Please, disagree with me
Post election, a close friend was talking to me recently about political accountability. The 24 hour media cycle has made many of our pollies so terrified about making a mistake that they’ve stopped doing or standing up for much of anything (or having a personality). With every tiny slip up hitting the headlines, I argued many politicians have become boring cardboard cutouts too afraid to actually voice their opinions. Sometimes it feels like all we hear is focus grouped soundbite after focus grouped soundbite to the point we’re all rolling our eyes.
I honestly believe politicians today are held to a high standard of account when it comes to their everyday (and private) actions and words. Everything they do, say, or post on the internet at 2am after a few too many drinks, is scrutinised by both the media and the public. I can no longer fathom a world in which our PM is found in a foreign hotel without his trousers.
Private and public behavior of politicians comes under a bright spotlight (and arguably some of this non-stop, 24/7 attention is why less people of calibre are putting themselves forward for the role).
I might not agree with all of their positions, but I’ve always had respect for those politicians who present authentically and consistently – those who are genuinely there to stand up for what they believe in.
The same goes for anyone. In a world where we increasingly inhabit our own self-reinforcing circles of sameness, I don’t really care if my friends, colleagues, acquaintances and I disagree. I want to spend my time with people who stand up for what they believe in, are unafraid to make mistakes and are accountable for their own authenticity. They’re also the kind of people we need more of in politics.
Please, disagree with me, I’d love to hear about it.