There are a number of ways we would improve politics in this country at the drop of a hat.

a. Ban opinion polls more than 6 months out from an electionabbott poll

b. Ban political advertising….seriously, just ban it all

and c. Go with 4 year fixed terms federally.

Today we have two opinion polls splashed over the media from the two major media organisations. Although both show Labor leading the two party preferred result, they are radically different in their measure of political momentum.  Indeed the Fairfax IPSOS poll is accompanied by articles from informed scribes suggesting that Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey are dead in the water because the nation has turned on them.  While, the Newspoll is accompanied by articles from some other informed scribes who suggest that Bill Shorten is dead in the water because the nation never actually did turn on to his brand.

What a complete waste of time and media breath.

shortenThe election is still eons away.

The only people who care about the polls are those in the game and the journalists  who are forced to write about them every day.  Oh and those who might be planning a political coup behind the scenes.

Without these dastardly polls coming out every week, KRudd would not have lost his Prime Ministership to Julia and vice versa. And as much as the Rudd and Gillard haters might have been  cock-a-hoop with those extraordinary pieces of political theatre, it hardly improved the game of federal politics.

Gone are the days when the only poll that really mattered was the one on election day. These weekly polls do matter but they don’t improve the political discourse. We end up with scared rabbit politicians spooked by polls like dogs are spooked by thunderstorms. And they do pretty much the same as those fleeing dogs. They yelp loudly and run around in circles.

On the other two items…can you imagine how much angst would go out of the game if it were not possible to advertise on mainstream media ? All of that fundraising would become a waste of time. Political parties would have to get smart at the art of social media advertising and digital word of mouth.

And as for fixed terms, well it works a treat in the ACT. There is no conjecture about the election date because we all know when it will be for years in advance.

How about we take out as much of the theatre as we can and just focus on running the country ?