Nothing to do with strata, but … why we’ll never elect a President


It has absolutely nothing to do with strata, but …

The recent events in Ukraine and the current turmoil in Washington DC have guaranteed one thing – we will never have a popularly elected president in Australia.

And since the majority of the public want exactly that, and nothing less, it looks like we could be stuck with the British monarchy for the foreseeable future.

When you have politicians who don’t trust the public to get it right and a public that doesn’t trust politicians, full stop, there is no middle ground on this.

Even our existing pollies who support a republic fear that a popularly elected president would not only have some sort of mandate that might undermine their position, but that there is also the potential for a TV personality being picked for the role.

If the USA can elect a profoundly amoral and corrupt individual to the role of ‘leader of the free world” and a recently liberated country like Ukraine can chose their leader, both on the strength of TV appearances, then we are just as likely to do something equally “fun” … but fundamentally stupid.

But would a well-known face be such a bad idea? We might get Tony Jones from Q&A, if we were lucky, or Russell Crowe, if he could deal with the dual citizenship thing, or Jonathan La Paglia (who knows a thing or two about life or death votes from Survivor).

Dave Hughes is a problem solver, Julia Morris (I’m A Celebrity …) can wrangle difficult people in trying circumstances. And there’s any one of a number of female ABC TV news presenters who already run rings around our elected leaders.

But for me it would come down to a choice between Shaun Micaleff (Ex-Prime Minister, Mad As Hell) and Rob Sitch (Utopia). They’d know at least as much about politics as Volodymyr Zelenskiy learned from his satirical TV show in Ukraine.

Look, Trump and Zelenskiy aren’t the first celebrities to move into politics. Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, spring to mind, even our own Derryn Hinch.

So who in the media would command a big enough following to knock off an established politician?  Alan Jones failed miserably when he ran, and Mal Meninga never got off the starting block.

At a time when every other TV news show is featuring vox pops with ordinary punters who can’t even say who our Prime Minister is (although they don’t show you the people who got it in one), someone with real profile could walk in.

Step forward, Barry Humphries – smart, funny, controversial and occasionally offensive … and he could be the First Lady and Cultural Ambassador too. And Dame Edna would maintain the royal connection.

Come to think of it maybe a celebrity President isn’t such a great idea, after all.

Who do you think would be a good President for Australia?


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