In his excellent book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell presents ‘the 10,000 hours rule’.
For a person to master a particular profession or skill, he says, they need to spend at least 10,000 hours in that skill set.
More about that shortly.
Whilst many Australians are rightly concerned at the shift towards leftist social policies – euthanasia, abortion, gender fluidity, distorting Australia’s history, the undermining of faith-based organisations – and just this week more liberalisation of prostitution laws – they feel powerless to do anything about it. And with both major parties heading in the same direction, waiting until election day to mark a ballot paper doesn’t offer much hope.
Some have suggested ‘getting involved in politics’ and joining one of the major political parties to influence them from within in areas like policy formulation and candidate pre-selection as the solution. This is naïve.
The professionals who run Australia’s major political parties have a lot more than 10,000 hours under their belts and would have no trouble thwarting any attempts by even large numbers of enthusiastic amateurs joining their parties in the forlorn hope they can change them. These outsiders, who have other interests – politics not being one of them – quickly find the tedium of branch meetings and voting procedures are definitely not for them and even the most tenacious eventually give up. The professional power brokers know how to win those battles.
In the minds of reasonable people, being ‘inside the tent’ always seems like a reasonable strategy. Sadly it doesn’t work. Being ‘outside the tent’ throwing rocks however, does.
Politics can be a brutal business at times. But like our police and defence forces we acknowledge the need for them because as George Orwell observed, “People sleep peacefully in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to protect them.”
Regrettably, there is only one language of politics these days – numbers. Numbers of seats in particular. By getting Upper House Members of Parliament elected and influencing key Lower House seats through preferencing, the Australian Family Party does the rough work necessary to keep the major parties ‘honest’. It stands on the middle of the see-saw – if one side of politics gets too radical, it can shift its weight to the other side and vice versa.
Joining an organisation controlled by people who do not share your values? Or supporting like-minded people who will do the rough work on your behalf? That is the choice.
With elections looming, time is of the essence. Regrettably, we don’t have 10,000 hours to decide.