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Dangerous slide into political soap opera is such a turn-off

Ita O'Kelly


 

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'Nothing to see here, just the new normal' (stock image)

'Nothing to see here, just the new normal' (stock image)

'Nothing to see here, just the new normal' (stock image)

The auditions took almost four months before the script was finalised and the lead roles cast. Set against a backdrop of a devastating pandemic, there was an expectation among the public that our elected representatives would humbly accept the task. That they would keep their heads down and serve their country respectfully and diligently in our time of need.

They did nothing of the sort. Instead, they treated us to a non-stop soap opera that has verged on pure farce for the last three weeks. And it shows no signs of abating. We've had a minister overboard, tantrums from those overlooked for ministerial roles, plus grandiose demands for an aide-de-camp and a State car complete with driver.

The issue here is that politics has become personal rather than about public service. When the focus of politics shifts to the individual, de facto it becomes personalised. This is a slippery and dangerous slope. Politics should be about policy. It is solemn and worthy, but necessarily so.