A Question of Leadership

Amanda Vanstone


This morning on Channel 7’s Sunrise program, Amanda Vanstone and Mark Latham were interviewed on the Senate debates that took place overnight. Vanstone, in a reply to Latham’s pithy assessment of the Liberal government as being weak on economics, said the following:

Turnbull is not going to be the apple and onion eating, high-vis vest, hard hat wearing, selfie taking Prime Minister like both Abbott and Rudd were. He said he’s going to think about things and he is.

He’s getting on with the quiet business of government instead of seeking publicity for himself.

It’s annoying a lot of people that they don’t know what he’s thinking and each step that he’s taking. The media would love to know the Liberal Party’s strategy.

In taking Latham to task, Vanstone touched on a point that can be observed in national politics both here and abroad – the concept of leadership has foundered. Our political leaders, business leaders, community leaders and leaders within the church, are expected to be familiar, just like us, “of the people”.

Leaving aside the point that middle-aged white men are not universally representative – why is it that we look to leaders for relatability?

Where is the higher purpose of leadership today, or personal excellence, given that we are entrusting in these men and women we follow the responsibility to chart the course for the future of our society, our community, our future good fortune?

When did we, as Vanstone notes, start to become frustrated with leaders who take the time to think and assess a situation?

Do you feel it is right to expect more from our leaders?

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