Wednesday, 19 August 2015

The Grown-up Game of Politics

The Grown-up Game of Politics
We came back from the hot-bed of politics that was Greece last year to the political game playing happening in Australia. In many ways this game was the same as that played in Greece, even though the Greek government is left wing and the current government in Australia is right wing.


But it made me think how much of politics is a game. And, having once been a sports teacher (before all the other things I took up later) I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing, as long as the game is played well and the rules are kept.

A game is a shared human activity. It is set up with rules in order to throw light on facts that are integral to that game.


Do our politicians, when they enter parliament,

 Represent Us?

They were elected by a large group but not by all possibly supporters. And even if we did not vote for them are they ready to include us, as we will be affected by the outcome of their ‘game’?

Are they playing for a specific audience?

Having gained their position on the main team, do they show sensitivity to local habits, or are they now playing only to get the support of a special audience.

Are appointees, the referees, impartial?

Are the judges, the speaker of the house, acting in a short-term fashion, and showing biased in the game this team are playing?

Are they truthful?

Do they honestly tell us the costs as well as the benefits of the polices they promote?

Do they try to bamboozle?

‘If we don’t know what is said seriously and what is said in jest, we do not know the meaning. We have to know what is said lightly and what solemnly, where a remark is prompted by a play on words, if something is ironical or a quotation, an allusion, a pastiche, a parody, a diatribe, a daring coinage, a cliché an epigram or possibly ambiguous.’ 
Martin Buber

Have they forgotten we will enventualy know the score?

‘It is because action speak louder and more ambiguously than words that they are more likely to lead us to common truths’
Merleau Ponty

The Political Game going on in Australia right now:


Conservatives are called ‘Liberals’ This is the main party in power at the moment. Though in fact Liberals are more often known as ‘The Coalition’ as they have united with the National Party (a countryside based party) which also conservative. This party supports ‘development’ and ‘free enterprise’ it could not be said to be progressive.

The Labor party is currently in opposition, it can either be seen as socialist and very progressive, or as high-jacked by unions, and thus limited in its ability to be flexible and develop.

The Greens are the other party. The party you vote for if you can’t stand the other two. It has some good environmental policies but has never had to promote them country-wide, and see if they can work in a competitive society.

The Political Game going on in Greece right now:


Under the supervision of the President of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition agreed with New Democracy, “To Potami” and PASOK to cooperate with a negotiated proposal with the EU. (The Greek Communist Party (KKE) did not agree and reiterated its long held position that it rejects any bailout deal with austerity measures.)

Syriza’ is an acronym meaning the ‘Radical Coalition of the Left’.

The ‘Independent Greeks’, a right-wing, anti-bailout party, formed as a ‘New Democracy’ splinter in 2012.

The River, ‘To Potami’ is a moderate centre-left party formed in 2014

Feared by many as neo-Nazis, ‘Golden Dawn’ nevertheless gained substantial support during the economic crisis.

Weeks before the election, the Movement of Democratic Socialists ‘Kinima’ was formed to contest the election separately from ‘Pasok’

The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and it was banned from politics until 1974 but now has a sizable support.

As citizens we hope, we believe, that the rules of the political game, though filled with drama along the way, will eventually lead to the outcome of good governance for all.

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