[LINK] Election Promises

Steven Clark steven.clark at internode.on.net
Wed Aug 18 19:04:41 AEST 2010

  On 17/08/2010 8:24 PM, Tom Koltai wrote:
> Politicians keep offering

and we allow them to make claims without demanding they explain *how*. 
everythign they say is about money. but money is not *how*.

a *how* explanation would be conroy explaining *how* the 'filter' 
actually works - facts about how the system would actually function to 
do the things he claims it would do. this explanation would be more than 
euphemisms or a cobbling of techspeak. it would explain how for each 
objective, the damn thing would go about achieving that objective. how 
effectively, and at what costs in terms of time, money, infrastructure, 
and end user convenience. it would also weigh up how those costs compare 
with expected benefits, and how the system would deliver.

we've settled for sloganeering and one-upmanship in campaigning for so 
long that it become the expected process. each party tries to out-bribe 
us with goodies and sweet-talk.

we ought to be more demanding of the people who serve as our 
representatives. they are *our* servants - not the other way around.


> Then get elected.


> Then they change their minds.

actually, they often have to face the *practical realities* of getting 
anything done. including dealing with each other, and with circumstances 
that are not ideal for their ideologies.

> In commerce, this is called breach of contract and can and often is sued
> for.

this isn't commerce. this is politics. whole different kettle of fish.

just as managing a national economy (no one *runs* an economy) is 
nothing like running a small business or a household. to begin with, the 
levers are more numerous, less direct, and more complicated. everything 
everyone else is doing is part of the game; and the rules not only 
change, the umpires can switch sides or even go home in the middle of play.

> Is it time that we should be able to take class actions by voters
> against politicians who don't deliver on campaign promises

in our political system, this is called an election.

which is why they're so damn important. and why it's so disappointing 
that so many of us ('the public') don't take them seriously (enough).


Steven R Clark, BSc(Hons) LLB/LP(Hons) /Flinders/, MACS, Barrister & 

PhD Candidate & Sessional Academic
School of Commerce, Division of Business
City West Campus, University of South Australia (UniSA)

Deputy Director, Economic, Legal and Social Issues Committee (ELSIC)
Community Engagement Board (CEB)
Australian Computer Society (ACS)

More information about the Link mailing list