A Plea for Integrity

integrityKevin07’, the once-revered Prime Minister, has been ousted, returned, and now ousted again. Congratulations, of course, must go to the Coalition (maybe we are better off being led now by an ‘Abbott’ and a ‘Bishop’ than by ‘Abbott and Costello’, as could have been the case three years ago). However, do the many recently close polls in western nations (such as the last one in Australia three years ago) perhaps suggest that little now excites voters about the political options available?

Some have suggested that Rudd’s first and second exit were largely caused by significant character flaws that made him unpopular with voters and party alike. In one sense, all of us are flawed characters; it’s just a matter of degree. Yet politics seems to be a game of such desperate stakes that the muckraking and sledging on both sides of the divide becomes shamefully denigrating, even personal. The attacks hit our letterboxes regularly during the election campaign and childish comments were rife (such as last week’s “I say to Liberals, ‘Come out, come out, wherever you are’” and “The last time I used the term goodies or baddies I think was when I was playing Cowboys and Indians in the backyard”). I want to honour our politicians for their hard work and sacrifice; many have served their electorates tirelessly. However, I would just love to see the leaders of our major parties show the way with greater integrity and respect.

Leaders must surely rise above negative politicking to represent us maturely at the highest levels and it surely grates many of us to see money being wasted on graphic design, television adverting, printing and automated phone services that simply rubbish people and policy. This represents a crass disregard for the positivity and professionalism us mere mortals are expected to demonstrate in our less generously remunerated occupations. Whilst our political system has served us well on many fronts, it is surely time for all politicians to realise that the Australian public are crying out for credible leaders who have the character and charisma, as well as the competence, to lead this nation to greatness and significance on the world stage. Fortunately, there are still some humble and hard-working people in Canberra who can hold their heads high to make us a proud nation. May the years ahead see us rise as we also uphold godly standards in a nation founded upon a Christian heritage that still has the power to change us for the better.

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