Thursday, February 12, 2004

Repairing Politics

I posted this to a mailing-list (OnLineOpinions), but I thought others might be interested so I've reposted it here:

I was just reading Mark Latham's article Repairing Politics

I thought it was excellent, and have selected a few choice 'sound grabs' that I
especially liked:

"There's no question that Australians have a low opinion of politics and
politicians."

"To be frank, Australians in their twenties now look at organised politics as a
redundant activity for people who like going to lots of meetings."

These quotes set the scene of our current opinion of politics. They are
followed by:

"We should use the potential of the Internet to deepen and enhance the public
debate."

Next comes a welcome criticism of television driven politics. Can you tell I
don't own a TV?

"The loss of public trust in politics has also coincided with the rise of
television as the dominant medium for political debate."

"In the age of television, politicians and the media have created a vicious
cycle."

Finally Latham launches into a discussion of how the internet (amongst other
things) can help solve these problems:

"Our great hope for the future is the Internet."

"Whereas TV has fostered a shallow and adversarial debate, the Internet relies
on a deeper dialogue and flow of information."

"Seven-second grabs and repetitious messages are redundant on the Net."

"The new information technologies have an important role to play. Internet chat
rooms and online ballots should be a regular part of the political process."

I would just like to say that if Mark Latham (or anybody else for that matter)
really believes this stuff they should check out http://lathamforpm.meetup.com
What I am trying to start up is a Howard Dean or Wesley Clark style internet
support campaign for Mark Latham.

Matt Pattison

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