There are nearly 250 politicians in Federal Parliament. If each of them exaggerated their expenses each year by $20,000, the total cost would be around $5 million.
Forget about politician travel claims
I understand that $5 million is a great deal of money, but given that our nation's December-quarter deficit alone was $18 BILLION, it is a drop in the ocean.
I understand that there is a principle involved, but there are much bigger ones at stake here - including the mess they are making of running the country.
I understand that it is duplicitous for politicians to gut social services while cheating the system themselves – but the current controversy is more about scoring political points than principle.
I believe the action proposed by the Prime Minister last week is well and truly overdue. That said:
Sometimes, we are a mean-spirited,emotional and self-centred community.
That said, the rules should be clear and there should be an expectation that they will be followed.
More important than a few million dollars is the appalling performance of our politicians and in my view, it is this that we should be jumping up and down about.
Malcolm Turnbull seems like a decent man, but he is gutless and we are paying the price for this. He is not looking after the environment, facilitating gay marriage or protecting the vulnerable – as he knows he should – because he lacks the courage to do so.
Mike Baird in New South Wales seems like a good fellow with some excellent principles, but he too is gutless – backing down from his principled position on greyhound racing and many other issues.
We have too many politicians not willing to sacrifice their job for their principles.
On the other side of the fence we have Bill Shorten – again a man with sound principles – who is locked in by number-based politics in his party and constrained by a perceived need to disagree with the government just to stand apart.
We also have the Greens, who display absolute opportunist politics despite claiming the moral high ground on a daily basis. This, of course, started with the ego-driven work of Meg Lees and Andrew Murray.
Too many politicians are driven by the wrong motivations.
This country faces many challenges and every politician I come across wants to fix them by shifting the responsibility and cost on to the constituents of other parties. No one wants to truly share the responsibility across the nation.
Too many politicians come to a point of view and then amass the facts they need to support that point of view, rather than taking the more scientific approach to assessing the facts at face value and then arriving at a view.
Too many politicians lack the intellectual grunt needed to think objectively, critically and laterally.
Unlike Whitlam and Menzies, among others, politicians no longer paint a big picture view or vision and then engage with the community to sell that vision. They just claim to be better than the other side.
I no longer know what any leader of any political party in any state of Australia or the Commonwealth actually believes in. I certainly do not have any idea what kind of country they are trying to create.
These are the kinds of issues we should be concerned about and PROTESTING about – not the rats and mice that constitute travel claims and the political games around them.