August 29, 2004

Our Federal Election is to be held on October 9. Our current Prime Minister says that this election is about trust.

Well, I’m glad that the unannounced election campaign is over and the announced one is on its way. I don’t think that we’ll get a government that we can, or should trust in the result of this election, and I think that trust is rather a silly attitude to hold towards our elected representatives. No, we should keep a keen eye on them, and get very worried if we find that we start trusting them. That’s about the time that they’ll abuse it. It’s not that policians are any worse than the rest of us. It’s that the position of power brings with it so many opportunities for abuse of that power.

As to the coming election, I can’t make a sensible prediction. It seems like it will be close. What worries me is that if the Howard/Costello Government is returned, then they will take this as an endorsement of the way that they have treated the public service as an arm of the party in power, inflaming insecurity and scapegoating asylum seekers assiduously ensuring that we do not understand the plight of those locked up without trial on our shores (and off them), mangled relations between government and our indigenous people, and cynically throwing buckets of money around in order to bribe voters in the leadup to this election.

That’s what I take this current election to be about.

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I’m Greg Restall, and this is my personal website. ¶ I am the Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of Philosophy at the University of St Andrews.



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