I was invited to attend a political lobbying meeting for school funding yesterday. I had never been to something like this before and was keen to find out what happens.
Luckily I had donned a jacket and tie as the other people there were quite formally dressed too. A few pleasantries and introductions to people I did not know but should, and soon we were all seated shoulder to shoulder in a small cosy room ready to go.
And what transpired was quite uneventful.
A Labour representative addressed us, usual background, how important schooling is, etc. Blah, blah, blah and then confirmation of what we had already heard from Julia Gillard previously – the Labour party’s promises on indexation of funding for non-Government schools.
Then it was the Liberal’s turn – a federal senator, then the local Liberal candidate did the same. And with a silent sigh of relief from the room, they also guaranteed indexation of funding for non-Government schools too. And they also took a swipe at the Greens.
Some questions and answers, all of which had already been distributed to the representatives so there were no surprises. Some off the cuff questions, but without any real answers (what do we expect them to say? Make up some new spending plan or announce a new policy?)
And then it was all over. What struck me was how “rehearsed” it all was – and I know it’s it not just this one Q&A, but many other ones happening around the country.
No major policy changes or announcements, just holding the status quo. A lot of what they think is important in general, but very little action statements.
I looked at my iPhone – I was already running late for dinner, so I headed off – feeling a little unsatisfied from my little glimpse into this Election circus.