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An explanation of Canberra politics?

By johnboy 9 February 2013 3

Prolific SF author Charles Stross has knocked out an interesting missive on what ails modern democracy.

It ends with this:

So the future isn’t a boot stamping on a human face, forever. It’s a person in a beige business outfit advocating beige policies that nobody wants (but nobody can quite articulate a coherent alternative to) with a false mandate obtained by performing rituals of representative democracy that offer as much actual choice as a Stalinist one-party state. And resistance is futile, because if you succeed in overthrowing the beige dictatorship, you will become that which you opposed.

Thought on how this applies to the dismal state of ACT politics are welcome.

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An explanation of Canberra politics?
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rosscoact 6:17 am 09 Feb 13

I do like “false mandate obtained by performing rituals of representative democracy that offer as much actual choice as a Stalinist one-party state”

Applies across all level of politics or course.

The other point is that we like and want beige politics in the main. People revolt against any policy that’s even off beige let alone any other colour of the spectrum. One notes the screams of outrage when any minor tinkering with the status quo is mooted.

We truly get the government we deserve.

DrKoresh 2:43 am 09 Feb 13

The ACT Government is the best thing that’s ever happened to me!

johnboy 2:26 am 09 Feb 13

Or as one of the commenters on that story beautifully put it into the words of Douglas Adams!

“[An extraterrestrial robot and spaceship has just landed on earth. The robot steps out of the spaceship…]
“I come in peace,” it said, adding after a long moment of further grinding, “take me to your Lizard.”

Ford Prefect, of course, had an explanation for this, as he sat with Arthur and watched the nonstop frenetic news reports on television, none of which had anything to say other than to record that the thing had done this amount of damage which was valued at that amount of billions of pounds and had killed this totally other number of people, and then say it again, because the robot was doing nothing more than standing there, swaying very slightly, and emitting short incomprehensible error messages.

“It comes from a very ancient democracy, you see…”

“You mean, it comes from a world of lizards?”

“No,” said Ford, who by this time was a little more rational and coherent than he had been, having finally had the coffee forced down him, “nothing so simple. Nothing anything like to straightforward. On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people.”

“Odd,” said Arthur, “I thought you said it was a democracy.”

“I did,” said ford. “It is.”

“So,” said Arthur, hoping he wasn’t sounding ridiculously obtuse, “why don’t the people get rid of the lizards?”

“It honestly doesn’t occur to them,” said Ford. “They’ve all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they’ve voted in more or less approximates to the government they want.”

“You mean they actually vote for the lizards?”

“Oh yes,” said Ford with a shrug, “of course.”

“But,” said Arthur, going for the big one again, “why?”

“Because if they didn’t vote for a lizard,” said Ford, “the wrong lizard might get in. Got any gin?”

“What?”

“I said,” said Ford, with an increasing air of urgency creeping into his voice, “have you got any gin?”

“I’ll look. Tell me about the lizards.”

Ford shrugged again.

“Some people say that the lizards are the best thing that ever happened to them,” he said. “They’re completely wrong of course, completely and utterly wrong, but someone’s got to say it.””

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