I saw Prime Minister Julia Gillard being interviewed on TV the other evening and, for the first time I thought she looked stressed and under pressure. I could also hear some nervousness in her voice.
The following evening I saw an interview on ABC 7.30 with the New Zealand Prime Minister John Key.
What a contrast!
Mr Key looked and sounded calm, relaxed, confident and, unusual for a politician, somewhat humble.
New Zealand is hardly a major player on the world economic stage, but they have actually implemented an emissions trading scheme, which seems to be working for them.
Whether you agree with climate change and its causes, the Kiwis have actually done it while our politicians play politics trying to score cheap political points against each other.
And, what's more, New Zealand has operated with a minority government for at least the past ten years.
I've been a keen observer of politics for the past 40 years and I have never seen such a rabble on both sides of politics that we now have in Australia.
Talk about "dumbing down".
Where are the great leaders, statesmen with conviction and vision!? They are nowhere to be seen.
Australia stands at the precipice of the greatest mining boom in its history and it seems our political "leaders"
have no idea on how to come up with and communicate policies which will set the nation as a whole up for decades to come.
What an opportunity going to waste!
That having been said there are foreboding omens on the economic horizon due to the deteriorating financial situations in the U.S., Europe, Japan and the U.K. And don't forget China!
Some economists are forecasting a slowdown in China over the next few years due to rising inflation and debt levels caused by a property boom (sound familiar?). Unless we position ourselves to absorb any financial shocks from overseas, I fear Australia may finally experience an economic downturn, notwithstanding the mining boom.
Sad to say I don't have a great deal of faith in our political leaders until they stop playing to the media and actual grow up and start governing.
What do you think?