The ancient story is told of a merchant in Baghdad who sent his servant to the market. After a short while the servant came back white and trembling. “Master”, he said, “just now when I was in the market, I was jostled by someone in the crowd, but when I turned, I saw it was death who jostled me. Death looked me in the face and made a threatening gesture toward me and I ran. So please, lend me your horse so I can ride away and avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and hide.” The merchant lent him his horse and off he rode as fast as he could. The merchant then went to the market himself and saw death standing in the crowd. “Why did you make a threatening gesture toward my servant when you saw him this morning?” the merchant asked. “That was not a threatening gesture”, death replied, “I was just surprised to see him here in Baghdad as I have an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.”
Politics is the ultimate near-death experience. Especially for political leaders. You can run but you can’t hide.
For major-party leaders, there is always a conga-line of would-be successors just waiting for an opportunity to pounce. Not all are qualified to take on the top job.
I once commented to a political colleague about an over-ambitious politician, “He thinks he’s going to be Prime Minister one day”, I said somewhat uncharitably. “Bob, they all do”, he replied.
So much time and effort are taken up in major parties with this sort of stop-at-nothing ambition. As a result, the welfare of the nation takes a back seat. The public recognizes this and is constantly looking for credible alternatives.
In a recent major analysis of voting trends, The Australian newspaper reported, “Support for minor parties and independents has reached its highest level in four years.”
The time is right.
People see the political seesaw in operation, with one of the major parties permanently Araldited onto one end of the political seesaw and the other major party permanently Araldited on the other. They yearn for a sensible, balance-of-power party to stand in the middle of the seesaw, leaning one way when one of the majors gets out of control and leaning the other way when the other does the same.
Matthew Abraham, who has been covering SA politics for a very long time, last year said he could see no ideological differences between Liberal and Labor. “Steven Marshall is now essentially a Labor premier”, he said. In 2017, Christopher Pyne, leader of the Liberal Party’s left-leaning, progressive faction and mentor to Steven Marshall said the Liberal progressives were winning the internal battle against the Party’s conservatives. “We’re in the winning circle”, he said. Liberal and Labor: two peas in a pod.
Fiercely independent, the aim of the Australian Family Party is to bring out the best and subdue the worst in our political system. To stand on the seesaw and watch and lean.
There is much that can be done – in both social and economic terms – to reduce the pressure on families including income splitting for taxation purposes, subsidies for grandparents who look after grandchildren, putting an end to price-gouging by state governments of water and power costs, and much more.
Power prices, house prices, water prices. Family budgets and family businesses – family farms, family shops, trade contractors, are all under siege. The unbearable cost of energy, regulation and taxation is sending family businesses to the wall.
The Australia we once knew is disappearing before our very eyes.
In 2013, David Flint and Jai Martinkovits wrote a book called, ‘Give Us Back Our Country’. In the nine years since they wrote that book, it is clear we are not getting our country back any time soon. If anything, more of our country and our freedoms have been taken from us. In a recent article Flint no longer called for our country to be ‘given’ back, but rather for us to take it back.