Politicians have long been criticised for being wooden, scripted and spin doctored into machines that simply spew the party line. This phenomenon has been political reality since the advent of elective democracy in our society as well as other nations across the world. The electorate were by in large getting use to the monotonous dribble that ministers and prime ministers would recite on news programs, press conferences and photo opportunities.
The internet offered was supposed to offer a new avenue of communication. And it did. Between families, between friends and between consumers and businesses. Disappointingly the leaders of our country did not show many inclinations to embrace social media as a forum to directly reach voters in real-time without the smoke and mirrors of strategist, publicist s and journalists.
That is until this year , when The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, took the unprecedented move to go on google + and have a chat with regular voters for over an hour over a range of topics and questions . It was a great display of transparency and willingness to engage, in turn the electorate appreciated the candid engagement from the PM, regardless of political persuasion.
What seemed like the dawn of direct honest communication between the people and leaders however have now fallen onto the vicious sword of trolling. In the latest Facebook chat by the PM to facebook users across Australia, Trolls were vicious in making sexually explicit, appearance demeaning, sexist insults that is sure to drive back this new social media drive by the government. As noted journalist Bianca Hall reported , “One man, Clifford Cowl, told the Prime Minister, “Get my dinner ready”, while “Adam Subwoofer Hodgson” asked: “Are your pubes as radiant, shiny and glorious as mine?”. AS you will all agree this recent tirade was truly shocking. And what’s more this type of action is discourage the likes of Prime Minister Gillard from engaging with us on Social media again .
These disgusting insults and sexist and sexual remarks are what is in the way of true, honest, and direct communication between , you , me and our leaders. How dare these trolls hijack what should be the right of every Australian to communicate with our Leaders. Shame on all of you who have participated in this. This behaviour is quite literally ruining democracy.
– Post by J.Y