In total, the national parliament has under 250 politicians: even including their personal staff you have probably no more than a thousand people. And remember, if you're an Australian citizen and you're unimpressed by 'the Pollies', the people of Canberra didn't invite them: you're the ones who keep sending them here! . So when the media says 'Canberra (did something unpopular)', that is journalistic shorthand: it was the politicians (of whatever flavour is currently in power) who were responsible for the decision, not the citizens of Canberra. And isn't it curious that the media never says 'Canberra (did something popular)', in that case it's always The Government (of the time) which etc ...! Remember that, whoever you vote for, a politician always gets elected!
To be fair, I do not know of any Ministers (of different Governments) who were not hard working and committed to their tasks: the one with whom I worked briefly 'lived his job'. They also were very comprehensively briefed by their Departments. So it is a matter of their policies, and no more, whether or not you agree with their efforts. As a visitor to Canberra, you are unlikely to see any politicians at work unless you visit the parliamentary chambers while the Parliament is sitting - and if you can, try to be there for Question Time though you will need to book a seat.
Watch out for this man. He's on Australian television everyday. What is he up to now? Sometimes you'd see him walking around the Lake with 6 burly guys in tow during the crack of dawn. Or you may even observe him in his elements at the House of Representative in the Parliament House.
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