Section 2 Topic Exploration

GAMSAT Theme Talk: Politics

Learn how to brainstorm ideas and write a GAMSAT essay on politics!

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

  1. 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 
  2. 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 
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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

Sample 1

  1. The corrosive influence of money in politics is undermining the integrity of the Australian government .
  2. 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.
  3. 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

Sample 2

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. If we are to make positive change within our society we must hold those we elect into power accountable.

Sample 3

  1. Politics is often turned into a popularity contest rather than a campaign for what is beneficial for communities.
  2. This is further exacerbated by the use of money and power to further political agendas
  3. However, a truly successful politician is one who is able to compromise and understand the concerns of the common people.

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