Friday, April 13, 2012

The curse of imminent influence (Part 1 - Greens)

Well, in yesterday’s Cost reflective, defective? post I said being green was probably easier than being blue… hmm…  Soon-to-be former Senator Bob Brown might disagree with me right now.

But if it’s any consolation to Bob and his fans, I don’t think it has much to do with him - or even his interesting theory about why we don’t have any intergalactic friends.

I believe the problem is what I’m hereby coining as the curse of imminent influence (coii).

Now, just for the record I don’t believe in curses and just to prove it, I even took a photo of Marie Laveau's tomb in New Orleans and didn’t suffer any bad luck. Oh… hang on… was that before I lost my job, had a massive water leak at home and broke my tooth?

Anyway, as I was saying I’m pretty sure I don’t believe in curses and only chose that word because it sounds more exciting than “the self-destruction that groups of humans tend to undertake when they get a little taste for power and have a bit of extra time on their hands.”

The first one sounds better right? OK, we’re settled. The curse of imminent influence it is!

So just to back up my little theory, let’s think about the Australian Democrats. Remember them? They started off as the little group who were going to “keep the bastards honest”. It turns out they were very good at doing exactly that and became quite popular - eventually growing to the point of holding the balance of power in the Federal Parliament.

In retrospect, what happened next was sadly the almost inevitable result of one of the most frustrating flaws of human nature – ambition beyond our competency.

If you don’t believe me, watch any 12 month old baby next time you have the chance. Their internal narrative goes something like this:
“OK, I’ve been grovelling around on the floor long enough watching these big people walk around me. If they can do it, so can I. In fact, I reckon I’m smart enough to even run!’ [plonk!]
To summarise the Democrats’ internal narrative at the time:

“We’ve been a tiny minority for ages watching the big parties walk around us. If they can do it, so can we. Let’s declare that we are going to be the third force in Australian politics!” [plonk!]

How about “One Nation”? Had some luck in Queensland, decided that they could be the new third force in Australian politics… oh oh [plonk!]

Bob Katter’s power in the hung Federal Parliament made him think he could get a big Party going in last month’s Queensland elections… [plonk-er!]

Enough proof? Darn that human nature!

But the Greens are different, right? They won’t fall victim to the curse of imminent influence and plonk in the same way, surely?

Dom Dom! Did you hear what Christine Milne, the new Leader of the Greens, said this morning after Gillarding poor old Bob?
“My role is to advance the Greens, to give the community a very clear signal about where the Greens want to take this country… Under Bob's wise leadership, the Greens have grown into the undisputed third force in Australian politics…”
Oh oh… I feel another coii coming on…

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