The Dissemination of Thought

Just because it's in print doesn't mean it's intelligent…

Ifs, Buts and Political Peanuts: Why Salted Legumes Cost More in Canberra

with 5 comments

The last time I went to a circus, I was in Brisbane and paid about $75 for my ticket.

My most recent visit to a zoo was while visiting Perth and, from memory, the privilege cost me somewhere in the vicinity of $20.

Why does it cost so much more to watch dancing bears, juggling clowns and those dopey-looking penguins when the show’s in Canberra?

When you consider what we pay our Federal politicians to carry on like petulant children, it’s easy to see why so many people become disillusioned and why our elected officials rate somewhere between journalists, used car salespeople and serial killers on the scale of professional trust.

“I know the answer to that!” Source:

Prime Minister Julia Gillard hasn’t been able to use any words other than sexist, misogynist and offended this week.

For that, Australians paid almost half a million dollars.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott achieved the seemingly impossible and sunk lower than broadcaster Alan Jones when he slipped the old “died of shame” nugget into a speech during question time.

That will be about $350,000, thank you very much.

Yes, we elected this man. No, I’m not joking. I wish I was. Source:

You have to feel sorry for Peter Slipper, the disgraced former Speaker of the House of Representatives.

When Mr Slipper fell on his controversy-plagued sword on Tuesday night, he took a pay cut of more than $140,000.

Hopefully, he won’t struggle too much on his adjusted annual salary of a touch under $200,000.

Am I the only one who feels like we are currently getting short-changed on the Federal political front?

We need the best people representing us – being our voice – in Federal Parliament and I am all for paying top dollar to attract them, especially when you take into account the salaries individuals of that calibre would command in the private sector.

What we are presently seeing and reading about day after day in Canberra suggests that, in many instances, we have fallen well short in identifying the best candidates when we went to the polls in 2010.

There’s an old idiom that suggests if you pay peanuts, you will find yourself surrounded by monkeys.

Yeah, he’s worth $200,000 every year. I hope he’s not dreaming of text messages. Source:

Unfortunately, the peanuts the Australian public are feeding the current residents of Parliament Zoo cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per bag.

Worse still, once you have purchased a bag of the exorbitantly-priced legumes and realise it was too much to spend on the political animals performing behind the smudged glass, you can’t get a refund for three years.

If our Federal politicians continue to carry on like angry five-year-old chimpanzees, I for one will be advocating covering our nation’s capital in Nobby’s nuts.

5 Responses

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  1. I think I really got the hang of politics after I learned enough about the process of communicating its messages to the electorate. I love the circus analogy, very clever. But does everything that society does have to be rendered down to a mere calculation of its cost benefit? Surely we owe it to ourselves to spend as much as we can afford on democratic process. After all, the alternatives to democracy not only discourage foreign investment (very expensive) but tend to result in violent deaths (can be distressing).

  2. There should be an option on voting forms for ‘anyone but [enter name here]. And for every ‘anyone but’ vote someone gets, one vote is taken off their primary vote.


    October 12, 2012 at 07:38

  3. I am always a bit baffled by the one-sided look at salary that occurs with politicians. Any time I have considered a new role I have always weighed up the entire package. Perhaps we need to do this more with politicians to get a full idea of their remuneration.

    Factoring in cars, travel benefits (in the very least those with a dubious link to their job or that they can take spouse and family on), food, allowances, superannuation, lifetime pensions (at rates of 50% of “salary” following 8 years in parliament and up from there from the moment of leaving parliament), etc it would be interesting to see the total package value.

    The other thing that I see that stands in the way is Party politics. Unless you have been in the machine it appears to be significantly more difficult to get elected. I suspect that half the talent that we would like to attract with greater salaries wouldn’t last long enough to get preselected as the party would either curtail the exact behaviour we would like then to show or they would go nuts and leave due to the bureaucracy of it all.


    October 13, 2012 at 10:15

  4. well said my friend.
    btw… please don’t support circuses or zoos, it’s unethical. Animals have the right not to be enslaved. 😉 )
    (Come on… didn’t you know i’d say that? xo)

    Cakes McCain

    October 15, 2012 at 05:08

  5. Ummmmmmm. Circuses cost more than zoos because they are circuses, not zoos. It has nothing to do with the fact that one was in Perth and one was in Canberra.
    Speaking or petulant children…………….


    October 18, 2012 at 13:22

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