A year ago Max Gillies gave a talk at the 2015 Bendigo Writers Festival.
He discussed impersonating former Australian Prime Ministers, and lamented the lack of characters in politics today.
The question to ask is, who is to blame for that?
Satire is partly about exposing faults in people so that the imperfection can be laughed at.
It is really about humanising the leaders.
But if people laugh at politicians, then the politicians must lose perceived integrity.
People want to vote for the person with the least faults.
Exposing a politicians faults reduces the idea that the politician can lead, and so less people will vote for them.
Politicians already do not want to show errors, and the fear of being joked about only increases the fear of being themselves.
It is disastrous for a politician to have a nervous tick exposed, or a stutter ridiculed, a smoking habit advertised, or to be portrayed as highly impressionable if they ever accept someone else’s idea.
To hold the trust of voters politicians now maintain a dull media controlled image.
The problem is, politicians who do not worry about their image are also those who care least about other people’s opinions and well-being.
Satire has caused dull politics, and in the gap given rise to egotistical politicians.
Is politics too important to laugh about, and should we restrict satire of it?
This is an open question, so while the title suggests an opinion, I’m keen to hear thoughts on if satire is causing more harm than good.
There’s room below to have an opinion.