Last night (16 Feb 07), I watched the televised debate between the NSW Premier, Morris Iemma, and the Leader of the Opposition, Peter Debnam.
Well, it was called a debate, and was under the direction of the very capable Quentin Dempster. Both leaders looked good for TV: hair cut; makeup; lipstick; suit, shirt and tie impeccable. Their words had suitable makeup, too. Lots of covering up as both leaders spoke, but didn't answer, some questions. Specifically, both would not answer questions about whether Sydney people should move to Level 4 water restrictions, which restrict the use of drinking water for gardens and hard surfaces. NSW hotels and clubs organizations give generous donations to the major political parties, and the political parties want the money! So, neither leader would give a commitment about alcohol availability that would reduce the level of alcohol-related violence! Money talks, indeed.
Peter Debnam waffled on, but did not answer Quentin Dempstr's question about whether he would still call the Police Commissioner to tell the Commissioner to arrest particular people. Mr Debnam had previously made such a statement. He did say there are "tens of thousands" of bureaucrats in "ivory towers" (to sack, or remove). You can be sure, thought, of a multitude of new spin doctors just for him, if he's elected as Premier. Morris Iemma already such a multitude.
Morris Iemma had problems with water issues, and resorted to the deceptive terms "recycled sewage" - a term he knows is incorrect, but which plays on voters psychology. He also had problems acknowledging the Labor Party's 12-year history, and tried desperately to isolate things to only the 18 months he's been Premier. He was not entirely successful.
The "debate" was probably a draw - a result both sets of spin doctors wil try to say is an outstanding success for their particular employer. It involved, visually and verbally, a lot of impressions and "airbrushed" words, but lacked specifics on too many details.
This voter would want more detail.