According to the Oxford dictionary, "a spurt is a short period of unsustained effort" and as we move towards Australia's 2010 Federal election on August the twenty first, there will be a short period of unsustained effort by a stream of X-spurts trying their darnedest to influence the voting public. It is their big chance to galvanize the nation and leave us with the notion our democratic system is working for us.
We will be bombarded with targeted concepts like "moving forward" and "we're ready" designed to get our vote for Julia or Tony even though they won't be on the ballot paper most people mark. Most people vote for someone they don't know, or have a limited knowledge of, whose head only appears in the area once every three or four years. Our compulsory participation in this process is reduced to handing over power to someone who doesn't think we are capable of making any decisions other than picking one or two, pre-selected people, to make our decisions for us.
If you don't believe me, find an X-spurt, pull it aside and ask it for an off the record comment on whether the masses should be allowed to make policy decisions for themselves, even if only on the simplest of issues. Caution, you could be shocked by the reply!