Image: ABC word clouds.
The ABC asked readers to submit three words to describe their views on the performance of Julia Gillard's minority Government and Tony Abbott's Opposition over the past year. The top 100 responses in each case were published around the image to form what was called a word cloud. Noticeably as most would expect, the responses were mainly negative.
There were only 18 positives for Gillard, compared with 26 for Abbott. This was fairly predictable given the current opinion polls, and the only real information that can be drawn from the whole exercise is that, currently Abbott has more sycophants with positive views of him than Gillard does.
Now however, a political analyst who is not really in touch with mainstream Australia is claiming that it reflects a "dangerous" sense of disillusion within the community for Australian democracy and leadership.
"Most words are negative rather than positive because there's a great deal of negativity and cynicism in the air towards leadership in Australia at the moment," said Dr Troy Whitford, Charles Sturt University politics and history lecturer.
"We're seeing harsh and angry words. It's interesting to think what are people actually reading or analysing to come to those particular words or conclusion."
Dr Whitford believes Australians, while generally taking a negative view towards politicians, are more cynical towards leaders today.
"There's a growing sense of disillusionment in our political system that's catching on. In some respects, it can be quite a long-term and dangerous problem," he told ABC News Online.It’s difficult to see what the problem is and why anyone would possibly view it as dangerous. It really means that we are more politically astute than was previously thought. There are two major parties here, neither of which you would bother feeding in a drought, or give standing room in your paddock, even in the good times. It is not all that difficult to understand. Take for example:
“There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead.” Could it be any clearer? And whats more, it is backed up by none less than the treasurer of the nation. Should we be so gauche as to take this statement as an indication that no carbon tax would be imposed under a Gillard government? Obviously not.
Jules has pointed out that she never meant to mislead anybody over the carbon tax. It is just that we are a bunch of ignorant, uneducated hillbilly bastards who are too dumb to understand the subtle political nuances at play in that statement. Clearly, we were too stupid to take into account the fact that she always intended to put a price on our carbon usage.
Seriously, she must wonder what she ever deserved to have us inflicted on her, while we wonder the same thing in regard to her, only the other way around.