Lessons from the political class

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20 January 2011

Would the faceless political operatives seem less alike - and more attractive - if they were allowed to tell us about themselves, asks Frank Bongiorno in the Australian Review of Public Affairs

“I think people view elections now almost like Coles and Woolworths put out their specials ... There’s no deeper sense of vision or values ... So politicians are getting away with more. The community shrugs and doesn’t prosecute a case that they should be behaving themselves better, and so the cycle goes on.”

A COMMENT by a critic of the 2010 federal election? No, it’s Julia Gillard complaining about the state of Australian politics in 2006. What a difference four years hasn’t made.

Two excellent new books do much to explain why: Rodney Cavalier’s Power Crisis: The Self-Destruction of a State Labor Party and Lenore Taylor and David Uren’s Shitstorm: Inside Labor’s Darkest Days. Each is about a Labor government in crisis-management…

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