Amid the fervent politicking of now and yesteryear, this week could not be a more pointed nor timely reminder to think about how the students from this university will go forth and populate the world with their ideas and actions. Sometimes that thought is frightening, as we have seen with the Abbott revelation/witch-hunt boiling down in the crucible of the media spotlight. In other cases we hope our alumnae will achieve as much outside of the limelight as they do beneath it, as we talk to outgoing Chancellor, Her Excellency Marie Bashir, about a lifetime’s achievements.
This week we learn the ease of forgoing principle and merit for position and prominence. Our feature raises the state of the country’s federal politics to the zenith of pathetic disarray, and we look back through the Honi archives to the missteps of Abbott, Turnbull, Hockey and co., to learn that like dead birds on a perch, we still have no idea which way they will fall until they do.
In all aspects the politician breed is fantastically mutable, save one pattern that sticks – those who seek out power in their youth will continue doing so to their old age. The Cheshire faces grinning at you from the back of bathroom stalls will likely be the ones dictating policy and legislation that bind our day to day lives in more ways than we’d like to give credit. The candidates you bless with your vote this election might just rise through the system’s tri-fecta of coincidence, high school patronage and old school savvy, and that hasn’t changed since social hierarchies existed. The only new introduction to the attractive ‘upward mobility’ veneer of student politics seems to be Twitter. Now, they can follow you too.
We ought to be presented with good reasons to value the people who have access to some of the highest positions in the land. To maximise the chances of that happening, we ought to give credence to the kinds of people, now, who will not simply waste the positions they are elected to. The SRC is primarily concerned with implementing workable efficient services for students on campus – nothing too hunger-stoppingly glamorous is expected of it. Perhaps to show us they can do the job, our student politicians should begin stripping down the delusions to persuade us with something a little more genuine than panes et circenses.