The issue of politicians’ remuneration is such an easy target — just look at some of today’s headlines for the tone:

“SUPER LIARS” — Daily Telegraph

“All aboard the gravy train” — The Age

“It’s super: MPs take a golden nest egg” — Sydney Morning Herald

Meanwhile, here are some headlines you never get to read in the quality (or popular) media:

“Politicians deserve more pay because Australian democracy needs best possible leadership”

“$900 billion Australia Inc to pay senior execs appropriately”

“SHOCK: PARLT ATTRACTS TOP QUALITY MPs”

You don’t read those headlines because the public expectation, conditioned and fuelled by a kneejerk-headline-seeking media, is that politicians have their snouts in the public trough and should be paid as little as possible. Which makes the whole issue of politicians’ remuneration an embarrassment rather than an issue which should be summed up in another headline you’re never likely to read:

“The quality, maturity and effectiveness of a polity depends on the quality, maturity and effectiveness of its practitioners.”

Peter Fray

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