OPINION: Sick of politicians that sound the same?
ASK anyone on the street what they think of politicians, and you'll find one answer stays pretty consistent.
"They just don't listen."
I can only imagine anyone who has worked in or adjacent to government finds this extremely frustrating, given the amount of time people in public service spend doing just that.
When your power to affect change is limited, it can be easy for someone to come away from a conversation you've had about their grievances thinking you just didn't hear them.
But I think there's something more to the problem than that.
I think the overwhelming issue with our political parties is they listen too much.
The tsunami of spin, signage and slogans that swamps our airwaves each time there's an election makes us think our politicians are automatons, addicted to the cut and thrust of day-to-day politics and in love with nothing more than the sound of their own voice.
But the sad thing is, these tactics are tried and tested.
They wouldn't spend thousands of dollars on political advertising if it didn't make a difference to the polls.
And no one in their right mind would choose to speak like that if it didn't work.
The message coming out of the major parties sounds exactly like what it is: sanitised, focus-grouped and market-tested beyond belief.
And guess what? That's on us.
Voters demand politicians have an answer to every question, a response to every attack, and a solution for every problem.
While that's the case, of course politicians aren't going to tell us what they're really thinking.
How can we expect them to speak like us, when we expect them to act like nothing of the sort?
Believe it or not, we are being listened to.
Maybe we just don't like what we're hearing back.