Topic: nsw govt
Well well well.
The more one digs via innocent googles into the postures of retired president of the Legislative Council Ms Burgman, now aspiring to City of Sydney Mayoralty, the more one is just a little shocked and repelled into the arms of such as The Green party or genuine independents like Clover Moore. Don't get me wrong. We are all for sister feminist pioneers in leadership roles, and respect for campaigners at the coal face in the halcyon also dangerous 1970ies on aparthied, and over development.
Only we feel a certain rhetorical "When did you sell out?" question bubbling up in light of recent ICAC expose of senior ALP operative Joe Scimone deep in the soul of the ALP state govt, when you read this new next exemplar of Polly Anna Burgmann-itis seemingly running PR interference for brand ALP:
News Media appetite for sleazy scandal damages democracy
5 December 2006
A skewed media focus on grubby political scandals and politicians' dirty secrets threatens the very foundation of our democracy says Michael Hogan, co-editor of a new book celebrating 150 years of successful government in NSW.
"New South Wales' record as one of the most peaceful and most prosperous societies over the past 150 years is virtually unmatched in the world," says Hogan, an associate professor in the University of Sydney's Department of Government and International Relations.
"Our politicians solve problems by making deals and by compromising - the alternative is conflict, civil war and terrorist violence," says Hogan, who co-edited the book, The Worldly Art of Politics,with Ken Turner, also an honorary associate in Government and International Relations.
"But our fragile democracy threatens to be undermined by the media spotlight on the self-seeking, grubby side of politics, the handful of worst performers. Combined with a reluctance to offer praise when it is due, it's no wonder there is widespread cynicism in the electorate."
Hogan and Turner admit some politicians perform poorly, abuse parliamentary perks and play to the media's preference for conflict. "Like any profession there are liars, cheats and people who don't do a very good job. They therefore must share the blame for their ill-repute."
"But the majority of parliamentarians go into the business because they are passionate about a particular issue and want to achieve something. It's perfectly OK to present politicians warts and all - but most of the time the media only presents the warts.
"That politics is an insecure and stressful career is demonstrated by recurrent examples of MPs falling into excessive drinking, sexual misconduct and depression. Practitioners do not only have to combat rival parties … Once elected, they still have to watch their backs.
"Unfortunately all the worthwhile things people do - the RSL meetings, the opening school fetes - all of which put a strain on family lives, aren't as newsworthy as the scandals."
Hogan and Turner's book, The Worldly Art of Politics, celebrates the lives and skills of the hardworking committee members, locals MPs, constructive party officers, skillful administrators and negotiators as well as path breaking Independents.
"It is a difficult job and people who try to suggest it is a bludge simply do not understand what it entails."
The book includes chapters by Peta Seaton, Graham Freudenberg and Henry Mayer, among others, with an introduction by Rodney Cavalier.
It will be launched this week by the Hon Dr. Geoff Gallop, former Premier of Western Australia and Director of the University of Sydney's Graduate School of Government.
Note to editors
New South Wales' parliament and first university share a common father and were born within six years of eachother: William Charles Wentworth led movements that directly led to the establishment of both the University of Sydney (founded in 1850) and the NSW Parliament (founded in 1856).
The Hon Dr Meredith Burgmann, President of the NSW Upper House, will be cutting a cake, presented by the University of Sydney to the NSW Parliament to mark the occasion of Parliament's 150th birthday.
What: A celebration of 150 years of successful parliamentary government in NSW with the launch of The Worldly Art of Politics
When: 6pm, Wednesday 6 December 2006
Where: The Nicholson Museum, Main Quadrangle, The University of Sydney
Contact: Kath Kenny
Phone: 02 9351 2261 or 0434 606 100