In light of the last five years, I think it's time we simply stop listening to politicians' promises. The old joke, "How do you know a politician's lying? Their lips are moving," has been trite for a while, but after the countless lies on both sides of Parliament maybe it's time to view politics in a different way.
If you judged your politicians based on the promises and policies they made when going to an election, more than likely you would be disappointed with the results once those politicians got into office. I suggest a very simple way to alleviate the frustration and disappointment. Simply ignore all promises and policy. Look instead to past performance. Evaluate an entire party and disregard the words and actions of the leader and the individuals. Simply look at the way a party is perceived and make your assumptions about how they will handle any issue based on how they handled similar issues in the past.
If you hoped there would be no carbon pricing and you believed the promise Julia Gillard made about the issue, you would have been disappointed by the resulting carbon policies of the Labor government. Instead, if you had a ignored any such promises, and instead viewed the party as a group, you would have seen that on the whole they are pro policies that instigate carbon pricing. You would not have been disappointed by the resulting moves of the Labor Party to price carbon.
Similarly, if you listened to Tony Abbott promising that the Gonski reforms would remain as they were before taking office, then of course you would be disappointed by the resulting turn around they have made in the last three months. Instead, if you had ignored any of their promises and looked at the past of the party, you would see that they often have a preference for dividing funding and controlling it in a manner exactly like what Christopher Pyne is doing now.
So next election why don't we all try something new? Why don't we all just ignore what the parties say and look at how they have performed. Regardless of what side of the aisle you are on, you are sure to avoid the disappointment and frustration that has come from listening to politicians' promises. Instead, when a politician does something you don't like, you'll say, "Of course they did that! They were always going to do that! I never expected them to do anything else but that!"
Together we can fight the draining frustration and disappointment of politics. Together we can stop that tired old joke from being relevant.