When I read the commentary piece cited below in The Sydney Morning Herald on the recent and nearly-hung Australian elections, I felt like I had fast-forwarded into the post-election period of the 2016 general election in the USA… or maybe landed in the post Leave “victory” debacle in the UK. Maybe we’re entering a global period of disenchantment with the self-absorbed power-playing antics of our assorted major political parties. Election result reveals both parties have lost themselves in all-consuming narcissism Excerpt: Australian voters gave a record share of the vote to the minor parties and independents on Saturday, including Derryn Hinch and Pauline Hanson. Because the people are disgusted with the big parties. The reason the outcome is so close is that the people are equally revolted by both. Why? Because the people want their politicians to be problem-solvers. Instead, both parties have lost themselves in an all-consuming narcissism. Where the country wants problems solved, both major parties deliver only parlour games. And that's the reason that this election seems not to have fixed the dismal decade, but extended it. I'm not sure how we extricate ourselves from the grasp of machine politics that are nominally about the platforms their voting base desires, but in fact are about winning election, period, no matter whatever the "party line" ends up having to sound like. It certainly seems we in the USA are not alone in wondering how to get our political parties to respect the intent of voters when the election is done and we rightly expect the results to be translated into government policy that moves a nation -- and the world-- forward. Our polarization translates into paralysis, apparently, which in turn supports the status quo. I've argued in the past that we end up voting against our self-interest too often, when we subscribe wholesale to either party's hyperbolic campaign language. More and more now I think that neither major party proposes policy that is actually in the interests of the average voter. Their policy statements are dressed up to appeal to their respective bases, but their objective is just to retain or gain power to manage incremental shifts in the status quo. Yet to vote third party, at least in the USA, generally amounts in the end only to guarantee the victory of whichever major party we dislike more. As we see in other countries now, even having the framework of formal coalitions for governance doesn't seem to make for a satisfactory outcome. How do we get politicians to work together to define problems and find solutions instead of kicking cans down the road while playing us all for our votes just to stay in office, or land in office?