Tuesday, March 22, 2005


Cabinet has decided to defer funding for the broadcasting of Parliament until the 2006 budget. The media is hailing this as a "retreat", and "a victory for media freedom", but I think its better characterised as spite. It smacks of a deliberate attempt to punish us for our insistence on open and transparent Parliamentary proceedings: "naughty public! No free broadcasts for you!"

The government did not need to do this, and it should not have done it. Instead, it should have done what the public is clamouring for: broadcast Parliament while relaxing the rules on filming MPs and allowing independent cameras as a check and balance. But I guess not allowing National, ACT and NZFirst to claim a "U-turn" is more important than democratic transparency.


The problem is that the public punishes people who do u-turns worse than it punishes peopel who obstruct, "put off" etc.
And this is how close oversight causes all sorts of circus activities and too much atention to the process and not enough to the results.

Posted by Genius : 3/22/2005 02:31:00 PM

Well, our politicans act as if that is the case, but I'm not sure that its entirely true. I think its just natural defensiveness on their part. Personally, I'd prefer it if they just owned up and said "yup, we made a mistake", or "yup, you guys are right on that one". And as a political tactic, it doesn't really leave the other side anywhere to go. As John Campbell pointed out in the Listener this week, what does an interviewer say when, instead of clamming up and denying and evading, their subject goes "go me on that one, and here's how we're fixing it"?

I'd also prefer any amount of circus activities and mugging for the cameras to the horrors and abuses you get when politicians and public servants aren't subject to proper oversight.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 3/22/2005 03:58:00 PM

Start the "sorry we got it wrong party" and see how far you get !
But I agree with you that is how it SHOULD work.

Posted by Genius : 3/23/2005 02:07:00 PM