I love to be able to name something that's happening out there - to be able to frame it in a way that makes sense to me. This morning I read this article that was linked from twitter by @jovanevery and @qui_oui*. It's about the inexplicable decision in Canada to stop asking census questions outside the purely demographic - not an issue here, thank heavens, because we only have what they call the 'long form'. And suddenly I find the phrase that defines our current electoral campaign: epistemological popularism. What the parties know and how they define their aims, goals and plans, is determined only by what they think 'the people' want.
And that's what's wrong with the current election campaign. Richo (who ever thought I'd be quoting him?) said on the ABC's panel show Q and A last night that both parties seem to be aiming their message at some mythical uneducated voter in Western Sydney. That's not democracy; that's cowardice and it demonstrates a lack of vision, creativity and leadership. Penny Wong abjures gay marriage; Julia Gillard is using twitter as a policy announcement forum (will someone in her team please tell her to stop, and also not to put JG at the end of every tweet!); and Tony Abbott is dragging his wife and daughters along with him to show how lacking JG is in not having a family. None of it is about the things that matter; it's about knowing nothing more than the zeitgeist - and probably not even that.
*Isn't qui_oui the cutest twitter name for a New Zealander living in Canada you ever heard?