Op-Ed: A midterm elections threat assessment — high and getting higher: The ‘Powers That Be’ (in two parts) by Thomas E. Mann
“As the years pass the political environment becomes more and more polarised. The parties and their respective spokespeople become more and more strident in their claims, their rhetoric and their personalities. At the same time, the issues become less and less of a subject of debate and more and more of a weapon. For the ‘powers that be,’ it seems that the end of government is in sight. It seems there is no longer any way to stop this cycle of negativity from repeating itself and the next election is only months away. This year’s mid-term elections are shaping up to be a referendum on the incumbent administration while offering little relief for voters who are tired of the politics of fear, negativity and division. If the midterm elections were to follow a familiar pattern, they would send the nation on a downward spiral from which it may not be able to recover.”
In the US, midterm years are always more divisive, polarising, and a referendum on the incumbent administration. It seems the same with midterm years in Canada and Australia.
In Australia, we are now experiencing a perfect storm of polarisation and a high, getting higher with voters who are tired of politics of fear and division.
In this environment, all voters deserve high-quality, transparent information about the issues affecting them.
If that doesn’t happen, then there could be an election crisis of national proportions, in which the opposition wins, but then it gets blamed for the loss of the majority and the government is unable to form a new government.
It is a high stakes game.
For the ‘powers that be,’ it seems that the end of government is in sight in Australia. It seems there is no way to stop this cycle of negativity from repeating itself and the next election is only months away.
Given these circumstances, it is incumbent upon any party that may have the chance to hold government to do their utmost to do what it can to prevent these damaging negative emotions from being reinforced and sustained.
The following is a short extract from a new paper by the New Rules Foundation, which examines what Australia’s election crisis may look