Sunday Territorian - - OPINION -

life, help­ing them into po­si­tions they oth­er­wise wouldn’t rise to on merit alone.

It’s a phe­nom­e­non fa­mil­iar to any­one who has found them­selves with a boss or col­league keen to tell tall tales.

Per­haps it’s no co­in­ci­dence that trust in our po­lit­i­cal sys­tem is at an low­est.

Govern­ment front benches of both po­lit­i­cal stripes have long been lit­tered with ex-pri­vate school toffs.

A sur­vey con­ducted last July by the Mu­seum of Aus­tralian Democ­racy at Old Par­lia­ment House and the Univer­sity of Can­berra’s In­sti­tute for Gov­er­nance and Pol­icy Anal­y­sis found just 41 per cent of Aus­tralians were sat­is­fied with the way democ­racy was work­ing.

Three weeks into the fed­eral elec­tion, we’ve al­ready seen a tsunami of bull­shit, blus­ter and al­ter­na­tive facts.

From Shorten’s “mis­un­der­stand­ing” of ques­tions on his own su­per­an­nu­a­tion poli­cies to fibs about death taxes and elec­tric cars to the fla­grant non­sense and hy­per­bole that comes out of Clive Palmer’s camp, the bull­shit has been fly­ing thick and fast this cam­paign in our new post-truth world.

It’s partly the fault of me­dia and of vot­ers for al­low­ing bull­shit to fes­ter unchecked.

Every time we al­low a claim un­scru­ti­nised or share hy­per­par­ti­san crap on­line, we’re

Govern­ment front benches of both po­lit­i­cal stripes have long been lit­tered with ex-pri­vate school toffs

help­ing to feed the bull­shit beast.

Short of re­lax­ing Sec­tion 44 of our con­sti­tu­tion to specif­i­cally al­low for a quota of Scot­tish pub­lic school girls (sta­tis­ti­cally the co­hort least pre­dis­posed to bull­shit) into our Par­lia­ment, the best de­fence we have is to fire up our bull­shit de­tec­tors.

It’s time to call bull­shit on bull­shit.

Next time a politi­cian flashes up on your screen with some­thing to sell, pic­ture him as a 16-year-old kid in a boater hat and blazer and re­mem­ber, there’s a good chance he’s a bull­shit­ter.

Hay­ley Sorensen is the Sun­day Ter­ri­to­rian res­i­dent colum­nist.

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