Sunday, August 24, 2008

It's What Politicians Don't Say

This week has been a typical week in politics: politicians avoid some questions, tell us only part of the truth, or perhaps, simply don't know the answers!

Republican US Presidential candidate John McCain was asked how many houses (dwellings) he owned. After a few stammered words, he said "I think, eh, um, I'll have my staff get back to you on that." Not knowing, or perhaps not wanting to discuss, how many homes you have isn't a good image for one who wants to run one of the biggest economies in the world. Turns out he has 10, including the ones held in his wife's name.

Back home, former Astralian Treasurer Peter Costello was definite when answering a question in Melbourne - he would definitely NOT challenge for the (opposition) Liberal Party leadership. But, again, he didn't say whether he would accept the leadership if it were handed to him on a plate by current leader Brendan Nelson. Dr Nelson is seen as weak, inept and lacking leadership by many.

In NSW, Premier Morris Iemma has been gloating about the NSW Auditor-General's report that found "no major obstacles" to the sale of state-owned electricity assets. But Mr Iemma did not say that the A-G had recommended a (realistic) reserve price be set, that his government has no current plans to set a reserve price; that the Federal Government's proposed carbon-trading scheme would have an effect on the price; that polls suggest that nearly 80% of NSW voters do not want state-owned electricity assets sold, because private companies in an oligopoly will always be more interested in profits than service in rural and remote areas (Telstra set the standard, there); that he is acting against his own Party's policy; or that up to 17 members of his own Government oppose the sale.

AS ususal, it is what the politicians don't say that is the most important aspect of their media massaging.