So far I have mainly commented on international politics, as such I feel I have neglected the politics of my native land.
First, though, here is a bit of background on Australian politics. Australia's political system is a "Constitutional Monarchy", or at least that's what the taught me at school. It is a monarchy because the Queen of England is our head of state and it is constitutional because we have a constitution. In practice though we are a republic. Since Federation all the executive decisions have been made by representatives of the people of Australia; ie the Australian Parliament.
Several years ago there was a referendum on whether Australia to become a republic, to which Australians voted a unanymous "NO". I suspect this was due to a combination of people already knowing we are in practice a republic but also because of the popularity of such fun figures like Prince Harry "Pothead", Prince Willy or our beloved Queen.
Which is interesting because while the english royalty are quite popular in Australia, our own politicians are not. Perhaps in America, popularity of the President is buoyed up by patriotism, but in Australia the politicians are loathed and the more power they wield, the stronger the loathing.
Often the hatred is just. For example Julia Gillard first got into power as Prime Minister by backstabbing Kevin Rudd, Within a week Rudd was ousted by the Labor Party and Gillard had the throne. Australia was in shock. Kev may have been sinking in the polls but, all of us still remembered when he was the Aussie battler saving us from evil old Johnnie Howard and delivering the Aborigines their much longed apology from the government. That's not all though...
When it came to the election, the polls were dead even and it was a hung parliament. Both candidates from the major parties were seen as utter disgraces, not fit to run the country. Instead of going back to the polls, however, The labor party under Gillard's leadership bribed the required independants to win another term in office.
Sometimes though, the hatred isn't just, but I think that being skeptical of politicians is the best way to treat them.
In queensland the labor party has had a long stranglehold over the state. First it was Peter Beattie and then Anna Bligh. Both of them are despised but they stayed in office because the opposition seemed just as bad. Better the devil you know, I guess.
Suddenly there is a new alternative. "Can do" Campbell Newman, Lord Mayor of Brisbane has decided to run for Premier. Unlike other high profile politicians, Can do Campbell is not hated at all. Part of this is due to his competency but part of it no doubt comes from the fact that he has not become premier yet.
Just like Kevin Rudd was the Aussie battler against evil old John Hoaward, and just like little Johnnie Howard himself was the david against the goliath of Paul Keating ~10 years earlier, Can Do Campbell is the underdog fighting for the people.
I do hope he succeeds though. For if he does not win the state election, we will have to suffer another term of labour and it is not healthy for any government to remain in the hands of any one party for too long.