LETTER: Policy debates now essential 

DURING the term of this government we have read about, looked at, and listened to ‘‘the good, the bad and the ugly’’ as our politicians (and others) have striven to win the hearts and minds of the electorate and, in the process, to discredit their political opponents.

It’s unfortunate there’s been a dark side to all of this. Far too often public comments by politicians, commentary in the media and parliamentary debate have been reduced to personal attacks, misleading statements, distortion and misrepresentation. At times the language used and the abuse have been so venomous it has taken one’s breath away.

The question – and an important one as another election approaches – is how does one ‘‘cut through’’ and make an informed decision?

Surely the cornerstone of a strong, healthy and stable democracy is a well informed electorate.

I believe one of the best mechanisms to ensure the electorate will be as well informed as possible on polling day is the proposed public debates between the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition and those between ministers and shadow ministers.

Watching those televised debates – structured as they are to be fair to all parties – may be the only opportunity we’ll have as voters to focus on the real issues and policies that could shape our country’s future.

On the assumption the debates will take place, my message to the pollies is very simple: No more slogans. No more one-liners. No more spin. No more personal attacks.

As the nation watches you during the debates, simply tell us what your policies are, why they are good for Australia and, most importantly, how you intend to implement them.

Mal Davies, Kotara

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