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September 24, 2004

Contrast Leak's account of what is important in an election campaign:


with this statement from Michael Costello in The Australian:

"But the No.1 underlying reality is that what in the end will win over many swinging voters is their overall impression of the two leaders. If Howard continues to campaign as bad-temperedly for the next two weeks as he has for the past two, Latham will be prime minister."

What we have is the hip pocket versuses personality.

No policies. They are irrelevant. So the phenomenon of "doctors wives", concerned with issues such as the treatment of asylum seekers or the environment. As Judith Brett points out their political culture is one of putting moral values before self-interest is continuing a long tradition of women's political engagement.

But this is of little concern to those who accept that citizens do not step outside the sanitised and rehearsed world of modern political campaign marketing a brand. It's just hip pocket (self-interest), personality (identification); or stupid us being seduced by emotive images and persuaded by fear.

This kind of account means that citizens in the seat of Adelaide do not care about the moral issues of same sex marriage (the gay marriage ban) or the River Murray.

Or that people as citizens do not care what is happening to the country.

I don't buy these kind of accounts myself. They reduce politics and the political to the market.

We citizens may be concerned about what has happened to social democracy as a result of it modernizing itself through its embrace of a neo-liberal mode of governance.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:39 AM | | Comments (0)