Friday, May 16, 2008

Farcical system or just dumb reporting

I am an advocate of variants on the Westminster system of government, particularly as opposed to the hybrid US system. But it does leave the door open for some really dumb reporting. This, from the Aussie opposition leader’s reply to the budget:

“Brendan Nelson tonight promised a 5-cent-a-litre petrol tax cut…” SMH

How in the name of anything remotely sane can the current leader promise any relevant economic implementation? Why would the media even bother to report on such a farcical pronouncement?

First up Brendan Nelson was a minister in an administration which refused to even acknowledge a government responsibility in prevailing fuel prices and refused to discuss the possibility of reduction of various pre-purchase taxes on fuel.

The Howard government had years you come to terms with that argument and Nelson will never be in a position to implement such a plan. Blind Freddy can see that, so why waste ink, broadband or credulity even talking about it?

Of course Nelson is really playing to his own party, fighting to retain his leadership position. Part of that is a hard line against the budget, a promise to block a range provisions in the Senate.

That boast is also problematic, even though the opposition still have the numbers in the upper house. The opposition have blustered, but invariably rolled on every issue so far. Bluster aside the conservatives are acutely aware of the dangers of being labeled spoilers.

So I’ve just joined the media and wasted even more resources on what is essentially a non story.


lindsaylobe said...

I think what you going to see in the short term is an attempted populist style opposition which will play out a charade to promise what seems most obvious or opportunistic headline grabbing aspect at the time.

Its outraged rhetoric was to give the impression of very strong leadership when it I think its leadership is teetering on the state of collapse.

I am not surprised at this early stage in opposition with their lack of any real policies or indeed on their indecisemness but rather I was similarly surprised like yourself at the detailed reporting and analysis in the press. This was one of poorest opposition responses I have heard for some time, as you might expect from a party trying to sort out its political future. The opposition could have been much more statesman like I thought and honed in on such aspects as the need for increased foreign aid and for more spending on environmental matters or in indigenous affairs. Best wishes

Cart said...

Nelson probably isn't the leader to sort the conservatives. Maybe they still have a lot of pain ahead before they start to sort things out :(