Cult of in­di­vid­ual

Time to get back to time-tested demo­cratic pro­cesses

Townsville Bulletin - - Voice Of The North -

I’M cer­tainly sup­port­ive of what I like to see as demo­cratic ex­pres­sions of Aus­tralian pol­i­tics viz first fe­male prime min­is­ter and the struc­ture of the fed­eral par­lia­ment.

The lat­ter has forced our elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives to bet­ter pre­pare their cases, al­though the stan­dard of dis­cus­sions leave much to be de­sired.

Nev­er­the­less, the de­pen­dency on the four in­de­pend e nt s hangs overeach party’s head like the Sword of Damo­cles.

One of my con­cerns, as re­gards our fe­male prime min­is­ter, is her be­com­ing a vic­tim of the cult of in­di­vid­ual and how she con­tin­ues to han­dle the reins of lead­er­ship. The cult is a disease of con­tem­po­rary so­ci­ety with the struc­ture of cor­po­ra­tions de­pend­ing on it; could we imag­ine CEOs or­gan­is­ing and set­ting up struc­tures at which em­ploy­ees could dis­cuss views on com­pany pol­icy, could we imag­ine boards of direc­tors en­cour­ag­ing this demo­cratic prac­tice and, to what de­gree does our Bully edi­tor prac­tise democ­racy down on the job?

I re­peat, it’s the struc­ture and prac­tice of cap­i­tal­ism and un­for­tu­nately our par­lia­ments prac­tise the cult of t he i ndi­vid­ual t ogether with the power and the prac­tice of au­thor­i­tar­i­an­ism that goes with it.

We see it prac­tised in ques­tions time in par­lia­ment. De­spite the fact that

Ju­lia Gil­lard po­lit­i­cal par­ties are made up of mem­bers be­ing made re­spon­si­ble for cer­tain ma­jor so­cial is­sues, for ex­am­ple, ed­u­ca­tion or com­mu­ni­ca­tions, ques­tion time in par­lia­ment comes across as a battle of the lead­ers and the sick­en­ing name call­ing and neg­a­tiv­ity that is all too of­ten the re­sult. Wouldn’t it be an en­joy­able change if when a ques­tion from the Op­po­si­tion is di­rected at the Prime Min­is­ter she replied, ‘‘ Oh! So and so is my min­is­ter han­dling it so I’ll hand it over to him/ her’’.

We would then be­gin to see the col­lec­tive prac­tised as op­posed to the au­thor­i­tar­ian – the Prime Min­is­ter could di­vest her­self of the cult and prac­tise her col­lec­tive lead­er­ship qual­i­ties.

I ex­pect the edi­tor to dis­miss this as the dream world of an old so­cial­ist but so­cial change won’t come au­to­mat­i­cally – it has to be pushed by con­cerned cit­i­zens. STAN HEIL­BRONN,

West End.

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