Home NZ Politics This explains it "Dumb Politicians"

This explains it “Dumb Politicians”

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Why modern politicians are dumber.

By Janet Albrechtsen.

Most of this article is about how no normal person would enter politics. Especially if you’re on the non-left, and especially if you’re a woman — because the abuse from the left is vicious and barely restrained. Then she makes this observation in the Australian context:

(It describes so well, the New Zealand context as well)

The mediocre quality of the political class also can be traced back to late 1974 and early 1975 when the number of staff an MP employed doubled. Inevitably that meant skilled office workers in an MP’s office were outnumbered by unskilled political operatives, and this new febrile environment created a career path for a so-called professional class of politicians (an oxymoron if ever there were one). It led to an explosion of young ex-political staff members entering politics supported by MPs trying to build their own Lilliputian power bases.

The net result? It is hard to think of a less qualified group of people who are handed as much power as politicians are given over the lives of millions of others. Builders, plumbers, electricians all require years of training. A lawyer, a nurse, an engineer needs years of study. Increasing numbers of politicians come to Canberra with no real-life training in anything at all except the ugly art of getting ahead in politics. That disconnect from real life makes them supremely untrained to decide policies that govern our lives.

It doesn’t help that promotions are increasingly untethered from talent, too. What faction are you in? Are you a woman? Are you a member of a minority? What religion are you? Where in Australia do you come from? Identity politics is rife across politics and it is dumbing down the governing class.

To make matters worse, the system is so skewed against ability that ministers, especially certain protected species, are rarely performance-managed out of their jobs when they underperform, lest it upset the women’s collective, or factions, or some other criteria that got them a ministry.

Why would any talented, successful person waste time with a system that entrenches mediocrity over merit? …

Her advice for those interested in politics:

Over the years, when a young man or woman expressed an interest in politics and asked me for career advice, I used to tell them to go get a career first, a real one to build up some terrific skills. Canberra needs successful, hardworking and smart people.

Now when I am asked the same question, I suggest that they steer clear of Canberra. Or be very aware that they will join an insular group of politicians and factional bosses who will likely be suspicious of a talented person from outside politics who might show up their mediocrity. Hopefully, some of those people will take my earlier advice because someone has to start lifting the standard of politics.

Since the mid 1970s, the main path for aspiring Australian politicians has been to study law, then work for a few years at a union or in a minister’s office, then run for Parliament. Wow, talk about a lack of experience. And no filter on the untalented.

With the constant lies dear leader utters, we would need a new Clyde Dam power station just to keep up with her power usage.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. I see the type getting in to parliament from a list and generally shudder. We now have some shockers in via the list who would not have made it through a non racial electoral process.

    Given though we do have this inappropriate list system, surely there is an obligation on list compiling systems to weed out the worst from the candidate list.

    We need less local and central government. Reintroducing the power of individual thought and the requirement for intelligent and responsible contribution by individuals to the community is important. We need to get away from all minuscule matters being determined by either local or central government after consultation with Iwi and development of a safety plan.

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  2. Nine years only. Set a time limit for MPs to “serve” in Parliament. Too many of them are addicted to the trough. Politics and its dark arts attracts narcissists, sociopaths, control freaks and the disingenuous. All MPs should have had a worthy career gaining significant life experience before entering Parliament. We need to lift the quality of those who put themselves forward to represent us.

    Do away with list MP’s. The voters should have the right to approve those who represent us not have them foisted on us under wacko political party beliefs. The county was manipulated with the installation of MMP.

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    • Set an age limit so hopefully they get some life skills before they enter as we don’t want them straight from school! Set a upper limit so they don’t become senile like the duck! Should they have an IQ test as well?

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