In a political world of grey, Australian politicians are a breath of fresh air

Brought to you by our friends at Lexis Nexis in Australia

With all the recent coverage of the Australian election it reminds me in particular how much I like Australians. That’s not to say I’d support their cricket or rugby teams but for what it’s worth I do admire much of their apparent approach to life. In particular the lack of formalities where they are unnecessary and on top of that the sheer straight-talking.

This can also sometimes lead to a more colourful game of politics and certainly from the other side of the world that’s what the recent political developments appear to have been. First off, we had Julia Gillard challenging Prime Minister Kevin Rudd for the leadership back in 2010 and winning. Then, this year the same Mr Rudd appears to have done the same thing back. So all might have appeared to have been square with the Prime Ministership looking like a kind of prize in some form of grown up game of musical chairs.

But then along came that pesky little concept which is a general election and the inconvenience of having to get the electorate to approve of what you’re doing. Now, much if not all of the election may well have been fought on high political principle. But looking at it from afar, my reaction is that if you have twice changed who is Prime Minister without direct recourse to the electorate through a general election then there is a fair chance that that same electorate might start to get just a tad irritated. It just kind of seems a little, er, undemocratic. But whatever the reason and whether I’m right or wrong about the Australian people getting irritated, the election did indeed result in Kevin Rudd being ejected from the position of Prime Minister once more.

But beyond all of this to-ing and fro-ing of the political process, what I particularly like about Australian politics is its tone. As I’ve already said, it’s the straight talking as well as perhaps not taking yourself too seriously just because you’re a politician. For what it’s worth, I imagine Australian lawyers have an equally direct approach and when it comes to Dispute Resolution in Australia I can just imagine that there is a particular amount of straight-talking. Which for what it’s worth in my view is as effective a negotiation strategy as any.

Which reminds me of one of the greatest straight-talking Australians of modern times: Kerry Packer. I recently watched ‘Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War’ and relished watching the way he took on the English cricketing establishment of the 1970s and despite what might have seemed pretty long odds was ultimately victorious.


So from the other side of the world, I propose a toast to straight talking Australians whether they are politicians, tycoons or anyone else and make a gentle suggestion that more politicians might perhaps consider following their lead. Even if it didn’t change the outcome one way or the other, it may well lead to a more eventful election time and might even get more people out to vote!

October 20, 2013 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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