WHY are people so blinded by their own narrow political viewpoint?
So often, in going through comments on this site, we see people who believe that everything the LNP does is wrong, or everything that Labor does is wrong.
The truth is that there are good people on both sides of politics.
People who went into the job for the right reason - and work pretty long hours to try to deliver for their community.
Sure there are plenty of others.
There are those in it for the power, for personal gain, for their mates.
But do we really think they are the majority?
Over 25 years covering politics at all three levels - local, state, and federal - I've met plenty of politicians.
Some of them I have very little respect for.
Those who rort the system for their own gain (travel, expenses) and those who look after their mates in development (corruption) deserve zero sympathy.
But it annoys the hell out of me to see people who think everything that Tony Abbott or Bill Shorten does it wrong just because they come from the 'wrong side' of politics.
And just as disturbing is the debate - and I use the term loosely - that emerges between bloggers on our sites from opposite sides of the political fence.
Too often, they descend into personal attacks, generalities and boring one liners.
During the last election campaign, Julia Gillard was a liar about everything.
Now Tony Abbott is the liar, according to the one-eyed, simplistic viewers of some of our online contributors.
In Queensland, Campbell Newman and Jarrod Bleijie are Nazi dictators because of their stance on bikie laws.
The reality is they have got some things very wrong - particularly in relation to key legal principles involving the presumption of innocence.
But I think it's time that we try to have a more sophisticated debate about politics.
There are good ideas on both sides of the political fence.
And both sides of politics should be acknowledged - and applauded for having a go.
While it's easy for us all to snipe from the sidelines at our politicians, including local councillors, how many people really have a good idea of what the job entails.
I spent 15 years covering councils.
Sure there were some dumb decisions, big egos and the like.
But I can honestly say that the majority of people were in it for the right reason.
So perhaps it's time we start acknowledging the good with the bad.
Maybe the, we would feel a lot better about ourselves, our country and our government.
Mark Furler is APN's Group Digital Editor
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