- Date published:
9:36 am, June 20th, 2015 - 21 comments
Categories: accountability, Deep stuff, journalism, Media - Tags: attack politics, brent edwards, dirty politics, media and politics
It won’t come as a surprise to any Standardista, but it’s good to see Brent Edwards being up front about some of the systemic problems in politics and the media.
What’s wrong with the way politics are practised in NZ?
Brent Edwards, Political Editor
Politics in this country is hard on people but soft on issues. As a result what should be serious policy debates often denigrate into political and personal points scoring. That often deters or alienates people who would, but for the “hard on people” approach to politics, have significant contribution to make to Parliament.
But while [CTU secretary] Mr Conway engaged unfailingly in reasoned debate about issues he believed important to the wellbeing of working people and others, too often in Parliament the debate is all about scoring points and attacking political opponents.
In the atmosphere which exists at 1 Bowen St the political game and how it is played becomes all important. It is exemplified in how political leaders are judged. Most leaders are not judged on the substance of what they say but how they say it. Perversely for politicians honesty and openness to new ideas are often weaknesses to be exploited by their political opponents.
Sticking to a consistent line is all important even if it is not in the long-term interests of the very voters politicians represent. And being truthful will often get politicians into difficulty. This is not to say politicians are all liars as regularly portrayed in the news media. But the political system does not encourage truthfulness.
Nor is the news media free of blame. Politics is too often reported as sport where winning or losing is the most important aspect. The tactics of the teams, read parties, are analysed but the substance of the debate often overlooked.
Reporters love to catch out politicians on a lie. Yet when they are truthful they are more often than not depicted as naive in the news media.
It is an approach to politics which does not necessarily promote reasoned debate.
It’s a must read piece, see the full article on RNZ.