Julie Bishop complained yesterday that new media may be dumbing down politics. Now, leaving aside my belief that Barnaby Joyce, Steve Fielding, Tony Abbott and even Julie Bishop’s death stare are more to blame for dumbing down politics, I think she’s missed the point. (No surprises there, what with her being a 54-year-old politician who uses the death stare instead of dealing with criticism.)
“You have to get your message across in such an incredibly short time. It’s all being reduced to a five-second news grab or 140 characters on Twitter,” she said.
Making politicians be succinct – rather than letting them waffle on about how they’ve invested millions in this program, and millions in that program without answering the bloody question – can only be a good thing. Enough of this “being on message” bullshit. It’s boring and it’s disrespectful to us – their audience and their voters.
Bishop reckons that online media is bad for democracy. I reckon she’s just annoyed that today, when people disagree with her, they fire off an email and write blog posts, and leave comments on other blogs and news articles, rather than digging around for the letterwriting paper, composing a letter, finding an envelope and getting to the post office for a stamp before it shuts and frankly, who could be bothered?