It’s always nice to see your views justified by some independent research. And there it was last Saturday, tucked away on Page 2 of The Australian, Tony Abbot’s unpopularity with voters added more than 1% to Labor’s vote. The outcome probably contributed to the Coalition loss, a hung parliament and the eventual circumstance that we now have. A minority Labor government dependent on Independents and the Greens in order to govern. I can now say ‘I told you so!’ with some degree of confidence.
Just why is it that whenever I see or hear Mr Abbott my ‘Gutometer’ jumps into the red zone and alarms start going off. All those subliminal signals from my senses are telling me that there is something wrong and that trust is not something that I will be giving to Tony – No Way! Tony Abbot is not the only one, mind you, but he is the one who produces
the greatest negative response in me amongst all our leading politicians. And the Australian Election Study research shows that I’m not alone.
Is it the apparent naked lust for power, the rampant negativity, the sloganeering, the policy vacuum, the body language, the tone of voice, the gravitas (or lack of it), Mr Abbot’s belief system, educational background? Just what is it that says to me that having Mr Abbot as PM and the Coalition in power under his leadership is a frightening concept?
How do you explain and rationalise this?
I’m an avid reader of New Scientist and if I can place my interpretation on, and summarise, the trends in psychological and behavioural research articles which have been appearing in the magazine over the past twelve months or so, we are not the free thinking and independent entities that we may consider ourselves to be. Despite our views to the contrary more and more evidence is suggesting that a significant amount of our behaviours, attitudes and responses are greatly influenced by our genes and the protein, and other products, that arise from them. What the research seems to be saying is that we are psychologically and mentally hard-wired. The degree of influence of the hard-wiring apparently is the issue currently under debate.
So, if I understand it correctly, deep within my psyche, that little entity called ‘me’ is governed and managed to a lesser or greater extent by my genetic makeup. The decisions and responses I make to stimuli and in implementing actions, views and insights that create the ‘me’ and my response to the environment around ‘me’ arise from a milieu of interactions which have a substantial degree of instinctual and reflexual response about them. YUK!! Now there’s a shock to the belief system that says I am an individual, free-thinking and entire unto myself.
Now if this is the case then my views of Mr Abbot, and others, arise subliminally and subconsciously from my genetically predispositioned psyche based on how I respond to their input into my environment. The response is instinctual, hard wired and unlikely to be modified and probably best described as something like; ‘well it’s a gut feeling, can’t explain it, but you know, just feels right deep down’!
And getting back to my initial question? It would seem then that I dislike Mr Abbott because he arouses a deep down dislike of his persona and what it stands for and that the response is instinctual, genetically predispositioned and hard-wired in me. I think I can live with that. The Australian Election Study research also indicates that a lot of other people feel just like me in this regard and in this respect the Coalition would appear to have a leader who is largely disliked instinctually. The preferred PM polls also seem to bear this out. So, does it then follow, that as long as Mr Abbot remains leader of the
Opposition the Coalition is failing to maximise their chances of election, or perhaps locking the Independents more strongly into the current political arrangement?
And that’s food for thought. . . . . . . .