules should be imposed on all political parties:
- Political TV ads should be banned. They're annoying.
- Radio ads should be banned. Ditto.
- Parties should be allowed to post us all one letter advertising their policies. Anything extra is a waste of paper.
- Parties can advertise their policies on websites. We'll check them if we want to.
- Media organisations should be required by law to give equal time (or space for print media) and impartial coverage to both major parties, and a proportionate amount of time to minor parties.
This would force local members to do far more by way of public meetings / grass roots consultation within their electorates. This would mean politicians would have to argue for their policies, and the electorate would learn to listen to an argument instead of a "sound bite" piece of propaganda.
While I'm in mad dictator mode, lobbyists should be banned... wealthy multinational corporations can afford to employ lobbyists; the homeless, the poor, and the mentally ill probably cannot. The vulnerable deserve particular protection: the economic interests of wealthy multinational corporations do not require the same level of protection. While we're at it, political donations from companies should be banned... why should our elected governments owe a debt to such a narrow set of interests? They should govern for the good of all, and not feel obliged to make decisions to protect their political cash flow. Party membership fees will be permitted. Political parties won't need much money anyway because most advertising will be banned.
What do you think of my ideas? Do you think I might be going a teensy weensy bit too far?