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The Good, the Bad and the Leader

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Most of us think of ourselves as free individuals living in Australia “The Free Country”. We have had the ability to speak freely, protest, freedom of religion, carefree lifestyle, freedom of choice without coercion or blackmail. etc..

Immigrants would flock here in droves, in the hope of a better life and away from the oppressive regimes of their homelands. They were proud to call Australia their home. But something has changed.

Australia was the envy of other countries earning itself the tag of “Australia the Lucky Country”. One particular line in our national anthem that always resonated with me was “For we are young and free”. But are we free anymore? Are we lucky anymore? It doesn’t feel like it. I was once proud of my country, but I’m not anymore and it turns out that I’m not alone in my thoughts.

With the emergence of the Covid Crisis, our state and federal leaders have been displaying some very worrying behaviours. This has me and plenty of others questioning their current style of leadership.   

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So, what makes a good leader? The University of Melbourne published an article on the 5th of March 2020 asking Australian voters to reveal the most important qualities of political leaders. 44 percent of 1066 respondents said honesty, truthfulness and trust are the qualities they deemed most important in their political leaders. Leadership (16 percent), ethical behaviour and integrity (14 percent) impact (13 percent), and the ability to listen and adapt (10 percent) were the other qualities most frequently mentioned.

Considering that in Australia a politician or leader is voted in by the people to represent the people, the big question is how many of our politicians and leaders display these admirable traits. You don’t have to look hard to see that few do.

So, is there such a thing as a bad leader?

Yes, there is, and they say power is like a drug. Ian Robertson, a Professor of Psychology at Trinity College Dublin, has studied political figures and the influence and power has on a politician. In his research, he found that there are traits that all bad leaders have.  

He mentions that “Power can go to some people’s heads and change the way their brain functions, their personality changes, they have a loss of empathy, they’re more narcissistic and are increasingly of the opinion that without them, everything will fall apart”.

He also mentions that the reason so many political leaders don’t resign of their own accord but are “pushed out” by members of their own party is because of an addiction they develop to being in power. This loss of power is likened to an alcoholic losing alcohol, or a gambler who stops gambling. There is a terrible sense of loss and emptiness. And although this causes them immense stress, they can’t imagine life without it.

Are our leaders addicted to power? Are they really representing the people’s best interests or their own pockets? And what comes of state and country when one welds too much power? Do I really need to ask this or do we all already know the truth? 

All is not lost though; good people are out there ready to lead and represent the Australian people and their values. We just don’t hear about them due to media blackouts, and social media censorship. There are plenty of great political candidates with their own legitimate registered parties, well thought out policies and some honest Senators speaking out. I wish I could name them all but they are rising in numbers. If we look hard enough we will find them, because at the end of the day it’s up to us to stand up and be counted. 

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1 COMMENT

  1. Hey Michael,
    Your faith in Humanity is touching.
    I am losing hope.
    As I see it, the brave are selected out in the new world where obedience and compliance are the required characteristics.
    And how do we dig ourselves out of this mess when banking is cashless, and the right to work is restricted to the compliant? And the police are used as a private militia of the rulers against the people? And computer controlled population data leaves no place to go.
    As I see it, if we fail to stop the theft of our human rights in Australia, it will be virtually impossible to regain them.

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