Modia Minotaur

Trawling the airwaves to spare you the agony!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Bothering Debnam

Those who have read this blog for a while (or those who have seen my overladen bag, which always has at least three books in it) will know that I'm a hopeless and pathetic Harry Potter fan. As such, it was this video that came to mind when I heard of the NSW Government's planned smear campaign aimed at Peter Debnam. Just like bothering Snape, bothering Debnam just isn't worth the trouble.

Firstly, I don't think the Australian public is ever very impressed by negative advertising. I'm not sure how effective it is, but I know that I consider them pretty unpleasant, no matter the side of politics. Playing the man and not the policies is pretty infantile (but then again, what policies are there to play?)

Secondly, didn't research recently reveal that the public's recognition of Debnam's name and face were slim to nil? It seems ridiculous that the ALP will be spending good money on a campaign which, if it does nothing else, will essentially rectify that fact! It wasn't long ago that government MPs were reportedly requested to refer to him only as `The Member for Vaucluse' to belittle his profile and status as much as possible.

Thirdly, the idea of launching a smear campaign against Debnam seems very dubious, given their attacks on his own attempts to do the same thing. Obviously, Debnam was remiss to the point of idiocy to use an accusation so absurd from a source so patently unreliable to launch his big attack, but what he was attempting to do was the same as what the government now seems to want to do - delve into the past and dig up some dirt.

Fourthly, attack ads by a government is perceived not to be doing brilliantly will possibly annoy more people than win votes. The NSW Government can certainly not appear to be arrogant in the way that some other State governments can. I don't share the belief that it will lose the next election, but the margin by which it wins is crucial, especially if it wants to retain enough of a buffer to win the election after that.

And fifthly (if that's a word) - and I know I'm repeatedly accused of being an apologist - I think there's many areas in which the NSW Government isn't doing too badly at all - mental health, industrial relations, the environment (I recently discovered that NSW was only the third place in the world to introduce carbon emissions trading), and other areas. Surely it would be a better idea to remind the public what the government's doing right, rather than concentrate on what the other side - which, let's forget, isn't in power - are doing wrong? Debnam does a good enough job of showing us that himself.

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