Regular programming will now resume.
Posted by Possum Comitatus on March 2, 2008
For the last week and a bit I’ve been gallivanting around the countryside catching up with family and friends, and it seems I missed Dennis getting frisky (which will be rectified shortly). I also missed most of the news, the political analysis and the general toing and froing of the news cycle simply as a result of the events of ordinary life taking over my time.
In a very real sense, the level of news and politics I was exposed to for most of the last week or so is pretty much spot on to that which a majority of the electorate experience as a day to day staple – a few minutes of the nightly news, a couple of scraps of the daily tabloid and maybe a radio headline or two if the timing was right.
There really is a profound gap between the level of information that we avid followers and participants in the political system here take on board as part of our basic news diet, and that of the wider public. It’s often easy to forget that the large majority of the electorate isn’t as emersed in the detail of politics that we are here – which is entirely understandable as there is certainly more to life than politics, but it’s also disconcerting in many ways.
If most of the electorate doesn’t know through circumstance, including those which do not care by choice – then those of us that do know and care about the nature and detail of power, government and political behaviour probably carry a larger burden of responsibility than we would ordinarily credit ourselves with having, and certainly more than most of us would ever care to admit.
I guess what I’m trying to say here is thank you. Thank you to those that do watch closely, that do follow the details, that do have (or have made) the time to be able to care enough to be involved. Whether that be through community activity, through online participation, through political participation, through the nature of your employment or simply through having enough of an interest in the world around us to follow the detail closely – it’s the collective consequences of the minority of us that do these things which allow us all, as a country, to at least try to speak truth to power.
And because it is only a minority of us, we are all a little more important than we realise.
Having been gone for a tad, there’s also a little housekeeping to do.
First up, New Matilda has a great political section called PollieGraph that’s worth keeping an eye on, producing a constant stream of political commentary and analysis by some old faces you know and some new ones you may not.
From the folks that gave us YouDecide2007 at the last election comes a new site for those of us north of the Rio Tweed that might be interested in the impending local government elections coming up. Qld Decides is a joint project run by The Local Government Association of Queensland, OnLine Opinion and QUT’s Creative Industries Faculty that brings a citizen journalist approach to local election coverage.
A big thanks for all the suggestions on what we can call Brendan Nelson, there’s some absolute crackers in there.
I’ll be chewing through my mailbox over the next day or so for those that have dropped me a line recently, and over the next week there’ll be posts on educating Dennis, an environmental disaster happening in the Manning Valley, a squiz at the possible by-elections coming up in the federal parliament and the first in a series of policy articles called “Now listen up Kev”.
So, let the regular programming resume.