In the last few days, Prime Minister John Howard announced the government's response to an appalling report into sexual abuse among indigenous (aboriginal for those who don't understand Political Correctness) communities. The measures are hard-hitting and comprehensive, and must have taken more guts than any PM of this country has shown in the past 50 years. The Opposition labelled it as a political stunt designed to pull votes in the coming election.
Union officials were caught on video berating and abusing employees, but it was just a political stunt according to Kevin Rudd. Rudd's plan to chat with the Dalai Lama is just a political stunt, says Foreign Minister Alexander Downer. Justine Elliot says the Federal Government's new fairness test is just a political stunt. And Mr Howard scratching his nose on camera, I'm sure, is just a political stunt designed to pull in votes from the nasally differently-endowed. Likewise, whenever Mr Rudd goes to the toilet, I'm sure he pulls a few political stunts out while he's in there.
In fact, a search of Google News reveals a whopping 698 political stunts in today's news alone, although to be fair, not all of them are in Australia. It seems even foreign countries are pulling political stunts, presumably for the benefit of one Australian party or the other.
I am getting very sick of the phrase, and the election is still a few months away. It's to be expected that in an election year, those in the running will try to be more visible and remind the public of what exactly it is that they do, to justify their ridiculously high salaries. But whichever way you look at it, Mr Howard's bold action on the indigenous abuse problem took guts, just like his decision to send troops to Iraq did in the face of massive opposition here at home, or his decision to stand firm on same-sex marriages not being allowed. And love him or loath him, THAT is why he's been Prime Minister of Australia for so long now.