Sunday, April 25, 2010

Five Common misconceptions

There are some commonly held political beliefs which make no sense but which a large proportion on the electorate seem to hold. It doesn't seem to matter how well educated the person is these misconceptions have seeped into the national mindset are are almost impossible to remove. Today I would like to share my top five with you.

I voted for the Prime Minister : “At the last election I voted Kevin Rudd to be Prime Minister”. No you didn't. At election time you and every other Australian voted for their local member. Even if you lived in Mr Rudd's electorate you only voted him to be mp not PM. Unlike the Americans we do not directly elect our leaders. They are chosen by our parliamentarians. As any New South Welshman knows the party leader at the time of the election may not last the full term.

Minor parties can stop the government  “A handful of Greens (or any other minor party) are defying the will of the Australian people by blocking legislation! “ No they are not. Minor parties only have a few elected representatives, that's why they are called minor parties. By themselves they can do little. They only have any influence if they vote with the Opposition. Considering that the Opposition has far more members then the minor party it makes more sense to blame them for any blocked legislation.

My taxes pay for my pension. “I paid taxes all my life so deserve a pension!” Wrong. Taxes are not a saving scheme, all the taxes you paid have been used to fund the government's expenditure, including past pensions. There's no direct link between the amount of tax you paid and any pension entitlement. The government can toughen the means test, increase pension age etc. any time it wants. If you don't like it tough.

Its not a tax: "Well, we don't call it tax, we're calling it an investment in human capital." Dr Sharman Stone MP on how Tony Abbott's paid maternity leave scheme will be funded. Sorry, if the government takes your money without your consent its a tax. What is used for is besides the point. 

Liars .”He/She is liar!” Maybe not. Just because someone says something which is not true does not make that person a liar. A lie is an untruth with an intention to deceive. If there is no deception involved its not a lie. The person could have simple be mistaken or misinformed. I like to see some real evidence of intentional deception before a prominent politician is called a liar. 

I'm sure people have their own favorites please share them in the comments section.

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