The first step in writing a GAMSAT Section 2 essay is identifying the theme associated with the quotes presented. This blog post will go through potential ideas and sample essay structures.
Brainstorm Arguments & Ideas
- In politics, the most popular course of action is usually the correct course of action.
- Same sex marriage bill, on Dec 2017, the right to marry in Australia was no longer determined by sex or gender, postal vote.
- This can be considered the correct course of action – equality, supporting love regardless of gender
- In politics, campaign promises are seldom kept after the election is won.
- Politics – make promises to get the popular vote, campaign promises made in good faith or do they hide more sinister intentions or cause division?
- E.g. Trump with the wall – pandering to right wing views? Create more divide in society
- Kevin Rudd, promised to apologise for the wrongs that had been done and towards the Stolen Generation. → instigate movement towards reparations, acceptance, belonging, closing the gap → potential to create real societal change
- The best politician is the one most removed from politics.
- Politics – manipulation, lies
- Removed from politics – direct, clear, unbiased, see the bigger picture → the common people are perhaps best to understand the issues that plague society, e.g. homelessness, poverty
- The true mark of a good government is able to listen and understand
- ‘Most removed’ – Trump in terms of understanding the common man’s demise, their problems and pandering to this….’best politician’ provide a solution
- ‘Most removed’ – Jacinda Ardern in terms of understanding the emotional state of the country
- Greta Thunberg – raising awareness of climate change, part of the grassroot initiating change, instigated multiple high school strikes across the world
- Only those politicians who have learned the art of compromise can achieve their political goals.
- Compromise, gain support of other people
- E.g. Julia Gillard, allied herself with the Greens in order to gain leadership but had to introduce the Carbon tax
- E.g. vaccine rollout, state and national leaders working together
- 1917 Bolshevik revolution – Lenin/Trotsky to overthrow the Tsar (Soviet Union). In the aftermath of the 1917 Bolshevik revolution – Stalin learnt the art of compromise, use political rhetoric to oust Trotsky and gain leadership and the support of others → Five year plans disastrous for the economy, secret police, widespread poverty, famine
- In politics, money equals power.
- Money = more resources, can get more involved
- Power can help to enact change, e.g. Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi
- Power can corrupt, e.g. Macbeth
Possible Essay Structures
- The corrosive influence of money in politics is undermining the integrity of the Australian government .
- E.g. Sam Dastyari and murky links with Chinese businessman, potential for foreign powers to influence politics or trade relations.
- E.g. Clive Palmer and use of money to support his political campaign, implies that only those with money can garner adequate support. –> https://theconversation.com/mineral-wealth-clive-palmer-and-the-corruption-of-australian-politics-117248
- The effects of political corruption can be devastating.
- E.g. Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Najib Razak being found guilty in the corruption trial over the multi-billion dollar 1MDB scandal. Consider the money that could have gone to the people, in supporting infrastructure, economic growth and improving welfare.
- It is important that we keep our politicians accountable via a system of checks and balances.
- In Australia, we have a separation of powers between the parliament, executive and judiciary
- In democratic countries, potential for lobby groups and protests to raise awareness about important issues
- Role of media in keeping people accountable, e.g. Tony Abbott and not wearing a mask (Sept 2021) subjected to same fines as others
- In democratic governments, It is unfortunate that the success of a government’s campaign is predicated on its ability to manipulate public opinion.
- Donald Trump – building a Wall, replacing Obamacare, personality more important than promises of actual change. Trump recognises this and uses this to his advantage, appealing to minority/isolated/disenfranchised members of society by discrediting the media and their propagation of ‘fake news’. Give examples of what he have said and analyse.
- However, political parties are not always manipulative and can make promises that improve public welfare.
- Kevin Rudd – promises to unify/eliminate barriers between Aboriginal Australians in modern society
- If we are to make positive change within our society we must hold those we elect into power accountable.
- Politics is often turned into a popularity contest rather than a campaign for what is beneficial for communities.
- This is further exacerbated by the use of money and power to further political agendas
- However, a truly successful politician is one who is able to compromise and understand the concerns of the common people.
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