Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Turnbull: the “people's choice”

Lenore Taylor of the Sydney Morning Herald here offers a strange but telling account of the political life of prominent Liberal politician Malcolm Turnbull. Taylor’s description of Turnbull’s well-known and colourful political history, which has been described as “merchant banker’s disease”, but which according to the text has him more popular than present Coalition leader Tony Abbott, despite the failure of his views on insufficient emissions trading schemes in the face of the immense political and media power of greenhouse sceptics.

Turnbull is certainly exceptionally right that Australia lacks - and has always lacked - truly edifying political debate. What is notable is how the Sydney Morning Herald is able to show that Turnbull’s desire for
“talking about policy issues intelligently” and
“making sure my speeches are well researched and footnoted”
is so popular among Australia’s populace. Dumbing everything down is a serious problem in education. I can testify this via the troubles I as a boy had learning at school vis-à-vis learning from reading serious and quite advanced textbooks, a trend which in various forms has continued as a strive to learn more and more as an adult and at the same time avoid dabbling with superfluous information. If Australia’s electorate is as disenchanted as I have been, it is very revealing and serious, especially when I do have some evidence that the political system does allow, in the words of Hugh Mackay, for a politician who is “man of substance and that is exactly what people are yearning for”. Moreover, Turnbull seems a man of serious substance on such key issues as climate change:
“The Coalition's direct-action policy to reduce greenhouse emissions, he said, would be easy to terminate if you actually thought climate change would turn out not to be real, but had the potential disadvantage of becoming “a very expensive charge on the budget in years ahead” if global warming was real and significant cuts in emissions had to be made.”

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