The future is set – and this includes all our future states of mind and our subsequent behaviour.
This is the power they possess to toss-out governments every three years, no matter what their politics or how well they have governed, and they intend to exercise it mightily.
Karl Marx declared 150 years ago that 'If anything is certain, it is that I myself am not a Marxist'.
Nor, it seems, did the Treasurer ask himself if taxes should be increased on the wealthy before services were cut to the poor - this was ruled out by election promises, as was any increase in the GST.
Truthiness is 'What I say is right, and [nothing] anyone else says could possibly be true.'
One cause is that our politics is almost completely adversarial, and another is that the electorate does not understand the realities of our political economy. We have become too used to annually increasing wealth.
The fact that leadership change within major parties is now an annual event shows the entire political establishment to be out of touch with the Australian public.
Of much greater concern are citizens' anaemic level of confidence in the institutions of Churches, Unions, and Federal Parliament, receiving an abysmal 11%, 6%, and 6% respectively.
'It empowers negative campaigns, privileges sectional and special interests over the national interest … and confronts a conflict between long-run policy and the short-term tyranny of the polling and media cycle.'
Public opinion does not spring into life in one swoop. Its formation is a slow and contested process. Think of John Howard's campaign to change the GST.
We're not where we want to be; we're not where we ought to be; we're not where we're going to be; but thank God we're not what we were.
Prime Minister Abbott's attempt to downplay the threat to world peace and security constituted by the actions of Islamic State constitutes a serious error of judgement.