Editorial: Channelling democracy

Editorial: Channelling democracy

On the way to the Peace Rally, I wanted to ask the Prime Minister a channel question: volume or value, Mr Howard? But he had, apparently, already made up his mind. The number of people who turned up at rallies around the country in order to add some volume to the anti-war stance failed to impress upon Mr Howard’s understanding of democracy. It is the values of democracy — not the numbers — that matter, he said.

So democracy doesn’t have much to do with volume? Funny that! I’ve always thought that the definition of democracy — and its core value — revolved around majority rule, citizenship and representation. Demos+kratia means the rule of the people. This is what the old Greeks said, at least. Or was that a line from My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Oh, never mind. The point is that, in this instance and according to Mr Howard, there seems to be not much value (or was he really talking margin?) in the definition of democracy. In other words, volume (the majority rule at home) is out, and value (add value to Iraqis’ democracy — at any cost) is in. He certainly knows a thing or two about the channel, doesn’t he? But I digress.

The PM may have arrived at his conclusion in a roundabout way, but nobody can doubt that his understanding of our industry is impeccable. In fact, provided that he doesn’t retire, doesn’t commit Australia to a merger that would leave even HP and Compaq looking like two peasant co-operatives and doesn’t win the next election, he may well find employment in the channel.

For Mr Howard obviously understands the importance of service better than most in the industry. He certainly understands it better than IT consultants, which would explain why so many of them are unemployed these days.

Sadly mistaken in their belief that numbers count as much in a democracy as they do in the channel, the latter bunch turns up at Hyde Park — banner and all — to march with Bisexuals Against the War to their right, Grandparents Against War to their left, and the CFMU in front of them. An interesting little society, but when your unemployment figures run at twice the national average you should be more careful about your friends, right? In fact, everything indicates that they would have been better off sticking with the PM. Why, you ask?

Well, having had his advisors take a thorough look at channel data, Mr Howard must have realised that the volume channel was doing 5 per cent more services in 2002 than in previous years and will continue to do so (at least that’s what channel research group Inform Business Development would have told him). Adopting the trend, he figured that more revenue will be derived from providing “service” to Iraqi people, than from maintaining volume sales at home. And, after three terms in the office, he is no longer likely to care about volume, anyway.

Now, there’s food for thought! If democracy is about volume — and the PM doesn’t care about it, why not move him into the area of life where he can put his passion for services to good use! How does the Honourable John Howard, member for IT channel sound?

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