I know it’s a vast generalisation, so I’ll refine this somewhat by saying this:
The behaviour of the politicians in the lower house of the Australian parliament reminds me of children with poor impulse-control.
What is laughably termed “debate” in parliament is nothing more than adults yelling and screaming at one-another. These people hold our futures in their very hands, have the power to do good for the Australian people, and are paid handsomely for their time and effort.
Christopher Pine, architect of an astonishingly poorly-handled education funding policy did this:
Is there some imperative of parliament that those who operate within its walls must become an undisciplined pack of children, while declaring the rest of us must act like adults and accept economic realities, tighten our belts and put-up with job-losses, education uncertainty and questionable diplomatic decisions with Indonesia and China.
The self-important and arrogant attitudes of these people puts me in mind of the DSM IV-TR diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. As far as I can tell, the politicians in question meet the criteria of five or more symptoms:
- Grandiose sense of self-importance (see the diplomatic row with China)
- Sense of entitlement (see also the recent expenses scandal)
- Interpersonally exploitative (see the debt ceiling debate)
- Lacks empathy – the big one – (see the debate about Holden and the charming messages sent).
- Arrogant haughty behaviour or attitudes (see the spying problems with Indonesia, not sending a minister to climate-change talks, and the education funding problems)
I’m not saying this is exclusively a Liberal party issue, the recent debacle with the Labor party puts them in the same boat. What I am saying is that we need leaders not children, we need care and empathy not contempt and most of all, we need people we can trust in power.