Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The usual story

It's the usual story: yesterday, a high-ranking National MP was a little too honest about policy, sugesting that a National government could cut employer contributions to KiwiSaver. Today, he claims he was "misquoted". And tomorrow, we'll no doubt hear of National heavying the poor little Te Awamutu Courier, just as they did the Northern Advocate. Meanwhile, Slippery John gets to mouth the usual vague sentiments while not actually saying anything one way or another, and the media doesn't even bother to inquire further, or scratch its head over why, a mere four months from an election, the major opposition party is still keeping us in the dark and feeding us shit, while claiming that every hint that dribbles from anyone other than its annointed leader is a "misquote".

Unlike Crosby-Textor, John Key, or the Parliamentary press gallery, I don't think its too much to expect that a political party might actually tell us what they plan to do if they are elected, and I'd have thought that that was a basic part of offering the people choice in a democracy. At the least, its a vital part of subsequently holding them to account, since it allows us to compare their actual performance to what they said they'd do. But by not making any promises, national also conveniently protects itself from any later claim that it has broken them. Which coming from a party which so blatantly broke their promises and imposed neo-liberalism in the 90's, and which hasn't entirely cleared itself of that taint, should be rather frightening.