Noodle House Yarns #3

Democracy is fun. Participating in the democratic process is fun. And there is a lot to be said about controlling the democratic process. In factional politics, controlling such a process becomes the lifeblood of politics. So from the time the likes of Richo, Clarke and Gramoski put on their Huggies First Stack, the democratic process becomes a beautifully orchestrated event. Here, strings are plucked and pulled to create an election, which on paper looks like rules and regulations were followed.

 And how does one do this? In my time, I have found that three key things are needed to run a great guided democracy: The numbers, respect, and a grain of truth to what you promise. With these three things, you should be able to rock and not be rolled.

 A former Leader of the House once declared, “You either have the numbers, or you don’t have the numbers.” The importance of having the numbers in this situation was for the government in trying to find a new Speaker who could fit a glass slipper. Nevertheless, they had that magical equation of 50 per cent plus one to continue to govern.  In this aspect, having the numbers should ensure you have control, however, it won’t allow you to keep control of the democratic process.

 Having respect is the ability to be able to say openly to a room: “I ain’t gonna do you wrong while you’re gone”. This means that those who lose out will still stay, and those who voted for you will continue to come. If one does not have respect within the party, caucus or club, the vote loses all legitimacy and the organisation dies. Much can be said about a former state-based student political faction that has lost the respect of its members.

 A grain of truth too is required when attempting to control a ballot. Unlike a free and fair election where politicians can lie, a known liar can rarely maintain the numbers or have respect within an organisation. This grain of truth doesn’t, however, have to be a noble truth, or the promise of utopia. Generally, this is a promise of anything from a future position, to a Mars bar.

 With these things, you should be on your way to controlling your Arc club, or having your own program on Sky where people listen to your worthless opinions. Then again, you’re reading my column.

 David Bailey-Mckay