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10 times Australian politicians were indeed 'out of touch'

You're out of touch, I'm out of time, but I'm out of my head when you're not around.

By Kate Wagner
10 of the most out of touch Australian politicians

Look, we don’t want to shock anyone but there have been some rumours that Australian politicians are out of touch.

In fact, a poll in The Guardian today scored Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull highly on some pretty important negatives, like being arrogant and out of touch with the ordinary people.

Believe you me, we were shocked too.

But are our politicians really so out of touch? Well, let's take a look at some recent shenanigans...

1. How about some marriage equality?

Despite polls finding seven in ten Australian voters wanting a change in the Marriage Act to allow same-sex couple to wed, we still haven’t legalised same-sex marriage. It’s a policy that is on the forefront of many voters’ minds but the parties seem to prefer blaming the other for the inaction rather than actually catering to their constituents.

Some may argue this makes us look out of touch to the rest of the free world.

2. When Joe Hockey thought poor people didn't drive

Ok, in all seriousness I could actually do a whole list just on Joe Hockey, but since we shipped him off to America (because they seem pretty stable at the moment… #lol), he’s not our problem anymore, so I’ll limit it to one.

After releasing a budget deemed particularly harsh on the poorer member of society in 2014, Joey suggested that an increased fuel excise would not hurt the poor because they "don't have cars or actually drive very far". Ahh yes, yet another very well researched comment that he definitely did not regret as soon as it left his mouth.

3. If you want to buy house, get a better job

Last week, federal Victorian MP Michael Sukkar took a leaf out of Joe’s book and told young people to “leave university” and “get highly paid jobs” to buy a house, which is just so duh. Why didn’t we think of that? Young Sukkar owns two houses, so the man knows what he’s talking about. Oh, as an aside, one of them is a residence in Canberra which he claims the taxpayer funded allowance of $273 a day to stay in during parliament…

4. ... but not one in hospitality, retail or fast food.

After such enlightening advice, the people were ready to work. Then, later that week the Fair Work Commission cut weekend pay rates. "Malcolm Turnbull, as Prime Minister of this country, unless he acts immediately, will forever be remembered as the Prime Minister who oversaw an attack on the wages of the lowest-paid people in our economy," said ACTU president Ged Kearney.

Also, when the Coalition was criticising Shorten’s role in the decision to cut penalty rates, Steven Ciobo said, "[Shorten] is effectively the daddy of this decision". If he was even slightly in touch, he would not have used ‘daddy’ in such a cringeworthy way. My skin is still crawling.

5. #Choppergate

Speaker Bronwyn Bishop’s expenses scandal began when she revealed she took a $5227 helicopter charter flight from Melbourne to Geelong to attend a fundraiser for her party, who is clearly in dire need of funds. Once it was out the scandal got hotter, with alleged revelations there was two more charter flights and a $90,000 fortnight in Europe. Actually, that’s not really out of touch – I personally can’t remember the last time I went to Europe for under a hundred grand.

6. You know what Australia needs? An easy avenue for racist hate speech

You know what isn’t on the forefront of anyone’s mind? 18C. But guess what’s received hundreds of submissions over a three-month inquiry? Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act makes it illegal to offend, insult and humiliate someone because of their race, and boy do some of the upper-class backbenchers hate to be told that that’s not ok. Tim Wilson, a Victorian MP and a former human rights commissioner (I wonder why he dropped that gig?), thinks not being able to racially vilify someone is taking away his “liberties” and “free speech”. I’m so glad our government is supporting racial hate speech and not equality.

7. Paaarty.. on the taxpayers dime

After the Coalition won the election, Malcolm Turnbull threw a back-to-parliament party and the taxpayers picked up the $5000 bill, including a chocolate birthday for Foreign minister Julie Bishop. Note to self, people are receiving too much in welfare payments but expensive parties are okay.

8. We get it, you like it out west, Barnaby Joyce

Another genius tip to solve the housing crisis came from Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce earlier this year, just move out of Sydney and Melbourne which are clearly the only cities affected. "Sydney's wonderful and so is Melbourne,” Joyce told ABC Radio National. “The trouble is so many people think it's wonderful that the price of houses is incredibly expensive. But there are other parts of Australia."I did move out west so I can say this - if you've decide you've got the gumption in you and you want to move [west], you're going to have a very affordable house.”

Unfortunately, Johnny Depp’s arch-nemesis forgot to actually read the report which just that 33 ‘severely unaffordable markets’ are in Australia.

His love for out west has also led to the Deputy PM forcing the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to relocate to Armidale – a move which reportedly has a limited benefit to either Canberra or Armidale, but a $26 million price tag on moving costs.

8. We may not have marriage equality, but that doesn't mean non-traditional families aren't still plunging us into social chaos

Then we have Cory Bernadi. He’s got plenty of pearlers, but the best has to be his belief that an “increasing number of ‘non-traditional’ families” has “led to social chaos.”

"Why then the levels of criminality among boys and promiscuity among girls who are brought up in single-parent families, more often than not headed by a single mother?”

Yep. That was something he actually thought and then wrote in an essay. For people to read. I want to give him the crown for most in touch politician but there’s just such stiff competition I don’t know if I can commit.

9. Do you even sausage?

Some would say a Bunnings sausage sizzle is way of life in Australia, and those people are correct. It’s a rite of passage, the key to calling yourself a true blue Aussie. Well, obviously Bill Shorten spends his weekend mornings a little differently to the rest of us, a fact that came to our attention during the 2016 Federal Election. What is this?

Who looks at a sausage and thinks to themselves, ‘I’ll tackle it from the middle, brilliant’? I think this is possibly the epitome of out of touch.

We’ve reached it.

10. The mythical age of entitlement

Ok, I know I said I’d only do one Joe Hockey one, but we can all just look back on the time he said he wanted to stop the age of entitlement? Those darn Australians are just expecting too many handouts while Joseph slogs it away for practically nothing. As Nick Xenophon said, "I just want to help Joe Hockey fulfill his dream of ending the age of entitlement, by Joe Hockey setting an example for the rest of us."

Well there we have it. There’s definitely more, but I think we can all agree from this little snippet that the Guardian poll was completely and utterly wrong. Out of touch? These folks? Make up your own mind...

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